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 Post subject: Confused
PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2007 9:55 am 
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Location: Saint Paul
I have been researching getting my CCP. The number of classes offered around the Twin Cities is great. My question is, I'm looking to get the combo Utah/Minnesota permit, and I see a number of different classes with large differences in costs. Could you explain why the cost difference.
Examples of classes for the Utah/MN Combo
MN Pistol Class,Roseville $150.
Minnesota Permit to Carry a Pistol Course, includes classroom session, range fee, target, textbook, workbook, pen, Completion Certificate. Plus
the Utah Supplement to the AACFI Minnesota Permit Course, includes classroom session, workbook, pen, resource disk (CD/ROM), Completion Certificate, certified Utah application, passport photos and fingerprints.

A guy by the name of Paul Horvick offers a class next week at Bill's in Robbinsdale for $75, (Combo Class MN/Utah) plus gun rental at $10.

Bill's in Robinsdale offers a class for $150, not sure if that includes combo permits. (wounder why Paul Horvick offers the same course at the same location for half the price)

Mr Rosenberg's class is $300. Not sure if this is for the combo.

Why the large differences in prices? Also, what do you all recommend. I'm not sure which one to take, please help me.

Thank you.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2007 10:13 am 
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Each instructor is in effect an individual business with differing costs and aims. This leads to different prices for instruction. It's difficult to navigate this because Price does not always equal quality AND frugality does not infer inferiority. I would go with someone you know, can interact with, or who comes recommended by name. I would avoid a Gun Club class, a Gun store class, a Corporate Outdoor store class, and etc... unless you KNOW the instructor is well respected and he or she is named.

As an example:
Joel's class is one of the most expensive in the Twin Cities. It's eminently worth it to me. He is the man who wrote the book after all and his presentation substance and style were incredible. Very good presentation. Good discussions and examples. Excellent communication style. He also put up this forum. I was in the same boat re: price and quality and ended up taking my class from him. I don't regret it.

Paul Horvick's class represents the other end of the spectrum Price wise. It is very well run and informative class. I have sat in on a small portion of it and have a couple friends who have either taken it or had family do so. They report it was a good class and a good value. Phorvick teaches classes regionally in ND, SD, NE, MN, and IL as far as I remember.

I hate to leave anyone out because we have a WEALTH of talented, ethical, experienced instructors on this board but here are some others I'd strongly recommend from personal experience:

TTousi: I've worked DNR FAS classes with Tom, know people who have taken NRA instructor training, and have a relative who took his Carry class. He is a great instructor. I have not personally taken his carry class.

DonL: I took Don's holster work class and learned a LOT. He's a good instructor with a great demeanor and approach. He's been to several national schools and is well respected hereabouts. I have not taken his Carry class.

Andrew Rothman: MADFI has done a lot for the Carry community and he's very active and well informed. He has brought us information, clarifications, and stays on top of Carry issues. I have not taken his class.

I would strongly recommend ANY of these classes and have done so to friends and family. I know that other instructors i respect have sat in or discussed classes with them and they're respected as instructors.

The bottom line: do your research, know your instructor, get recommendations. Yeah, I know, that's difficult to accomplish.

Best of luck.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2007 6:36 pm 
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If the price doesn't bother you, I don't think it gets any better than Joel's course. My father took his training from Joel and was extremely satisfied.

Otherwise, Paul Horvick's class, which I understand is co-taught by our very own Old Dude, seems like an amazing value for the money.

I did my permit training at Bill's with instructor Teresa Reiter last fall. It did not include Utah, but I was very happy with the instruction I received and the experience as a whole.

As plblark said, there are a lot of great instructors out there and a handful here on the forum. While the instructor you train with is, no doubt, important, I view the carry class as a foundation for further learning. There's only so much information that can be crammed into several hours of classroom instruction and only so much you will likely retain. Further reading such as Joel's book and Massad Ayoob's In The Gravest Extreme are great resources and should be read and re-read by every permit holder. Of course, participating in forums such as this one is a great way to stay abreast of carry issues and learn from the experiences of others.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2007 6:53 pm 
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There are MANY excellent instructors that participate in this TCC Forum. If I start to name them all, I will certainly forget some, but they are clearly here.

Also, although Old Dude and I won't "apologize" for the relative low cost of the classes, there are (again) several instructors that are not all that different in costs. Cost is but one factor in the overall class experience. Bill (Old Dude) and I like to think that we do a better than OK job, but our class and our style is not for everyone. Each instructor brings something of themselves to their classes; even though we do much of the same basic material, ...as style, emphasis etc. will vary from instructor to instructor. For example, if a person was hoping to take our class and get a "how to shoot better" detailed tutorial, they are at the wrong class. Of course it is an important cog in the self-defense wheel, it is not one of the areas we have time to overly emphasize; that is where followup classes are useful. Again, every instructor is different.

