Clint Smith's Thunder Ranch is the finest firearms training facility in civilian hands in the United States, perhaps the world, and Clint is one hell of a firearms teacher. I can't recommend this place enough for serious firearms training. They have a Pre-1900 class once a year in the fall. I've taken Defensive Handgun 2, H.I.T. (High Intensity Tactical), Defensive Handgun 3, and the Pre-1900 Course, and I'd like to go back if I ever have time and money again. I've been to a lot of schools, from various Army schools when in training and on pistol teams, to Jeff Cooper's Gunsite (meaning while Jeff was teaching there) to Ray Chapman's academy to several lesser schools. I hold 3rd level certificates from Ray Chapman, Jeff Cooper, and Clint Smith. When asked where to go, I send people to Thunder ranch. Thunder Ranch is the current state-of-the-art. If you count on a firearm for self-defense, you should attend.

If you take the pre-1900 course, don't expect techniques for winning SASS matches. Clint doesn't think much of matches. He'll teach you how to fight with 19th century equipment, and it'll be the most fun you'll have in western gear not involving soiled doves.

Thunder Ranch

Visits to Thunder Ranch

The Thunder Ranch Pre-1900 Course

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