I often see new or intermediate shooters looking for a new gun or firearm accessory that will help them become more accurate. Or help them become a better shooter. Whatever that means to them. Proper firearm selection is critical, there is no getting around that. However, once you have a usable gun, with a decent set of sights and a manageable trigger, you will probably not see much in the way of measurable improvements based on the hardware, unless you are shooting to the maximum ability of your gun and ammunition. In other words, if you are being hampered by the lack of accuracy (not usually a problem with today’s well manufactured guns) then you might consider a new firearm as an avenue of improvement. If this is your case, you are well in the minority. If you are like most people, and your skills do not exceed the abilities of your gun, then your dollars are better spent elsewhere to see marked improvements.

A better skill set will get your further than a better gun, by a significant margin. Skills can be improved in many ways. One way is the process of self-discovery. With self-discovery the shooter will go through a period of trial and error, until they discover what gets them the results they seek. There are two problems with this. First, it can be a long process with a problematic feedback loop unless the shooter is very self-aware and is using strict metrics to check on the validity of their trials. The second problem is it can be expensive to keep buying ammunition, only to practice something incorrectly. And then, if the shooter never reaches the path of enlightenment, they will have only developed more bad habits.

The second way to improve your software is to get proper instruction. Seek a qualified teacher who can help you develop gun safety and efficient shooting skills that will put you on the path to your goals. A good teacher will be one with not just a quality shooting background, but also the skills to properly communicate the lessons, and diagnose the shooter.

If you are in the Los Angeles area and are looking for shooting classes, you are in luck. California Tactical Academy (CTA) offers a wide selection of classes for shooting.  CTA has classes for beginner shooters who want to learn the proper use of the pistol, the rifle, or the shotgun, for defensive or practical use. CTA is host to many world-renowned competitive shooters like Robert Vogel, Eric Graufell, JJ racaza, Keith Garcia, who regularly hold classes at the range, designed for both the competitive shooter and the defensive-minded shooters.

CTA also offers classes for women only, as well as some very exciting tactical training. For example, CTA has recently added helicopter interdiction course where the students learn to properly shoot and operate from a helicopter with no previous experience required.

CTA also offers advanced classes such as Short Range Rifle classes and the Urban Pistol course, where the students will shoot on the move, maneuver around barricades, and simulated common urban fixtures. If you want to be away from the crowds, CTA also offers private classes that will cater your needs and will assist your progress in your own pace. Classes are taught by world champion competitive shooters, former Navy SEALS, Law Enforcement/SWAT trainers and other subject matter experts.

At the end of the day, whether you choose to go to CTA or another venue for training, I would strongly suggest, that before you spend more money on another gun to fix a shooting problem, invest in some ammunition and quality training.

Then buy another gun, because, after all, this is America.

We’ll see you at the range.
About the writer

Mike Lazarus

Military and Law Enforcement Veteran

FBI certified firearm instructor

MP5 and Sub Machine gun instructor

Defensive tactics instructor