Handgun 101

Handgun 101: The fundamentals, Intro to handgun, First steps pistol

Course ID: Handgun101

Time: 3 hours total ( 2 hours class room, 1 hour shooting range )

We offer this class in public and private classes.  Please contact us directly to set up a private class, for private classes we can highly customize this class for your needs and schedule. 

Topics covered:

Parts and Operation: Explain the different parts of a pistol and how they work on a variety of handguns.

Firearm Safety: We break down firearm safety into 3 basic easy-to-understand rules.  If you follow these rules, there is no possibility for you to ever hurt yourself or anyone else by accident.


  • Position:  We explain how to assume the correct shooting position.  This enables you to be able to shoot faster and more accurately, as well as, setting you up for moving and shooting in our more advanced classes.
  • Grip: An important aspect of shooting that is often overlooked and implemented incorrectly.  We will teach you how to perform the most effective grip for recoil management and accuracy.
  • Aiming: Sight alignment, Sight picture, Arc of movement:  Understanding the concepts behind aiming and how to execute the appropriate action will be the difference between hitting your target and missing it altogether!
  • Trigger control: Flinching is a natural reaction when the loud noise and recoil of a firearm occurs, which will negatively affect your accuracy. This is the most prevalent problem we see with shooters overall.  With proper training and teaching methods, we can help you overcome this instinctive reaction and reveal your best shooting ability.
  • Follow through: Following through on each shot enables a shooter to make multiple shots faster, eliminating any wasted time between each shot.  We discuss how to achieve this proper technique and its enormous importance in self-defense, hunting and competition shooting.


Pistol and Equipment selection: How to select the correct firearm and equipment to fit your needs.    Buying a pistol is like buying shoes, in that there is not any one size-fits-all pistol.   With thousands of different pistol selections available we discuss some of the most practical for self-defense, concealed carry, recreational shooting, etc.  We provide several recommendations and features you will want based on your custom needs and fit.   We discuss many aspects ranging from reliability, features, caliber and budget, just to name a few.  We uniquely give our clients an advantage to “test drive” our expansive assortment of popular pistols.  The firearm industry typically does not allow returns after purchase; therefore, giving our customers the ability to discover their pistol preference prior to purchase is a valuable service.

Ammunition: Discussion of different varieties of ammunition and caliber, along with the proper selection process is integrated in this course.  Depending on the caliber selected can make a substantial difference in comfort, recoil, and budget. Buyer’s remorse can be avoided with proper education.

Firearm & Ammunition Malfunctions: How to identify and safely handle malfunctions.

Pistol Storage, Cleaning, Maintenance: Multiple safe storage options explained, as well as how to properly clean your firearm. 

Practice marksmanship at the range: Emphasis on accuracy and safety at the range, while developing good habits for more advanced training in the future.  At the range you will receive advice specific to your weak areas in a logical and friendly manner.  We believe in courtesy and logic and our instructors don’t carry a big ego or attitude to get in your way of learning the proper technique to achieve your maximum potential.

*This class is good for anyone; no experience required.  If you have never had formal training on handguns or marksmanship, this class would be a great fit for you.

Equipment needed: 

Range fee $10-12 dollars.  

Only wear closed toe shoes. 

Please dress appropriate for weather: Hat/sunglasses for sun and bring water if over 80 outside.  Women please wear high cut shirts only.

50 rounds of 9mm US Manufactured brass cased,Eye and Ear protection plugs and ear covers recommended

* If you do not own a pistol do not buy before attending this course!  We will freely provide pistols for your use and allow you test fire many popular handguns and go over the best handguns depending on your needs. We also cover what firearms to avoid and why.(See Pistol & Equipment Selection below)   If you do not own a pistol please bring 50 rounds of 9mm US manufactured brass cased ammo so you can test out our pistols.  

*If you already own a pistol please bring the pistol, magazines, cleaning kit, owners manual and at least 50 rounds of U.S. commercial brass ammo for your specific caliber of firearm.  If you also wish to try out our pistols please bring 50 rounds of 9mm US manufactured brass cased ammo.

Pistol Training Info

This course designed to provide a hands-on introduction to the safe handling and proper orientation

to one specific pistol action type(semi-auto or revolver).   This course is at least three hours long

and includes classroom and range time learning to shoot a specific pistol action type.

Students will learn hands on:

  • NRA’s rules for safe gun handling
  • The particular pistol model parts and operation
  • Ammunition; shooting fundamentals
  • Factors in selecting a pistol
  • Cleaning the pistol
  • Continued opportunities for skill development with your pistol


Please make sure you have done the following prior to class:

Place a deposit or payment for you seat by clicking the register button for your appropriate class,

and date. Registration page Click here


What do I need to bring?

  • Pen and paper for notes
  • If you dont have a firearm no problem we will provide use of our firearms .22 cal and 9mm at no extra
  • charge!  We will also provide the ammo for our firearms at no extra charge!


  • If you have a firearm please bring:
  • Pistol & 50 rounds of ammo for your gun (if you dont have a gun you can use ours)
  • If your bringing your pistol also bring your cleaning kit and owners manual for your gun.
  • Ammo must be commercial quality Examples: Winchester, Federal, Blazer, CCI, Speer, Remington,
  • Fiocchi, Hornandy, PMC, Black Hills

Ammo NOT allowed: Any reloads, Monarch, Magtech

  • Eye and Ear protection:If you do not have you may rent/buy at the range.
  • $10 dollars cash for your range fee. Almost all ranges only take cash so have this on hand.


Location: Where?

Alamo Defense teaches many different classes at many different locations so to ensure you have the

right location click on the List of Classes Page and find your class and then click on the text to the

 right of Location for your class.



Go to link above and click as indicated in the picture below: