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Old 03-01-2019, 12:14 AM
BayMaverick BayMaverick is offline
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Default Basic Handgun Class for Beginners?

Does anyone have any recommendations for a basic handgun class for beginners preferably in the East Bay?

More background info: a couple years ago I got my then-girlfriend now wife to agree to take a basic handgun class for beginners. She grew up fearing firearms but when we were dating she started to become more open to giving them a try. I was going to sign her up for a beginner's class at the Chabot Gun Club since that was my range of choice but unfortunately it ended up closing a few months later before she got a chance to take one Her interest kind of subsided but recently it's picked up again so this time I want to jump on it while the opportunity is there. The problem is I'm not sure where to sign her up as the two ranges I visit the most now (Richmond and San Leandro) don't seem to offer similar handgun classes for beginners. I know my limits and know I'm not the greatest of teachers so I think she'll have a much better experience with an instructor.
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Old 03-01-2019, 1:09 AM
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Joe is one of the head guys at ASP in Vacaville.

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Old 03-01-2019, 2:57 AM
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I donít know of any in the east bay but Reeds offers a few, Lazzarini teaches a great level 1 & 2 class, there is a NRA beginner class I believe and a women only class - check their website


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Old 03-01-2019, 5:00 AM
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NRA Basic Pistol is a good place to start. This class is commonly available.
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Old 03-01-2019, 5:14 AM
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NRA Basic Pistol within 50 miles of San Leandro

https://www.nrainstructors.org/Searc...&youth=&women=
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Old 03-01-2019, 10:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brix View Post
Joe is one of the head guys at ASP in Vacaville.

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I visited ASP for the first time earlier this year for a PPT, one of the most efficient PPTs I've done. Thanks for the info, it's a bit further from me but good to keep in mind.

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Originally Posted by simonp View Post
I donít know of any in the east bay but Reeds offers a few, Lazzarini teaches a great level 1 & 2 class, there is a NRA beginner class I believe and a women only class - check their website


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Good idea, I didn't even think about that.

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Originally Posted by tomrkba View Post
NRA Basic Pistol within 50 miles of San Leandro

https://www.nrainstructors.org/Searc...&youth=&women=
Wow I didn't even have to search the link as you already did it for me. Thank you! Question, I'm a NRA member but my wife isn't. Do you know if she'd still be allowed to participate or does it vary by instructor?
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Old 03-01-2019, 10:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BayMaverick View Post
I visited ASP for the first time earlier this year for a PPT, one of the most efficient PPTs I've done. Thanks for the info, it's a bit further from me but good to keep in mind.







Good idea, I didn't even think about that.







Wow I didn't even have to search the link as you already did it for me. Thank you! Question, I'm a NRA member but my wife isn't. Do you know if she'd still be allowed to participate or does it vary by instructor?
You do not need to be an NRA member to participate in a beginners class or at least it's highly unlikely.



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Old 03-01-2019, 11:43 AM
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I am teaching an NRA Basic Pistol course in Modesto on April 18. I am not sure where in the east bay you live, but may be an option for you.
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Old 03-01-2019, 12:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brix View Post
You do not need to be an NRA member to participate in a beginners class or at least it's highly unlikely.
Good to know, thanks!

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Originally Posted by Whites of Their Eyes View Post
I am teaching an NRA Basic Pistol course in Modesto on April 18. I am not sure where in the east bay you live, but may be an option for you.
I'm in Alameda County so Modesto's a bit far for me but thanks for posting about it, hope you get a good turnout!
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Old 03-03-2019, 4:08 PM
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Update: after looking at the NRA Basic Pistol courses offered I've narrowed it down to three choices that fit the best due to date/location. If anyone has feedback from these specifically I'd love to hear it.

BayProfs teaching out of Targetmasters in Milpitas - This course is the cheapest of the three but my biggest concern is that it's held at Targetmasters. I've avoided shooting there for quite some time now after witnessing several instances of unsafe behavior that didn't get checked by the range masters. The course description says a "We will have a shooting bay with five or six shooting lanes dedicated to your class for this instructional period" so I'm not sure if that's the section of lanes that's smaller and separate? If so maybe it'd be safe?

