Nervous about CCW Class?


June 28, 2004, 06:26 PM
Okay, I just signed up and paid for my ccw class on July 10th.

I am now nervous and worried that I wont pass and will make a fool of myself.

Anyone else get these Pre Test Jitters?

How did you handle them?

I am not worried aboutthe shooting part since I can keep my shots in a 6 inch group out to about 30 yards with my 1911(2-3 inch at 15 yards).

I keep thinking "What have I gotten myself into????"

Never was any good at tests.:(

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June 28, 2004, 06:32 PM
If it is anything like my Cali CCW class, if you can fog a mirror, you can pass. Heck, I am the most pro-gun person I know, and I shutter at the thought of some of the people having guns in my class. As a matter of fact, most of them were a danger to themselves and others.

June 28, 2004, 07:35 PM
If it is anything like my class here in Texas you don't need to worry at all. A couple of fellow class members were so drunk I was afraid they would have a mishap on the firing line. As the last poster said, I shudder to think of some of them wandering around armed. Seriously, just relax and enjoy the class. Remember, the state wants the revenue to allow us to exercise our rights.

June 28, 2004, 07:47 PM
I REALLY hope no antis read this thread...

June 28, 2004, 07:54 PM
Training Specialists (

Here is the web site for the training class.

Isn't 6 shots in 8 seconds excessive?

June 28, 2004, 08:00 PM
Isn't 6 shots in 8 seconds excessive?

Maybe, if it's from a draw and with a .44mag :)

If you're just gunning for a torso-sized target at 7 yards that should be pretty easy to do with your CCW piece. You've got over a full second to recover from the recoil and get your sights back on target. My outdoor range limits you to one shot per second and I sometimes find myself having to slow down when I'm doing slow firing drills at 7 yards. And no, I'm not any good with a pistol compared to most shooters.

You'll probably get to try it a few times if you don't make it the first time around. There's a reason they ask you to bring 100 rounds of ammo -- add it all up and you'll probably only really need 50 rounds to get through the course.

June 28, 2004, 08:09 PM
My real concern is the longer ranges combined with the time limit.

Plus I will be shooting my springer 1911 to qualify.

Already have my ammo picked.

I guess this is just another reason for more trips to the range!!!:D

June 28, 2004, 08:14 PM
I agree with some of the previous post. I told the instructor that it wouldn't make me mad if the test was more challenging.

Don't worry, you will do fine.

June 28, 2004, 08:21 PM
i was nervous too. seems different instructors have different methods. i was expecting to be shooting at 15 yards and 40 yards.
turns out it was 5 yards and 7 yards. i dont think it was following state guidelines though. but even at 5 yards, some shooters were all over the place. all we had to do was hit the black on a torso-silhouette. didnt have to be in the ten ring, just had to hit the black, ten shots at 5 and ten at 7.

dont focus too hard on your accuracy. do practice, but concentrate more on watching your own muzzle and be aware of your trigger. be aware of all the other shooters and where their muzzle is and where their fingers are.

dont hesitate to ask the instructor to repeat the rule of range safety. i wound up seeing the business end of far too many muzzles and watched as far too many shooters had fingers on the trigger while they looked down their own barrel, and tinkered with magazines, safeties, etc.

June 28, 2004, 08:29 PM
Thank your lucky stars you are not taking it at a certain "guard" academy in Sacramento that specializes in classes.

I went there ONCE for qual. HAVE to use their ammo. Leaded the hell out of my BHP. NO substitutions. PURE lead at 1100 fps is bad bad. Took two days to get it out.

25 yard 2 hand
25 yard 1 hand
10 yards target moving. Shoot when it is going away and you get a no score.
Shoot only when it is approaching.
15 yard right hand
15 yard left hand
Reloads at some of the events.

I finally asked if we were going to have to go on patrol afterwards.

It was ridiculous.

I now go to a range where you shoot 30 shots with 10 of them in 20 seconds and they score the target.

Being prepared is good.

Getting ridiculous is not necessary.

You're gonna freeze or fire anyhow the first time you get surprised by a gun in your face.

I am talking about ANNUAL quals. If it were for constant repetition, that test would be fine.


Double Maduro
June 28, 2004, 08:29 PM

Sounds like all you need is 75% and if you don't miss at the shorter distances you can miss all of the 25 yd shots and still qualify.:neener:

25yds seems a little far for ccw. Aren't we supposed to run when the BG is that far away. :D

Relax, pay attention in class. It is their job to get you to pass. If the course is too hard they will go out of business.

Most importantly, relax and have fun.


