New NRA CCW Course!

The NRA has been deluged for a very long time with requests from the public for an actual NRA CCW class (as opposed to the Basics of Pistol Shooting class that is aimed at any and all legal uses of handguns). In response, the NRA announced a new modular CCW Course that will allow Instructors certified in this new discipline (Basic NRA CCW) to teach an NRA CCW class.

In order to attend the NRA CCW Instructor class, you must first be an NRA Pistol Instructor and successfully complete the NRA CCW student class. I would strongly advise contacting the Training Counselor (TC) that you plan to take the CCW Instructor class from as most of us are requiring that Instructor Candidates take the CCW student class with us to ensure that the appropriate CCW student modules are included.

Here’s an overview:

  • The course is modular so that the Instructor can teach only the portions needed to meet the requirements of their state permitting process. This means that the course can vary in length from 1 to 16 hours. It also means that a state specific, non-NRA legal module and/or live fire qualification can be included. (Note: if your state doesn’t have a required course of fire, the live fire module MUST be used if there is to be any live fire.)
  • The NRA CCW course takes sections from the Basics of Pistol Shooting and Personal Protection Outside The Home (PPOTH), along with some new material and all new range exercises in order to create the modules. While an NRA CCW handbook is in preparation, the Basic Pistol and PPOTH handbooks are currently being used for the class.
  • In order to become certified to teach the Basic NRA CCW course, you will have to be an NRA Pistol Instructor, successfully complete the Basic NRA CCW course (student), and successfully complete the NRA CCW Instructor course.
  • Instructors that haven’t taken Basic Instructor Training (BIT) in the last two years will have to take it again in order to add the new rating. (That’s a requirement for adding any new rating and a good reason to get all the ratings you plan to within that two year period.)

The length of the student class for Instructor Candidates will vary according to what modules the TC includes, but figure one to two days. (ours is one day.) The Instructor Candidate class is two full days; basically one day in the classroom and one day on the range.

Some reasons you might want to consider adding this rating include:

  • This is a way to differentiate your classes from the typical 1-3 hour CCW classes seen everywhere. This is an actual NRA class with an NRA certificate.
  • You’ll be teaching NRA approved curriculum instead of something you created yourself. Unless you have the credentials to be developing curriculum yourself (NRA civilian ratings DO NOT provide those credentials), this makes the new NRA CCW class particularly attractive.
  • Since NRA CCW classes ARE NRA classes, you’ll be able to register them on the Instructor Portal. This means that your classes will show up in searches anyone does on the website. Despite the trashing from the main stream media, the NRA remains the most respected source of firearm training and people will seek out these classes.
  • The modular format of the class means that you can easily break it down into multiple sessions/days. You could even break it into the initial class covering all of the necessary modules and then additional classes covering other modules. Some very successful trainers are already employing this tactic to increase attendance.

Understand that the NRA CCW Instructor rating is far more difficult to earn than any other discipline. During the period where NRA HQ Staff were doing the initial certification classes for Training Counselors, 40% failed! The vast majority failed due to the qualification course of fire which is shot from concealment with every stage being timed. HQ has told the TCs that we cannot release the course of fire.

So that you can test yourself to see if you have the required level of proficiency, here are some things that we can tell you:

    • Practice your draws to get out of the holster (from concealment) to the target as quickly as possibly so that you have the maximum time to take the shots
    • Practice one handed shooting (shooting hand only) from 3-7 yards
    • Practice shooting from 15 yards
    • Practice the NRA Defensive Pistol Qualification Course of Fire as annotated in the graphic to the right (click on it to see a full-size version),

Here are some specifics on the scoring of the NRA CCW Instructor shooting qualification:

  • The qualification is shot from a covered firearm (jacket/shirt/vest/etc.) holstered on the waistband (we require outside waistband, OWB, holsters).
  • All stages are timed—a combination of speed AND accuracy is required to pass.
  • A safety violation is an automatic failure of the class.
  • A 2-point penalty is assessed for firing after the buzzer, not firing a shot, not scanning & assessing on a stage, or other procedural error (I.E.: shooting a 1-handed stage with 2-hands, etc.)
  • USPSA/IPSC or IDPA targets are used. A 3-point penalty is assessed for each hit in the -3/D area of the targets
  • A single round outside the -3/D line or off of the target is an automatic disqualification for that attempt.

To see our scheduled classes, visit:

Calendar of Upcoming Training Classes

Listing of All Upcoming Training Classes