SeekSafety teaching out of Union City - This class is the second cheapest and most convenient for me location wise. I'm really curious about this because I'm not aware of any shooting ranges in Union City so I'm guessing the course is taught at a private range?

Defensive Accuracy out of Guns, Fishing, and Other Stuff in Dublin: The most expensive of the three options but I do like the lanes in Dublin so if any of you have testimonials about how great the instructors for this course are I might be swayed to go with it.

Last edited by BayMaverick; 03-03-2019 at 4:15 PM.. Reason: Typos
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Old 03-04-2019, 12:59 AM
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Originally Posted by BayMaverick View Post

SeekSafety teaching out of Union City - This class is the second cheapest and most convenient for me location wise. I'm really curious about this because I'm not aware of any shooting ranges in Union City so I'm guessing the course is taught at a private range?
San Leandro has a range, probably the one closest to Union City. They do steel matches on Saturday nights there.

As far as Target Masters, I've had the same experience and wouldn't go there either.

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Old 03-04-2019, 8:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BayMaverick View Post
Good to know, thanks!



I'm in Alameda County so Modesto's a bit far for me but thanks for posting about it, hope you get a good turnout!
Understood completely! I also realized I posted the wrong date. It is April 13 (Saturday).

The only class I teach in the bay area currently is the Utah CCW class. I do have one of those in Pleasanton at the end of March if you are interested.
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Old 03-04-2019, 11:01 AM
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Maybe this is of interest:

https://diablorodandgun.com/event/di...sports-clinic/
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Old 03-04-2019, 1:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BayMaverick View Post
Update: after looking at the NRA Basic Pistol courses offered I've narrowed it down to three choices that fit the best due to date/location. If anyone has feedback from these specifically I'd love to hear it.

BayProfs teaching out of Targetmasters in Milpitas - This course is the cheapest of the three but my biggest concern is that it's held at Targetmasters. I've avoided shooting there for quite some time now after witnessing several instances of unsafe behavior that didn't get checked by the range masters. The course description says a "We will have a shooting bay with five or six shooting lanes dedicated to your class for this instructional period" so I'm not sure if that's the section of lanes that's smaller and separate? If so maybe it'd be safe?

SeekSafety teaching out of Union City - This class is the second cheapest and most convenient for me location wise. I'm really curious about this because I'm not aware of any shooting ranges in Union City so I'm guessing the course is taught at a private range?

Defensive Accuracy out of Guns, Fishing, and Other Stuff in Dublin: The most expensive of the three options but I do like the lanes in Dublin so if any of you have testimonials about how great the instructors for this course are I might be swayed to go with it.
I've trained quite a bit with Defensive Accuracy and they are good to go. They have a lot of different instructors that come out to teach and all of the ones I have worked with have been very good.
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Old 03-04-2019, 10:47 PM
BayMaverick BayMaverick is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brix View Post
San Leandro has a range, probably the one closest to Union City. They do steel matches on Saturday nights there.
You were right. I ended up calling and the class portion is in Union City at a private location. After that's over the class will travel to San Leandro for the range time.

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Originally Posted by mrbigsteel View Post
My wife wants me to be in the class too so she doesn't feel alone so I'll be enrolling too mostly for moral support. But thanks for the link, that's a cool idea and I'll be sure to recommend it to her if the first class is a success and she's interested in continuing to shoot!

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Originally Posted by the Scholar View Post
I've trained quite a bit with Defensive Accuracy and they are good to go. They have a lot of different instructors that come out to teach and all of the ones I have worked with have been very good.
Thanks for the feedback on Defensive Accuracy, they're more expensive and the furthest away but hearing positive things from someone with firsthand experience counts for a lot. Did you take any beginner courses with them?
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Old 03-05-2019, 12:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BayMaverick View Post
Update: after looking at the NRA Basic Pistol courses offered I've narrowed it down to three choices that fit the best due to date/location. If anyone has feedback from these specifically I'd love to hear it.

