Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Which NRA Basic Pistol class is for you?


Are you looking to purchase a new pistol? Would you like to learn about how to safely use, store, and clean a pistol? Are you interested in getting a concealed carry permit?  Perhaps you are the spouse of a gun enthusiast, or a parent and just want to make sure you can safely handle a firearm while others are gone.  The latter makes up the majority of my students.

If you answered yes to any of these questions, consider taking an NRA Basic Pistol or FIRST (Firearms Instruction, Responsibility, and Safety Training) Steps Pistol course, taught by an NRA Certified Pistol Instructor.

Follow are the similarities and differences between the two courses to help you decide which is the best choice for you.

Both the Basic Pistol and the FIRST Steps courses are introductory in nature and present the same type of material. In each class, instructors cover the NRA’s gun safety rules, pistol nomenclature and operation, ammunition, shooting fundamentals, cleaning, range rules, and continued opportunities for skill development. The format of the classes is very similar, beginning with a classroom portion before heading to the range for live-fire shooting exercises.

Basic Pistol is a 10-hour course where students learn about both semi-automatic pistols and revolvers. FIRST Steps is only 3-4 hours long, and focuses on only one pistol action type (semi-automatic OR revolver, not both) and model (Beretta 96, etc). When choosing a course, make sure you take several factors into consideration – such as the action type of the gun you own or plan to purchase and your experience handling and shooting pistols.  If you are looking to learn about handling both semi-automatic pistols and revolvers, you may want to take the Basic Pistol course. If you already own a semi-automatic and want to learn more about your gun, then the FIRST Steps Pistol course may be right for you.

If you are still unsure about what class to take, ask the NRA Certified Instructor teaching the course to help you decide, or contact me.   Most instructors are very knowledgeable and eager to assist you. To get started, find a course in your area or learn more about NRA’s firearms training courses!

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