Northwest & Midwest Firearms Training, Firearms Classes in Illinois, Iowa and Idaho


Where are the classes held?

Illinois area classes are held at the ISRA range in Kankakee or just across the state line in Camanche, IA, about 3 hours from downtown Chicago.  Non-shooting classes such as Massad Ayoob’s MAG-20 are held in the Chicago Western Suburbs.

Idaho classes are held at Fernan Rod and Gun Club in Coeur d’Alene.

Where do I stay?

There is lodging available near the ranges in Illinois and Iowa.  Call us for more info.   If attending a firearms training class in North Idaho, any hotel in the Coeur d’Alene area will put you close to the range.

Where do we eat?

We suggest that you bring a bag lunch.  Often we will work through lunch. Plan on bringing all the meals/snacks/ beverages that you will need for the day. In some rare instances we may have time to go into town for lunch.  Classes with meal breaks are noted in the class description.

How much ammo will I need?

That all depends on the class you are taking.  Every student who is registered for a class will receive a confirmation letter prior to the class with the specific information regarding ammo for that class.  Always a good idea to bring more than you need.

What type of ammo will I need?

Ammo should be full power loads — no wimpy stuff.  Jacketed or lead, round-nose or hollowpoint, factory or reloaded.

What equipment will I need?

  • Eye and ear protection.
  • a brimmed cap.
  • a quality handgun — one that you would carry or use for home defense.  We suggest it be of .38 caliber or better.
  • three spare magazines or speed loaders with belt pouches or carriers.
  • a quality concealable strong-side belt holster or duty rig — one which does not collapse and allows for one-handed holstering. Shoulder holsters, small of back holsters, cross-draws, and fanny packs are not the most appropriate for the range.  If you must use them due to medical reasons such limited movement in your shoulder we will make accommodations.  If you use one or the other daily for carry we will be happy to address draw techniques with you while at class so that you may apply them to your everyday use, despite having used a belt holster strong side belt holster on the range.
  • pen and paper for notes.
  • rain gear in case of inclement weather.
  • water and sunscreen.

What clothing and accessories should I wear?

Comfortable, casual clothes, appropriate for seasonal temperatures.  Shirts should be collared or tight enough around the neck that hot brass won’t go down.  Pants should have a strong, quality belt capable of supporting the gun and holster.  Shoes should be appropriate for working in grass, sand, gravel, or mud if it rains.  You may be standing most of the day so shoes should be comfortable.  Most classes involve some kneeling, bring knee pads if you like.  Some involve lying on the ground, bring a mat if you like.

What is proof of Good Character?

Every student is required to submit a photocopy of one of the following:

  • An Illinois FOID card.
  • Law Enforcement credentials.
  • An FFL.
  • A concealed carry permit.
  • A letter from a practicing attorney, Chief of Police, or other public official.
  • A municipal certification — most municipalities will run your fingerprints and a quick check for a small charge.

What constitutes prior formal training?

Any class, from any school, where you were trained in both safety and live-fire instruction.  You do not have to have taken the training from  MTG, any school is acceptable.  The police academy is formal training, NRA courses are formal training. Safety and live fire work in a class environment from a professional.  Shooting lessons at the public range from your next door neighbor don’t count…unless your next door neighbor happens to be Bob Houzenga or Massad Ayoob or Clint Smith…you get the idea.  A professional.

Your classification in IDPA or USPSA is not enough.  That tells us how well you shoot but not how safe you are.  Advanced classes get pretty exciting at times and we need to know that safety has been taught by a professional and has been ingrained to a large degree through experience on a firing line with others.

The student needs to exercise some judgment here as well.  Just because you have prior formal training does not mean that an advanced class is the right choice.  You may be better served and get more for your money with a class that does not require a prerequisite.  If you are not sure about what would be appropriate for you then ask.  That’s why we are here.

How do I pay?

Classes can be paid for by check or credit card.  We ask that you pay in full when you register.  This makes accounting much easier, keeping costs lower, thereby keeping tuitions down.  The minimum we would require to hold a space is ½ the tuition cost.

How soon do I have to register?

There is no cut-off.  If space is available you can register right up to the course date.  We do not recommend that, however.  Mailings go out to registered students with important information.  You may not get this in time if you register less than a week before the class.  You will need time to get the appropriate gear together as well.  Of course, there is always the possibility that a class will be full.  My suggestion is try to get your registration in at least two weeks prior.

What happens if I can’t make it?

You must cancel thirty days prior to the class to receive a full refund.  Less than thirty days and you will forfeit ½ of the tuition cost.  Most students have to plan farther out than thirty days and it is often difficult to replace you with someone else.  We do understand that things happen at the last minute and we take that into account.  In many cases we will issue full credit toward another class.

If you just plain don’t show up the day of class and you haven’t contacted us, kiss the money goodbye.

Please note that in some cases MTG is not the host.  Frequently, others who are making the arrangements, registering the students, and collecting the money host us. Our policies regarding payments and refunds apply only to the classes we are registering students for ourselves.

What if it rains?

We shoot.

What if it snows?

We shoot.

What if it’s cold?


We have never had to cancel a class due to weather.  We shoot in bad weather or good (you can’t tell the criminal who is trying to kill you to come back tomorrow when the sun is out).

We will not shoot in lightning storms. We can’t see having you stand out there with a lightning rod in your hand.
If we should have to cancel a class after it has started due to weather, you will be given full credit toward any other class MTG is involved in, anywhere we may be teaching.

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