Paulden, Arizona - Staff from NRA’s Training Department headed West last month to participate in cross-training with Gunsite. John Howard (pictured), Andy Lander, and Sean Thornton made the trip to the Gunsite Academy in Paulden, Arizona where they conducted NRA Certified Instructor Courses for Pistol, Rifle, and Shotgun for nine Gunsite Instructors. In exchange, the three attended the Gunsite Defensive Pistol 250 course.
It all started when NRA Board of Director and Gunsite owner Buz Mills discussed cross-training opportunities with Bill Poole, Director of NRA’s Education & Training Division.
“We knew that this would be a fantastic opportunity for Gunsite and NRA to come together and examine the evolution of firearms training – from where it’s been, to where it is now and how we can look to the future,” said Poole.
Although the Defensive Pistol 250 course is considered to be the "Gunsite Experience", it focuses on advanced pistol skills through intense training. According to Howard, the NRA National Instructor Trainer, the course is by no means basic.
“We learned a lot from the course and we will carry a lot of our training over into our programs. Some of it we have already incorporated,” explained Howard.
At the end of the Defensive Pistol 250 course, all 48 students, including the three NRA staffers, participated in a shoot-off. Both Lander and Thornton made the top three, with Lander taking first place and earning a coveted sterling silver raven, the emblem of Gunsite.
“We all had a blast, and a lot of knowledge exchange took place,” said Howard, “It was a positive experience for both NRA and Gunsite and we hope to continue the cross-training process."