Live Fire Range Etiquette

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There are rules and expectations we need to be aware of and use instinctively while training at the shooting range. In addition to adhering to the four universal gun safety rules at all times, there are also some etiquette basics we should follow. 

These range basics include (but are not limited to) the following common courtesy — and common sense — items:

  • Follow the rules.

Not all shooting ranges operate the same way, so be sure you know what’s expected of you. Some things you might want to check are: What are the operating hours? Can you draw from a holster? Can you collect brass? Are the firing lines moveable? What types of ammunition and/or firearms can be used?

  • Know basic instructions and requests.

Or, in the case of a shooting range, know basic range commands. It’s always helpful to be familiar with the types of words and phrases you’ll hear at just about any range, such as “hot” and “cold” range, “cease fire,” “load and make ready” and “unload and show clear.”

  • Listen to authority.

Always respect and obey the authority on any range. And listen to instructors, range safety officers and/or other range staff. They are in charge for a reason.

  • Wear eye and ear protection.

This is a bit of a stretch, I suppose, since none of us likely heard that rule in kindergarten. But consider this piece of advice as similar to: “Wear your seatbelt.” And even though some facilities may not require ear protection or eye protection (or both), we know that eye and ear pro are vital for proper safety and health on the range.

  • Don’t bother other target shooters

If someone is actively shooting, don’t tap them on the shoulder or try to talk to them. There is one exception to this rule: If you see that they (or someone else) could be in immediate danger, such as a malfunction you notice with their firearm, then it is alright to say something.

  • Don’t shoot firearms that go against the range rules

Let’s say you’re shooting at a 50ft indoor range. Don’t bring your high-powered rifle and think it’s ok to shoot. You’re sure to do damage down range, as most of them aren’t equipped to handle those types of impacts. Many indoor pistol ranges allow you to shoot .22 rifles, but always check before you shoot them.

  • Keep yourself and your guests safe.

You are responsible for your own behavior and for the behavior of your guests. Don’t let anything get out of hand.

  • Be courteous of others.

Unless you’re the only shooter at the range, you need to be checking to see where others are, especially at an outdoor range where setup may be a little less structured. Be safe and be cautious, and don’t get in anyone’s way. Other shooters will appreciate your courtesy and kindness.

  • Don’t coach or correct

Unless someone is pointing a firearm at you, it is common courtesy not to interfere with the shooting techniques of a fellow shooter. If they are doing something dangerous, that’s another story. Use your best judgement in that case. 

  • Don’t hover
  • There is nothing more annoying at a range than having someone RIGHT behind or next to you while you shoot. If you’re observing, give some distance between yourself and the shooter. This is not only annoying, but could also pose a safety risk.

  • Don’t take things that aren’t yours.

That chamber flag or that box of .22 ammo that was left behind should not end up in your range bag, no matter how much you need it or want it.

  • Don’t mess with other people’s stuff.

Respect the shooting range, the range’s property and anyone else’s possessions. Basically, do not bother other people or their stuff.

  • Ask questions when you are unsure.

Don’t be afraid to ask the staff, a safety officer, an instructor or even another experienced shooter any questions you might have. They’re there to help.

  • Put things back where you found them.

Your house cleaner does not live at the shooting range, so please put equipment away. Other people don’t want to hunt down cones, targets, steel or stands because you left them where you were training three days ago!

  • Clean up your mess.

I’ve always heard that you should leave a location in better shape than you found it. This holds true for the shooting range, as well. So clean up your gear, throw away trash and leave the range in safe and pristine order when you are finished.

The Four Universal Firearms Safety Rules

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And having done the 9mm vs. .45 ACP debate recently, I decided to talk about firearms safety and the rules that keep us safe. (Do the rules keep us safe, or do the rules guide actions that allow us to remain safe? See? It’s starting already.)

Let’s recap those rules:

  1. Treat every gun as if it is loaded.
  2. Don’t point your gun at anything you are not willing to destroy.
  3. Know your target and what is beyond it.
  4. Keep your finger off the trigger until you have made a conscious decision to shoot.

There they are, the four cardinal rules of gun safety. Everyone knows them or should know them. When there is an “accident,” it is typically because someone failed to follow one of the rules. That, of course, means the shooting was not accidental, but rather unintentional. In other words, the shooting was negligent. I rarely say a shooting was accidental. You have to do too many things in just the right order to make a gun get loud for any discharge to be an accident.

But Wait! There's More...! Live Fire Gun Range Rules

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Credit Where Credit is Due

Here's three more firearms safety rules that I first heard about from noted firearms trainer and all-around good guy, George Harris. If you don’t know who he is, conduct a Google search for “George Harris International Firearms Consultants.” Then ask some of the best firearms trainers you know if they know George.

Here are the three rules George works with:

  1. Know the status of your weapon at all times.
  2. Maintain good muzzle management at all times.
  3. Maintain trigger finger discipline at all times.

These rules are interlocking and overlapping, just like all good safety rules, they work especially well with the Four Universal Firearms Safety Rules. One leads into the next and develop into a great big circle of safety and success.

 These three rules help with safety and success. But they are only as good as the person who implements them. What do you think? 

