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View Poll Results: Would you pay more for private instruction?
Yes, I'd be more than happy to pay extra for private instruction. 24 68.57%
No way. I'll never pay more. I'll just wait for the regular class. 11 31.43%
Voters: 35. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 10-06-2017, 09:06 PM
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Default Private instruction - reasonable price?

CA requires training to obtain and refresher training to renew a concealed carry license. I teach these courses. I also have a family, a full time job and play bass on the church worship team. I make no effort to advertise and have a comfortable level of students. I limit the classes to 8, but only rarely have more than 5. I think it makes for a nice training environment.

I schedule classes once a month. But, every now and then, I have someone ask me for training out of cycle. Either they forgot about their renewal date and need a class right away or they just don't want to wait. I want people to have and keep their licenses so, I occasionally do classes for individuals or couples.

If I could, I would do the class for free, but I have my own expenses and I think my time is worth something. In the past I have not charged extra for these off schedule classes. However, I'm thinking it might be a good idea to charge extra. This will not only reduce the number of people asking for the class, it will make sure they keep the date.

Would you be willing to pay extra? If so, how much?
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Old 10-06-2017, 09:39 PM
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How much do you charge and what is "more"?

If you're going from $50 to $60 I don't mind. If the difference is from $50 to $100 I would mind and would probably wait.

Another thing is how hard is it to get in CA? If it's something very difficult, once I have it I may pay an extra $50 to make sure I don't loose it

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Old 10-06-2017, 10:17 PM
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I'm not sure how to answer your poll.

In general, I think it's perfectly acceptable to charge more for private instruction than class instruction. I have no problem with that. But as Arik said, how much more I would be willing to pay, given your parameters, would be difficult to judge. 10% more? 15%? 20%? I don't know. Lots of variables to consider...my schedule, my finances, how badly I need the course, etc.

If you're looking for guidance, you might want to look at martial arts schools. Many schools and instructors offer both private and class instruction. You may want to find a school/instructor that's been successful for several years (implying that they don't have a problem attracting or keeping students with the fees they charge) and see how their fee structures work. You could probably find similar guidance with other types of schools...cooking and language schools/instructors come to mind.

ETA: I went ahead and voted "Yes," as I would be willing to pay more, but I can't say whether or not I actually would.

Last edited by ContinentalOp; 10-06-2017 at 10:19 PM. Reason: I needed to provide a more convoluted answer. :)
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Old 10-06-2017, 10:52 PM
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I live in North Carolina where we're required to attend 8 hours of instruction, take a written test and demonstrate proficiency on the range at 3, 5 and 7 yards. My instructor conducts classes for $55, including use of his private range. In my class, there were around 6 of us.

After I received my CHP (Concealed Handgun Permit), I went back to him for a bit of one-on-one training on the range. He asks $45 per hour for that.
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Old 10-06-2017, 11:43 PM
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I live in Utah, we get the very basic instructions. Much would depend upon the class itself. Would you cover things not necessarily required by the state?
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Old 10-07-2017, 03:06 AM
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For the state-mandated course, I have a minimum class size of two, max of 10 (state requires max of 10 per licensed instructor present).
Therefore, I tell those who want the state course alone they should bring a friend, because the minimum charge covers 2 students, and most do.
Private instruction on whatever the student wants to cover is a flat $40 per hour. I don't like individual instruction usually, because having other people in a structured class like NRA Personal Protection Outside the Home focuses the student more on the course objectives and lets them compare themselves to the other students.


When I personally TAKE instruction, I want to take the regular class of whatever it is (and instructors usually take more classes than anyone else). I want the structured class with an appropriate number of students, so I can briefly rest and assess, and the class is well organized with recognizable objectives.


By the way, most Oklahoma licensed instructors I know have been forced to "pay in advance and no cancellations the day of the course rules." Maybe it's just here, but too many people just don't show up the class day they reserved, and expect to be rescheduled for free. Having 10 people make reservations and 2 show up for a class did it for me. I make allowances for real emergencies, but most admit they just got up that morning and "felt like doing something else."
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Old 10-07-2017, 08:25 AM
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Not being sarcastic. My vote would be "maybe" if it was on the list.

If I'd be willing to pay extra and how much extra I'd be willing to pay for private instruction depends on a lot of things. Like...
  1. If I'm going to miss a state deadline for renewal, how much extra will it cost me to renew after the deadline vs the extra cost of the private instruction.
  2. What the reputation of the instructor is.
  3. If I think I'll be getting some added value from individual instruction that I'd miss out on in a group.
  4. How much I think that "added value" is worth.
  5. How does the extra cost impact my budget.
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Old 10-07-2017, 09:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rastoff View Post
This will not only reduce the number of people asking for the class, it will make sure they keep the date.

