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Learn to Shoot! 
No Experience Necessary!
Family and Novice Friendly
Pistol, Rifle, Shotgun, Muzzleloader, Hunting Skills,
NC CCH Classes

NRA Certified Instructor

Why Learn to Shoot Academy


Many people did not grow up around guns but have an interest and don't know where to start. This is that place to start! Whether you are looking to learn how to shoot for sport, protection, general interest or just curiosity, it's all good. Instructor Nelson Cowden has been teaching people to shoot for over 11 years. He started a Youth Shooting Program in 2012 and has instructed hundreds of youth how to shoot, he also taught quite a few adults along the way.

A retired Educator, he understands how to teach the knowledge, skills and attitude for responsible, safe firearms ownership and use. Nelson will make it fun in a relaxed atmosphere that will never compromise on safety. Families are welcome, in fact, kids ages 10 -17 can participate for free with a paying adult.

Nelson teaches basic pistol, rifle and shotgun courses, along with advanced shotgun wingshooting and clay sports shooting. He has standard courses or can custom design a course for your specific needs. 

Ammunition and use of firearms can be included in the courses or individual instruction. In fact, if you have not yet purchased a firearm, you can have the opportunity to fire a variety of guns to see which best suits you and your purposes.

If you recently purchased a firearm, but don't know how to properly use it or just don't feel comfortable with it, Nelson can help with that too. We offer a short, 3-4 hour course to help people learn to use their own guns safely and effectively.

Maybe you or you might have a child that is interested in hunting, or shooting sports, but you don't have the background to get started. Hunting and Shooting Sports can be great family activities! Whether it's breaking clays at a club, hunting, target shooting or just going out "plinking" we can help with that and get you started.

Call, Text or Email to Get More Information



Learn to Shoot Academy offers NRA Basic Firearms Courses for Pistol, Shotgun and Rifle. They are  designed to teach the proper Knowledge, Skills and Attitude to safely and competently use those firearms. Emphasis is always on safety and competency as a gun user and potential or current gun owner. The goal is always responsible gun ownership. Basic Courses last from 8-10 hours depending upon the course.

Learn to Shoot Academy also offers shorter courses (NRA First Shots), around 4 hours that are centered around the safety and proper use of a specific firearm. Maybe you bought or inherited a gun or are planning to buy one, but don't know exactly how to use it.

If you do not currently own a firearm and want to try out several variations of popular types of guns, we have several common examples for students to use throughout the course. LTSA will provide the ammunition for those firearms.  We use .22 caliber rimfire guns for our pistol and rifle courses and  20 gauge and 12 gauge Shotguns.  Students may bring their own firearms as well along with 100 rounds of ammunition. If you are not sure what to bring, we will go over that prior to the courses. 

We can also set up private lessons for any firearm and can give advanced instruction for most any firearm. 


Have something different in mind? Private instruction is available for Pistol, Rifle, Shotgun and Muzzleloader. I can set up a Hunting Skills session. I specialize in shotgun wingshooting and clay sports and can create a special event for family or small groups.  You can schedule  a couple of hours or an all day session that features any of the shooting disciplines or all of them. I can create a "Range Day" where participants can learn the fundamentals of Rifle, Shotgun and Pistol (Muzzleloader too for that matter) Let me know what you want to do and i can make that happen with safe and sound instruction.  Give me a call or email me and we'll set something up for you.

NC Conceal Carry Classes

We offer NC CCH Classes. We use the NC Justice Academy  approved course. You can join a scheduled class or contact us and we will create a class to meet your schedule and preference. All classes must be a minimum of 8 hours of instruction including the Legalities of CCH in North Carolina, Firearms Safety and Handgun Proficiency. In addition to the 8 hours of Instruction there is a Range Qualification that must be met by all participants as well as a written test to that must be passed in order to receive a certification to apply for a NC CCH Permit. We can provide all handguns and ammunition for the class or students may bring their own along with at least 50 rounds of ammunition. For students that have not yet purchased a handgun, we have a selection of various actions and models to tryout during the instructional time and to use during the qualification.  Participants must be able to legally own  a firearm in North Carolina to take the course.


All of our courses are taught at the TCYSS Range located in the northwest corner of Davie County, NC. This is a private range owned by the Cowden family and is not available for use other than the Youth Programs run by Tom Cowden Youth Shooting Sports and the Learn to Shoot Academy. You won't be sharing the range with unsupervised groups or with interference from others. The range features a sheltered rifle and pistol range a shotgun field with a full 5-Stand and multiple clay throwing machines. We have a "Teaching Field" for new shotgunners, and a small classroom. If you live in the area and have or know kids that like the outdoors and like to shoot or want to learn how, contact us about that side of things as well. You can go here for more information about the TCYSS Range:  

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