Sunday, March 24, 2013

Review - Basic Pistol Instructor Class 3-22,23 2013


I view the NRA Basic Pistol Instructor as THE foundational course for the NRA training program. I suppose you could start with any other Basic courses if you want to become a NRA Instructor – but the pistol course just feels like a great starting point to me.

I had a great bunch of instructor candidates this past weekend – police officers looking to offer courses in their communities or for Scouts, a couple of gun shop owners looking to offer their customers a training option, and outdoorswoman looking to help other ladies with their introduction to shooting, a retired guy looking to put his shooting skills to work and a blogger friend that traveled all the way from Virginia so he would be a better firearms instructor for Scouts in his area. A great group that shared a passion for guns and a desire to help expand the community of trained shooters.

As I have described before in other NRA Instructor Courses reviews, the first day is pretty much tied up with the Basic Instructor Training. This essentially teaches instructor candidates how to teach an NRA course. It is primarily a lecture day but does provide quite a bit of opportunity for candidates to stand and deliver short segments of lecture to get their feet wet preparing and delivering a lesson.

The process teaches everything from preparing lessons, using teaching aids, building teaching aids, pricing a course, advertising the course, finding a place that will host it . . . . it’s complicated as they say . . . .

The other part of the day is spent with pre-course qualifications. Each candidate must shoot two courses of fire – 10 rounds each – and put each round within an 8 inch circle from 50 feet. Honestly it’s not difficult, but adrenalin, nerves, ALL other candidates looking over your shoulder . . . . can make it a bit more challenging. Thrown in a set of rear sights that have been moved a significant amount during a cross country flight and it can get even dicier. But, all were experienced shooters and with a bit of polish all groups tightened quickly and the range time was all too short!

Next pre-qualification were various gun handling exercises:

  • Loading and Unloading a Single Action Revolver
  • Loading and Unloading a Double Action Revolver
  • Loading and Unloading a Semi-Automatic Pistol
  • Clearing a misfire
  • Clearing a double feed

Again – no troubles, day one ended with everyone fairly tuckered out and I suspect wondering what the heck they had gotten themselves into!

Day two candidates essentially teach all elements of the NRA Basic Pistol Course. This covers everything from types of handguns, components of ammunition, teaching the basics of stance – grip - sight picture - sight alignment – trigger press, to shooting first shots and cleaning the different types of handguns. It’s a busy day. Each element is team-taught by the candidates. This gives them experience working with a team, assigning elements and then delivering them.

The second day ended with everyone having a smile on their face even if their eyes were slightly glazed over!

Congrats to Tyson, Randy, Jim, Deb, Adam, Scott, Allen, Mike, Mark, Andrew, Danny and Joe – great job!! And, we have 12 more NRA Basic Pistol Instructors to insure new shooters enjoy their new sport safely and get the most out of their handguns!


UPDATE:  Here are the class photos – pretty good lookin’ bunch!!

NRA Basic Pistol Instructor Course March 22,23 2013


  1. Old NFO's course review can be found at:

  2. A comment from Girlswguns about the class . . . .

  3. And half frozen, don't forget that :-) Well done class sir!

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  5. When I was a lot younger and living on my own, my father was really worried. He signed me up for gun training courses. I felt a lot more comfortable knowing how to use a gun properly and he did too.

    Susan Hirst |