From contact distance to a hundred yards, from static positions to using vehicles and cover, PFT’s Defensive Handgun courses provide the skills, gun handling, and tactics/mindset necessary for success in handgun engagements.

We have five levels of handgun training which provide an outstanding value for shooters of all experience levels.

Defensive Handgun I

8-10 Hours, 300 rounds recommended.

This course introduces the student to techniques applicable to defensive use of the handgun. Emphasis is put on shooting skill development for application in real-life circumstances. The fundamentals of Mindset, Gun-handling, and Marksmanship are covered in lecture while the practical aspects are taught on the range.

Other course topics include Situational Awareness, equipment selection, safety, handling, loading, unloading, malfunction clearance, drawing and firing techniques, single handed firing, firing from cover, multiple targets, movement, and tactics. This course will qualify the student for a Concealed Carry License / Concealed Weapons Permit.

Defensive Handgun II

8-10 Hours, 500-600 rounds recommended

This course begins with an evaluation of the performance expected at the conclusion of Defensive Handgun I (or equivalent), and progresses quickly into an emphasis on applying more advanced techniques under more difficult real-life situations. The development of Reflexive / Subconscious ability is taught.

Topics include increased speed or weapon deployment, increased difficulty of shooting problems and scenarios, disabled and/or injured shooter exercises, shooting from disadvantageous firing positions, shooting while on the move, shooting moving targets, drawing and firing from concealment, as well as many more advanced tactics.

Defensive Handgun III: Comprehensive Skills Development Course

9 hours, 600 rounds

This course is structured for those who have successfully completed PFT’s Defensive Handgun I and II courses (or other instructor’s equivalent programs). Course focus is on refining and practicing existing techniques and skills to a level which allows performance with precision, control and efficiency of motion.

For Advanced Level Shooters, Defensive Handgun III provides a day long opportunity to ‘shoot in’ and sharpen previously learned skills and provides a comprehensive tune-up. Your understanding of the techniques taught in Handgun I and II along with proper safe gun-handling will be assumed upon your registration.

Defensive Handgun III is a fast paced course with a high round count. You will have limited breaks and be expected to maintain the necessary intensity of concentration. The class is shot from concealment unless you are attending in an official capacity such as Military or Law Enforcement and want to work from a duty rig. There is a modest level of physical activity required for successful participation.

Additional Gear Requirements: Concealment Garment, 6 High Capacity Magazines/10 Low Capacity magazines (strongly suggested)

Handgun CQB

16-20 hours, 500-700 rounds

This course focuses on the conditions encountered in most handgun engagements. Heavy emphasis is placed on deployment of the handgun from concealment, close distances, movement and close-proximity to structures and vehicles. It features extensive use of reality-based scenarios, shooting house work including low light shooting, vehicles, and moving/reactive target engagement. Scenarios requiring interaction with role players and shoot/no-shoot decision making will be conducted. Attendees must have completed Defensive Handgun I (prior completion of Defensive Handgun II is strongly encouraged). Successful completion of previous comparable training may be considered. Class size is limited to 14 shooters.

Advanced Handgun

24-30 hours, 1200-1500 Rounds Primary, 50 Backup

This course is structured for those who have successfully completed Defensive Handgun I and II or other school’s equivalent. Performance of all Level I and most Level II skills on demand will be expected. A brief review and marksmanship / gun handling skills ‘tune-up’ will be conducted initially. This will be followed by a Skills Inventory demonstration by each shooter. Performance will be elevated to an extremely high level by pushing the balance of accuracy versus speed shooting against stationary, multiple and moving targets. Other subjects featured include difficult targets, close range emergency reaction, reflexive malfunction clearance, use of space, movement techniques within confined areas, multiple indoor and outdoor tactical simulators, low light, vehicular techniques, backup weapon use, and weapon retention. This course is offered in 1, 2, and 3-day formats (facility-dependent). The 3-day version features multiple interactive and low light exercises. A quality flashlight (Surefire-type or other high output) and concealment garment are recommended, but optional. Backup guns are allowed and can be used on some exercises, but are not required.

Concealed Carry Handgun Skills Course

8-10 hours, 500 rounds

This intermediate level course is designed for shooters who have attended our Defensive Handgun I and II programs or a comparable level of training from an individual or school that we trust and respect. The course focuses on two primary objectives:

  • Provide the knowledge and skills necessary to more effectively carry a holstered, concealed handgun on a regular basis.
  • Conduct a thorough skills review for those who lack the time to practice regularly, or are finding it difficult to conduct reality based practice at their home range.

The program starts with a discussion of the equipment and procedures relevant to carrying a concealed handgun and a review of our range commands, procedures and safety rules. We then progress into a skills review/assessment which focuses on good technical shooting and gun handling. This is followed by reviewing and shooting selected drills from our Defensive Handgun I and II programs. These selected exercises will focus on the most likely citizen oriented street scenarios that cannot be practiced on a typical public shooting range and on situations where experienced instructor guidance/overview provides strong value.

All live fire exercises are conducted from concealment. We require a holstered handgun for this course (we offer a Backup/Alternate Gun Seminar for those who wish to train using a pocket carried handgun).

Low Light Seminar

4-5 hours, 150 rounds

This course focuses on the unique aspects of low-light / night encounters. Topics include types of low light, visual capabilities and perceptions, equipment, firing techniques, and practical scenarios. Prerequisite for the Low Light Seminar is PFT’s Defensive Handgun I or the equivalent.