Would you be willing to pay extra? If so, how much?
If you would prefer not to do these private sessions, charge accordingly.

I once paid for private instruction at the range I'm a member at, and was satisfied with the results.
This is their fee structure for one hour:
Cost: $50.00*for one person, $80.00 for two people.

*A 50% non-refundable deposit is required at time of scheduling.

BTW: That's less than my golf pro charges me for private time.

As for my state's CC license test, I had no problem taking it in a class with thirty other people; and see no value to private class. If others want/need to be "special", they should expect an added fee.

Last edited by bigwheelzip; 10-07-2017 at 09:17 AM.
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Old 10-07-2017, 09:21 AM
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Default I DEFINITELY wouldn't....

I definitely wouldn't LOSE money on the proposition, you are already spending your time. It's the customer that forgot or neglected or was kept from attending class, not you. You have to spend them same amount of money and time to get there and do the class (maybe not as long) so make it worth your while. I wouldn't 'scalp' somebody but if they want private lessons they are going to have to pay the fiddler.

At least maybe you could call the shots as to a good time for you that doesn't interfere with your other activities.

I think your quiestion should be worded, "If I took private classes out of time for a regular class would I expect to pay more?" which would be a rousing 'YES'. But I'm poor so I would just have to wait for the group classes.
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Old 10-07-2017, 09:28 AM
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If CA is like MO (and I'm gonna lay the farm that it's more restrictive), your CC classes are mandated to run a minimum number of hours. You can't just get the curriculum covered with a smart class and call it a day. Having to deal with just one person all day would get mighty expensive for me, not to mention the late fee. Of course, I don't know what kind of money we're talking about. Here in the sand flats of flyover country, a good CC instructor charges about $100 for the full initial class, including the range time. For an individual class, I'd charge a 50% surcharge. Of course, I'm not sure anyone would pay. Finally, we're not comparing apples to apples as MO doesn't have required refresher training for a renewal, thus no deadline urgency for licensees. State just wants the money . . .
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Old 10-07-2017, 09:49 AM
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I don't do CC classes but I have a friend who does, he charges $150 for the class and if teaching solo he limits classes to 6, if teaching with other instructors, same fee, paid in advance but with 2 or more instructors they do 10/ instructor max. I'm not sure if the 10 is a legal max.
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Old 10-07-2017, 10:09 AM
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I would charge double.

Think about your time and your potential to make money. If you're instructing one person at $50 when you could be instructing 10 people at $50, you are losing money and wasting time.

People that request private instruction do so for various reasons. And they are willing to pay extra because of those reasons.

For example Clint Smith charges $6000 for a one day private class while his two day defensive hand gun class is $1500. I realize this isn't an apples to apples comparison but it illustrates my point perfectly. The two day pistol course is $750 per day. Multiply that by ten students and you get $7500 while his private instruction is $6000. He is actually losing $1500 for that one day. But, his private classes are sold out.

I would also require non refundable fees in advance. Again because of your potential. If someone doesn't show up THEY need to pay for it. Not you.

If you are a good instructor and if you have built a good reputation, people need to pay more. They need to pay more for your experience and the time it took to build that reputation. And most people are willing too. Some may complain and they can go elsewhere and get what they paid for. Good instructors are hard to find.

Consider advanced classes to attract repeat customers. Tailor your private class to the customer. Ask them in advance if they require more instruction in certain areas. Offer your private classes on a PER HOUR basis. Have a one or two hour minimum but let the customer decide in advance if they need more time.
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Old 10-07-2017, 10:28 AM
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I have to endorse the nonrefundable deposits. As a former camp host, we lost probably thousands of dollars. The matriarch refused to charge deposits and her clientele took advantage. We'd have spots open for Memorial Day, the 4th of July, etc.

Stick to your guns (get it?) and take some money up front!
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Old 10-07-2017, 10:33 AM
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Interesting that so far most people's responses are about how much Rastoff should charge, but that isn't what he asked. He asked if we'd be willing to pay extra for private training and how much we'd be willing to pay.

How much he should charge and how much someone is willing to pay are two very different things. When the amount someone charges and the amount someone is willing to pay converge, then you have a deal.
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Old 10-07-2017, 10:50 AM
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It's a difficult question to be sure. I left it open, without specific numbers, to elicit a broad response and you have not disappointed. Very excellent thoughts here.

Firearms training is a difficult proposition. Believe it or not, most people think they don't need any training. Anyone who's had training knows different. Also, I want to reach people because I want to help them become better shooters. I think this is good for everyone.

