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Thread: Muzzleloading Instructor Training

  1. #1
    PoorJack is offline
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    Muzzleloading Instructor Training

    We held our first ever session at the Fort in getting muzzleloading instructors trained. As promised, it was challenging, long, but very educational. Our group put in some lonnnng hours, Saturday's session was nearly 18 hours. The Veteran Building basement didn't have heat, so we used portables to take the chill off. Our guys completed the NRA Basic Muzzleloading, Basic Instructor Training, NRA Muzzleloading Instructor courses. We did the shooting component in the snow at the Fort, at least it was melting off as we worked. The shotgun part we did with smoothbores. That part was a hoot and it showed just how versatile and effective a smoothie can be.

    In the world of Firearms Instructors, the credential of Muzzleloading Instructor is RARE. Of those with the credential, those Muzzleloading Instructors who are also active muzzleloading competitors and enthusiasts is RARER still. So the guys who persevered this weekend and completed the course have become part of that very limited number of people.

    I'd like to thank these guys for sticking it out and making it across the finish line and to welcome them to our team of Muzzleloading Instructors-



    Doug Gilbert, Randall Spradlin, Steve Sheldon, Tom Wiegand, Andy MacPherson, JR Waltman, "Papa Rob" Harrison, Ron Vecchioni, Chris DeFrancisci, Ed Thompson, Jason Rexrode, Lynn Warner, Doug Gravett, Glenn Gravett, and Mike McDaniel

    These guys endured long training sessions, cold, snow on the range, and uncomfortable conditions and I can't say enough about their efforts. Thanks guys for your hard work and welcome to the team!
    "A man can never have too much red wine, too many books, or too much ammunition"
    Rudyard Kipling


    dave.miller@MuzzleLoadingYouthTraining.org
    NRA Muzzleloading Instructor

  2. #2
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    My RV got my TO the fort, but didn?t want to leave! Engine would not start! But when the tow truck arrived we tried one more time and we got it to start.

    Made it just past Roanoke when I started losing charge on the battery. I?m guessing the alternator died. I got the old one off, and a new one should be here in the morning. Managed to make it to a parts store. I?ll spend the night here.

    The training was tremendous. Say what you want about the NRA, there is a reason why their training is the gold standard. It was an amazing amount of material we covered. Biggest mindset change was to stop thinking in terms of firearm training and instead in terms of teacher training.

    The instructor was great. I feel like I have a good handle on setting up an instruction weekend for my son?s Boy Scout troop.

    i could say a lot more but I?m on my phone. More later.

  3. #3
    Scenario is offline
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    I hope Maillemaker you made it back to LA okay. I'm guessing your alternator was as worn out as the rest of us.

    PoorJack I echo your assessment and thanks. What a great batch of students too. Thanks to all from "The Gravatt Brothers"

  4. #4
    PapaRob is offline
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    The class was fantastic and well worth being in the "Meat Locker Brigade" for the weekend. I learned a lot. Especially about teaching, and believe it or not, a bit about round balling. If you feel you have the knack or just the desire to do it then do it you won't regret it.

    One thing that struck me, even though intellectually I know this already, is how little is known about us in the Black Powder shooting world and even less in the greater shooting community. And often what is known of us is just plain wrong or a gross mis-characterization. To me this points to us being so insular for so long as to be somewhat self defeating. Well, we can't afford to be like that anymore. It's time to reach out to the world but first we need to start with those that are already in the greater shooting community.

    This class, and engaging the NRA and BSA, is a great first step. It puts us on the front line of the social conflict going on in our country. We can't be content to hole up on our Fort in our comfort zone and hope this storm passes us by. We have to get out there and educate and bring the joy and camaraderie of what we do to people who otherwise would never have even thought something like this was there for them to enjoy. Make no mistake, there are no "Easy" buttons for doing this but you can do it.

    Many thanks to Dave, Jim and John for being the intrepid few who have lead the way on this and the rest of the class for being the other bold souls to sally forth. I look forward to working with you guys in the future in this endeavor.

    PapaRob
    R. Harrison
    Commander
    48th Virginia Infantry
    "Mountain Boomers"
    PSALMS 144 1-9

  5. #5
    Lou Lou Lou is online now
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    This was a Herculean effort that Dave,Jim and John managed to ace. The work needed to pull this off was daunting. They are to be commended for their tireless efforts.
    Lou Lou Lou Ruggiero
    Tammany Regt-42nd NYVI

  6. #6
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    OK, finally back home in Alabama. (I've actually never been to Louisiana! )

    First of all, a big thanks to Dave and John and all the other N-SSA folks whose names I forgot who helped set up this opportunity, and helped run it last weekend. A tremendous amount of work went into procuring materials, setting up the room and the range, and cleaning up afterwards.

    One of the most important things that we need to do as gun owners and N-SSA members is to prime the pump for future generations and make sure we get as many new people shooting as possible.

    Last weekend's course was fantastic. We all got our NRA certs as Muzzleloading Instructors. We can now teach people the NRA-NMLRA Basic Muzzleloading Rifle Shooting Course class. This includes Rifle, Shotgun, and Pistol (single shot and/or revolver). We can also teach a subset of this, the Co-Op version, which is rifle only for Boy Scouts and other youth groups.

    My son has just started Boy Scouts last October. I can't wait to get with the troop leadership and find out how we can start the kids muzzleloading.

    The class load was staggering. We started on Friday morning at 8am, and folks were still shooting as the sun set. Saturday we started again at 8am, and I did not finish my exam until midnight. Sunday we started again at 8am, and I think we wrapped up around 1-2pm or so.

    Whatever your opinion is of the NRA, its training program is top-notch. Safety is the number one priority, and is emphasized constantly. The course material is extremely complete. The instructor portion is very in-depth. The tests are hard. The qualifications are real. I was very nervous being handed a muzzle loader (in fact we had to switch off between 2 different rifles!) that I had never shot before, with an unknown (to me) load, and being expected to hit a paper plate at 25 yards with 4 out of 5 shots. You are basically allowed 1 miss to get on paper. Fortunately the first guy in line (I think it was Tom for us) was the guinea pig and figured out where we needed to put our point of aim, and as it turned out the rifles we were shooting were pretty darn accurate with the patched round ball load someone cooked up for us.

    Likewise we had to hit 5 shots with our smoothbores loaded up as shotguns on trap pigeons. I have not shot trap in years and years and years and was again worried about this. But, my 1842 made a fine shotgun and I went 5 for 5.

    Mike Kendra - please add me to the Instructors forum if you see this.

    Steve

  7. #7
    PoorJack is offline
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    Steve- glad to hear you got home safely and we are looking forward to working through the coming year together on this project with all our new Instructors.

    We're in the process now of getting before the BoD with our plans at the next board meeting. After that, with board approval, serious ground work will begin with input from our instructor group to create a support network for our instructors so they can be successful with whomever they work with. Part of that ground work will include planning for future sessions for training new instructors.

    We plan on working with a variety of youth organizations. We talk first about BSA since that's the most commonly known one, but there are others like Girl Scouts, Royal Rangers, and DeMolay. I got educated on that last one and it's a very, very worthwhile group to work with. We have more work ahead to get to the firing line with the kids and we need everybody's help to make this happen successfully.
    "A man can never have too much red wine, too many books, or too much ammunition"
    Rudyard Kipling


    dave.miller@MuzzleLoadingYouthTraining.org
    NRA Muzzleloading Instructor

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