View Full Version : What is involved in CCW training\class

August 3, 2006, 03:10 PM
I'm wondering if someone could provide a quick summation as to what is entailed with the CCW class.

I know in AZ the class is 8 hours long, but does it vary from state to state? Is it all classroom or does it include practical work including shooting?

If you are shooting what does this usually cover? Is there a website or link someone could provide to point me in the right direction?

Thanks in advance


August 3, 2006, 04:13 PM
In Tennessee, the CCW class I took was a three-part course that lasted an entire Saturday.

The first session was a live lecture by the instructor. It was a basic gun-familiarity course that covered the different types of handguns (revolvers vs. auto), safety rules, legal issues of concealed carry, ettiquitte, basic stances and posture, sight alignment, holster styles and concealment techniques, some light practice drills, and finally care and cleaning of various handguns.

The second session (the instructor admitted was his least favorite part) was the mandatory video tapes put together by the Tennessee Department of Safety. The tapes take you through the basics (and I do mean basics!) of self-defense law, handgun safety, and analyze several re-enactments of scenarios depicting people using poor judgment with self-defense. The big issue that the videos seemed to focus on is that you cannot shoot someone while they are attempting to flee. (Even if they are in your home...)

At the end of the second session there was a written test. EVERYONE in the class passed the written test. It's NOT hard. My fiance and I both got a perfect score. (Although I turned mine in nearly 10 seconds before she did!)

The third (and my most favorite) part of the day was the practical test. You are required to fire a certain number of rounds and maintain a certain accuracy (and, believe me, you don't have to be a very good shot) at a sillouette target from 3, 7, and 15 yards. Basically, it's a great excuse to get together at the range and pop off some rounds. Everyone in the class passed this one as well.

Funny story...

I had never fired a gun before I met my fiance. She used to do competition marksmanship (she's really good, too), and she actually taught me to shoot 1911. (She wants to get me out to shoot high-power rifle, as soon as we can find the time.) Anyway, I was a rank novice when we took the class together. We're standing in adjoining lanes at the indoor range, taking our practical, and I'm hitting most of my rounds on the paper.

The instructor comes up and takes my target, then he goes to the next lane and starts to reel in HER target from the 20-foot mark. Mine looks polka-dotted. Hers is missing the 9 circle, without a stray bullet ANYWHERE!!! The instructor promptly advises me, "Look, Man. Don't EVER piss this woman off!" It's been good advice so far!

I was unable to convince the instructor to score her target as only having a single hole. I think he was afraid of her...;)

Take the course. It'll be a good day at the range.

August 3, 2006, 04:19 PM
The training requirements vary from state to state, and often from instructor to instructor within the same state.

Some states require X number of classroom hours with a set curriculum. Some require only passing a test of some sort. Some require classtime work, a written test, and range time. Some require classroom work, a written test, range time, and a shooting test.

In several states, there is no "CCW class" because there's no training requirement at all.

Check out www.handgunlaw.us for the legal requirements in your state, and shop around before choosing an instructor.


August 3, 2006, 04:37 PM
I know in AZ the class is 8 hours long, but does it vary from state to state? Is it all classroom or does it include practical work including shooting?State mandated classes vary greatly from state to state. While some state mandated curriculum do include shooting, I'm not aware of any that includes drawing from holsters and using concealment.

Personally, I would not be comfortable carrying concealed if the only training I had was a state-mandated CCW class.

I recommend that you take a class like LFI-1 or Gunsite 250 in addition to any state-mandated CCW class.

August 3, 2006, 05:09 PM
M1991 said:
Personally, I would not be comfortable carrying concealed if the only training I had was a state-mandated CCW class.

Definitely with you on that one. The course does offer some guidance, but I have to think that there is only one reason for the class. And that is to make sure that you show at a place where you can be identified and fingerprinted in order to get you "on the books" so that a reasonable background check on your past can be done.

The written test is easy unless you have short term memory loss, and you'll probably pass the shooting portion if you can avoid shooting anyone. I understand that the shooting test was originally a requirement to hit the broad side of a barn... from the inside, but there is a shortage of barns in urban areas.

Seriously, if you fail any portion of the CCW test, you shouldn't be carrying a weapon anyway. Additionally, I would highly suggest that if someone is serious about defense, they should continue training by getting some personal, tactical lessons, and it wouldn't hurt at all to take up the hobby of tactical shooting through an organization such as the IDPA.

Beyond the tactical and safety part, there's also the psychological part to explore. It's important to keep your head straight about the seriousness of carrying a lethal weapon. Tactical instructors can give a person a lot of things to think about along those lines as well.

Bottom line is that the CCW course is in no way "training". It's just a dance you do to get your permit.


August 3, 2006, 07:14 PM
Bottom line is that the CCW course is in no way "training". It's just a dance you do to get your permit.Amen to that.

August 3, 2006, 08:07 PM
My wife and I just took it in NC. Practically identical to Samurai's class except we did six shots of what the instructor called CQB (close quarters battle). Stand in front of target at arms length. Use weak arm to protect your head and face. Draw and fire from the hip. That is the closest I have ever shot a target. It was a very eye opening experience, especially with a ported Springfield XD.

