The NRA Whittington Center isn't just the crown jewel of American shooting facilities—it's also home to Whittington University. If the "university" in that name has you flashing back to every time you decided you hated school as a kid, you should know that Whittington U, as it's affectionately known, was purpose-built from the ground up to ensure that everyone from the newbiest n00b to the experienced gunner can learn all the skills necessary for self-defense with a handgun, carbine or shotgun. Here are three reasons why you've just got to try Whittington University in 2018.
1. It's Remarkably Affordable Whittington U offers courses in practical pistol, practical carbine and practical shotgun at beginner, intermediate and advanced levels. These courses take place over two days chock-full of real-world defensive training and practice...and yet even the most expensive of them (the advanced courses, naturally) clock in at only $530...and the beginner level courses are at an even more reasonable $300. This is approximately half what you might expect to pay for similar courses available at other well-respected firearms training institutions. What's more, the Whittington Center offers extremely inexpensive on-site lodging, from beautifully appointed cabins, to dorm-style housing, to RV campsites, to wilderness camping. Should you choose to stay off-site, the Whittington is located in Raton, N.M., where reasonable accommodations can be had at small-town prices.
2. Real Skills For Real Folks (From Real Folks) Whittington U courses are taught by combat and police veterans, so you'll be receiving instruction from people who have real-world experience...and who are trained to work with those who don't. The entry-level classes teach presentation and dry-fire drills, then show you how to apply your knowledge in live-fire scenarios. You will learn the principles of cover, how to utilize the firearm safely and the life-saving skills to defend yourself and your family if confronted by a threat.
3. You Can Have a Great Vacation While You're At It Located in the New Mexico Raton Pass area and cradled by the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, every vista is breathtaking. There's plenty to see and do at the NRAWC, but you can be forgiven for just sitting, relaxing and watching the interplay of light and shadow on the mountains. Less than a fifth of the NRAWC's 30,000 acres is given over to shooting ranges; the rest of it is virtually untouched wilderness. There's awesome hiking and biking opportunities for the outdoors family. If you're interested in leaving the Center for an evening, don't miss the St. James Hotellocated in nearby Cimarron. Historic figures like Buffalo Bill Cody, Jesse James and the Earp brothers have all stopped by for a bite and a sip.
You already know that practicing for self-defense is critical, but it doesn't have to be a chore. At Whittington U, you may just realize that you love school, after all.