Whatley Training LLC

NRA Certified Basic Pistol, Basic Shotgun and Home Firearm Safety

"Firearm Training for the Good Guys and Gals!"

Whatley Training LLC


Private Lesson Testimonial

On July 4th, I had the honor of receiving personalized training from Kirk. I had been through a group training class previously with another instructor and it was a good experience. However, personalized training with Kirk was a much better learning experience! His one on one training style helped me to relax, learn, and have a great time shooting. With a one on one session, you can concentrate on your own personal weaknesses, shooting style, stance, grip, and so much more. Kirk's extensive experience, knowledge and relaxing manner not only made me a better shooter but also answered my many questions regarding safe handling, storage, transportation, and use of firearms. It was definitely a great learning experience and look forward to continued personalized training. I highly recommend personalized training sessions with Kirk!

Tom K., Sunderland

Class Testimonials

Though I saw a great need to get my LTC for a while now, the thought of having a gun in possession was always a little nerve-racking. This class took any feelings of nervousness or uneasiness that I may have been feeling away completely. Such a great, informative class that touched on every aspect of guns and gun use. From how a gun works, to gun laws to gun care and shooting, this class truly covered it all. Very visual and hands on which is hands down the best learning style of me. The hours of shooting made such an impact as well. You truly don't know how to do something until you do it. This class allows you to shoot a variety of different guns to get a feel for how they work as well as how to handle, aim etc. I feel completely comfortable with having a gun in my possession in the future and have a wealth of knowledge to support its use and care thanks to this class!

​Meghann J., Haydenvile
Meghann J of Haydenville

"I just completed the full-day basic pistol class with Kirk and I am surprised by how I feel. My husband and I did the class together and to be honest, it was really his idea. My feelings about guns in general have been complicated and not particularly positive. I grew up in a city where most of the people who had them shouldn't have, and weren't the good guys who treated firearms with the proper respect. I thought of them as scary, intimidating weapons.
But I also felt like it would just be responsible of me to have better general knowledge of firearms in general - to have some understanding of how they work and how to use them - so that the situations that I saw as only scary and foreign could become surmountable and controllable.
The class was extremely educational. I can honestly say that I understand how firearms work, the difference between various types of pistols, and the legalities around ownership and possession of them. 
But because we did the full day, we also spent hours on the range! I fired a whole bunch of different types of handguns. I actually have opinions about which types I prefer and why! The experience was empowering - and I don't know how to express what a massive shift it has created in me in just one day. I feel triumphant and proud of myself for having done it (people who know me well are shocked!) but I also feel better able to manage potentially challenging situations, and much better prepared for gun ownership.
My husband and I are getting our LTC (license to carry) and plan to have a few firearms eventually (properly cared for and safely stored, of course - we're well educated!) and look forward to working with Kirk on shotguns next.
Because I understand how to be safe, there is room for shooting to be FUN for me. It's an incredible relief, if that makes sense. I'm so appreciative of this experience and look forward to learning more!"

Emily P., Hadley

"Honestly, my sole reason for signing up for the class was that it was a necessity in getting my LTC.
Little did I know, how little I knew….. 
I didn’t know the basics of how a handgun operated, what actually caused a round to fire, when and why there was recoil, or when and why there were misfires.  I didn’t know how to load and unload a magazine, or turn the safety on and off.  I didn’t know the proper grip or stance when firing.  I didn’t know….. A LOT.
Kirk has a way of teaching that just makes things stick.  Clear verbal communication in the classroom and on the range, combined with methodical hands on experiences, provide the basic knowledge you need to operate a variety of handguns. But his ever present stress on safety will send you away, confident, that you are ready to be a responsible gun owner.
Bambi R., Sunderland

"I had some experience in using handguns and rifles but had been a very long time since I used them with regularity. After spending time with Kirk, I felt very comfortable and confident with handling them. He was very professional and great in fixing some flaws with safety first always. Would recommend Kirks class to anyone looking to learn the right and safe way about firearms."

Marj D., Hadley

"Thank you Kirk for a great day! I was challenged, learned a ton, and got more out of your class than I ever expected. You're a wonderful instructor."

