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.

The many “Truth’s” of Rifle and Shotgun shooting

Quite often the topics of “target shooting” comes up in conversation amoungst hunters, paper punchers, self defense and law enforcement groups and individuals. There are a lot of “miss truths” and out right nonsense when it comes down to which type of gun to use involving weight, trigger and optic and sighting types, ammo and how to carry the firearm. Lets explore some truths.
.Which is easier to shoot a heavy or light gun? For hunting and carrying to the hunt a light weight gun is best. For target shooting {isnt that what we are doing regardless if its paper people or an animal?} a heavy weight gun will offer a better grouping by as much as 2″ at 200 yards. A heavier gun is more stable for the bullets flight.
. Bad or good trigger – which is better? Depending on the actual quality of the trigger and its pull there really isnt much of a noticable difference shooting off from a bench or a set of stick. However standing and shooting is an all together different matter. Bad triggers are crunchy springy gritty and at times very hard to pull. You will notice a very announced shot placement which can be off target with a bad trigger
. Which sight is fastest on target? Optic, peep, open, blade, red dot, glow stick or nothing on the end of the barrel. From experience I often forget to look at the target and instead focus on the sight especally some white or glowing one. For close quarter shooting when using the Point shooting method there is no difference in the useage of a sight as you are pointing. However for hunting a slight flicker will notify your game that you are there so you will then have to focus on the sight then the target. Red or Green dot sights will always dominate in accruarcy and then speed as they are very easy for the eye and brain to see and understand what they are over the other sight types. But speed with no accuracy is worthless if you miss your target. Find the threat or target, point your firearm, aim the firearm on target, align your sights then fire.
. Plastic or wood stock on your firearm and which is best for accuracy and being out in the enviorment. As far as I am concerned there is no difference and many instructors will state the same. Plastic is usually lighter than wood furniture. Neither will offer much over on another other than accuracy as a plastic stock does keep the barrell and reciever from moving arouns as much. At 200 yards and beyond you will hit your target better with a plastic stock
. Is using recoil compensators and butt stock shock rubber mounts useful while shooting? Our answer for a shotgun and heavy caliber rifle is yes. Yet some will argue not. Trust me after teaching a 200 round Defensive Shotgun class over a weekend any thing to reduce the recoil on a shotgun is welcomed. Some people elongate the forcing cone of the guns barell to reduce recoil which is useful, some add in recoil compensators inside the stock which defienetly takes down the shock and some add on specialized butt pads to lesson the hit. And also having the end of the barrell ported will also reduce the recoil. The best recoil reducer is low brass and low recoil ammunitions.
. Low mount, Skyward aim or Chest ready to carry a long gun in the field? We prefer all 3 actually while hiking. Of course using a sling can make matters much less tiresome on a hike. Low mount the gun and it is easier and faster to get up on target, Skyward Aim usually is slower and more difficult to bring the sights down on target and having the firearm at chest ready is the fastest as all you do is push the front sight out onto the target. We vote for all 3 carrys depending on the hunt. For tactical shooting on a range the low mount chest ready position will win every time.

