Defensive Handgun Training

Course Location

The Majority of our Critical Defensive Handgun courses take place at:

Southington LE and Mil Training Facility

10321 Silica Sands Road

Garrettsville, OH 44023


Southington affords us with an outstanding backstop and forgiving policies that allow us to conduct realistic defensive handgun training.  The range is an outdoor affair, however, the challenges weather can provide at times is far outweighed by the training latitude this unique range affords us.

Every year we conduct somewhere around a dozen Critical Defensive Handgun courses on the road.  If you register for a course that is not located at Southington, please make sure to verify the location of your course before attending.


Course Duration

The 2-day Critical Defensive Handgun Course will typically begin at 9:00 am and conclude at 5:00 pm each day.

On the first day of class, it is suggested that students begin to assemble at the range at approximately 8:30 am so that there is time to prepare gear,  meet your classmates and address any administrative issues that may need to be dealt with.  It is our intention that the class will begin promptly at 9 am.

There are many variables that can affect the length of each training day.  Available light, number of students, student questions, travel considerations, weather, and many other factors can impact how long the class will run.  Anticipate that class will end near 5:00 pm each day but understand that 5 is an approximation and the above factors may move the official conclusion of the course one way or the other.  Keep in mind that there is never really an end to defensive training.  There are always skills to be learned, practiced, applied, and evaluated.  Our goal in each Critical Defensive Handgun Course and with each day of training is to realize a significant increase in our competence.  With very few exceptions our students achieve this outcome regardless of the time we adjourn.


Course Materials

Be successful in class, you will want to begin assembling your gear well in advance to be sure that your equipment is in order.

Please bring:

  • an open mind
  • note-taking materials including pen or pencils and a note pad
  • the handgun and holster you plan on carrying concealed (rentals are available)
  • three magazines for the above handgun (six is better)
  • 700-1000 rounds of ammunition for your handgun (if you will be renting an SSA handgun the ammunition needs to be factory 9mm)
  • eye protection and ear protection
  • food and drinks to maintain concentration and safety throughout the duration of the class
  • appropriate clothing to be outside for the duration of the class

Remember that this course has a strong focus on the use of a defensive handgun in the types of situations that are most commonly encountered by legally armed citizens and armed professionals.  When selecting your gear for class I strongly recommend bringing the gear you carry on a daily basis as opposed to your favorite “range gun.”  The realistic approach taken in Critical Defensive Handgun serves as a good proving ground for your equipment and method of carry.  The place to find out if gear doesn’t work or work well together is on the range, not on the street.

A Word on Holsters:

One of the most common issues that folks have with equipment in class relates to holsters.

Your holster is an important part of your concealed carry equipment and a critical piece of gear for training.  If your holster is inadequate it could make training frustrating, and even unsafe.  Unsafe gear will not be permitted on the range.

Often, students spend a lot of energy getting geared up for concealed carry.  They spend their hard-earned money on guns, ammunition, and range time and they research these decisions in detail often trying gear before they buy.  When it comes to holsters, however, they tend to fall short.  It is easy to understand why.  There are a ton of holsters out there, but very few on the shelf of your local shop.  Those holsters that your shop does carry tend to be inexpensive and universal and in most cases completely inadequate for training and concealed carry.

Please take a few minutes and review the information at the following link regarding selecting a quality holster.

Should you have a holster that is unsafe, Safety Solutions Academy has rental guns that are available for you to use that include a safe holster.

Final Preparation

Take some time before class to sit down with your note pad and pen and do some writing.  What questions do you have about gear, defensive training, or violent crime?  What specific goals do you have for the course?  What have you been struggling with when it comes to the use of a defensive handgun?

This is the start of your checklist of questions you can use to make sure Critical Defensive Handgun makes an impact on your ability to protect yourself and your family.

We look forward to training with you and helping you learn to lead a safer life.