A golfer doesn’t play their first game at the Masters Tournament. Gun owners, just like golfers, come in a wide variety of skill levels. How can we help you improve your gun skills, or feel more confident around firearms? Tell us about your current gun skills by clicking the phrase below that best describes you.


We’ve all started here. At one point, S.W.A.T. team leaders, Delta Force operators, and Olympic athletes all started from the point of never having shot a gun before. How did they become so skilled?

Like any discipline, some people have more natural talent than others. The rest of us are willing to try something new and gain skills through training and practice.

You have already set yourself apart from the uncaring majority of people simply by reading this page. You understand you won’t feel comfortable shooting a gun by watching a TV show. You also realize personal safety if not guaranteed. As anyone in law enforcement will tell you, victims are both male and female. They come from all races, socio-economic classes, and addresses. A tragic, but common statement is: “I didn’t think it could happen to me.” Sadly, many victims could have avoided the situation by learning one powerful tool. What is it?

Awareness is a lost art form. It is the foundation of personal safety. However, ‘awareness’ is an intangible concept. You won’t have much luck telling yourself to be more aware. The brain doesn’t work that way. You must learn concrete, definite skills to actively engage your mind and incorporate awareness into your everyday routine. How do you do that?

As a civilian gun owner, using a firearm for self defense is the last resort, everything-has-gone-wrong, and this is my last possible option. Before you get to that point in any given situation, there are a wide variety of steps you can take. We cover those in both lecture and hands-on drills in all of our classes. We excel at helping men, women, and teenagers learn defensive tactics that are utilized daily by military and law enforcement. You can learn them too. Many skills we teach in our Level 1 Defensive Handgun class can be used anytime, anywhere, even if you are not armed. We enjoy having teenagers in class because the safety skills can be used for a lifetime to help you stay safe.

The next step? You have to try it. CLICK HERE to learn more about our Level 1 class.


Shooting pop cans, bowling pins, watermelons, and general plinking can be a great way to spend time with friends and family. Cans, pins, and fruit all react when you shoot them. We enjoy using steel targets on the range for the same reason.

However, plinking can have some drawbacks. Most plinkers never consider defensive tactics. We talked to a man once who shot a revolver, but he didn’t own or know how to use a speed loader. In his viewpoint, he didn’t need anything like that. He said whenever he and his friends went out shooting, they just re-loaded their guns on the tailgate of a pickup.

What benefit would that be if this man had to engage an armed assailant in a shopping mall?

By all means, have fun plinking, but why not learn to use your firearm from a defensive point of view?

Every time you handle your firearm, you should pick it up, load it, reload it, and shoot it using consistent and efficient motions. Repetition builds muscle memory. If you’re ever in a fight for your life, you don’t want to have to think about the basic gun mechanics of loading and running your gun. You need to focus on your assailant and the dynamic situation around you.


You have a conceal carry permit. From our experience, that puts you in one of two groups. Which group are you in?

GROUP 1 / CONCEAL CARRY If you are checking out this web site, you are probably NOT in Group 1. When we talk to someone from this group about being firearms instructors, we get the exact same response from everyone. They tell us, “I already have my conceal carry permit.”

Group 1 has their permit and they believe this now puts them in the category of I Know Everything About Firearms. Are you kidding? That’s like having a driver’s license, but never driving.

However, there’s no talking to Group 1. Sadly, they will adversely affect our 2nd Amendment rights by foolishly believing they are above needing training. In Idaho, you can meet your “training” requirement to apply for the standard CCW by attending a lecture only class, which we are vehemently opposed to.

Group 1 will never admit that shooting is a perishable skill, just like playing a sport. They ignore that current law enforcement and military practice and re-qualify with their duty weapon(s) on a regular basis. Apparently, Group 1 thinks the Special Forces groups that killed Bin Laden simply hopped in a chopper one morning and got lucky.

GROUP 2 / CONCEAL CARRY Group 2 has the spirit our great country was founded upon. They are rugged individuals, and they don’t understand what Group 1 is missing. Isn’t a day on the range, learning new skills with like-minded friends, a pretty good day?!

Group 2 understands that everyone should have the ability, the means, and the knowledge to protect themselves and their family. Group 2 also knows the means is easy – just spend some money on a gun. The ability and the knowledge require time and commitment.

Group 2 knows that if you talk to anyone who has been properly trained in their craft — whether that’s athletics, motorsports, or combat conditions — the one thing that all winners have in common is that under stress they all say: THEIR TRAINING JUST TOOK OVER.

For both groups, thank you for your support of America’s right to bear arms. You might carry concealed every day. You might only use your permit when on a road trip or camping. Or, perhaps you carry concealed during a hike in the mountains when you are as concerned about 4-legged critters as much as the 2-legged variety.

What if, during a time you are carrying concealed, you had to use your firearm to protect your life or the life of a loved one? Will you be glad you took the time to get quality firearms training, or too late wish you’d spent more than a couple hours meeting minimum requirements?


Shooting classes are like cooking schools. Let’s explain.

Some people consider the Food Network on TV to be the go-to source for cooking skills, while others believe earning a 4-year culinary arts degree is the best way to go. Plus, everything in between: a Saturday afternoon class on how to bake bread, or a 4-day vacation package learning the best BBQ techniques.

Firearms training also comes in a wide range of packages, including:

  • A lecture-only class (no hands-on shooting)
  • A 2-hour class where you shoot about 50 rounds
  • A 6-hour class where you shoot 150-200 rounds
  • All the way up to week long courses where you shoot thousands of rounds

We all love to eat and we all want to be safe. A cooking enthusiast takes one class, and usually wants to learn more. A responsible shooter is the same way.

Every firearms class has a unique mix of instructor personalities, range setting, shooting drills, and overall class curriculum. We are firm believers in Train Smart, Train Often. Shooting is a perishable skill. As certified instructors, we invest in firearms training just as a certified accountant invests in continuing education credits. We research, practice, and fine-tune defensive tactics from all around the country and tailor them to the civilian shooter.

You can never have enough training. This is true for a chef or a shooter. We are all continuing our firearms education, we can all learn from each other, and we can all do so in a friendly, safe, and fun environment.

In this age we live in, our rights as law-abiding citizens to defend ourselves are always under scrutiny. Our future will be determined by the citizens who choose to exercise this right. Being educated, professional, and well versed in these skills will only add legitimacy to a right that our founding fathers gave us.


For the armed professional or the shooting enthusiast, we have a guest instructor program.
In 2012, 2013, and 2014, Reliance Arms hosted Chris Costa, formerly of Magpul Dynamics, for both Carbine and a Pistol classes.

To continue to offer a variety of exceptional training, Reliance Arms is excited to announce that Larry Vickers will be a Guest Instructor for 2016. See our schedule for more details.

In addition, several military personnel and reserve police officers have taken our Reliance Arms training. For the investment of 1 day and about $75 everyone has learned something new and improved their skills.

We also have a lot of couples or families come through our training. One person often has a professional background (military or law enforcement) and they want their loved ones to get trained in a low-stress, hands-on, defensive tactics approach.