what to expect from CHL class?


December 22, 2006, 02:26 PM
well i just signed up for my CHL class. It s a two day course 5 hours each.

what distance do I have to shoot at? is it a good idea to bring a gun you havent shot yet? If the distance is only 7yds, then I am ok. thanks

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December 22, 2006, 02:32 PM
For uncool guys like me, what does CHL stand for?

December 22, 2006, 02:38 PM
Also known as
CCW = Concealed Carry Weapon
CPL = Concealed Pistol License
CPP = Concealed Pistol Permit

. . . and more that I don't immediately recall.

December 22, 2006, 02:41 PM
You'll enjoy it. Don't worry about the shooting part.
You start at three yards, shoot a few, then the instructor will move you back to seven yards, shoot a few more, then back to the fifteen yard line to shoot the last bunch for a total of fifty rounds. You will have a generous time limit for each string of shots, so don't worry about it. Most shoot the required number of rounds and are surprised by the amount of time they have remaining before the buzzer sounds again. When I was an instructor here in Texas, I never had a student not make the required score to qualify. Have fun.:)

edited for speelinnng...

December 22, 2006, 02:41 PM
I'd make sure whatever gun you're bringing is reliable. There were a couple of people on the line when I did my CHL qualification whose pistols jammed up a couple of times every mag. If you're bringing a DA/SA gun, make sure you can shoot it well using the DA trigger.

Course of fire is 20 rds at 3 yards, 20 rds at 7 yards, and 10 rds at 15 yards at silhouette targets. As BB93YJ noted, there's plenty of time, and it's pretty difficult to not qualify.

Wesson Smith
December 22, 2006, 02:54 PM
Just my 2 cents, but I'd practice with the weapon you wish to qualify with beforehand. Bur first off, be ready to sit through some long, but interesting classroom instruction. If your instructor is worth his/her salt, a good portion of the class will center on a) gun safety and b) liability issues. The wriiten test is a piece of cake, even if you are new to firearms and shooting, as long as you pay attention in the class. The shooting qualification is almost equally as easy, if you have practiced. And I will add that you must practice one-handed technique, both natural and off-hand. I believe the qualifying target distances in my state were nine, twenty-one and thirty feet. In any event, it was close-quarters oriented. If it makes you less aprehensive, only one person in my class had to take the course over. Good luck & enjoy!

December 22, 2006, 03:36 PM
That's crazy they are so long and you have to qualify in some states.
Mine was 3 hours in a classroom-type setting, no shooting. A buddy and I decided to do it on a whim when leaving a gun show since the next class was about to start. It was mostly about legal aspects with a little talk about holster and gun choice.

December 22, 2006, 04:34 PM
It depends on the instructor. I have had two CCW courses. The first one was great. He went into the laws, situations, different types of fire arms and calibers, and was an excellent range master.

The second class I took, was more along the lines of some old guy bitching about stuff and then telling stories. 2 days, and I ended up feeling sorry for the other class members that wanted to learn something.

December 22, 2006, 04:49 PM
Fellow member and Texan LawDog just went through a CHL class recently. Here is a rundown of what you may have to look forward to.:D


December 22, 2006, 04:54 PM
I see your in Texas. When you take the class. Qualify with the automatic. Not with a revolver. This way when you get your CHL, you can carry either. If you use a revlover, you can only carry a revolver. Something you might take into account.
I also see you like the 460. You can use that, remembering the above. Depending where you qualify, you can rent a auto/revolver from them as well, has to be .32 cal. or larger.

December 22, 2006, 04:56 PM
CHL = Concealed Handgun License


Also known as

CCW = Concealed Carry Weapon
CPL = Concealed Pistol License
CPP = Concealed Pistol Permit

Be careful with that. Here in Ohio It's a CHL, because it is hanndguns only that we can carry. A CCW could mean any type of concealed firearm.

December 22, 2006, 04:56 PM
I noticed the reference to LawDog's blog... yeah... watch out for Ricky Rambunny.:D

Molon Labe
December 22, 2006, 11:17 PM
Hopefully it won't be like the CCW class I took:



December 23, 2006, 12:37 AM
hehe, thanks for the advice guys. I will try to qualify with the cz 75 in 9mm.
a friend of mine told me to stay all the way to the left so I dont get hit my flying brass, HAHA.

LOL @ the comment for the .460

I just called them up and they said the minimum caliber is .380 auto and to bring a box of 50.

thanks again!

and molon labe, sorry to hear what you had to go through. good thing you made it out alive.

