Handgun Fundamentals
July 31 thru August 2, 2020
9:30 A.M. TO 4:30 P.M.

Enrollment-Credentialing Form

Course Administrator 412.370.9500 or

This course is designed for people who wish to take a full course of formal instruction on the use of handguns for personal defense, starting from the “ground up.” In addition to gun handling and marksmanship, the course will include substantial discussion of the legal aspects of using handguns in Pennsylvania, and fundamental principals of tactics and planning.

It will be held at the Pitcairn-Monroeville Sportsman’s Club, 25 min. East of Pittsburgh. Topics to be covered include:

1) Gun Handling and Presentation. Weapons checks; proper presentation from holsters; “eyes off” manipulation and handling of pistols, including clearance of stoppages; correct stance; sight picture and marksmanship techniques appropriate to defensive (as opposed to sport or target) shooting.

2) Mind set and the psychology of armed conflict. Clarity in one’s personal objectives, as well as proven aspects of advance planning, thinking, and problem solving will be discussed.

4) Characteristics, tactical advantages and limitations of pistol ammunition.

5) Introduction to low-light techniques and the effective use of flashlights.

6) Incorporation of legal principles, laws and practical aspects of post-shooting defense under current Pa. law. (Your Rangemaster is a licensed attorney with experience in gun-related litigation.)

Cost: $300 $150 may be paid upon enrollment, and the balance must be paid prior to the first day of the course. Tuition includes range fees, targets, range supplies and handouts. Students must provide their own firearm, ammunition, personal gear and meals. A separate range fee of $30 must be submitted to the host Club, unless you are a Club member.

Course format: Lectures (approximately 5 hrs., mostly on the range), and live-fire exercises (approximately 18 hrs.). Participants will need a minimum of 400 rounds of ammunition. Certificate of completion provided.

Instructor: The Rangemaster will be Peter Georgiades. Mr. Georgiades is an NRA certified firearms instructor and certified as a law enforcement carbine instructor by the Gunsite Training Academy. He has been instructing for 25 years. He is also a licensed, practicing attorney, and has frequently lectured on the law governing the use of deadly force and its practical application. Range assistance will be provided by other experienced individuals.

Class size: Enrollment limited to 12 students.

Prerequisites: You must be at least 18 years old. Proof of no criminal history is required. (Criminal history procedures are outlined in the enrollment materials.)

Equipment Requirements

The following equipment is REQUIRED, or you cannot participate in this course:

Ear protection and eye protection. Eye protection must be clear for the night session.

Hat or cap with baseball-style bill. This is to keep ejected brass from your pistol or someone else’s from falling between your eyewear and your eye, burning you. This is important.

400 rounds of ammunition. No tracer, incendiary, armor piercing or frangible rounds.

Three magazines with suitable pouch (two speed-loaders with carriers for revolvers).

Holster. This should be a substantial holster which attaches firmly to a BELT, and holds the pistol firmly in place. The holster must be designed to cover the trigger and trigger guard of the firearm while it is in the holster. The holster must permit you to get a firm grip on the weapon with your strong-side hand without removing the weapon from the holster, and must be rigid enough to stay open when the weapon is drawn so the weapon can be re-holstered with one hand only. Holsters with flaps that cover the weapon or straps which retain the weapon are not appropriate unless the flap or strap can be removed (police duty gear is an exception). Hand guns may not be carried anywhere except in a proper holster, exposed on the waist.

A flashlight, equipped to either remain on constantly or be operated by a pressure-switch that turns the light on when the button is depressed and shuts off when the button is released. Extra batteries and a back-up light are recommended. We do not recommend you spend money on a good tactical light before the course, unless you are already well enough informed to know what is useful and what is not. Take the course with what you have, learn what is useful, and then make more informed purchases.

Fluids to drink. Soft drinks or water. We expect it will be hot, and dehydration impairs one’s ability to think and pay attention. Drinking fluids is therefore mandatory. No alcoholic beverages will be permitted on the range.

Weapons must be .38 caliber/9 mm., or larger. Hand guns in .22, .25, .32, .380, 7.62 x 19 and similar light calibers are generally ineffective to quickly stop an attack. We strongly recommend you take your first course with a full-sized hand gun, where the distance from the rear sight to the front sight is at least 4.5 inches. Tiny “pocket pistols” are cute, but very difficult to use effectively, and not appropriate for learning the fundamentals.

Pistols should be serviceable as duty weapons or practical for concealed carry. Single action revolvers and derringers are impractical for this course. Your pistol or revolver may get dirty or be dropped on the ground, so please do not bring any valuable antiques or show-guns. Pistols outfitted with scopes, red-dot sights, extended magazines, compensators which extend the barrel and similar “race-gun” doo-dads are impractical and detract from students’ course experience, and therefore are not recommended.

The following equipment is RECOMMENDED. Although you may proceed in the course without these things, experience has shown they will enhance your experience:

Second firearm. A second firearm of the type you intend to train with is also a good idea, if you own or can borrow a second one. Firearms do break, and we cannot stop the course to make repairs. Even if we had time, parts may not be available, and many repairs cannot be accomplished in the field.

Camera. We know selfies are popular nowadays.

Gloves (either shooting gloves or light work gloves).

A folding chair or cooler upon which to sit during breaks.

If you do not already own a handgun, we recommend you borrow one for the course, rather than buying one. It is our experience that people make much better choices once they have been educated on the purpose and functions of various types of handguns. Students will have the opportunity to handle and try out various different designs of pistols and revolvers during the course. Loaning a handgun to anyone over 21 and not legally prohibited from possessing one is legal in Pa.