Firearms Instruction in the Chicagoland Area   847-94-EXCEL
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Our Classes

Please scroll down to see the full range.
Information about private lessons is at the end of the listing.

Gift Certificates for classes and special events available.

We have a cancellation policy:
It varies from class to class. In general, if you must cancel within 48 hours of a class (5 days on the special classes), we charge a 100% cancellation fee.
The classes at GAT have a similar policy, but cancellations and reschedulings must be handled by phoning GAT at 847-428-4867. 

Women's Introduction to Handguns

A basic course directed at women with little or no experience to provide them with a fun and safe way to be introduced to handguns and shooting.

Led by winning female action pistol competitor TD Roe, attendees enjoy a comfortable, low-pressure, fun environment.

This class begins with a classroom session of approximately one and a half hours. Safety and a look at the legal aspects of handguns are first.  Then the mechanical aspects of how ammunition and guns work are shown.

We go into the fundamentals of good handgun shooting, grip, stance, sight picture, and trigger control in the "dry-handling" portion of the class. Range time runs about one and a half hours with the students firing .22 rimfire handguns to build skill and competence in an easy-to master way. Centerfire 9mm and .38 Special handguns are made available for those wishing to try bigger guns at the end of the range portion. Students fire about 80-100 rounds of rimfire followed by a handful of centerfire. We wrap up with a closing session in the classroom to review the lessons and answer questions.

Guns, ammunition, and supplies will be provided by us and will include rimfire and centerfire. From this they will be able to form some basic conclusions about not only handguns and shooting, but their own interest(s) in related recreational and personal protection areas.

If you already have your own gun, feel free to bring it.  Please keep it unloaded and cased and let us know you've brought it. We'll start you on the trainer guns and then work with you with your own gun as you progress.

Fee: $125 and includes everything you will need: Guns, ammunition, supplies, and safety glasses and muffs. (Bring your own if you prefer.) FOID not required.
At all our locations. Note: If you see "blocked seats" at signup, it just means that the range's own booking system also has bookings.

If you wish, you may bring your own gun for us to work with you on as time permits.
Please be sure that you transport it legally (with FOID, cased, unloaded) and that you have ammunition specific to it with you.

GAT Guns, 970 Dundee Ave. (Rt. 25), East Dundee, IL

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Introduction to Handguns (Co-ed version)

Following the same format as our Women's Intro, a basic course to provide men and women with a fun and safe way to be introduced to handguns and shooting.  See above for a more complete description.

In response to the couples and families asking for a class they can take together to learn about owning and shooting handguns, we're holding co-ed classes. Following the same format as our Women's Intro, we'll show you how handguns work, how to grip, sight, and fire them, and how to get the best results with the one you have.

The class is 3 hours. Fee: $125 and includes everything you will need: Guns, ammunition, supplies, safety glasses, and muffs. (Bring your own if you prefer.) FOID card not required.
Note: If you see "blocked seats" at signup, it just means that the range's own booking system also has bookings.

If you wish, you may bring your own gun for us to work with you on as time permits.
Please be sure that you transport it legally (with FOID, cased, unloaded) and that you have ammunition specific to it with you.

GAT Guns, 970 Dundee Ave., East Dundee, IL

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Intro Part 2: .22 Pistol Skills
At GAT Guns

Our second level for those who've been through our Intro class.

Get back to the fundamentals with more drills emphasizing new skills.

Fun and fast-paced with 100 rounds of shooting.

The class is 2.5 hours. Fee is $125 and includes range fees, gun rentals, ammunition, and eye and ear protection.

Note: If you see "blocked seats" at signup, it just means that the range's own booking system also has bookings.

GAT Guns, 970 Dundee Ave., East Dundee, IL

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Handgun Skill Builder Class (Formerly: Phase III)

For those who've gone through our earlier classes or are already familiar with their handgun and want more:
More gunhandling, more speed, more fundamentals-tuning, more precision and more skills, TD's designed our Skill Builder Class to get you even more comfortable with your own gun. 

No holster work involved in this class.

Reloads, failure/clearance drills, dismantling and maintenance, more hands-on knowledge. Modifications such as sights, ammunition issues, and storage solutions will be discussed. Dryfiring at home and drills you can do to keep your proficiency. Quality range time live fire stressing accuracy and multiple targets and more rapid fire. Bring your gun, ammunition, and gear and get to your next level. Approximately 150 rounds.

Handgun Skill Builder classes are held at GAT Guns, 970 Dundee Ave., East Dundee, normally on the fourth Monday evening of each month.
Please see our schedule.
Class fee is $100.
2.5 hours.
Includes range fees. Does not include ammunition or a firearm. Ammunition may be purchased at store. You may also rent a handgun at the range counter for the class- tell them you are in the class.
Note: If you see "blocked seats" at signup, it just means that the range's own booking system also has bookings.

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Basic Practical Shotgun Class

Many believe the shotgun is the prime home defense weapon, yet most newer shotgun owners will never get the opportunity to operate their guns in a safe, controlled environment with any sort of practical, efficient type of shooting.

This class is designed to give the home-defense shotgun owner a chance to work out with their gun shooting live-fire drills on the range, stressing safety, loading, reloading, and firing at multiple targets with live ammunition.

We will start in the classroom looking at safety, gun handling, and loading and firing techniques, then head to the range for live fire drills. Reactive steel targets are used.

