Hilltop gun Club


Hilltop Gun Club offers concealed carry certification, and array of firearms training, sales & service, in Athens County, Ohio.

Call or email for more information.

  • We are listed on Buckeye Firearms as the CCW instructors for Athens County.
  • Full time year around combat training in the shooting arts including CCW, shotgun and home defense.
  • Our trainers are former and current Law Enforcement and Military and we are all NRA Life members.
  • Athens County’s only certified gun range.

Gung Ho on the Gun Range

According to the weather forecast there may be good working conditions for Phase II at the gun range property, April 24-26, 2015. Equiptment operators intend to hog out the Shoot House pit another 50′ long, thus allowing more training ranges and they will use the escavated soils over into the Bottom range to help level and drain it.
HillTop Gun Club members, guests, veterans, locals and interested parties contact us if you would like to help in public service . Interested people should bring tools for fence building, parking lot creation, finish up the shelter house, setting up flagging and distance markers, setting up the septic system tank lid, seeding and strawing and tree and brush cutting out of the creek. Dave Lawarence is overseeing the boat stuck in the creek issue and will need help also.
Saturday at 4PM we will be holding a “Sighting in” of your small caliber carbine. Targets are supplied. 50 rounds minimum required.
Please consider helping out April 24-26. Hours are 11:30 am till 6pm – Friday 830 Saturday till 5pm and 10 on Sunday to 3pm.
Range develeopment is work of very criticlal and high nature of construction work techniques and thoughtful engineering to make it safe for everyone on the range to others and to the enviroment. HillTop Gun Club currently is awaiting approval for a Certificate of Reconigtion for the flora and fauna protection, growth and evergreen management practices from the United States Enviroemental Protection Agency.



PART 2 What is it like carrying a defensive concealed handgun?

We often discuss the issues of carrying a defensive concealed handgun with the staff, club members and new Concealed Carry Weapon students, and the majority of the results are that gun are heavy and burdensome and they dont wear as comfortable as a pair of shoes.
Ask any Law Enforcement officer for their view about carrying a fully loaded handgun for 8 or more hours and what is it like, how do they ride on the hip and in holster and how easy or difficult are they to work with like walking, climbing in and out of a vehicle, standing, carrying other things in hand and generally like to live with. Yes you live with your defensive handgun.
There are as many holsters available as there are pizzas at Dominos ranging from custom made Kydex (plastic) to hand fabbed leather, cordoba, in the pants, outside of the pants, on a clip, in a bra or even in a pocket. Some people like to wear their gun tucked in from of their pants with no holster or on their ankle. Our advice is ask others about their experiences carrying a handgun and then go to the larger firearm stores and shop. Women especally love to shop and they have to make eductated choices as their choices of holsters are a bit more demanding than a mans. Many stores like Vance’s in Ohio offer shelves full of holsters and the sales people are very knowledeable and they most all wear handguns while at work, so they are another source for you to inquire from.
In addition many licensed carry people have more than one handgun so they have a holster per handgun. It isnt rocket science but you must do your best to be prepared to carry a hard sharp dangerous tool (handgun) on your body for a few minutes or an entire day.
Our staff really has no certain choice as to what type of holster they approve of over another but the majority of them wear a kydex type.

Ammo reloads for sale


The staff of HillTop Gun Club can supply reloads in 9mm, 40 caliber, 45 acp, 38s, and 233s. We only supply by the
1000 round lots. Contact us via email for pricing.


Dave Lawrence – Our National Firearms Advocacy Group chairman

Hilltop Gun Club’s political action committee now has Dave Lawrence as our National Firearms Advocacy Group chairman!

