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 My Experience With A Budget Class 
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 Post subject: My Experience With A Budget Class
PostPosted: Wed Aug 18, 2010 7:21 pm 
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A Day at The Class

I have had a permit to carry issued in the State of Minnesota for five years, and it is time for my renewal. As we all know, for a renewal, Minnesota requires that one take the entire complete carry course once again. Not a refresher. Not a glossing over of changes in the law over the previous five years. It requires the entire course be taken, including the live fire segment.

Considering what I had spent for my last class, this time I wanted to economize. The class I took for my current permit was $177.00 plus $20.00 for range fees and an additional $25.00 for ammunition – they wouldn’t allow me to use the Blazer ammo I had brought – a total of $222.00. When you combine that with the application fee of $100.00, it comes to a whopping $322.00. That makes it $64.00 per year. For $322.00 I could get another P3AT and some .380 ammo to go with it and still have enough left over for dinner and a movie for the wife and me. Heck, for $322.00 I could get a whole shopping bag full of Raven .25’s and a lifetime of ammunition.

Even my first class, which I never did complete, cost me $120.00. More on that at the end.*

I understand the gravity of carrying a firearm. That is one of the things that has caused me to stay as updated on carry issues as my time will allow. However, lately, as I considered with whom I would take my renewal course, I contemplated that each instructor must be certified by the state. There are statutory minimums to be met. I went into this endeavor with the notion that basic content must be similar no matter the instructor, and that the differences had to do with delivery and any additional non-statutory information or obstacles. That was my pre-conceived notion.

With that in mind I started to look at price and location as the only two criteria. I wanted to pay a minimal amount, not necessarily the lowest cost, and I did not want to travel to the far side of the Red Lake Indian Reservation to do it. I finally settled on the second-lowest cost I could find, from a metro area instructor.

The Theatre

I consider educational or instructional classes to be theatre. Having a bit of an educator background, I have some insight into how to hold classroom activities. I was curious as to how the class would be presented.

I arrived early. The instructors (I found out when they arrived that there would be two instructors that day) did not show up until just minutes before class time. The establishment hosting the class had not opened either. Class time was one hour before the establishment’s normal opening hours. The set-up was fumbling and clumsy, something I attribute to being rushed. Normally these things are done before the curtain rises, i.e. before the students arrive.

Once everyone was seated, the presentation began and there were a few minor electronic glitches, primarily with a PowerPoint presentation that wouldn’t start because of password issues, but overall they were prepared. I would put them on-par with my previous high-end class and well above that of my aborted first class.

The attire of the presenters was another issue altogether. I would term it as being “fifth day deer hunting camp”, and even that might be too flattering. Heck, even when I order a $.63 White Castle they serve it to me by staff dressed in uniform. This aspect I would rate as being below that of my aborted class. My high-end class was presented by staff in embroidered matching pullovers and well-pressed slacks. Did the attire of these latest class instructors affect the content? No, not at all, but it could very well interfere with student’s absorption of the class material. Nevertheless, I expect that the instructors should be the best dressed in the room, not the worst dressed.

The printed class materials were rudimentary at best. There is a CD as part of the class materials, but, alas, I did not bring my laptop, nor did any of the other students. The CD has a TON of material in it, but is organized so poorly as to put off exploration. While the materials of the current class are light years beyond my first “class” (materials virtually non-existent there), they did not come close to that of my high-end class.

Content

In this area I have no complaints or observations other than they duplicated my high-end class, albeit with clumsy hand-offs from one instructor to the other. No one tried to sell me or any of the other students any products of any kind. Even when asked a direct question about purchasing a certain item the student had seen on the instructor’s web site the instructor deftly pointed them back to the web page and continued on with strictly instruction related content. Posts regarding that issue, made on certain forum boards, prompted me to be alert for that aspect. It never materialized. The class was focused, for the most part. There was nothing neither “smarmy” nor off-topic.

Having been a teacher/instructor for more years than I want to admit, I know that repetition means retention. During this class the material was given one item at a time and no repetition was given. That created a situation where one instructor asked the class as a whole an hour after the material had been presented: “What are the four basic rules of gun safety?” Students looked at each other for a while and then stuttered responses started to come out: “Do not shoot within one hour after eating.” “Don’t point the gun at anything other than the person you are going to shoot.” “Clean your gun from the breech to the muzzle, especially on revolvers.” and so on.