BayProfs teaching out of Targetmasters in Milpitas - This course is the cheapest of the three but my biggest concern is that it's held at Targetmasters. I've avoided shooting there for quite some time now after witnessing several instances of unsafe behavior that didn't get checked by the range masters. The course description says a "We will have a shooting bay with five or six shooting lanes dedicated to your class for this instructional period" so I'm not sure if that's the section of lanes that's smaller and separate? If so maybe it'd be safe?
I know some (former?) BayProfs instructors and they are good. I totally understand your hesitancy about TM, tho.

I know that Bay Area Firearms has the San Leandro Optimist Club in it's rotation of venues. https://bayareafirearms.com/beginner-weapons-classes/

/herb
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Old 03-05-2019, 12:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BayMaverick View Post
Thanks for the feedback on Defensive Accuracy, they're more expensive and the furthest away but hearing positive things from someone with firsthand experience counts for a lot. Did you take any beginner courses with them?
I have taken their CCW class, a couple of their advanced pistol class series in the past, their "Low Light Gun Fighting" series course and the other weekend, I took their inaugural "Good Guy with a Gun" class.

Their advanced classes are supposed to be more advanced shooters but with every class, there are a few people who are a little less experienced than others. What I observed is that the instructors are really able to adapt to the skill level of every shooter in the class. My point being, even though I haven't taken their "beginner" classes, they will do a very good job. They also typically have at least two other people aside from the main instructor helping out the students to make sure that everyone is practicing safe handling of the firearm and helping improve their grip, stance, sight alignment, trigger press, etc...

With that said, someone above also mentioned training at Reed's with Don Lazarrini. I have taken both handgun stage 1 and 2 with him and those are also good.

Another trainer I really like is Alpha Dog Tactical. I have only taken one of his classes so far but I train with the owner (Jeff) pretty frequently and I really like his approach as well. He teaches out of Metcalf range in South San Jose but typically only holds one formal class a month and his "Basic Handgun" class was in January. He may have more coming up but I don't have his schedule in front of me at the moment.

With any training, it's great that you're actually considering doing it. Don't be afraid to continue training with more classes and other instructors. A beginner class, is just what it is, a beginner class.
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Old 03-05-2019, 1:37 PM
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Final update: I ended up signing her up with BayProfs. Their class was the lowest priced and it also had the most range time included (total class time is 9 hours) which is most appealing for me since I expect the classroom portion to be mostly a refresher. What sealed the deal is I called the number listed and talked to the instructor. He immediately recognized my concern about Targetmaster safety and assured me that the class rents out all 5 lanes in the section so that only instructors and students would be in our section.

Thanks again to everyone for sharing your input and experiences, it was definitely helpful and I'm hoping this will be a great experience for my wife and move her down towards becoming a regular shooter!

Quote:
Originally Posted by zouaveherb View Post
I know some (former?) BayProfs instructors and they are good. I totally understand your hesitancy about TM, tho.

I know that Bay Area Firearms has the San Leandro Optimist Club in it's rotation of venues. https://bayareafirearms.com/beginner-weapons-classes/

/herb
Wish I would have seen this post earlier before I registered but good to know you had a good experience with BayProfs since that's who I went with. I'm interested in Bay Area Firearms though and will definitely look at their site to see if they have classes I'd like to take for myself at the Optimist Club.

Quote:
Originally Posted by the Scholar View Post
With any training, it's great that you're actually considering doing it. Don't be afraid to continue training with more classes and other instructors. A beginner class, is just what it is, a beginner class.
Thanks for all the thoughtful feedback and encouragement. I think my wife's set for now with this beginner class and we'll see how she does and take it from there. Your feedback on the other trainers and sites is noted and I'll definitely be considering those options for myself!

Last edited by BayMaverick; 03-05-2019 at 1:48 PM..
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