SIG SAUER Academy Handgun Skills and Shooting Course

Sig Sauer Academy in New Hampshire
Sig Sauer Academy in New Hampshire
SIG SAUER Academy Handgun Skills and Shooting Course
Pistol Instructor Hana on Left and Karen

Last week I participated in a SIG SAUER® Academy shooting development handgun skills course in Epping, New Hampshire. It was a beneficial and interesting experience and I want to share it with you to help you decide on your further training. My wife who is an NRA Certified Instructor also attended the course. That’s her on the right with one of the instructors, Hana. Our goals were to add to and further develop our handgun teaching strategies and drills to help our students and to refine our personal handgun techniques and accuracy. We purposely chose the 102, second-level practical handgun skills course, to match our goals.

Sig offers courses in several different areas for law enforcement, military, credentialed armed professionals, and for civilians. Courses vary from 4 hours to 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5-days in length and tuition starts at $215. each per person and depends upon the course. Most courses have pre-requisites and several are very physically (and mentally) demanding, in a professional and relaxed environment. Whether registering online or by mail for a course, applicants are required to provide at least 2 weeks prior to class one of the following: copy of current, valid law enforcement credential; copy of current, valid concealed carry permit; copy of current, valid firearms identification card; letter signed by Law Enforcement Officer from applicant’s jurisdiction stating that applicant has no criminal history and is of general good character; or notarized and approved Criminal Record Release Authorization Form.

Sig Sauer Academy in New Hampshire
Sig Sauer Academy in New Hampshire

Some of the course categories with some example courses include:

Course Categories

  • Armorer  Certification- Various pistols and rifles
  • Instructor Development- in Pistol-Rifle-Shotgun and Concealed Carry
  • Specialty Training/Shooting- Revolver Skill Drills, Close-Quarter Pistol Techniques
  • Specialty Training/Non-Shooting- Personal Survival and Hand-to-Hand Combat
  • Skill Enhancement- Skill Builders in Pistol-Rifle-Shotgun and Precision Scoped Rifle
  • Shooting Development- Handgun Orientation, Practical Handgun Skills, Defensive Handgun, Advanced Tactical
  • Scoped Rifle Training- Police Marksman-Sniper and Precision Scoped Rifle
  • Competitive Courses- Mastering Low-Light Skills, Intro to Steel Challenge, and Speed Shooting
Students Shooting at 25 Yards in Practical Handgun Skills Course 102
Students Shooting at 25 Yards in Practical Handgun Skills Course 102

The 8-hour class we took started at 8:30 a.m. and finished about 5:15 p.m. with an hour for lunch. We spent about 4 hours in the classroom and about 4 hours shooting in the indoor range, with Instructors Dylan and Hana. Muzzle management and trigger finger discipline were emphasized and I felt very safe in class and at the range. We did come back the next day for some follow-up contacts and extra work on our own. There were objective-based goals and performance-based requirements at the range. It was a second-level practical skills class designed to follow the basic handgun orientation course, but it did include drawing-presenting-recovering the handgun from and to the holster, various reloading procedures in different scenarios, malfunctions clearances, and trigger control and accuracy techniques and drills. We spent a lot of time at the range shooting and did not have time for the cleaning and maintenance topic. We each fired about 250 rounds of required frangible, lead free, non-jacketed, non-toxic ammo. Keep in mind that not all frangible ammo meets these requirements. To save time and possible airport and state hassles, we bought about 500 rounds of the frangible ammo there from Sig for $25. a bag of 50. They let us borrow their holsters and mag pouches, as well as their guns without a charge. Given the strictness of MA, the area, and the airlines there, we decided to use Sig’s ammo and guns and not transport nor ship ours there. There were 14 students (10 males, 4 females, and some couples) in our class from several states, including MI, CA, NY, MA, NH, FL, etc. There backgrounds, experiences, and ages varied, from much experience to little and included an ophthalmologist, nurse, firefighter, military, and trainers. I am guessing that ages ranged from late twenties to sixties, with yours truly being the oldest there. Our civilian group had no law enforcement personnel in it. Several had their concealed carry permits. One student was attending our course for the second time and said she will take it again. Although we paid $215. each for the course tuition, I should mention a good benefit of the course was receiving a 20% discount on Sig firearms, accessories, and parts, but not on other branded products. There were other discounts mentioned below. The Pro Shop Manager Travis was very helpful and is a good contact there. We also enjoyed meeting and talking with Adam Painchaud, Academy Director and George Harris, Retired Director.