Yes, I left it open, but a response in percentage would be enough. I'm considering charging +50% for individual classes. Adding advanced classes is a good idea.

So far, I haven't had any cancellations in about 5 years of professional instruction. However, adding the requirement for a deposit is a good idea.

I think I'm a fairly good instructor and I get positive responses from my students.
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Old 10-07-2017, 10:52 AM
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Seems that the focus here is on the basic instruction class needed to obtain or renew a permit as opposed to instruction focused on skill improvement or overcoming a problem.

I wouldn't pay much more for individual instruction than class instruction to get or keep a permit.

I would pay much more for skill development/problem solving individual instruction, depending on the skill of the instructor.

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Old 10-07-2017, 10:54 AM
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At my local indoor range they schedule a CCL class for about once a week but many are cancelled due to only one sign up.

The 6 hour CCL class and range use costs $100.

Private lessons of many types are offered at $50/hr

In the area there's several places that offer the Texas CCL class through Groupon with the resulting price at $56.
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Old 10-07-2017, 11:06 AM
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I don't see anything wrong with charging extra for private classes which are outside of the "norm".

In reality, this is the way it will be almost all the time. Unless you have an individual who just loves to donate his time and help others with nothing in return. Not everyone can do that, even if they wanted to.

So I would pay extra if it was extremely pertinent, pending the increase amount. Barring extremely pertinent situations, I would wait for the regular class and cheaper cost.

I'm just glad we don't have any of these "restrictions" on permits. All I do is write a $35 check and wait for my license to print out.

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Old 10-07-2017, 07:43 PM
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Rast, there are two ways to think about this.

One is that your normal MO is class instruction, so you should absolutely expect more for special, individual sessions. How much more depends on how much time is involved, what kinds of aids you provide (powerpoints, handouts, etc), how much you really want to be bothered for the extra cash, and what the aggravation factor is worth. It's not about what the customer wants to pay, it's about how much you want to charge.

The other way is that there's only a finite number of customers out there, so you want to grab as big a market share as possible.

Either way, charge more. I would start at double.

Depending on what your economics look like, you might consider getting a little proactive. I would use a spreadsheet to sort out my customers by the month they took the class, and then send them a 1-month reminder. With a pre-written message and a little Ctrl+C/Ctrl+V, you can do these in no time flat. It'll increase customer retention and help prevent these low-profit sessions. If the volume is too high, Constant Contact can automate the process for about $20 a month for up to 500 contacts.
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Old 10-08-2017, 12:11 AM
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The way I see it, you are primarily talking about people that didn't make the scheduled class.

You are providing a valuable service, a specialized service. You have qualifications that you worked for and that is a valued commodity. Your time is limited and they want some of your premium time, therefore they should pay for that.

I'm not saying anyone has to be ripped off, but they didn't make the group scheduled class, which would put several times the money in your pocket for a similar amount of work time, so you should be compensated more for individual training.

BTW, I can't think of anything more ignorant than not showing up for a class that you committed to taking. I view that as someone who gave their word and just broke it. Therefore, I support the concept of paying in advance, being charged a non refundable fee for breaking the appointment or at the very least, holding a deposit to keep their spot.
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Old 10-08-2017, 04:17 PM
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Quote:
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I would use a spreadsheet to sort out my customers by the month they took the class, and then send them a 1-month reminder.
I already do this. I don't know when their license will come due, but I send a gentle reminder about 4 months prior to the date they previously took the class.
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Old 10-08-2017, 08:10 PM
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Ah, I see. CA requirement is 2 range quals at least 4 months apart. I was wondering why you did a four-month reminder, it seems far-enough off that people would leave it till "later" and forget.

So--$98 to the state in fees, plus:

--2 hours in use-of-force and de-escalation, for each "requalification" (is that 4 hours total?)
--two range sessions

Dunno man, you're definitely fine in the "more" category. How much more is up to debate. Figure out what you want hourly and then tack travel, lunch, and facilities onto it. And even just the single qualification is like 3 hours, which is an afternoon or evening.

But again--you're also not out-of-line just saying "No" if you don't really want to do it. If you're awash in filled classes, then losing a sub-par customer isn't a big deal. You start bending over backwards and you stop making money. It's like me when I drop a primer on the floor of the reloading room--rounds-per-hour tanks hard when I spend 30 minutes digging under the bench for that 2-cent primer (but then I'll have a box of only 49 rounds! the horror!).

Seriously, dude: you're doing that I'd-do-it-for-free nonsense. Okay, nice sentiment and all, but when you keep it cheap you get cheapskates for customers.

