AAR Lite: NRA CCW (Instructor) Course

I recently attended the NRA CCW Instructor Course, a new offering from NRAís commercial side that is still in its infancy. I reduced that class to this post and figured it may be useful for the knowledge base. This AAR focuses on the course and curriculum. No student, gun, TC, or facility info is noteworthy.

Up front, Iím not a big fan of NRA curriculums in general, student or instructor, LE or commercial, for their overall inflexibility and excess of lecture and powerpoint. I hold multiple creds from both the LE and commercial side. I do place a value on the NRA instructor creds for their common recognition and some regulatory compliance.

NRA CCW is brand new hybrid of the basic pistol and personal protection outside the home courses, taking the best essentials of each. A product like this has been in demand for some time as there was not a single, basic product to address CCW specific needs for NRA instructors.

Pre-reqs for the class are NRAís basic pistol instructor, completion of NRAís basic instructor techniques (BIT), and completion of the CCW student course. This class execution packaged BIT, the student course, and instructor course together over a long weekend, which seems typical from schedules I see.

There are no CCW course-specific materials available yet beyond the powerpoint, appendices, and written test. For the time being, the student packet has the basic pistol and PPOTH books.

BIT can be painful, and if you havenít done it in the last 24 months you have to do it again. It is not without use to the new instructor as it covers the essentials of conducting the class, both presentation and logistics side. The BIT test hasnít changed much in years, dig out a copy of your old one.

There is no recognition of LE pistol or LE BIT content for this NRA CCW course, you have to hold the commercial creds specified above. NRAís LE side and commercial side donít communicate and occasionally give conflicting information about each otherís policies. Go to the mountain responsible for the info you need and get it in writing whenever possible. There is a process to apply and test for validation of LE creds onto the commercial side. Do that first if you are still eligible. Each office has good folks, but it's still a bureaucracy.

NRA CCW is entirely modular with ten available lessons covering critical content for the CCW context. They are not exhaustive but will do at least a decent, consistent job and a far better one than many other CCW training products. Instructors can use the modules ala carte to build the course they need. Only the safety module is mandatory for all courses. Therefore, a course can be 1-16 hours in length or longer to suit the local demand or statutory requirements. Certificates will reflect the modules taught.

An optional legal considerations block is provided for in appendix 2, with objectives. Content and presentation will be locally driven.

Powerpoint slides for the modules are on the recommended list, not the required list. Stick to the curriculum, but you donít have to stick to all the slides. Credit where credit is due, the slides in this particular course arenít too bad, with plenty of imagery to teach from rather than text to read.

Course content mentions carrying flashlights, cell phones, and avoidance.

Appendix 1 contains the range exercises and begins with a comprehensive safety brief. That safety brief includes a lot of emergency planning and suggests a GTG packing list for a med kit. This will be new information for many.

A series of student drills follow beginning with dry practice and progressing through practical live fire drills of increasing complexity. They include loading and unloading, drawing from the holster from concealment, firing one round at a time for groups and multiple rounds in defensive accuracy, scanning and assessing, and performing emergency reloads. If the provided qualification course of fire is administered the published drills are mandatory content. A cold range is specified, with an unload and show clear procedure at the end of each drill.

A 50-round qualification course of fire is provided, mandatory if live fire training is conducted. A locally required CCW live fire test can be substituted for the NRA version. Targets required are USPSA (metric) or IDPA scoring areas. B/C or 0/-1 hits are required with penalties for hits in the D or -3. Anything off silhouette is a failure of the COF. Penalties are assessed for failure to scan and assess. There are no time limits. Distances are 3, 5, 7, and 15 yards with only 5 rounds at the 15. Even with no time limit and minimal accuracy standard, this COF will still be a challenge to many students, especially if they arrive with typical CCW pieces. Three attempts to pass are allowed. 80% to pass.

The written test is modular like the rest of the material, and like the COF it will require some effort from many students. As the course material develops a few questions need polish but itís at least a decent product right now and does a good job for its intended purpose.

Thereís a good write-up of the NRA CCW class from on the KR Training blog, here: http://blog.krtraining.com/the-new-nra-ccw-class/.

As Karl notes, the modularity of this class will allow integration of the NRA CCW modules into existing non-NRA products. Smart instructors should be able to run the CCW program parallel with others with little issue. This is not nearly as possible with the rigidity of other NRA curriculums.

Overall, it is the modularity and flexibility of NRA CCW that is its greatest selling point for me. My most frequently used and most valued NRA training product thus far is my certification card, but I like what I see from this new course.

As I read and hear about otherís experiences with NRA CCW Instructor courses, some seem to be as variable as the student courses might be. I wonder a bit about that.

Additional reading:
American Rifleman article: https://www.americanrifleman.org/art...ra-ccw-course/
NRA Basic CCW: https://www.nrainstructors.org/CatalogInfo.aspx?cid=76

Iím interested in hearing thoughts and experiences from others as they take this class and use this curriculum.