Then we set up cardboard targets at varied distances so you can shoot your defensive loads (i.e., buckshot/slugs) and see how they pattern.

4 Hours, 9am – 1pm, Please arrive at 8:45am, $150

Held at GAT Guns, 970 Dundee Ave., Dundee, IL on certain Saturdays.

See GAT's Events page.


One-on-one and Group Private Training

We offer specialized training with a special emphasis on special needs and competition shooters on a per-hour basis.

Private lessons have a two-hour minimum.

The first two hours are $200.
Subsequent hours are $75 per hour.
An additional student is $30 per hour.

Student is responsible for range fees (if applicable) and ammunition.
We normally can supply the guns if needed.

Group sessions are a way to spread costs and enjoy your own private group's range time together.  A flat fee based on the final count and location is charged.

We have access to several indoor and outdoor venues with nearly all kinds of range and target props available so that we can tailor your instruction to specific needs.

We can put together a wide variety of lessons and sessions concentrating on whatever segment of handgun shooting fits your needs.
Please contact us at or 847-943-9235 to discuss what will work best for your group.

Scheduling is variable. We frequently schedule private lessons just prior to regular classes at the same range.
Weekends, especially Sundays, can be more difficult to get range time for. Weekday daytime is often the easiest.
Please contact us to work out scheduling.

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Introduction to Action Pistol Competition

For shooters interested in competing in the popular action pistol sports, especially USPSA and IDPA, with modest or greater shooting/gunhandling skills and either prepare them for their first match or take them a step further in development of their competition participation.

We draw on our extensive experience competing in and producing matches in the "cardboard" sports by beginning with classroom time outlining the basics of these disciplines, the range protocols, courses of fire and how they are executed, scoring, and a moderate amount of rule book time.

We look into Steel Challenge, USPSA/IPSC, and IDPA disciplines and examine the formats, rules, and strategies of each.

The live fire portion includes micro-stages of Steel, NRA AP, USPSA, and IDPA styles so attendees can get experience in the full range of these disciplines.

What to bring: A safe, operational handgun, preferably of a minimum caliber of .38 Special/9mm Parabellum. A minimum of three magazines will be necessary for semi-autos and four speedloaders for revolvers. However, we strongly suggest bringing more.

The holster must cover the trigger guard and trigger.
Nylon pouch-type holsters usually do not do well in heavy range use. Inside-the-waistband holsters are often slow or even difficult to reholster the gun and we recommend range-type holsters for the class.  Proficiency with range holsters easily translates to real-world holsters and makes the initial learning process simpler.
Synthetic (Kydex) ones are the most durable and serviceable. Even the lower-priced ones like Uncle Mike's and Fobus do well.  BladeTech is a favorite.
Magazine/speedloader carrier(s) able to hold at least two are needed; carrying four on the belt at a time will be helpful.
Like the sanctioning disciplines we cover, we prohibit holsters that cause sweeping or other safety-related issues on the range, such as small-of-back, crossdraw, and shoulder. These types have their uses but in a crowded range we will insist on a belt-mounted strong-side hip holster.

A stiff belt is essential, the stiffer the better. Gun belts are usually 1 1/2" or 1 3/4" wide and resist twisting, which allows the gear to move around uncomfortably.
The inner/outer competition-style belts such as CR Speed are the best in terms of equipment stability and comfort.

Most students will expend approximately 200 rounds. Bringing more is wise. Please, no armor-piercing or tracer ammunition. 

At GAT Guns, East Dundee. Next class Saturday, December 19th, 2020.
Future dates TBA.

If your club would like to have this class to prepare their new competitors for your matches, e-mail for more information.

Women's CCW Shooting Clinic at GAT Guns, East Dundee

The goal of this class is to help women who have their CCL and have a conceal carry type of pistol or revolver get more comfortable and proficient in handling, drawing from a holster and shooting.
We will start in the classroom discussing experience levels and firearm and gear choices.
Excel will bring a variety of holsters and belly type bands to show options.
The ladies should also bring the current gear they have.
We'd like to know what gear and guns the ladies have prior to the class. This can be through email or a phone call.
All firearms will stay cased until the range portion.
In the classroom we will have safe-direction tables to place the cleared guns on. We'll work from the tables first to review proper handling and dry fire.
Then we will introduce the holster they have and proper safe draws and dry fire.
We will have them dry fire to targets to build and improve fundamentals.
We will then transition to the range.  After some more practice draws and presentations, we will begin live fire with draw/one shot drills one at a time, building to multiple rounds on multiple targets.
For props we will use target stands, and barricades.

Gear needed:

We will also bring extra gear in case it is needed.

As a prerequisite, we would like attendees to have taken at least one of our Excel classes, or have taken another, quality, intro class.

Four hours, $150 class fee. On certain Saturdays during the winter months.
On hiatus during the summer.

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Specialty Events

With our professional experience in party planning, catering, and production, we will be able to work with potential customers' party themes and activity ideas to convert them into special events.

We can provide even inexperienced guests with a safe, basic "first shot" opportunity combined with engaging thematic specialties for shooters at varied skill levels.
TD Roe is not only a firearms instructor, she's also a caterer/chef.  Your group's range experience can be more fun with refreshments, hors d'oeurves, or meals provided.

Contact us for more information



G.A.T Guns Superstore
14N915 State Route 25
Dundee, IL 60118