All in all there were five hours of class time and then we were off to the range. I did learn some new things during the class. I do not know if that was because I missed them in a previous class, or if they were indeed new to this class. In any event, I left the class with the same overall impression and feeling that I had after my high-end class: Never, EVER, use your firearm, but if you do …

The primary instructor did give his views about preferring concealed carry, although he did explain in detail that in Minnesota we have the option to conceal or not. He gave his viewpoint and his rationale for same. It was not preachy.

The Range

Prior to ending the classroom portion all students were warned and admonished that if they exhibited poor firearm handling and technique that they would be “failed” from the class. It was emphasized over and over again that everyone must abide by the four primary rules of firearm safety. It was also emphasized that everyone was expected to be knowledgeable regarding their own firearm, etc. There was one firearm provided by the instructors for those that did not have their own firearm, that being a .22 automatic. The main instructor was very clear a number of times in stating that we were going to the range for qualifying and not for firearm instruction. Of course, once qualifying began the instruction part that had previously been noted as not happening began in earnest.

One firing lane was allocated for the entire class. One of the instructors acted as the “range officer”, and the qualifications started. Despite the warnings, students who had difficulties were assisted, even to the point of agitating the remainder of the group that was waiting to qualify. One individual on a tight timeline was very vocal about the delays and said that we didn’t need the qualification anyhow. The range person behind the front desk, hearing those remarks, replied that qualification was indeed necessary. A rolling argument then ensued. It was rather entertaining. I stayed for about an hour and a half after qualifying. Roughly half of the class had qualified by that time.

One classmate had a considerable amount of trouble with his firearm. Belatedly he acknowledged that he had not fired the weapon before. It was new (some sort of Rothschild 97 Magnum Deluxe with Platinum firing pin), and so was he – at least to firing that specific firearm. He shot consistently in the lower 3 and 2 rings of the LTR-II target. At least he was consistent – with nearly 30 shots. The instructor then substituted the .22 automatic and the student impressively hit the inner 5 ring with 20 straight shots. Before the .22 was offered I had fleeting thoughts of going into the parking lot, picking up a handful of rocks, and motioning through the viewing window to the shooter to see if he wanted to throw some of them at the target, but I realized that any humor to be found in that would have been lost on the shooter and the instructor. Another shooter, one that I would have assumed was an experienced person based on his in-class comments, had a marked disparity between the number of shots fired and the number of holes in his target. No, there were not more holes than shots.

There were many similar scenarios, however no one mishandled a firearm while I was there and very good muzzle control was exercised by all. Again, there were a considerable number of students that had trouble finding the 4 and 5 rings on the target. As I stated earlier, I put that squarely on the shoulders of the students and not the class itself. The reason I put the onus on the students is that this was a “carry” class and not a “shooting” class.

In my high-end class the instructors gave an individual firing lane to each student, and there was far less 1:1 interaction with the instructors than with this class, but each student had no trouble hitting the center of mass on the target illustration in the high-end class. Heck, in my high-end class there was a guy next to me with a “Raging Bull” in .454 Casull who put 50 shots, all timed, into the 5 ring. I put the difference between those two groups of students (in respect to the qualifying) to being that the high-end class students just happened to be comprised of experienced shooters while the students in the budget class just happened to be non-experienced shooters.

The point though is that the instructor was patient and gave more than one “second” chance for students to make a successful qualification. I have no idea if anyone was “failed” out or not.

Summary

I would have to rate my “budget” class as being substantially the same in content as the “high-end” class that I took five years ago. The same material was covered, and I believe done well in both cases. I did have to suffer through a bit of personal hyperbole in the budget class that was not present in the high-end class. I had expected that, being prepared somewhat by posts I have read on various forums. While the hyperbole happened, it was not to any great extent. For the life of me I will never understand why someone who has already made a sale will continue the sales pitch.

The qualifying between the two courses did differ substantially. One went way beyond statutory requirements while the other met the requirements. Which is better? I guess that would depend on the person taking the class and their expectations.

The certificate, that little piece of paper for which the class is all about? Both the high-end and the budget class dispensed snazzy colorful pieces of paper on which my name was spelled correctly. That was all I wanted and all I expected.

