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.

Ammo reloading demonstration at carbine clinic

October 17 carbine clinic a success





Carbine clinic: a great review!

Any day on the shooting range is a great day for me, but Hilltop Gun Club’s first-ever carbine clinic yesterday (October 17, 2015) was a fantastic day on the range.

The weather began with a bit of a brisk breeze and bright sunshine as a small group of dedicated shooters gathered at Hilltop Gun Club’s shooting range for a four hour carbine clinic hosted by Hilltop members.

I first came aware of the clinic after receiving a Facebook update to Hilltop Gun Club’s page announcing the October 17 hosted event in which I (we) were invited to ‘enjoy your shooting rights’ in a safe and fun environment to learn about my carbine rifle. And I was excited! Since retiring from active duty in 1995 I have not had the fellowship of shooters on the range except the occasional and rare brief chat another shooter at Zaleski State Park’s short range. And while I am perfectly happy running through shooting drills on my own it is always so much more enriching and enjoyable done with others. The men and women attending the clinic did not disappoint.

We began with short topic presentations: Kevin spoke on the origin and history of Hilltop Gun Club and its contribution to the Athens area history. I quickly gained confidence in and respect for the club during the ensuing safety briefing and discussion. Jake, an experienced and well qualified Marine Corps vet next spoke to us about his experience training Marines to qualify with their weapon. After a brief Q&A Jake walked us through the components, field stripping, and cleaning of the AR15/ M4 with plenty of opportunity for questions, exchanges of ideas, and solid practical knowledge which we put into practice in short order with a series of sight-in drills consisting of three rounds aimed at a three inch circle ten yards down range. Between drills shooters examined their grouping with the Range Safety Officer and adjusted their weapon’s sight.

After the sighing-in drills I was wonderfully surprised by the next short topic: Hand loading by Bill Hayes of Bean Hollow Bullets. In less than three minutes Bill dispelled every misconception I held about building reloaded ammunition. I’d always thought there was the need for expensive presses, dies, and scales, and it was as dangerous as a bag of snakes. Not even close. In fact, Bill showed us just how easy it is and how to do it with a great degree of safety. He loaded one round into a revolver, discharged that round down range, and then walked back to the bench whereby he rebuilt the casing into a deployable round in less than two minutes time. That round was then successfully discharged down range. A volunteer, who’d never built a reload before, used Bill’s method to again rebuild the round and discharge it on target. I made up my mind then and there to pursue reloading ammo as my next hobby. Not only will the hobby give me a personal satisfaction of preparing my own ammunition for my .223/5.56 and .45 caliber rounds it will also safe me a boat load of money, because, as Bill and Kevin pointed out, factory loads are ridiculously expensive. I’ve already started looking on-line for the reloading manual and comparing equipment prices. Bill indicated he could have me set up and running with easily stored quality equipment for a couple hundred bucks.

After Bill’s demo we then set out on a series of basic range drills: Straight-line advancing assault on four targets, serpentine advancing on four targets, then a series of firing line drills at longer ranges. I’m fairly okay at clearing rooms and close contact targets but I have a long way to go when it comes to ranges beyond twenty-five meters while standing on the firing line. That I only punched four holes on a silhouette torso on the fifty yard range demonstrated that, but I never once felt any denigration from any of the other shooters, who were far more skilled. Nor did I ever have a concern for my safety during the drills. Range safety and line control were very effectively managed by our RSO.

During the closing moments of our day on the range Kevin spoke on the club’s plans to further develop the range equipment and I’m excited. The one that got my attention was the shooting “house” because we rarely have the opportunity to deploy the AR inside an enclosed structure during training, and let me tell ya, if you’re carbine is part of a home defence strategy (or any fire arm for that matter) then participating in shooting drills inside a structure is of great training benefit. Indoors the rifle report is amplified and the sound wave does an assault of its own on your senses. Experiencing it in a training environment can reduce the shock value of indoor fire at a time when you want all your senses focused. So this range development is something I’m looking forward to.

I love to shoot my rifle but the opportunity to do it with other skilled shooters willing to share their knowledge and methods is an unparalleled experience. I am grateful for the folks of Hilltop Gun Club for hosting the carbine clinic and I look forward to very affordable follow-up clinics to further develop my skills. A scan of the club’s internet home page will provide a look-see at what is available in the future. So for me, when it comes time to refresh my certifications for my concealed handgun license (Concealed Carry) I know where I can go. Thank you all for a awesome shooting day.

