What Women Should Look for in Firearm Self-Protection Courses
A new generation of firearm self-defense courses are designed for women gun owners by women gun owners
- Check out local gun shops and shooting ranges to find courses in your area
- National organizations like the NRA and the US Conceal and Carry Association hold courses in many areas
- Look for courses with experience training women in particular
- Make sure the course is at the right level for you
- Keep your skills sharp by practicing after you finish the course
Owning a firearm is just the first step in protecting yourself — you need to ensure that you understand how to use the gun safely, especially in threatening situations. To empower women to defend themselves, a new generation of self-protection courses is aimed at women’s specific training needs. Designed by women for women, these self-protection courses show women how to protect themselves from a variety of violent threats. But which course is the best to take?
This guide looks at the features you should consider when choosing a self-defense course for female gun owners. It explains how to find a course, what to expect when taking the course, how to prepare for the experience, and a few other must-know essentials. Ready to protect yourself? Here's what you need to know.
Check into local resources
To find out about self-defense courses in your area, look into local resources. Local gun shops and shooting ranges often have information on self-defense courses for female gun owners. Attending gun shows can also be a great way to learn about classes and instructors in your area.
Ask the right questions
Once you find a few options, asking the right questions will help narrow in on the best course for your needs. Keep in mind that some courses may be billed as “for women” but not actually have experience with female-specific needs. For instance, some instructors simply rebrand the course they use for men as a female-centered course, but they don't actually change any of the course's content.
To ensure you're selecting the best course possible, ask how long they have been instructing women and if they employ female instructors. A self-defense course doesn't necessarily need a female instructor to be successful, but women on staff show that the company cares about the perspective of women. Also, read as many reviews as possible from women who have taken the course in the past.
Look for the instruction you need
There is no one-size-fits-all self-defense course — you need to look for a course that offers the instruction you need. A beginner-level course for female gun owners may cover basic topics like firearm safety essentials and how to load a gun. A more advanced course may train you how to respond to an active shooter situation or defend yourself against multiple targets.
Some courses even go beyond firearms training to cover defensive fighting skills, situational awareness techniques, and tactical driving skills. Look closely at each course to ensure it covers what you need. If the course is a series and you already understand the information in the first few classes, ask if you can join in the middle when the more advanced instruction starts.
Find out what is included in the fee
Most self-defense courses are not free. Before signing up, you should make sure that you understand what is covered in the fee. In particular, find out if you need to bring your own gun, if the course includes ammunition, if they provide lunch, and if you have to pay extra for parking.
Check out courses from national organizations
Several well-known national organizations offer self-defense courses for female gun owners. If you want to stick with a reputable organization, you may want to check out their options. For instance, the National Rifle Association (NRA) offers a range of courses including Women on Target, a series of instructional shooting clinics designed specifically for women and taught by NRA-certified specialists.
The Jane Bond Course from Series 18 is taught by Special Forces Operators, and in addition to firearm training, it covers all the techniques you need to defend yourself while traveling alone. The fastest-growing group of American gun owners, the US Concealed Carry Association (USCCA) also offers conceal and carry courses designed for women in various parts of the country.
Get ready for your first class
Once you find a course, you need to ensure you're ready. Talk with the instructor about what you need and ensure you have a firearm and ammunition ready if needed. Plan to wear closed-toe shoes and comfortable clothing that allows you to move freely. If you're going to be training with a holster, wear a sturdy belt.
If the course is outside, bring a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen. Make sure you're ready to take notes with paper and pen or a note-taking app on your phone. Also, decide if you need to pack a lunch or snacks, and always bring water or drinks to keep yourself hydrated. In most cases, you will need to show an ID when you arrive at the course and may also be required to sign a liability waiver.
Find ways to continue learning
Don't let the learning stop at the end of the course. Savvy gun owners can always learn more about how to defend themselves and how to use their guns as effectively as possible. Additionally, practice will help to hone your firearms skills and keep them sharp.
To practice, consider joining a group of firearms enthusiasts such as a local chapter of The Well Armed Woman (TWAW). TWAW is a nonprofit organization that helps organize groups of women for monthly shooting practice. If you prefer to practice alone or with a friend or two, simply book some time in your local shooting range on a regular basis or consider taking self-defense refresher courses as needed.
Stock up on ammunition at the Ammunition Depot
Protecting yourself requires the right amount of ammunition, and you also need ammunition to practice your self-defense skills. Ammunition Depot is a family-owned business, and we are committed to providing the highest quality products to our clients.