Pushing the Limits: A Guide to Advanced Firearms Training


Hey there, gun enthusiasts! Brady Kirkpatrick here from GunMade.com. I hope you’ve got your safety glasses on because we’re about to dive headfirst into the exciting world of advanced firearms training. If you thought basic training was a blast, you’re in for a real treat. 

So, what’s the difference between your run-of-the-mill firearms training and the advanced version? Well, let’s think about it in terms of riding a bike. 

Basic training is all about learning to balance, pedal, and not tumble over when a squirrel darts in front of you. Meanwhile, advanced training is like tackling a mountain trail – it’s not just about staying upright but also navigating obstacles, adjusting your speed, and, oh, did we mention the occasional jump? 

According to a study by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, advanced training can significantly enhance personal and professional safety. It showed that those who had completed advanced training courses were 42% less likely to be involved in a firearm accident. Now, I’m no math whiz, but those odds sound pretty good to me.

In this post, we’re going to dig into the nitty-gritty of advanced firearms training. We’ll cover the different types and levels, the skills you’ll pick up, and of course, the benefits and challenges you can expect. And because we’re all about that practical advice, we’ll also share some best practices and resources for finding and choosing the right training for you. 

So, are you ready to take your shooting skills to the next level? Let’s lock and load, folks!

Types of Advanced Firearms Training

Now that you’ve got a handle on the basics, it’s time to delve a little deeper into the world of firearms training. Advanced training offers a more specialized focus and comes in several different flavors. Let’s break it down.

Tactical Firearms Training

If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to be a SWAT team member, tactical firearms training might just scratch that itch. These courses take you beyond the basics, teaching you how to handle firearms in high-stress, tactical situations. 

You’ll learn skills like shooting while moving, using cover effectively, and how to handle weapon malfunctions under pressure.

Defensive Firearms Training

As gun owners, we hope we’ll never have to use our weapons in self-defense. But wouldn’t you feel more confident knowing you’re prepared just in case? Defensive firearms training is designed with this in mind. 

Courses focus on home defense scenarios, concealed carry techniques, and defensive shooting fundamentals. You’ll learn how to make quick, life-saving decisions under pressure—skills that can make all the difference.

Competitive Firearms Training

Fancy yourself a sharpshooter? Competitive firearms training can help you take your marksmanship to the next level. This form of training is all about speed, accuracy, and strategy, preparing you for competitions like the International Defensive Pistol Association (IDPA) or the United States Practical Shooting Association (USPSA). It’s a fun way to push your limits and put your skills to the test.

Levels of Advanced Firearms Training

Advanced training isn’t a one-size-fits-all proposition. Depending on your comfort level and experience, you might choose to start with intermediate training or jump straight into expert-level courses. Here’s a quick rundown.


Intermediate courses are ideal for those who are already competent with basic handling, shooting, and safety. At this level, you’ll start to learn more dynamic shooting techniques. For example:

  • Shooting on the move – hit targets while walking, side-stepping, etc.
  • Rapid shooting – target transitions and shot strings
  • Malfunction clearing – quickly clear jams and misfeeds
  • Shooting from cover – use walls, barriers, vehicles effectively
  • Low-light shooting – aim with flashlight, tritium sights
  • Stress shooting – perform under pressure with timed drills


Advanced courses dive deeper into tactical and defensive techniques. Typical skills covered include:

  • Weapon retention – retain control during physical confrontations
  • Close quarters shooting – hit targets within 3-7 yards
  • One-hand shooting – dominant and support hand
  • Alternate shooting positions – barricade, seated, supine, etc.
  • Shooting at moving targets – lead targets laterally and downrange
  • Judicious use of force – proportional response


Expert-level is the pinnacle of civilian firearms training. It involves high-round counts and extremely demanding scenarios. Skills include:

  • Advanced stress shooting – make decisions under extreme duress
  • Dynamic entry tactics – enter and clear rooms
  • Vehicle tactics – enter/exit vehicles, shoot from vehicles
  • Low-light tactics – operate effectively in dark settings
  • Force-on-force scenarios – face simulated attacks with specialized equipment
  • Active shooter response – counter ambush situations

Courses and Certifications

If you are a gun owner who wants to improve your skills and knowledge, there are many courses and certifications that you can choose from. 

For tactical training, you can learn from the experts at Delaware Tactical, a veteran law enforcement officer owned and operated business with over 28 years of weapons and tactics instructor experience. 