Kevin Martin
Chief Instructor: HillTop Gun Club


Rifled barrels are very precisely manufactured item that can offer years of extreme Minute of Angle {MOA} shooting abilities if the barrel of the firearm is properly broken in. Failure to break in a barrel correctly will cause the firearm to never achive what it was designed and manufactured to do.
. For the first 10 shots use only copper jacketed bullets with a nitro powder load
. Clean the oil out of the barrel before ever shooting and after each of the 10 shots using Windex to soak out the oil and burnt carbon,.
. Stand the muzzel down and soak the barrel with Windex as much as possible
. Always clean the barrell from the chamber to the muzzle
. Fire 1 cartridge at a time and clean the barrel each time with a copper cleaner
. Do not clean the barrel with any sort of abrasive as it will agitate the lands and grooves of the barrel finish
. Wait 5 minutes between each firing to allow the barrel to cool
. The barrel must remain cool at all times during the break in period
. The barrel will lose it ability to develop a “home registeration point” and it’s “memory” if overheated and uncleaned if the break in procedure is violated
. All barrels will “walk” when fired there after if the barrel break in procedure is violated
. All rifles will shoot high to the right and will “walk” the rounds in a uncontrollable manner if the barrel in not broken in properly
. Take the time to break in the barrel the first time
. After each of the first 10 shots look into the bore of the barrel if you have a bore scope or strong light and mirror and see if there is any copper wash. if so remove all of it before continuniing firing
. Around shot 6 or 7 you should be able to no longer see any copper wash in the bore as it should no longer exist
. Continue to use Windex and bore cleaner for the entire 10 shot break in procedure
. Following the first 10 shots then shoot 2 rounds one after the other and clean after each 2 shots
. Only shoot 10 shots maximum during the break in procedure then clean the barrel and put the gun away.
. Set the gun on a bench vice the next time shooting and adjust the sights and tirgger if adjustable.

By following these procedures this will insure a burnishing of the gun barrel lands and groves is completed. In theory you are closing the pores of the barrel metal that has been exposed and opened during the cutting and rifleing and your are actuall hand lapping the barrell.
. After cleaning he barell with a cleaner again wash it down with Windex
. Windex has no petroleum which prevents the impregnations of agents into the metal
. Petroleum when burnt leaves rich carbon deposit on and in the metal barell lands and groves
Kevin Martin: Chief Instructor – HillTop Gun Club

HillTop Gun Club 2015 Training Schedule

All classes and courses are $200 per day per student

February 21 – Close Quarter Knife Defense * Level 1
February 22 – Ohio 8 hour CCW Course
March 8 – Self Awareness is Self Defense * Level 1
March 22 – Ohio 8 hour CCW Course
March 29 – Close Quarter Knife Boxing * Level 2
April 11 – Ohio 8 hour CCW Course
April 12 – Basic Pistol * Level 1 – Women only
May 9 – Tactical Shotgun * Level 1
May 16 – Tactical Shotgun * Level 2
May 24 – Ohio 8 hour CCW Course
May 30 – Tactical Rifle * Level 1
June 6 – Family and Partner Self Defense – Stick – Knife – Pistol – Shotgun – Archery
June 13 – Ohio 8 hour CCW Course
June 14- Basic Pistol * Level 2
June 21 – Fathers Day – Circuit Training – Self Defense – Pistol – Shotgun – Rifle – Archery – Camping. Dinner provided. Limited enrollment
July 5 – Tactical Rifle * Level 2
July 18 – Tactical Shotgun * Level 2
July 25 – Ohio 8 hour CCW course
July 26 – Close Quarter Battle – Pistol – Shotgun – Rifle * Level 1
August – Military Day * Level 1-3 Tactical Pistol. Classes are sponsored. Veterans and guests only. Must have completed Basic & Tactical Pistol course 1-2. Donations only
August 16 – Ohio 8 hour CCW Course
August 30 Advanced Pistol * Level 3-4
September 5 – Ohio 8 hour CCW Course
September 6 – Tactial Rifle * Level 2-3
September 13 – Self Awareness is Self Defense * Level 2
September 27 – Basic Fieldcraft – camping – hunting & Survival * Level 1
October 10 – Ohio 8 hour CCW Course
October 11- Close Quarter Combat Rifle – Shotgun – Pistol * Level 2
October 24 – Self Awareness is Self Defense * Boxing & Kickboxing * Level 1
November 14 – Critical Incident Response System (CRIS) Law Enforcement & Military only
Novmeber 15 – Ka-Bar Knife FIghting System (KKFS) Law Enforcement & Military only
November 23 – Ohio 8 hour CCW Course
November 29 – Tactical Pistol * Level 5-6. Must have completed Levels 1-4
December 12 – Oho 8 hour CCW Course
December 19 – Defensive Knife & Impact Items

More January gun club construction

Pics from January CCW class

Gun range development continues!

The wet weather has slowed down a couple projects, but we’re pushing ahead with everything else!

