Combative Handgun Program

OBJECTIVES: Participants will learn stress-resistant skills that will allow them to safely and effectively use a handgun to dominate a lethal force confrontation.

INSTRUCTIONS: Complete the pre-course work described below, then - unless DSI has approved the substitution of documented prior training you have completed elsewhere - attend DSI's on-range Tier 4 Combative Handgun Course.


  • None



  • Attend a DSI Tier 4 Combative Handgun Course (or document your completion of a comparable handgun training program at another high quality firearms training school). DSI provides multiple training formats you can choose from to fit your training needs and obtain your Tier 4 certification:
    • Hourly format is best for new/novice gun owners who have little or no quality firearms training, have not completed B-CON or Stop the Bleed training, and need to learn how to safely maneuver in a 360-degree environment with loaded firearms.
    • Four-hour Modular format is best for intermediate or experienced gun owners who have had quality training, do have a basic understanding of our techniques or their equivalent and want more realistic training opportunities in a 360-degree training environment, and to brush up on their B-CON skills.


  • Make your training stick by utilizing the resources and training advice in the Post-Course Training section of the Student Portal.

Supplemental Training:

  • If you are not attending a DSI Tier 4 Combative Handgun Course, please ensure your outside training has included the following skills to ensure you are properly prepared for DSI's Individual Tactics Program.
    • Proper use of cover/concealment
    • Safely moving with a loaded firearm on a 360° live fire range
    • Use of a tactical light in both low and no light environments
    • Basic B-CON* (tourniquet, chest seals, wound packing, airway management, etc.)
    • Proper use of verbalization skills ("STOP! STOP or I’ll shoot! Leave! Go away!” etc.)
  • *A B-CON/Stop the Bleed course certificate is required to complete your Tier 4 certification if not attending DSI's Combative Handgun Course.


  • The online Defense Academy is intended to supplement your regular range training program, not to replace it. You should use the Defense Academy training materials as a pre-course primer and as a post-course refresher wherever needed.

Member Login


Individual Portal


Individual Portal - Home

 General Instructions

Combative Handgun Program

Individual Tactics Program

Combative Rifle Program

Team Tactics Program

Command School Program