By Kerrin Brinkman | March 17 2011 13:45

Here's a note from John Howard, NRA's National Instructor Trainer, on revisions to the Basic Pistol Course outline and lesson plans.

John Howard updates Instructors on revisions to the Basic Pistol Course As promised last year, we have revised the Basic Pistol Course outline and lesson plans. In previous Basic Pistol lesson plans, the shooting portion required students to repeat the multi-shot exercise until instructors were comfortable with their performance. The vast majority take great pride in their role as NRA Certified Instructors and place very reasonable expectations on their students to ensure they are able to shoot well prior to receiving an NRA Certificate.

Therefore, the objective had worked properly as indicated, until recently. We have been notified on several occasions by students that received a certificate, but did not feel confident in their shooting skills. They indicated that they took the course for their "carry permit" and only fired a few rounds in their class. The specific revisions are on pages III-7 through III-9 and incorporates an actual "skill standard" that must be met by students before moving onto the next step, and most importantly, before receiving an NRA Basic Pistol course completion certificate.

Watch for this change to be implemented in every NRA Basic Firearm Training course as they become due for reprint. In a nutshell, the optional shooting skill requirement that is currently in the basic practical rocker worksheet will become a standard skill requirement in each basic shooting discipline. People expect a high level of quality from training programs bearing the NRA name, and we cannot lose focus on the goal of any NRA Basic Firearm Training course: "To Teach the Basic Knowledge, Skills, and Attitude to own and use (the specific firearm) safely."

As NRA Instructors, it is imperative that your students feel confident in handling their firearms and that they develop the skill to be able to group their shots in the center of their targets with consistency before they receive your endorsement. We have placed these pages at your sign-in screen at under "Useful links for instructors" as Basic Pistol LP Revision 2-2011. Please print it and replace it in your Basic Pistol Course outline and lesson plans.

Thanks for the update, John! If you have questions about these revisions, contact the Training Department at


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