The NRA Whittington Center is an absolute gem of American shooting. I’ve always been looking for an excuse to blog about the world renowned shooting center for a while, but this short video recently posted by Nosler Ammunition highlights the center in a way that I’ve never seen before. They’ve used some high quality footage of shooters, and combined it with some excellent drone shots of the area to put together an awesome video overview of the entire place.
The center was founded in the 1970s, and exists in this grey zone of ownership by the NRA. On its own, it is its own entity, business, etc… However the NRA has a certain amount of actual ownership in it, and I forget how this is. Either it is owned by the Board, or as a sort of tax write off, I’m not entirely sure. Regardless, the center has nothing to do with the political aspects of the NRA, and has everything to do with shooting sports, hunting, and LE training. It boosts over 18 ranges, everything from silhouette, muzzleloader, handgun, 1000 yard, and extreme long distance. It has the big three of shotgun sports, Trap, Skeet, and Five Stand. All these ranges are massive in size, many of them able to accommodate hundreds of shooters down the line. In addition, the center has 38,000 acres of land on which anything from guided hunts, to private hunts can occur on.
I wish the place occupied a much larger portion of the shooting world, like how Knob Creek or IPSC has done. I think it has to do with the NRA connection and all the political baggage that brings, in addition to how the NRA is viewed in the shooting world, when it comes to some of the more interesting training and competitions out there. The center has a range or area that could host just about anything of interest in today’s shooting world.
My personal association with the center was through a summer camp called “Adventure Camp”. I went there as a teenager in 2007 or so (the camp has been in continuous operation since the 1990s), and returned the next year as a camp counselor. This was really my introduction into firearms, as it went through every discipline of shotgun,rifle, muzzle-loader. Every discipline was divided into two day sections, where campers were taught, practiced, and qualified. The finale was a guided hunt in the woods, shooting at paper silhouettes of various animals along a trail. You had to identify what was legal to take, and what wasn’t, according to a sheet of what was in season. This drill was after every camper become Hunter Education certified. The camp was two weeks long, and is about $800 dollars for a teenager to attend. There are also various scholarships and sponsorship’s available, so some kids get to go for free. If you have teenagers, I would absolutely recommend looking into this sort of thing, it is a great introduction to the shooting sports, extremely heavy on safety procedures, and every instructor there is NRA qualified in their particular discipline.