Introduction to Pistols and Marksmanship (NRA Basic Pistol)

 Course Length: 

8 hours

 Cost per Student:


Class Size:

Groups of 10

 Target Audience:

People new to pistol ownership and shooting

Teaches the basic knowledge, skills, and attitude for owning and operating a pistol safely.
This is a 8 hour course includes classroom and range time learning to shoot revolvers and semi-automatic pistols. This course is meant for people who are new to firearms and/or pistols, it is not meant to be a standalone course for those who want to concealed carry. Students learn NRA’s rules for safe gun handling; pistol parts and operation; ammunition; shooting fundamentals; range rules; shooting from the bench rest position, and two handed standing positions; cleaning the pistol; and continued opportunities for skill development. Students will receive the NRA Guide to the Basics of Pistol Shooting handbook, NRA Gun Safety Rules brochure, Winchester/NRA Marksmanship Qualification booklet, take a Basics of Pistol Shooting Student Examination, and course completion certificate.
Course Outline


a.     Administrative Items

b.     Gun Owner’s Responsibilities

c.     Course Goals

2.      LESSON I: Pistol Knowledge and Safe Gun Handling

a.     Reasons to Own a Pistol

b.     Common Pistol Action Types

c.     Main Parts of a Revolver

d.     Lands & Groves

e.     Single-Action and Double-Action Revolvers

f.      Main Parts of a Semi-Automatic Pistol

g.     Lands & Groves

h.     Functions of a Semi-Automatic Pistol Slide

i.      Types of Semi-Automatic Pistol Actions

j.      Causes of Firearm Accidents

k.     NRA Rules for Safe Gun Handling

l.      Safe Trigger Finger Position


3.     Lesson II: Ammunition Knowledge and The Fundamentals of Pistol Shooting

a.     Cartridge Components

b.     Rimfire and Center-Fire Cartridges

c.     Cartridge Firing Sequence

d.     Cartridge Designation and Identification

e.     +P and +P+ Cartridges

f.      Ammunition Storage

g.     Types of Cartridge Malfunctions

h.     Dominant Eye Exercises

i.      Position

j.      Elements of the Benchrest Position

k.     Two-Handed Grip

l.      Fundamentals of Pistol Shooting

m.   Aiming

n.     Sight Alignment

o.     Sight Picture

p.    Common Sight Errors

q.     Front Sight Focus

r.      Hold Control

s.     Arc of Movement

t.      Breath Control

u.     Trigger Control

v.     Follow-Through

4.     Lesson III: Firing The First Shots

a.     Range Layout and Limits

b.     NRA Rules for Safe Gun Handling

c.     NRA Rules for Using and Storing a Gun

d.     General Range Safety Rules

e.     Questions/Problems on the Line

f.      Hygiene Guidelines

g.     Range Commands

h.     Learning a Shooting Position

i.      Adjusting the Sights

j.      Elements of a Two-Handed Shooting Position

5.     Lesson IV: Scoring Targets, and Selecting and Maintaining Your Pistol

a.     Scoring Targets

b.     Types of Pistols

c.     Selecting a Pistol (Factors & Procedure)

d.     Caring for the Pistol

e.     Gun Cleaning Equipment

f.      Gun Cleaning Procedure

g.     Pistol Storage

6.     Lesson V: Continued Opportunities for Skill Development

a.     Winchester/NRA Marksmanship

b.     Qualification Program

c.     NRA Training Opportunities

d.     Competitive Shooting

e.     NRA Clubs

f.      NRA Programs

g.     NRA History & Goals

h.     Benefits of NRA Membership