In The News - Firearms Instructor Interviewed on TV:

More News - In the Outdoors Section of the Bulletin:

Firearms instructor Steve Eichelberger demonstrates the proper employment of open sights as part of a handgun fundamentals course.

Handgun safety and responsibility starts with training
By Gary Lewis / For The Bulletin

One. My left hand was on my stomach, my right on the back of the gun, hand around the grip, index finger laid along the slide.

Two. I drew the gun, elbow cocked, pistol held close to the body, support hand still tight to my stomach.

It was coming back now. The draw, the proper two-hand technique, the gun held close to the body, the front sight in focus.
There were two reasons I signed up for this training. One was to describe the fundamentals course from firsthand experience. But the real reason was because I knew I needed it.

Many times over the last several years, I’ve heard a familiar refrain. “I just completed my concealed handgun license course.” Or, “I am looking for a pistol for home defense.” Or, “I just bought a new pistol for concealed carry.”

What I don’t hear is a commitment to ongoing training. It is as if the procurement of the CHL or the pistol is the last thing to check off a very short list.

Firearms instructor Steve Eichelberger suggests the proper skill set and mindset includes three legs of the concealed handgun stool. The first leg is competence, which includes a knowledge of safety and the fundamentals of gun handling. The second leg is knowing whether it is justifiable to shoot in a self-defense or defense-of-property situation. The third leg is getting the concealed handgun license.

With the right comes the responsibility, an ongoing commitment to handgun proficiency.

We met at the COSSA Park east of Bend on a chilly February day. Eichelberger went over each of the four safety rules, then talked about how we might handle an emergency if one should arise while we were shooting. Then he discussed shooting line etiquette — how to shoot with a group of people. He covered the five fundamentals of marksmanship then gave a visual explanation of how to employ open sights. We progressed from handling the blue safety gun to using my own Glock 19, still empty, in deliberate dry fire with attention to mental focus and using the trigger reset to full advantage.

I had been through it all before, but I found small ways to change old habits, make transitions smoother.

Then it was time to practice the draw from holster in a four-point presentation that breaks down the action into four movements. One. Two. Three. Four.

Slow is smooth. Smooth is fast.

“Under stress,” Eichelberger reminded me, “we start to lose the ability to make small motor movements and we lose the ability to shoot well.”

Two hours into the three-hour class, Eichelberger had me load ammunition into two magazines. After a quick target session we transitioned to the proper employment of cover. Shooting from one side and then the other, changing magazines in the middle of the engagement, checking behind, right and left for additional threats, while minimizing the danger to bystanders.
It was almost a quarter of a century ago when I took the concealed handgun class. It was good to go back to the fundamentals. To learn it again. For three hours, I pretended I knew nothing and let the teacher start me off at square one again, help me do away with bad habits while forging down new neural pathways.

There are various ways to train. Spend a day or a week with an instructor or at a facility, join a club, compete, plan it into a schedule. Hardware — a handgun, a flashlight, a holster, a safe — is important, but not as important as training. It all starts with the fundamentals.

Eichelberger keeps a list of the four safety rules and five fundamentals of marksmanship on the shooting line for quick reference. The tools at hand: a box of ammunition, a blue gun and a Glock 19.

— Gary Lewis is the host of Frontier Unlimited TV and author of John Nosler — Going Ballistic, Fishing Mount Hood Country, Hunting Oregon and other titles. Contact Gary at .

Concealed Carry Classes
A word about the increased demand for concealed handgun licenses:

We've been turning away people who only want the CHL class, but who don't want to learn about the rules for using deadly force. If they aren't willing to learn how to drive, or learn the rules of the road, then maybe they aren't ready for a driver's license.

Because of so many mass shootings in the news recently, we've prioritized the "What Do I Do…?" (click on link) class with the option of adding the Oregon CHL certificate for another $35. Even if you already have your CHL, taking the  "What Do I Do…?" (click on link) class will open your eyes to tactical and legal defense issues that you may never have considered.


This course exceeds all firearms safety training requirements of Oregon’s concealed handgun law. You will receive a certificate of completion which you can submit to the Sheriff’s office with your concealed handgun license application. Instructor is a lawyer and police trainer, certified by NRA and Oregon Department of Public Safety Standards Training (Police Academy). $65 each for groups of five or more. No longer available as a stand-alone course. Must be combined with "What Do I Do…?" (click on link) for an additional $35.

Your Oregon CHL course requirement can be satisfied by taking the "What Do I Do…?" course. See the description below. For an additional $35, you will receive your Oregon certificate of completion when you take this course.



Would you get a driver's license without learning the rules of the road or how to drive? Of course not, nor would you get a concealed handgun license without understanding the laws and tactics of deadly force. This is a "must have" course for anyone who has a gun or who is thinking of buying one for self defense. Learn the law and logic of armed self defense from the unique perspective of a lawyer, combat veteran and police trainer.  $65 each for groups of five or more. Combine with Oregon CHL for an additional $35. Topics:

- The three survival secrets no other CHL course will tell you

- Shoot/don’t shoot decisions which will send you to jail or save you from it

- What if’s (scenarios using legal principles)

- What to do after a shooting

- Your individual concerns

For more information about this course, click here:
What Do I Do…?


Live-Fire Concealed Carry Classes

Gain a solid basis in safe gun handling and marksmanship from a certified police firearms instructor. Available for private live-fire training at all levels of skill. Everything from marksmanship and gun handling fundamentals to advanced tactical skills. Learn to fight with your gun. All live-fire training is conducted in a safe, professional environment. Small groups - $65/hr. per person, minimum two hours. Qualifies for Oregon CHL training certificate for an additional $35. For more information click here: Live-Fire Training.



Why Wait? You Can Begin As Soon As Tomorrow:

SCHEDULED COURSES. Click on the Calendar to see if a class you're interested in has been scheduled.

SMALL GROUP TUTORIALS. You don't have to wait weeks for a scheduled class. Firearms Instructor is on call, and will come to you whenever and wherever it's mutually convenient. Round up some friends, family or business associates to form a small group (minimum five persons). Just call or e-mail to set a time and place.


Additional Services

This is a confidential service. We will visit and evaluate the security and safety of your home or business, then provide recommendations and assistance in implementing common-sense security and safety measures.

While every situation is unique, past evaluations have included having homeowners do simulation training with an inert replica weapon in their own homes, doing on-site scenarios in both home and commercial settings, and having mini-classes in deadly force law and tactics.

To have your own home or business security consultation, send an e-mail to


Monthly Drawings - Central Oregon


No purchase necessary - monthly drawings - you don't have to be present to win - winners will be contacted by e-mail

Click link to enter by e-mail:  or…

Fill out an entry slip at your favorite Bend gun store or at the March 12-13 Redmond gun show.

Congratulations to Paul P., February's winner. The March winner will be announced at the end of the month.

Website Builder