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TACTICAL HANDGUN 101

TACTICAL HANDGUN 101
BY RANDY CAIN – 3 DAYS

This is the most popular 3-day course offered by Mr. Cain at his school, Cumberland Tactics. The comprehensive curriculum encompasses all elements of basic pistol craft, including a base in the fundamentals of marksmanship, tactical manipulation, the draw-stroke, malfunction clearance, weapon retention, shooting on the move, moving targets, alternate tactical body positions, low-light shooting, and mental conditioning.  Other topics include basic one-man tactics, working with a partner. This course is appropriate for beginners, and is also well recommended as a refresher for those with experience.


Cumberland Tactics does not regard this course as merely a “basic class”.  Mr. Cain begins with the fundamentals, and increases the technical difficulty of each drill builds in a logical sequence over the duration of the course.  He makes every effort to analyze, diagnose, and correct even the slightest quirk in each individual's shooting technique.


Although most training of this type is limited to shooting on flat paper targets under static range conditions, in this course a variety of three-dimensional target systems are employed, which move in a more realistic manner.  The 3-D aspect of the targets require surgical shooting on vital target areas as they move, change positions, or charge at the shooter.  This is simultaneous with movement by the shooter as he/she changes the target angles, attempts to get away from the attacker, or moves to cover/concealment.  All these exercises are to help the student apply the basics, and become comfortable with dynamic movement by both the shooter and the target. 

  • Cost
    Cost: $475 (which includes a $75 range fee). Payment in full is required upon enrollment, and becomes non-refundable 30 days before the course date. If the course is cancelled for any reason, a full refund will be provided to you.
  • Course Format
    Course format: Lectures (approximately 5 hrs.), and live-fire exercises (approximately 18 hrs). There will be objective skills tests throughout the course.
  • Instructor
    Instructors: The Rangemaster is Peter Georgiades. Peter has 25+ years’ experience teaching firearms and defensive tactics. He has been certified to instruct by the NRA (rifle, pistol, shotgun, and personal protection), the State of Arizona (issued CCW Instructor Cert. No. 8769268), and by OSG as a contact distance defense instructor. Peter’s training as an instructor (as distinct from firearms training) includes the Gunsite Law Enforcement Carbine Instructor Cert. Course, Marksman's Enterprise 3-day instructor courses (carbine and pistol), and the LLC "Contact Weapons Defense Instructor" program. His most important training, however, has been working hundreds of hours directly under experienced, professional instructors. Other experienced range officers will assist. The instructors and staff have collectively accrued several thousand hours of formal training from experienced, professional firearms instructors.
  • Class Size
    Class size: In order to maintain a close instructor-to-student ratio, enrollment in this course is limited to 12 students.
  • Prerequisites
    Prerequisites: None. It is, however, expected students will have a basic familiarity with rifles. All participants must be 18 years of age. Proof of no criminal history is required. Holding a current Pennsylvania License to Carry Concealed or in a Motor Vehicle, or a license to practice a regulated profession which requires one not have any criminal history (such as a license to practice law or medicine, or a nursing license) will suffice.If those are not available, you can get a certificate of no criminal history from your local police department or Sheriff (the cost is under $20).The lead instructor is the final arbiter of whether the credentialing prerequisite has been satisfied.
  • Physical Requirements
    Physical Requirements: Because this course is designed to assist YOU to plan and make decisions using the resources YOU actually have; we will work with you in whatever condition you are in. The elderly or one with a physical disability may not be able to assume one or more of the shooting positions we cover, or perform one or more of the exercises. That’s okay. This course is not designed for training ninjas. Just notify the Rangemaster of any particular disabilities you may have. If you cannot do it one way, we will find another way. We expect you to refrain from attempting any exercise that is beyond your physical capability.
  • Equipment Requirements
    The only equipment specifically required for this course is an inert training guh ("red gun" or "blue gun"), a holster for your training gun of choice, and a study belt to support the holster. No live weapons (firearms or otherwise) are permitted in the training area. There is other equipment that is not required, but which we believe will enhance your experience of the course. We therefore recommend you bring the following: Soft drinks or water to drink while in the classroom. (No alcohol of any kind is to be consumed within eight hours of the start of any course session or at any time during the course.) Camera. Many people find it helpful to photograph positions or techniques, or take pictures for fun. Something with which to take notes.
  • Credentials
    Credentials: A current Pennsylvania License to Carry Concealed or in a Motor Vehicle is sufficient. A a license to practice a regulated profession which requires one not have any criminal history (such as a license to practice law or medicine, or a nursing license) will also suffice. If those are not available, you can get a certificate of no criminal history from your local police department or your County Sheriff (the cost is under $20). The Rangemaster is the final arbiter of whether the credentialing prerequisite has been satisfied.
  • Certificate
    Certificate: A certificate of completion is awarded to all who complete the course successfully. This course does satisfy the continuing education requirement for NRA law enforcement instructor certification.
  • Course Location:
    The June 28 - 30, 2024 session of this course will be held at the Greater Pittsburgh Gun CLub, 920 King Road, Bulger, PA 16109.

Philosophy on Training

“We believe that fundamentals are the cornerstone of survival.  The ‘advanced’ techniques may only exist when built on a foundation of good, rock-solid basics.  The 'Combat Triad' consisting of Marksmanship, Gun handling, and Mindset must be automatic in order to remain mentally engaged with a changing environment.  When facing a violent attacker, it's safe to assume that the brain will have more than enough to keep it occupied.  The 'reflex response' must be programmed through repetition of the basics.  Ironically, it is usually only the truly 'advanced' student who fully appreciates the importance of continuous refocus on the basics.”  -- Randy Cain.

This course is sponsored as a public service by the Firearms Instruction Research & Education (FIRE) Institute, a Pennsylvania nonprofit corporation.

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 “HAVING A GUN AND THINKING YOU ARE ARMED IS LIKE BUYING A PIANO AND THINKING YOU ARE A MUSICIAN”

Col. Jeff Cooper  (U.S.M.C. Ret.) 

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