Four rules on gun safety: All guns are always loaded even if they are not treat them as if they are.

The First Commandment


Treat all guns as though they are always loaded, and always perform a clearance check every time you pick it up! 

Most firearm “accidents” occur with firearms that the users had sworn were unloaded. Never, never, never grow careless with a firearm. Every single time you pick it up, perform the proper clearance procedure and educate those in your household how to do the same. Treat a firearm that you’ve just unloaded with the exact same respect as one that you’ve just loaded.

Even with magazine out and no round in chamber, a firearm must always be considered as "loaded" and handled consequently. Let's brush up on the safety rules 

The first rule of gun safety must be taken literally even if you risk to look stupid. Of course, if the slide is held open, the chamber is visibly empty and the magazine is out, a firearm can not fire – but the rule is more about bad habits to get rid of than you may think. Repeated movements are unconsciously assimilated and then executed even when tired, unfocused, or under stress.

No distinction should be made between a loaded and "unloaded". If a shooter tends to put his or her finger on the trigger of a firearm and "muzzle" accidentally people or objects when a gun is visibly unloaded and clear, those inappropriate movements can be repeated unwittingly – and dangerously so – when the gun is loaded.

Four rules? There were four rules? Pray, do tell!

As the four universal safety rules are laid out for you... Ypo'll be astonished that safer gun-handling can be presented so simply and logically. They make perfect sense! 

God Bless Colonel Jeff Cooper... That man was brilliant! 

Four rules on gun safety: Never point the muzzle at anything you are not willing to destroy.

The Second Commandment


Never point your gun at anything that you are not willing to destroy! 

While your firearm has to point somewhere, you should always ensure that it’s pointed in a direction that can serve as a backstop if the firearm were to discharge. A good method to practice this rule is to pretend that a laser extends out from the end of the barrel. You should NEVER let that imaginary laser beam touch anything that won’t stop a bullet (that includes any wall, ceiling, or floor that could not stop a bullet) or ANYONE (that includes your own hands, legs, or body) unless you are in a defensive situation and all criteria is present for the use of deadly force.

 The weight of a trigger – either short or long in travel, either in single or double action – is always lower than the level of force that a human finger can exert even unconsciously. Most accidental discharges are caused by the joint effect of stress and lack of proper training.

The trigger of a gun is always ergonomically positioned to be easily reached by the index finger. Thus, without proper training, the bad habit of reaching the trigger right away is difficult to get rid of. A sudden moment of tension – e.g. risking to fall down after stumbling on something – will cause an uncontrollable contraction of the hand's muscles; the hand will close, and an accidental discharge will almost certainly follow.

Among the effects of stress hormons is the reduction of sensitivity on the distal parts of the body (extremities such as, precisely, fingers). As a result, the shooter can loose the feeling of the finger on the trigger and become unable to control the level of pressure exerted on the trigger itself.

A quick search on-line will return several videos showing how such accidents are quite recurring even among trained law enforcement professionals, particularly in tense situations when a dangerous individual has to be kept at gunpoint.

This essential safety rule must be assimilated by shooters as quickly as possible and implemented with the utmost care. firearms academy Live Fire Gun Range Rules Live Fire Range Etiquette Brea

The Universal Firearm Safety Rules

Former Army Ranger John Lovell teaches firearm safety, shooting range etiquette, proper unloading procedures, and the 4 universal firearm safety rules. Forward this video to any friends, family, or neighbors interested in learning how to safely handle a gun.   Warrior Poet Society

Four rules on gun safety: Keep your finger off the trigger till your sights are on the target

The Third Commandment


Keep your finger OFF the trigger and outside the trigger guard until you are on target and have made the decision to shoot!  

Until these criteria are met, your trigger finger should be straight and placed firmly on the frame of the firearm. In a defensive situation, do NOT put your finger in the trigger guard unless all requirements have been met for the use of deadly force. Training consistently with this method will avoid a negligent discharge in a stress situation, when your body’s natural adrenaline dump will cause the strength of your grip to increase.

The third rule is easy to follow at the range, where a gun can be logically pointed only at one direction – the target on the firing line. Once at home or in other situations when handling a gun can become necessary is where things get complicated.

Theoretically speaking, there's no "safe direction" to point a gun at: in the event of an accidental discharge, there will be some degree of damage involved. The least that can happen is that we'll get a hole in the wall – or right through it.

But this rule is strongly intertwined with the others. If a gun is considered as "always loaded" and the finger doesn't reach the trigger, there will be no accidental discharges. Guns don't fire all by themselves. Even when an accidental discharge is caused by a mechanical failure or defect, it still requires some level of handling.

A firearm should never be unloaded with the muzzle pointed at surfaces that could favour a ricochet – such as marble, Majolica, or porcelain fixtures.

No gun shall ever be aimed at a window. Extra caution should be paid in order NOT to point a gun at ourselves or other persons in the surroundings – EVER.

Three or more phone directory books, as thick as possible, piled up on one another, can double as an effective "DIY bullet trap" to prevent dangerous ricochets in case of an accidental discharge during loading or unloading. It will work on most pistol calibers – but not on much else.

