NRA Defensive Pistol

NRA Defensive Pistol


About this course

Course Description: This course was developed by the NRA to develop the knowledge, skills and attitude to carry and use a concealed pistol ethically, responsibly and with confidence. It is a subset of the material taught in the NRA Personal Protection Outside the Home course.


Even though the state of Texas no longer requires permit holders to re-qualify, we believe that annual re-training is important to maintain skills. The lecture portion of this course will include analysis of recent armed citizen incidents, law changes and other information, updated each time the course is presented. The range portion will include 100+ rounds of practice in defensive pistol skills, a 34 round qualification course, and an optional 20 round pocket gun shooting test.


This course is part of our 40 hour Defensive Pistol Skills Program.


Topics: Importance of carrying and using a pistol responsibly and ethically, safe gun handling, principles of concealment, presenting (drawing) and reholstering the pistol from concealment, mental awareness, defensive mindset, avoidance techniques, psychological and physiological changes during an attack, flash sight picture, reload under stress, clear common stoppages, shoot targets at varying distances, move off the line of attack, NRA Defensive Pistol Certificate qualification shooting test, and pocket pistols.


All these topics will be covered at the review/refresher level. Students that have no prior training in these topics should take Basic Pistol 2, Texas CHL, Defensive Pistol Skills 1 and Defensive Pistol Skills 2 prior to attending this refresher-level course.


For prices and upcoming course dates, check the schedule page.


Prerequisites: Texas CHL (or equivalent) and a minimum of 8 hours formal handgun training that includes instruction in drawing from a holster and reloading under stress. Examples include completion of Basic Pistol 2/Beyond the Basics and Defensive Pistol Skills 1, or completion of Defensive Pistol Skills 1 and Defensive Pistol Skills 2. Safe completion of an IPSC, IDPA, Steel Challenge or 3-gun competition also meets the minimum requirements.


Required Equipment:

  • Quality pistol appropriate for concealed carry, .380 caliber or greater, prefer 9mm/.38 special or larger
  • Quality strong side or appendix belt holster. Must cover trigger and trigger guard. Holster should not collapse or require reassembly (Versacarry) to reholster pistol. SERPA holsters not allowed. Other retention holsters are acceptable but not required or recommended for concealed carry.
  • Quality belt, designed to hold the weight of a firearm, spare magazine(s) and holster
  • Quality factory ammunition suitable for practice. Minimum of 150 rounds, recommend 200. Brass, nickel and steel-cased ammo acceptable. Alumimum cased ammo not allowed at the A-Zone facility.
  • 2-3 spare magazines or speedloaders with appropriate pouches, sufficient to shoot 20+ rounds of drills without having to refill magazines/speedloaders.
  • Clothing appropriate for concealed carry
  • Eye and ear protection – recommend electronic hearing protection


Optional Equipment: A pocket pistol carried in a pocket holster, gun purse, fanny pack, ankle holster or other secure method, and 20 rounds of ammunition for that gun. See the general policies page for suggestions on food, drink, clothing, etc.


Taught by: Karl Rehn


Facility: A-Zone Range


Additional information: As part of the course, students will receive copies of all of the following:

  • NRA Guide to the Basics of Personal Protection Outside the Home
  • NRA Concealed Carry Holster Guide
  • NRA Defensive Pistol Qualification Worksheet
  • NRA Defensive Pistol Module Course Evaluation
  • NRA Defensive Pistol Certificate
  • Pocket Pistol Comparison Chart


Those passing the final shooting test will receive an NRA Defensive Pistol Qualification certificate. All others will receive an attendance certificate.

Class Instructors


Course Schedule


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