They offer courses on combat pistol, rifle, shotgun, room clearing, active shooter defense, medical care, and more. You can also get your concealed carry permit from Delaware Tactical, as they offer the most comprehensive CCDW course in Delaware. Their 8-hour course covers topics such as firearm safety, handling, laws, and shooting fundamentals.

Defensive training certifications are also available through organizations like the USCCA or NRA, which provide education and resources on self-defense and firearm safety. You can also join competitive shooting events and clubs through the USPSA or IDPA, which offer training opportunities for different levels and disciplines of shooting sports.

Shooting Accuracy and Speed

Let’s start with the bread and butter of any firearms training: shooting accuracy and speed. In advanced firearms training, the aim is to help you graduate from being a ‘good’ shooter to an ‘excellent’ one. 

Here, you’ll learn techniques to efficiently align your sights, manage your trigger press, and control your breathing for each shot. Speed drills are also incorporated, teaching you to transition quickly from target to target while maintaining accuracy. 

Remember, in real-life scenarios, every second count, and being a speedy, accurate shooter could be the difference between life and death.

Shooting from Different Positions and Distances

Being able to adapt to different shooting positions and distances is a valuable skill in any situation. Whether you’re hunting in the wilderness, engaging in a sports shooting competition, or defending your home, flexibility is key. 

Advanced training will introduce you to shooting from a variety of positions including standing, kneeling, prone, and even from behind barriers. You’ll also learn to shoot at varying distances, honing your ability to quickly adjust your aim and sight picture.

Shooting in Low-Light and Adverse Conditions

Contrary to what Hollywood might have you believe, most confrontations don’t occur in broad daylight. Advanced firearms training incorporates low-light and adverse conditions into the curriculum. You’ll learn to use a flashlight effectively, shoot with night sights, and operate your firearm in inclement weather. It’s not all sunshine and rainbows out there, folks!

Shooting While Moving and Under Stress

Let’s be honest, shooting at a stationary target on a calm range is one thing, but shooting while moving or under stress? That’s a whole different ball game. Advanced training teaches you how to shoot while on the move, maintaining accuracy and control. 

Additionally, stress-induced training scenarios are introduced to mimic real-life situations. This helps to improve your decision-making and reaction time when the pressure is on. Remember, the best way to handle stress is to train under stress.

Shooting Multiple Targets and Threat Assessment

In a real-world scenario, there’s rarely just one threat. Advanced firearms training teaches you to engage multiple targets quickly and accurately. This includes learning how to prioritize threats and make split-second decisions. Remember, it’s not just about shooting fast, but shooting smart.

Weapon Manipulation and Malfunction Clearing

Murphy’s Law states that anything that can go wrong, will go wrong. This is especially true when it comes to firearms. Malfunction clearing and weapon manipulation are crucial skills taught in advanced training. You’ll learn how to quickly and safely clear jams, perform tactical reloads, and transition between firearms.

Weapon Retention and Disarmament

Finally, advanced training covers weapon retention and disarmament techniques. This includes learning how to maintain control of your firearm in a struggle, as well as techniques to disarm an opponent. Remember, your firearm is only as good as your ability to retain it.

To improve these skills and techniques, regular practice is key. Consider investing in a quality dry fire training system, joining a local shooting club, or enrolling in ongoing firearm training. Remember, it’s not just about owning a firearm, but being proficient and responsible with it.—

Benefits of Advanced Firearms Training 

Upskill Your Safety Game

Advanced firearms training isn’t just about looking cool on the range (though that’s a nice bonus). It’s also about enhancing personal and professional safety. The more you know about how to handle firearms, the better you’ll be able to keep yourself and those around you safe. In fact, a study conducted by the National Shooting Sports Foundation found that individuals who received advanced training were significantly less likely to have a firearm-related accident than those who did not.

Boost Confidence and Competence

Ever met someone who’s really good at something and thought, “I wish I could do that”? Well, with advanced firearms training, you can. The more training you have, the more confident and competent you’ll feel with your firearm. Whether you’re at the range or in a real-world scenario, knowing you’re capable of handling anything that comes your way is a massive confidence booster. 

Mental and Physical Discipline 

If you thought firearms training was just about pulling a trigger, think again. It’s also a fantastic way to develop mental and physical discipline. Remember, firearms aren’t toys – they’re tools, and like any tool, they require skill and discipline to use effectively. 

Know Your Laws and Ethics

Ignorance of the law isn’t a good defense. Advanced firearms training can help expand your knowledge and understanding of firearms laws and ethics. Trust me, it’s better to learn about these laws in a classroom than in a courtroom.