In the end I spent $89.50 for class and range. I brought my own firearm and ammunition. I now have my certificate and shortly I will be flirting with what I consider an injustice: Having to apply to the Ramsey County Sheriff.

*The Aborted Class

My first, albeit abandoned, class: Approximately one year before my “high-end” carry class, I registered for a class given by an instructor that lived very near to my home, and who’s classroom (a restaurant meeting room) was also located near my house. I had read through the syllabus posted on his web page, and I thought I would be satisfied with the class. That thought was shattered very early on.

The evening of the class had threatening weather. The weather service had issued thunderstorm warnings and tornado watches. In fact, it was raining heavily, with lightning in the area, at the time class was to begin. I asked the instructor about our live firing qualifications, and if they would be postponed. He replied in the negative, and said that a little rain never hurt anyone. Our qualifying was scheduled at a local outdoor range. I then inquired about the time, since it was getting toward dark. He said that he could “speed” through the class, that there was a lot of stuff we could just pick up on our own, and we would make it to the range in plenty of time. Note that class time was at 5:00 and sunset was around 8:15 at that time of year. To get the entire set of events in, considering travel time from St. Paul to the range out east, the class could not have gone much over 2 hours, if that.

His remarks, his attitude and demeanor, coupled with the fact that the rest of the students were in the restaurant “classroom” with sundry types of weaponry, one couple fondly petting a revolver and passing it between themselves, put me off a bit. It put me off enough to where I left without having an uncomfortable conversation regarding refunds. It put me off enough to where it took well over a year before I contemplated taking another course. I do not believe this instructor is in business any longer.


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 Post subject: Re: My Experience With A Budget Class
PostPosted: Wed Aug 18, 2010 8:29 pm 
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Wow.

Thanks for the writeup. I thought this was very interesting reading. Thanks for being willing to do it.

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 Post subject: Re: My Experience With A Budget Class
PostPosted: Thu Aug 19, 2010 5:31 am 
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Jeremiah wrote:
Wow.

Thanks for the writeup. I thought this was very interesting reading. Thanks for being willing to do it.

A very secular amen to that. Thanks, Traveler.

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 Post subject: Re: My Experience With A Budget Class
PostPosted: Thu Aug 19, 2010 10:35 am 
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Shade or Penaz?


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 Post subject: Re: My Experience With A Budget Class
PostPosted: Thu Aug 19, 2010 10:38 am 
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RoadRanger wrote:
Shade or Penaz?
Traveler's said he doesn't want to name names, and I'm not ask him.

(And it's either Gary Shade or his metaphorical twin, I'm guessing. But, since I wasn't there, I don't really know if the issues Traveler's pointing out were just that time, less than usual, worse than usual, or if Traveler's making up this seemly fair and incisive post, although I think I'd like somebody to bet me that he is; I like money.)

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 Post subject: Re: My Experience With A Budget Class
PostPosted: Thu Aug 19, 2010 11:01 am 
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As promisified . . . .

Traveler wrote:
A Day at The Class

I have had a permit to carry issued in the State of Minnesota for five years, and it is time for my renewal. As we all know, for a renewal, Minnesota requires that one take the entire complete carry course once again. Not a refresher. Not a glossing over of changes in the law over the previous five years. It requires the entire course be taken, including the live fire segment.
This is true. Whether or not it's a good idea is a question for another day; I'll take either side of that argument -- you folks just let me know what the Conventional Wisdom is, and I'll take the other side.
Quote:
Considering what I had spent for my last class, this time I wanted to economize. The class I took for my current permit was $177.00 plus $20.00 for range fees and an additional $25.00 for ammunition – they wouldn’t allow me to use the Blazer ammo I had brought – a total of $222.00.
Bill's is like that.
Quote:
When you combine that with the application fee of $100.00, it comes to a whopping $322.00. That makes it $64.00 per year. For $322.00 I could get another P3AT and some .380 ammo to go with it and still have enough left over for dinner and a movie for the wife and me. Heck, for $322.00 I could get a whole shopping bag full of Raven .25’s and a lifetime of ammunition.

