Firearms Instructor Training

Rangemaster has become widely known for its instructor development curriculum. Designed entirely by Tom Givens, this series of courses helps experienced shooters become more effective trainers in the classroom and on the range. Click any of the course titles to learn more. For practitioner-level training, click here.  

Basic Instructor Development Course

This is an intensive, full three-day course (24 hours total) that teaches instructor candidates:

  • modern adult learning theory;
  • preparation, delivery, and documentation of training;
  • development of training aids, including power points and others;
  • coaching methodologies, diagnosing and correcting shooters’ errors;
  • modern, effective gunhandling techniques, designed to work under stress;
  • proper handling/operation of a variety of handgun types; and
  • effective, efficient combat marksmanship techniques.

The course time is divided about equally between classroom sessions and range firing, and each student will fire approximately 850 rounds of ammunition. Students will act as coaches for other students, and each will be coached extensively in turn. Students also receive a 280-page training manual, which is a valuable information and reference resource.

To graduate from this course, students must pass a shooting qualification and pass a written examination. This course satisfies the training requirements for the Oklahoma CLEET regulations to become an OK SDA Instructor; for a state firearms instructor license in South Carolina by SLED; for 24 hours of continuing education credit in South Carolina by SCCJA; for 24 hours training credit by Georgia POST; for an instructor license in Arkansas ; for handgun instructor license from Tennessee Dept. of Safety; and it is accepted for 24 hours of in-service LE training in Florida and for signing off on Florida CWL applicants.

For this course, students will need:

  • A serviceable sidearm, revolver or semiauto, of at least .38 Special or 9X19mm caliber ( .38 Special, 9mm, .357 SIG, .40 S&W, .45 Auto);
  • A serviceable uniform duty or concealed carry holster, worn on the belt, of leather or kydex construction, with a covered trigger guard;
  • At least three magazines or speedloaders (more is better);
  • 850 rounds of ammunition for the sidearm

Refund Policy:

Refunds are available until 30 days prior to class date. NO refunds less than 30 days before class.

More Info:

For further information or answers to questions, please contact Tom Givens at Please see our Eventbrite page for details or to register.

Defensive Shotgun Instructor Course

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 teach students to properly select, modify, feed and operate the defensive shotgun for optimum effectiveness. This intensive 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
  • 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
  • Adult teaching methods
  • Training aids

Instructor candidates will receive an extensive training manual to take home with them. Each instructor candidate will need 300 rounds of birdshot, 150 rounds of buckshot, and 30 slugs. We will have some properly set up loaner shotguns available.

To graduate from this course, student instructors will have to pass a shooting qualification and a written test on the material covered in the course. Please see our Eventbrite page to learn more or to register.

Advanced Instructor Course

The Advanced Instructor Course is a continuation of the three-day Basic Instructor Development Course. The basic instructor course packed an incredible amount of information into three full days of training. Since most of our students are there on their own dime and their own time, we hold that course on Friday through Sunday to minimize disruption of their lives. The Advanced Firearms Instructor course picks up where day three of the basic instructor course ends. If we had five full days the advanced instructor course would be days four and five of the process. By making this a separate course the students can practice the skills learned, absorb the material covered in the basic instructor course and be ready to learn a whole new set of skills.

The basic instructor course covers the academic side of marksmanship and adult teaching methodology and gives the students a thorough grounding in pistol marksmanship. That foundation allows us to push students to even higher skill levels on the range when they return for the Advanced Instructor Course. In the classroom we will cover subjects including different scoring methods; target design; course of fire design; instructor liability and how to limit it; and some of the psychological issues involved in teaching people how to fight for their lives.

The advanced course is conducted from 9 AM to 6 PM on two consecutive days (usually Saturday and Sunday). Students will need about 750 rounds of ammunition. Students receive a comprehensive training manual. Enrollment is strictly limited to those who have successfully graduated from our basic instructor course.

Refund Policy

Refunds are available until 30 days prior to class date. NO refunds less than 30 days before class.

More Info

For further information or answers to questions, please contact Tom Givens at Please see our Eventbrite page for details or to register.

