Standing atop a small hill and shrouded beneath low-lying branches, a hunter looks out over a pond. A thick expanse of brush lies on the far bank, and he knows that once his target flies, he'll only have seconds to shoot before it disappears beyond the foliage. The hunter, however, isn't actually hunting. He's warming up on one of Rio Brazos Hunting Preserve's two sporting-clays courses, which integrate the preserve's habitats of prairie grass, shore brush, and tree lines that are home to quail, chukar, and pheasant. Instructors lend insight to all levels of sport shooters, and hunting guides bring along trained bird dogs to recover downed game and feral squeaky toys. The preserve also allows fishing on its 15 lakes, each stocked with largemouth bass, catfish, and crappie. A more than 5,000-square-foot pavilion lends a resting place between adventures in the field. The preserve's team can also help coordinate lodging with discounted rates at nearby hotels.
For live-fire tests, San Jac CHL's instructors use the range at Pasadena Gun Center.
Instructors rent semi-automatic handguns to students who do not have their own firearms. They also supply safety gear; students can purchase ammo at the range.
San Jac CHL's owner Wes Geddes knows how to safely handle firearms. His career as a deputy constable for Harris County depends on it. When not on duty with the police department, Wes teaches classes that qualify students to apply for concealed-handgun permits. These sessions start in the classroom, where lectures touch on topics such as weapon safety. A live-fire test follows, before students return to the classroom for lessons on gun laws and assistance in completing the required application, with Wes available for help with followup questions.
Houston CHL Class's live-fire shooting tests take place at a nearby air-conditioned indoor range.
Handgun rentals are available for students who do not have their own firearms. The local range also sells ammo, and instructors have a limited supply of loaner safety gear.
As a combat veteran, Houston CHL Class's owner and instructor knows how to stay calm under pressure. In August of 2012, the certified gun instructor was even featured on the local news for helping police apprehend a carjacking suspect. This act of bravery was thanks to the safety and handling skills he's learned over the years, which he teaches at Houston CHL Class. His immersive courses use lecture-based sessions to prepare students to qualify for a Texas DPS-issued Concealed Handgun License.
Proudly part of a veteran-owned business, the state-certified instructors at S-TACT improve clients' firearm proficiency through its concealed-handgun-licensing class, three-part basic handgun class, and custom training sessions. These courses teach basic through advanced skills, such as steadying recoil, drawing from the holster, and clearing a jam by yelling until it cooperates. Each class is limited to 10 students, though they're happy to lead classes even if only one student signs up.
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. Gander Mountain's ownership developed this training technology upon recognizing that with more than 140 stores in 26 states, it was among the nation's largest retailers of firearms. This led to Gander Mountain Academy, places 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 fundamentals, repetition, and simulation to help students of all levels operate firearms safely and proficiently in more than 15 classes.
As avid hunters, Chris and David Rhodes opened Spring Guns and Ammo to fulfill their practicing needs. They encourage customers to come in and talk shop, hang out, ask questions, or take a class that focuses on safety. Frequent visitors can also reap benefits such as unlimited range visits, discounts on products, and a membership program.