First ladies only pistol certification course

23_ladies-pistol-162GUN SAFETY  — The Hatari Defense International’s first all women class graduates.  These 14 women from Conrad, Shelby, Valier and Cut Bank converged in Valier for a ladies only pistol certification class that was held on Sept. 15.  Photo courtesy of Terry Leonard





On Sept. 15, 14 ladies from Conrad, Valier, Shelby and Cut Bank spent the day in Valier to attend a National Rifle Association (NRA) Basic Pistol Certification class.

The first ‘ladies only’ class encompassed the entire day. Although for most of the ladies, the day was gone before it felt like it was started.

Class instructors were Terry Leonard, a Pondera County Deputy Sheriff’s officer, and David Kaiser, a U.S. Border Patrol officer.  Leonard has taught weapons across the globe for over 10 years and Kaiser has taught firearms for several years as a Border Patrol instructor.

The day entailed four hours of classroom time and the balance of the afternoon at the shooting range.

Safety was the first priority and both instructors and students followed the criteria all day.

Several of the ladies had never shot a handgun or pistol before, so the information learned during the day was grasped and retained.

At the end of the day, each one of the ladies were all hitting the targets within three inches of center shooting a variety of pistols, revolvers and semi-automatic hand guns.

With the completion of the NRA Basic Pistol Certification course, each of these ladies received a certificate, a patch and a concealed carry application for the county the ladies reside in.

The course covered all aspects of the hand guns, sights, how to hold the revolver and the semi-automatic guns, along with loading and cleaning the handguns.

The first ladies only class was such a success, there will be a second ladies only class in the future.

On Sept. 22, Leonard and Kaiser taught a ‘co-ed’ course allowing men to interact with ladies in the same course. Ten students from around the area attended and were certified.

There will be an advance pistol class offered that will encase two days that will be scheduled soon. Along with the advanced class, Leonard and Kaiser will also be offering hunter safety as well as youth specific handgun and rifle qualification courses over the next few months. Additionally, there will also be armed and unarmed self defense classes coming soon. Watch the I-O for further details.

Additional information can be obtained by calling Leonard at (406) 576-0702 or at .

Editor’s note: This article was written by Barb Stratman who was one of the students in this class.