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Prepare – Practice – Prevail

Prepare - Practice - Prevail


Following some simple preparation suggestions can mean the difference between passing and failing your firearms qualification live fire test.  Many people are under the impression that they can shoot pretty well and don’t need to practice before the live fire qualification test.  “I can wing it”  sort of thing (no pun intended).  This is not the attitude needed to be successful in any endeavor let alone a skills test that involves a perishable skill like shooting.

As of this writing I have some 6,000+ CCW live fire qualifications on the books.  I think I have seen most everything over the last 6 years in this business.

I want to share with you what I believe is a winning strategy. First and foremost, know everything that there is to know about your firearm.


  • The different parts and how they work.  Slide, frame, sights, safeties, de-cocker (if equipped) hammer, slide release etc. You get the idea.
  • Be able to disassemble and reassemble your firearm field strip style.
  • How to load and unload the magazine / cylinder.
  • How to load and unload the firearm in a safe manner.
  • How to lock your slide back.
  • Whether your firearm is a single action or double action or both. You will be required to demonstrate that you can fire the firearm double action from different distances accurately.
  • If you have a striker fire firearm like a glock, know the way it works.
  • How to grip / hold your firearm correctly.
  • Know the ammunition that your firearm is manufactured to fire.
  • Demonstrate the different holsters that you may be using (renewal clients).
  • Know your permit issuing agencies qualification standards.
  • Know the NRA firearms safety rules by heart.


  1. Go to the range and practice before the day of your live fire qualification.  A re-test if needed is going to be an additional fee.
  2. hire a firearms instructor if you are in need of help.
  3. Come to class with a clean firearm.
  4. Don’t come to class with a “I can wing it” attitude.
  5. Ask for an extension on your final date if needed. A lot of things have been going on in everyone’s lives lately.  The agencies are understanding.
  6. Know how to transport your firearms legally and safely.  Don’t bring your firearm wrapped in a rag in a shopping bag.