Safety Awareness: Your First Priority!

Additional Safety Rules

The National Rifle Association (NRA) teaches additional rules to keep in mind:

   Know how to use the gun safely.

   Be sure the gun is safe to operate.

   Use only the correct ammunition for your gun.

   Wear eye and ear protection, as appropriate.

   Never use alcohol or prescription or other drugs before or while shooting.

   Be aware that certain types of guns and shooting activities require additional safety precautions.

   Frequently service and maintain your firearm.

Be an Active Participant in Safety!

Four rules gun safety Identify your target and what's behind it never shoot at what you haven't ID

The Fourth Commandment


Always be sure of your target and beyond!  

Said another way, you must POSITIVELY identify your target before you shoot and you MUST be convinced that anything that you shoot at (a target on the range, or an attacker in a parking garage) must have an effective backstop to stop your bullet, otherwise you MUST NOT SHOOT! 

Nobody would ever wants to fire a round and hit an innocent. This rule applies always, whenever we are handling a firearm – be it for hunting, sport or leisure shooting, service or defensive purposes. Home invasions take place mostly in the darkest hours of night, so keep a flashlight handy. You don't want to shoot blindly at moving shadows that could be our family members.

When out hunting, refrain from shooting at anything that moves. Always ascertain yourselves that the movement or the noise was caused by your prey before even putting your finger on the trigger.

Purchasing a firearm just because how powerful it is is a common mistake, and one to be avoided. A few readings on terminal ballistics are enough to learn that a 9mm bullet with a kinetic energy level of about 50 kilograms/meter ( ~ 490J) can bust through a modern partition wall just as easily as it can overpenetrate a human body, and still retain enough kinetic energy to injure anybody on its path.

Safety Rules in a Gunfight?

The universal firearms safety rules apply even during a gunfight, but they can be difficult to implement under the high stress of such a dynamic incident. Still, even though they are difficult, they are mandatory.

In this short video clip, a robber pulls out a gun on a pair of men. The man in the short sleeves pushes the robber’s gun away, draws his own gun and fires. At about the same time, the man in blue moves into the line of fire and is shot four times by the good guy trying to defend himself.

Safe gun handling Three golden rules Proper Safe Handgun four universal safety 3 4 Brea Placentia oc

Proper & Safe Handgun Handling

The 3 Golden Rules for Proper & Safe Handgun Handling

Golden Rule #1:   Always keep the handgun pointed in a safe direction

By always making sure that the gun is pointed in a safe direction you ensure that no harm will be done if the gun were to accidentally be fired. A safe direction means that if the gun was pointed away from people and/or things and the trigger were to be accidentally pulled or snagged on an article of clothing or dropped the subsequently discharged of the firearm's bullet would not cause injury to person(s), animal(s) or damage to property. However, there will be painful embarrassment. Based on your own common sense, situation, location, who you are with and who is near you will dictate what is considered a safe direction. I'm saying perhaps the firearm shouldn't be touched until its safe to do so.

Golden Rule #2:   Always keep your finger off the trigger until you’re ready to shoot.

When holding a gun, (any gun) rest your trigger finger outside the trigger guard alongside the gun. Keep your finger there until you are ready to fire. By doing so, you ensure that the trigger will not accidentally be pulled causing the firearm to discharge due to a slip of the finger.

Golden Rule #3:   Always keep the gun unloaded until ready to use.

When picking up a gun, you want to make certain the mechanical safety is engaged. Then make sure that the gun’s ammunition source is removed, (remove the semi-automatic's magazine or if the gun is a revolver open the cylinder and dump the cartridges into your hand). Again, always make sure that the firearm is pointed in a safe direction, keep your finger off the trigger, open the action, visually and physically inspect the chamber(s) and magazine area, and leave the action open with the mechanical safety engaged. If you don’t know how to perform this step-by-step process, leave the gun alone and get help from someone who does know.

Firearm safety is extremely important to know and practice. In celebration of National Safety Month, The Gunny and Team Glock come together and share the best practices for firearms safety. Do you practice these 4 rules?  For more tips on safety check out our website link, manual, or local gun range.  

Learn More

Once in a blue moon, we hear a news story about someone shooting themselves in the leg (or somewhere else) and claiming that the gun “somehow” just went off all by itself. When I hear these types of stories I usually say “yeah right” because today's modern firearms don’t just fire unless you pull the trigger… Right? 


Well, even though its extremely rare for a firearm to discharge by itself, they are mere mechanical devices that could break. 

Please be careful the next time you’re loading or unloading, dry-firing or finishing a live shooting drill with your rifle or handgun.

Incidents like this should be treated as a learning opportunity. They serve as timely reminders of why you always, always, always follow the four rules of firearms safety  as well as the three Golden Rules for Proper & Safe Gun Handling and why every good firearms instructor constantly emphasizes safety throughout their entire training. 

Case in point: I use bulletproof titanium ballistic trauma plate from an old ballistic vests to point my firearms at while loading & unloading firearms in my home or at my shop.