Carbine Clinic October 17th 11am – 3pm

The operations board of HillTop Gun Club is hosting a Carbine Clinic October 17th at the weapons training facility located at 675 Pearl Wood Road Athens County Ohio, from 11 am to 3 pm. The clinic is being taught by combat veteran’s, highly skilled instructors and recent discharged military individuals. The clinic is $30 which includes a sack lunch, door prizes and a certificate. First hour is a lecture on safety and range protocol then we shoot for the next 3. Additional instructors will discuss reloading and proper component selection and insurance. Range discussion will include cleaning, sighting, aiming, gun nomenclature, targeting and shooting at various targets supplied by the club. Limited registration. All guns are inspected and tagged. Contact John Euler at 575-640-7792 moosemaniac@yahoo.com or Bill Hayes at 740-707-7139 hagle@intelliwave.com.. See our website at Hilltopgunclub.com and like us on Face Book.

August gun range pictures

July gun range development

Finally, a break from the rain!

Marksmanship Principles – Sharp Shooter or Machine Gunner?

As a youth I was taught marksmanship skills by combat veterans who drilled the utmost important shooting principles into my training. Aim small – Shoot smile and 1 shot 1 kill. Every time i handle a firearm I practice those basic skills.
Most of my students strive to be marksmen or marks women knowing full well the effects of missing an intended target is a waste of precious time and energy and ammunition’s. Marksmanship is hitting your target each and every time.
Recently I had the opportunity to test out a newish 5:56 AR Carbine in the 125′ range shooting at a 5″ tall wood block setting on a 1″ thick board. I shot the first 12 rds on target and then set myself up again and fired the remaining 18 rounds of full metal jacketed Hornady ammo. I missed 2 times. My students were a father and son team of ex military service and both were combat veterans who shot a lot and their training in the special forces field was more than evident.
Next thing I know the dad gave me another 30 rds to play with and I did.
I set up for my next 6 shooting drills. forward aggressive, rearward defensive. side to side shuffle. kneeling. using cover and some rapid firing drills. Staying in the shooting principles that I emphasis always I found my target, pointed my firearm, aimed aligned the sights fired followed through and breathed.
A moment later the block had 29 nice new tiny holes punched through leaving a rather interesting piece of artistic work.
Aim small – Shoot Small.

Recent gun range development

Mad Minute – The RIfle Shooting Drill.

The Battle of Belgium’s Mons Canal October 23 1914. The Brittish Army had set up forces in a long swath along the Conde Canal area facing the German Army in a defensive manner. The Germans 1st Army Commanding General was 100% clueless the Brittish were watching his every move due to the fact the he was in hot pursuit of the French Army, and then for some unknown reason; with no intellegence no warning or battle order he turned his army and promptly began to attack the Brittish Army!
That was a bad mistake.
Some written stories say the Brittish newly trained Army marksmen were shooting very precision shots up up and beyond 1000 yards and killing as many as 50 Germans apiece. Kill rates for the Brittish Army soldiers using mostly Lee- Enfield rifles were beyond 6 to 1.
Before the Brittish connected the dots and started a national program of encouraging and training and supporting firearm sports most people in the cournty couldnt hit the inside of a barn if they were standing inside with a firearm shooting. It didnt take long before the in thing to do was go shoot even the Queen herself started her own National Competition. Nation wide the vast majority of rifle shooting had improved greatly within a very short few years because of a Tactical Shooting Drill called the “Brittish Mad Minute Shooting Drill.”
HillTop Gun Club is excited to announce the Mons Shooting Drill coures will be offered this August 24th. What makes this class exciting it it is for Veterans and their familes exclusiviely. Future information pending. Sponsors are encouraged to contact our staff. August will be a day of commradre and fun friendly shooting. Some proceeds go to Gilham – Frank VFW Post 8804.
The Brittish Mons shooting drill is 15 aimed shots into a 12″ circle target at 300 yards in 60 seconds. Trust all of us, it is a very challenging shooting drill requiring skill and experinece.
For the sake of the drill and safety Hilltop staff will use the same 12″ target but at shorter distances. Get out your rifle, practice up and drill.

JUNE 5-7 Work Party

If all goes well there is going to be work party at the range this coming June 5-7. We intend to move the massive amounts of dirt we removed from The Slot Range and take it down to the Lower Range and lift that area up. The other jobs hopefully we an accomplish is finishing the awning of the shelter house, re routing and widening the creek, cutting brush, adding another layer of gravel to the parking lot, putting up a board and post fence, adding an extension to the septic tank for our future out house and enlarging the Shoot House Range area. A lot of projects but with enough helpers and members we should accomplish the majority of them. Please send up an email if you are interested in coming down to help. Once we get finished then the following next few weeks we will set up for some serious firearm training and shooting. Staff