Master Instructor Course

Graduates of both our Instructor Development Course and the Advanced Instructor Development Course are eligible to attend this intensive three-day learning experience.
Classroom academic training in this course includes an in-depth study of the history and development of modern firearms training in its first 100 years, from 1920 to 2020. Over 40 individuals and their contributions, and a number of watershed events are detailed in this lecture. Other classroom segments include:

  • Evolution of Holster Design;
  • Double-Action Revolver history and effective techniques for their use; and
  • Evolution of low light equipment and techniques.

Range work includes almost a full day learning to use the double-action revolver effectively, working mirror image (left handed for a right handed shooter), and more advanced skills with the EDC handgun. Students will also lead the class through a shooting drill, explaining its purpose and its execution, then live fire.

You will need about 750 rounds for your EDC sidearm, 200 rounds for the revolver, and the usual range gear. As always, we supply an extensive manual/workbook.

Refund Policy:

Refunds are available until 30 days prior to class date. NO refunds less than 30 days before class.

More Info:

For further information or answers to questions, please contact Tom Givens at Please see our Eventbrite page for details or to register.


Protective Pistolcraft Instructor Development Course

This is a rare opportunity for a deep dive, immersion level course for trainers or practitioners of modern self-defense shooting with handguns.  Three highly respected instructors will provide in depth training in both the classroom and the firing range throughout five full days of training. The facility is modern and comfortable, with an excellent classroom and range on site. Hotels are ten minutes away.

Topics covered include:

  • Modern adult learning/teaching modalities, maximizing learning
  • Effective coaching techniques
  • Modern, effective shooting and gunhandling techniques, designed to work under stress
  • Low light technology and shooting techniques, with and without a  flashlight, both in the classroom and live-fire on the range
  • Live-fire drills designed to help teach specific skills and improve  shooting performance
  • Combative psychology, how the brain works under stress, and how to  maximize your performance under duress
  •  Training and supervising Assistant Instructors for maximum student  benefit
  • Marketing for firearms instructors, and much more.

This is a very information-dense course, with modern multimedia presentations in the classroom and large, detailed student manuals. Your instructors are:

  • Tom Givens- author, trainer, competitive shooter, expert witness, with over 40 years of experience teaching effective self defense with handguns; certified LE firearms instructor, NRA, FBI, etc.
  • John Hearne– a Federal law enforcement officer, Rangemaster staff member since 2001, holder of a Master’s degree in research, has trained at FLETC, Gunsite, Thunder Ranch, and numerous traveling schools. Instructor certified by FBI, FLETC, Rangemaster, NRA, etc.
  • Tiffany Johnson, J.D.– Rangemaster staff member since 2001, attorney, well known 2A advocate, she has spoken at the UN, the European gun rights conference, and many other venues, and has trained with a wide variety of schools/instructors. NRA Training Counselor , USCCA Training Counselor, Massad Ayoob Deadly Force Instructor, and Rangemaster Master Instructor.

You will need a sidearm, concealed carry holster and magazine pouches, and the usual range gear. All training is conducted from concealment, or a full police duty rig. You will need a high output flashlight, and a cooler with drinks, snacks and lunch. You will need about 1,200 rounds of pistol ammunition.

Advance registration is required. There are no prerequisites for this course. Refunds are available until 30 days before class, there will be no refunds less than 30 days prior to class. If you have questions, please direct them to .

To sign up for this or any other class, visit

Annual Instructor Reunion and Conference

We began offering our Rangemaster Firearms Instructor Development Course in 1997, so 2021 was our 25th year of teaching this important course. We originally created this event to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Instructor Development Course. The first Instructor Reunion was held in Shawnee, OK in 2017. It was attended by over 50 Rangemaster certified instructors from 15 states. It was such a success that we decided to hold the event annually.

Every year, more instructors gather to discuss new information, training techniques, professional development, and other items we have observed and learned in conducting training courses around the country. This is a great networking opportunity for Rangemaster-certified instructors from all over the country. There will be presentations by Rangemaster staff instructors, including Tom & Lynn Givens, John Hearne, Tiffany Johnson, Lee Weems, and Aqil Qadir, plus live fire training on the range. This promises to be an epic event for trainers. Space is limited and the event will fill far in advance. Don’t procrastinate.

Entry is strictly limited to persons who have graduated from one of our instructor development courses at any location since 1997.