Even my first class, which I never did complete, cost me $120.00. More on that at the end.*

I understand the gravity of carrying a firearm. That is one of the things that has caused me to stay as updated on carry issues as my time will allow. However, lately, as I considered with whom I would take my renewal course, I contemplated that each instructor must be certified by the state. There are statutory minimums to be met.
This is true; see Minn. Stat. 624.714
(b) Basic training must include:

(1) instruction in the fundamentals of pistol use;

(2) successful completion of an actual shooting qualification exercise; and

(3) instruction in the fundamental legal aspects of pistol possession, carry, and use, including self-defense and the restrictions on the use of deadly force.


Quote:
I went into this endeavor with the notion that basic content must be similar no matter the instructor,
Well, no. The minimum content is, but that can be, as we've endlessly gone round about, very small, as per the statute.
Quote:
and that the differences had to do with delivery and any additional non-statutory information or obstacles. That was my pre-conceived notion.
That said, it's a perfectly reasonable notion -- and one that's marketed to by those instructors who make a big deal about the BCA certification of their training organization. That said, I think that at least almost all of what I think are good classes add quite a lot of nonstatutory information. (The issues around, say, open carry; holsters; revolvers vs. semiautos; pistol possession and transport beyond Minnesota's borders, etc.) As do the Coconut Charley types, too.
Quote:

With that in mind I started to look at price and location as the only two criteria. I wanted to pay a minimal amount, not necessarily the lowest cost, and I did not want to travel to the far side of the Red Lake Indian Reservation to do it. I finally settled on the second-lowest cost I could find, from a metro area instructor.
Not that there's necessarily anything wrong with that; Paul Horvick is, I believe, both cheap and good.
Quote:
The Theatre

I consider educational or instructional classes to be theatre. Having a bit of an educator background, I have some insight into how to hold classroom activities. I was curious as to how the class would be presented.

I arrived early. The instructors (I found out when they arrived that there would be two instructors that day) did not show up until just minutes before class time. The establishment hosting the class had not opened either. Class time was one hour before the establishment’s normal opening hours. The set-up was fumbling and clumsy, something I attribute to being rushed. Normally these things are done before the curtain rises, i.e. before the students arrive.
Yup. While glitches occasionally happen -- and have happened to me, so I won't throw too many stones -- the instructor should be ready to go at the announced start time, whether or not he chooses to wait a few minutes for late students to arrive and settle in.
Quote:
Once everyone was seated, the presentation began and there were a few minor electronic glitches, primarily with a PowerPoint presentation that wouldn’t start because of password issues, but overall they were prepared. I would put them on-par with my previous high-end class and well above that of my aborted first class.

The attire of the presenters was another issue altogether. I would term it as being “fifth day deer hunting camp”, and even that might be too flattering.
Fashon plate that I amn't, you're still giving me a big smile.
Quote:
Heck, even when I order a $.63 White Castle they serve it to me by staff dressed in uniform. This aspect I would rate as being below that of my aborted class. My high-end class was presented by staff in embroidered matching pullovers and well-pressed slacks. Did the attire of these latest class instructors affect the content? No, not at all, but it could very well interfere with student’s absorption of the class material. Nevertheless, I expect that the instructors should be the best dressed in the room, not the worst dressed.

The printed class materials were rudimentary at best. There is a CD as part of the class materials, but, alas, I did not bring my laptop, nor did any of the other students. The CD has a TON of material in it, but is organized so poorly as to put off exploration.
Yup. If you're going to put information out on a CD, there's no excuse at all for a lack of a good table of contents and high-quality indexing.
Quote:
While the materials of the current class are light years beyond my first “class” (materials virtually non-existent there), they did not come close to that of my high-end class.