Prince Yamato
December 23, 2006, 12:56 AM
I took the Texas test too. A couple things to remember:

*Make sure that if you make a mistake on a form, you get a new one OR you cross out your mistake with ONE line, so that they can read your mistake, then right the correct word/number ABOVE your mistake. (sounds silly, but damn if there aren't like 1000 pages to fill out)

*Make sure to review the penalties for firearms offenses. I missed 2 out of 50 questions on the written exam and they both had to do with what was a felony vs. a midemeanor.

*When you bring your 50 rounds of ammo, make sure it's in the stryofoam holder and not just bouncing around freely (that way it's easier to count how many bullets you take out to put in your magazine during the firing test. One guy... brought a Walmart Winchester 100 pack. He kind of had to fumble around.

*Make sure your semi-auto is in clean working order for the shooting part of the exam. Note, I said semi-auto testing with a revolver in Texas is worthless, because that's all you'll be allowed to carry. Test with a semi, so you can carry both.

December 23, 2006, 01:03 AM
oh yeah, thanks for bring that up again. I sold my revolver last week, I had intentions of using it and now im glad I didnt. I wouldnt have known.

as for the tests, there is only one written test right? i am in houston, tx btw and plan on taking it at TOPGUNRANCE.com

December 23, 2006, 01:07 AM
Someone already suggested you practice with your qualifying weapon. That's great advice.
The other thing is, when you're required to shoot multi shot strings at 3, 7, and 15 yards, don't be nervous, and TAKE YOUR TIME. You'll have several seconds to complete the shots. Even if you take your time you'll have plenty of it (time). Take the time to get a good sight picture and acquire your target. You'll probably outscore everyone in your class.
When I qualified, my classmates let go with a really fast and incredibly inaccurate barrage. At any rate, they still qualified because scoring is pretty easy. Not that it matters, but I had the best score in my class, and I'm a mediocre shot at best.
Some of the classroom work may seem a little slow, but pay close attention to it all. You never know when some of that knowledge may come in handy.

Prince Yamato
December 23, 2006, 01:18 AM
There's one written test. 50 multi-choice questions. Not difficult. You'll pass. Don't worry. Shooting test is also not difficult. Basically, you'd have to TRY to fail to fail the written and shooting exams.

December 23, 2006, 01:28 AM
thanks guys, but what does mdao mean when he says shooting double action?

does it mean i need to learn how to shoot the first shot with a long trigger pull? or having the hammer cocked all the way and open fire? if it is the longer trigger pull, i will need to shoot with the 1911.

December 23, 2006, 01:59 AM
I'm not real sure what the legally mandated qualifications are in NC, but my instructor made me use both a revolver and a semi. I also had to shoot from "ready" (unholstered, firearm down at thigh/waist) in rapid fire, but only fire 4 shots, 3 shots, or 5 shots, depending on what he asked.
I was also required to clean both the revolver and semi while he watched and later inspected.
My instructor also took me to the skeet range, using both an auto 12 gauge and a pump pistol grip.

I was completely new to firearms, it was his range. He went above and beyond to teach me (he's retired FBI). He filled out the paperwork for me to qualify. He did the same for my mom years later.
I guess he feels the mandates weren't enough for him and he exceeded them.
I have learned many different things from him (shooting from cover, defensive tactics, moving targets, multiple targets, malfunctions, reloads, short magazines, etc.) from him at no charge.

Basic qualification is a breeze (practice off hand though).
The classroom stuff is stale, but PAY ATTENTION.
Forget you know anything about guns.
Don't waste time discussing specific firearm choices (9mm vs. 45, Glock vs 1911, etc.).
Don't dream up all kinds of scenarios in class.
Don't "what if" about laws.
Don't "I knew a guy...." or "someone told me....".
Don't be afraid to ask a "dumb" question (someone else wondered too, but was too ignorant to ask).
Don't be the "know-it-all".
Learn what they teach, how they teach. Don't confuse classmates with differing theories or methods.
Your goal is to qualify, not to argue, hypothesize or teach.
There will be all those I described in almost every class.
Don't be that guy.
If you really feel you need to be "that guy", please, do so after class so as not to subject others trying to learn the basics.

December 23, 2006, 08:33 AM
I'm sure you must know that you can actually apply for that CHL online right here (http://www.texasonline.state.tx.us/NASApp/txdps/chl/common/jsp/selectTask.jsp).

Obviously you still have to complete the other requirements, such as the class.

edit: A quick edit to say that the above simply mentioned as a point of interest. I don't have a CHL and am not particularly interested at this time. I am not an expert concerning the process.

