Training & Classes

NRA’s Defensive Pistol Course

Course Description: 

This course exposes students to several schools of thought regarding defensive handgun shooting techniques. This course is designed for beginning and intermediate handgun shooters. Unlike other basic handgun shooting courses that traditionally focus on handgun marksmanship skills, this course is designed to develop a student’s self-defense handgun shooting skills from a position of cover within their home. This is a non-drawing course, students will NOT be drawing a loaded firearm from a holster during this course. Students will learn to shoot and reload a handgun effectively from the high and low ready positions.

Note: Please bring proof of purchase with you to the class.

Classes must be purchased individually for each student, as certificates of completion will be issued in each person’s name. When more than one student will be attending please purchase each class in a separate transaction. 

Course Completion

Students will receive the following:

  • NRA Guide to the Basics of Personal Protection Outside The Home handbook
  • NRA Gun Safety Rules brochure
  • NRA Defensive Pistol course completion certificate
Required Materials, Equipment and Supplies
  • Handgun – Students are encouraged to bring their own self-defense handgun to the course for use during the training. Students may bring a centerfire single/double-action revolver or a centerfire semi-automatic pistol to use during the course. Handguns and ammunition must remain inside your locked vehicles until needed. Handguns must be unloaded and cased when entering the building. Please DO NOT bring any live-ammunition into the classroom. Handguns may be rented from Davenport Guns ($10.00 each). Ammunition for rental handguns must be purchased from Davenport Guns. Davenport Guns normally stocks a large quality of ammunition for the most common handgun calibers, but please call ahead to ensure availability of your specific caliber.
  • At least three Magazines (semi-automatic pistols) or Speedloaders (revolvers) – Students are encouraged to bring ammunition storage devices for the handgun they are bringing to the class. Magazine and speedloader pouches or carriers are not required – this is a non-drawing from the holster course.
  • 200 cartridges of the correct ammunition (caliber and designed pressure rating) for the handgun you are bringing to the class. The ammunition must be loaded with the following approved bullet types. Full Metal Jacketed (FMJ) bullets are recommended, but hollow point bullets are permitted. Steel core and other armor-piercing bullets are strictly prohibited, as well as all high-explosive, incendiary and tracer bullets. All ammunition must be factory new ammunition stored in the original manufacturer’s packaging/box. Reloaded ammunition is strictly prohibited. Davenport Guns offers handgun ammunition for sale.
  • Eye and Ear Personal Protective Equipment (shooting glasses and ear muffs). Hearing and eye protection is available for purchase from davenport Guns.
  • Wear Appropriate Shooting Range Clothing:
    -Hat: A baseball cap is recommended;
    Long pants: Blue jeans are recommended;
    Close-toed shoes: Boots and tennis shoes are recommended. Footwear with high-traction (lug-type) soles are recommended.
    -Crew-necked shirts.
Firearm, Holster and Ammo Requirements

Your firearm must be fully functional, have all factory-installed safety devices intact, and have no dangerous modifications (such as a “hair” triggers less than 4 pounds, removed trigger guard, etc.). “Pocket Pistols” are not allowed due to their very small size and difficulty of use. Holsters must correctly fit the firearm, completely cover the trigger guard and remain open when the firearm is removed. Factory ammunition is required, NO reloads. Electronic hearing protection is mandatory and is available at numerous retailers. Minimum age is 21 if taking the course unaccompanied. Minimum age is 18 if taking the course with a parent or guardian. You will need 300 to 400 rounds of ammunition, firearm, holster, concealment garment such as a jacket etc, 2 extra magazines or speed loaders, eye protection is also required. Knee & elbow pads are also highly recommended, your firearm should be 9mm or larger caliber. Shoes – comfortable with sufficient support to permit a full range of motion.

This is an advanced handgun shooting course and will only be taught to mature students who possess advanced shooting skills. Students are required to demonstrate the knowledge skills and abilities necessary to effectively manipulate they’re handguns (load, unload and cycle operators – levers and buttons) without any assistance from the instructor. Students are required to consistently and repeatedly place 5-shot groups within a 4” circle at distances of 7, 10 and 15 feet.

Course Info



Course Goal

The goal of the course is to develop the knowledge, skills, and attitude necessary to carry and use a concealed handgun ethically, responsibly, and with confidence.


Course Length

8-hours – approximately 4-hours in the classroom & 4-hours on the Range. It is presented in two, 4-hour sessions and the material is progressive in nature.



  • NRA Basic Pistol, NRA FIRST Steps Pistol course or other certified pistol training
  • Participant must be 21 years of age or older
  • Student must have a ‘current’ License to Carry for the State they reside.
  • Student must have at least a basic understanding of how their firearm operates.

Lesson Topics

Lesson 1 – Techniques for avoiding life-threatening confrontations (confrontation avoidance)

Lesson 2 – Principles of effective handgun concealment

Lesson 3 – Presenting (drawing) a handgun from concealment

Lesson 4 – Flash sight picture shooting

Lesson 5 – The difference between cover and concealment

Lesson 6 – Reloading under stress

Lesson 7 – Immediate action drills for clearing malfunctions

Lesson 8 – Levels of mental situational awareness

Lesson 9 – Developing the proper defensive mindset when using a pistol for personal protection

Lesson 10 – Discussion of the psychological and physiological changes that may occur during an attack

Lesson 11 – Live-fire shooting drills (targets at varying distances)


Private class can be arranged for groups of 5 or more. 

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