5 Excellent Firearm Training Schools in the U.S.

Learn from the best. 

By Trent Jonas

5 Excellent Firearm Training Schools in the U.S.
Photograph Courtesy of National Shooting Sports Foundation

Whether you’re a brand-new gun owner or a shooter with a lifetime of experience who wants to hone his or her skills, a firearm training school is the perfect place to learn. These five excellent firearm training schools offer some of the most comprehensive hands-on and classroom courses in the U.S.

Universal Shooting Academy, Frostproof, FL

If you’re looking to improve your marksmanship or build your confidence with a firearm, central Florida’s Universal Shooting Academy is a top-tier option. Whether you’re training for competitive shooting, building skills for your use in the line of duty, or simply want to be sharper with your personal firearms, Universal has a class designed to meet your goals.

The academy offers several levels and types of courses ranging from competitive pistol courses and personal protection firearm skills to tactical shooting courses. Universal also sponsors and hosts a number of competitive events every year and can even arrange for off-site training.

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Sig Sauer Academy, Epping, NH

New Hampshire’s Sig Sauer Academy claims to be New England’s “largest civilian, law enforcement, and military training facility.” The academy has been in business for several decades and now offers maritime and tactical training areas, multiple “shoothouses,” a 360-degree range, and the only 1,000-yard range in New England that is open to the public.

The academy offers dozens of courses by firearm—pistol, rifle, shotgun, or precision scoped rifle—and by category, like enhanced training, armorer certification, or law enforcement/military. Students at Sig Sauer can learn skills that range from firearm maintenance and repair to survival, tactics, and executive protection.

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Tactical Firearms Training, Indianapolis, IN

Firearm owners in the Indianapolis area can rely on Tactical Firearms Training to prepare them for all aspects of responsible gun ownership and to impart the skills necessary to use their arms properly and effectively. Tactical Firearms offers courses for all experience levels, from wet-behind-the-ears beginners to advanced-level shooters, and every skill level in between.

In addition to firearms skills classes, Tactical Firearms also offers comprehensive courses on state and federal gun laws, as well as firearm safety and cleaning courses. The school encourages women and families to get involved, as well, offering discounts for couples and families, along with co-ed and women-only trainings.

Self-Defense Firearms Training, Huntington Beach, CA

In Southern California, Self-Defense Firearms Training offers classes to shooters of all skill levels, including military and law enforcement students, those seeking their conceal and carry permit, and gun owners who simply want to sharpen their skills. All classes are held in the classrooms and on the range facilities at Burro Canyon Shooting Park near Azusa, California. 

Classes open to the general public include basic through advanced handgun courses, tactical handgun courses, and even a low-light shooting handgun class. Students can also learn shotgun and rifle techniques, as well as handgun and shotgun combination skills.

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Front Sight Firearms Training Institute, Pahrump, NV

Front Sight Firearms Training Institute offers dozens of courses on its Pahrump, Nevada campus. Several of the classes are multiday courses, but the institute offers accommodations for students who are traveling to take classes at Front Sight. Courses range from handgun skill-bulider and 30-state concealed weapon permit classes to tactical shotgun and rifle marksmanship classes.

Front Sight also serves up some more-unique course offerings such as automatic weapons courses, tactical and multiple weapons classes, and armorer training. You can even round out your time at Front Sight with martial arts training—including edged weapons—defensive driving, or rope and rappel classes. Private and celebrity training is also available.

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