Class Information

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Our courses are appropriate for everyone from a newer shooter just getting past "beginner" status, up to dedicated competition shooting “junkies” who embrace all of it full bore and want to rise rapidly in the sport.  The overall proficiency with a hangun required to be successful at competitive shooting is based upon a CORE set of skills that must be mastered and maintained as additional elements are added to the skill platform, those basic skills must be constantly revisited and assessed in order to ensure continued success.  Master the fundamentals, and you have mastered shooting a handgun!  Whether a student intends to start shooting competitively (or already does) or simply wants to achieve a higher level of proficiency in their handgun shooting, our classes will help!

PLEASE NOTE: Due to the nature of our program and what we want our students to achieve, we limit our program to shooting center-fire handguns .380 (9mm) caliber and above.  While rim-fire .22's are a ton of fun, and we shoot them ourselves even in some competitions, for the training content we present it's really only appropriate for handguns of full caliber with recoil to deal with.  The good news is once you can shoot a center-fire handgun proficiently, you'll be STELLAR with a rim-fire pistol!

We use live-fire training to assess and coach students on their handgun skills, as well as video analysis, group and individual feedback, and we will provide you not only with a high-level learning experience DURING the class, we will also follow up with you with an individualized training plan and practice goal for the times you have available for practice BETWEEN classes!

Handgun Video Training

MCS courses are set up specifically for students to be able to enroll in them in a series one after another OR enroll in any class individually, as well as to repeat many of the classes multiple times.  YOU define your own path based upon your shooting goals, and our program will guide you to success!  We work individually with our students to define an appropriate goal for each class based upon current skill level, and over time a student who repeats a class multiple times will be given additional challenges and training goals to continue their path of improvement. 

We will continue to add more classes over time as the need arises.  If you have suggestions for other classes you'd LIKE us to offer, just let us know, we'd love the feedback!

Current Course Listing

Please note the GEAR requirements for each course, if you have any questions or need recommendations on gear to acquire we are more than happy to help.  We have relationships with premium competition gear vendors and can hook up up with pretty much anything you need.

    • Competition Shooting Core Skills (Level 1-4)
      • Advanced Grip, Trigger Control & Sight Discipline
        • Students in this class will work on their base handgun skills that are the foundation for every level of competitive performance. While the subject itself is “basic” the nuances required to take shooting to the next level of skill development are myriad and complex.  Many shooters THINK they know how to properly grip their gun and pull the trigger correctly because they can shoot accurately in slow fire, but ask them to shoot multiple shots accurately with a time constraint and they can’t do it due to poor fundamentals.  Many competitive shooters, even some with significant experience, find their scores in matches are below their desired level due to accuracy issues which can be traced back to grip, trigger control and sight discipline issues.  This class is appropriate for any level of shooter from those new to competition all the way to experienced competitors who are striving for a very high level of proficiency.  Individual student goals will be set based upon current skill level - more advanced students will be tasked with refinement of these skills at a higher level.
        • Gear Requirements:
          • Center-Fire handgun .380 (9mm) caliber or larger
          • Minimum 2 magazines
          • 200 rounds of ammunition (available for sale at the range if you need extra)
          • Eye and ear protection (available for rent at the range if you need it)
      • Intro To Action Pistol Competition (Level 1-2)
        • Competition Primer, Safety rules, range commands, competing confidently in Action Pistol matches
          • Students in this class will get an introduction to Action Pistol competition, enabling them to confidently register for an Action Pistol match, such as USPSA or Steel Challenge.  We will cover the basics of using competition gear (drawing from a competition holster, reloading on the clock, moving quickly and safely through a stage, etc.).  The class will consist of a match introduction and then students will shoot a sample USPSA stage multiple times.  This is the class to take if you're INTERESTED in getting into action pistol competition but don't really know where to start and would like to be CONFIDENT signing up for your first match.
          • Gear Requirements
            • Center-Fire handgun .380 (9mm) caliber or larger
            • Minimum 3 magazines
            • 200 rounds of ammunition (available for sale at the range if you need extra)
            • Open-top or competition style belt-mounted holster (no top retention strap)
            • Belt with at least 1 magazine pouch
              (We have some LOANER belts and magazine pouches for students to use if you don't have your own yet, so no worries if you only have a holster!)
            • Your own eye and ear protection that you will use in competition
      • Competition Shooting Speed Skills (Level 2-5)
        • Maintaining accuracy with speed & target transitions
          • Students in this class will build speed in shooting across multiple targets while maintaining accuracy, including while moving into and out of shooting positions.  Fast target transitions are required to be successful at any type of timed shooting competition from bowling pins to USPSA matches, and is the most difficult skill to master for most shooters.  Many factors are at play when transitioning across targets, including visual patience, sight tracking, and shot calling.  This class is appropriate for any shooter who is either preparing for their first competition or a current competitor who wishes to shoot faster.  Individual student goals will be set based upon current skill level.  This is not a "beginner" class specifically, if you are an experienced USPSA competitor you will be pushed to a higher level of performance.  If you are a new competitor, you will begin to build the skills needed for higher level performance as you gain more experience.
          • Gear Requirements:
            • Center-Fire handgun .380 (9mm) caliber or larger
            • Minimum 2 magazines
            • 200 rounds of ammunition (available for sale at the range if you need extra)
            • Open-top or competition style belt-mounted holster (no top retention strap)
            • Belt with at least 1 magazine pouch
              (We have some LOANER belts and magazine pouches for students to use if you don't have your own yet, so no worries if you only have a holster!)
            • Your own eye and ear protection that you will use in competition
        • USPSA Skill Builder (Level 2-5)
          • Shooting efficiently through a USPSA Stage to shave time and score better
            • Students in this class will work on all aspects of shooting a USPSA stage, including stage planning, starts, target transitions, moving into and out of positions, shifting trigger speeds based upon target difficulty, and much more.  This is the class for a shooter who wants to excel at USPSA competition, whether it be a new competitor who wishes to start off with a leg up, or an experienced competitor who wants to perform better.  
            • Gear Requirements:
              • Center-Fire handgun .380 (9mm) caliber or larger
              • Minimum 3 magazines
              • 200 rounds of ammunition (available for sale at the range if you need extra)
              • Open-top or competition style belt-mounted holster (no top retention strap)
              • Belt with at least 2 magazine pouches
                (We have some LOANER belts and magazine pouches for students to use if you don't have your own yet, so no worries if you only have a holster!)
              • Your own eye and ear protection that you will use in competition