June 28, 2004, 08:41 PM
I just this month did my re-qualification test (Texas). Had a great instructor - reserve deputy sheriff who is also a shooter. Also had a great sense of humor. He reviewed the test and made sure that he covered every question on it. Many (most) everyone in the class made a score of 100 on the test. The instructor was also very good at the range - divided the class into two groups so that each person alternated as shooter and coach. So, I did not see any mishandling of firearms. There was one older lady shooting a 2" .38 revolver who failed to qualify during the first round. He let her shoot again in the second round with him and myself coaching. She qualified that time. We all recommended she get a gun with a longer barrel.:)


June 28, 2004, 09:01 PM
Isn't 6 shots in 8 seconds excessive?
We had a par-time course of fire two weeks ago at a match where we had to fire 6 rounds in three seconds---at three different targets. 8 seconds is a lifetime.


June 28, 2004, 09:30 PM
FMarlon, your ccw class instructor(s) will, as they should be, be very professional and very patient people. They will do their best to put you at ease. They will spend quite some time lecturing on safety, legal points and correct handgun procedures such as safe carry, concealment and how to use your gun. They should spend some time telling you under what circumstances you can/should use your ccw. They will talk to you about how to interact with LEO when carrying.

On the actual shooting phase, they will stress VERY STRONGLY safety in handling, carrying, shooting, reholstering, storage at home, etc. Then they will have you shoot (one or a few at a time) while keeping a VERY CLOSE eye on the shooters insuring safety and proper gun handling and gun use. They MAY even give pointers on how to shoot better.

They ARE NOT trying to create gunslingers or mercenaries. Listen, heed what they say, handle your firearm SAFELY, shoot carefully and you will be just fine. Only know-it-all hot shots and complete idiots are problems in ccw classes.

Good luck and enjoy the experience. You will learn a lot.

June 28, 2004, 09:40 PM
I always get nervous when I go to some academy training or something at the range. Everybody knows I'm a "gun guy" so I feel like I have to live up to expectations. Always worry about screwing something up lol. But generally I never have any problems.

I remember one time I was down at the police academy talking to a friend who runs the show down there and he asked me if I'd do a demonstration of the PRISM system for a group of boyscouts that was there that day. For those that don't know a PRISM system uses what looks like a movie theater screen and real guns with a different barrel that shoot out plastic bullets. So here I am standing there with about 30 little kids lookin at me thinkin "oh crap oh crap don't screw up now" hahahaah. Of course he gives me the scenario where I walk up to a car and 3 guys come out with guns at me. Nailed em all on the first shot and even got the one guy in the car window with a headshot.....that made the kids go "oooooooooooh". :D

June 28, 2004, 10:31 PM
I also have my CCW class coming up at the beginning of July. I can't wait. ;)

June 28, 2004, 11:03 PM
My take on it as a CCW instructor...

When we sign off on the form, we are bascially telling the state that you can safely handle your weapon without endangering everyone within a two mile radius.

Being a state mandated 5 hour minimum class simply does not give us the time to turn non shooter into shooters. Sure we can coach and advise and we will do what we can to help you shoot better, but there is no subsitute for practice.

We use the shooter /coach method and it seems to work well. We do not let spouses or relatives coach each other, you are more likely to be polite to someone you dont know.

Proper gun handling techniques and safety are highly stressed througout the course.

We shoot an 8x10 balnk sheet of paper at 7 yards. We shoot 60 rounds. We'll shoot 1,1,1 then 2,2,2 then 3,3,3 then 6,6,6 and work our way up. This gives those that just bought their gun the day before the class a chance to manipulate and shoot it several times.

If you miss the paper or have dismal results...we will do our best to help you. Yes I know its hard to beleive that anyone can miss a sheet of paper at 7 yards, but trust me, Ive seen it too many times to count.

We cant assume that anyone knows anything about guns or how to shoot, so we basically have to teach to the most inept individual sitting there in the class. Yes, it is kindof boring if you've been shooting since youy were knee high to a grasshopper, but thats the way we have to do it.

Anyone with a clue about shooting would find the class extremely basic.

With that being said, most new shooters are very nervous. We do our best to calm their nerves and most of the pressure on them is self imposed. A little extra coaching and some pleasant small talk usually goes a long way towards helping them calm down.

Its natural to be nervous. Breath deeply and think postive slowly exhale and breath in slowly and will pass the will pass the class...:D

June 28, 2004, 11:11 PM
When I took my class a month or so ago (TX), there were 2 people that had only shot a few times before and did their qualification with loaner guns they had only handled minutes before we fired. The both passed with no problems, as did everyone else in the class. I was a little nervous going in, but it turned out to be a non issue. Just go in and act normal, don't let time limits or anything else worry you. Good luck and have fun :D

June 29, 2004, 12:17 AM
There is no state that requires you to be a champion IDPA shooter to qualify for your CCW (pay no heed to the rumors that Iowa requires you to shoot an El Presidente in under 4 seconds :neener: ).