August 3, 2006, 09:52 PM
except we did six shots of what the instructor called CQBWell, I'm glad they gave you SOME training at close distance. But I dare say that six shots is not enough to make one competent.

That's not a criticism of you. That's an observation that state-mandated CCW classes are not, IMHO, enough training.

August 4, 2006, 02:24 PM
Thanks for the input guys. :D

August 7, 2006, 04:18 PM
+1 million on the additional training. It doesn't have to be much but you should at least get training in a protected gun position, point or body indexed shooting, tactical movement, how to use cover, and situational awareness.

DO some research yourself on the 21 foot rule for knives, perhaps look at col rex applegate's book shooting to live and anything else you can get your hands on. Most of the training out there is built on applegate and his partner's stuff from the early 20th century.

August 7, 2006, 04:35 PM
There is no state-mandated training in New Hampshire.

Perhaps that will be next to get struck down, as equivalent to a literacy test for voters, once the Supreme Court rules bearing arms an individual right.

fairview mick
August 7, 2006, 05:54 PM
I took my course at B&T shooting suppies and Range in Lorain, Ohio. I was a two day course, which involved ALL day Saturday. Three different people were involved. An NRA instructor, a retired LEO and one other employee of the range. On Saturday it was intense paper training and some movies. Then early Sunday we started with the range time. I believe we shot over one hundred(possibly 150) rounds at short distance, long distance, moviing single targets, and then simulated two bad guys(as moving targets on two lanes of the range) coming and going away from you. It was a very rewarding course, and the best that I've heard of so far.

August 7, 2006, 06:59 PM
but consider getting involved in IDPA shoots. The ones I've been to have involved CQB shots, hard and soft barriers, shooting BGs behind hostages, moving targets; sometimes shooting from behind cover (high and low), sometimes shooting while moving. It's all steel or cardboard targets, with safety paramount, but really broadens one's horizon beyond punching holes in paper at the range or popping tin cans and milk jugs out in the woods.

August 7, 2006, 08:05 PM
In Minnesota, mostly it's a crash-course in the laws affecting the use of deadly force. It's designed to scare the crap out of you and separate the serious candidates from the merely curious.

The shooting test is not difficult if you've got a comfortable setup for yourself, but if you exhibit any lack of safety, you're out of the class with no approval and no refund.

Assuming you pass the course, you then have to find the application office during restricted office hours (no easy task), pay $100, and then wait the entire legally mandated maximum of 30 days to receive your permit. They don't make it easy, but other states make it much harder.

August 8, 2006, 09:50 AM
I've just started this summer in IDPA. I've been to three matches, and I absolutely love it! I'm not sure how well it trains you for gun carry (I'd bet it trains you pretty well; the courses are very realistic-looking), but if nothing else, IT'S GREAT FUN!!!

IDPA is a very worthwhile experience.

August 8, 2006, 10:52 AM
So it doesn't seem like the CCW class requires you to draw from a holster and shoot?

I'll be looking into some IDPA classes.....thanks


August 8, 2006, 11:20 AM
So it doesn't seem like the CCW class requires you to draw from a holster and shoot?That's why I suggest that you take a class from an organization like Gunsite, LFI, Sigarms Academy, etc. They will teach you how to draw and reholster safely.

Dusty Dan
August 8, 2006, 01:43 PM
The CCW qualifying in AZ is ridiculously easy. There is no firing from a draw; all you have to do is put 7 rounds out of 10 into a scoring ring on a silhouette target that's about 1' by 1.5' (simulating center of mass hits). The breakdown is five rounds at 5 yards, and five rounds at 10 yards. I haven't taken the class yet, but I frequent an AZ-specific forum where the requirements have been examined in detail.

For specifics, visit this site. The instructor is an LEO, and runs an excellent class from the testimonials I've heard.


August 9, 2006, 09:41 AM
Cool site!

Thanks Dan

August 12, 2006, 09:41 AM
Actually... in Maine you can even get by without taking a course if the "issuing authority" (aka local police department) is willing to satisfy themselves that you are familiar with safe handling techniques and the basics of the laws around concealed carry. (Most departments are not willing to do that because of the liability issues... interesting.)

Ironically, you absolutely will not get a hunting license in Maine without taking a "Hunter Safety" course... and I learned about three times as much from that as I did the course to get my CC -- that's a fault of the instructor. (The Hunter Course is sponsored by the Fish and Wildlife people, taught by volunteers.)

I think the intent of the requirement is to provide some assurance that people who are carrying concealed have some basic knowledge of how to handle it safely, not how to use it for protection. In practice, like most things, the requirement is only as effective as the people trying to meet it. In my class for the CC, half only wanted to get the permit. The other half wanted to carry responsibly. There is a difference.

The bottom line is that a license to carry does not prove intelligence, course taken or not.

August 21, 2006, 05:49 PM
yep and boy does it differ...in MO it's 8 hours in class, and 100 rounds at range, 75 of thoughs practice and 25 the "test" and you have to fire from both a revolver and semi auto..
in FL 4 hours in class, 1 round from a ruger .22 into a can in the classroom.