The NRA Basic Pistol course is structured to take someone who is new to shooting, a novice shooter, or a nascent shooter from that state of having a lack of knowledge and skills, to being a competent shooter that not only gains a comprehensive understanding of pistol shooting fundamentals, but also leaves the course equipped with those diagnostic skills required to maintain proper shooting fundamentals and further develop newly acquired shooting skills.

Please note, this course is now done in two phases. Phase I is the mandatory NRA online portion, which requires registration and a $60 fee, both payable directly to the NRA. Phase II is conducted by NRA certified instructors, where we verify students can meet the thirteen objectives of the course, including live fire exercises.  >> See the NRA's page on Blended Learning <<

The primary focus of any NRA class is for all participants - shooters, coaches, spectators,  instructors, range officers and the community to enjoy the shooting sports in a safe manner. Thus, there is significant emphasis placed on : -

a) understanding the rules for safe gun handling

b) practical safe gun handling exercises on and off the shooting range

c) understanding the important rules for using and storing a handgun, as well as a general understanding of the law as it applies to possession and ownership of handguns in that jurisdiction where the shooter lives.


There are thirteen learning objectives in the NRA Basic Pistol course that each participant must accomplish before being awarded the course completion certificate. The course content includes (but is certainly not limited to):

  • Safe gun handling, (action) types of pistols.
  • Ammunition components, pistol shooting fundamentals.
  • Range Safety Briefing, firing the first shots from the bench rest & the two handed standing shooting position.
  • Selecting a pistol, cleaning your pistol, storing your pistol.
  • Other avenues for further skills development, the NRA / Winchester Marksmanship Qualification Program, other shooting programs.
  • Other courses offered by the NRA, history of the NRA.

This course is accepted by some states as proof of training/proficiency for acquiring a pistol license.


Course Information:
Prerequisites: Must be able to lawfully possess a handgun in the jurisdiction where range exercises are conducted.

Course Length: 4 - 8 hours, the course is objective based.

Class/Range: Both
Materials Required: All class materials are provided.

For the range, the following is usually required:

  • Pistol
  • Eye & ear protection
  • One hundred rounds of ammunition
  • One magazine or speed loader.

***There may be other requirements specific to the range used for this course***

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