How to Choose the Right NRA Basic Pistol Course

One of the most important parts of owning any firearm is learning how to operate it safely and effectively. The NRA hosts many safety and operating courses for various firearms, and the NRA basic pistol course is one of their most popular options. One of the reasons for this is because many people want to buy firearms for personal protection, and pistols are very popular option for self-defense due to their small size and ease of use. Pistols are also a popular option for teaching teenagers and children about the proper ways to handle firearms since they’re smaller and easier to control and carry around than rifles or shotguns. If you’re interested in taking an NRA basic pistol course, follow this guide to find the right NRA basic pistol course for you in your area.


Choosing a NRA Basic Pistol Course

Below we outline the factors you should keep in mind when looking for a NRA pistol course.

Gauging Your Needs and Preferences

Everyone is different when it comes to their needs and preferences in selecting a NRA basic pistol course. You’ll need to keep several factors in mind when making your selection to ensure that you’re attending a course that suits your needs.

Do You Currently Own a Pistol?

Some people want to take classes such as the NRA basic pistol course to start their journey on becoming knowledgeable and skilled in the safe use of firearms before they decide to purchase a firearm for themselves. This is a perfectly understandable and smart decision. However, you may be worried that your lack of a firearm may prevent you from taking part in the NRA basic pistol course. Most courses hosted by the NRA provide all of the necessary materials such as guns, ammo, ear and eye protection, targets and more to ensure that everyone can take the class no matter if they currently own a firearm or not. If you do have a pistol of your own, you’re allowed to bring it to the course. Many people are more comfortable bringing their own firearms because they usually know how they’ll react and how well they operate while shooting.


If you’re on a tight budget, you’ll need to keep cost in mind while selecting a NRA basic pistol course. Prices for NRA basic pistol courses and run between $65 to $200 and up. This can be an even bigger issue if you intend on taking the course with your family.


Some people go into gun courses knowing little to nothing about guns while others go in with a fairly decent amount of information and skill. While basic pistol courses usually don’t tread into territory that is too difficult, some courses offer more technical material with longer and slightly tougher written and live fire tests in addition to the sheer basics. If you want the bare basics, you can benefit from both types of class as long as you feel that you can tackle the tougher challenges. If you’re slightly more knowledgeable, you might benefit more from the more technical course.


Some areas have more options available to them than others when it comes to the location of the classes. The nearest class could be right down the road or over an hour away. You’ll need to take note of the location of the class to ensure that you can get there on time and to ensure that going to class won’t interfere with anything else that you need to do such as work or taking care of children.

Finding the Right Course Near You

Keeping all of the previously mentioned guidelines in mind, you’ll need to find a quality course that suits these needs in your local area. Gun courses are held all over the country, so there’s bound to be some good options near you. However, you can find the best local NRA basic pistol course through these methods.

Ask Your Friends or Family

If your circle of friends or family members have partaken in courses such as basic pistol courses in the past or if they’re particularly knowledgeable about local gun organizations and classes, ask them about their opinions on where you should go for your course. While the content of the course is generally the same, there could be closer locations, better teachers, better equipment and more at different locations. You can usually rely on your close friends and family to give you honest opinions about matters such as these, so it’s a good idea to get their opinions before selecting a course on your own.

Ask Local Gun Shop Owners or Gun Club Staff Members

If you don’t have any close friends or family with an interest in firearms or if you want a more professional consult, ask your local gun shop own or gun club staff members for their personal preferences or opinions about local gun courses. They may even be able to suggest classes that you’ve never heard about before that may cater to your needs better.

Do a Search on the NRA Instructors Website

The NRA Instructors website offers a full list of local gun courses in your area that can be filtered by type and location. For instance, if you’re looking for a basic pistol course within 25 miles of your home, simply input your zip code, select the courses that you’re interested in and start the search engine. You’ll be given a list of available courses in your area with full descriptions of the cost, starting date for the class, a short description of what the course entails, contact information for additional questions and more. You’ll also be given a link to Google Maps showing the location of the class to allow you to get quick and easy directions if you choose that particular course.


Finding the right NRA basic pistol course for you can be simple as long as you follow this guide. The basic pistol course is a great way to get started in the world of pistols or firearms as a whole. Just remember that no matter which course you choose the most important things to keep in mind are to be safe, pay attention and have fun.

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