December 23, 2006, 08:54 AM
I just took the NRA basic pistol course last week which qualifies you to obtain your CCW here in Maine. I'm not sure how your class will compare to the course I took but I am guessing it will be relatively similar.

The instructor was a really great former LEO. He was extremely safety conscious. He checked every weapon every time he picked it up. He was extremely conscious of muzzle control. And before any student was allowed to handle a firearm on the range each and every one of us had to go up in front of the class, pick up and identify the type of weapon and caliber, and then clear both a semi-auto and a revolver while maintaing control of the muzzle. I know this stuff sounds basic but he drilled it into everyones head from the first minute of the class and I never once felt nervous.

I went into the class with the wrong attitude. I thought it would be dull and boring. It was a bit dull at times but the majority of it was fun and interesting. The instructor made it very enjoyable so it was really worth it to me. There is a lot of really basic beginner stuff but it is designed around someone who has never picked up a pistol before. But like I said my instructor was great so I didn't mind a bit.

The range time was really the icing on the cake! I brought my P22 and shot the first two stages with that. The instructor then asked if I would like to use his High Standard for the next two stages! How could I say no? I shot that pistol better than any I have ever shot before. It was awesome! I gotta have one.

The best thing of it all though? I struck up a friendship with the instructor. We exchanged phone numbers and e-mails and I now have a new shooting buddy.

I would say if the class provides the firearms then use theirs. Particularly if you have never shot yours before. Also, if you can try to go into with an open mind and a good attitude. Nothing ruins a class for me more than someone who is cocky, knows it all, has X handguns, see Lawdogs blog referenced above. The shooting will be fairly easy and if you have a good instructor they will coach you through it. Most importantly, have fun!

Spreadfire Arms
December 23, 2006, 08:06 PM
i am a CHL instructor and as long as you pay attention to the class you should pass just fine (academically). the test is not that difficult and is multiple choice, but again you should pay attention to the course material. it isn't SO easy that you can pass cold turkey.

the qualification is 3 to 15 yards. 20 rounds at the 3 yard, 20 rounds at the 7 yard, and 10 rounds at the 15 yard line. not a difficult course of fire but you should be competent with your pistol and be able to clear any jams or FTF/FTE, etc. you have 3 attempts to pass. i've never had to have anyone go more than once on the qualification, but you never know.

i'd also check on the DPS webpage to make sure you qualify for all of the requirements. i know one or two that didn't qualify because they defaulted on a student loan awhile back and thus didn't qualify.

if that is the case, you can always take your Certificate of Completion for the course and use it to apply for a Florida CWP which has reciprocity in Texas.

December 23, 2006, 08:32 PM

^^ does the link above need to be done before taking the CHL class? or is it either or? thanks

December 23, 2006, 09:19 PM
First: can you handle your gun safely? If not, have someone coach you. Be safe. Know your stuff. The instructor will be helpful, but probably NOT have time to teach you how YOUR gun works. You need to already know how to safely load, unload, reload, fire, and safety your weapon. This is not a personal pistol course.

I would go to a range and shoot the blue man DPS target at the designated distances WITH the gun I was going to shoot for qualification BEFORE going to the school. Houston indoor ranges, including probably the one you will be shooting on, are open at night. It's OK to ask questions of anyone, but they may or may not be qualified to answer, or have the correct answer for your situation, even if they seem very positive about it. The range staff will know about the course.

Shooting is very cool, and fun! This is a fun course, but a serious course.

Course of Fire for Texas:

20 shots at 3 yards.

20 shots at 7 yards.

10 shots at 15 yards.

The shots will be fired in five shot strings. Sometimes the instructor will command five shots in X number seconds, or three shots in X number seconds, or five shots ONE at a time on command. Eventually it will add up to 50 shots, worth a maximum of five points each for a total of 250 for a perfect score. Some indoor ranges have targets that turn edge-on to you and then FACE you for the time allotted for firing. If you have never seen that before, you ought to.

My advice: Do a practice run so you will know the course the week before. At 3 yards shoot a ragged hole in the center of the target, (pick an early centered bullet hole and aim at IT), and use that for the aiming point all the way out. It helps to have an aiming point to focus on, instead of wandering around in the blue target area with your front sight.

Shooting tips? Focus on your front sight. Hold the trigger all the way to the rear after EVERY shot all the way through the shot until it comes out of recoil, then relax the trigger JUST enough to feel it reset, then start pressuring the trigger for the next shot. Keep the gun pointed downrange at all times. Guns. Downrange. Alla time.

