NRA Defensive Pistol Course

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NRA Defensive Pistol Course

The NRA Defensive Pistol Course will focus on the techniques needed to develop a defensive mindset. The goal of the course will be to develop the knowledge, skills, and attitude necessary to carry and use a concealed pistol ethically, responsibly, and with confidence. As a result of participating in this course, the student will be able to explain and demonstrate the following:

  • How to apply the NRA Rules for Safe Gun Handling when carrying a concealed firearm

  • Basic principles of concealment

  • The difference between cover and concealment

  • Drawing from the holster

  • Levels of mental awareness

  • Developing the proper mindset when using a pistol for personal protection

  • Clearing common stoppages, and more

The course is designed as a logical follow-up to either Midwest Shooting’s Pull the Trigger course or the NRA Basic Pistol course. Topics that will be discussed and practiced are: Principles of concealment, Presenting a firearm from concealment, Confrontation avoidance, Flash sight picture, Reloading under stress, Immediate action drills, and range training.

Course Length: Approximately 6 to 8 hours.

Course Location: Midwest Shooting, Hiawatha IA

The following topics will be reviewed in the course:

- The importance of carrying and using a pistol responsibly and ethically for personal protection
- How the NRA Rules for Safe Gun Handling are applied to concealed carry
- Basic principles of concealment
- Presenting a pistol – re-holstering
- Mental awareness
- Mental preparation to develop a defensive mindset for carrying and using a pistol for personal protection
- Techniques for avoiding life-threatening confrontations
- Explain the psychological and physiological changes that may occur during an attack
- Flash sight picture
- Reloading under stress
- Clear common stoppages
- Immediate Action Drills
- Cover and concealment
- Presenting a pistol from concealment and shoot targets at varying distances

Participant equipment requirements:

- Pistol - minimum calibers are .38 Special or 9mm.
- Three magazines or speed loaders
- Strong side holster; magazine holders or speed loader pouch
- Minimum 200 rounds of factory ammunition
- Clothing appropriate for concealed carry
- Eye and ear protection

Course Pre-requisites:

- Midwest’s Pull The Trigger or NRA Basic Pistol, NRA FIRST Steps Pistol course, or other certified pistol training

- Iowa Permit to Carry Weapons

- Participant must be 21 years of age or older (18 if accompanied by parent)

Firearm, Holster and Ammo Requirements:

Your firearm must be fully functional, have all factory-installed safety devices intact, and have no dangerous modifications. "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. 
Hearing and eye protection are mandatory and electronic hearing protection is recommended. Minimum age is 21 if taking the course unaccompanied. Minimum age is 18 if taking the course with a parent or guardian. You will also need a firearm, holster, concealment garment such as a jacket, 2 extra magazines or speed loaders. Shoes should be comfortable with sufficient support to permit a full range of motion. A ball cap or head covering is recommended.

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