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Basic Pistol




8 hours

About the Course

For the 16-hour Initial Permit training requirement, you will take two 8-hour courses, CCW Foundations and Basic Pistol. Classes can be taken in any order, but for new shooters we recommend taking Basic Pistol before the CCW Foundations class.

Anybody can carry a pistol with minimal knowledge, but not everyone has the skills to accurately use the gun in a stressful self-defense situation. The goal of this course is to improve your ability to defend yourself and to improve your confidence. 



This 8-hour class is applicable for three groups of people:

  1. Those who own a pistol and just want to increase their proficiency and confidence

  2. Those seeking to obtain a CCW and wish to make their CCW qualification a fun day instead of a dreaded one

  3. Those who have already obtained their CCW permit, but wish to improve their skill level.

Basic Pistol covers the following topics:

  1. Grip, stance, sights and trigger control

  2. Reloading with efficiency and speed

  3. Clearing stoppages in minimal time with two hands

  4. Drawing from outside-the-waistband with maximum efficiency and minimal time

  5. Tools to confidently pass CCW qualification without fear or worry​


Required equipment:

  • Handgun with

    2+ magazines

  • 350 rounds of ammunition

  • Eye and ear protection

  • You must have an outside-the-waistband holster (Inside-the-waistband, appendix or SERPA holsters (index finger retention systems)  are not allowed on the range. You will not be allowed to participate in class and you will forfeit your class fee. No exceptions.)


Your Instructor

Dan Butler and Barry Grove

Dan Butler and Barry Grove

Dan retired from federal law enforcement after 24 years of service. He is skilled in crisis management, criminal investigation, intelligence, and law enforcement training. His assignments included SWAT Senior Team Leader (tactical commander), Weapons of Mass Destruction Coordinator, Chairman of the Bay Area Terrorism Working Group (BATWinG) and Supervisory Special Agent. Over the last 20 years, he has provided tactical/firearms instruction to hundreds of local, federal, and foreign law enforcement officers. He is certified as a firearms instructor by multiple agencies including the California Department of Justice. Dan has a Ph.D in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of California and is a nationally-registered Emergency Medical Technician (EMT).

Barry retired after serving 30 years as a prosecutor for the Contra Costa District Attorney’s Office. During his career, he has reviewed hundreds of self-defense and officer-involved shooting cases. To better understand the limits of human performance with a handgun, he completed firearms training with several local police departments and the FBI.  He educated numerous California police agencies regarding use-of-force and was recognized as an expert in this area when he retired in early 2021. Barry sought instruction from top competitive shooters and Grandmasters such as Bruce Gray, Ron Avery, Mike Seeklander, Frank Proctor and Mike Pannone. He continues to shoot competitively and seek out advanced training opportunities. He is currently the range master at the United Sportsmen Incorporated shooting range in Concord. He is an NRA-certified Basic Pistol Instructor and Range Safety Officer. He is also a California DOJ Certified Firearms Instructor.  He owns "The Better Method Handgun Instruction, LLC."  Barry is also a member of the attorney network at the USCCA.

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