Gear for a Defensive Pistol Class

Whether you are planning to attend the USCCA Defensive Shooting Fundamentals or the Alpha Koncepts Defensive Pistol class, it is important you bring the proper gear to a defensive pistol class.  Some gear such as a holster and spare magazines may seem obvious. And while some gear will vary from class to class, let’s talk about the most common gear you should bring to the class.


One of the best learning experiences in a defensive shooting class is being able to “prove your gear”. Therefore it is always best to bring what you usually carry. This applies to your gun and accessories. Let’s find out if it actually works!  The most important thing you can do is read the confirmation emails and make sure to bring everything on the list. This gear list may be incomplete when compared to the confirmation email.

Essential Gear for a Defensive Pistol Class

  • Defensive handgun – Leave the competition pistols and trophy guns at home. This class is for defensive training with your concealed carry pistol or home defense pistol.
  • Spare magazines or speed loaders – If you are bringing a semi-automatic pistol to your defensive class, bring at least two spare magazines. However, if you are bringing a revolver, bring at least 3-speed loaders.
  • Magazine pouch – a magazine pouch, magazine holster, or some clip for storing spare magazines is recommended. Loosely placing spare magazines in your pocket is not ideal, as you will find out.
  • Typically for an 8 hour day, we recommend not less than 500 rounds of ammunition. It’s better to have more than you need,  rather than not enough ammo.
  • A good thick belt and pants with belt loops. Please don’t show up with yoga pants or sweat pants that aren’t capable of carrying the weight of the gun. This is important! 
  • Eye and ear protection is a must. For ear protection, we recommend electronic hearing so you may better hear the commands of the instructor. Don’t forget spare batteries!
  • A safe holster. It’s not a bad idea to bring an extra outside the waistband holster too. Please do not bring soft floppy leather holsters or generic one size fits all nylon holsters, as many of these holsters are unsafe.
  • Pen and notebook – bring some method for taking notes.
  • A state-issued ID card – that is if you want the instructor to sign your certificate.


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Additionally Recommended Training Gear

  • Closed-toe shoes – you don’t want hot brass falling between your toes.
  • A baseball cap or hat with a brim – you don’t want hot brass falling into your glasses.
  • A high neck shirt similar to a crew neck. V neck shirts tend to allow hot brass to burn your chest.
  • Water – Usually water shall be provided. However, we always recommend students bring their own hydration.
  • Lunch – Sometimes lunch is provided. But sometimes not. Be sure to check your confirmation email(s).
  • Snacks – Even if lunch is provided, you might want a little extra.  Training can be hard work.
  • Chair – Sometimes you just want to sit where you want to sit.
  • Umbrella – Not only can this keep the rain off your back, but the sun too.
  • Weather appropriate gear – a rain jacket if it might rain. An extra sweater if it is cooler weather. Just use common sense.
  • Sunscreen and bug spray – for outdoor classes.
  • Lubrication – A CLP type lube can’t hurt if your firearm starts to foul-up.
  • A shooting mat, knee pads, and elbow pads – We will get started on the groundwork in Alpha Koncepts Defensive Pistol 3, or USCCA Defensive Shooting Fundamentals 2.


Gear for a Defensive Pistol Class


Always remember the old saying, one is none and two is one. If you think you might need a backup, you probably do.

Alpha Koncepts Defensive Pistol Training  |  USCCA Defensive Shooting Fundamentals

About the Author

Thomas Kral is the chief firearm instructor for Alpha Koncepts Firearm Training and has been instructing students on the safe and efficient use of a firearm since 2013. Thomas has numerous firearm industry certifications including instructor credentials from the United States Concealed Carry Association, the National Rifle Association, Next Level Defense, Ultimate Training Munitions, and The American Gunsmithing Institute.

Thomas Kral is also the founder of a gun rights organization, GunRights4Illinois. Founded in 2014, GunRights4Illinois is blossoming into a no-compromise gun rights organization enabling Illinois gun owners to fight for their rights.

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