NRA Basic Pistol Instructor Led Training

NRA Basic Pistol Instructor Led Training


This is the required in-person NRA Basic Pistol Instructor Led training to meet the pre-course qualifications for the NRA Basic Pistol Instructor Training. This is a new requirement that started in April 2017.

This training will also meet the Ohio concealed carry training requirements to get your Ohio concealed handgun license. 

All instructor candidates will need to take this course even if you already have a concealed carry license. If you have previously completed the NRA Basic Pistol training, then you can email or text a copy of your certificate for verification. The blended learning version (part online), does not count towards this requirement. Send a copy to Kevin for verification: e-mail:; text: 614-503-5214.

NRA Basic Pistol Course Details

Course Fee:

$90. This is a discounted rate if you’ve already signed up for an NRA Pistol Instructor course with Armed2Defend. Otherwise, the fee is $125. You’ll need to supply your own pistol and ammunition for the training.

Please note that there is a $25 non-refundable and non-transferable deposit as a part of this class fee that is specific to the class date that you sign up for. 

Course Location:

Our classes are within 20 minutes of downtown Columbus Ohio. The classroom portion is located at the historic Wagnalls Memorial Library in Lithopolis Ohio. Our private covered shooting range is 4 minutes away in Canal Winchester Ohio. We will give you an an easy to follow map to the range at the class. 


As long as you are 18 or older and you’re not on firearm disability. This specific class is the required pre-course training for the NRA Pistol Instructor Training. Click here for more details on that training. This course also meets the Ohio concealed carry license training requirement. 

Course Length:

This class goes from 9 am to around 7:00 pm. The actual end time depends on the skill level of the participants. The course is objective based so we’re looking for proficiency and not a time limit. After the course, you’ll be able to complete your pre-course qualifications if you’re taking the NRA Pistol Instructor Training. 

Food and Drinks:

You will not be able to leave the class to go out for lunch. Please either pack you own lunch/drinks/snacks or plan to purchase in class. For convenience we have a Donato’s Pizza Buffet option for $6, sodas/water for $1 each, and various candy bars and chips for $1. We don’t mind if you are eating/drinking during class. (We have a microwave you can use but we do not have a fridge.)

Gun, Ammo, & Safety Equipment:

You’re required to supply your own pistol and ammunition for this training. You can use any caliber and sighting system except for AR style pistols. We suggest a 22 lr pistol, there aren’t any bonus points for using a higher caliber. You’ll need a minimum of around 200 rounds of ammunition, 100 for the basic pistol class and another 100 rounds for the instructor qualification. For convenience we sell common calibers of ammunition but you’re welcome to bring your own. We do not have restrictions on the type of casings. 

We’ll also have the range safety equipment for your to borrow if needed. We require side shield on glasses. 

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What to Bring to the NRA Basic Pistol Course?

After you sign up for this course, you’ll receive some emails with some conflicting information to the list below. The majority of the students in the class are just taking the Ohio concealed carry training and aren’t meeting all the NRA Basic Pistol course requirements. Therefore, please take a note of this list of materials to bring:

1. Your ID (Driver’s License):

Doesn’t have to have current address, we just use it to verify your identification.

2. Course Fee Payment (if needed):

You can prepay for the class when registering, however, if you owe any remaining class fee then you can pay for it at check-in. We prefer cash but for this class we can do either cash or credit cards. No checks are accepted at the class.

3. Your Pistol:

Unlike our standard concealed carry training, you have to provide your own pistol and ammunition for this course. Your pistol must be unloaded and in a closed box, bag, or case. Since there are no guns or ammunition allowed in our classroom, please store it locked in your car until we go to the range. You can use any handgun caliber and sighting system. Please no rifle calibers or AR style pistols. Armed2Defend can provide the pistol needed for the load and unload demonstrations for the pre-course qualification to the NRA Basic Pistol Instructor training. 

You can rent a 22 lr pistol and 200 rounds of ammunition for $25.

4. Ammunition:

Bring at least 200 rounds of ammo. This will allow 100 rounds for the NRA Basic Pistol class and then 100 rounds to qualify for the NRA Pistol Instructor Training. Ammunition can be purchased at the class for convenience. You might want to bring more ammunition just in case. 

5. Lunch, Drinks, Snacks:

You can pack or buy into the $6 Donatos pizza lunch buffet that is offered at the class. However, I strongly suggest that you pack snacks for later in the day as there aren’t any available at the range. There won’t be any time to leave the class or range to get food. 

6. Note Taking Materials:

Pen, paper, highlighters, post-it notes, or whatever else you want to use to take notes. The test will be open book and open notes. You’ll receive the course book at the class.

7. Pre-Course Qualification Paperwork:

Please fill out and print the pre-course qualification paperwork for the NRA Pistol Instructor training. You’ll turn it in and we’ll use it to record your progress. We’ll need pages 11-18. Here is the link to the packet. 