Jeanette W., Shutesbury MA

"I took Whatley Training because as a woman I wanted to learn proper gun usage for safety purposes. Any initial "fears/uncertainties" of handguns I had was soon a non-issue as safety was paramount in this class! I was also concerned about the recoil or kick back of guns but we were able to practice on such variety of guns and ammo that I was able to literally feel what suited my needs - definitely the class to take before purchasing. Best of all was the instructor's willingness to educate/teach that made it comfortable to ask even what seemed to be the silliest of questions.Definitely a course worth taking - very empowering - happy to be thought of as the face of a (proud) gun owner!"
Jessica S., Hadley, MA

"Kirk is a natural instructor: patient, knowledgeable in his field and passionate about what he does.  I myself have attended the Basic Pistol Class with Kirk in order to obtain a License to Carry, and was well satisfied with my decision to do so.  From the moment you meet him you are at ease, his personality easily tempers what is otherwise a serious and potentially dangerous endeavor.  His instruction is thorough, covering everything from the anatomy of the firearm to it's function and potential malfunctions.  He is well paced, giving ample opportunity to ask questions and he answers all questions clearly and completely.  The classroom time passed smoothly and comfortably, and as we were such a small group (Kirk caps attendance at five), there was plenty of individual attention.  This individual attention was even more important on the range, where we began firing one at a time under Kirk's supervision.  His emphasis on safety and consistency quickly built our confidence, and our increased confidence in turn reinforced all of the information we had covered in the classroom.  We continued to work on the range for a long time, and through repetition the act of shooting became evermore natural, all thanks to Kirk and the commitment to stand there and help us either until we felt completely satisfied, or until we ran out of ammunition (and he brought PLENTY of ammunition, and a variety of pistols).  I would recommend this course to anyone looking to take their first steps into responsible use of a firearm, and would recommend Kirk to anyone looking for instruction in this area at any level.

Sergio C., Northampton, MA

"Kirk provides a terrific firearms safety  training experience. The classroom portion is informative, interactive and well paced.  Safety is paramount, and Kirk emphasizes that in word and action on the range.  100% satisfied with our training, a great day!"

Mark S., Springfield, MA

"Got to say I was amazed at your skills of teaching in a way everything was understandable the 1st time. It was better than I was expecting and I learned so much. Plus I shot some cool ass weapons too. Whatley Training is excellent. I will recommend you to all I meet. Thanks Kirk."

Rob S., Amherst MA

"I recently attended the Basic Pistol Course given by Instructor Kirk Whatley.In my opinion the instructor was   very knowledgeable about the subject being taught, and the material was presented in an easy & understandable   way. The literature he provided was helpful and a great resource. I would highly recommend the course to anyone   looking to get a pistol permit."    

Felix P., Chicopee MA

"I knew a little bit about guns but I wanted to learn more.  Whatley Training was a great way to learn about safety   and how to shoot the right way.  We also shot over 200 rounds each, learned a lot about different guns and shot   lots of different guns!  Highly recommend the course!"
Visent A, Amherst, MA  

"Kirk's expertise was evident from the moment I stepped into the classroom. Whatley Training, LLC covered the   NRA Basic Pistol Training Course in a very thorough manner. The visual aids were professionally done and the   whole presentation, and the emphasis on safety exceeded my expectations. I would highly recommend this course   to not only beginners but also those who just need a refresher."
Gerard K.,Chicopee, MA  

"I was interested in learning more about pistol safety so that I could be well informed to make decisions about  ownership and personal use. This class provided me with the quality of information I needed to feel comfortable  about handling a pistol in a safe and responsible way. The class also gave me the opportunity to put that  knowledge to use in a controlled environment that was also fun! I highly recommend taking this class to equip  yourself with experience and knowledge to help you make informed decisions about pistol use, as well as, to  learn how to handle a pistol properly." 
Bob L., Hadley, MA  

"Kirk is a very knowledgeable instructor when dealing with firearms - he has a lot of fun but he is very strict about safety."  
Dave H., Florence, MA 

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