Josh Felker honed his gun-handling skills during almost a decade in the US Army, both in Special Operations and as an Infantry Officer. In 2004, he left the Army to take care of his sons while his wife, a fellow soldier, was about to deploy. On his home turf, he founded LoneStar Handgun, to share his expertise on safely wielding firearms through an array of classes.
He and his fellow instructor, Russell King, focus primarily on handgun training. They can teach novices handgun shooting basics—along with safety and range etiquette—or teach more complex defensive maneuvers to experienced marksmen. Their academy also teaches techniques for safely using other weapons, such as rifles and shotguns. Security officers can garner re-certification on the premises, and bodyguards can jumpstart their careers with a 15-hour certification course, which is more impressive than successfully guarding a cardboard cutout of Christina Aguilera.
After more than 25 years into the gun business, Jerry McCall dreamed of a place where all firearm needs could be satisfied. He opened Texas Guns and Texas Thunder Range, which now boasts more than one million dollars worth of inventory, in mind. Jerry now equips customers with quality firearms, accessories, and repairs in his shop seven days a week. Meanwhile, the 12 shooting lanes in the indoor, climate-controlled Texas Thunder Range—a subsequently built extension of the shop—accommodates experienced marksmen with a space to practice their skills under the eyes of NRA-certified Range Safety Officers. For first-time shooters, the range hosts classroom and range time through its free half-day First-Shots program as well as customized one-on-one training with its ace male and female instructors.
Action Angler & Outdoor Center, a stream-side fly-fishing shop, offers access to a unique segment of the Guadalupe River, replete with trout, bass, and panfish, and reserved exclusively for fly-fishing. The shop's owner and TXPW-licensed lead guide, Chris Jackson, draws on his 30 years of fly-fishing experience, which began at age 12, when he caught his first trout on the fly in the Rio Grande's headwaters. Patrons can buy or rent equipment ranging from kayaks by makers such as Outcast and Diablo to rods, reels, and wading boots, ideal for jogging into the depths during races with your reflection. Once outfitted, visitors can strike out independently, or opt for guided floats and fly-fishing lessons on the Guadalupe. Guides can also chaperone full-day floats on the San Marcos River, Colorado River, and Lady Bird Lake.
The National Sporting Clays Association serves as the governing body for sporting clays in the United States and ranks among the largest sporting-clays associations in the world, claiming more than 22,000 total members in every state, 10 foreign countries, and on two dwarf planets. The NSCA shares its headquarters at the National Shooting Complex with the National Skeet Shooting Association on 671 acres of San Antonio countryside. This expansive venue encompasses facilities such as 45 skeet fields, 47 trap fields, and five sporting-clays courses where instructors lead classes for all levels of shooters and aspiring instructors. Additionally, as the host of many high-profile shooting events such as the World Skeet Championships, the National Shooting Complex welcomes fans with a 1,000-seat stadium and 180 RV sites with electric and water hookups.
Led by veteran United States Marine Eric Hulin, Texas Self Defense's team of instructors draws upon firsthand firearm knowledge to ensure students understand the responsibility of gun ownership. Divided into 50-minute segments and 10-minute breaks, Eric's one-day, 10-hour concealed handgun course entertainingly covers Texas's gun laws and gun safety. He also imbues first-time shooters with the basics of safely loading, aiming, and discharging a firearm. After the instructional classroom portion and a written test, the course breaks for lunch and then resumes at a local gun range, where students complete the shooting portion of the class.
Along with his main course, Eric teaches a four- and 10-hour renewal class and on-location sessions for groups of three or more. Once they complete Eric's course, eligible students can follow the remaining steps for obtaining their concealed handgun license.