Colonel Jeff Cooper - The Godfather Of Gun Training

John Dean “Jeff” Cooper

Godfather of Gun Training Combat mindset firearm tactic mental awareness color code rules gun safety

(Los Angeles, CA - May 10, 1920 -- Paulden, AZ - September 25, 2006)

Jeff Cooper was a U.S. Marine, deployed in the Pacific theater of operations during World War II, then subsequently promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel during the Korean War. A University of California, Riverside laureate in history, Cooper was a part-time high school and community college history teacher from the late 1950s through the early 1970s.

Based on what he lived in person on the battlefield, starting in the 1950s Jeff Cooper started to develop modern techniques of combat handgun shooting; in 1976 he founded the American Pistol Institute (API) – which became the Gunsite Training Center in 1992 and the Gunsite Academy in 1999.

An enthusiast of the .45 ACP caliber – which he deemed the only one capable to develop an effective stopping power – Jeff Cooper is also known for inventing or developing shooting techniques such as the Weaver stance.

Jeff Cooper also conceived and developed the 10mm Auto caliber Bren Ten pistol, and wrote many treatises and essays on gunfighting in which he listed the various mental states that a person will find himself/herself during a gunfight; he also codified most of the modern pistol carry conditions and options, from Condition 4 down to Condition 0. 

But to most shooters, Jeff Cooper is best known for sanctioning the four golden rules of gun safety we're talking about here.

All through his career, Jeff Cooper has been credited for many gun-related aphorisms – Among others: “Owning a handgun doesn't make you armed any more than owning a guitar makes you a musician.

Many of his concepts were later revised and modernized, others were discredited and abandoned, but Colonel Jeff Cooper must undoubtedly take credit for modernizing pistol shooting in a world that tends to be conceptually static in most cases.

The Bren Ten is Called... “The Most Tactical Pistol”

Owning handgun doesn't make you armed any more than owning guitar makes you a musician LtCol Cooper

The Bren Ten can trace the roots of its design back to 1979. It was created by Michael Dixon and Thomas Dornaus of Dornaus and Dixon Enterprises, but there’s more to its story than that. In 1980 they decided to get advice from none other than Col. Jeff Cooper, whose advice proved invaluable. 

It’s chambered in 10mm, but in the early stages the men tried out wildcat rounds such as the .40 Cal. S&W. In the end the original Bren Ten was only in production from 1983 to 1986; Dornaus and Dixon were forced to file bankruptcy in 1986, bringing an end to manufacturing. That isn’t the end of the Bren Ten story, though.

Forgotten Weapons just did a Bren Ten video on YouTube, calling it The Most Tactical Pistol. There’s a fair amount of debate about that. What do you think?

The Combat Mindset

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The combat mindset, the "modern techniques” of small arms training, situational awareness, the color code of mental awareness and the four rules of weapons safety are the foundation on which I developed and honed my officer safety training and procedures while patrolling the mean streets of Southern California, and they served me well in some pretty tough situations. I survived 30-years of police work and returned home every night relatively unscathed, and I am convinced that Jeff Cooper had much to do with that. Whether you carry a gun for living or for protection, you too are benefiting from the legacy of Lt. Col. Cooper. 

It's impossible to calculate the number of marines, soldiers, SEALs, police officers as well as trained civilians who are alive today thanks to the modernization of gun handling and combat marksmanship that was developed, refined and introduced to America by this lion of a man. 

James Dean, 'Jeff' Cooper should never be forgotten as long as free men roam this world with the rights and ability to defend themselves against those who would victimize them through criminality or tyranny.  -KC

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Col. John Dean “Jeff” Cooper

The Modern Technique of the Pistol

Lt. Col. Jeff Cooper's modern technique defines pragmatic use of the pistol for personal protection. The modern technique emphasizes two-handed shooting using the Weaver stance, competing with and eventually supplanting the once-prevalent one-handed shooting. The five elements of the modern technique are:

  • A large caliber pistol, preferably a semi-auto
  • The Weaver stance
  • The draw stroke
  • The flash sight picture
  • The compressed surprise trigger break

Firearm conditions of readiness

Cooper favored the Colt M1911 pistol and its variants. There are several conditions of readiness in which such a weapon can be carried. Cooper promulgated most of the following terms:

  • Condition 4: Chamber empty, empty magazine, hammer down.
  • Condition 3: Chamber empty, full magazine in place, hammer down.
  • Condition 2: A round chambered, full magazine in place, hammer down.
  • Condition 1: A round chambered, full magazine in place, hammer cocked, safety on.
  • Condition 0: A round chambered, full magazine in place, hammer cocked, safety off.

Condition 0 is considered "ready to fire;" as a result, carry in condition 0 is not recommended due to the risk of accidental or negligent discharge.

Firearms safety

Cooper advocated four basic rules of gun safety:

  1. All guns are always loaded. Even if they are not, treat them as if they are.
  2. Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy. (For those who insist that this particular gun is unloaded, see Rule 1.)
  3. Keep your finger off the trigger till your sights are on the target. This is the Golden Rule. Its violation is directly responsible for about 60 percent of inadvertent discharges.
  4. Identify your target, and what is behind it. Never shoot at anything that you have not positively identified.

