The decision to take the course was a long and hard one. Question after question ran through my mind. Was I ready? Would I be causing too much drama with my boyfriend GB? Do I really want to use GB’s Bersa Thunder .380 as my carry gun? Or should I wait to take my permit until after I’ve bought the more leftie-friendly Bersa Thunder 9? What about money? Could I afford the class and the permit application fee? Could I get time off of work to attend the course? But once the decision was made, taking the CCW course was easy.
My employer generously gave me an unpaid furlough day on the day Allan and Kelly Main’s next CCW course was being offered. And the Main’s, who own Armed and Safe, offered me a scholarship to attend the class. It seemed that once I made the decision to go, everything fell into place. The most difficult thing I had to do was wake up! Which I did, super-early. I don’t even get up as early as I did to take the class as I do for work! But the class was scheduled so that we’d finish by 3 p.m., having completed the mandatory classroom and range components of the course in time to apply for our permits at the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office.
The day began (early!) with the drive out to the Armed and Safe classroom in Stead. It took about 20-30 minutes on the freeway and their place was very easy to find. I ended up pulling up in front of the building about five minutes before the course was scheduled to begin. I was too nervous to go in alone and so I waited until I saw another student arrive for the class. We introduced ourselves and walked in together with our gear. When we entered the building, Kelly paused her lecture which she had already begun to give to two earlier-arriving students and Allan lead us to another room to inspect our gear.
We safed our firearms and laid them out for his inspection. He filled in the make, model and caliber information on our concealed carry weapons permit application paperwork. Then, he spoke, “Both of you will be shooting all three guns?” Cue awkward moment. I looked at my new friend and shrugged. He shrugged back. I said, “Sure, if that’s okay with you?” He didn’t object and so Allan filled in three guns for each of us. As Allan wrote, we chatted about guns. Turns out, my new friend is a left-handed shooter and his carry gun is a Bersa Thunder 9!
As a recap: I got the day off of work to take the class without any problems. Although money is tight, I was able to attend the class on a scholarship. Now my dream gun, which is out of stock online and in local gun stores, walks into the class with me and the guy who owns it is willing to let me shoot his if he gets to shoot mine. Wow. This really was meant to be for me, huh?
After the formalities were taken care of, me and my new friend took our seats in the rear of the classroom and Kelly continued her lecture. On the first break, she caught us up on what we had missed, which wasn’t too much. Kelly covered the material using a variety of different weapons and other visual aids. She works as a 3rd-5th grade school teacher during the day and she used her abilities as a teacher to keep us interested, engaged and learning throughout the whole class. I was impressed! Especially because GB told me how boring his course was when he took it in Texas.
When the classroom hours were over, we headed out to the range and shot our targets. When we arrived, there were no positions at which to shoot due to a truck-full of guys out for some weekday fun. We prepped our gear, tables, targets and target stands as we waited for them to finish up. At one point, they called a cease fire and we all stared up at the sky to watch the first-time air racers fly over our heads in a practice session. The range-goers were very friendly and finished quickly for us. Thanks guys.
As soon as Allan had finished all of the hard work of staking our target stands and installing our targets, we took our places at tables that served as the firing line. We took all 30 shots from 21 yards. The range commands were a lot less flowery than the range commands used at Appleseed! I shot left-handed. I’ve ways shot my rifles left-handed, due to being left-eye-dominant and right-handed. But this was my first time shooting with my weak hand. I did awesome! All but one of my shots was withing an 8 1/2 x 11 inch piece of paper and I shot enough to qualify with three guns! My new friend was an excellent shot also. He qualified on my guns and I on his gun and he shot a revolver as well. I didn’t. I might kick myself for that slater, but so far I haven’t regretted it.
After the shooting portion, we all caravaned over to Qdoba for a working lunch. Kelly reviewed the course material with us and passed out our written tests. We were a very quiet class as we chewed our food and circled our answers. Kelly graded our tests and finished up our paperwork. After we bussed our tables and grabbed our forms, we were ready to go! I stayed after class to talk to Kelly about carrying at work while the rest of the class sped off to the Sheriff’s office. And that’s it! Easy-peasy, huh? Getting a Nevada CCW isn’t difficult at all. Especially when the stars have aligned for you to do so.
Tags: appleseed, Armed and Safe, Bersa, CCW, concealed carry, guns, shooting, shooting range, Walther, Washoe County Sheriff