Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Pistol 1 Description

Pistol 1 may be taken as a “standalone” class or as part of the four day course.

Pistol 1 is all classroom lecture in which the following subjects will be taught:

  • The 4 “Universal Safety Rules”
  • Firearms Safety in the Home
  • Range Rules and Procedures
  • Chamber Checking and Condition Checking Handguns (why, when and how)
  • The Mission of the Handgun (which is generally misunderstood)
  • Handgun Types and Selection
  • Basic Ballistics and Ammunition Selection
  • Holster and Accessory Selection
  • Why Marksmanship Matters
  • The Seven Elements of Handgun Marksmanship
  • The Principles of Personal Defense
  • The Mental Color Code of Preparedness
  • How to Avoid Dangerous Situations

Home study assignments will be given
See schedule for pricing.



Pistol 2 Description

Pistol 2 may be held in a classroom or on a range at the discretion of the instructors.

If held in a classroom, a safe background will be provided for dry practice.

Pistol 2 is conducted with dummy ammunition only, NO LIVE ROUNDS.

Equipment will be checked.

Students will be required to pass a written test on firearms safety as taught in Pistol 1.

The following subjects will be taught in Pistol 2:

  • Presentation to the Guard Position
  • Presentation to the Target
  • Close Contact Firing Position
  • Safe and Correct Holstering
  • Chamber and Condition Checking
  • The Safest and Most Efficient System for Loading and Unloading
  • The Seven Elements of Handgun Marksmanship
  • Trigger Reset
  • Three Types of Combat Reloading
  • Breaking Tunnel Vision
  • Immediate Action for Clearing Type One, Type Two and Type Three Malfunctions

Homework assignments will be given
Shooters will be evaluated for their eligibility to continue on to Pistol 3

Pistol 3 Description

Pistol 3 is conducted on a live fire range.

  • Students will review and practice all the manipulation skills learned in Pistol 2.
  • Instructors will shoot and check all handguns for point of aim vs. point of impact.
  • Experienced shooters will shoot a group for record.
  • Novice shooters will not shoot a group for record at this time.
  • Diagnostic Trigger Drill 1 will be used to learn or verify correct sight alignment and sight picture.
  • Diagnostic Trigger Drill 2 will be used to learn correct trigger control and trigger reset.
  • Diagnostic Trigger Drill 3 will verify correct sight picture while proper trigger control is applied.
  • Diagnostic Trigger Drill 4 allows the instructor to “physically monitor” the students trigger control.
  • The correct technique for “skip loading” handguns will be explained and demonstrated.
  • Skill loading drills will be conducted.
  • Class Debriefing.

Homework assignments will be given
Shooters will be evaluated for their eligibility to continue on to Pistol 4

Pistol 4 Description

  • All manipulation skills learned in Pistol 2 and Pistol 3 will be reviewed and practiced.
  • “Skip Loading Drills” will be used to allow the student to practice the elements of marksmanship learned in Pistol 1-3.
  • The ratio of live rounds utilized in the skip loading drills will be increased as the elements of marksmanship are learned.
  • The “Coach Pupil” method of instruction will be utilized during Pistol 4.
  • Diagnostic Trigger Drill 5 will be used to learn “Flash Sight Picture”.
  • Diagnostic Trigger Drill 6 will be used to learn “Compressed Surprise Break”.
  • Multiple target drill
  • Firing in Pairs
  • “Failure to Stop Drill”
  • Hostage taker drill
  • Extended Distance Shooting
  • Recommendations will be given for future practice and training
  • Shooters will be evaluated for their eligibility to attend the Intermediate Pistol or Rifle Course
  • Class Debriefing
  • Graduation
  • Certificates
  • Class Photo opportunity

See schedule for pricing.


In order to be considered for training you must fill out the following application in full. Once your payment has been sent ALONG with a copy of your CFP or CCW, you will be contacted to be notified of your acceptance into our program. IF you do NOT get an email confirmation, you have failed to properly fill-out this application.

The successful completion of the 4-day defensive pistol class with a semi-auto pistol is a prerequisite for all other 'range' classes" (ex Defensive Rifle, Lever Action Rifle, Combat Shotgun). Specific prerequisite information for each class is contained within the class descriptions under Classes & Courses.