The late Col. John Dean “Jeff” Cooper—a legend in the firearms training community—earned a political science degree from Stanford before receiving a commission from the United States Marine Corps, fighting in the Pacific in World War II and Korea before retiring as a lieutenant colonel. Cooper went on to earn his master’s degree and taught high school and college classes before he opened American Pistol Institute (API), now known as Gunsite, one of the nation’s top training destinations for civilian shooters as well as law enforcement and military professionals. He died at his home on September 25, 2006, at the age of 86 but left a legacy of knowledge behind for all current and future defensive shooters.

Col. Cooper changed the way shooters handled their guns, how they engaged enemies, but most importantly, gave them a mindset to be prepared for a lethal threat at any time and place. Col. Cooper made it clear that technical skills—how to load and fire your weapon—were of little value without being mentally prepared to win a gunfight.

Guns & Ammo’s article, Col. Jeff Cooper: Developing a Defensive Mindset, Brad Fitzpatrick lays out five of Cooper’s essential tips for developing a defensive mindset. They are:

  1. Surviving is as Much Mental as Physical
  2. The World is a Dangerous Place
  3. Awareness is Critical
  4. The Right Attitude Can Save You From a Fight You Never Saw Coming
  5. Prepared Does Not Mean Fearful

Ultimately, learning to be in charge of your mind and actions in the midst of a violent attack is key. Read the full article here.

Combat mindset & Cooper Color Code

The most important means of surviving a lethal confrontation, according to Cooper, is neither the weapon nor the martial skills. The primary tool is the combat mindset, set forth in his book, Principles of Personal Defense.

The color code, as originally introduced by Jeff Cooper, had nothing to do with tactical situations or alertness levels, but rather with one's state of mind. As taught by Cooper, it relates to the degree of peril you are willing to do something about and which allows you to move from one level of mindset to another to enable you to properly handle a given situation. Cooper did not claim to have invented anything in particular with the color code, but he was apparently the first to use it as an indication of mental state.

In White you are unprepared and unready to take lethal action. If you are attacked in White you will probably die unless your adversary is totally inept.

In Yellow you bring yourself to the understanding that your life may be in danger and that you may have to do something about it.

In Orange you have determined upon a specific adversary and are prepared to take action which may result in his death, but you are not in a lethal mode.

In Red you are in a lethal mode and will shoot if circumstances warrant.

The USMC uses "Condition Black," although it was not originally part of Cooper's color code. According to Massad Ayoob, "Condition Black," in Cooper's youth, meant "combat in progress."

In short, the color code helps one "think" in a fight. As the level of danger increases, one's willingness to take certain actions increases. 

If a person ever does go to Condition Red, the decision to use lethal force has already been made — the "mental trigger" has been tripped.


Effective Practice on an Indoor Gun Range

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Orange County CCW Practical Application Shooting Examination for State of California Concealed Carry License. 

Course of Fire
The course of fire utilized by the Sheriff’s Department is as follows: 

The live fire course will utilize standard silhouette B-27 scoring targets placed 3, 5 and 7 yards from the shooter.

OCSD Qualification Directive:

The first handgun qualification will consist of shooting a complete 72 round qualification course of fire with a checked* handgun that will be listed on your 

CCW License:

  • 24 rounds at 3 yards
  • 24 rounds at 5 yards
  • 24 rounds at 7 yards 

All subsequent handgun qualifications will consist of a 20 round qualification course of fire. Handguns must be checked prior to qualification and being listed on your CCW License.

  • 10 rounds at 5 yards
  • 10 rounds at 7 yards

A passing score of 70% is the minimum on this live fire course using the same weapon(s) that will be listed on the applicants CCW License. This updated handgun course of fire will be applied to both initial & renewal qualifications.

Time, Ammunition & Money are Finite Resources in All Our Lives.

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We need to use them well when we practice shooting just as in any aspect of our lives. Practicing shooting at an indoor gun range can make this a challenging task. Indoor ranges often have restrictions that outdoor gun ranges don’t. Indoor ranges also tend to be used by busy people in urban areas, who really need to use their time as effectively as possible. However, it’s common to see shooters come to an indoor gunrange and not use their resources efficiently while they are there. 

There are several ways to maximize the benefits of our indoor range time:

  • Have a practice plan
  • Dry Fire   ***SAFELY***
  • Practice live fire thoughtfully & effectively
  • Choose the appropriate equipment
  • Again, have a practice plan - plan your shoot & shoot your plan!

The single biggest mistake people make when going to any indoor or outdoor gun range is not having a practice plan when they get there. 

Case-in-Point: The SCUBA saying: plan your dive and dive your plan is equally appropriate in shooting. 

Without a plan, most shooters typically just fire a few hundred rounds down range and have no idea whether they have improved their competency or even achieved any useful result.