If a VERY hot piece of .45 cal brass from the old guy in the Marine cap on the next firing point goes down your collar, sets your underarm hair on fire and starts searing a new tattoo next to the one that has MOM on it, DO NOT PANIC OR REACT....safety your weapon, drop the mag, lock the slide to the rear, carefully lay your pistol down on the mat in front of you pointing DOWNRANGE, step off the line and THEN start yelling and screaming and dancing around digging in your undermawears.

When the instructor says do something, do it. If everyone else isn't doing something, DON'T be the first. For example: If you leave your sunglasses at the 3 yard line and you have retreated to the 7 yard line, DON'T go and get them. Raise your hand and tell the instructor. Be safe.

Without being rude, don't help anyone. Let them tend to their business and you tend to yours. If their gun jams, the instructor should and will handle it. You tend to your own little red wagon.

What to wear: Plugs under muffs. They will give you safety glasses most likely if you don't already wear glasses. Or bring your own. I'd add a baseball cap to help focus and keep brass off head.

Wear a long-sleeved high-collared shirt- a turtleneck is best. Brass jumps around. Might go down collar, in pocket or decotellage during string. Plus a black turtleneck is a cool thing to wear at the range. Be cool.

Jeans or full length pants. Running shoes or full shoes or boots. No sandals. No shorts. No short sleeves. Add that hat. No gloves.

I'd personally be wearing 5.11 Royal Robbins pants with a bandana in the thigh pocket to wipe glasses. I'd have my wallet in the front pocket and my cellphone turned OFF in the other pocket. Trash goes in the back pocket. My regular glasses. A black turtleneck capilene undershirt with a CMP pocket polo shirt over it. Plugs and muffs. Texas Highpower Rifle Team ball cap with Distinguished pin and NRA High Master pin. Muffs over the hat. Desert Combat Boots.

You'll need two mags and a workable gun. For Texas bring a semi-auto for the reasons listed by others. But make sure it's a gun you can operate safely without fumbling. I'd bring the unloaded gun, 50 rounds of ammo, a hand towel, water bottle, stapler and anything else I thought of in a satchel or zip bag to the range. Sears has a nice plumbers satchel for about 13 bucks. Lowes and Home Depo have nice cheap ones. They all have a hard bottom, double handles and velcro closure on the top. Good thing to put everything in and carry it to the range. Plus: you now have a RANGE BAG!!!

You are so happening! But...........


And don't be around anyone else who does.

Sorry for yelling.

And in the classroom: be on time, be quiet, have pencil and note paper, plus all your paperwork. Don't bring food into the classroom unless the instructor permits it. Find the bathroom early. Keep your ears open. Never miss a good opportunity to keep your mouth shut. Pay attention. If you catch yourself starting to tell a long story about a dark night down on the Mekong, or once when burglars stole momma's washing machine.....quietly STOP. And start listening to the instructor again.

December 23, 2006, 09:21 PM
If your shooting test is the same as mine, you will be shooting the same silhouette target for all your shots. They count "holes" to score you, so if you shoot them all in the heart area, the holes will blurr together. So, spread them out and use the heart area for the longer distance shooting. Take your time; it's easy.

I used full loads in a 357 revolver in my state as TN does not have the semi-automatic rule vs revolver. I had only shot the gun a couple times prior to taking the class. It was a new 3" GP100. Should have used my Glock 23 as it would have been easier.

December 23, 2006, 09:30 PM
WOw, for my CPL class (Michigan) we had to shoot a few rounds (some fired less than 25 rounds) at 21 feet, from a handgun...

One guy had a Davis .32, I used a Dan Wesson 15-2HV .357 Mag and a Smith & Wesson 5904 9MM Para., one guy a 10" Taurus Raging Bull in .454 Casull, wearing a scope, there were a couple .38 Smitty J-frames, a .22 Ruger MK II, and a Desert Eagle .44 with a 14" target/hunting barrel and a scope... I ended up goung home for my Contender, and my scoped 7MM-TCU and 7X30 Watters barrels... (we were having fun, and I was only 2 miles from home!)

we (3 or 4 of us) were attempting to qualify at 50 yards with the Taurus, the Thompson, and the Desert Eagle... 2 of us managed good enough scores to make it!

All that was required was some proficiency with a gun... a reasonable score at 7 yards... the rest was just fun!