8. Pre-course Qualification Targets:

Pre-course qualification targets listed in the pre-course qualification packet. I would suggest that you bring at least 6 copies of the 4-target paper. Here is the link to the packet. 


Where are the Classes Held?

The classroom portion is held at Wagnalls Memorial Library in Lithopolis (in the central Ohio area just outside of Columbus). Our large, covered range is on private property in Canal Winchester and is only used for Armed2Defend training courses. The range is 4 minutes from the library..

We will be in the classroom from 9 am until around 4 pm and then we will head 4 minutes down the road to our private range to complete the range time from around 4 pm to 7:00 pm. At this point you can complete your NRA Basic Pistol Pre-course qualifications. 

Do I have to have My Own Gun?

Yes, you’ll need your own gun and around 200 rounds of ammunition. Please be sure to have your gun unloaded and in a close box, bag, or case. There are no guns or ammunition allowed in the classroom so please lock it up in your car till we go to the range. 

If you don’t own a handgun, then you can rent a 22 lr pistol and 200 rounds of ammunition for $25. Please let Kevin know that you’ll need to rent a gun. 


Can I Just Pay the Class Fee on the Day of the Class?

Please note that the $90 fee is a discounted rate for those who are already signed up and paid at least the deposit for the NRA Basic Pistol Instructor Training through Armed2Defend. Otherwise, the class fee is $125.

We require a $25 non-refundable and non-transferable deposit be paid at the time of registration.

You can select to

A.) Just pay the $25 deposit to register and then pay the remaining at the door on the day of class.

B.) Pay the entire $125 (or $90 discounted) upfront.

*Please note that option B includes your $25 non-refundable deposit. If you choose this option and end up not being able to make it to class, you forfeit the $25 portion of your payment but the remaining amount can be applied to any future class date.

Will I Get My Concealed Carry License the Same Day?

Just like the BMV is the only place that can issue a driver’s license, the sheriff’s office is the only entity that can issue concealed carry licenses.

To get a concealed carry license in Ohio you must take an 8 hour training course. (If you have military experience, you might be able to use that experience in place of training– talk to the sheriff’s office in the county where you will be applying to clarify with them.) Then you take your certificate of completion from our class to the sheriff’s office as proof of completing the training requirement. (Most counties require you to set up an appointment.)

Think of taking our course like taking a drivers ed course. There is no drivers ed school that can issue drivers licenses. Likewise, there is no concealed carry training courses that can issue an Ohio Concealed Carry License. Your first step will be to complete the training and your second step will be to apply at the sheriff’s office in the county or you live in or an adjacent county.

The $90 you pay Armed2Defend covers the cost of training. When you apply through the sheriff’s office for the license there will be an additional fee you pay to them. Please contact your local sheriff’s office for any questions you may have about the license process as each county does things differently so any information we put here could be different in your county.  

It is a 5 year license. When it is time to renew in 5 years there is no retraining requirement. You will be able to renew directly with the sheriff’s office without taking additional training. (Although, additional training is always a good idea since shooting is a perishable skill!)

Do I have to be 21 to take the Class?

No, you do not have to be 21 to take the course. Anyone 18 or older can take our training course. However, please understand that you must be 21 to get an Ohio Concealed Carry License.

The sheriff’s office will honor a certificate of completion from a course taken within the last 3 years. Let’s use an example. Suppose Johnny was 20 years old when he took a concealed carry training course on Dec 15, 2018. The sheriff will honor that certificate of completion until Dec 15, 2021 (3 years from the date of completion). So when Johnny turns 21 in November 2019 he will still have plenty of time to use that certificate of completion to apply for the license before it is too old. Johnny could apply for his concealed license on the day of his 21st birthday if he was in a hurry.

Sometimes parents taking the course want their 18, 19 or 20 year old child to go through the course with them to learn about gun safety even though they aren’t old enough to get the license yet. This is a great idea and we encourage it.

*Please note: Anyone under 21 would not be legally able to transport a gun to class. This is no problem at all. They will revert to using one of ours. There are no extra fees for using one of ours. If an friend or family member 21+ is also attending the class that day, they can transport a gun for the underage person.

Which States will My License be Valid in?

The term used to refer to what states honor other states’ licenses is reciprocity. The Ohio concealed carry license is currently honored in 39 states. (This number changes so always be sure to verify reciprocity before traveling with your concealed carry firearm!)

The Ohio Attorney General’s site has a clickable map that shows you which states honor the Ohio concealed carry license.  

No matter where you take your training, when you get an Ohio Concealed Carry License you get the same license. There are NOT different levels of licenses that include more or less states.

What if I am Pregnant?

We choose not to train pregnant women on our range because of the potential for hearing damage to the baby and the exposure to toxic substances that are a unavoidable part of shooting. 