A Sample Practice Plan Might Be:

Private group Firearm Instruction Handgun Tactical Defensive Shooting Combat Shotgun Rifle live fire

  • Safely Dry Fire groups with two hands, strong hand only, and weak hand only. For qualification use proper grip only.
  • Shoot live fire groups with two hands, strong hand only, and weak hand only. For qualification use proper grip only.
  • Dry fire California’s concealed weapons permit qualification course* See Orange County Qualification Drill(s) above.
  • Live fire California’s qualification course* See Orange County Qualification Drill(s) above.
  • Practice picking your pistol up from a table, strong hand & weak hand, & shoot one-handed... You may need this someday!
  • Shoot balanced time & accuracy drills, 5150 HEAT teaches several examples of law enforcement level shooting drills in our intermediate & advanced live fire courses.
  • Shoot a group at 3, 5, 7 & 15 yards on a silhouette target. The 15 yard or full distance string of fire is just for giggles & grins!

Practice firing the OCSD California qualification course, often. Use it as a drill to maintain and build your marksmanship skills at the Live Fire Shooting Range. Its also a great idea to practice firing the OCSD CCW Qualification drill as a Dry Fire drill. There are many other qualification courses that are good. Pick a few drills you feel fit your situation and rotate through them. Record your results in your Shooter's Training Log and have someone else witness it, if possible. An Internet search may turn up various state qualification courses. Keep in mind Perfect Practice Makes Perfect!

A practice plan should be based on some baseline skill set that you think is appropriate to your situation and needs. This should be OCSD's California concealed weapons qualification course, and alternatively, a local police qualification course, a test you learned from a shooting class, or any other performance standard you think is appropriate. 

When you first start practicing methodically, shoot your baseline evaluation and record your results. Note what your weaknesses were and develop your future practice plans to identify and improve your weaknesses as well as maintaining your strengths. 

It's a common human tendency to work on things we're good at. We also need to include relevant tasks that we aren’t as good at in our training plan.


USCCA Basic Firearms Fundamentals Courses in Brea, Yorba Linda, Placentia, Fullerton, La Habra CCW


The USCCA Basic Handgun Course is approximately 4 hours long, and is geared toward your own personal pistol, if you have one. If you do not own a pistol; no problem..! We’ll include a session on what to look for when buying a pistol. 

CONCEALED CARRY and HOME DEFENSE Training Brea Yorba Linda Placentia Fullerton Anaheim La Habra


This is a comprehensive seminar for anyone considering owning or carrying a firearm for self-defense. The class is a non-shooting class and is approximately 8 hours long. In this seminar you will learn conflict avoidance, situational awareness; handgun, shotgun & AR-15 basics; shooting fundamentals; the physiology of violent encounters, legal aspects of using deadly force (including knowing what to do in the aftermath); and a complete guide on gear, gadgets, and ongoing training.   

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Seven Complete Lessons Covering Concealed Carry and Home Defense.






Six: GEAR & GADGETS      


NEW!!! Women’s Handgun & Self-Defense Fundamentals Training

Presented by 5150 HEAT Firearms Training Academy

Women’s Basic Pistol Ladie's Intermediate Pistol Home Defensive class LASER Pistol Training CCW Brea

Men and women come to 5150 HEAT Firearms Training Academy for the same reason – SELF-DEFENSE! But, for the past year we haven’t been filling our classroom with a gender-mixture of male and female students. Our lady students no longer feel singled out, intimidated and uncomfortable. Our Instructors and our training allows the creation of an environment that’s comfortable, flexible, malleable and changeable in order to overcome decades of behavioral differences and society's expectations, i.e. we coach the soft wiring! 

This course is designed for women because we’ve been inaccurately taught that they think and learn differently from men. That combined with the fact that women have unique needs and expectations as they relate to firearms & firearms training, i.e. use of force; loud noises; recoil; concealed mechanisms; jargon; etc. We’ve eliminated the awkward testosterone driven setting of coed training and in its place we’ve allowed women to learn with others who have the same behavioral/societal expectations and soft wiring, just like you. You’re invited to join our cutting-edge firearms instruction presented in a safe and comfortable classroom setting.  

Course Overview 

Women’s Handgun and Self-Defense Fundamentals is a welcoming and engaging firearms training curriculum with multiple layers of instruction. We have developed four distinct levels of training that can be modified or used in combination: 

1. Women’s Basic Pistol 

2. Women’s Intermediate Pistol 

3. Women’s Defensive Pistol 

4. State of the Art LASER Training System*

The course is designed to reach interested women students who are either brand new to firearms (yes, even ladies that have never picked up a gun before) and all the way through to women who are familiar with firearms and ready to learn more about marksmanship vs. defensive shooting and take the next steps with their firearms skills, tools, and mindset.

The fundamentals of shooting will be introduced, reviewed, reinforced and built upon, while also exploring universal safety rules, situational awareness, common types of handguns, ammunition types, marksmanship skills, advanced firearms handling, defensive pistol fundamentals, cover vs. concealment, dry-firing, laser pistol training, (included in this course); AVOID, ESCAPE, DEFEND and the use of deadly force. Specifically, Women’s Handgun and Self-Defense Fundamentals is all about sharing the basics—along with the fun, the seriousness, and the importance of being a responsibly armed female. After all, you are worth protecting.