Backup Gun / Concealed Carry Seminar

5 hours, 200 rounds

This course addresses the effective concealed carry and use of the small ‘pocketable handguns popular today. The course will address the advantages and disadvantages of the various types, models, configurations and calibers of such Handguns, as well as the most effective support equipment and methods of concealed carry. The program consists of both classroom discussion, and live fire drills on the range. Suitable guns for this program include (but are not limited to the specific models used as examples) J-Frame (2-3″) Revolvers, Kel-Tek’s P-32/380’s, Kahr PM, Ruger LCP, etc. As a rule nothing bigger than a Glock 26/27 or M&P Compact is acceptable for this program. A fully loaded weight of less than 20 ounces is the standard we use for determining suitability. Exceptions to this ‘guideline’ will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

The prerequisite for this course is prior attendance in our Defensive Handgun I (or other instructor’s comparable equivalent) course. Due to the time constraints of this program, it is not a course intended to provide proof of training for concealed carry purposes (our Handgun I does that) but rather to actually better understand and use the small guns many shooters actually carry day to day. We strongly suggest attendees have a spare magazine for autos and speed strips/loaders for revolvers in order to train more efficiently.

Room Entry / Shooting House Course

8 hours, 300 rounds

This program focuses on the conditions and situational characteristics related to encounters occurring around and inside structures/rooms.

We start with a classroom discussion of the realities associated with room entry and then move onto the range for a shooter skills review/assessment before proceeding into “ground school” on moving thru doors and around corners, processing rooms, managing light, managing threats/unknowns, communication and movement speeds.

Most of the program is conducted in and around our live fire shooting house. Each attendee will conduct a number of dry and live fire shooting house runs throughout the day. The program is handgun oriented. However rifles are welcome and may be used if desired for many of the exercises.

Successful completion of our Defensive Handgun II course (and Tactical Rifle course if you plan to bring/use a rifle) is a pre-requisite for attendance.

Vehicle Based Incidents Course

8-10 hours, 600 rounds

The realities of modern life mean that we spend considerable time in and around vehicles. Most conventional firearms training fails to adequately address the circumstances, techniques and tactics related to these events. This  full day course is designed to cover the dynamics of potentially lethal interpersonal confrontations and incidents involving vehicles.

Topics covered and situational drills conducted will include:

  • Vehicles as cover/concealment
  • Entering and exiting vehicles under stress
  • Tactical movement around and shooting from stationary vehicles
  • Shooting from a vehicle (including thru glass)
  • Shooting into a vehicle (thru glass and various vehicle body parts)
  • Multiple vehicles
  • Shooting from a moving vehicle
  • Emergency stopping and exiting
  • Carjacking and road rage incidents

This is not an entry-level program. The pre-requisite for this class is prior completion of our Defensive Handgun II course (or a comparable equivalent program from a school/instructor whom we recognize and respect).

Emergency / Tactical Medicine Seminar

4 hours, 75 rounds

This course focuses on trauma injury management in both the range and tactical setting. The course is structured to provide the student with the skill set needed to provide emergency care for others as well as their self.

Topics covered and situational drills conducted will include:

  • Assessing a patient
  • Practical applications of tourniquets and pressure bandages
  • Techniques for packing a gunshot wound
  • Preferred treatment for gunshot wounds to various parts of the body
  • How to effectively communicate with 911 and responding authorities
  • Mindset and how it applies to the survival of you and your patient
  • Tips on purchasing or assembling a trauma kit
  • Procedures for kit setup and carriage
  • Staying in the right after you are wounded
  • Best practices for self-aid and buddy-aid in an evolving tactical environment

Training supplies will be provided but students are encouraged to bring their personal kits if they wish to incorporate them during the practical exercises.

Phases of the course will include classroom instruction, practical application exercises and live fire situational drills. Attendees will need a handgun, holster and 75 rounds of ammunition.

Defensive Handgun Equipment Recommendations

  • Centerfire handgun in a minimum defensive caliber (generally, 9mm or .38spl or larger, with some exceptions. PFT has a limited number of handguns available for rent by prior arrangement, at $35 per class with magazines, mag pouches, and holster. Please call to discuss.
  • Ammunition as required per the course requested. 350 rounds minimum for Handgun I, and 450-500 rounds for Handgun II/III is the recommendation.
  • Spare magazines (2, at least)
  • Spare ammunition pouches, carrier, or magazine holster
  • Method of carrying and concealing the handgun (i.e.- suitable belt and belt holster, jacket, vest, etc. Shoulder holsters generally not acceptable- you “sweep” others when drawing the firearm)
  • Ear protection – electronic muffs strongly recommended.
  • Eye protection
  • Clothing suitable for the weather (“There is no bad weather, just bad clothing!” -Pat Goodale).
  • Cap with a brim
  • Rugged shoes or boots
  • Lunch and drinks
  • Optional comfort items (rain gear, camera, sunscreen, knee/elbow pads, etc.)
  • Quality (SureFire-type) flashlight (if required by the course)

*Note: Defensive Handgun Courses may be taken individually on different dates, or as a two or three day course. Admission to Defensive Handgun II and III require successful completion of the appropriate previous level of instruction or an equivalent course taken elsewhere. Students must demonstrate the skills appropriate for the level of the course being taken.