However, you are welcome to complete the 6 hour classroom portion even while pregnant! It’s actually a great idea to get the 6 hour portion done while pregnant. After delivering the baby, you can come back to complete the 2 hour range portion. Since it is sometimes hard for a mom to be away from a newborn for an extended day, many pregnant women find this to be a convenient option. 

*Please note you will not be able to apply for your Ohio Concealed Carry License until after you have completed both the classroom and range time.

*There are no additional fees involved. You would pay the class fee in full for the initial classroom time. You wouldn’t owe anything when you came back to complete the range portion. We keep your paperwork on file so we know exactly what you need to complete when you come back. 

I have __________ on My Record. Am I Still Eligible for the License?

As part of the concealed carry application process, the sheriff’s office will run a background check on you.

There are some things that disqualify a person from being eligible. If there is something you are concerned about, my advice is to contact the sheriff’s office in the county you will be applying (since they all do things differently) and talk to them about it.

You can find a summary of disqualifiers on pages 7-8 of the Ohio Attorney General’s Concealed Carry Laws Manual.

Passing a concealed carry training course does not mean that you will pass the background check at the Sheriff’s office. Trainers do not run background checks for the training.

How Long is the License Good For? How do I Renew it?

There are 2 time frames that are easy to confuse:

1.) You have 3 years from the date of completing the course to apply for the license. In other words, the sheriff requires you show proof of completing an approved training course within the last 3 years. Example: if you took the course on March 26, 2016 you would be able to use that certificate of completion to apply for a license until March 26, 2019. After that time frame, if you had not applied for your license you would be back to square one and need to repeat training.

2.) The concealed carry license itself is a 5 year license. When the 5 years are up and it is time to renew, there is no retraining requirement. You will just go through the sheriff’s office to submit an application again. Sometimes they need to see a copy of your original certificate of completion and sometimes they don’t. We offer digital replacement certificates for $10 but you should clarify with the sheriff’s office if they need/want it first. 

Our Most Recent Student Reviews:

Chris Hunt
Chris H.
13:34 25 Jan 20
Step by step instructions. With knowledge instructions. Plus take time like with my wife, to make more comfortable.
Randy Keller
Randy K.
08:55 24 Jan 20
Very well done.
Leonardo Concepcion
Leonardo C.
01:17 24 Jan 20
I recommend them very professionally, you learn a lot and a very pleasant atmosphere
Iain Johns
Iain J.
23:33 21 Jan 20
I highly recommend Armed2Defend for your CCW training. It blew me away how professional and courteous the staff were in teaching you from the ground up the essentials you need to acquire your license. It was definitely evident how much they care and have pride in their organization. They are a blessing to our community and I am looking forward to advanced training in the future. This is literally one of the best decisions I’ve ever made!
Paula Pettis
Paula P.
01:54 21 Jan 20
I highly recommend this class. The instructors are expert in their delivery of the material and go above and beyond to make sure you understand Ohio laws regarding conceal carry. The time spent at the range was incredible, making sure you know how to shoot safely and that you are comfortable with your firearm, recognizing flaws, correcting those flaws and moving forward. This was really just the best class. Sign will not be disappointed .
Terrance V
Terrance V
01:42 21 Jan 20
Great experience and very friendly
Michael Hatfield
Michael H.
22:17 17 Jan 20
The classes were very informative and all my questions were answered. Great instructors. I would recommend Armed2Defend to anyone.
John Potter
John P.
19:40 17 Jan 20
First class training. I've gone through 3 of their NRA training programs and learned a lot in each one. Instructors work with you so you get the most out of the time you spend.
Donna hunter
Donna H.
19:53 15 Jan 20
Armed2Defend exceeded my expectations of firearm laws and training. I am confident knowing that I can defend myself appropriately. I highly recommend Armed2Defend.
Fabiola Ortiz Alvarez
Fabiola Ortiz A.
16:47 15 Jan 20
They are amazing and affordable!Great class! I will definitely take it again since my certificate expired before I had the chance to get the license!
Katy Isaac
Katy I.
15:22 15 Jan 20
My husband and I decided to get our CCW’s and we LOVED our experience. Very enthusiastic and knowledgeable instructors. Highly recommend.
abdiasis muse
abdiasis M.
12:07 15 Jan 20
This is the best place to get CCW from and i really enjoyed if you ever need to get your CCW this is your place

We are family owned and operated.

You’ll quickly see that our business is more than a business to us. We have a passion to provide meaningful training. It is that passion that fuels us!

I took a class to become a concealed carrier in January 2010 (before we started Armed2Defend). My instructor was there to collect my payment and check off some boxes. He didn’t care if I learned anything. It was a paycheck to him and in his eyes the class was just a hoop for me to jump through. Ten months later Armed2Defend was born with the vision of providing excellent training at an affordable price.

Our instructors are amazing. They will make sure you learn the knowledge, skills and attitude that set the foundation for being a responsibly armed citizen! And you’ll feel like part of the Armed2Defend family during the process. 

I hope to meet you in a class soon,

Alisha Sadeski