Content

In this area I have no complaints or observations other than they duplicated my high-end class, albeit with clumsy hand-offs from one instructor to the other.
Now, that's strange. I don't often train with another instructor, but handing off a section should be very easy.
Quote:
No one tried to sell me or any of the other students any products of any kind. Even when asked a direct question about purchasing a certain item the student had seen on the instructor’s web site the instructor deftly pointed them back to the web page and continued on with strictly instruction related content. Posts regarding that issue, made on certain forum boards, prompted me to be alert for that aspect. It never materialized. The class was focused, for the most part. There was nothing neither “smarmy” nor off-topic.
Cool.
Quote:

Having been a teacher/instructor for more years than I want to admit, I know that repetition means retention. During this class the material was given one item at a time and no repetition was given. That created a situation where one instructor asked the class as a whole an hour after the material had been presented: “What are the four basic rules of gun safety?” Students looked at each other for a while and then stuttered responses started to come out: “Do not shoot within one hour after eating.” “Don’t point the gun at anything other than the person you are going to shoot.” “Clean your gun from the breech to the muzzle, especially on revolvers.” and so on.
:)
Quote:

All in all there were five hours of class time and then we were off to the range. I did learn some new things during the class. I do not know if that was because I missed them in a previous class, or if they were indeed new to this class. In any event, I left the class with the same overall impression and feeling that I had after my high-end class: Never, EVER, use your firearm, but if you do …

The primary instructor did give his views about preferring concealed carry, although he did explain in detail that in Minnesota we have the option to conceal or not. He gave his viewpoint and his rationale for same. It was not preachy.
That's okay. I tend to get preachy on the subject, because I think that it's important that the right to OC be preserved and that in most situations it's a bad idea to choose to OC.
Quote:

The Range

Prior to ending the classroom portion all students were warned and admonished that if they exhibited poor firearm handling and technique that they would be “failed” from the class. It was emphasized over and over again that everyone must abide by the four primary rules of firearm safety. It was also emphasized that everyone was expected to be knowledgeable regarding their own firearm, etc. There was one firearm provided by the instructors for those that did not have their own firearm, that being a .22 automatic. The main instructor was very clear a number of times in stating that we were going to the range for qualifying and not for firearm instruction. Of course, once qualifying began the instruction part that had previously been noted as not happening began in earnest.
This is, I think, the main instructor trying to make the best of a bad decision -- the bad decision being allowing and perhaps encouraging people who not even vaguely knowledgeable about firearms (because, say, they've never handled on at all nor have read up on them) to take a half-day carry class, and then letting them shoot the qualification with a gun that presents no challenges to the operator as long as there's coaching immediately available.
Quote:
One firing lane was allocated for the entire class. One of the instructors acted as the “range officer”, and the qualifications started. Despite the warnings, students who had difficulties were assisted, even to the point of agitating the remainder of the group that was waiting to qualify.
At the risk of wising up the chump -- not you; the "main instructor" I'll just point out that most instructors who know what they're doing invite folks who might benefit from a little extra time and attention to be the last to qualify. (Alternately, when I've other instructors helping me out with quals, I give some of the students who are going to have a very quick and easy time to the assisting instructor, and take the ones who might have some issues for myself. I think that's the right way to do it; when I happened to be at the range the other day and Andrew brought in his class to do the quals, I volunteered to help out and he gave me the easy ones, so I'm apparently not alone.)
Quote:
One individual on a tight timeline was very vocal about the delays and said that we didn’t need the qualification anyhow. The range person behind the front desk, hearing those remarks, replied that qualification was indeed necessary.
I'm guessing Bob or Sue; Roger generally doesn't get into those sorts of discussions with people he doesn't know well.
Quote:
A rolling argument then ensued. It was rather entertaining.
Wish I'd been there; I've been around for some similar discussions.
Quote:
I stayed for about an hour and a half after qualifying. Roughly half of the class had qualified by that time.

One classmate had a considerable amount of trouble with his firearm. Belatedly he acknowledged that he had not fired the weapon before. It was new (some sort of Rothschild 97 Magnum Deluxe with Platinum firing pin), and so was he – at least to firing that specific firearm. He shot consistently in the lower 3 and 2 rings of the LTR-II target. At least he was consistent – with nearly 30 shots. The instructor then substituted the .22 automatic and the student impressively hit the inner 5 ring with 20 straight shots. Before the .22 was offered I had fleeting thoughts of going into the parking lot, picking up a handful of rocks, and motioning through the viewing window to the shooter to see if he wanted to throw some of them at the target, but I realized that any humor to be found in that would have been lost on the shooter and the instructor.
I think that was almost certainly the case.
Quote:
Another shooter, one that I would have assumed was an experienced person based on his in-class comments, had a marked disparity between the number of shots fired and the number of holes in his target. No, there were not more holes than shots.
I am laughing to the point of pain. Ouch.
Quote:

