Choose from Four Options
- $20 for a 45-minute Ultimate Academy Experience handgun class for one (a $40 value)
- $35 for a 45-minute Ultimate Academy Experience handgun class for two (an $80 value)
- $12 for 30 minutes on the virtual range for one (a $25 value)
- $25 for 30 minutes on the virtual range for two (a $50 value)
The 45-minute Ultimate Academy Experience gives students the opportunity to try each of the academy's four main experiences. Training includes work on the virtual range, 10-minute sessions in both the 180 degree and 300 degree simulators, and supervised shooting of a Glock 9-millimeter on the live-fire range.
Alternatively, with the 30-minute virtual-range options, guests handle a Glock 22 or Beretta 92 that’s outfitted with a laser system but still produces the same recoil and firing action as it would with live ammo. An electronic screen renders a wide variety of target scenarios and distances and even produces simulated bullet holes. Marksmen can zoom in on images of their shots and email them to themselves as JPEGs. Because there's no cost for ammo, visitors get a high amount of repetition.
Gander Mountain Academy
A marksman aligns his sight on the target 25 yards away. He pulls the trigger, steadies the recoil, and watches the round pierce near the bull's eye—but he never fired a bullet. The target wasn't actually 25 yards away, either. That's how precise Gander Mountain Academy's virtual range can render its simulated targets, from scaling distance to adding bullet holes based on its laser-guidance system. The range's technology delivers an array of training benefits, such as making the experience less intimidating for novice shooters, allowing more repetition by cutting out ammo costs, and letting advanced marksmen choose more-sophisticated target scenarios.
Gander Mountain's ownership developed this training technology upon recognizing that with nearly 120 stores, it was among the nation's largest retailer of firearms. This led to Gander Mountain Academy, a place where technology such as the virtual range meets elite-training resources previously available only to the military and law enforcement. Blending multimedia classroom and hands-on range training, instructors use the academy's FRS Learning System—an acronym standing for fundamentals, repetition, and simulation—in every class, from youth-safety programs to advanced tactical training. The live-fire range's booths are wide enough to comfortably accommodate both a shooter and instructor, and fully armored partitions encase each booth in bulletproof protection.
For even more in-depth training, firearms instructors load simulations that challenge marksmen in up to a 300-degree space. Time on the ranges or in the simulator can be prebooked through the academy's online reservation system or by phone.