Ben with Adam and George
Ben with Adam and George

Here is the course description and information from the SIG SAUER® website.

SIG SAUER Course Topics

Karen and I were fortunate to borrow from Sig the new for 2014 Sig P320 full size pistols in 9mm for the class. The Sig P320 carry size pistol in 9mm was not distributed nor available then for our class, but we really wanted to handle one. These guns are the first striker-fired guns for Sig and we were anxious to shoot them to see if they lived up to their excellent accuracy claim. Sig actually made the Sig P320 carry model just available for dealers the end of the week we were at the Academy. The 320s performed very well for us, were super accurate, and some have already requested I review and compare the full size and carry guns, so I will have a review article with details about them soon. Hint: their modular features and accuracy are very fine. Here is what they look like.

Sig P320 Full Size (top) and Sig P320 Carry (bottom)
Sig P320 Full Size (top) and Sig P320 Carry (bottom)


I certainly recommend the SIG SAUER® Practical Handgun Skills 102 course, especially for shooters with some experience and those wanting to hone their draw, loading-reloading under stress skills, clearing stoppages response, trigger-finger discipline, and accuracy techniques. Also, the drills and techniques were helpful to us as shooting instructors. The course focused on efficient and effective shooting and accuracy beyond knowing your pistol and revolver and handling and operating them safely. I hope this helps you with deciding on a proper training course for your next training. Handgun training is a continual and never-ending process because there is always something to learn or improve upon when shooting. It is so easy to become complacent and neglect our shooting development, so I hope you don’t fall into that trap. I know I want to take some type of handgun training course to further develop myself and to improve my shooting every year. I hope you do as well.

Continued success!

SIG SAUER® Contact Information:

SIG SAUER® Academy
233 Exeter Road
Epping, NH 03042

Phone: 603-679-2003
Pro Shop Phone: 603-610-3456
Fax: 603-679-1639


Photos by author.

This personal opinion article is meant for general information & educational purposes only and the author strongly recommends that you seek counsel from an attorney in your state or jurisdiction for legal advice and your own personal certified weapons trainer for proper guidance about shooting & using YOUR firearms, self-defense, stand your ground law, and concealed carry. This is not legal advice and not legal opinions. It should not be relied upon as accurate for all shooters & the author assumes no responsibility for anyone’s use of the information and shall not be liable for any improper or incorrect use of the information or any damages or injuries incurred whatsoever. 

© 2014 Col Benjamin Findley. All Rights Reserved. This article may not be reprinted or reproduced in whole or in part by mechanical means, photocopying, electronic reproduction, scanning, or any other means without prior written permission. For copyright information, contact Col Ben Findley at

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"Col Ben" is retired with 30 years service in the U.S. Air Force, with joint services Special Ops duty and training, and is Air Force qualified as "Expert" in small arms. He is a Vietnam-era Veteran. Ben is an experienced NRA-Certified Pistol Instructor, NRA Range Safety Officer, and FL Concealed Carry License Instructor. Ben recently wrote the book "Concealed Carry and Handgun Essentials for Personal Protection" (second printing) with 57 comprehensive Chapters about concealed carry and handgun principles, techniques, and tips for both experienced and new shooters. His reference book is endorsed by several organizations and is available on his website at Contact him at
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This is the same Sig that just signed a contract with New Jersey to supply their State Police with handguns. The same New Jersey that is vowing to prosecute a mother who made the mistake of believing her PA permit was honored in NJ. The NJ Prosecutor is refusing ALL diversion programs and plea deals for this mother who has NO criminal record and is vowing to send her to prison for the maximun sentence.