Spreadfire Arms
December 23, 2006, 10:51 PM
I'd personally be wearing 5.11 Royal Robbins pants with a bandana in the thigh pocket to wipe glasses. I'd have my wallet in the front pocket and my cellphone turned OFF in the other pocket. Trash goes in the back pocket. My regular glasses. A black turtleneck capilene undershirt with a CMP pocket polo shirt over it. Plugs and muffs. Texas Highpower Rifle Team ball cap with Distinguished pin and NRA High Master pin. Muffs over the hat. Desert Combat Boots.

don't forget your Level IV SAPI plates taped to your back to repel any .308 or .30-06 rifle fire. :evil:

Baba Louie
December 23, 2006, 11:13 PM
The classes I took were extensive with mucho handouts for our own 3-ring binder and they were videotaped. The knowledge (and handouts) you gain in class may be used as evidence in the event you actually are involved in a self defensive shoot, both criminal and civil... or so taught our instructor. It also tended to protect him as to what was taught/discussed in class should anyone decide to include him in a future civil lawsuit...

As the wise man once said, "Every bullet has a lawyer attached to it." Go there to learn, keep an open mind, write down questions that come to mind and ask them when appropriate time is available. Write down notes with the aforementioned application (legal stuff) in mind.

Same should go for your actual shooting portion of the exam. Show proficiency with the handgun you qualify with and plan on carrying. It's not just the bad guys you might have to "shoot down"... it might also be, heck, it WILL be, some attorney's line of questioning EVERYTHING YOU DID in the event of a shoot. :eek:

Additional training by a certified instructor is a good thing if you carry. Cheap in the long run.

Hopefully the class will cover not only handguns but some mention of shotguns and carbines as well.

Above all else, LEARN and KNOW when self DEFENSE crosses the line and becomes an OFFENSE. Ask about that. Discuss that. It's not always black and white. Lotsa grey there.

But other than that... have fun. :D

December 24, 2006, 12:02 AM
Pay attention in class and the test is a piece of cake.

The course of fire isn't necessarily difficult. I think you need a 175 to pass. Given that the first 20 shots are at 3 yards, that should be an automatic 150. Then another 20 at 7 yards and finally 10 shots at 15. The "5" ring is fairly large, about 8x10 (I think it is the 8,9,10,x rings on a B-27 target).

It was loud when I shot since there were 14 people shooting on the line at the same time.

Shoot when the instructor tells you to shoot and cease fire when he tells you to cease fire.

December 24, 2006, 12:23 AM
don't forget your Level IV SAPI plates taped to your back to repel any .308 or .30-06 rifle fire.

LOL! thought I was the only one that saw similarities :what:

December 24, 2006, 07:56 AM

^^ does the link above need to be done before taking the CHL class? or is it either or? thanks

I would think that the answer is either, or, or not at all.

I'm pretty sure that when my wife took the class, she was given the application paperwork when she signed up. The expectation was that you would have the paperwork completed before showing up for class. Seems to me that if you apply online, you'd have no need for that paperwork either before, during, or after class.

If your class is the third week of January or something like that, you could get a 3 or 4 week head start by using the link.

The link might also be good for someone who knows that they qualify, yet is concerned that the State might not agree. Why pay for a class, just to have the State deny you?

I'm not talking about student loan defaulters. Student loan folks know what they owe and they know whether or not they are paying as agreed. A guy arrested in the State of Hawaii in 1985 for carrying without a permit, on the other hand, may have a little doubt as to whether or not he will get approval. He's clearly qualified under the laws of Texas, but one never knows.

December 24, 2006, 08:35 AM
Here in Kentucky it is called a CDWL / concealed deadly weapons license, and allows you to carry anything from switchblades, knucks, batons, and guns.

Double Naught Spy
December 24, 2006, 09:26 AM
Texas CHL instructors may or may not have packets with all the necessary paperwork. The prepared ones do. Either get the packet first from TDPS or check with the instructor.

As part of classes, some provide the fingerprints and photographs necessary, some don't. It is a lot easier if you do the one stop shopping experience.

If you do the one stop shopping experience, some of the more with it instructors will have you leave after a successful day with everything in your paper properly filled out, looked over, and ready to go. It saves a lot of time and hassle if you don't screw up something in the paperwork and having someone check is a nice benefit.

When my mom last renewed her CHL, she was 68 or 69. Sort of like a holiday Christian who attends church on Easter and Christmas, mom shoots religiously...some 2-3 times a year. I bought her a case of ammo and it is going on its 3rd year of use. She shoots a Glock 26 and is arthritic, yet passed with a very disappointing (to her) 96%.

Truthfully, the grueling part of the course is the lecture and paperwork and the lecture should be fairly interesting.

December 28, 2006, 02:00 AM
just finished the chl class

shot the kimber eclipse and scored a 240 on the shooting test and a 98 on multiple choice/true or false. you guys were right about the whole thing.

as for the money order you send to austin, has it been $140 all the time? I always thought it was about 140 for the class and $50 fee to austin. I guess i'm wrong.

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