Instructors Wearing Body Armor during CHL and Pistol Courses


TGT Addict
Forum Sponsor
Sep 30, 2012
As an instructor do you wear body armor while instructing live fire on the pistol range?

I also want to hear from a Student's perspective on what do you think of Instructors wearing body armor during live fire and proficiency on the range?

I usually wear a level IIA concealable vest during live fire with students on the range, but have started wearing level IIIA. My Son wears level III ceramic plates (He is an Instructor also).

Does it send a negative image/message to the Students?.

Please discuss......


Sep 10, 2012
San Antonio
Definitely. At a minimum level 2a. I dont trust most people i shoot next to in classes. Id rather have broken ribs then a sucking chest wound.

That, and most of the stuff they've got now is concealable.


Active Member
Jan 9, 2009
Round Rock
It is a very good idea. I have worn armor in the range for 15 years. Our agency policy is ALL personnel shall wear body armor on the range, period.

Big Phil

Feb 20, 2013
I wouldn't blame them, the law of averages would say the more you're around fire arms being fired the more likely you are to be shot.

In addition I've heard multiple stories of new shooters being unbelievable safe. Heck I was close to being shot at the range!


TGT Addict
May 28, 2008
Ft Worth, TX
For CHL I been known to wear concealed body armor. I have had more than one student turn around and point a gun at me.

In advanced classes where we move and shoot, turn, etc I wear armor. I have been to classes where we conducted two man tactics and very dynamic training and BA is mandatory.

I wear BA during guard classes.


Gone fishin' ...
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Lifetime Member
Aug 21, 2013
WestU, TX
From a student's perspective (of just a few months ago), and due to exposure inherent in a "training" environment, absolutely no problem with it, nor do I believe it should even raise an eyebrow. Witnessed more ND's/unsafe incidents on a well run Army range in an early training than I saw in a combat unit.

You have every right to protect yourself against that split second that can potentially change a life forever.


TGT Addict
Dec 12, 2011
Corpus christi
My initial response was.

I'd think you were a blow hard who's trying to be tacticool.

But these posts previous to me raise a good point, that I haven't considered till now.

So I guess it would depend on the instructor's demeanor and qualifications.


Flyin' 'round in circles........somewhere
Dec 24, 2012
Hill County
During my CHL class, my instructor did not wear any BA. Then again we were all experienced shooters and most of us had a military background as well. And honestly, never having really thought about it before, but it would make sense to me that the instructor DID wear BA. With all the inexperienced shooters literally firing a weapon for the first time, and not knowing range rules, safety and etiquette. Let alone how the weapon of choice actually works, I'd be surprised if more and more instructors didn't wear some kind of BA. Stupidity can happen in the blink of an eye and change everything forever.
Last edited:

Green Eye Tactical

Active Member
Forum Sponsor
Sep 11, 2013
Dallas, Tx
For training I would run in the Army, we were usually assuming a bit of risk to meet the mission requirement. To mitigate it, armor was usually in order.

Now, as for the specific question the OP asked- Live fire on a pistol range: being a short barreled weapon, the pistol is one of the most dangerous weapons to instruct on (other than a breaching shotgun). When I'm teaching civilians, I tend to lean towards the mentality of that if your training is so dangerous or you are unable to implement enough control measures- you may need to rethink the training. I will usually do things on the range like: adjust the number on the line, limit access to firearms, and/or re-organize the firers so that the ones that need more supervision are grouped together. Another control measure that any instructor should do is not move on to the next task until the previous can be done repeatedly and safely. I.E.: Dry fire until safety, muzzle, and trigger finger awareness can be demonstrated.
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