New Shooter Training

Your first steps are here…

Shooting sports are all built upon a foundation of sound safety practices and shooting fundamentals that cover a range of personal skills a shooter has developed in previous training and experience.


At every IDPA match, our shooters will perform some or all of these skills;

  • Load and safely holster a loaded gun using concealment garments
  • Draw a concealed firearm and engage targets in a particular sequence
  • Perform 3 types of reloads on the clock ( and clear malfunctions safely)
  • Engage targets firing from Strong hand or Support (weak) hand only
  • Engage targets while moving
  • Engage targets with the proper use of cover
  • Shoot any of the 5 basic shooting positions ( Offhand, Kneeling, Sitting, Squatting, or Prone)
  • Occasionally shoot in unusual positions or circumstances


In the last six years, TSSA has learned that the 4 out of 5 of New Shooters have less than 8 hours of firearm training before coming for their first time. This can produce a safety issue for the other people who are at the range. This is not because the shooters lacked discipline, they simply had not been through any training that provided them with the basic skills that are in use at every match.

Safe shooting skills are built upon on the Four Universal Rules of Gun Safety:

  1. All guns are always loaded
  2. Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy
  3. Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on a target
  4. Be certain of your target (and what is behind it)


These rules have been in use more than 30 years however, many new shooters have not been trained on how these rules translate into unintended acts on the range. IDPA requires the use of a concealed firearm in the vast majority of stages. Most of the new shooters we encounter are not fully comfortable with drawing from concealment or reloading on the clock.

To assist shooters who have not had previous training incorporating holsters or reloads, TSSA has crafted a 3 hour training course to familiarize a new shooter with range etiquette, range safety areas, range commands and working with Safety Officers while developing safe gun handling skills that are required to join an event.

These skills start with:

  • Loading, unloading and holstering a loaded firearm
  • The 4 count draw stroke and engaging targets using a concealed firearm
  • Three typical reloads used in IDPA: Emergency, Retention & Tactical
  • Immediate action malfunction clearing
  • Engaging multiple targets and the fundamentals of movement while shooting

This course is offered to everyone who is interested on our Tuesday night drills held at Markham Park on the first Tuesday evening of each month.

The cost of the course is $80 and upon completion of this program, each student receives a free shoot at any TSSA event in the future. ( A $25 value).

To enrole, you need a pistol of standard manufacture in 9mm, 40S&W, or 45ACP. A sturdy belt in belt loops on your pants. A holster that allows you to holster safely with one hand, 3 magazines ( 2 worn on your belt and one for the pistol),  eye and ear protection appropriate for range use ( not ear buds and reading glasses), 200 rounds and an open mind to learn from our instructors.

Our instructors are IDPA Certified Safety Officers, NRA Certified Instructors and Range Safety Officers who have been involved in the sport sucessfully for many years and who donate their time to help keep our events enjoyable.

To contact one of our staff members concerning this training email: (Pistol) (Pistol) (Carbine)