* Required
    This is a required question
    This is a required question
    This is a required question
    This is a required question
    This is a required question
    Must be a valid email address
    This is a required question
    This is a required question
    This is a required question
    This is a required question
    This is a required question
    This is a required question
    This is a required question
    This is a required question
    This is a required question
    This is a required question
    This is a required question
    This is a required question
    This is a required question
    This is a required question
    This is a required question
    Never submit passwords through Google Forms.
    100%: You made it.


Required Equipment List for Pistol 1-4

Note- no live ammunition in the classroom for pistol 1-2


Pistol One:

Note Book– Your note book should contain all the pre training documents we email to you and we suggest that you include a copy of the articles on our web site as we consider them part of the course.


Writing Implement- for note taking, you will need to take notes


Seat cushion– Such as the type used at ball games.  You will be in your chair for 8 hours and anything that increases your comfort will be welcome.


Pistol Two through Pistol Four-All items from Pistol One Plus the following:

Handgun– Bring a safe, reliable, accurate and appropriate handgun.  Call us if you need help with handgun selection.  If you have a spare handgun (and all the accessories and ammunition,) bring them.  If your pistol breaks you will be glad that you did. We suggest a striker fired pistol with a consistent trigger press in 9mm if you have the option. We have decades of experience using and training police officers with double action autos, cocked and locked 1911s and revolvers.  We do not recommend these systems for the new defensive shooter.  They are more complex in their manipulation, or have two different methods of trigger action or their long double action triggers can be difficult to manage.  If you bring one of these guns we know how to train you with it. You will however work harder than you would if you brought one of the pistols that we suggest.


Magazines– minimum of three functional, reliable high capacity magazines are required for semi auto pistols.  If you have only two magazines the class will be waiting for you to reload one of your magazines during every drill. If you have a single stack magazine pistol you will need 5 or 6 magazines rather than 3. You should probably own at least 6 magazines for every semi auto pistol that you own.  A pistol without magazines is almost useless.  Magazines get lost in combat and they break.  Three high capacity magazines will be required for the class.  Six are recommended for general ownership.


Holster-Belt holster carried on the primary side, pistol butt to the rear, leather or kydex, made specifically for the pistol being used, no generic and no nylon holsters.  We prefer Kydex holsters for range work and we strongly suggest a vertical draw and not a canted holster. If the package states that the holster will work for” the following list of pistols,” you can bet the holster will not suffice.  No shoulder or cross draw holsters for range safety.  Blade Tech and Galco holsters generally work well. Our good friend and fellow instructor Thomas Erickson is local and makes excellent concealed carry holsters. Joe Cardon Holsters makes quality custom holsters at a reasonable price and Joe is also local.  Due to the number of people who have accidentally shot themselves while drawing from the popular holster which has a plastic tab to unlock the pistol we cannot allow its use in our classes. If you have a question about this please call us.

STUDENTS MUST READ this article on Handgun Selection & Holster selection.

Eye Protection- clear and shaded shooting glasses     


Glove for Your Support Hand-With exposed fingers to protect the support hand during manipulation and skip loading drills.  The glove should be thin in the palm.

This is another must have item.


Small Pocket Note Book- For taking notes on the range and in the class room on day two.


Belt- A wide thick belt that will fit and fill your belt loops and accommodate your holster will be required.


Trousers with wide belt loops- such as cargo trousers or Levis


Speed Loaders– minimum of three functional, reliable speed loaders for double action revolvers


Cartridge Loops– ammunition carrier for revolvers in the appropriate caliber for

revolvers only


Magazine Pouch- At least one, appropriate for the pistol magazines being utilized

It should be cut low exposing about half of the magazine.  It may be leather or kydex but not nylon.


Dummy Rounds- “A-Zoombrand in the appropriate caliber. A minimum of 16 and 20is better for auto pistols and 18 for revolvers.  Essentialfor manipulation drills and skip loading drills.  Due to breakage and malfunctions caused by using Tipton dummy rounds those will not be accepted for use in our class.  We have also witnessed accidental discharges which occurred because other dummy rounds being used could not be easily distinguished from live rounds when observed in the feed way during a chamber check.