There is also a danger, in general, of taking the price of the lowest bidder (well, except for us ! :lol: ). Quality exists at all price points in the instructor price-per-class grid. Heck, when I go to other States (I am typing this from Lincoln, NE), I am the most expensive instructor in the State...by quite a bit. Everyone charges what they feel is needed to cover their expenses, to pay for class space and range fees (if embedded in their costs), and to make whatever "profit" they can reasonably make.

Bill and I cannot speak for other instructors...we do not know their costs...but, I can tell you that I am 99.99% certain that instructors in Minnesota doing the MCPPA classes do NOT make any "real" money. We do it for the same reasons that Bill and I do...we see it as a service to the non-permitted community, we support gun rights and we want to have fun doing it.

You have some names listed above...give them a call, PM them, e-mail, see who you seem to "connect with"....and enjoy the class and your entry to the MCPPA world!

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Paul Horvick
http://shootingsafely.com
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Contact us to schedule a class for you and your friends, and check our website for more information http://shootingsafely.com


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2007 7:25 am 
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Having taken Paul's permit class, and a revolver class from Selurcspi, I can heartily recommend them both. I haven't seen Joel teach, but from interacting with him, I'm of the opinion he'd probably be an excellent instructor. And the list goes on and on. Check out the "Classes" section; I don't think you'll find a "bad" class/instructor in the bunch. Better yet, come out to one or two of our breakfasts or other events, and meet some of them in person... :D

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2007 8:05 am 
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These guys all teach because they love the issues. Paul is a lawyer/teacher, and Joel is a professional writer who write books for a living. So they both know how to communicate and teach.

Shooting is easy, if you've handled firearms, you'll do fine.

You really need to know the applicable self defense law, and that's harder to understand than you might think. (It's not like they show on TV.) My impression is that their students actually understand the law when they "graduate".

Too, either one of these guys is accessable for questions later-that's important. Questions will arise and you'll wonder "What did they actually say?"

I will always go where I can do followup. If you sign up at a gunstore with a hired instructor that may not be the case.

I've taken Joel's course, and met some of Paul's students. You'll know what you need to know at the end of the day.


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 Post subject: Re: Confused
PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2007 8:18 am 
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Bagman wrote:
I have been researching getting my CCP. The number of classes offered around the Twin Cities is great. My question is, I'm looking to get the combo Utah/Minnesota permit, and I see a number of different classes with large differences in costs. Could you explain why the cost difference.
Examples of classes for the Utah/MN Combo
MN Pistol Class,Roseville $150.
Minnesota Permit to Carry a Pistol Course, includes classroom session, range fee, target, textbook, workbook, pen, Completion Certificate. Plus
the Utah Supplement to the AACFI Minnesota Permit Course, includes classroom session, workbook, pen, resource disk (CD/ROM), Completion Certificate, certified Utah application, passport photos and fingerprints.

A guy by the name of Paul Horvick offers a class next week at Bill's in Robbinsdale for $75, (Combo Class MN/Utah) plus gun rental at $10.

Bill's in Robinsdale offers a class for $150, not sure if that includes combo permits. (wounder why Paul Horvick offers the same course at the same location for half the price)

Mr Rosenberg's class is $300. Not sure if this is for the combo.

Why the large differences in prices? Also, what do you all recommend. I'm not sure which one to take, please help me.

Thank you.
Well, as to which one to take, I've got an opinion -- but it's not exactly a disinterested one.

About my stuff, first: the $300 price is for the whole Beginner-to-Carry package, which is intended for folks who have never so much as touched a firearm before.

My regular carry course, TCCarry, is $175, which includes everything except range fees and ammo. It definitely is the most expensive local carry course, but since it does include things in the price that most other instructors don't (a copy of the book, for example; most -- not all -- other instructors who use the book sell it separately, at an additional cost), I think it's not as much more expensive than it seems to at first glance. And it's not just the book -- there's four (now going to five) handouts on related matters about getting other permits, where and how to shop for what, state restrictions, etc. All of that information is available out there, and many other instructors do handouts, as well; I've put it in one place for the convenience of my students.

Why more than others, though? Because I think it's a fair price for the quality of the instruction, and because enough people are willing to pay it.

That doesn't mean that there aren't very good classes available for less, or even a lot less.

There are.

I know of several very good instructors who charge under $100 (although, to be fair, I don't know of anybody who includes the book at a two-figure price). I also know of several instructors who I think of as less than excellent at the lower prices.

I'm not going to get into recommending one of my competitors over the others; nothing good can come from that . . . I will say, though, that for folks for whom price is a (not necessarily the) key issue, they probably shouldn't go with TCCarry; I'd rather everybody else did -- but, then again, I'm not exactly a disinterested party in that.

That any help?

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2007 8:34 am 
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Dick Unger wrote:
These guys all teach because they love the issues. Paul is a lawyer/teacher, and Joel is a professional writer who write books for a living. So they both know how to communicate and teach.

