View Full Version : Good Pistol Training Classes

January 21, 2007, 12:27 AM
Any recommendations on obtaining pistol training? NRA options seem like a good start, but with so many certified trainers, how can a novice determine who's worth the time and money? Thanks for you thoughts.

Shane Tuttle
January 21, 2007, 09:55 AM
Where's your location or where are you willing to travel?
Do you want a good basic handgun safety course, or a well rounded 3 day course?
What's your budget?
What's your favorite color?:D
Just kidding on the last one. I just needed to know what you're looking for before I rattle on.

January 21, 2007, 10:18 AM
Hello tuttle8:

I live in Orlando and am interested in taking an introductory course....initially.

NRA "Basic Pistol" classes cost about $80 in our market. Instructors names are listed, but nothing about their skill, experience and teaching styles.

My local gun shop may be an option, but staffers there are not certified instructors.

I would travel and/or pay up to $250 if a national expert came to our area to offer extended, high quality, certificated, expert-level instruction.



Tim Burke
January 21, 2007, 11:07 AM
There are a number of top-tier nationally known instructors that do itinerant instruction, but they usually run at least $150/day, and most classes are 2-3 days long.
Southern Exposure (http://www.southernexposuretraining.com/) is right up the road from you in Lakeland. Randy Cain (http://www.guntactics.com/) frequently teaches there. I think his THG 101 is the best intro class out there, as well as a great review for experienced shooters.

January 21, 2007, 11:10 AM
If you are near WV come over to Mid Atlantic Training Resources, www.ma-tr.com

realistic and in depth pistol instruction

Shane Tuttle
January 21, 2007, 12:27 PM
Mr. Burke beat me to the punch.:eek: I just started a thread recently about a similar quiery. I've been doing some research and found Randy Cain to be one to consider. Cumberlandtactics.com is his website. He frequents around the Florida area. He may be a little out of range on price, but you wouldn't have to travel far. I'm going to sign up for one of his courses in May. From the feedback I've gotten, he's worth every dime. I can let you know what I think if you want when I complete his course if you want.

January 21, 2007, 11:13 PM
NRA "Basic Pistol" classes cost about $80 in our market. Instructors names are listed, but nothing about their skill, experience and teaching styles.NRA Basic Pistol is primarily a classroom course dealing with owning, handling, storage, loading/unloading, safety and general pistol knowledge. It is not at all defense oriented, and the range portion of the class is VERY basic. Think of this class as: "Pistols 101". Designed to take a person from "which end of this does the bullet come out of" to someone who is not a danger to himself and others when dealing with a reasonable variety of handguns.

January 21, 2007, 11:47 PM
I really appreciate all the insight and guidance. I'll put it to good use.

January 22, 2007, 08:00 AM
Tim dropped me a mail seeing if I'd like to respond to this thread.

I live in Orlando and <snip> My local gun shop may be an option, but staffers there are not certified instructors.

You may want to look at another shop to frequent. <Shamelesscommercialplugmode ON> Stop into Shoot Straight (http://www.shootstraightonline.com/) in Apopka. We have three Certified (NRA &/or State) Instructors on Staff and one itinerant that does a CWP Class on Fridays. <Shamelesscommercialplugmode OFF>

Reguarding Training. As JohnKSa said the NRA basic couse is more of an Intro to Handguns. Not a bad course if your starting out. Like Tim & others said Randy Cain frequents the Mid-Florida area giving Instruction.

A couple things to keep in mind. No matter what class(es) you take you will walk away with having learned something. Not everything everyone teaches will work for you... there are many techniques, learn as many as you can. The other thing is that while quality instruction cost seems somewhat high it is well worth the expense. Think of it as an Insurance Policy. (compare the cost of Insturction/Classes to say your car insurance. Hopefully you will not need either however if you do the Insturction/Classes you have taken (and techniques you have practiced) will be a more critical protection investment)

If you stop by the Store as for me (Gunny).. I'll get you started on some basic techniques (grip, stances, etc) that will lay a foundation for further instruction.

matthew temkin
January 22, 2007, 08:07 AM
These guys are in your neck of the woods and I recommend them highly.

January 26, 2007, 08:57 AM
Thanks for you insight. I had intended to develop a relationship with a shop in Orlando that focused on Glock, its range, but not on training opportunities. I like your shop in Apopka and will follow up with you about lessons/options.

January 26, 2007, 10:35 AM
Does anyone know someone who has attended a session at Front Sight Firearms Training near Las Vegas?

They have a very interesting program on the Versus television network on Friday evenings and a very nicely produced website but I would like to hear comments from someone who has trained there other than the people in their commercials.


January 29, 2007, 06:12 PM
I have taken 2 NRA courses, basic pistol and a defensive course. The basic course was almost useless unless you know absolutely nothing but it did provide a certificate which the officials like to see before issuing a permit for concealed carry. The defensive course was terrific, lots of shooting and two very motivated instructors. Having said these things I think the biggest factor is the instructor's background and motivation. Ask around in your area at the shops and ranges, some lead will turn up. Or visit the NRA web site. Put some effort into your search, it will pay off.

Covert Mission
January 31, 2007, 01:44 PM
Try Pat Goodale at www.pgpft.com Practical Firearms Training in VA/W.VA (with some classes in MT too).

Excellent instructor and range. Highly recommended.

January 31, 2007, 04:00 PM
I'd love to find something in Wisconsin that is beyond the basic pistol course, but I'm not having a lot of luck. All I have found lately was one NRA Basic Pistol class that was full by the time I found out about it, although from the description here I'm pretty sure I'm already aware of which end of the pistol to point downrange, so maybe that's too basic.

Travel and expense isn't too much of a problem, its just finding the darn classes. (:


Covert Mission
February 6, 2007, 07:28 PM

You might check out a range/training facility in IL, an hour or two from Chi-town, iirc, called "The Site". http://www.shoot-at-the-site.com/

The were just bought by Blackwater, but I think their training cadre may have carried over to some extent. They're calling it Blackwater North, so I don't know how much has changed, as far as staff and courses go.

February 7, 2007, 01:44 AM
NRA First Steps Orientation Pistol is a good first course for beginners. It's intended for civilian beginners and it helps to have students of that level together, and it's beneficial for one with limited prior experience. You don't need to go hardcore the first time out.

After that and some practice, by all means, take as many other courses, and especially defensive handgun courses as you can. If you can swing the budget, the major schools like Gunsite, Thunder Ranch, etc are worth going to.