123 Akard Ave.
Montrose, CO 81401
(970) 249-2771
(970) 209-1340 Cell

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inks of interest at bottom of page


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General Information for Blue Mesa Shooting Academy

Blue Mesa Shooting Academy is a full spectrum, family oriented, training facility. We offer over 20 classes designed to meet the needs of virtually everyone.

We specialize in handgun training. We offer courses, from the most basic such as "Home Firearm Safety", to the most advanced and everything in between. Our two most popular classes are the one day CHP (Concealed Carry Training) & our Academy Class, both Concealed Carry Handgun Classes. We also offer the NRA Personal Protection In & Outside the Home, Rifle, Shotgun, and Range Safety
Officer training.
We are sure to have a program to meet your needs. Please look over the remainder of our web page(s) and/or give us a call.
Our classes are limited to a maximum of 10 -12 students so we may give each individual the attention they deserve!

We use Microsoft PowerPoint® presentations & large screen video to add visual clarity & interest to all our classroom presentations.


Refuse to be a Victim
What is "Refuse to be a Victim?" Click below for more Information!
This is a 4 hour (non-firearm) nationally recognized NRA crime prevention and personal safety program designed to provide men and women with information that assists in the development of their own personal safety strategies.


Home Firearm Safety Class
This is a four hour "classroom only" introductory class teaching the basics of home safety for pistol, rifle & shotgun.
(No actual shooting is involved) A certificate of Completion will Be Awarded.

NRA "First Steps" classes are offered in the following disciplines:
Pistol (Handgun)

These classes are more involved than the "Home Firearm Safety Class", referenced
above, but are firearm specific. I.E. Students are limited to shooting one specific type of firearm.

Concealed Handgun PermitsTraining
Formerly known as CCW
Class #
1, below meets & exceeds training requirements for Colorado
concealed carry training.
Instructor is a
graduate of both "Gunsite Training Academy's 250 &
350 Pistol Classes and has taught professionally for over 43 years.
(To the best of our knowledge, the only active instructor in Western
Colorado so qualified!)


Blue Mesa Shooting Academy is a "Family Friendly" Training Facility. All classes are designed to provide a friendly,
fun & practical educational experience for everyone, especially ladies. We offer a wide range of classes (over
20 total) designed to meet the needs of virtually everyone. Six different Handgun Classes, including " Basic Handgun ",
(#2 below), our "Academy class", (#1 below), the heart of our course
curriculum, "Personal Protection in the Home" (#3 below), a more advanced NRA intermediate "Personal Protection Outside the Home" Class, (#4 below) an Advanced Handgun Class, (#5 below), "NRA Range Safety Officer" Class, (#6 below), Basic Rifle (#7 below), Basic Shotgun, (#8 below), Home Firearm Safety, (#9 below)
NRA Instructor Certification Clinics in the disciplines of "Basic Pistol", Rifle, Shotgun, "Personal Protection
in the Home", "Personal Protection Outside the Home"
& Home Firearm Safety (#10 below) round out our curriculum.
Defensive Shotgun Class
Click for details!

With a two student minimum, we will offer these classes about any time!

NRA Pre-Course— Non Specific Questionnaire

NRA Discipline Specific Course Required Docs

Pistol Instructor Lesson Plans
Pistol Instructor Pre-Qualification
Basic Pistol ILT Lesson Plans
Basic Pistol Blended Lesson Plans
Rifle Instructor Lesson Plans
#1. Academy Class (30 Hr. Course)

This is our regular "Basic/Intermediate Handgun & Personal Protection/Home Defense Class & is designed for beginning and/or intermediate students.
This is the heart of our curriculum & because it is based on Gunsite doctrine, we believe it is the most comprehensive & complete Course of its type on the Western Slope, maybe even the state. We cover awareness training, firearm presentation & carry options, home defense, and Colorado
gun laws. We include an extended class session covering circumstances warranting the use of deadly force & our final range session will introduce students to "Real Life" Tactical Shooting Scenarios including a night shoot!

When, and if, most of these subjects are covered by competitors, they are usually relegated to their
"Advanced Classes", but because we believe they are so vitally important, we include them in this

Consisting of a full 30 hours of training compared to most others lasting between 8 &18 hours, this course meets & exceeds the training requirements for obtaining a Concealed Carry Weapons Permit for Colorado, & Florida. Utah certification requires an additional hour of classroom only time to cover Utah specific statues. At course completion, graduates are able to draw a concealed firearm and fire two rounds accurately in approximately 2 seconds. With dedicated practice, many reduce this time to 1.5 seconds or less! Offered three or more times per year!
This is our Academy or Full Length Course & is not an NRA Course!
Download an Adobe .pdf Course Flyer!
Course is offered three (3) or more times annually - Winter, Spring & Fall
Next schedued class date" January, 2018 Exact date TBD!