      Skill Levels

      Use your self-defined Skill Level on the scale of 1-5 below to determine if a particular MCS course is appropriate for you.  Keep in mind these levels are just a guideline to help you make a determination of which class you want to attend, but they are purely for informational purposes and individual experience and skills may vary.  If you have any question about whether a class is appropriate for you or not, just ask, we’re happy to help determine what the best path for your handgun skill development would be!

      (Please note “action pistol” competition signifies competition requiring pistol draw from a holster and may require movement while shooting.  The most common examples of this would be USPSA and IDPA competition for sports requiring movement, or Steel Challenge which requires draw from holster for centerfire pistols.)

      Level 0

      • New shooter, may have just learned to shoot a handgun, generally less than 500 rounds of handgun shooting experience, still learning how to hit a target accurately at close to mid-range, may have completed a CCW or basic handgun intro course or may have been taught to shoot by a friend or family member. This type of shooter is NOT YET at the level where an MCS course is appropriate.  The excellent handgun and CCW courses offered by The Marksman Indoor Range staff are a better choice for this level of shooter.  See the Marksman web site for class options and available dates.

      Level 1

      • Newer or less-experienced handgun shooter with 500+ rounds of handgun experience, basic marksmanship and gun handling skills are present but not at a “second nature” level yet. Shooter needs to concentrate on basic elements of shooting in order to hit a target with reasonable accuracy, but can do so in slow fire individual shots at close distances.  Comfortable with understanding how their handgun works, loading and unloading magazines from their handgun, little or no experience with shooting at speed.  Generally, no significant time dedicated to practice other than limited range time, not normally someone who performs dry fire practice on a regular basis.

      Level 2

      • Handgun shooter with short or long-term experience in shooting but little or no action pistol competition experience. May have participated regularly in some basic non-action handgun competitions such as bowling pin, bullseye, etc.  Decent marksmanship skills in terms of hitting a target at mid distances, comfortable with all aspects of basic gun handling, knowledgeable about basic concepts of marksmanship but not proficient in shooting at speed.  Generally, no significant time dedicated to practice other than limited range time, not normally someone who performs dry fire practice on a regular basis. 

      Level 3

      • Handgun shooter with some experience in action pistol competition shooting, either short or long-term. Comfortable with drawing a pistol from a holster at speed, and all aspects of competition gun handling for action pistol competition.   May be someone who regularly participates in competitions, and may have done so for many years, but has never become proficient at a high level.  May be someone who engages in regular practice, both live and dry fire, but has not made significant improvement from practice.
        • USPSA Classification level (if any) Unclassified to Mid-C Class.

      Level 4

      • Handgun shooter with more than one year of competition shooting in an action pistol sport (USPSA, IDPA). May have started competing recently and developed a mid level of proficiency fairly rapidly (less than 2 years), or may be a long-term competitor who has slowly improved from experience over time and never made any large leaps in proficiency.  Generally, this is a competitor who practices fairly regularly, both live and dry fire and is striving to improve.
        • USPSA Classification level Upper-C to B Class

      Level 5

      • Handgun shooter with significant high level competition experience, capable of winning a club-level action pistol match in their division. Proficient in all aspects of competition shooting and competing regularly at local as well as regional/national matches.  This is a shooter whose main hobby and passion is action pistol competition.
        • USPSA Classification level A to GM Class

      Interestingly for many shooters not familiar with competition, the level of proficiency that is considered “Level 3” in our scale would be someone in the top 10-15% of ALL general shooters you might see at the range in terms of being able to hit a target accurately and at speed.  In the competition world, this shooter would be in the lower 50% of all shooters in a competition.  That’s how far the skill gap extends in the sport.  For someone with no competition experience, watching a top-level competitive shooter perform may seem like something that is impossible to achieve.  But we’re here to tell you, you CAN achieve that level of proficiency through dedicated practice and following a well-designed program. 

      Progression through skill levels is generally easier to achieve at the lower levels and gets considerably harder as you move up the scale.  Getting from Level 1 to Level 2 is generally fairly easy for most shooters to achieve with proper guidance and a little practice. Level 2 to Level 3 takes a little more focus and practice, and a commitment to acquiring the necessary gear for action pistol competition.  Level 3 to Level 4 is continuing to climb the ladder and requires even more practice commitment, and a strong desire to improve competitive performance.  Level 4 to Level 5 is only possible for the most dedicated competitors who are willing devote significant time and effort to practicing the full range of skills required to compete.