Entry Level Handgun: Fundamental Excellence For The New Shooter

Entry Level Handgun: Fundamental Excellence For The New Shooter

Being entirely new to shooting is–believe it or not–one of the best places you can be, from a standpoint of building a foundation: a foundation of safe firearms handling, sound technical fundamentals, and intelligent general concepts that will aid your growth as you advance.  Now, all of that heavily assumes that you receive excellent, relevant training from the point of introduction!  This is where the classes offered by Bellevue Gun Club come into their own, and one of our most popular–and enduring–is the Entry Level Handgun course (Handgun 100), a course we also offer in a ladies-only format covered by female instructors.   

Why is this class so popular?  Quite simply, covers a lot of relevant material in a very efficient time span, and puts things in the proper order for success.  Rather than simply taking people out to the range and slapping a firearm in their hand with a few words of guidance on safety and techniques, students are presented classroom knowledge first, where they can gradually get comfortable with concepts before moving to live fire.  This approach is particularly desirable for the more apprehensive neophyte shooters, who may have anxiety about using or even touching a firearm, and need their misconceptions addressed before moving forward. 

Before even getting into proper firearms handling and marksmanship fundamentals, the class is introduced to the four fundamental rules of firearms safety.  Then, some legal concepts related to prudent firearms use within a defensive context are presented, including the importance of formulating a home defense plan.  Why is this aspect discussed?  Many people getting into firearms are at least partly interested in doing so for reasons related to personal protection, yet a surprising number of these individuals have given little thought to the role a firearm plays in the overall scheme of securing one’s safety–it is after all, an inert tool, rather than a talisman that somehow magically wards off evil.  After this discussion, the class has decidedly more insight into the considerations–and complexity–of personal defense with a firearm, a very important reality check indeed!  Attendees are also given a primer on the basics of Washington state gun laws, proper applications of force, and a number of resources they can turn to for advice on concealed carry reciprocity, as well as liability concerns in the event a firearm is used in a legitimate self-defense shooting.  

The different types of firearms and the way they work, as well as calibers and what they mean can be confusing to new shooters, so a presentation on various action types (revolver, semi-automatic pistol, striker fired vs hammer fired, etc) as well as the proper and safe kind of ammunition to use in various guns gets covered in some depth.  Moving on, instructors get into the heart of pistol technique and the various components that bring it all together: stance, grip, sight alignment/sight picture, trigger control, and follow through.  Students get coached on the elements of handgun grip and stance under the patient guidance of the instructors, which they can perfect using “blue guns”, inert plastic replicas of actual firearms such as the ever-popular Glock 19.   This all helps to get everyone on point, and by this time, confidence has grown significantly.  At last, its time to hit the range! 

Moving into the final hour, the students get their chance to try a full lineup of pistols, ranging from .22 revolvers and pistols, through popular and classic service pistols in 9mm and .45 ACP.  This is where the proverbial rubber meets the road, and students get to put the techniques they learned during class into use, once again under the careful guidance of the instructors.  Safety is the primary emphasis always, so not only does the class expand its practical knowledge of guns, and how to shoot them, but they do so in a controlled safe environment where any questions or concerns can be immediately addressed.   

Upon completion of the class, students receive a deeper introduction and welcome to what we at Bellevue Gun Club hope becomes their new home range!  A complimentary Bronze membership helps facilitate that process, and begins a new journey into a rewarding process of firearms ownership and their responsible use.  The completion of this class also opens up a new and exciting stage of the training journey, beginning with Basic Level Handgun (Handgun 101).  It is from this point on that shooters can really advance!  We’ll explore those and other courses in a series of upcoming blogs.   


By:  Adam Keith. – RSO and Instructor at Bellevue Gun Club

If you, your family or organization is interested in private or group training please contact us.

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