If you were registered for a class that is being rescheduled due to COVID-19 you should have been notified. If you have not been notified or have questions please contact us at 260-665-8133

We offer a variety of classes for beginners and experienced shooters. Taught by certified and industry-respected instructors, our classes cover firearm safety, handling, accuracy, maintenance and more. All range fees are included in course pricing. Range Safety & Certification waiver fee ($10) & rental fees will apply if needed.

How To Prepare

If the course you’re taking involves range time, we invite you to watch our 9 minute safety video and review our Range Safety Certification & Waiver prior to your visit. When you arrive at Thunder Lakes, you will simply need to pay the one-time annual registration fee ($10). (This fee is waived for Annual Members.)


One on One Lessons

Barney Blilie – Certified NRA Instructor

Teaching Philosophy: I customize my lessons to meet each individual student’s needs. I prefer to take a slow and steady approach and work with you from the ground up and moving forward at a pace that you are comfortable with.

Firearms Background: I have been shooting recreationally for 40+ years and I am an NRA certified basic pistol instructor.

Favorite Gun: My 9mm Sig Sauer 226 is my favorite!

Packages: $50 per hour and that can include a combination of classroom and range time or just strictly one or the other based on your experience and what we determine your goals are. Our annual range safety waiver certification ($10 annual fee) is not included.

Availability: I am flexible and available during the day or evenings throughout the week. Call or email for specifics

Contact Info: info@thunderlakes.com

Required for lessons: A firearm and 50 rounds of ammunition per lesson, as well as eye and ear protection. We do also offer rentals if you do not have everything you need to get started.

Overview of Classes We Offer

Beginner Handgun Handling

For Beginners.  Ages 10+
For the brand new gun owner or soon to be gun owner. This course offers a very basic understanding of how a gun works. We discuss proper safe handling, beginner functions and parts, and how to properly store a firearm when not in use. This course includes a very general safety discussion about the three primary safety rules as well as the eight secondary safety rules. Approximate time of class is 2 hours. There is no test and no live fire portion. Personally owned firearms are not needed, instructor will bring all necessary items.
See Class Schedule for Current Pricing

NRA Basic Pistol Shooting Course

For Beginners. Ages 14+
Introduces students to the knowledge, skills, and attitude necessary for owning and using a pistol safely. Students learn about pistol parts, operation, ammunition, gun safety, pistol shooting fundamentals, and pistol shooting activities. This course is great for beginners to moderate shooters alike. The class consist of a minimum 6 hours classroom and 2 hours live fire. Students are advised to bring a safe, operable handgun to class and will need 100 rounds of ammunition to use with it. Handguns are available to rent for a $10 fee if no pistol is owned. This class meets the Ohio requirements for application for concealed carry license.* A certificate will be issued after passing the course. (*Indiana does not require a certification to apply for a concealed carry permit.)
See Scheduled Class for Current Pricing

Personal Protection In the Home + Defensive shooting techniques

For Beginner & Intermediate Shooters. Ages 18+
Exposes students to several schools of thought regarding defensive shooting techniques. Designed to avoid giving students too much too fast, this course is a great introduction to using a firearm as a defensive tool. This course is best suited for knowledgeable beginners to intermediate shooters wanting to learn the real ins and outs of defensive shooting. Any of the previously mentioned safety courses would satisfy those requirements. A portion of this class is a Q&A session with a licensed attorney or state law enforcement expert on the legal ramifications of defensive shooting as well as the state’s views on use of lethal force. This alone is invaluable, and also a part of why the class fee is higher than others. This course requires approximately 8-10 hours of time total with 4 hours of live fire. Students should bring safe and operable pistols and must have a suitable holster to use as well as approximately 150 rounds of ammunition. After completion of the NRA portion of class we will transition to additional shooting drills including drawing from a holster and concealment techniques, as well as timed defensive shooting drills. \* A certificate is issued after passing the course.  (*Indiana does not require a certification to apply for a concealed carry permit.)
See Class Schedule for Current Pricing

Advanced Defensive Shooting

For Intermediate and Experienced Shooters.  Ages 18+
Safety being the utmost concern, we expect students to show up to this course knowledgeable of firearm safety and capable of adhering to the safety rules. This course is 4 hours of all live fire range time. With a focus on transitioning targets, defensive shooting techniques, threat assessments, magazine changes during a threat, and many more. This course is conducted in our indoor range facility. Students must bring a firearm they are familiar with as well as a suitable holster for repeated use. Many students choose to bring additional gear such as over ankle boots and body armor but it is not required. Students are required to pass a pre-qualification or show proof of prior training.
See Class Schedule for Current Pricing

AR-15 Assembly Course

For Beginner, Intermediate and Experienced Shooters.  Ages 18+
Students are given all the materials needed to assemble their very own AR-15 platform rifle to take home and keep. The course fee varies due to market fluctuations and availability of parts. Using our 2 decades of experience in the firearm industry we have partnered with the best manufacturers in the country to provide the highest quality parts necessary to take home a high end custom built rifle. We use only the best and you will be very satisfied with the end results. This course is a non shooting course that consists of approximately 4 hours for full rifle assembly from raw parts. All tools and information will be provided.
See Class Schedule for Current Pricing

Advanced Instructor Courses

Become an NRA Certified Instructor

For Experienced Shooters. Ages 21+
If you have interest in becoming an instructor yourself to teach some or all of the above courses. Our lead instructor is an NRA Training Counselor. NRA Training Counselors are tasked with the training and mentoring of NRA Certified Instructors. If you have interest in becoming an instructor yourself please contact us for more information.
See Class Schedule for Current Pricing