Survivalism & Self Sufficiency Topics > Lady Survivors

Choosing a handgun class

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I'm looking into taking some basic handgun classes and am wondering if anyone has suggestions on things to look for or questions to ask.  I am familiar with guns, having hunted for years but mostly using rifles.  I've really never seriously worked on my handgun skills.  I found a few local people who offer classes so I thought I'd gather some ideas before making calls.  Of course I'll take into account things like how they treat me and such.  Thanks in advance!

The first thing you need to ask for is a list of other women who have taken their course, and you need to call them and ask about their experiences.

A good instructor/course will have references, not just claims and boasts.

Our local club has a Ladies Day a couple of times each year and the women members run the show.  No bossy know it all men allowed.   A couple of our women are NRA instructor certified and run training just for the women.

The NRA has a program for women called Women on Target.  I ave taken handgun, rifle & shot gun classes through this program.  They had one instructor for 2 women when we moved from the classroom to the range.  I felt comfortable and had fun in all the classes.

Here's a link to their find a clinic near you page:


Well, there is good in your situation.  If you have not really spent much time getting formal instruction on the handgun, the good news is many many different classes including ones with local instructors that may not be world class but still quite helpful to you.  To be honest a good instructor who is intellectually honest and a good teacher in general should be fine for your first few classes.

While it is not the be all, end all, instructors with law enforcement experience and accomplished competition shooters are an easy filter to make sure you are not getting a complete mouth breather.  Be cautious around those that claim their stuff is for the streetz and see no point in competition unless they have significant LE experience like full time firearms training unit instructor or time on a full time SWAT team.  Also be leery about those who teach "point shooting" or "instinctive shooting" as the primary method of handgun engagement. 

Finally, this is not the Asian martial arts, do not become a disciple of a certain instructor or school.    Spread your training dollars out among more than one source to reduce the chance of falling pray to instructor's blind spots or their own derp.  There are instructors, schools and courses I do not like however to the neophyte only a handful will not be valuable.  Understand that the better you get as a student of the pistol the further afield you will need to go to get instruction of value to you (unless you are exceedingly lucky to live near the home range of one of the greats, but then you have to pay the "great instructor" prices  ;D ).

I also suggest adopting a "standards" shooting test after your first class.  It is a simple measure of shooting ability to measure yourself against.  Think of it like weight lifting and writing down your progress so you can track and work on your performance.

Women on Target is a great program.  My daughter went through it the year before last and I volunteered at it.  It is top notch.


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