pistol shooting


Name: NRA Basics of Pistol Shooting – 2 Phase Course

Short Description: The NRA Basics of Pistol Shooting is a two-part course consisting of an e-learning portion (completed online-in your own timeframe) and a hands-on practical portion conducted at a range under the guidance and supervision of an NRA-Certified Instructor. The course is intended for all adults regardless of previous shooting experience or NRA-affiliation.

Phase 1

The NRA Basics of Pistol Shooting course is a blended training course, which means a portion of the course (Phase 1) is conducted in an online environment, which can be completed on your own time. Just remember that you have a 90 window to complete the course.

Completion & Expiration – Phase 1

You must complete all 11 lessons and a final exam with a 90% pass rate in order to get certified as having completed Phase 1 of your training. If you do not pass the exam the first time you will be provided with four additional opportunities to take the exam. Once you pass the exam you will be directed to generate a completion certificate that you can save as a file and/or print. You will use your PIN to register for your instructor-led portion (or Phase 2) of the course on the www.nrainstructors.org website.

You will have access to this program for 90 days from the start of your enrollment date, after which access expires.

Registration & Payment – Phase 1

This payment is for Phase 1 only. Phase 1 is the online portion, and registration is made online at https://www.nraonlinetraining.org/login/index.php

The price of Phase 1 is $60.00 and payment is accepted via credit card. After the credit transaction is approved you will be automatically registered in this course and can begin taking the course immediately. Please note this course is non-refundable.

Phase 2

Upon successfully completing the online exam, students will be required to register for the instructor-led training portion (Phase 2), which will be conducted at a local range with NRA Certified Instructors. You must successfully complete Phase 1 and Phase 2 in order to receive your NRA Basics of Pistol Shooting course certificate.  Students are not allowed to bring ammunition or firearms into the classroom portion of Phase 2 instruction. Firearms may be brought to the range fire section of Phase 2, safety checked and logged in by the class Range Safety Officer. You will be responsible for providing your own personal safety equipment. (eye glasses and hearing protection) and ammunition. A box of 50 rounds of ammunition will adequately cover your shooting requirements.

More Details: Some of the topics in the course include: gun safety rules, proper operation of revolvers and semi-automatic pistols, ammunition knowledge and selection, selecting and storing a pistol, the fundamentals of shooting, and pistol inspection and maintenance. When you enroll in the online course, you create a personal identification number (PIN). When you successfully complete the course, printing your certificate activates that PIN. The activated PIN allows you to register for the instructor-led training portion of the course. Go to www.nrainstructors.org – Find a Course Near You – select NRA Basics of Pistol Shooting – and search.

During the instructor-led- training portion of the course, an NRA Certified Instructor will validate comprehension and application of gun safety rules; range protocol; proper handling; loading and unloading procedures; application of pistol shooting fundamentals; stable shooting positions; live fire; and a final shooting qualification.

Note: This course replaces the NRA Basic Pistol Shooting course, as Phase 1 is now an online component of the course.



The NRA Basics of Pistol Shooting Course Outline:

  • Pistol safety, parts and operation
  • Three fundamental safe gun-handling rules
  • Additional activities-specific safe gun-handling rules
  • Three major handgun parts on each of the three action types
  • Safely demonstrate how to handle a handgun properly (all three types)

Ammunition and pistol shooting fundamentals (Classroom Instruction)

  • Modern ammunition
  • Determine proper ammunition for your handgun
  • Three types of cartridge malfunctions
  • The five shooting fundamentals: aiming, breath control, hold control, trigger control, and follow-through.

Aiming includes:

  • Determine dominant eye
  • Holding a Pistol Properly
  • Aiming involves two concepts: Sight Alignment and Sight Picture.
  • Breath Control – Hold Control
  • Trigger Control
  • Follow-Through

NRA Pistol Marksmanship LASR Simulator Training with SIRT Training Pistols

Pistol shooting from the bench rest, two handed standing, and one handed standing positions – (Classroom Instruction)

  • Explain fundamentals of pistol shooting from the bench rest position
  • Explain range commands and procedures to follow
  • Discuss eight NRA rules when shooting and storing a handgun
  • Safely shoot a target from the bench rest position – (Range Instruction)
  • Reiterate all five shooting fundamentals
  • Explain fundamentals of pistol shooting from the two handed standing position
  • Safely shoot a target from the two handed standing position – (Range Instruction)
  • Explain fundamentals of pistol shooting from the one handed standing position
  • Safely shoot a target from the one handed standing position – (Range Instruction)

Pistol Cleaning, Storage, and Training (Classroom Instruction)

  • Identify materials needed to clean a handgun
  • Outline safety guidelines when cleaning a handgun
  • Demonstrate proper disassembly and cleaning of a handgun
  • Explain how to store firearms and ammunition properly
  • Identify shooting sports, activities, and further training opportunities


Name: NRA Pistol Marksmanship Simulator Training

Short Description: To provide the basic KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS, and ATTITUDE necessary to learn pistol marksmanship using a virtual training system

More Details: The course teaches basic marksmanship fundamentals, firearm safety using a simulated pistol with a resetting trigger and laser to indicate where the shots hit.

No range is needed with this simulator training course. It can be held anywhere; a meeting room in a hotel, business boardroom, or in a church hall. With very little equipment, the NRA Pistol Marksmanship Simulator Training Course teaches the fundamentals of sight alignment, trigger control, grip, and breath control. At the completion of the course, an NRA participation certificate is awarded. Students may attend this course as a basis to decide whether or not they would like to follow-up by taking the full length Basic Pistol Course with live fire, or simply learn to improve their marksmanship skills.

Instructors Note: This course is included as part of the Athenian Services NRA Basic Pistol Shooting – Phase 2 course.


Name: NON-NRA Maryland Handgun Qualification License (HQL),

Maryland Handgun Qualification License Training – If you own a regulated firearm prior to October 1, 2013, you must apply for the Handgun Qualification License. However, you are exempt from the training component.

What Is It – Handgun Qualification License training is a four-hour block of instruction which includes classroom instruction on state firearm law, home firearm safety, handgun mechanisms and operation , and a component that requires the applicant demonstrate the ability to safely fire a handgun. Training is valid for 3 years and must be completed prior to submitting an application for a Handgun Qualification License.

Who Needs It – A person may not purchase, rent, or receive a handgun after October 1, 2013 unless they possess a valid Handgun Qualification License (HQL) issued by the Maryland State Police.

Instructors Note: As a service to our course participants, there will be an outside company present at the course to assist you with obtaining your digital fingerprints. We will assist you with establishing your MDSP HQL license account.