What’s the difference between Basic and Advanced for a shooter?

In about the same time it took for you to read that question and briefly think about it, a basic shooter will assess a target, position his feet, square-up, grip, draw, make positive connection with his support hand, get sight alignment, do a trigger squeeze, have target reassessment, and all of this accurately with 2 rounds on target.

An advanced shooter can accomplish this task, in approximately the same amount of time, to include firing a fully loaded 10 round magazine and reloading a fresh magazine.

After I completed a fast paced 2 day advanced firearms course I was able to draw faster, acquire my target faster, put the basic firearms fundamentals in cruise control and put more rounds on target.

While shooting the paper targets within 10 yards it was mostly point shooting. When shooting the pie plates at 15 yards I was firing my weapon just as fast and accurately. I wasn’t waiting on the plates to fall; I was already focused on the next target because I trusted the previous shot.

“Trust your shot” is the one of the best pieces of advice I can give someone while instructing a class. Advanced firearms is not only training with firearms but it is a different way of thinking, a different path of approach, knowing something is going to happen (good or bad) and what you will do to make it work in your favor.

That’s it….What are you going to do with the information at hand? Take it critically and complain, or correct it? What’s your next move?


Advanced Shooting might entail: Moving and shooting, shooting and moving while your eyes are still on target, shooting while both eyes are open, shooting from different positions and firing your weapon efficiently and accurately.

  • Moving and shooting – moving your feet, crawling or rolling over to get to advantage point while accurate engaging your target.
  • Shooting and moving – firing your weapon while moving, prone, kneeling, and constantly changing positions while keeping your eyes on target.
  • Shooting with both eyes open – this is a challenge in itself because in basic firearms people are usually taught to use your dominant eye, which ends up hindering you in advanced shooting because we lose sight of our surroundings.
  • Shooting from different positions – prone, kneeling, constant changing of positions while keeping eyes on target, behind cover, in between cover, under cover, over cover, all while firing your weapon efficiently and accurately.

The question that needs to be answered after all of this has been accomplished is: “What’s My Next Move?”


By Sam

Sam has been in federal law enforcement for 6 years. During his brief time with his agency he was tasked to play an intricate role in the successful organization of a Tactical Response Team. He has trained with some of the top law enforcement agencies and shooting/tactics instructors in the US. His prior experience came from approx. 9 years of local law enforcement working in one of the top five most dangerous areas in America. Of those years, 7 were spent on the city SWAT Team, 2 years in Street Crimes and he spent hundreds of additional hours working DUI. Sam has over 200 tactical missions under his belt, and over 400 drug and warrant arrests. During his career in law enforcement he successfully completed and received several certifications to include: • Arkansas Law Enforcement Training Academy • Federal Law Enforcement Training Academy (FLETC) • NRA Law Enforcement handgun/shotgun Instructor • Basic Firearm Instructor • Basic Tactics Instructor • Law Enforcement Instructor Training Program • General Instructor • Rappel Master/Instructor • SWAT Level 1 Certification • Basic/Advanced SWAT Certification (Illinois State Police) • Active Shooter Response • Individual Protective Measures Training Program • Protective Service Operations Training Program • Dignitary and Witness Protection for Law Enforcement (LEGION) • High Risk Environmental Protection Program (LEGION) • First Aid/CPR/TCCC • Hand to hand assault/counter assault • Advanced defensive driving Sam was deployed to an active war zone for several months, where he was a team leader for motorcade movements while overseas in hostile territory. His responsibilities were scheduled pick-up/drop-offs, route recon, advanced firearms training and emergency Quick Response Force training for his team. Jay subscribes to the Spotter Up way of life. “I will either find a way or I will make one”.

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