#2. Basic Handgun (CHP) Class
Formerly CCW

Our "Basic Handgun Shooting Class" ( Concealed Handgun Permit Training)
consists of 6 full hours of instruction on Saturday & is offered once or twice a month. Designed primarily for students with a limited time schedule, it meets training requirements for Colorado concealed carry. Always
ffered on the second, and, often times, additional Saturdays of each month, depending on demand. With a minimum of two students, we will offer the class just about any time! Tuition is $100 plus a $10.00 range fee. Students supply their own ammunition. (70 or 80 rounds). A non refundable deposit of $50.00 is required to guarantee your spot. Should you have to miss your scheduled class date, this deposit will normally be
applied to a future class. Students who miss their second class will forfeit their deposit.

This is our Short Course & is based heavily on NRA's Basic Pistol Class, but is not an official NRA class! It is more heavily slanted toward Personal Protection (Combat) Shooting, which is what virtually all our students want as opposed to target or bull's eye shooting.
Class room is at 123 Akard Ave. - Montrose

Please bring the following to class:
Firearm - Loaners are available - Please do not purchase one prior to attending class
Holster - Loaners are available
Ammunition - minimum of 80 rounds. Please, no live ammunition in the classroom!
Hearing & Eye Protection
Water (For Range Session)
Class dates for above class:

All Saturday Classes begin promptly at 8:00 A.M.

Classes generally fill quickly!
Enrollment is normally limited to 10 - 12 students. Sign up now!

August 11
Sept. 8
Oct. 13
Blue Mesa Shooting has access to a private range and are the only
authorized users, therefor we will be the only ones present during classes.
We also offer a shorter & less expensive version of the above class.
Details and dates are listed on the previous (index) page.
Please feel free to call with any questions or concerns. (970) 249-2771

#3. Personal Protection in the Home

This class exposes students to several schools of thought regarding defensive shooting techniques. It is much more than just a routine shooting course. The NRA Basic Personal Protection series is based on the building block approach, moving from the simple to the complex. The first course in this series is the Basic Pistol (CHP) Course, listed above. This is the second step. It builds on the skills learned in the Basic Pistol Course. The third step in the series is the new NRA "Personal Protection Outside the Home" Course. PPITH is offered quarterly.

#4. "Personal Protection Outside the Home"

Level 1 (Basic - 9 hr. Course includes Both Classroom and Range Time)
Level 2 (Advanced) Requires an Additional 5 Hours Range Time
May be taken together as one course (Total 14 hrs.) "Advanced Certification"
you may split the two classes, taking the first 9 hr. class which will certify you as "Basic" and then complete the additional "Advanced" (5 hr.) portion at a later date to receive your "Advanced" Rating. Each course earns a separate "Certificate of Completion"
This course is classified by the NRA as an "Intermediate" Level Course.
Prerequisite is one of the following:
1. Completion of the "Personal Protection in the Home Course"
2. Successfully complete the NRA "pre-course evaluation"
Our Academy graduates will have no trouble completing this!
You will need approximately 500 rounds of ammunition.
Call or E-Mail for Details
Click Here for Full Color Flyer on this Course

PPOTH is normally offered twice a year.
With a minimum of four students we will conduct a class anytime!

#5. Advanced Academy Handgun Class (Advanced CHP)
This is not an NRA class.

Offered annually. Fun & Extremely Practical!
"Real Life" Tactical Shooting Applications
Prerequisite is Class #1, PPOTH (listed above) or Equivalent.
Click for Details and Course Outline
Advanced Class Outline in Adobe .pdf file
Photos of previous classes

Defensive Shotgun Class
A “Personal Protection” Training Course!

This is not a class in trap, skeet, or target shooting. The focus is on personal defense. Numerous tactical aspects will be addressed. One does not need an expensive high end gun for self defense. As a matter of fact, practically any shotgun you have will work fine. The focus of this class is to learn to use what you’ve got. Due to the limited ammunition capacity of shotguns, another major emphasis will be on reloading, both tactical & speed.
One day (6 or 7 hr.) class will be fun and informative. Includes classroom and range work.
Priced at only $80.00
Please call for further information or to schedule a class

# 6. Range Safety Officer Class
#7. Basic Rifle Class
#8. Basic Shotgun Class
#9. Home Firearm Safety
(A class for absolute beginners)

Basic Pistol
Basic Rifle
Personal Protection in the Home
Personal Protection Outside the Home
Range Safety Officer — Not an instructor class
Chief Range Safety Officer —
Certification Training

Most Classes are offered on a regularly scheduled basis.
Others are offered on an on Demand Basis.
Call 249-2771 for Information or to schedule a class.

