About KR Training
No other school in the area offers the range of courses we do. Whether you are a total novice, recreational shooter, armed at home or in public for self defense, occasional or serious competitor, or even an instructor, we offer courses to improve your skills and expand your knowledge.
Subject Matter Expertise
We opened in 1991, before the Texas CHL program existed, and prior to 1996 we were the only school in the area offering firearms training to private citizens. When CHL passed and was signed into law, Karl, Penny and Tom were in the first CHL instructor classes DPS ran, and we started teaching CHL courses on the first day. We've trained thousands of students over the past 25 years.
Tom Schaefer, our lead CHL instructor, has over 20 years experience as a law enforcement officer working the streets of Austin, including experience confronting violent criminals and dealing with criminal trials. In addition to his CHL instructor rating, he has multiple law enforcement instructor ratings in firearms, driving, and unarmed self-defense, and undergraduate and graduate degrees in law enforcement-related fields. As an off duty police officer, Tom carried concealed every day for decades, and as a holster maker, he understands the nuances of proper holster selection and fit and how it affects concealability and draw speed.
Karl Rehn, lead firearms and tactics instructor, has trained with over 50 different top-tier instructors and schools over the past 25 years, including Thunder Ranch, InSights, Tactical Defense Institute, Massad Ayoob Group, Rangemaster (Tom Givens), Paul Howe, Dave Spaulding, Ken Murray (Simunition) and many more), as well as world champion competitive shooters (Todd Jarrett, Max Michel, Ted Bonnet, Kay Clark-Miculek, Jerry Miculek, Rob Leatham, Brian Enos, Ben Stoeger, Robert Vogel, and others). A competitor since 1988, Karl is a Grand Master in IPSC Production division, with experience at the local, state, national and world level shooting many different shooting sports, from IPSC and IDPA to Steel Challenge, 3-gun and Sportsman's Team Challenge.
We host many guest instructors each year, carefully chosen to bring our students the most professional, most credible, most experienced, and most skilled trainers. We select those trainers based on documented credentials, not based on name recognition primarily earned by skill at internet marketing (youtube videos, blog posts, forum posts, or online controversy).
We have a large and diverse training team, with male and female instructors, because there are gender-specific issues related to shooting techniques and equipment selection. Our team has a wide range of experience, from training with national level schools, shooting major matches, law enforcement and military experience, martial arts and emergency medicine. In order to keep our skills sharp and our course content up to date, our instructors spend time each year in professional development: taking classes from subject matter experts, shooting competitions, and attending and/or presenting at training conferences.
Curriculum and Education Methods
In all our shooting and tactics classes we work 1 instructor for every 4 students, with many activities structured to provide students individual attention and coaching. Our curriculum is designed as a sequence of courses teaching a prioritized set of skills relevant to student goals. Most of our program consists of 4 hour courses, often with two courses in a sequence taught back to back in a single day. These courses cover the same material that's taught in 2-, 3- or 5-day blocks by traveling trainers and larger schools, in smaller chunks. This not only makes the training more accessible by reducing per-class ammo requirements and cost, but also produces better results and higher skill levels in those students who practice the skills learned in our short courses before returning to take the next class. The short courses also work well as annual refresher of those skills that typically cannot be practiced at commercial ranges (drawing from concealment, shooting faster than one shot per second, shooting while moving, shooting in low light, for example).
The skills and techniques we teach are intended to work together as a consistent system; the smallest set necessary to reach the highest level of skill with the least effort. The more variations you have to learn, the more time it takes to reach mastery. We'll teach you how to perform the skills correctly and advise you how to practice them after class to maintain or improve those skills.
Instructors and Top Shooters Train With Us
Many of the newer firearms training schools in the Austin area are run and staffed by people who got their NRA instructor training from us, and/or took advanced firearms and tactics courses with us. Most of the shooters winning local matches, and members of local law enforcement SWAT teams, have trained with us or with guest instructors we have hosted at our facility. We bring in top national level instructors to teach classes at our facility every year.
Facilities & Equipment
We own and operate private, dedicated training facilities so that students can learn in a comfortable environment free from interruptions, spectators and other distractions. We have a wide selection of loaner/rental guns and holsters available for students to use in our classes. In our intermediate and advanced classes, students get to use reactive steel targets, moving targets, a shoot house and other specialized equipment unavailable at commercial shooting ranges.
Quality Is Important to Us
If you are just getting started, you'll be safer and shoot better if you learn the right skills and start with the right equipment. If you are a gun owner that's never had any formal training, we can help you tune up your technique so you can shoot tighter groups, get faster hits, speed up your concealment draw, and teach you advanced skills like shooting on the move and shooting in low light conditions.
Other schools will let students with absolutely no shooting experience or skill into a CHL new permit class, and then let the student fumble through the shooting test, certifying that student as "ready to carry" when the student shoots the minimum score required to pass. If you are signing up for CHL new permit but are not comfortable and confident enough with your shooting and gunhandling to go to the range to practice by yourself, without that knowledgable spouse or friend that always helps you, we strongly recommend that you take one of our pre-CHL basic courses before the CHL class. That knowledgeable spouse or helpful friend probably won't be around to help you rack the slide or find the safety if you ever need to use your gun to defend yourself.
We want our CHL students to have the best possible chances of surviving a violent attack. That means more than just "having a gun" and making a "C-" on the CHL written and shooting tests. In the CHL test you get to start with the gun in your hand, standing still, shooting a giant stationary target in good light with generous time limits. Data on real incidents shows that the most likely scenario is that you will start with your gun holstered and concealed, have very little time, dim light, and you may face more than one attacker who will be attempting to cause you serious bodily injury or death. This is why we offer many training courses that go beyond the state-mandated CHL course, including classes that teach non-shooting (but very important self-defense) skills such as awareness, communication, tactics, unarmed defense and more. The CHL course is a first step down the path, not the destination.
Our goal is to teach students what they actually need to know to make a smart handgun selection, to shoot fast and accurate, and to make legally justifiable and tactically correct decisions about what actions to take in a life-threatening situation. Our approach has worked to produce safe recreational shooters, winning competitors, home defenders and concealed carriers who have successfully used their skills in deadly force incidents.