Because there is no one size fits all approach to effective training 5150 HEAT Firearms Training Academy has developed this course into an exceptional 4 to 5* hour block of instruction that covers hands on training using our state of the art LASER PISTOL training system to highlight and reinforce your learning. Students will be introduced to handgun nomenclature, acronyms and handling revolvers and semi-automatic pistols in addition to demonstrations by highly trained and experienced professional law enforcement instructors. 

Our course of instruction is unique in that it stands alone and can take a novice with NO  firearms education or knowledge and turn her into a confident and safe firearms handler, enthusiast and markswoman!”

It all starts with MINDSET and ends with EDUCATION, PHYSICAL TRAINING and CONTINUED LEARNING EFFORT. Everyone will achieve confidence and proficiency from the uniquely professional high quality training provided by 5150 HEAT Firearms Training Academy!

Presented by 5150 HEAT Firearms Training Academy

Women ladies only Handgun class Personal Home Protection Self-Defense Firearm Basics Brea Placentia


Tuition: $129 per person for the combined 5-hour course: (4-hrs. classroom + 1-hrs. laser pistol training*) 

The Women’s Handgun and Self Defense Fundamentals classIncludes: 175 Page Text Book, written by Beth Alcazar, USCCA Associate Editor ($27 Value). 

*Laser Pistol Training 

• Beth Alcazar: Discover the Handgun and Self-Defense Training strategy, designed specifically for responsibly armed women.

Cut through the clutter of a male-dominated industry and arm her with firearms training designed specifically FOR women, BY women. She’ll never have to worry about finding the right guns and gear that fit her lifestyle ever again. She’ll walk away completely prepared to protect herself and her family with multi-level training that includes: Women’s Basic Pistol.

Women’s Intermediate Pistol.

Women’s Defensive Pistol. Help her carry confidently every day with tips and tricks from other experienced women in the world of firearms. 

Introductory Laser Pistol Training.

This course is a great replacement for the NRA F.I.R.S.T. Steps Course, which the NRA discontinued.   

*** Gift Certificates Available! *** 


Women Ladies Basic Pistol Intermediate Advanced Home Defense LASER Pistol CCW group private lessons

Tuition: $39 (per student/per hour) Save $$$ Buy Five Hour Block $175. 

The NRA has approved Laser Pistol Marksmanship Simulator Training that’s ideal for beginners to learn pistol safety and marksmanship or provide experienced shooters with a way to fine tune their skills. Laser pistol training equates to NO LIVE FIRE! Laser pistol training is perfect for introducing students to handguns and also excellent for one-on-one shooting instruction before students take a live fire class. 

Training focuses on the fundamentals of handgun safety, pistol marksmanship and we demystify topics such as stance, grip, sight picture, trigger, breath control and proper follow through. We use a high-tech Shot Indicating Resetting Trigger (SIRT) professional training laser pistols that are totally safe yet, hefty enough to feel realistic and has functional trigger, magazine and sights. This is paired with another futuristic Laser Activated Shot Reporting, (LASR) system that records & analyzes every shot. The end result, you’ll leave the class knowing the basic marksmanship fundamentals and know when applied; they really work.

5150 HEAT Has Changed the World of Firearms Training! 


5150 HEAT Firearms Training Orange County Indoor Shooting Range safety Rules etiquette gun rental


Range Rules - Orange County Indoor Shooting Range

Safety is always the primary concern of our staff. If you are ever in doubt of what to do, ask a range officer. If you ever have a problem with a firearm, lay the gun down pointed down range and seek assistance from a range officer.

  1. Do NOT, under ANY circumstance, cause harm to yourself or others.
  2. Firearms brought into the building must be unloaded. If firearm is not in a case or container, the action or cylinder must be locked open.
  3. All firearms and ammunition are subject to inspection and approval by range officers.
  4. Rifles are allowed ONLY if they are pistol caliber.
  5. Shotguns are allowed with slug ammunition ONLY.
  6. No holstered firearms are allowed in or on the range at any time without prior permission (PC 832 exempt).
  7. Range officers will remove anyone handling a firearm in an unsafe or inappropriate manner.
  8. Range officers will remove anyone believed to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  9. Firearms may only be discharged in the booths at the firing line and must be pointed down range toward the backstop at all times.
  10. Persons under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult at all times, both on and off the range.
  11. Everyone must wear ear and eye protection while on the range. Do not remove for any reason.
  12. No more than 2 shooters allowed on a lane without range officer approval.
  13. No steel jacket or steel core ammunition.
  14. No rifle caliber handguns allowed. No black powder allowed.
  15. Load and unload firearms in your assigned lane at the forward table only.
  16. No smoking, food or drinks are allowed in the building at any time for your safety.
  17. Do not, under any circumstance, bring any loaded or jammed firearms off the range for any reason. If there is a problem, lay the firearm down in your booth, pointed down range and notify a range officer.
  18. No rapid-fire is permitted. Allow at least one second between shots.
  19. Do not exchange firearms with another lane. Switch shooters, not firearms.
  20. On the CEASE FIRE command, unload your firearm, remove the magazine, open the action, lay firearm down and step back against the back table. Do not move back into the booth for any reason until the range officer calls ALL CLEAR.
  21. When entering or leaving the range, wait for one door to close before opening the second door.
  22. Rental guns must be used with range ammunition only.
  23. Rental guns must be returned with the magazine out and action or cylinder open.
  24. Destroyed target hangers will result in a $5.00 charge per damage.
  25. Destroyed target clips will result in a $2.00 charge per clip.
  26. No pregnant women are allowed on the range at any time for the baby's safety.
  27. Any person with a medical disorder which might create a safety hazard must notify range officers prior to going out on the range.
  28. DO NOT throw any ammunition or brass into the trash containers.
  29. Clean up after yourself and push all casings forward of the firing line.
  30. NOT go forward of the firing line or pass in front of booths at any time for any reason.

