What to Bring – Pistol Classes

Although each pistol program offered by OpSpec Training may have specific requirements, we’ve put together a listing of equipment appropriate for most of our pistol classes.

What pistol and ammo should I bring?

  • Bring a Full Size or Compact Pistol Model. Do not bring sub-compact or micro-pistols unless it is a specific class dedicated to running those platforms.
  • 9mm, .40, .357 SIG or .45 ACP. We advise bringing a 9mm gun as ammo is less expensive and features less recoil.
  • It’s always a good idea to bring a backup pistol to class. But we do not suggest switching trigger platforms during the program.

We welcome students who bring single-stack 1911s and similar full-size or compact pistols. You should bring extra magazines and be prepared to maintain the gun and magazines during the day.

If you have equipment issues, the class will move forward with the course objectives.

Do you have a question about what gun you should bring? No problem; contact us, and we’ll be happy to discuss. We want you to take one of our classes if you meet the prerequisites.

What holster should I bring?

  • You should bring a Kydex belt or paddle outside the waistband holster (see graphic below) that is mounted on your belt’s strong side, near 3 o’clock for right-handed shooters and 9 o’clock for lefties. USPSA and IDPA belt and holster rigs are welcome.
  • The Kydex holster you bring to class must be designed to fit your pistol.
  • Holsters that use the thumb to manipulate the retention device are acceptable. (Safariland Automatic Locking System (ALS) design as an example.)
  • Cross-draw, shoulder and SERPA-type holsters (requiring the manipulation of the retention device/lock using the index/trigger finger) are not permitted in our training classes.

What about appendix carry or my concealed carry rig?

Most of our classes are not geared towards concealed carry. To allow you to focus on the training objectives, we require an outside-the-waistband, strong side holster.

Some of our classes – including our advanced tactical pistol classes – are geared for working from concealment, and you’re welcome to run your appendix rig in those classes.

What about my leather holster?

If you have a high-quality, ridged-mouthed leather holster, you are welcome to bring that to class. If the leather holster’s mouth collapses, it will not pass the gear check.

If you have a holster-related question, contact us, and we’ll be happy to discuss it.

Magazine Carriers

  • You should have two to four magazine carriers that will allow you to safely carry magazines so you can recharge your firearm. The magazine carriers will be mounted opposite from your holster (see below).

Pistol Magazines

  • You should have at five to seven magazines, in general, the more the better. Bring more magazines if you bring a gun with a magazine capacity of 10 rounds or less.

Pistol Ammunition

  • Every class is different, so check out the class description page for an approximate round count. If you are taking a Simunitions® class, you will not need live ammunition.
  • Standard velocity only, no +P ammunition permitted.

If you have an ammunition related question, contact us and we’ll work with you.

Required Health and Safety Equipment

  • Wraparound eye protection.
  • Hearing protection (Electronic hearing protection is highly recommended).
  • Some way to hydrate yourself. (Camelbak, water bottles, etc.).
  • Sunscreen
  • Lip balm

Weather-Appropriate Protection

When it comes to weather conditions, we’ll shoot as long as it is safe to do so. If it is raining, this will result in the pace of the class being slowed to ensure we are drawing and re-holstering safety. Your choice of outer-garments must allow you to safely draw and re-holster the gun without flagging your support hand or any part of your body.

Ensure there are no pull cords on your outer garments that can get caught by your trigger during the draw and re-holster process.

  • Insect repellent
  • Jeans, BDUs, or canvas type pants are recommended
  • Appropriate socks, footwear, headwear and clothing appropriate for conditions we may encounter. (Including rain and snow.)
  • Bring a pair of gloves as we may frequently move targets, and for range clean up
  • No sandals, tank tops or other sleeveless shirts permitted on the range

Highly Recommended General Items

  • Cleaning and maintenance supplies for daily pistol maintenance
  • Folding chair
  • Bandaids for minor scrapes
  • Protein or power bars
  • Pen and notebook

Some classes may require the following

For most of our classes, you will not need the following. If you need this gear, we will specify that it is required in the course description and remind you before the class.

  • Rear tail-cap type flashlight (e.g. Surefire, Pentagon, Streamlight).
  • Elbow and knee pads.
  • Snap caps

Holster, Magazine Pouches & Other Gear

To supplement the information provided above, we have listed some equipment suggestions that should point you in the right direction. (These are not a paid endorsement or affiliate links.)