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Old April 1, 2018, 09:55 PM   #1
Join Date: January 8, 2002
Posts: 36
NRA Basic Pistol Instructor

In a few weeks, I will be taking the NRA basic pistol instructor course. I have tons of experience shooting both semi auto pistols and double action revolvers over the past 35 years, but my single action pistol handling skills are pretty weak. I can do the basic load/unload sequence in a single action revolver. Do I need to purchase a single action revolver in the near future if I'm going to be teaching it's safe use to students ? If you think I need to buy a cowboy action gun for demo purposes, what would you suggest for entry level ?
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Old April 1, 2018, 11:44 PM   #2
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No, you don't need a gun to teach the course. What you do need to do is convey that single action and double action revolvers are different, and what the differences are. It's easier with a visual aid (gun), but not a requirement.
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Old April 2, 2018, 07:32 AM   #3
Don P
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^^^^^^ what he said!

but my single action pistol handling skills are pretty weak. I can do the basic load/unload sequence in a single action revolver. Do I need to purchase a single action revolver in the near future if I'm going to be teaching it's safe use to students ?
Just take the course, and then when its all said and done you'll have the necessary info to decide what you need. When I took the class there were no cowboy guns in the class ( single action) All guns in the class were guns that people were carrying for CCW with the exception of the training guns the instructor had. At the start of class all who had CCW on them had to step out of the room and unload their firearms and place them on a table at the front of the room and ALL ammo was outside of the training room
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Old April 2, 2018, 04:17 PM   #4
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JWM--very few folk here would ever advise you NOT to buy a gun. I'd say go get a Ruger Blackhawk in .45 Colt with adjustable sights just because they're a hoot to shoot, and if you take care of it (they are SOLIDLY built guns) you can shoot the beejeebees out of it and hand it down to someone who can do the same thing.

That said Ruger makes 'em in several calibers if you don't like .45 Colt. And they make them in different styles besides just the Blackhawk.

Ruger Blackhawk
Ruger Vaquero
Ruger Super Blackhawk

I'd better note here that Ruger used to sell a version of the Vaquero that was larger and heavier than the current, New Model Vaquero. It wasn't that long ago though and (I think) the older Vaquero's are still readily available in the used market.

P.S. Because of their rugged construction I would have very little problem with buying a used Ruger. See the revolver check out here:
or bring a revolver person with you.

Last edited by DaleA; April 2, 2018 at 04:28 PM.
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Old April 3, 2018, 09:35 AM   #5
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Like they said, you don't need it to teach the class. I'm also an instructor for basic pistol and I use a Ruger Blackhawk for demonstration, but only because I have one. The Heritage Rough Rider guns would be good enough for demonstration and they are cheap. I think they require the user to place them on half-cock like a Colt but they don't have a transfer bar to show. You can't have an example of everything they make so you'll have to make some choices about what best represents the significant variations. You can always show a slide with an illustration of things for which you don't have an example.

For example, when I demonstrate DA revolvers, I have a Smith and Wesson and a Colt. I explain and demonstrate how the cylinder release latch works and I discuss how Ruger and Dan Wesson are different. I also mention that there are other variations that I may not have covered.
To a much greater extent than most mechanical devices, firearms are terribly unforgiving of any overconfidence, complacency or negligence.
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Old April 3, 2018, 10:10 AM   #6
4V50 Gary
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No need to buy a firearm. The NRA pistol instructor teaches the basics of using a handgun. If a student brings a SA revolver, ask permission to use that - after you make sure it's empty of course.

When I teach the course, I make sure everyone knows how to use a SA revolver, SA/DA revolver, semi pistol and how to make each safe. I toss in the Eddie Eagle line where a kid may summon a person to alert them to the presence of an unsecured firearm. I briefly mention that if it's a crime scene, best to stand guard over it and let the cops secure it.
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