More Information

Save time by having all the paperwork needed to shoot at Orange County Indoor Shooting Range. Please read below to find the forms that apply to you, fill them out, print them and hand them to one of our range officers. 

 Liability Waiver & Range Rules Form 

Shooters that either have never shot at our range or hasn't shot at our range within the current calendar year needs to fill out and sign the Liability Waiver and Range Rules. 

Rental Agreement Form 

Shooters wishing to rent our firearms and have not signed the Rental Agreement within the last year needs to fill out and sign the Rental Agreement. 

Note: Shooters bringing minors to shoot MUST sign the Liability Waiver & Range Rules form every time. 


Expert Firearm Tactics Instruction by Retired Law Enforcement Officer & Range Master

Firearm gun train flag u.s. constitution second amendment united states a well-regulated militia nra

Giving good people the security they deserve and yet  another reason to worship, educate or do business with you. 

Through our partnership with both the NRA and the USCCA, 5150 HEAT Firearms Training Academy is thrilled to be able to offer men & women with several fantastic training courses.

Course enrollment is now open with space available. Call or Email Today! 

For additional details, Let's Talk!

5150 HEAT Firearms Training Academy

(714) 680-5500

Firearms Marksmanship & Safety are Perishable Skills

USCCA Firearms training San Clemente San Juan Capistrano Santa Ana Seal Beach Silverado Stanton Brea

Practice does not make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect. Vince Lombardi   

Many people don't realize it, but firearm marksmanship and safety are perishable skills that must be continuously renewed and reinforced through “proper” practice and training. Every expert firearms instructor recommends regular range time or dry-fire training to both improve and maintain safe, speed & accuracy and the skills needed to ward off deadly attacks... Check back often! 

Concealed Carry Fundamentals

Orange County CCW Concealed Carry License course Laguna Beach Laguna Hills Laguna Niguel Lake Forest

Concealed Carry Fundamentals is a comprehensive course for anyone considering owning or carrying a firearm for self defense. In this class you will learn conflict avoidance, situational awareness; shooting fundamentals; the physiology of violent encounters, legal aspects of using deadly force (including knowing what to do in the aftermath); and a complete guide on gear, gadgets, and ongoing training. Following the course, training and live-fire exercises are conducted on the range.  



Basic advanced Tactical Combat Pistol handgun Training Learn safe gun Personal Home Protection Plan

This course is designed to give participants an entry level understanding of handguns and how to utilize them in self-defense situations. The curriculum is divided into four modules, each with several chapters. Classroom and Laser Pistol simulator time. Each participant will receive an excellent textbook: Concealed Carry and Home Defense Fundamentals. Intro to Laser Pistol training. 


USCCA Home Defense Fundamentals Courses in Fullerton Garden Grove Huntington Beach Irvine La Habra

USCCA, Home Defense Course, is a comprehensive course for every skill level that focuses on firearms as a tool for home defense. Ultimately, the goal is for students to develop a home defense plan. Plus, many more useful subjects! Intro to Laser Pistol training. 

Each participant will receive an excellent textbook: Concealed Carry and Home Defense Fundamentals.  


Womens Basic Pistol, Ladies Intermediate Pistol, Women Home Defensive LASER Pistol Training, gun CCW

Women’s Handgun & Self-Defense Fundamentals covers the basics — along with the fun, seriousness and importance of being a responsibly armed female. The basics of shooting will be introduced, reviewed & built upon, while also exploring universal safety rules, situational awareness, common types of handguns, ammo types, marksmanship skills, advanced firearms handling/defensive essentials  & the use of deadly force.  Intro to Laser Pistol training.

Certified NRA Police Firearms & Tactics Instructor & Range Master

Certified NRA USCCA Police Firearms Tactics Instructor Range Master CCW retired Brea Police Depart

Certified NRA Police Firearms & Tactics Instructor & Range Master - Prior to my retirement from law enforcement I served as a Police Firearms & Tactics Instructor and Range Master with Brea Police Department since 1992. 


Orange County CCW Concealed Carry License course Aliso Viejo Anaheim Brea Buena Park Fountain Valley

CCW - Concealed Carry Fundamentals Course... This is an EXCELLENT course!

Concealed Carry and Home Defense Fundamentals is a comprehensive seminar for anyone considering owning or carrying a firearm for self defense.

Certified USCCA Firearms Instructor & Range Master

Certified USCCA NRA Firearms Tactics Instructor Range Master gun CCW retired Brea Police Department

The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. 

The great teacher tells, explains, demonstrates and inspires students to think!