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Sam Hatfield honed his gunsmithing skills in one of the most elite units in the US Army: the US Army Marksmanship Unit. He crafted customized weapons for the men and women of the unit and now personalizes firearms for the general public. In addition to his customized guns, he and his staff offer training classes such as a NRA basic home-safety course. Visitors can also eschew guns altogether inside the simulator, which drops users into tense situations to let them hone their skills while safely under artificial fire.

8898 Mathis Ave.
Manassas,
VA
US

The state- and NRA-certified instructors at MMTA Firearms Training Academy put safety above all else. In accommodating students, they facilitate both mobile and onsite training in classes and private lessons. These gatherings take place at locales such as nearby ranges and hotel conference rooms, where the instructors lead courses such as the NRA FIRST Steps Pistol Orientation along with lessons in specialized topics such as rifle shooting, personal protection, and training to become a range safety officer.

HILTON GARDEN INN 1793 Richmond Road
Charlottesville,
Virginia
US

Golf balls trace high arcs over the driving range or roll toward mini-golf holes at Hanover Sports Park, where guests hone power and finesse as they work on their game. Waterfalls cascade into tiny ponds on the edges of the mini-golf course, where twisting greens provide a venue for families and friends to haggle over who gets to hold the scorecard. Sixty-three artificial hitting mats line the subtly curved, two-tiered driving range, which includes 28 heated and covered hitting areas and seven natural-grass tees.

The chime of sharp line drives resonates from the center's seven batting cages, where hitters swat at everything from high-arching softballs to baseballs zipped at up to 80 miles per hour. Hanover Sports Park's staff helps guests manage their activities and special events by creating group and party packages for birthdays and corporate gatherings.

11000 Washington Hwy
Glen Allen,
VA
US

In the four chambers of Tactical Response Unleashed's 12,500 square foot facility, students engage in tactical training sessions, shooting semi-automatic airsoft handguns and automatic rifles at moving targets in simulated scenarios. During each practice session, participants must also duck and cover to avoid pellets of return fire. By presenting students with realistic settings and precarious situations, the training sessions aim to build situational awareness and encourage the appropriate tactical response.

Dedicated to arming students with self-defense skills, the center's staff of former and active law enforcement and military professionals also lead training sessions in firearm safety and defensive tactics. They offer a special course for women, where ladies can practice self-defense tactics and techniques. Classrooms provide the setting for concealed-carry and gun-safety courses, and instructors impart weapon-retention, disarmament, and self-defense classes in a martial-arts dojang.

3701 Hendricks Road
Midlothian,
Virginia
US

Praised in the Richmond Times-Dispatch for designing a 60,000-square-foot facility that resembles a country club as much as a shooting range, the owners of Colonial Shooting Academy strive to "capitalize on the social aspects of recreational shooting." The multilevel shooting range's 32 glass-paneled booths turn target shooting into a community experience. The range also hosts classes for every experience level, from the NRA FIRST Steps Pistol Orientation to a tactical-training program for law enforcement. At the academy’s gun shop, which resembles a high-end sporting-goods store, a gunsmith is on hand for repairs and a gun vault lets guests store their arms and their diaries. Facilities further extend to Mosaic Café Express, where chefs turn local, seasonal ingredients into dishes on their ever-changing menu.

For frequent guests, the academy offers membership options. The constitution membership, for example, grants privileges such as seven private shooting lanes and access to the lounge that sports leather couches, a pool table, and a fireplace below a flat-screen television that displays a digital fireplace.

6020 West Broad Street
Richmond,
VA
US

The Range

Based in Manassas, Virginia, Innovative Defensive Solutions' instructors travel to host ranges across the US that specialize in gun safety, personal awareness, and personal-defense training?including indoor and outdoor locations?where they coach students through live-fire drills and live-fire courses.

At a Glance

With a team of defensive firearm instructors, state-certified and NRA-certified instructors, including lifelong gun owners, users, and military veterans, it?s no wonder that students of Innovative Defensive Solutions build such solid foundations of safety and tactics. The course list's subject matter includes combat-focus shooting, pepper spray, home-defensive handguns, home-defense tactics, and defensive handgun training. The instructors also cover basic and introductory skills for newcomers, and they even prepare experts to become instructors themselves.

online
Manassas,
Virginia
US