Shooting From Behind Cover
Training & Handling

Gun Training for Women

So, you’ve just bought your first gun and now it’s time to consider your training.  The choices you make for your gun training is as important as the decision to own a gun.  As with any important decision in life, it is important to do research on gun training for women ahead of time to arm yourself with the knowledge you will need to make the right choice for you. Below is a little advice to help you get started on your search and choices in women’s gun training options..

Gun Training for Women

Utilize Local Resources

When looking for the right gun-training course near you, local gun shops, gun shows, and shooting ranges are a great place to start. Visit their websites to begin your research. When it comes to gun training for women, it can be a challenge to find instruction that understands the needs of women.  You will likely find instruction “geared” toward women, but that doesn’t mean they are gifted to teach women.

Spend some time doing your research on each training company and its instructors. Some things to consider:

  • How long have they been training women?
  • What kind of credentials do they have?
  • Do they have female instructors on staff? (This is not necessary as you don’t need to be trained by a woman, but it is a good indication that the training company is eager to meet the needs of its women clientele)
  • Are there any reviews on the courses?

Once you have identified some options, I suggest you go and meet with them and talk with them directly. You will know quickly if they are genuinely committed to training women well and with respect. Intuitively, you will know!

Here is a link to a national listing of female TWAW instructors

What To Look For

Look for a training organization that offers a wide range of courses taught by highly experienced instructors. Find a course that offers gun training for women to develop the following basic skills:

  • Firearm safety
  • Basic handling/manipulation of a firearm
  • One-handed shooting techniques
  • Quick and safe reloading
  • Drawing from a holster or concealed carry purse
  • Shooting accuracy
  • How to shoot at moving targets/moving while firing
  • Defending yourself against multiple targets
  • Shooting in low light conditions

What Kind Of Course Is Best?

The type of course you choose will depend on your skill level and what you want the training to accomplish. Whether you want to learn about gun handling basics, armed self defense, tactical training or competitive shooting, there is a gun training class for you. Thinking about getting a Concealed Carry (CCW) permit? In many states, you’ll have to take a CCW training course as part of the application process.  Once you’ve determined which type of course you’ll need, the next step is finding the right provider in your area.

Continue Shooting With Other Women

Consider joining one of the hundreds of The Well Armed Woman Shooting Chapters across the nation. TWAW Shooting Chapters is a non-profit organization that organizes local groups of women around the country that meet monthly to practice, learn and grow as shooters. Creating opportunities for women to be introduced to issues important to women shooters, learn safe gun handling skills and train together.

Consider NRA & USCCA Training Courses

Another great resource is The National Rifle Association. The NRA certifies firearm instructors and one can be found almost anywhere!! The NRA offers a wide variety of courses including Women On Target®. This is  series of Instructional Shooting Clinics designed specifically for women that teach the basics of safe gun handling, storing and shooting. You can choose from a variety of NRA training courses from the basic through more advanced shooting techniques and skills.




The USCCA also has a wonderful training program and certified instructors all across the country. They offer anumber of courses focused on your self defense with a firearm with an emphasis on the legal ramifications. You can find instructors and courses here


Practice Makes Perfect

I believe gun ownership and training go together as a package. You can’t have one without the other. As with any skill, the more you practice, the better you’ll be, and gun handling is one skill you must work to be the best you can be at.. Your training is an ongoing commitment. Find training centers and instructors who can guide you and help you grow as a shooter.  Even though finding gun training for women may be tough – it is worth the effort to find the right partner for you.



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18 thoughts on “Gun Training for Women

  1. Melissa Conway says:

    I have own my gun for several years, I haven’t had a lot of practice with it but would love to get more knowledge for my safety and gain confidence.

  2. Found this article looking to update my training, all of which is pretty old-school, mostly Gunsite and Thunder Ranch. There were also some excellent instructors who could not afford the physical plant, so they had traveling road shows around the country, for example Jim Crews and the late Louis Awerbuck. Two schools I hear a lot of good things about these days are Vickers Tactical and Haley Strategic. Finally, there are some instructors with sketchy reputations such as Ignatius Piazza, Gabriel Suarez, and James Yeager. I have not met or trained with any of these guys, but there seems to be a negative vibe about them floating around the internet. Likewise for Clint Smith, whose more recent videos emphasize foul language, bad temper, and unusual gun selections. He does not appear to be the same guy I trained with 20 years ago. I found “Ray’s Huge List of Firearms Training Schools” which lists dozens of trainers I have never heard of. I would be very concerned about attending any course held in California, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and possibly Virginia (following the recent election of Ralph Northam). All of these states have obscure and restrictive gun laws targeted at “features.” I fear that if I took a gun to train in one of these states, I might accidentally violate the law by (for example) having a “high-capacity” magazine in my possession. Better to stay away. I think it would be worthwhile to poll all the Pew Pew editors for their training recommendations.

  3. Myriam Yanez says:

    Hello I’m in the Los Angeles are, I would like more information shooting classes for women please. Thank you!

    1. Carrie Lightfoot says:

      Hi Myriam,
      Please check out our instructor finder to find a certified instructor near you! Click Here

  4. Tsholo says:

    Hey. I’m Tsholo female 29 year old I want to learn how to use a gun, I have little or no knowledge . How much is the training?

    1. Carrie Lightfoot says:

      Hi Tsholo, the cost will depend on what type of training you are interested in. I suggest finding an instructor near you and discussing your needs so you can create a training plan. Here are two links that will help you find an instructor:
      TWAW trained, female instructors:
      USCCA instructors:
      Good luck!

  5. Lynda Philley says:

    Totally ridiculous you can’t print the great information on this site.

    1. Carrie Lightfoot says:

      Can I ask what device you are trying to print from? On a computer, I am on Google Chrome and when I hit (ctrl + P) or Right-click and select print, it prints for me. This is the first we have heard of this. Thank you

  6. Creziel hayes says:

    I need an instructor to learn how to use a gun and to get my CCW. I live in cuyahoga falls, ohio

  7. Darlene Coker says:

    I’m in DETROIT Mich

    1. Carrie Lightfoot says:

      Here are a couple of links for you Darlene. You can search for an instructor here:
      and also search for a women’s shooting chapter nearest you. I hope they help 🙂

  8. Kate Welling says:

    I thought your advice about taking some time to find out how long a company has been training women is great. This would give me a better idea of how they work! I think that I want to get a gun to keep under my bed for protection. Before getting a gun, though, I am going to look into finding a firearm safety training place that can help me out.

  9. Christine says:

    Hi Donnie, please use our instructor finder to find an instructor near you! Click Here

  10. Donnie Beard says:

    In need of an instructor to to learn how to use my gun.

  11. Ellie Davis says:

    Thank you for suggesting that you should make sure and check what certifications the instructors have. My sister is wanting to get training of her pistol. I’ll have to help her find the best training in our area.

  12. Irene Dalmeida says:

    Happy new year. Ineed an instructor to learn how to use my gun and practice to become better shooter. Thank you

    1. Christine says:

      Hi Irene,
      Please check out our Instructor Directory to help find an instructor near you! Happy New Year!

    2. Victoria Sadek says:

      Where do you live? There are numerous instructors throughout the country. The Well-Armed Woman is a great resource for you to find training/education!

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