What To Expect From Our Pistol Permit Course


The most difficult step in any new process or phase in our lives is always the first one. It’s understandable why some people may be reluctant to taking a pistol permit class, it’s always the fear of the unknown. We get that, below I explain what to expect when taking a course, the article is written based on Prepare To Act’s curriculum. 

The process of obtaining your pistol permit is a lengthy one and requires a certain level of commitment on your part.  There are fee’s associated with the initial class you take, as well as fees to your local and state police. You are required to submit a set of fingerprints, (No, you can not use the same ones you have on file.) You must also understand that you will be the subject of an extensive background check and there are specific charges and certain history that will automatically disqualify you.  (For that list follow the link).

Over the years we have answered many questions that our customers or interested soon to be customers might have. So we took the time to publish a free E-Book, The Steps Required To Obtaining You Connecticut Pistol Permit To Carry.  Click the link to get your copy.

An average pistol permit course runs about eight hours.  Each course must consist of classroom instruction and live fire exercises.  Depending on who you take your course from you’ll be shooting bullets from one of many calibers, or bullet sizes.  You are required by state law to shoot live ammunition, although the number of bullets you shoot are not specified.

The following is an example of how our day/class schedule works:

Days Schedule:

8:45 To 9:15 –    In Class Registration

9:15 To 12:30 – Classroom Instruction

12:30 To 1:00 – Lunch

1:00 To 2:30 – Classroom Portion Completes And Written Test Is Given

2:30 To 2:45 - Break

2:45 To 4:45 – Live Fire Exercises

4:45 To 5:00 - Course Completion And Certificates Are Issued

There is a lot of information to learn, we know this, so what we’ve done is designed our own handbook that follows our curriculum to a T. Every student gets an e-copy of it when they sign up and it’s to keep. Keep in mind that Connecticut has some of the strictest laws in the country when it comes to firearms, personal safety and use of force.

We have a list of the laws and their definitions that we think are important for you to know.  Follow the link to get your copy.

Below I discuss an overview of a pistol permit class and what to expect.  I’ll introduce you to some terms that you may not be familiar with as well as some important safety information that you need to know moving forward.

Firearm Safety Rules – We begin with the basics and teach four rules that are imperative to all firearm training and the foundation to all firearm safety.  We directly cover the safe storage and handling of all firearms.

Gun Knowledge – Answer this: What is the difference between a double action and a single action firearm?  Don’t know? Perfect, because we love to teach from the ground up.

Loading And Unloading Firearms -  One of the most intimidating things to do is to manipulate or load and unload your firearm.  We know that most people are very uncomfortable with the idea that firearms can mis-fire, or go off by accident. They can’t and to provide some insight, triggers take pounds of pressure to be pulled and to fire a round.

Shooting Fundamentals – There are five basic firing fundamentals that we teach. And, although we pride ourselves on having original content, these “rules” always made the most sense to us.

  1. Aiming
  2. Breathing Control
  3. Movement Control
  4. Trigger Control
  5. Follow Through

Ammunition -  A term you will here a lot as you go through your training is Nomenclature, as it is defined in the dictionary to be “the devising or choosing of names for things.” Ammunition is broken down to five parts:

  1. Bullet: The Projectile
  2. Case: Holds The Other Three Components
  3. Powder: The Propellant
  4. Rim: Bottom Of The CasingPrimer: A Pressure Sensitive Explosive

We also discuss, types of cartridges, different sizes and types of bullets, or calibers, types of ammunition malfunctions.

Firearms in general do not really have a lot of moving parts, but firearm malfunctions are common.  Problems the shooter may face are rounds failing to feed correctly, double feeds or failure to extract, failure to eject or a “stove-pipe.” These are just to name a few, the important thing to remember is that they can and will happen.  We teach you exactly how to handle them and all the safe corrective measures to fix them.

About The RangeOnce we complete the classroom instruction we head into the range, which in and of itself can be an intimidating area. But, the range is where it all comes together.  The classroom is a necessary piece of the puzzle to prepare you, the range is where the rubber meets the road as they say. Here are some terms to familiarize yourself with that will help the range process. Prior to entering the range we teach you all the terms you’ll need before going in.  These terms are listed clearly in our student handbook which you’ll receive once you sign up for our permit class. You’ll learn about the firing line, cold and hot areas and so much more before even pulling a trigger.  

Obviously, safety is of the utmost importance whenever at the range or around firearms.  While at the range and under the instruction of Prepare To Act staff, there will be Range Safety Officer (RSO), most of the time it will be your lead instructor. It is important to listen carefully to your RSO as they are in command and ultimately responsible for your safety.  You will learn specific safety rules, language and protocol that must be adhered to once on the range.

Here are some commands to familiarize yourself with before heading out to the range with us.

What should you wear at the range? We suggest comfortable clothing, sneakers and baseball hats are always a good thought. Prepare To Act supplies approved eye and ear protection to keep you safe.

Types Of Holsters – During the classroom portion we discuss different types of holsters and explain the benefits and options that you have. We discuss holster that can be kept Inside the waist band (IWB), Outside the waist band (OWB) as well as ankle, shoulder, clothing undergarments and purse carries. There are also “retention holsters,” that are rated at different levels. We discuss them all in our Pistol Permit Courses.

Purchasing Your First Firearm – Once you are issued your pistol permit purchasing your first firearm is the next step. There are so many options out there and so many things to consider before investing a few hundred dollars. Although we touch on this topic throughout the training as we teach you about different types of handguns, there are obviously so much more to the learn about prior to making that purchase.   We cover this topic at length in our original Basics Of Firearms Class, the pre-requisite to this course is having your pistol permit already. We’ve also have a blog post here that talks about just this topic.

Firearm Maintenance And The Importance Of A Clean Weapon ­– The intriguet moving parts of a firearm must all work smoothly and in unison. One way to be sure that happens to is to routinely clean and maintain your weapon. Some of the things we teach to look for are:


  • Do not over clean, excessively scrubbing will wear the metal down, changing it’s tolerance.
  • Look for carbon and metal deposit build up
  • Oil should be used lightly, applied to preventing caking, oil will attract dust and dirt
  • Wear surfaces on metal are indicators of places to oil
  • Cleaning products may be toxic and must be handled with care

And of course, we cover Connecticut Laws as they pertain to firearms, self-protection, use of force and home protection. Because of the focus, goals and limited time frame of our Pistol Permit Course we do not hammer home or discuss at length these laws.  We do however supply a copy to you in our student handbook that is sent to you when you do sign up for our class. Or, if you’d like a copy of the laws we’ve researched and other important legal information, please follow the link and you can get your free copy of the gun laws governing Connecticut.