What to bring: +Your handgun, unloaded, and preferably in its carry case. +At least fifty rounds of ammunition for your weapon, preferably new and in the box. +A holster, if you have one (and you need one eventually). +Ear and Eye protection for the firing exercise (if you don’t have it, I will provide it). +Feel free to bring a highlighter and black pen. +Dress loose and cool during the summer sessions, as we’ll be spending a bit of time outdoors on the range.
1. You will start your training day with a bit of coffee and paperwork during an orientation session. We’ll talk about what we will be doing for the rest of the day, and make sure that everyone is squared away and ready to learn.
2. Safety is paramount when dealing with firearms of any kind, and doubly so with handguns. The first thing we will do after orientation is go through a safety brief. Here you will learn the rules of the range and good practices to observe at all times.
3. Following a coffee break, you will next watch a series of video presentations prepared by the Department of Criminal Justice Training office going over the important parts of Kentucky gun laws that you need to know. To say that this may be a bit boring is to say that the ocean tends to be a bit damp. While you go through the videos, I will be inspecting your handgun and ammunition for safety.
4. Lunch follows the videos, and will be provided on-site as part of your training day. You will have fifteen or twenty minutes to walk about and stretch while I get everything ready to serve, then we’ll have a good, hot sit-down meal.
5. After Lunch you’ll be back in the classroom, where we will cover the Principles of Marksmanship: proper stance, proper grip, proper sight alignment. While everyone does indeed have their own style, there are some things you can learn here, even if you are an old hand at handguns. Accuracy and precision are important when you are firing a weapon; if you don’t hit what you are aiming at, you are going to hit something else with deadly force.
6. In addition to learning about marksmanship, we are also going to go over the basic functions of both revolvers and autoloaders (semiautomatics). One of the keys to safe handgun ownership is being familiar with both your own weapon and other weapons you may encounter. Familiarity leads to both confidence in gun handling and respect of the dangers a handgun can pose.
7. We’ll take another quick break at this point, then reconvene on the pistol range for the firing test. You will shoot at a full-size silhouette target from a range of 7 yards. You will have an opportunity to fire a few practice rounds before we start the official string. Then I will bring three shooters to the line at a time and the three will each fire twenty single shots on my command. To qualify, eleven out of the twenty rounds have to be “in the black”—that is, inside the silhouette. It really is pretty simple and basic.
8. After all students have fired their qualification string, we’ll talk a bit about gun cleaning, get hydrated a little bit, and get all weapons safely put away before you take the written test. It consists of twenty-five multiple choice questions and you are allowed to reference your training manual during the test.
9. I will then grade your test and let you know what you made, and everyone will put final signatures on paperwork…and then we are done.
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