Firearms Training

Listed below are our courses focused on defensive marksmanship and tactics for concealed carriers (click here for instructor-level courses). Each course was personally designed by Tom Givens. Click any of the course titles for details on what each course entails.

Combative Pistol

This is an intensive weekend course that covers all of the essential skills involved in fighting with a handgun. There is an all day session Saturday and Sunday, 9:00am to 6:00pm. Topics covered in this course will include:

  • Rapid presentation from concealed carry
  • Effective gun handling techniques, designed to work under stress
  • Rapid reloading techniques
  • High speed accuracy at close ranges
  • Precision shooting at mid-ranges
  • Shooting effectively with one hand, with either hand
  • Fixing malfunctions rapidly and reliably
  • Proper defensive mindset, personal tactics, and more.

Expect to fire about 800-1,000 rounds of ammunition. This course is designed expressly for the armed citizen who carries a concealed handgun, or the plain clothes or off duty police officer.

You will need a good handgun, holster, belt, and magazine pouch, at least three magazines, a ball cap and concealment garment (vest, jacket, windbreaker, etc), eye and ear protection, and rain gear (we train rain or shine). A cooler with soft drinks, water, snacks and lunch will be needed, for lunch on site.

You will need a quality handgun and gear. It is a good idea to bring a second gun just like your primary, in case something breaks on your primary gun. Please bring good quality ammunition. You will shoot better, your gun will function better, and you will learn faster. Leather or kydex holsters are fine—PLEASE NO flimsy nylon or cloth holsters. AIWB carry is allowed. Serpa holsters are allowed, but strongly discouraged.

Your primary instructor will be Tom Givens, of Rangemaster, assisted by other Rangemaster certified firearms instructors. Tuition is typically around $500 but can vary depending on the range and the locale. To find a class near your or to register, please see our Eventbrite page.

Intensive Pistol

Intensive Pistol Skills is an extensive work-out of the essential skills involved in self-defense with a handgun. Topics covered include

  • presentation from the concealed carry holster;
  • accurate shooting at high speed;
  • getting hits at longer distances;
  • fast, reliable reloading techniques;
  • one handed shooting; malfunction remedies;
  • and much more.

Students will fire approximately 1,000 rounds. All of the shooting drills are designed to enhance the students’ ability to defend themselves effectively with a concealed handgun.

This is not a beginner level class. Students should know how to safely operate their handgun and have appropriate concealment gear. You will need a belt holster, of leather or kydex construction, with a covered trigger guard. You will need at least three magazines, one in the gun and two spares. You will need a concealment garment, to conceal your gear as in every day carry in a big city. A detailed equipment list and directions will be sent to registered students. To find a class near your or to register, please see our Eventbrite page.

Defensive Revolver

Some people simply prefer a wheelgun. For others the revolver may be mandated by job requirements. If you train others, you need to know how to run a revolver, so you can teach the skills to others. For all these reasons, we offer a one day course in the proper use of the double-action revolver, an art that is rapidly being lost.

This is not a class for the raw beginner. Students should have some prior formal handgun training, so that we can concentrate on the tactical and technical differences in the manual of arms of the revolver. We will cover:

  • Types and characteristics of the common revolvers
  • Nomenclature and operation
  • Loading/Unloading/Reloading Techniques
  • Efficient shooting techniques
  • Accessories, including loading devices like speedloaders, speed strips, etc
  • Specialized holsters (we will have multiple examples to examine)

Students will need about 250-300 rounds of practice type ammunition and a belt holster. Ideally, the student will bring a service revolver, such as a 3-inch or 4-inch barrel, medium-frame revolver and a compact, 2-inch barrel concealment revolver. We will have some spares on hand, as well.

As in many pursuits, there are some things that you need to know and that will make the use of your revolver much easier and more efficient/effective. That is the purpose of this course. To find a class near your or to register, please see our Eventbrite page.

Defensive Shotgun

The shotgun is one of the most effective and versatile weapons available to the average private citizen or police officer. It is also the least understood and most under-utilized weapon system. Learn how to properly select, modify, feed and operate the defensive shotgun for optimum effectiveness. This intensive one day course will teach you efficient techniques for handling and shooting the shotgun under stressful conditions. Topics covered include:

  • Firearms safety, including considerations specific to shotguns
  • Historical context and development of the defensive shotgun
  • Selection of the fighting shotgun
  • Modifications and Accessories
  • Ammunition selection and capabilities
  • Patterning for optimum performance
  • Nomenclature and mechanical operation
  • Shooting technique
  • Loading/reloading techniques
  • Safe storage and ready conditions, including cruiser ready
  • Care and maintenance

Students will need 150 rounds of birdshot, and 50 rounds of buckshot. We will have some properly set up loaner shotguns available. For questions, contact Tom Givens, To find a class near your or to register, please see our Eventbrite page.

Establishing a Dominance Paradigm


This course has been retired due to the unfortunate passing of our good friend and colleague, William Aprill, in 2020.

This is our special once-per-year course combining the special talents of Tom Givens, Craig Douglas (“Southnarc”), and William Aprill. Aprill provides classroom training on criminal psychology, stress management, and tactical decision making. Douglas will lead realistic Simunitions decision-making scenarios involving trained role players and a fabulous mock-up training area. Givens will focus on maximizing handgun skills. All three trainers’ work blends into a seamless system.

Each of the instructors will conduct training in their area of expertise, and the entire program flows together, taking the academic information presented, then putting it into practical application.

This is not a course for beginners. You should have prior formal handgun training, and prior training such as MUC or ECQC with Craig would be highly desirable, although not required. If in doubt about whether this class is a good fit for you, contact Tom Givens at

This event is only held once a year, in January. Class size is limited so we can give each student individual attention. The class usually fills far in advance, so register early. Please see our Eventbrite page to learn more or to sign up.