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This Sparrowhawk Introduction to Practical Pistol Course will teach you to control your immediate environment. You’ll learn marksmanship, gun handling and combat mindset, the elements of the Combat Triad. This course will give you two solid days of range work, lectures and intense simulators (including low light). Through our systematic and dynamic methodology you will achieve competence and great new skills. Whether you be an entry level pistol competitor or experienced aficionado, you will develop entrenched manipulation skills and be prepared to prevail in a high stress environment. We push you for faster time-on-target. You will shoot on the move and on moving target arrays, and you will greatly increase your tactical skills. You will train in exciting simulators, both indoor and outdoor.

Course Length: 2 days including one night shoot.

Prerequisite: NZ Firearms license, B category endorsement.

Practical Pistol Outline.

(This basic outline should not be considered a complete syllabus.)

Upon completion of this course of instruction the student will be able to demonstrate an understanding of the course material through Performance Oriented demonstration of the following concepts/techniques. 



  • Four Basic Safety Rules 

  • Modern Technique 

  • The Combat Triad 

  • Pistol positioning 

  • Range safety rules and procedures 

  • Marksmanship basics 

  • Ready, Look and Assess 

  • Tactical reload 

  • Reading the target 

  • Inter-limb interaction, dry practice safety. 

  • Pistol disassembly, maintenance, assembly 

  • Presentation 

  • Malfunction clearances class 1,2,and 3 

  • Speed reload 2+2 at 10m 

  • Pairs and hammers 

  • Failure response 

  • Non standard response 

  • Ballistics discussion 

  • Braced kneeling 15m 3.5 sec. 

  • Barricades and negotiating corners 

  • Tactics discussion, indoor and outdoor 

  • Pivots (90°) 10m 

  • Turns (180°) 10m 

  • Step off Line of Attack (LOA) drill 

  • Double knee and speed kneeling 

  • Roll over prone 25m 7 sec. 

  • Forward and backward movement 

  • Lateral movement 

  • Shooting from Retention 

  • Dozier drills 

  • Tactical movement; advance, retire, lateral 

  • Two daytime indoor and outdoor simulator runs 

  • Review and discuss night shooting techniques 

  • One low light outdoor simulator run  

  • Eyes off exercises in low light 

  • Flashlight techniques at night 

  • El Presidente/Tactical El Presidente at 10 m 

  • Students Shooting Performance Standards, School Drills

Course length 2 days

Course Fee: $950 Incl gst

Ammo reqd: Minimum 500rds

Guidelines for Sparrowhawk Pistol Students.


Equipment and accessories:

Heavy belt, holster, magazine carrier, minimum of 4 magazines (double stack, 6 single stack), eye& ear protection, (dark & clear glasses) elbow & knee pads, flashlight with pressure switch, range bag and cleaning supplies, jacket and or rain gear, stout footwear. Whatever carry method and apparel you intend to deploy with, we prefer you to train how you will fight. 



Any centrefire calibre is acceptable, with non magnum cartridges preferred ( this saves wear and tear on both our reactive targets and you, over the period of the Course).

If you plan to supply your own ammunition, you’ll need to ensure that it feeds and fires reliably in yourfirearm before your arrival at Sparrowhawk. Match grade performance is not essential. We don’t allow steel cored or tracer ammunition on any of our Ranges.

You will also need the means to carry readily-accessible spare rounds.





The Sparrowhawk Range Complex at Shenley Station is a registered private facility. The home of the Cave Pistol Club, recognised by the NZ Police and Pistol NZ. The facility, comprising of multiple ranges and simulators to facilitate handgun, practical rifle, sporting shotgun, carbine rifle and combat shotgun and open country precision rifle.



Emphasis being on practical shooting, both paper and steel reactive targets are used.



Applicants are encouraged to provide their own firearms, their own ammunition also. Firearms should be in a safe working condition.



If you are not suppling own ammunition we can provide an ammunition package is available by prior arrangement.

If we are notified a specific Match ammunition package can be supplied.

Reloaded ammunition policy: Dedicated home loads, developed for Precision Rifle or  fully developed reloaded ammunition is acceptable. Do not use our courses as an opportunity to test or develop your home loads.



For first time students especially, bring an open mind and a sense of humour- and be prepared for the most enjoyable and most challenging days you’ve ever spent with a firearm. 



Hearing protection, safety glasses, hat, seasonal clothing, warm clothing, Boots, Wet weather gear (we don’t stop!), water bottle, knee pads, elbow pads (optional). A pack that you can fit all this in! An ammunition carrier is a useful addition, as is a belt or pouch carrier. Flashlight, small hand held intense (60 lumen minimum) flashlight with a rear button actuation switch is desirable. Quality flashlights are available for purchase by prior arrangement.



Comfortable accommodation (Homestead style) is available by request onsite. Cottage sleeps 12 people, is fully furnished with cooking utensils and cutlery provided. Students will however need to provide their own food and bring sleeping bags or bedding.

Price: $45 pp/night

Albury Inn is located 12km from the ranges and has firearms friendly accommodation.



It is your responsibility to inform us of any of the above to facilitate the continuity of the Course for both the students and the Instructors. Shooting with movement, under stress, requires students to have a reasonable level of fitness.


Our Instructors will endeavour to provide the best firearms and practical training in their field and are invited because; of their knowledge of the doctrine and communication skills along with their standing in associations involved their discipline. We endeavour to keep a student/instructor ratio of 3:1.



It should not be necessary to point out that firearms can cause severe inadvertent damage in careless hands. There are no “accidents” with guns – only negligence. You will be carefully and forcefully instructed in the principles of safe gun handling. Any student who unsafely or negligently discharges his/her firearm on or off the range during the Course will be dismissed from the Course.



A Release, Discharge, Indemnity form will be required to be filled out by all applicants, any visitor, observer or other persons not actively on the Course, on entering the property and prior to the commencement of the Course. A copy of which can be found Here


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