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Advanced Defensive Handgun

This class is designed for the holder of a permit to carry or someone who has completed a basic pistol course.  The course goal is to teach fundamental and practical techniques for efficient and effective presentation and use of a concealed handgun for defense under stressful conditions.  Straightforward exercises emphasize safe handling and set the foundation for the speed and accuracy that will be utilized in the expert course.

The advanced class will be scheduled for a Saturday at the range from 10am 5pm with open shooting afterward.  The fee is $145, class size is limited to eight, and students will need to bring their own lunch, snacks, and refreshments.  Please check with Gunthorp staff before scheduling if you have questions about your gear.

Attire will include a light jacket or sport coat, sweater, loose fitting t-shirt, jeans, a stiff belt, and hardy shoes or sneakers.  Quality ear and eye protection is mandatory.  Rain and insect protection are recommended.  A folding camping chair will make a handy station for your gear.

The minimum primary carry semi-auto pistol or double action revolver to use in this advanced course may be a medium size 380 ACP or 38 Special.  The the barrel of a powerful revolver should be short for comfortable, concealed defensive use.  Bring the handgun in a gun box, gun case, or zippered gun rug.  Also bring a speed loader or extra magazine and at least 150 rounds of ammunition.  Bear in mind that the next course,  Expert Weapons Tactics, will require the primary carry gun to be at least 9mm or 38 Special, and preferably 357 Magnum, 40 caliber, or 45 ACP.  Tiny 380's make good back up weapons, but a small frame makes them difficult to grip, and their light weight makes them uncomfortable to shoot in a long course of fire.

Bring a comfortable strong side holster, inside or outside the waistband, that covers the trigger guard, allows one handed re-holstering, is easily concealed, and secure holding  with or preferably without a retention strap.


Safety rules, range rules, mindset, and range orientation follow class introductions and roster paperwork.  The basics of handgun presentation and use include the following pointers for best form.

-         The balanced crouching stance, natural point of aim, and breathing.

-         The one hand gyro hold with locked wrist.

-         The one hand low ready position and safe placement of the off hand and arm.

-         The gun alignment to target continuum from retention to sighted aim.

-         The two hand hold and the two hand low ready position.

-         Transitioning to the two hand hold as the gun reaches chest height.

-         The flash sight picture.

-         Trigger acquisition, control, and minimum reset follow through.

-         The range procedures, commands, and expected actions.


Firing Line Commands

-     READY                       at low ready, safeties off, thumb under safety

-     AIM                             proper stance and trigger acquisition

-     FIRE                            hold on target when finished

-     CEASE FIRE               off trigger, low ready, safeties on


EXERCISE #1   (50 Rounds)

a)   from two hand ready, raise to two hand flash sight picture, fire on command

b)   from one hand ready, raise to one hand flash sight picture, fire on command

Keep both eyes open to watch rise and fall of front sight.  Scan after to break tunnel vision.

Both a) and b) of the exercise will consist of:

-     10 dry fire snaps

-     4 single shots

-     3 doubles

-     2 triples

-     1 four shot string

-     1 five shot string


Drawing from Concealment

The basics of concealment presentation include the following pointers for best form.

-         Clearing concealment from jacket or coat with pocket weights and sweater or t-shirt.

-         Acquiring the firing grip and positioning the thumb on safety.

-         Drawing to one hand low ready while removing the safety.

-         Working the off hand and arm for clearing, fending, holding, and safety.

-         The slow, careful re-holster while protecting the trigger guard.


Presentation Drills

-         Clearing covering attire and acquiring the firing grip.

-         From the grip, drawing to low ready.

-         Clear and draw to low ready.

-         Clear and draw to one hand sighted dry fire.

-         Clear and draw to two hand sighted dry fire.

-         Clear and draw to one hand dry fire at belt level positions.


EXERCISE #2   (50 Rounds)

-         8 singles from mixed positions

-         6 doubles from mixed positions

-         4 triples from mixed positions

-         2 four shot strings from one and two hand holds flash sighted

-         2 five shot strings from one and two hand holds flash sighted




Multiple Threats, Movement, and Lines of Force

The class discusses key aspects of situational awareness, stress induced physiological limitations, and techniques to control or utilize instinctive reactions.  After covering topics about target priorities, right handed shooting right to left, balance, sidestepping the line of force, obstacles, rough terrain, falling, and cautions against backwards movement, the class runs a movement course using both two and one hand holds.

Cover, Concealment, and the Rule of 3s

The class discusses situational awareness relating to avenues of escape, types of cover, and concealment.  Other topics include proper distance from cover, canting, the lean outs, the deep crouch, and slicing the pie.

Movement Drills

-         Move left during the draw

-         Move right during the draw

-         Turn left during the draw

-         Turn right during the draw

-         Clearing stoppages and reloading from cover


 EXERCISE #3   (50 Rounds)

-         move to cover during draw, 3 shots over cover, 3 shots from lean out

-         move, 3 shots over, 3 shots lean out, reload, repeat

-         over cover 2 shots on each of 3 separate targets

-         1 shot over cover using the off hand to draw and fire

-         1 shot over cover after loading empty gun with 1 loose bullet

-         slice the pie on three targets, 2 shots each, reload, repeat

-         intersecting fields of fire:  group fans out and standing fires simultaneously 6 shots each at 10 yard target, reloads, moves to 5 yards and simultaneously point shoots 6 shots each


Presentation of Certificates

Free Shooting and Range Cleanup


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Gunthorp  Duluth, MN email: info@gunthorp.com