There were many similar scenarios, however no one mishandled a firearm while I was there and very good muzzle control was exercised by all. Again, there were a considerable number of students that had trouble finding the 4 and 5 rings on the target. As I stated earlier, I put that squarely on the shoulders of the students and not the class itself. The reason I put the onus on the students is that this was a “carry” class and not a “shooting” class.
Yup. Which is why I wouldn't characterize such a class as "training in the art of the pistol" or anything like that.
Quote:
In my high-end class the instructors gave an individual firing lane to each student, and there was far less 1:1 interaction with the instructors than with this class, but each student had no trouble hitting the center of mass on the target illustration in the high-end class. Heck, in my high-end class there was a guy next to me with a “Raging Bull” in .454 Casull who put 50 shots, all timed, into the 5 ring. I put the difference between those two groups of students (in respect to the qualifying) to being that the high-end class students just happened to be comprised of experienced shooters while the students in the budget class just happened to be non-experienced shooters.
I think that's almost certainly the case.
Quote:

The point though is that the instructor was patient and gave more than one “second” chance for students to make a successful qualification. I have no idea if anyone was “failed” out or not.

Summary

I would have to rate my “budget” class as being substantially the same in content as the “high-end” class that I took five years ago. The same material was covered, and I believe done well in both cases. I did have to suffer through a bit of personal hyperbole in the budget class that was not present in the high-end class. I had expected that, being prepared somewhat by posts I have read on various forums. While the hyperbole happened, it was not to any great extent. For the life of me I will never understand why someone who has already made a sale will continue the sales pitch.
It's the Upsell Boogie -- the salesman wants to upsell you on other products and/or services, and wants you to evangelize for him.
Quote:
The qualifying between the two courses did differ substantially. One went way beyond statutory requirements while the other met the requirements. Which is better? I guess that would depend on the person taking the class and their expectations.

The certificate, that little piece of paper for which the class is all about? Both the high-end and the budget class dispensed snazzy colorful pieces of paper on which my name was spelled correctly. That was all I wanted and all I expected.

In the end I spent $89.50 for class and range. I brought my own firearm and ammunition. I now have my certificate and shortly I will be flirting with what I consider an injustice: Having to apply to the Ramsey County Sheriff.
Yup.
Quote:
*The Aborted Class

My first, albeit abandoned, class: Approximately one year before my “high-end” carry class, I registered for a class given by an instructor that lived very near to my home, and who’s classroom (a restaurant meeting room) was also located near my house. I had read through the syllabus posted on his web page, and I thought I would be satisfied with the class. That thought was shattered very early on.

The evening of the class had threatening weather. The weather service had issued thunderstorm warnings and tornado watches. In fact, it was raining heavily, with lightning in the area, at the time class was to begin. I asked the instructor about our live firing qualifications, and if they would be postponed. He replied in the negative, and said that a little rain never hurt anyone. Our qualifying was scheduled at a local outdoor range. I then inquired about the time, since it was getting toward dark. He said that he could “speed” through the class, that there was a lot of stuff we could just pick up on our own, and we would make it to the range in plenty of time. Note that class time was at 5:00 and sunset was around 8:15 at that time of year. To get the entire set of events in, considering travel time from St. Paul to the range out east, the class could not have gone much over 2 hours, if that.

His remarks, his attitude and demeanor, coupled with the fact that the rest of the students were in the restaurant “classroom” with sundry types of weaponry, one couple fondly petting a revolver and passing it between themselves, put me off a bit. It put me off enough to where I left without having an uncomfortable conversation regarding refunds. It put me off enough to where it took well over a year before I contemplated taking another course. I do not believe this instructor is in business any longer.
Yucko.

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 Post subject: Re: My Experience With A Budget Class
PostPosted: Thu Aug 19, 2010 3:54 pm 
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JR noted that .."Paul Horvick is, I believe, both cheap and good. "

Hmmm, how did you know I am cheap! I am, for sure, inexpensive in my pricing (although that is changing); but "cheap"??? My wife says I am cheap at times, I like to think frugal.

