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Thread: What to expect at a VA CHP class?

  1. #1
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    My wife is signing up for a CHP class at the Gander Mountain in Frederickburg. She's apprehensive, mainly because she doesn't know what to expect. I never took a class because I used my police experience as proof of competency.

    I keep telling her it is no big deal, it's just a class, but she wants to know what to expect. Anyone know what it's like?

    Thanks,
    Andrew

  2. #2
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    My experience at Gilbert's Small Arms in November, 2006:

    We started off by introducing ourselves, saying what (if any) guns we owned, and stating why we're taking the class.

    Then the instructor went over terminology (i.e. what ".38SPL LWC" means, what the differences are between "Single Action" and "Double Action"), showed us a few different revolvers and semi-autos that exemplified the different firing mechanisms. He stressed that we should always use the right caliber for the gun. Yadda Yadda Yadda.

    We did go through a couple legal things--some examples of when the use of deadly force is justified, when it isn't, what to do afterwards. We went over the (common sense) rules of firearms safety, and touched on whether or not Lifetime CHPs would be instated by July, 2007. The instructor also brought out some examples of self-defense literature (i.e. the Virginia Gun Owner's Guide, In The Graves Extreme, etc.).

    Finally, the instructor went over the basics of how to shoot (smooth trigger pull/press), how point-shooting works (close your eyes and point towards the sound I'm going to make), how to line up the sights on the target. Then he brought out a bunch of S&W model 10s and we punched 50 holes in silhouettes at 10 yards under his supervision.

    After that, we all got our certificates, and went home.

    ---

    Really, the class was for absolute beginners (we had one) and casual shooters (the rest of us), and most of it was stuff we(I) knew already, but it was informative, nonetheless (i.e. I learned there's no Castle Doctrine in VA, so I don't automatically have the right to shoot someone for merely Breaking and Entering, or for attempting to steal my car).

    Easy as pie. A four hour-long pie.

  3. #3
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    you should try it at the gun show with PPI - cold metal seats, in an un-conditioned space for 4 hours. my a$$ never hurt so bad before! if you've never seen me (some of you have) i'm 6-2, 165#, so you can tell there ain't much padding back there to begin with.

    our guy showed us about 10 different guns, went thru the differences between each, we watched the ancient NRA video with Gerald McRainey, barely touched on legal issues (told us it was in the book, to read it on our own time) and had no hands on time with a weapon at all. we did have to sign a form stating that PPI informed us that range qualification wasn't required by VA state code, but that they offered it to us.

  4. #4
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    As everyone else has basically said, it's a no-brainer. I took mine from the guy that runs discovershooting.com, because he offered it from his house at any time I wanted, and he threw in Utah training too.

    There was a lecture portion w/ some slides, gun cleaning, and some token range time just making sure I could make all my bullets go downrange instead of up. Going into it I knew it would be nothing much, yet still I was surprised at the lack of depth to the course.


    If your wife survived the mental and physical rigors of driver's ed, she's sure to do fine at a Basic Pistol-type course.


  5. #5
    Regular Member Shovelhead's Avatar
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    It depends on where you take it.

    This is the one I went through at Blue Ridge Arsenal

    after the classroom portion (1st day)

    [font="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif"]The Pre-Qualification class is a requirement of the Concealed Carry Class. The total cost for both is $175. These classes are not for the novice shooter. The 12 hour Concealed Firearm Course was developed around the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services Course for Armed Security Officers and with input from the Fairfax County Police Department. The course covers the Virginia Concealed Weapons Law; federal, state and local restrictions; the Virginia law concerning the use of deadly force; firearm maintenance and safe storage; equipment and ammunition selection; proper loading and shooting techniques; and, concludes with a written exam. The firearm proficiency portion of the course is a 60 round, 300 point modified PPC Course designed to give the student practice and experience in drawing and firing at a stationary target under pressure. The course is fired at three distances: 3 yards, 7 yards and 15 yards.




    1.



    First Sequence of fire is to draw and fire 2 rounds in 3 seconds, this is repeated 3 times.

    • Second Sequence of fire is to draw and fire 6 rounds with your strong hand, reload and fire 6 rounds with your weak hand in 25 seconds, total 12 rounds.

    2.nds:









    • First Sequence of fire is to draw and fire 1 round in 2 seconds, this is repeated 6 times.
    • Second Sequence of fire is to draw and fire 2 rounds in 3 seconds, this is repeated 3 times.
    • Third Sequence of fire is to draw and fire 6 rounds, reload and fire 6 more rounds all with your strong hand in 30 seconds, total 12 rounds.


    3.
    d line you fire 18 rounds:


    • From behind barricade you will be given 70 seconds to draw, kneel and fire 6 rounds strong hand, stand, reload, and fire 6 rounds weak hand, reload, and fire 6 rounds strong hand









    Passing for both the written and proficiency tests is 70%. Within 5 days of successful completion of the course a certificate and training completion form will be issued to the student. The training completion form provides all of the information required by the courts to receive your permit and the certificate is suitable for hanging.
    Hardly a "Stay Awake and get a certificate" experience.
    Assault Weapon (N) “Any firearm whose design disturbs the sleep of progressive politicians.”.

  6. #6
    Campaign Veteran pourshot's Avatar
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    I have heard very different opinions about the instructor at Gander Mountain. More bad than good, but since I have never taken his course I cannot say from personal experience. I have thought about taking it just for that reason and I probably will in the near future. Maybe within the next couple of weeks.



    Guys name is Tomperoni (not sure how to spell it) and he makes a pretty good tri-fold brochure.

  7. #7
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    I also cannot speak about the current instructor at GM. The wife and I took our class at the GM but with a prior instructor. That said, I saw him once at the gun counter during a class break. He seemed OK considering the class length and cost. He posts of PDO occasionally so you might look him up over there.

    When we took our class, there were maybe two other women with a class total around 20. If your wife is nervous, you may want to sacrifice the $40 and attend with here. Just call it your dinner and a movie night.
    ---

  8. #8
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    Yeah, isn't this about $300 - $350 as well? If your in the Fairfax County area, NRA offers a class for $100. Two parts.

    First is class room instruction/familiarization with pistols and different types of pistols. Covers laws (with the note of caution - "We're not lawyers so we can't interpret the law, just recite it), general do's/don'ts, practice in grip and dry firing.

    Second is an hour of instructor time. Firing sitting one round at a time.Firing one round standing until competency is shown by firing and getting some sort of pattern. It helped to show what your doing wrong - finger placement, not pulling directly back on trigger etc. Move up to two rounds at a time.

    That was basically it. Got my certificate. I think the Blue Ridge Aresenal one is more intense and possibly worth the extra money, but I don't have a holster yet and didn't want to cough up the extra dough. Been to Blue Ridge many times, decent range and friendly staff.

  9. #9
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    bruce furr of furr supply co (met him at one of the chantilly gun shows) offers CHP classes with no shooting necessary.i was going to go to one of his classes (which he held atan apartment building's common room inMcLean/tyson's corner) but my scheduling didn't work out. he said i could bring my gun, but stressed sevral times that i not bring any ammunition into the building.

    i don't remember what he charged, but i believe it was under the $200 mark.

  10. #10
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    The class I described at Gilbert's was $50...

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