Shame on Sig Sauer for doing business with this State. Shame on Gov. Christie for not stepping in and shame on Ben Findley for trying to give good press to Sig.

Frank Jack Fiamingo

The New Jersey Second Amendment Society (NJ2AS) opposes the idea of ANY firearms manufacturer dealing with the state until they agree to free Ms. Shaneen Allen and stop harassing honest gun owners. Regardless of their medieval firearms statutes the US Constitution prohibits the infringement of the RIGHT to Keep and Bear Arms. NJ is NOTORIOUS for incarcerating law-abiding individuals for exercising their rights. It is time to take a stand and it is time to fight back. SIG can help us make this point and we ask them to do so. Examine your conscience. Can you abide nj’s disregard for individual liberty and rights?

Kevin Starrett

Sig makes a fine gun, but they are in the process of supplying the very people who will be used to take guns away from American citizens. Oregon Firearms Federation finds this kind of duplicity outrageous.


Gez, so far all I’m reading are outrages regarding decisions Sig has made about supplying firearms to entities people are upset with at the moment (namely New Jersey). OK, fine . . . I get it. Sig has upset some with their supply decisions. However, slamming Col. Findley and his article seems a bit unfair to him. He took the time and trouble to experience what appears to be an excellent firearms training course at Sig and he took the time and trouble to share the experience with all of us. Do we really need to demonize HIM? I mean really?

I’m a retired law enforcement officer who goes back many decades in this sport and I can remember a time when Smith & Wesson and a few other major manufacturers angered our community over decisions they made. Sig is not the only manufacturer doing business with New Jersey. Should we boycott and demonize all the other manufacturers who sell in New Jersey? Should we boycott and demonize all the ammunition companies doing business in New Jersey? California, Illinois, Massachusetts and other states are not exactly firearm friendly either. Should we boycott any company in our sport doing business with them as well? How silly is this going to get?

This is NOT a perfect sport, nor will every decision a manufacturer makes always be to everyone’s liking. Just because a given STATE is making terrible decisions regarding our Second Amendment doesn’t mean our entire industry needs to turn our backs on the many legitimate gun owners living in that state. Instead, focus your anger more appropriately on the horrible politicians that made those blunders . . . not on our manufacturers. There are still plenty of legitimate gun owners in those states who should NOT be abandoned! Demonize Sig if you must . . . but slamming the Col. merely for offering us the experience he went through at the Sig training facility is just wrong. No, it is shameful. He is owed better than that. He served our nation proudly and he has served this forum extremely well.


I too am a retired LEO. You ask if we should slam all companies who do business with States and entities that prohibit their citizens from exercising inherent rights. My answer is an unqualified YES, we should. These police departments and governments subject their citizens to draconian laws that allow criminals to rape, rob and murder all while saying WE are the only chosen few who can be trusted with guns. The companies who supply them are part and parcel to this and by supplying them give approval to their actions. If firearms companies all said a resounding NO to these wannabe dictators they’d be rethinking their position quickly.

If you support the rights of law abiding citizens to self defense in and out of the home, anywhere they go and detest what NJ, NY and other states have done in malicious prosecution I’m frankly surprised at the stand you’ve taken.


To address your point regarding Col. Findley, he endorsed a company that is selling to a State Police and a State that is one of the worst violators of personal freedoms. While I respect his service to our country that doesn’t mean he gets a pass when he makes a serious mistake and he made one here.


Given the circumstances surrounding New Jersey’s intent to prosecute the young mother with the PA carry permit, all of us who support our U.S. Constitution & the rights contained therein should stop doing business with New Jersey. Period. There are no excuses.

Big Al

Add together all the negative sig comments, and you’ll understand half of my anger with them.