Challenges of Advanced Firearms Training 

Finding the Right Instructor

Not all instructors are created equal. Finding a qualified, reputable instructor can be a challenge. Look for the following credentials and experience:

  • Certifications from respected organizations like the NRA, USCCA, USPSA, IDPA, etc. This validates their expertise.
  • Current or former military and law enforcement experience. This provides real-world training knowledge.
  • Years of instructional experience. Look for 5+ years of teaching firearms courses full-time. This ensures extensive knowledge and honed teaching abilities.
  • Positive reviews from past students. Reach out to former students to get candid feedback on teaching style and effectiveness.
  • Up-to-date on best practices. Seek instructors who actively maintain industry knowledge and evolve their courses accordingly.
  • Personable demeanor. The best instructors are highly knowledgeable yet approachable. Make sure yours fits this bill.
  • Vetting an instructor thoroughly takes time but pays dividends. An expert instructor provides immense value you won’t find elsewhere. Take your time researching to get the ideal mix of credentials, experience, and teaching capability.

Investment of Time, Money, and Effort 

Advanced firearms training isn’t a walk in the park. It requires time, money, and effort. But remember, good things come to those who work for them. And in this case, the good thing is enhanced safety, confidence, competence, discipline, and legal knowledge.

Balancing Act 

There’s a delicate balance when it comes to firearms use. It’s about balancing safety, legality, and responsibility. It’s about knowing when to use your firearm and when not to. It’s about understanding the consequences of your actions. This can be a challenge, but with advanced firearms training, it’s a challenge you’ll be ready to meet head-on.

Becoming a firearm master may not be a walk in the park, but the rewards are worth the effort. Remember, the real goal is not just to become a better shooter, but a more responsible gun owner. And that’s something we can all aim for. Right folks?

Assess Your Current Skill Level and Training Goals

Let’s start with something you need to do before you even begin your search for advanced firearms training: assessing your current skill level and training goals. Do you know your way around a Glock like you do your morning coffee routine, or are you still figuring out the difference between a magazine and a clip? Being honest about your current skills and understanding what you want to achieve with your training is the first step to finding the right course.

Remember, everyone was a beginner at some point, and the goal here isn’t to become John Wick overnight. It’s to find a training program that challenges you, but also fits within your current abilities. So, whether you’re looking to improve your accuracy, learn tactical maneuvers, or prepare for a competition, having clear goals will guide your search.

Research Instructors and Facilities

Now that you’ve done some self-assessment, it’s time to hit the books – or, more likely, the search engine. When seeking advanced firearms training, the credentials and reputation of the instructor and facility should be at the top of your research list.

Look for instructors with reputable certifications, professional experience, and positive reviews. Don’t be shy about reaching out to them or their past students to ask about their teaching style or the facility’s safety protocols. A good instructor should be both knowledgeable and approachable.

Similarly, the facility should be clean, safe, and equipped with the necessary resources for your training. If you can, visit the facility before committing to a course. You wouldn’t buy a gun without handling it first, right?

Compare Courses and Certifications

Once you’ve got some potential instructors and facilities in mind, it’s time to compare the nitty-gritty details: curriculum, cost, and availability. 

Curriculum is crucial because it should align with your training goals. If you’re aiming to become a better marksman, a course focused on tactical maneuvers won’t be the best fit, no matter how cool it sounds. 

Cost is another factor to consider. Training can range from budget-friendly local classes to high-end programs that could run you into the thousands. Remember that the most expensive option isn’t always the best, and vice versa.

Availability is the last item to check. Make sure the course fits into your schedule. You don’t want to sign up for an awesome program only to miss half the classes due to conflicts.

Seek Feedback and Recommendations

Finally, use your community. Fellow gun enthusiasts, local shooting ranges, and online forums can be gold mines of information. Ask about their experiences with different training programs, what they liked or didn’t like, and their recommendations. 

Remember, what works for one person might not work for you, but getting firsthand feedback can provide valuable insights you won’t find in a brochure or website.

In the end, finding the right advanced firearms training is a lot like choosing a firearm itself. It involves careful research, comparison, and personal preference. But with the right approach and resources, you’ll be on your way to becoming a more skilled, confident, and safe firearm owner.

Your Next Steps

If you’re ready to take your gun handling skills to the next level, I encourage you to explore advanced firearms training. And remember, as gun owners, we have a responsibility to handle our firearms safely and proficiently. 

Whether you’re a seasoned shooter or a newbie, I’d love to hear your thoughts on advanced firearms training. Feel free to share your experiences or ask any questions in the comments section below.

Remember, the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step… or in this case, a single shot. Happy shooting, folks!