Stink about NRA Carry Guard

There’s currently a lot of Internet stink about some limitations imposed in the NRA Carry Guard training. I’m not going to comment about Carry Guard in general because as an Instructor certified in numerous disciplines through the NRA Training Department, there’s a possible conflict of interest.

carry guard training limitations pic

What I will comment about the equipment limitation is:

They’re staying in their lane of competency.

Looking at the background and resumes of the instructors, running a striker fired autoloader or Sig 226 is mostly likely all they’ve ever been trained with, practiced with, or used. Revolvers and 1911s have a different manual of arms and idiosyncrasies that these instructors, with the exception of Jarrett who was briefly with the LAPD decades ago, are probably not familiar with.

They are probably expert with the weapons they have used and the possibility is they are either inexperienced or ignorant of how to operate other weapons at any professional level. I see that a lot now. The number of young police officers who literally cannot open the cylinder of a revolver is stunning. There are numerous firearms trainers who can operate one or two weapons and provide good training, as long as it’s confined to those weapons

Why would we then encourage these Carry Guard instructors to teach students how to use weapons they are not experts in the use of? How often has the meme ‘Stay in your lane’ surfaced lately? To his credit, when Rob Pincus wanted to make a DVD about Snub Revolvers, he brought me in to do it, just as he did with Dryfire. I’m an expert on those topics and he is not.

PDN Snub DVD 2060


We can’t have it both ways. If we want instructors to ‘Stay in their lane,’ then we’re going to have to accept that just like lanes on the highway, the lanes have limits. In this case, the limitation is that NRA Carry Guard probably needs to say “Training for a limited subset of weapons but not all.” Describing itself as ‘the Gold Standard’ is probably a bit of a stretch. That is not to say I accept what Carry Guard provides is, in fact, the ‘Gold Standard.’ I mean that if Carry Guard is unwilling to provide training for two extremely common weapons, revolvers and Browning pattern pistols, then, by definition, it can’t be ‘the Gold Standard.’

Perhaps it could be ‘the Silver Standard.’ Without seeing first hand what actually takes place at the training, there’s no way for me, or anyone else, including NRA Carry Guard, to say. What they are going to provide remains a prototype, unlike the training provided by NRA Certified Instructors, which are proven training processes. How well Carry Guard’s training prototype will translate to the Instructor candidates being recruited also remains to be seen. At least as long as you’re not using a revolver or 1911. Then you don’t have to be concerned with it.

14 responses

  1. Daniel Kenoyer

    I think the real issue is that they couldn’t be bothered to *hire* someone proficient in revolvers and 1911s.
    How an organization with the resources of the NRA could fail to make allowances for something as common as wheelguns and 1911s forces the mind into boggle-mode.

  2. Steven Hoober

    I can buy that, but then am concerned about the wording “or 1911s.” If the manual of arms for a single action, exposed hammer fired, cocked and locked gun is the issue, then why not say that? There are numerous others, but this says showing up with a High Power or a SIG 238 is good to go?

  3. Reblogged this on .

  4. Claude, your comments are well taken. I contacted NRA for information about Carry Guard and the specifics of the Training. The data was scant. “We’ll get back to you with details as they are available”. I expect the pretty woman stating that she won’t leave the house without the protection of Carry Guard, or something to that effect, is intended to bring in membership money that will fund development of what is an embryonic ‘beta’ program. Carry Guard might just as well be a new kind of ‘Tampon’ for all the good it does for the likes of me right now.

  5. thecompletecombatant

    Claude, I so enjoy reading your blogs. Thank you for the research and the way you appeal to many people in your writing style. I find comfort knowing that you are an expert giving sound advise and opinions with a strong foundation….. 

    Sent via the Samsung GALAXY S® 5, an AT&T 4G LTE smartphone

  6. If you red this in its entire context, it is for “Level 1 training” I’m assuming these other guns must be under a different Level training course. Since no other Levels are listed at this time, One cannot know for sure.

  7. I’m a member of NRA but lately I’m becoming a bit disillusioned with them. They seem to be moving from their primary focus of advocate for the second amendment to becoming a sales focused something. I was very disappointed in their kicking out USCCA and some others from their recent convention, apparently for the sole reason of not wanting any competition for their insurance and training products. Imo, organizations that are advocates for gun rights should stick together, and NRA with its huge member base should be above such petty actions.

    Now this training problem. I agree that non-qualified people shouldn’t be trying to teach, but NRA should have the resources to hire competent trainers for other widely owned types of firearms. This is just one more disappointment. I’m even considering not renewing my membership, which would probably be an overreaction, but I don’t like the direction NRA seems to be headed. I believe in “voting with your dollars.” I will probably reconsider because of their gun rights advocacy, though.

    I contacted them through their webpage to let my disappointment about their actions against the other gun rights organizations in the convention be known, and never received one word back. I expected better on that, too. I’ll also add, while I’m on my soapbox, after closely examining the details of each, I think USCCA has the better self-defense insurance product.

  8. I have to wonder if my SIG 226 SAO would be allowed.

  9. Not to mention that the NRA lead instructors are all ex-Navy SEALs – guys who do not routinely carry guns concealed! And all – 100% – photos with the program show the shooters carrying their guns openly!

    So, how does that teach you to carry concealed?

  10. For the money they are charging, they should make the effort to find instructors who can change gears to suit the firearms the students are going to show up with.
    Most Americans own one gun, and are highly unlikely to take a 3 day class costing a week’s pay. (Or more.) I think the attitude of a co-worker, when I told him about attending MAG-40 last year, was typical: “It cost’s how much? And they don’t provide ammo?!”

    Heh. I wonder what the Carry Guard instructor is going to say when they show up with a Hi Point in a Serpa, or an Uncle Mike’s “sausage sack.”…?

  11. Linda M. Gilbertson

    Why is the NRA and the instructors of Carry Guard afraid of revolvers and 1911s? Proficiency with them and the ability to train with them is not rocket science. Train yourself with revolvers and 1911s so that you can be well-rounded with your students. I train women with revolvers and a variety of semi-automatics, striker-fired and hammer-fired. These women carry both open and concealed. What’s the problem?

  12. […] Claude Werner (and others… many, many others) have talked about this little nugget inside the course description for the NRA’s new training regimen. […]

  13. Typical tacticool nonsense… But from the NRA?

  14. Quint living in the high mountains of New Mexico

    Not so many folks carry a revolver as their primary while out & about. I carry one at my farm, first two chambers loaded with shot, because of rattle snakes. But, when I’m carrying concealed when off the farm it’s a .40 S&W EMP, yes, a 1911 pattern pistol. NRA, you really stepped in it this time! Are your in-place instructors too in experienced to teach revolvers & 1911s? I was going to purchase the Gold Carry Guard today – not now.

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