Matt’s and Whirli’s answers got me to thinking…..
I have never been a big “training” guy in the sense of taking classes. After having been in the military and working with USMC grunts for as long as I did, having started shooting and hunting around age 4, and having lived as rural as I did for so many years of my life I can finally (thanks Flatlander) admit that I do take a lot of things for granted. Most people that I run into that are “class goers” are so set in their form, “scenarios,” or range habits that I find them almost ineffective if they had to perform for real. Of course EVERY class goer or class teacher will disagree with me, but I think that familiarity and understanding of how to handle the firearm in day to day situations is far more important that the funny stance taught in “tactical handgun” classes. Having lived the life I have and been in the various situations I have been in that required the use of firearms I personally don’t think they these “tactical stances” really are that beneficial in real world settings. When 90% of the people in a firefight spray and pray the 10% who can effectively operate their weapon system have a higher probability of coming out on top – imo.
So like was mentioned by MB, you don’t have to pay for training in many cases. Get an airsoft and carry it around all day long while doing your daily tasks. Make everyone around you drop you for 20 pushups every time you muzzle flash someone and 40 every time it hits the dirt or is left unattended. You will learn muzzle control/safety in no time at all and will probably learn to keep your hands on your weapon at all times within a day. BOOM! Training on this is complete.
Then practice marksmanship. Get good at that and then practice target acquisition drills. Once you can do that, practice fire and movement. All the while you don’t even have to have a real firearm. Much can be learned with an airsoft, several 2 liter bottles and an understanding wife…..
Other training ideas:
Get into SAR. You will get your FCC ticket, first aid, CPR, and learn to track all for a nominal fee or just cost of gear.
Church groups with outdoors type programs
Just look around. There are all sorts of opportunities out there and you don’t have to make a 5-10 year commitment. Volunteer, learn, get what you need out of the program and move along to something new…..