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Basic Pistol 1: How to Shoot a Handgun

Basic - The Best Place to Start for Most Shooters

Duration: 3 hours classroom, 3 hours range time



Date Location Class Size Class Time Instructor Availability

There are no upcoming classes scheduled for this course. target icon


This is the class for you, if you:

  • Don’t own a handgun (and even if you do)
  • Have never shot a handgun
  • Have shot a few times but it was years ago
  • Have shot a few times but don’t feel confident
  • Have never taken a shooting course or worked with a shooting Instructor

This is an NRA First Steps course.

This is the class you should take before you try to get your LTC. The Texas LTC course does not teach you how to shoot and is not appropriate for people with little or no shooting experience.

Basic Pistol 1 has five unique features which will benefit almost everyone taking their first class, just getting started or needing a refresher on the fundamentals:
  • You don’t need to own, buy or borrow anything - no gun, no personal protection equipment, no ammunition - to take this class. Everything you need (except a baseball cap) is included in the $95 price.
  • The first half of this course takes place in our simulation studio - a specially equipped classroom with multiple simulation tools and setups which allow students to experience every aspect of shooting (including the feel of real pistols) in a safe, clean, quiet, air-conditioned environment. You will go to the live fire range with confidence, knowing you have already mastered safe gu handling skills and basic marksmanship.
  • We start with .22LR pistols and work through a variety of drills before moving up to .380 or 9mm. The .22LR caliber has less energy and noise than larger calibers and is perfect for proving your skills and mastering fundamentals. You will immediately feel confident on the live fire range because you will have used a simulated .22LR pistol in class.
  • You will use .380/9mm pistols which have been specifically selected because they are easy to shoot and well suited to learning when we begin the standard caliber portion of the range day. Even if you have your own standard caliber pistol you will have the option to try something different for a few rounds.
  • After class you will receive personal instruction in applying everything you learned to shooting your own handgun (if you brought one.) Everyone who brings their own gun to class will get to shoot it, but usually afterthe formal instruction.
** IMPORTANT ** An evening class requires TWO evenings - usually Tue and Thu. Check with your Instructor.

The live fire portion of this class takes place at East Texas Rifle & Pistol Club after the completion of the classroom portion.

Note for Gun Owners: You will shoot the provided handguns during this course because the guns have been selected for their ease of use and to optimize your learning experience. You are welcome to bring your own handgun (pistol or revolver) and, after the class is complete, we will work with you to apply the lessons learned to shooting your own gun.

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Topics Covered

In this class, you will learn:

  • The latest technologies and requirements in firearm safety, ammunition and home storage
  • The fundamentals of semi-auto pistols
  • The fundamentals of safe gun handling
  • The basics of marksmanship, including
    • How to build a strong grip
    • How to build a proper stance
    • Proper use of sights
    • Trigger and Breath Control
    • Basic manipulations of the action (slide)
    • Proper Ready/Retention positions

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Expectations and Outcomes

At the end of this class you will be:

  • Confidently and safely shooting 4” targets at 3yd and 7 yds.
  • Confidently and safely loading, unloading and clearing your handgun
  • Confidently manipulating the action of your handgun
  • Excited about your next trip to the range.


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Documentation Requirements

  • Students are required to present a valid, government-issued photo ID.
  • Students must sign a liability and legal waiver.
  • Students must complete a New Student Questionnaire to aid in assessing their experience level and identify any limitations or restrictions.

The instructor requires a copy of your Government Issued ID once you register.

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Prerequisites: None

  • Students must present a valid, government-issued photo ID on site.
  • Students under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a Parent or Legal Guardian.
  • Students wishing to use our handgun+ammunition packages must be 21 or older.
If you are under 21 please contact the Instructor before registering.


  • Classes run Rain or Shine. Please be prepared for inclement weather.
  • Cap or hat with visor
  • Collared shirt - no tank tops, halters or v-necks. Ladies, no brass-catching cleavage please.
  • Closed-toe shoes - no sandals, flip-flops or open footwear. Ladies, no heels please. The shooting range is dirt and gravel requiring flat soles.