January CCW Class

Our next CCW Class will be held January 11 2015. This will be the last 12 hour concealed carry class that HillTop Gun Club will teach.. New State of Ohio law was passed and a bill signed by the governor will now reduce CCW training to 8 hours. 6 hours of related and a minimum of 2 hours on the range. HillTop Gun Club usually spends more acutal training time on the gun range than 2 hours. Class cost is $125.00. Groups and other students can recieve a discount. Please email for more details.


Membership into HillTop Gun Club will be avaliable January 1 2015. There are various levels of membership each offering a specific set of conditions. Board, Full and Lifetime members are required to meet the specific conditions of membership . All membership conditions and requirements will be addressed in your membership packet.

ASSOCIATE MEMBERS: associate members (A) are allowed to shoot and train on two ranges which are the pistol and the close distance rifle ranges.A members pay full costs of training, clinics and additional usages of the training facility. Yearly A membership is $100.00

FULL MEMBERS:Full (F) members have total access to all training ranges, reduced costs for clinics, discounts on firearms and related items, attire, fund raising actitives and priority over specific range usage and instruction. Full membership is $300 per year

LIFETIME MEMBERSHIP: Lifetime membership (L) is $3000.00. Lifetime members recieve discounts on all training, clinics, attire, firearm purschase and related accessories, have the ability to use any range at any time and bring guests and family

2 & 3 YEAR MEMBERS: 2 and 3 year paid members will recieve a reduced membership cost at $550 for at 2 year and $800 for a 3 year paid in full. 2 and 3 year members recieve the same bennifits as full members

GUESTS: all members are encouraged to bring their guests to the facility as a way to encourage positive fun and safe firearm training and as a way to introduce them to the range. Guests are allowed to use the range 5 times per year and pay $25.00 per visit. After their 5th paid visit they are encouraged to join the club and will recieve a 10% discount to do so

COLLEGE STUDENTS AND CLUBS: College students membership is limited to their academic year. Student membership is $75.00 per year. Student members are limited to range usage. Students wishing to train throughout the summer can pay an additional $10.00 and become an associate member

SPECIAL MEMBERSHIP: any and all Law Enforcement, Fire Fighters, FIrst Responders and current and former military members recieve a 10% discount on any membership and recieve the same benifits of the training facility as would a Full Member.

SPECIAL GROUPS: Group rates are available. See a Range Master for details

GUN RANGE UPDATE & The Furgueson Issue

HillTop Gun Club advising board recently met to discuss the up and coming opening of the weapons training facility. The board has decided that the facility will remain in the hands of private ownership and that the property and training areas will always be private and off limits. HillTop Gun Club training facility will be accepting various levels of memberships in the near future. Our current levels of membership is Associate Member, Full Member and Board Member. Each level of membership has its own perks and range usages. All members must apply to a current member to be vetted and voted on to be allowed to join. Memberships cost will have various levels and all members must pass various firearm shooting disciplines such as pistol, rifle and shotgun, archery, Air soft and thrown weapons. Our primary objective for the range the members and invited guests is SAFETY! Safety is in effect at all times. Member must agree to abide by the club rules and take a firearms course. Currently the range areas are being cleaned (this property had 2 burnt up full size modular homes, 3 buildings, a dumping ground and had not been mowed in 10 years) thus it has taken hundreds of hours of labor and many thousands of dollars in cost to clean the place. Our next work session is this coming December 6-7 and we will be bush hogging the upper meadow and clearing out the lower creek bottoms and hillsides for future range development. Our engineer is drawing up plans for our remote control moving targets stations and we are in the first phase of building a shelter house with shooting benches, packed gravel floor and sound abatememt ceiling and roof. Many new target holders have been made and will be set up December 7. Week 3 of December we will be in discussion with the boundry and security fence installers and electricity from American Electric and Power. Hilltop will have high post night security and training lights set up. Please contact us with your training needs.

New gun range construction

Development on our new gun range is coming along nicely. Here you can see our process of heavy excavation, road-building, and strawing and seeding.