This weekend I took the new NRA class, "Personal Protection Outside the Home" (PPOTH) taught by Profire in Colorado. This is a 2-day class that builds on / follows on the NRA Basic Pistol and NRA Personal Protection in the Home (PPITH) classes. This class is all about concealed carry of a handgun, covering safety, mindset, legalities, modes of concealed carry, shooting positions, draw from concealment, use of cover... Lots of very pertinent topics.
We started with 7 participants and 4 instructors for the classroom day, and wound up with 6 participants and 5 instructors on the range day. The pace of the course was pretty intense -- short breaks, short lunch -- but the instructors always took time to seriously discuss and respond to all questions, and to share their experiences with students. Of the 7/6 students in the class, all but 2 were going on for their instructor certifications for the class, which required that they first take the course as students, and then spend another 2 days training in how to teach the course. We were told that ours was the first public offering of the class in Colorado.
As an aside, I have my CO CCW, and have shot for quite a few years -- casually, mind you -- but aside from the aforementioned NRA training had no formal firearms instruction. This course stretched me, and showed me just how much I need to practice and train -- A LOT!
The class session was quite valuable and informative, and I wouldn't miss it -- I'm actually thinking of taking the whole course over again. Lots of good discussion between all participants. Like the PPITH class, an attorney (one of the instructor-to-be co-students, in our case) reviews statute and law, and shares some informative and entertaining stories about cases he's seen. We also spent some time doing dry-fire run-throughs of some of the present-from-concealment drills that we'd do at the range.
The range session was fantastic, and I recommend this class to everyone who's even *thought* about carrying a handgun, concealed or open-carry. I did just about everything wrong that someone could do wrong and not get kicked out, which is to say I didn't violate any cardinal safety rules, but I did a miserable job keeping my weak-hand on my chest until it was time to join with my strong hand, and couldn't manage to keep my firearm pointed at the target upon rotating it after pulling it from its holster, and had a hard time breaking tunnel vision and scanning my environment after firing, and had a hard time getting used to reholstering while keeping my eye on the target, etc. I had two of the four instructors camped out with me virtually the whole range session, and I think they were hoarse from correcting me by the time we were done. What a wonderful experience. There're few experiences so humbling or so potentially enlightening as that of screwing up repeatedly when accompanied by a patient, persistent instructor who consistently offers correction and encouragement.
I and seemingly all participants had a great time throughout the entire class. The class room (Gander Mountain in Thornton) and the range (Rocky Mountain Shooting Sports in Fort Collins) were top notch, the instructors knowledgeable, experienced, helpful, persistent, patient almost to a fault... And the PPOTH course content was so incredibly relevant and meaningful to me as a CCW-holder who wants to be safe and effective. I think I'd be helped by taking the course again. Of course I'd also be helped by a lot of time safely practicing what I learned at home, and at a range (if I could find one that would let me present from concealment when I wasn't participating in a class).
I recommend that you seek out an opportunity to participate in this course in your home state.