I'd be looking at these "special sessions" and figuring out how to pay for a really nice gun a year (think big here). Or buy something really nice for your wife or the family. Or if you really want to go bein' no fun at all, donate it to the church or the annual Christmas toy drive or whatever.
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Old 10-08-2017, 08:22 PM
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Well, some states do not require any training for a CC permit.
Do I think I need such training? Not really, but I do couch men and woman who I believe need such training.
You should know what a firearm can be used and how much harm it can cause if not used responsibly.
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Old 10-08-2017, 11:30 PM
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Quote:
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Ah, I see. CA requirement is 2 range quals at least 4 months apart.
OK, I see I wasn't clear with my previous statement. Since I don't know when their license will expire, I can't send out a reminder "one month" prior with any precision. CA licenses are good for two years. So, I send a reminder out 4 months shy of the two year point since their last class.

In my county, the sheriff won't allow renewal prior to 30 days before it's due. The renewal certificate is good for 60 days. Therefore, I recommend taking the class 60 days prior to expiration and renewing 30 days prior.

So, 4 months prior to the 2 year anniversary of their class should be far enough out to allow them to schedule a class without being so far out they'll forget, though it happens.

By law the renewal class must be 4 hours. Per the sheriff, i.e. issuing authority, the initial class is 8 hours.



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Seriously, dude: you're doing that I'd-do-it-for-free nonsense. Okay, nice sentiment and all, but when you keep it cheap you get cheapskates for customers.
While I don't see it as nonsense, I do think you're right about the cheapskate customers.
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Old 10-09-2017, 05:01 AM
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Coming at it from a business perspective doesn't mean you're not doing the shooting community a solid. Charge more, make it worth more. Keep up on the continuing education. Prepare handouts, have visual aids.

The field is loaded with guys that want to do this as a hobby, and look at how miserable shooting instruction is. That's why I concluded it was nonsense--no offense to you. There are knowledgeable individuals who are terrible instructors because they coming at it as a fun thing that they want to do, or a give-back to the community (although I've never met anyone that did it for free and was sincere--most just want to talk down to people and play-act as authorities, but couldn't get anyone to pay them for it).

So all the not-fun parts get rounded off. Things like lesson plans and such. They're not as bad as the ripoff artists that take people's money and pocket it, but they are pouring it down the drain in smaller amounts.

Hence why I'm telling you--it's okay to earn a buck.
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Old 10-09-2017, 09:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rastoff View Post

I schedule classes once a month. But, every now and then, I have someone ask me for training out of cycle. Either they forgot about their renewal date and need a class right away or they just don't want to wait. I want people to have and keep their licenses so, I occasionally do classes for individuals or couples.

Considering the above scenarios...

If I was in jeopardy of losing a carry permit unless I got mandatory renewal training in the next couple days and you were the only game in town offering on-demand services, I'd pay pretty much whatever premium you were charging. If I was just an eager beaver wishing to get it done sooner rather than later I wouldn't consider paying much of a premium.

You didn't ask, but there could be a niche for those who simply want private mandatory training. Gun newbie unease around others or for whatever reason. That might be worth paying a significant premium if they knew it was available.

Last edited by ChattanoogaPhil; 10-09-2017 at 10:26 AM.
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Old 10-10-2017, 01:38 AM
Whitwabit Whitwabit is offline
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the cost of an Illinois Conceal Carry License will cost approx. 500 bucks ..
the 16 hour course is 250 at the local college , 150 for the permit, 50 for the electronic fingerprints and the time for the class !!

You can send the application in without fingerprints but if you do the background check will take much longer and there is a greater chance of being rejected !!

With these cost for regular class not many would be willing to pay more for private instruction just to get a permit !!

In the class I took there were 14 in the 2 day class and 16 total in the last day of instruction as 2 had a NRA Safety Course already taken .. the last day is 125 dollars for the one day course !!

3 of the people had never fired a pistol before everyone passed the class and all qualified in the shooting part of the application ..

after asking at the range today there isn't anyone offering private instruction for the Illinois Conceal Carry Permit here in my area anyway .. private weapon instruction is available by several instructors but not for the license .. So am guessing there isn't any demand in the area ..
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Old 10-10-2017, 09:57 AM
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There is a saying I have heard over and over in the business world:

Poor planing on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part...

These folks got themselves in this situation in spite of your efforts to keep them on top of it. There is always a penalty in life for this type of behavior. They should expect to pay a premium for their careless behavior. At a minimum, I think 50% over your normal rate is warranted. Perhaps an hourly rate is appropriate. I don't know the law in CA so I can't be more specific than that.

I do know this. I realize you are trying to be considerate and a really nice guy. That is commendable. But there are people out there who will take advantage of this and you will find yourself wasting your time and money on folks who don't show up because they had a "family emergency".

