Yesterday I hosted a private birthday party for Doc Russia at the Texas Defensive Shooting Academy, which was supposed to consist of half a dozen of his close friends, but because of pathetic excuses (“I’m in Iowa on a business trip”, etc.) ended up with only three: Doc, Combat Controller, and myself.
Not that we cared. Unfortunately, we got off to a late start because Birthday Boy also had a pathetic excuse, something about having to treat patients until midday, which meant that we ended up shooting on a typical July afternoon in Texas wherein lizards fry on the sidewalks and cars melt in the streets.
Not that we cared about that, either. Doc and CC went off to do some tactical house-clearing training followed by a “drive-by” shoot, while I — not wanting to risk sunstroke, dehydration and heat exhaustion, went off to a nice covered shooting bay to test out various sidearms against metal plates and spinners.
Just so we’re clear on the concept, here’s a partial layout of the TDSA range, with the exercise areas, from top to bottom: drive-by, houseclearing, metal plates:
There are rifle ranges, pistol ranges and .22-only ranges, as well as the aforementioned combat areas. There are no chairs (other than benches at the rifle ranges), so if you bring guests, bring field chairs as well.
We took sufficient weaponry with us: as usual, Doc and CC could have armed a small Third World army, while I contented myself with a few, okay eight handguns. (Range report to follow.)
I’d wanted to do a little rifle action as well, but quite frankly we were all whacked after three hours in the afternoon heat, so we quit. (I know, I know, big fat wussies etc.)
My advice for anyone wanting to go to TDSA (and you damn well should) is this: get there at 8am (when the range opens) and quit by midday. That’s in summer. In spring or fall, the weather is generally pleasant, BUT: if it rains, or has recently rained, bring wellies or similar wet-weather footwear, because what appears to be gravel in the picture turns very quickly into deep, cloying mud — especially inside the shooting bays themselves. Fee for unsupervised shooting is $30 per person per hour, unless the place is deserted, in which case you can shoot till you run out of ammo. (I recommend taking at least twice what you would normally take to the range, especially .22 ammo.)
And of course, no description of TDSA would be complete without mentioning its owner, Len Baxley (watch both videos), who is one of the Good Guys in every sense of the word: a seasoned combat trainer and no-nonsense man. (Quote of the day: “If you’re going to shoot anyone, shoot someone who came with you.” We howled.)
His phone # and email addy, to make reservations (recommended):
(972) 979-2432 and firstname.lastname@example.org
Happy birthday, Doc.