About this course
Course Description: Learn the history of handgun training & technique, 1930-present day.
This course is part of our 40 hour Defensive Pistol Skills Program.
- key figures in handgun technique development
- essential books, decade by decade
- historical shooting drills
- historical qualification courses of fire
- relative difficulty of historical training standards
- comparison of shooter performance (historical vs. present day)
This course will present a chronological history of handgun skills and drills, paired with the guns most commonly associated with those skills and drills. Lecture material will focus on the most influential shooters and trainers from different eras, and their specific contributions to the field of defensive handgunning. Additionally, the 2 day course will include a session in which students re-shoot some of the historical drills using whatever firearm and technique they believe will give them the highest score on the drill, to compare the relative differences between historical and modern skills.
Length: Offered in 2 and 4 hour lecture, 1/2 day live fire, 1 day and 2 day format
2 and 4 hour lecture only format
1/2 day shooting only, no lecture, shot with one firearm type
1 day format is shooting and part lecture, shot with one firearm type.
The full 2 day course includes all the drills and all the lecture material. Students can use a single handgun for the course, or bring additional guns to qualify for the 2-gun and 4-gun challenge coins (details below).
The 2 day is also available as two stand alone 1 day courses. The two 1 day courses can be taken in any order.
Prerequisites: Prior training in, or completion of any match or event in which drawing from a holster was required.
Required Equipment: Handgun, enough speedloaders or magazines to shoot 30 rounds of drills, eye and ear protection, a pen, 400 rounds of ammunition (1/2 and 1 day), 800 rounds of ammunition (2 day).
All drills can be shot with a single firearm. You don’t need all 4 guns listed below to attend any version of the course.
Optional Equipment (2 day): double action revolver (.38/.357), 1911 style pistol (.45 ACP), double action/single action pistol (9 mm or .40 caliber), striker fired polymer pistol (9 mm). Each pistol will be used for approximately 25% of the course, used for drills from periods & schools associated with that pistol type and caliber.
Students that bring a revolver and semiauto and complete the 2 day course will be eligible for a 2-gun coin, those taking the 2 day course using all 4 firearm types will receive a 4-gun coin.
Additional awards will be given to students that pass all the qualification courses of fire in the course, including a class Top Gun award for 1-gun, 2-gun and 4-gun students.
See the general policies page for suggestions on food, drink, clothing, etc.
Taught by: Karl Rehn
Facility: A-Zone Range & road locations
For prices and upcoming course dates, check the schedule page.
Completion of this course using all 4 handgun types is highly recommended for handgun instructors, who should be familiar with the history of their profession, key figures and their contributions, historical and current techniques, and be proficient with all 4 commonly used firearm types.
Related blog posts and podcast interviews about this course:
- Rangemaster Tactical Conference 2018 AAR
- Ballistic Radio interview Sept 2017
- Polite Society podcast August 2017
- Sept 2017 1 day class AAR
- Fairbairn and Sykes book review
- Paul Weston book review
- Aug 2017 1/2 day class AAR
- 1945 FBI course of fire
- more about 1945 FBI course of fire
- Sixguns and Bullseyes book review