Course Review - Accuforge / NRA Pistol Instructor

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  • Bertfish

    Throw bread on me
    Mar 13, 2013
    White Marsh, MD

    Me and a pile of other MDS members descended on Berwyn Rod and Gun Club this Friday through Sunday to take the three courses required to apply for QHIC status with MSP.

    Courses were:
    NRA Basic Pistol
    NRA Basic Instruction
    NRA Pistol Instructor

    My thoughts are as follows (its late; if I think of more I'll edit this and mark it as such):

    $300 for all three days was a steal for the time involved alone.

    Dwight and Chris were very friendly and accommodating folks. I can't stress that enough. Day 2 was spent in Dwight's home movie theater rather than the gun club; his wife made or packed lunch for us every day. They provided more than enough equipment and training aids; plenty of guns were available.

    These were my first NRA courses. The course work is very basic level and as I had been told before the NRA curriculum is very rigid and unyielding. They are expected to teach to the NRA guidance with only some ability to tune the class to the participants. I sympathize with them that it seemed difficult to teach a class to a (large) group of people who were not at all beginners.

    I confirmed a long known fact that gun owners are a group of people who seem to have a large percentage of self-appointed experts among the ranks. I think Chris and Dwight did a decent job tamping down the more ludicrous derailments while not stifling discussion. Towards the end class members really began to police their own better than at first in order to keep the course moving; frankly in large part because I think we were all worn out on NRA coursework and ready to be done.

    Day 1 (the basic pistol) did have two absolutely new shooters. I think Dwight did a good job keeping the focus on them to make sure they got what they needed to get without getting lost in the more experienced folks. After the shooting portion was completed the man spent additional time back in the classroom with one of the beginners to ensure that she knew how to break down and clean her handgun before she left as she had asked for guidance.

    You will have difficulty if you struggle with public speaking. We were all expected on numerous occasions to read and present various topics. Neither Dwight nor Chris were critical of the folks who struggled but if you are doing this to pursue instruction (rather than just a training exemption) you need to carefully evaluate your own public speaking abilities.

    I know the following members were in attendance and I would ask that their share their opinions as well.


    There were others but I either didn't get their username or forgot frankly.


    Active Member
    MDS Supporter
    Dec 1, 2018
    Eastern Shore
    I agree with Bertfish. The price was incredible for all the efforts, materials, and even food the instructors put in to these classes.
    Both Chris and Dwight are very knowledgeable and are great instructors.

    I honestly got a kick out of some of the rabbit holes we went down. I enjoyed watching how Dwight and Chris handled them.
    They are very patient, and I felt that was part of the lesson. There were a few lead "rabbits" who seemed to know more than anyone else, but I figure thats how it goes pretty much with any group of people that size, theres always going to be 1 or 2. I'm guessing that we, as instructors are going to have to learn to when to let these types of discussions continue and when to cut them off.

    Chris did have some very interesting facial expressions during some of these side tracks, that kept me entertained,
    so it was all good! :lol2:


    MDS Supporter
    Nov 7, 2022
    Good review from Bertfish. Some of my thoughts:

    The Berwyn Road and Gun Club was a great site for the classroom and range training. The classroom is an excellent facility for a class of our size ( I think it was 14 people?). I was beyond impressed with the setup Dwight has at his house for training (and movie night). Lucky I'm not the envious type or I'd be permanently green now.

    As has been mentioned, Chris and Dwight did an excellent job of fitting the training to the participants within the constraints of meeting NRA requirements. It seems like every large training session I've ever been in has had it's share of "experts" as well as "dumb questions" and they handled both very well.

    It's true that for many of the folks on this site the training might be of marginal value beyond that of getting the right boxes checked off, but I think anyone with an open mind would have gained from the experience.

    My personal take-away is that even after this training I don't believe I am anywhere near ready or capable of offering this level of training to a class of this size. This is no reflection on the training provided by Dwight and Chris, but that I would still want to gain more experience as an assistant trainer working with an experienced trainer before going out on my own.

    Having said that, I am confident that with the materials and knowledge gained from the course I could teach a new shooter one-on-one which is what I intend to do. From my perspective, this training was a great bargain and I am grateful to have had the opportunity to attend.


    On the spreading edge of the butter knife.
    MDS Supporter
    Dec 30, 2007
    Sykesville, MD
    I have nothing useful to add beyond what has already been said.

    I would most certainly (and intend to) seek out additional training from both Dwight and Chris.

    Feedback and input from other students was both welcomed and encouraged (of course). My impression that there are many good people on MDS was confirmed.

    Check your ego at the door and you'll be GTG.


    MSI Member
    MDS Supporter
    Jul 8, 2021
    Everyone else has pretty much already covered it. From my perspective, it was a great course, with great instructors and great group of people to train with. 10/10, would train with again. As long as my schedule allows, I intend to participate in more courses in the future (hopefully at least basic rifle and the basic rifle instructor courses).


    Junior Member
    Aug 10, 2022
    Thanks for the great reviews - It was a fun and exciting weekend for sure. I had not taught such a large class of seasoned shooters before, it was a great experience all around. I also learned a few new things in the class from some of the rabbit hole discussions - thanks to everyone for attending and taking a couple minutes here to reply. I have set up the Basic Rifle Student class for Friday 4/21 to get a jump on completing the Rifle Instructor as soon as our schedules can align. //Dwight
    Last edited:

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