Shooting is easy, if you've handled firearms, you'll do fine.
Yup. I don't know if you remember the two folks from the class you took with me who were particularly nervous, but, as usual, they did fine, and wondered later what all the worry is about.
Quote:

You really need to know the applicable self defense law, and that's harder to understand than you might think. (It's not like they show on TV.) My impression is that their students actually understand the law when they "graduate".
I sure hope so. :)
Quote:
Too, either one of these guys is accessable for questions later-that's important. Questions will arise and you'll wonder "What did they actually say?"

I will always go where I can do followup. If you sign up at a gunstore with a hired instructor that may not be the case.
Yup. Depends on the instructor, not on the store where people sign up. I know of at least one instructor at Bill's I'd be very comfortable sending a family member to, say. (I don't know enough about most of the others to have an opinion about them.)
Quote:

I've taken Joel's course, and met some of Paul's students. You'll know what you need to know at the end of the day.
I hope so.

I think the point about being available for questions later is important -- as is knowing the stuff in advance. A lot (I'm tempted to say "most") of instructors do; a few don't.

There was one fellow -- not somebody who has participated in the Forum -- who was regularly using me as his "aftermarket support," as in "Gee, I don't know about that -- you should ask Joel." I do like answering questions, and get a lot, but I thought that was a bit much.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2007 8:47 am 
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joelr wrote:
There was one fellow -- not somebody who has participated in the Forum -- who was regularly using me as his "aftermarket support," as in "Gee, I don't know about that -- you should ask Joel." I do like answering questions, and get a lot, but I thought that was a bit much.


Send him a bill for your "consulting fee" :-)


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2007 9:11 am 
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plblark wrote:
joelr wrote:
There was one fellow -- not somebody who has participated in the Forum -- who was regularly using me as his "aftermarket support," as in "Gee, I don't know about that -- you should ask Joel." I do like answering questions, and get a lot, but I thought that was a bit much.


Send him a bill for your "consulting fee" :-)
I very seriously thought about doing just that, and decided that somebody that clue-deprived wouldn't get the point.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2007 10:17 am 
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I would be very careful of the really cheap courses, or instructors who are willing to discount their classes for some reason. My particular experience was with a budget class a friend set up at a gun show. The instructor was not prepared, almost the whole class consisted of lecture, and we took more breaks and shortcuts through the material we had, that I was wondering if he had some other engagement he was late getting to. (We actually only ever looked at the books we were given, he said we should read them later. Then we took a test out of the books we weren't going to learn from in class and were given the answers to the questions during the test. Later during the shooting portion of the class we were shooting at full torso targets from 10 feet, and if you hit the paper you were given credit for a bullseye.)

With all of that said, I have heard wonderful things about Paul Horvicks class. Been described to me as the best bang for the buck out there.
Hope that helps,
Mike

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2007 10:53 am 
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simian12 wrote:
I would be very careful of the really cheap courses, or instructors who are willing to discount their classes for some reason.
Me, too. Then again, there's "cheap," and there's "inexpensive." I think that there are good reasons why a very good instructor might want to price himself (or herself) at the lower end -- as I know some who do, and why they do it. There's also folks who are trying to work the "I just wanna get signed off on 'cause I already know everything" niche market, as well.

And while I'm not going to get into rating my competition -- or slighting some friends who are good instructors by ignoring them while praising other good instructors -- there's lots of different good ways of doing things. I'm certified to do NRA Basic Pistol (among other things), but rather than do a broad-spectrum beginner's course, I do the very carefully focused Beginner-to-Carry class, and send folks who want a more general introduction over to the very good class at Burnsville Pistol Range, taught by Sue and company. Sue, on the other hand, isn't interested in doing a very focused beginner to carry class, and sends those sorts of folks to me.

(And, just to be clear, there's no quid pro quo there, either way; if BPR starts doing a focused beginner to carry class for those who want to focus on getting up to speed for carrying for personal protection, I'd still recommend that people who want a more general introduction take their regular beginner course.)

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2007 2:31 pm 
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Thank you all very kindly for your comments, I greatly appreciate it.
I kind of feel like a dope not knowing till a few minutes ago that the guy who runs this forum also offers classes. Had I known that I would have called him first for information.
Life is a learning experience, and i just learned plenty.
Thank you.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2007 2:35 pm 
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Bagman wrote:
I kind of feel like a dope not knowing till a few minutes ago that the guy who runs this forum also offers classes.
Please don't; like most folks, I wear many hats . . . and, in my case, not particularly to cover the bald spot.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2007 3:31 pm 
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joelr wrote:
Bagman wrote:
I kind of feel like a dope not knowing till a few minutes ago that the guy who runs this forum also offers classes.
... like most folks, I wear many hats . . . and, in my case, not particularly to cover the bald spot.
Yeah, Joel, I notice that cool hat you won at the Serenity show covers pretty much your whole head...

And Bagman, I took Joel's class (the $175 one) and was well satisfied. I chose his class back before I knew any of these guys, based mostly on having seen "the book".

My son & I took an NRA handgun basics class from Paul Horvick (aka phorvick) and he went way beyond the official content of the course; I'd guess he does a good job of the carry permit class also -- but I see you're in St. Paul, and he's based in Detroit Lakes (wherever that is).


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