Frequently Asked Questions
I was in the military and have been around guns all my life. Is Handgun I too basic for someone who has done a lot of shooting?
Unless you have had prior, formal handgun training (NRA Basic Pistol is an example) from a reputable organization, Handgun I is the place to start, regardless of how long you have been shooting. However, the last thing we want is for you to spend your money on something you do not need. Therefore, we offer a money back guarantee. If you believe you did not get your money's worth, we will refund your money. To date, no one has exercised that option.
While Handgun I requires no previous firearm experience, we cover a lot of material and have never had anyone say it was too "basic."
What gun and ammunition should I bring for the Handgun I class?
We supply both guns and ammunition for the Handgun I class—.357 revolvers and custom ammunition loaded to extremely low levels—so our guests do not have to deal with muzzle blast and recoil while trying to learn the basics of gun handling and marksmanship.
You are welcome to bring your own guns and ammunition to Handgun I and shoot them after the class, if you wish.
We are taking the Handgun II class. May we share the same handgun?
For Handgun II—and subsequent classes using handguns—everyone must have his or her own handgun, magazines, approved holster, and magazine pouch(es). Time demands and safety are the issues. It takes quite a bit of time to exhange guns, holsters, and magazine pouches from one person to another; plus, every time a gun is handled, there is a possibilty of a negligent discharge or other safety infraction. On top of that, for some live-fire stages, we have everyone on the line at the same time.
What is the policy on refunds and reschedules?
We will, gladly reschedule you for a later class or refund your payment, except under the following conditions:
The class has filled, and we have turned people away because the class is full, and,
We are unable to fill your space with another student.
What is the minimum age to take Handgun I?
Fourteen is our minimum age. That number is somewhat arbitrary, but our experience has shown that younger children, typically, do not have the skeletal-muscular develoment to handle full-size handguns.
Do you offer ladies only classes? I am a bit nervous about taking a shooting class with a bunch of men!
We do not, currently, offer any regularly scheduled classes just for women, but we do offer individual/small group classes for those not wanting to take the regularly scheduled classes. However, our classes are exceedingly woman friendly, and Charlene Aldridge is a certified NRA instructor. Not only that, but our Handgun I class, often, has more ladies than men!
I am about to take the plunge and buy a semi-automatic handgun. The is a dizzying selection of makes, models, and calibers, all of which is very confusing. What would you recommend, and do you sell handguns?
First of all, it is unfortunate, but there is a lot of variability in reliability among makes and models of semi-autos, and 100 percent reliability is the minimum standard for a defensive handgun. In our experience, the most reliable semi-autos are Glocks, Smith & Wesson M&P models, Sigs, and Springfield XD models. Glock continues to be the "gold standard" of reliability.
For ladies, we frequently see the mistaken belief that women are better off with smaller guns. Small-sized guns have many disadvantages, with the main disadvantage being they are harder to shoot well, and the recoil of smaller, lighter guns can be unpleasant. Medium-sized pistols, such as the Glock 19, are much better.
Regarding calibers, the recommended choices are the 9mm, the .40 S&W, and the .45 ACP. Of those three, we recommend the 9mm for a number of reasons: ammunition is less expensive, magazine capacity is larger, and recoil is more manageable. However, any of those three calibers work just fine.
We do not sell firearms, ammunition, or accessories.
Why are Blackhawk Serpa holsters prohibited?
It is a safety issue. Blackhawk Serpa holsters (and similar offerings, such as i-Tac holsters) have a retention release button on the outside of the holster that must be pressed with the trigger finger. On attempting a fast draw stroke, it is all too easy to be pulling on the gun while attempting to press the release button with the trigger finger. The additional pressure from pulling on the gun makes it harder to press the release button, and the shooter will press harder on the button. When the button, finally, releases, the gun, then, jerks out of the holster, allowing the trigger finger to hook the trigger, resulting in a negligent discharge that can be catastrophic--even fatal.
For retention holsters, Safariland ALS and GLS models are vastly superior and highly recommended. For tension holsters—no retention mechanism—the Safariland 5198 model is great and rather inexpensive.
Are shoulder holsters and small-of-back (SOB) holsters permitted?
No. Again, it is a safety issue. When drawing a gun from a shoulder holster, the shooter will "sweep" both himself and all people standing next to him on that side. A catastrophic negligent discharge, then, is very possible. With an SOB holster, the primary danger is shooting oneself on the draw stroke or other people behind and to the side.
We recommend holsters positioned outside the waistband and at the hip—either paddle or belt type holsters are fine.
For the Outside the Home Personal Protection class, inside the waistband (IWB) holsters are allowed, as long as the holster is positioned close to the hip and the shooter demonstrates proper muzzle control.
"Appendix" holster location is not recommended for safety reasons that should be obvious based on the muzzle direction!
May I shoot reloaded ammunition in your classes?
Yes, as long as you did the reloading or you purchased reloaded ammunition from a reputable company, such as Precision Delta or Freedom Munitions. Do not acquire reloaded ammunition at guns shows or from someone you do not know really well!
For safety reasons, we reserve the right to exclude reloaded ammunition that is dangerous—squib loads or over pressured—or ammunition that produces repeated stoppages in the gun.
What about the brass?
We "police" brass everyday on the range, and our guests that reload are welcome to take any or all of the brass. If no one wants the collected brass, we keep it.
What are the physical conditioning requirements for the various classes?
There are no minimun physical conditioning requirements for any of the classes, including Unarmed Self Defense and Force-on-Force. We never ask anyone to do anything beyond his or her physical capabilities. However, our "classroom" has stairs leading to it, and the only range with handicap accessibility is the Handgun I range.