A non-refundable deposit is appropriate and necessary in my mind. I have never taken offense when asked for one in situations like this. I also believe you should require advance deposits for your regular classes. Perhaps even payment in full in advance. JMO

Last edited by CATI1835; 10-10-2017 at 09:59 AM.
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Old 10-10-2017, 12:02 PM
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the cost of an Illinois Conceal Carry License will cost approx. 500 bucks ..
the 16 hour course is 250 at the local college , 150 for the permit, 50 for the electronic fingerprints and the time for the class !!

You can send the application in without fingerprints but if you do the background check will take much longer and there is a greater chance of being rejected !!
That sure sounds like restrictions, and an avenue I look for them to continue down. Make license prices so expensive it will prohibit folks from obtaining them.

I know there have been certain times where I couldn't have afforded $500 just for a carry license. Right now is currently one of them. Perhaps we should push for cost limits on licensing? Don't think there is currently anything to stop them. Just another form of control.

I would like to move eventually, but state's rights/laws are a major factor, and states operating like the above will not be considered.

Last edited by iPac; 10-10-2017 at 12:04 PM.
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Old 10-11-2017, 05:05 PM
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Private instruction is worth more, assuming it's a worthwhile instructor! Can't see how that's even in question. As to how much etc? Just depends. I have paid up to $250/day for private help, and almost certainly will again if I can budget both the time and $. But I will say that's for top tier, and my expectations are fairly high at that point as well.
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Old 10-11-2017, 10:25 PM
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You didn't ask, but there could be a niche for those who simply want private mandatory training. Gun newbie unease around others or for whatever reason. That might be worth paying a significant premium if they knew it was available.
This niche does exist. Especially with newer women shooters. I find it common for women to get intimidated by men watching them when they are new. I also see those same women relax dramatically when they see the guys, whom they initially perceive as good shots, shoot worse than them.

I may have to add private instruction as a regular additional service rather than just a catch as catch can kind of thing.
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Old 10-13-2017, 02:10 AM
Whitwabit Whitwabit is offline
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That sure sounds like restrictions, and an avenue I look for them to continue down. Make license prices so expensive it will prohibit folks from obtaining them.

I know there have been certain times where I couldn't have afforded $500 just for a carry license. Right now is currently one of them. Perhaps we should push for cost limits on licensing? Don't think there is currently anything to stop them. Just another form of control.

I would like to move eventually, but state's rights/laws are a major factor, and states operating like the above will not be considered.
Agreed .. politicians in Illinois tried to make the price of the Conceal Carry Permits where many would not be able to acquire them with out a financial hardship !!

Cost of the permit and the cost of a new pistol even one of the cheaper variety the total cost will be between 800 and 1000 dollars .. placing the permit out of reach for many especially two groups of people that need them the most .. women and the elderly !!
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Old 10-13-2017, 02:47 AM
Wise_A Wise_A is offline
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This niche does exist. Especially with newer women shooters. I find it common for women to get intimidated by men watching them when they are new. I also see those same women relax dramatically when they see the guys, whom they initially perceive as good shots, shoot worse than them.

I may have to add private instruction as a regular additional service rather than just a catch as catch can kind of thing.
Absolutely. I think on-average, new women are much better than new men. The big thing in instruction--the best I've heard it put--is that men think they know everything, whereas women expect you to tell them everything.

Also, it's astounding how awful most instructors--of both sexes--are at teaching women to shoot.
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Old 10-13-2017, 12:52 PM
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...placing the permit out of reach for many especially two groups of people that need them the most .. women and the elderly !!
This is why I try to keep the cost of my classes down. I genuinely want to expand the opportunities for people to safely use guns. Alas, it does have a cost associated with it.

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Also, it's astounding how awful most instructors--of both sexes--are at teaching women to shoot.
Women are by far the best students. However, you are correct, for some reason, it can be a challenge coaching them to their full potential.

Look at this pic:
Private instruction - reasonable price?-4ddh-20170929-small-jpg
The young lady in the foreground. Notice the excellent form. This was excellent timing on this picture. Notice how she has held the trigger back all the way through the shot and acquired a second sight picture after the shot; perfect follow through. Notice how solid her grip is and that she is in perfect control of the gun. The lady in the background (not my student) has almost lost control of her gun due to recoil and a poor grip.

Here is what she's capable of when taking her time: (1" squares from 5 yards)
Private instruction - reasonable price?-heidi-one-ragged-hole-1-1-jpg
However, I just couldn't get her to speed up. I don't know what the trick is, but eventually I'll get her to speed up.
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