In an unrelated related post, I was once curious how much I could charge before someone blanched. I had a fellow call me when I was in Chicago doing a class and he said that he wanted to attend, but preferred a private class. He asked what I would charge. Since I really did not want to do that, I figured I could make it too pricey and not worry about them wanting to set a session up, so...I said "$995/person is my standard rate for a private class". He and his wife both attended. So, in my search for how much is too much, I have not found the answer yet.

Interestingly, I am becoming more and more convinced that, once a "good" reputation is earned, price is a very insignificant variable in the "do I take the class from him" equation.

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http://shootingsafely.com
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 Post subject: Re: My Experience With A Budget Class
PostPosted: Thu Aug 19, 2010 3:59 pm 
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phorvick wrote:
JR noted that .."Paul Horvick is, I believe, both cheap and good. "

Hmmm, how did you know I am cheap! I am, for sure, inexpensive in my pricing (although that is changing); but "cheap"??? My wife says I am cheap at times, I like to think frugal.
Pardon me. Make that "charges less than many good instructors".
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In an unrelated related post, I was once curious how much I could charge before someone blanched. I had a fellow call me when I was in Chicago doing a class and he said that he wanted to attend, but preferred a private class. He asked what I would charge. I said "$995/person is my standard rate for a private class". He and his wife both attended. So, in my search for how much is too much, I have not found the answer yet.

Interestingly, I am becoming more and more convinced that, once a "good" reputation is earned, price is a very insignificant variable in the "do I take the class from him" equation.
I think that's true for lots of people, but I also do know of folks who will, say, drive down from Duluth to take a cheap class and save a very few dollars on the class fee. And there are a very people for whom the difference between a cheap class and one that isn't would be how well the kids eat that month, sad to say.

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 Post subject: Re: My Experience With A Budget Class
PostPosted: Thu Aug 19, 2010 7:21 pm 
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Call it whatever you like- Paul is a very good instructor whose prices are quite reasonable (or at least were 4 years ago when I took his class; all this praise may have inflated his head and prices... :wink: )

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 Post subject: Re: My Experience With A Budget Class
PostPosted: Thu Aug 19, 2010 7:39 pm 
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phorvick wrote:
Interestingly, I am becoming more and more convinced that, once a "good" reputation is earned, price is a very insignificant variable in the "do I take the class from him" equation.



I tend to agree with that.


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 Post subject: Re: My Experience With A Budget Class
PostPosted: Thu Aug 19, 2010 7:44 pm 
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Jeremiah wrote:
Call it whatever you like- Paul is a very good instructor whose prices are quite reasonable (or at least were 4 years ago when I took his class; all this praise may have inflated his head and prices... :wink: )

Hey, I'm a fan. I very much enjoyed teaching a CLE class with him and David, and hoped that the one non lawyer in the room didn't let either of them down too badly.

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 Post subject: Re: My Experience With A Budget Class
PostPosted: Sun Aug 22, 2010 4:53 pm 
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Quote:
Quote:
Considering what I had spent for my last class, this time I wanted to economize. The class I took for my current permit was $177.00 plus $20.00 for range fees and an additional $25.00 for ammunition – they wouldn’t allow me to use the Blazer ammo I had brought – a total of $222.00.

Then JR responded with "Bill's is like that."


I have to say this was not my experience. I took my initial class with Bill's and my renewal class as well. I was not charged more than the specified price. I did have my own gun and ammo. There was one person in my renewal class who did want to rent a couple of guns to shoot but brought her own ammo. Bill's did allow her to do this and only charged her for one rental.

Not defending Bill's class or material, just offering my observations based on my experience with Bill's

Lastly, a big Thank You to Traveler for this write up. It was a great read.

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 Post subject: Re: My Experience With A Budget Class
PostPosted: Sun Aug 22, 2010 5:54 pm 
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Moby Clarke wrote:

I have to say this was not my experience. I took my initial class with Bill's and my renewal class as well. I was not charged more than the specified price. I did have my own gun and ammo. There was one person in my renewal class who did want to rent a couple of guns to shoot but brought her own ammo. Bill's did allow her to do this and only charged her for one rental.

Not defending Bill's class or material, just offering my observations based on my experience with Bill's

Lastly, a big Thank You to Traveler for this write up. It was a great read.
As to the second ton last: sure. Bill's seems to have stoplights on that stuff. As to the last, ditto.

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