Range visitors browse a selection of more than 65 rental guns of assorted calibers. Aside from ensuring safety at the range, the staff conducts training sessions, including a ladies AWARE course that covers basic skills. The facility also houses a gun shop, where staff members help customers sort through thousands of firearms as well as fishing gear and live bait.
Range visitors browse a selection of more than 65 rental guns of assorted calibers, or bring their own pistols or rifles from home.
Courses at Freedom Firearms LLC cover everything from basic to advanced firearm techniques during sessions split between classroom time at the Embassy Suites in Concord and a nearby 18-lane state-of-the-art indoor shooting range. Over two or three afternoons, NRA-certified instructors impart skills such as handgun safety, two-handed standing positions, speed reloading, and pistol cleaning tips in a comfortable environment. The team also specializes in on-site private instruction and woman's self-defense, including an in-home course during which guests learn about non-lethal means of protection such as pepper sprays and tasers. Students can also purchase a rental package if they do not have a firearm of their own.
A person buys a gun, stores it away, and then never learns how to use it. That scenario perplexes Practical Arms founder and director Mark Williams, because knowing how to safely store and operate a firearm requires ongoing training and practice. That's why he and his fellow instructors draw upon their wealth of expertise to train novice and experienced marksmen. Boasting multiple training certifications from organizations such as the North Carolina Department of Justice—plus experience training law-enforcement personnel from agencies such as the FBI and ATF—Mark oversees classes that adhere to NRA curricula, such as the NRA basic pistol-shooting course and home-defense classes. In addition to drilling students in the safe use of firearms, Mark and his team maintain a welcoming, nonthreatening atmosphere by beginning each class with 10 minutes of standup comedy.
Backed by credentials ranging from NRA certifications to decades of military experience, The Range at Lake Norman's instructors offer courses that cover gun safety, local gun laws, and first aid. Some courses incorporate the Meggitt XVT law-enforcement simulator, a training tool used by the U.S. Government, U.S. embassies around the world and local law enforcement agencies. The Range also hosts special events, such as ladies' nights and bowling-pin shoots.
Jesse Brown's stocks a multitude of items, including hiking boots, backpacking gear, climbing gear, water-sports equipment, fishing equipment, travel wear, outdoor apparel and more. Whether tackling Mount Kilimanjaro or tackling the humungous catfish species known as Killer Manjaro, Jesse Brown's knowledgeable staff can help locate exactly the right gear for the adventure at hand. More than 150 brands are available, including North Face, Timbuk2, Mountain Hardware, Granite Gear, and much more.
Winding for more than one mile around woodland areas, open fields, and a farm pond, DeWitt's Outdoor Sports, LLC's sporting clay course challenges first-time and refined shooters with a variety of target presentations. At the push of a button, automated traps launch clays from the course's 14 shooting stations over bodies of water, sprawling meadows, and dense forests. The course is one of many on DeWitt's 65 acres, which have hosted numerous state shoots and championships.
Beneath a tin roof, targets fly from eight wireless traps across the nearly 1,000 square feet of the 5-stand pavilion. There, guests can fire from five stations by day or under lights during nighttime sessions. At an adjacent covered, two-station rifle range, patrons test their aim at distances up to 200 yards away, while visitors to the 5-stand's eight bays fire at targets up to 50 feet away. At the 5-stand, NSCA-certified instructor Rick Mitchell holds clay-shooting instructions. He also uses videos and still photos to trace his students' clay-shooting skills.
Additionally, DeWitt's staff use the grounds for guided half-day duck or early-release quail hunts. Partnered with guide dogs, hunters stroll the tranquil grounds while searching for mallards roaming four duck pond habitats or coveys of quail.
From completing his first firearms training for the Marine Corps in 1994, Damien Ristaino developed a passion and respect for weapons. Still a gunnery sergeant in the reserve, he has earned awards for his rifle and pistol skills from the Marine Corps and built several firearms completely free of leftover parts from a Super Soaker. Now an NRA-certified instructor, Damien draws from his military experiences to train students in firearm handling, safety, and selection for sporting use and personal protection. He and his team of handpicked instructors teach beginner and experienced students alike, ingraining pupils with knowledge of their pistol's parts along with shooting fundamentals and basic defensive shooting skills. Through a partnership with local ranges, Damien and his colleagues split their courses between time in the classroom and hands-on sessions on the range.