Another great day of training at the range

A new gun will get you killed – Holsters & Carrying a defensive handgun

The staff recently held an Ohio Concealed Carry Weapons course and as usual we have students who have never seen, touched or shot a handgun. In addition we had a student / trainer who wanted to test out a brand new 45 ACP type of pistol.
As usual there were difficult and scary moments on the gun range with the new students and the brand new gun failed to fire at least a dozen times. First we will reload again our thoughts about new students attempting to learn about and handle and then shoot a handgun in 2 hours according to the Ohio Revised Code requirements for a student to obtain their CCW license.
We have since day one disagreed with the 2 hour range time and have lobbied, spoken to various representitives of Ohio and have been in disagreement that the law should even be more liberal.
Case in point. While standing on the line preparing the students to take their first shot Ever it isnt fun to watch people actually turn white and start to shake before pulling the trigger. Our question is often to the student, “how are you going to be prepared to fight off an attacker then shoot them if you cannot control your body or emotions?” It is very unfair to the citizens of Ohio to know that the majority of CCW instructors do not require their students to fire as many rounds as we do nor do they insist that the students go through Combative and Tactical shooting drills. Many states now in America require no training what so ever including Virginia, West Virginia and Indiania. Its just frightening to think of the amount of people walking around with CCW guns and have possibly have never even pulled the trigger.
We sugguest to each of our students to come back and take a Second Level Handgun course but none ever do. Thankfully we dont have a lot of shoot outs in Ohio with CCW people.
A new hangun will get you killed. Our Chief Instructor coined this phrase years ago after seeing how many new handguns would not operate or even fire. Our new student recently had a brand new gun that would not operate correctly. The student has been in military law enforcement for 32 years as has probably shot a half million rounds of ammo through many firearms. This was the first time in a long time that he had attempted to break in a new handgun.
We believe that to get a new handgun to operate properly that it should be shot no less than 1000 rds total. Shoot the gun first until the machine gets hot to the touch. Then let it cool back down {50 minutes} heat it back up until it is smoking and let it cool again. Now its time to clean the gun and lubricate it throughly. A handgun is nothing more than a tool or machine that has rubbing metal parts. Rubbing metal needs lots of lubrication. Run another 300-500 rds of ammo through the gun again. Then put it away and after a day or two take it out dissemble it again throughly clean it and soak it down in lubrication. Let it drip off then wipe the gun down 100% . It should fire everytime after that.
Our instructors like to use baby and machine oil to lube their firearms. Baby oil makes them smell special!

Day for veterans at the gun range

Here are some pictures from Hilltop Gun Club’s day for veterans-only to come and shoot at the gun range.

PAC groups contact Ohio’s Senators over the XM855 ammo issue

Recently the federal goverment through the Bureau of Alcohol Tobbaco Firearms and Explosives via Executive Order was in the process of banning a commmon ammunition. The ammo is often refered to as the “Green Tip 223″ or “855.” This ammo does have the ability to shoot harder hotter and has more penatration. It also has the ability to shoot through paper targets, ballons and jugs of water. The BATF decided that because the ammo round could be shot through a small AR type pistol it should be banned because it also has the capability to shoot through body armor as most all rifle rounds can. The intention was to scare the anti gunners into believing the carbine round would result in the mass loss of Law Enforcment officers by being shot with a 223 round. No LE officer has been shot or killed by a AR type pistol shooting 223 round ever.
A national alert was made through the national media, social media and other communications to contact the BATF and our Senators with phone calls and letter writing campaigns to stop the banning of the ammo. This was the first time in US history that a potential ban was stopped due to the mass outpouring and connections to the federal goverment and our elected officials by law abiding citizens of the country. The BATF recieved over 88,000 positive comments to not ban the ammo. HillTop Gun Clubs advocacy group wrote letters to both Ohio Senators Portman and Brown expressing our displeasure of the goverments attempt to ban a common ammunition. Our Political Action Committed headed by Dave Lawarence is commended for representing our group. The BATF as of March 13 2015 has decided to NOT ban the ammo.

Recent training on the gun range


According to the new Ohio Concealed Carry Weapon Revised Code, it will no longer be law that the only way for a group to be qualified to teach CCW is through the NRA or Goverment or Military or Police agency. The new law states that a qualified, “Firearms Advocacy Group” can teach the Ohio CCW course.
HillTop Gun Club has been an advocacy group since its inception in 1947 by the veterans of Gilham – Frank VFW Post 8804 New Marshfield Ohio.. Returning combat veterans from World War II started the VFW post and then promptly bought a piece of property and started the gun club. One of their mission statements is, “Always to promote safe rifle shooting in the defense of the country, the Consitution and fellow veteran.”
Through out the decades since 1947 HillTop Gun Club members have advocated for the ideals of firearm usage, competitive shooting, commaradre with fellow men and women, youth safety and hunting programs and political actitivism.
Certificates of Qualifications were introduced for Instructors, Range Managers and Safety Officers in 1988.
Currently the Board of Directors hosts a Political Action Committee headed by David Lawarence along with other active members.
Another mission statement of HillTop Gun Club goes as follows: “HillTop Gun Club is an organization that advocates for the safe and responsible excercise of 2nd Amendement Rights to bear arms. The Club is comprised of upstanding members of and leaders in the community who support individual opportunities to learn about firearms, their safe use and transport, while improving the knowledge and skills of people who wish to use handguns, rifles and shotguns for hunting, sport, and / or protection. The Club engages the community in conversation (e.g. a open to the public library firearms discussion and a Youth Rifle Shoot) about firearms, opening up a dialogue on safe enjoyment of firearms and dispelling myths and half truths on guns (firearms) in society.
Our group offers qualified instruction so that if you desire to be a Range Master a Safety Officer or Firearms Instructor please contact a staff member for additional information and pricing.