General Information

"Laws that forbid the carrying of arms...disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes...Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.” Thomas Jefferson

Larry D. McWhirter (Owner, Course Director)
Graduated from both basic and advanced pistol classes offered by "Colorado Shooting Institute."
Graduated from Gunsite Basic 250 & 350 Intermediate Pistol Classes!
Completed course requirements for Colorado, Arizona, Florida, Utah & Nevada concealed carry permits.
Served as an assistant instructor for a course similar to our #1 above listed class given by "Colorado Shooting Institute."
Professional scuba diving instructor for entry level classes, specialty classes, advanced classes and instructor prep (Divecon) courses for 9ver 30 years
Also rated as an underwater photography instructor.
Graduated from NRA Instructor certification classes for pistol, rifle, shotgun, "Personal Protection in & Outside the Home", and RSO
Completed class given by Rob Letham.
Completed NRA "Training Counselor" Class. We train & Certify Instructors in the disciplines of "Basic Pistol" & "Personal Protection in the Home."
Completed Chief RSO (Range Safety Officer) Training Course. Classes in this discipline are now offered! See #5 above.
Completed Instructor Certification Training in the NRA disciplines of "Basic Rifle" and "Basic Shotgun" Classes are now offered.
Completed Instructor Certification Training for CCW Permit for State of Utah. Now certified as a Utah CCW Permit Instructor.
Served as Assistant Instructor for an extremely
Advanced Combat - Tactical pistol class taught by David Mowry, an Arizona DPS (Highway Patrol ) Firearms instructor and S.W.A.T. Team Officer.
Completed both the Basic & Advanced new NRA "Personal Protection Outside the Home" class.
Completed the Instructor/Training Counselor portion of NRA "Personal Protection Outside the Home" Now certified both as an Instructor to train students and as a Training Counselor to train & Certify Instructors in this discipline.

Larry's complete Shooting Profile (Below)

Basic Definitions

Tactics - any maneuver or adroit management to gain an objective
Tactical Short definition - CHEAT
Adroit synonyms - skillful, expert, practiced, able, clever, adept, competent, or accomplished
IWB - Type of holster (Inside waistband)
SOB - Type of holster (Small of Back)
Cover - Hidden from view using something that will stop a bullet E.G. Rock, tree, Engine Block, etc.
Concealment - Hidden from view using something that will not stop a bullet E.G. Grass, Shadows, etc.
Misfire - Cartridge does not fire after primer is struck by the firing pin.
Hangfire - a perceptible delay in the ignition of a cartridge after primer has been struck by the firing pin
Squib load - less than normal pressure or bullet velocity after ignition of the cartridge.
Compliant - doing exactly as instructed (ordered)


Links of Interest

Class Enrollment Forms

(Concealed Carry Information)
Hand Gun Law

NRA-ILA Web Site
Go to "Gun Laws" Section for specific information concerning laws for each state

National Shooting Sports Foundation

Colorado Bureau of Investigation CHP Page

Arizona CCW Class Info

Utah CCW Information & List of Approved Instructors

Nevada CCW Class Info

Gunsite Training Academy

Thunder Ranch - Oregon

Lethal Force Institute

Colorado Gun Statutes

Colorado CHP Application Form (Adobe .pdf File)


"Concealed Carry Magazine" Grass Roots Profile of Larry - Feb./March Issue 2007

Complete List of Classes Offered by Blue Mesa Shooting

National Rifle Association (NRA)

Magills Gun Accessories

The Concealment Shop

International Defensive Pistol Shooting Association

American Handgunner Magazine

Blue Mesa's Shooting Brochure (Updated)

Gun Class Flyer (Adobe .PDF Format)

Snub Nose Files

Action Target

Law Enforcement Targets

HKS Speedloaders

Midway USA Dictionary of gun definitions

Cheaper than Dirt.com


Dillon Precision Products
Reloading & Shooting Supplies

Craig Spegel Grips

Custom Holster Manufacturers
Galco Holster
DES-Holsters Galco holsters, specializing in gun holsters, including pistol holsters, western holsters, concealed carry holsters, shoulder holsters, leather holsters, concealment holsters, hand gun holsters and Glock holsters
Milt Sparks
Mitch Rosen
Kramer Leather
Don Hume
Mountable Handgun Holsters
Del Fatti Leather
Wilson Combat (Also Accessories & Guns)
DeSantis Gunhide
K.L. Null Holsters
Fobus Holsters
CrossBreed Holsters LLC
Bianchi International
Delfatti Gun Leather
ElPaso Saddlery
Tuff Products

Ammunition Manufacturers
Magtech Ammunition
Barnes Bullets
Garrett Cartridges
Buffalo Bore Ammunition
Black Hills Gold

Magazine Suppliers
Wilson Combat
Chip McCormick

Finding Your Reason by Kathy Jackson
This is an excellent article written by a woman especially for (but not exclusively for) women.
Kathy Jackson is a freelance writer and is a frequent contributor to Concealed Carry Magazine. She is an assistant instructor at the Firearms Academy of Seattle & takes great pleasure in teaching other women how to shoot.

No Safe Place
A must read for all CHP permit holders & for anyone considering obtaining a CHP Permit!

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