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 every pistol class.

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. Our advice is to bring 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 platforms during the program.

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

The class will move forward with the course objectives if you have equipment issues.

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

Training holster

  • For the Practical Fundamentals program: A Kydex belt or paddle training holster (see below) mounted on the strong side of your belt, near 3 o’clock for right-handed shooters and 9 o’clock for lefties. The holster used in this class is a basic one used for training or practical shooting events, and not necessarily used for concealed carry.
  • The Kydex holster you bring to class must must be designed to fit the pistol you bring to class.
  • For Advanced Pistol Operator and other advanced programs: Please stick with USPSA, IDPA, etc. approved holsters.
  • Cross-draw, shoulder, appendix, or SERPA-type holsters (requiring the manipulation of the retention device/lock using the index/trigger finger) are not permitted in our standard training classes.
  • Holsters that use the thumb to manipulate the retention device are acceptable. (Safariland Automatic Locking System (ALS) design as an example.)

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

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.).
  • 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.

Weather-Appropriate Protection

  • Sunscreen
  • Lip balm
  • Insect repellent

Highly Recommended General Items

  • Cleaning and maintenance supplies for daily pistol maintenance.
  • Folding chair.
  • Elbow and knee pads. (Not needed for Practical Fundamentals)
  • Bandaids for minor scrapes.
  • Protein or power bars.
  • Rear tail-cap type flashlight (e.g. Surefire, Pentagon, Streamlight). (Not needed for Practical Fundamentals.)
  • Pen and notebook.

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.)