Here in Colorado the class I took was basically the beginner NRA pistol course with an extra lecture by a lawyer and some other self defense related stuff ... the fun part was the range day. Got to shoot lots of guns ... got to shoot the equivalent of a police qualification which is extremely easy ... if you can keep 70% of your shots on a torso sized target (25 rds at 10 ft and 25 at 25 ft) then you pass. And passing or failing the "qualification" had no bearing on your passing the class ... all that is required is to pass the NRA basic pistol multiple choice test at the end (which is written for 12 year olds so they can shoot Ruger MK IIs).

Despite having been a shooter for years, the instruction was informative and I learned quite a bit (Especially on the range day when we each had an NRA instructor looking over our shoulder correcting all those bad habits I learned by being self taught :D ).

Whole thing cost me $100 and 100rds of ammo. The class had everything from experienced shooters to people who had never shot a gun before and everyone had a good time.

Go with an open mind (you might learn something) and have a good time.

EDIT: For those of you in the Colorado Springs area, I took the course at Paradise Sales ... an excellent course I highly recommend

June 29, 2004, 12:28 AM
Our test was beyond easy, the teacher went over the all the info in his review and left it on the board.

But every detail of the course was left up to the teacher including the test questions.

June 29, 2004, 12:43 AM
I'm also a CCW instructor, so let me give you my take on it.

Every state's requirements are going to be different, but usually what we are looking for is basic competency and safety. I've only not signed off on one person so far, and that was after I had a long talk with her and she promised to come shooting with me for some coaching and practice. Once she has gained some confidence I will gladly sign off. Great lady, she had just never fired a gun before in her life.

Utah doesn't even actually require a shooting portion, but I do it anyway just to see if anybody has any problems that I can try to help them with. I've been able to help a few people out a little bit.

We shoot at 10 yards, and that is only because that is the minimum allowable distance at the range I use. I would move it closer if I was teaching somewhere else.

So just relax and have fun. The most important thing to do is pay attention to the use of force and local law sections. That is the real important stuff. Don't be afraid to ask questions and make sure you are totally clear on any regulations that may affect you.

June 29, 2004, 01:09 AM
"El Presidente?" :confused:

June 29, 2004, 01:47 AM
"El Presidente?"
This was course of fire Col. Cooper set up for some Protection detail in some country. (sorry for lack of detail) Basicly you start with the targest (three) behind you. At start you fire 2 shots in each target COM do a reload and fire another two shots per target to finish. (total 12 shots) Targets are @ 10 yards away and @ 3feet between them. (I think) A good time with all COM hits is 10 seconds. Someone here will know exact measurements.

June 29, 2004, 02:25 AM
I'm another CCW instructor chiming in.

I teach in Michigan and the curriculum we use is the NRA Personal Protection in the Home class. The class is 6-8 hours in the classroom, depending on how much time the required lawyer takes to do the legal instruction, and an additional 3 hours on the range.

For the range session, I follow the NRA curriculum and add a few extra repitations of some of the more important drills. This might be the only formal traning many of my students ever take, so I make it a point to really focus on safe gun handling and the fundamentals.

Personally, I'm of two minds on state-mandated training requirements. I firmly believe in RKBA and I still believe that "shall not be infringed" means what it says and that the state shouldn't be able to determine who is "qualified" to carry a gun.

On the other hand, we do have to play the hand we are dealt and if my state requires training then I'm going to do my best to provide my students with the best training I can.

June 29, 2004, 09:29 AM
Is Iowa a "shall" issue or a "may" issue state?

June 29, 2004, 09:29 AM
I wouldn't be too worried about it. In my CCW class, the test was really a joke. The instructor just made sure you knew the laws, and that you realized the gravity of using a firearm in defense. No one failed the test. When we got to the range, it was another story. The qualification wasn't hard, but if you were careless or stupid, you got sent home. That's the way it should be, IMO.

June 29, 2004, 09:52 AM
El Presidente clarification: The full 'Cooper'-type drill is: 3 targets at 10 yards, 3 yards shoulder to shoulder. all the same height. Start facing uprange, concealed, surrender position, exactly 6 rounds in the gun. On signal, turn and engage all 3 targets w/ 2 rounds each, slide-lock-reload and then engage all targets with 2 rounds each. 'Par' time is 10 seconds. The best of the best hover around 5-ish. There are other variations, the USPSA version has the targets spread 3 feet, instead of 3 yards, does away with the concealment and has a speed reload (no slide-lock...just a mag change). So if someone is telling you how fast they can shoot an El Prez, make sure you're talking about the same variation.

The story, if I remember right, is that Col. Cooper was training the personal guard of some President in...Central America somewhere?...and as he was leaving to return to the states, the President asked him for a test that would show if his troops were keeping their pistol skills honed. Cooper designed the 'El Presidente' in response to that request and it has become the industry standard pistol skills test.

- Gabe

June 29, 2004, 09:55 AM
As for the CCW class, if the class is really the 'First Steps' NRA pistol course, you could go in there never having seen a handgun and do just fine. If it's run the way the NRA runs it, they are there to make sure you pass. Only the truly incompetent will fail.

Worry not.

- Gabe

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