Note: In every class someone asks if they may use some type of dummy rounds other than A-Zoom.  If it were not essential to our teaching methodology and the progress of the class we would not ask you to spend the money. You need a minimum of 16 and more would be better as some will no doubt be lost on the live fire range.  We suggest that you paint the tip of the nose of the bullets in the dummy rounds so that they will be easier to find on the range and yours can be identified from those of other shooters.  In every class someone will call and ask, “Do I really need 16-20 dummy rounds, they are expensive?”  Skip Loading is a corner stone of our program and one of the primary reasons that we are so much more successful at teaching marksmanship than other schools.  If they were not essential to our training methodology, we would not ask you to spend the money.  Without them you will be unable to participate in 80 percent of the training.  A quality pistol, hundreds of rounds of ammunition, a holster, magazine pouch, cleaning equipment, night sites, a belt, tuition, etc could easily cost $2,000.  Yet shooters will balk at spending $60 or $70 for this essential item, the value of which they will soon learn.  Thank you for your understanding.   These items are indispensible and this issue is not negotiable.   Note also if you paint the entire bullet of the dummy rounds they will become lodged in the firing chamber.


Dress in Layers: so that you can adapt to changing temperatures


Boots- or sturdy shoes, high tops providing ankle protection preferred.  We are off the concrete.  There are rocks and occasionally snakes.


Chair– Folding or Camping chair


Baseball Cap- A cap or hat, not a visor and make sure it is compatible with your head set and your shooting glasses.


Mosquito Repellent- Optional


Sun Block- Strongly suggested


Sun Shade- Umbrella or Awningoptional– Beware of strong wind gusts.


Lunch- You may leave the range for lunch but it is not normally recommended.  Lunch is a time to relax and not rush to get back on time.


Water- We suggest a gallon of drinking water plus sports drinks for electrolytes


Optional Item-Fire Extinguisher- If you have a fire extinguisher or two please bring them.  The possibility of starting a fire with the type of ammunition and targets that we use is almost zero, but due to the recent wild fires we wish to err on the side of caution.  If we have 8 or 10 fire extinguishers shovels and water we should be able to stop a problem before it gets out of hand.  Fire can start from a hot exhaust pipe.  For P2-P4


Pistol 3-4

All items listed for Pistol 1 and Pistol 2 plus the following:


Ammunition- Approximately 250 rounds (classes will vary) of reliable, accurate, factory ammunition, no Russian or reloaded ammunition, no tracer ammunition or steel core bullets.  We have had serious problems with some “factory loads.” We do not recommend “no name or brand X ammunition.  We recently had a factory 9mm cartridge rupture blowing the magazine out of the pistol, damaging the magazine beyond repair and stinging the shooters hand. We have had factory .40 ammunition break up in the barrel and hit the target as a bunch of fragments.  As a result we strongly suggest that you consider bringing only Winchester, Remington, Federal or CCI practice ammunition.  We have also had nothing but problems with clients bringing reloaded ammunition.  Yours may be great but the problems have been so serious that we have had to stop classes and send everyone to the store to buy factory ammunition so that we could continue the class.  As a result we were forced to adopt this policy. No reloads.

Hearing protection- Rubber (not foam) ear plugs on a string and a muff type head set

Note: Foam ear plugs must be squeezed and compacted with your fingers in order to get them into your ear canal. Your fingers will be contaminated with airborne lead and Mercury.  The time required to compact your ear plugs perhaps 50 times a day adds up. Often shooters will have difficulty compressing their foam ear plugs and cannot get them to properly enter the ear canal while the class stands ready and waits.  The soft rubber tapered ear plugs (with multiple flanges) are easy and quick to insert. They do not require you to touch them with your contaminated fingers. If the use of foam ear plugs had not been a constant hindrance in the past we would not insist on a specific type of plug.  You may buy these at Wal Mart or most any sporting goods or gun store.

Note: Any questions regarding equipment please call us at 801-669-1886


Larry and Stacey Mudgett

“Marksmanship Matters”




6 center hits at 10 yards