The elearning portion teaches gun safety rules; types of pistols; proper operation of revolvers and semi-automatic pistols; ammunition knowledge and selection;
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4Third EditionŠOctober 2015Copyright 2014 The National Rifle Association of AmericaInternational Standard Book Number (ISBN): 978-0-935998-36-8 All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America.This book may not be reproduced in whole or in part by mechanical means, photocopying, electronic reproduction, scanning, or any other means without written permission. For information, write: Training Department, Education & Training Division, National Rifle Association of America, 11250 Waples Mill Road, Fairfax, VA 22030.NR40830ES39932

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5 The NRA expressly disclaims any and all liabilities, losses, costs, claims, remands, suits or actions of any type or nature whatsoever, arising from or in any way related to: this manual; the use of this manual; any representation, drawing or statement made in this manual; or any claim that a particular action is in compliance or performed in accor-dance or pursuant to this manual. This manual is under no circumstances to be viewed as a restatement of the law in any jurisdiction or to assure compliance with any applicable federal, state or local laws, ordinances, rules or regulations. You must consult a local attorney to ascertain compliance with all applicable federal, state or local laws, ordinances, rules or regula -tions and to advise you of the applicable duty of care required of firearms instructors in your jurisdiction. Instructors should consult with their attorneys for advice on reducing their potential liability for injuries or damages which students or others may incur while learning to use pistols safely, or as a result of other activities. The effectiveness of theories of liability (e.g., strict liability, negligence and others) and methods for pro -tecting oneself from liability (e.g., incorporation, waivers and others) vary between different jurisdictions, and the attorney consulted should be familiar with the law of the applicable jurisdiction. Discharging firearms in poorly ventilated areas, cleaning firearms, or handling ammunition or lead-containing reloading components may result in exposure to lead. Have adequate ventilation at all times. Wash hands with water after exposure. Great pains have been taken to make this book as complete as possible; however, reading this guide is not, in itself, sufficient to confer proficiency in pistol shooting, safety and maintenance. The reader of this book should obtain additional knowledge and hands-on training. Visit for more information.DISCLAIMER

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7TABLE OF CONTENTS Introduction 9PART I: SAFETYChapter 1: Basic Firearm Safety .13Chapter 2: Safe Firearm Storage .19PART II: PISTOL MECHANISMS AND OPERATIONChapter 3: Pistol Parts and Ho w They Work .25Chapter 4: Semi-Automatic Pistol Parts and How They Work .31Chapter 5: Operating Double and Single Action Semi-Automatic Pistols39Chapter 6: Revolver Parts and How They Work .45Chapter 7: Operating Double and Single Action Revolvers 51Chapter 8: Ammunition Fundamentals 59Chapter 9: Popular Pistol Cartridges ..65PART III: BUILDING PISTOL SHOOTING SKILLSChapter 10: Fundamentals of Pistol Shooting .71Chapter 11: Fundamentals of Pistol Shooting Positions 79Chapter 12: The Benchrest Position 83Chapter 13: Standing Pistol Shooting Positions ..89Chapter 14: The One-Handed Shooting Position ..93Chapter 15: Common Pistol Shooting Errors ..97Chapter 16: Clearing Common Pistol Stoppages .103PART IV: PISTOL MAINTENANCE, SELECTION AND USEChapter 17: Selecting Pistols, Ammunition, and Accessories .109Chapter 18: Cleaning and Maintaining Your Pistol 115Chapter 19: Pistol Shooting Activities and Skill Development ..123APPENDIXESAppendix A: NRA Facts 137Glossary 139Index ..141

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9INTRODUCTION The word pistol may have come from the name of a small town, Pistoia, in southern Italy, where handguns were manufactured in the 15th and 16th centuries. However, some scholars attribute its origin to the Russian word for a 15th-century matchlock gun : pischol. Other researchers believe that the word may derive from the Czechoslovakian word pistala, or pipe. Regardless of the true origin of the term, a common definition today for the word pistol is fia gun that has a short barrel and can be held, aimed and fired with one hand.fl Many different types of pistols exist, including revolvers, semi-automatics, muzzleloaders, hinge-actions, bolt-actions and air pistols. Although the word pistol is frequently associated with semi-automatic handguns, it is proper to use pistol to refer to all types of handguns. This book will deal primarily with the two types of pistols in most common use today: the revolver and the semi-automatic. Although muzzleloading pistols are not covered in this book, the sport of shooting these unique guns has increased in popularity. To learn about muzzleloading pistols, see the NRA How-To Series publication Muzzleloading. Air pistol shooting is also a very popular activity. This type of shooting can provide a wide variety of recreation and sport opportunities, from shooting in a basement or backyard range to competing in the Olympic Games. For information on air pistols, visit: . Americans own pistols today for many different reasons. Some people compete in the various types of pistol shooting matches held throughout the country, including those held at the collegiate and Olympic levels. Others own pistols for personal protection. Hunters, too, have found that the use of a pistol to take game can be a challenging and exciting expe-rience, and nearly all of the 50 states allow pistol hunting. A new shooter will quickly discover that pistol shooting is fun! It is a sport that requires good hand/eye coordination, mental concentration and discipline. The purpose of this book is to teach the safe and proper use of a pistol so that it can be enjoyed to the fullest extent. The main focus of The NRA Guide to the Basics of Pistol Shooting is on helping the reader develop the knowledge, skills and attitude to safely and effectively handle and fire a pistol. Included are chapters on ammunition and pistol types; selecting ammunition, pistols and accessories; gun handling; shooting positions; and pistol shooting activities. These and other topics presented in this book form the core knowledge and skills used in all pistol shooting activities, from informal recreational shooting through hunting, competition and self-defense. Although this book has a wealth of information on many aspects of pistol use, it is meant to be used within the framework of the NRA Basic Pistol Shooting Course. You should understand that merely reading a bookŠany bookŠwill not, in and of itself, make you proficient in handling and using a pistol. For more information on the NRA Basic Pistol Shooting Course or any other NRA course, visit .

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˜e NRA would like to thank the many NRA sta˛, NRA Certi˚ed Instructors, NRA members, and others whose e˛orts and participation helped make the development and production of this book possible. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTSA Gun Owner™s ResponsibilitiesAmericans enjoy a right that citizens of many other countries do notŠthe right to own firearms. But with this right comes responsibilities. It is the gun owner™s responsibility to store, operate and maintain his or her firearms safely. It is the gun owner™s responsibility to ensure that unauthorized or untrained individuals cannot gain access to his or her firearms. And it is the gun owner™s responsibility to learn and obey all applicable laws that pertain to the purchase, possession and use of a fire-arm in his or her locale. Guns are neither safe nor unsafe by themselves. When gun owners learn and practice responsible gun ownership, guns are safe.10

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