Understanding Firearms: An Introductory Course

Course description (1 day):

Intensive – This one-day training programme is designed to give delegates a real-world understanding of the design, function, applications and effects of firearms.

Fundamentals – The course works from first principles, explaining the various types of firearms plus their operating principles, all illustrated through the group handling of deactivated firearms. The training then progresses to examine firearms in their real-world context, looking at critical issues such as accuracy, terminal ballistics (the effect of the bullet on the human body), basic tactical considerations, ammunition types and criminal use. There is also information on what constitutes effective cover when faced with aggressive fire.

Active training – Understanding Firearms is a dynamic and hands-on event, the theoretical instruction brought to life through a mix of video presentations, deactivated weapons, group activities and many practical challenges. Further training in handling live firearms can also be arranged through associated organizations. Understanding Firearms is an essential workshop for any organization looking to educate itself about firearms and their effects.

Session outline:
The following is a description of the standard course. Note that the training can be adapted according to the special requirements of your organization or staff.

Session 1: Types of firearm
A detailed explanation of the principal types of firearms, and the tactical roles that they perform. Includes studies of revolvers, semi-auto handguns, bolt-action rifles, shotguns, semi- and full-auto battle rifles, assault rifles, submachine guns and machine guns. Outcome: The delegates learn how to identify the different types of firearm by their visual characteristics and practical performance.

Session 2: How firearms work
This session explains in simple, understandable terms how firearms work mechanically. The information forms the bedrock of a proper understanding of gun safety and analysis. It also explains how ammunition functions and delivers its effects and gives information for identifying ammunition types. Outcome: The delegates gain a working understanding of how firearms function mechanically.

Session 3: Myths and realities
There is much misinformation about firearms and how they are handled. This session delves into critical areas of common misunderstanding, including: factors affecting accuracy; terminal ballistics; physiological responses in lethal force encounters; and many other key topics.
Outcome: The delegates understand more about the practical reality of how firearms are used, and are freed from many of the myths propagated in film, TV and media sources.

Session 4: Survival and safety
Here we focus on critical issues of firearms awareness, including the general principles of making a gun safe, understanding the difference between cover and concealment and defining the practical range and penetration of different firearms.
Outcome: The delegates acquire core information about survivability from armed threats. (Note: this aspect of the course is a theoretical foundation only; practical live-fire training can be provided if required through associated organizations.)

Pricing/practical information:


Course location: Training is typically conducted at the client’s own premises, subject to security approval, but external training venues can be arranged.
Safety: The training makes extensive use of legally deactivated firearms (deactivation certificates provided) and antique firearms in obsolete calibres. Note: no 'live' firearms nor live ammunition will be present during the training.
Course adaptation: The course can be readily adapted to suit client needs. Options include extending the training to two days (to cover different topics) or arranging for live-fire workshops at ranges/shooting grounds through our associated organizations.



NB: Prices can be adjusted for multiple course bookings and special requirements. Please call Chris on 01792 324049 to discuss.

IMPORTANT: A discounted open-access Understanding Firearms workshop will run be run in Swansea on 9 July 2018. See here for more details.