Navy SEAL Named Training Director at TTAG’s New Home Range

Jeff Gonzales (courtesy

The Truth About Guns’ top guns are based in Austin, Texas. Dan, Nick, Jon, Tyler and myself all live in or near The Live Music Capital of America. (We’re working on Ralph and Jeremy S.) The TTAG cluster (you-know-what) fosters our corporate culture — which centers on shooting guns, smoking cigars, scarfing barbecue, making sarcastic remarks, telling the schnauzers to STFU and writing posts for your dining and dancing pleasure.  One thing we were missing . . .

A place to gather, shoot, write and video. One that didn’t require an hour-and-some drive and subject us to 110 degree heat. (I’m referring to the most excellent Best of the West Shooting Sports, home of the Texas Firearms Festival, where you can shoot shop and schmooze with the TTAG team.) Enter The Range at Austin, a “52,000 square foot facility offering 37 total rifle rated lanes, including five 100-yard rifle lanes, with innovative targeting systems, video capture of target and shooter.”

The Range at Austin is a cutting-edge gun range, TTAG’s new home range, in the making. Well it would be with our man Leghorn as the Director of IT. And the newly appointed Jeff Gonzales as The Range at Austin’s Director of Training. We’re looking forward to learning from Jeff, sharing our education with TTAG’s Armed Intelligentsia. And offering readers a chance to shoot and schmooze with the team on a regular basis. Meanwhile, here’s the presser on our future gun guru . . .

Austin, TX -( The Range at Austin is pleased to announce the hiring of Jeff Gonzales. Jeff will serve as Director of Training for the facility’s instructional and educational courses.

Jeff will bring his years of experience, lessons learned and naval special warfare mindset to The Range at Austin and its education programs. He will oversee a diverse curriculum ranging from firearm safety classes to concealed handgun certification and advanced tactical training.

Jeff is a decorated and respected U.S. Navy SEAL who served as an operator and instructor participating in numerous combat operations around the world. Jeff serves as President to Trident Concepts, a Texas-based company specializing in personal protection tactics, techniques and procedures for armed and unarmed conflicts.

“I’m extremely excited to take the helm at this amazing facility,” stated Jeff. “I look forward to the challenges of firearms training and education.”

“Jeff will be a tremendous asset to The Range at Austin, designing and implementing exceptional curriculum and education courses for our customers in Texas and beyond,” stated Grant Shaw, Managing Partner for The Range at Austin.  “Jeff will be hard at work in the coming weeks developing a training and education program unmatched by most facilities.”

The facility is scheduled to open in fall of 2016.


  1. avatar Garrison Hall says:

    Sounds like the old Car And Driver, Robert. Have you channeled DED Jr. ? Wouldn’t be a bad thing at all. In their Halcyon days, C&D was great fun. Can’t say the same for the various Boss Wagons, none of which seemed to work as planned.

  2. avatar JoshFormerlyinGA says:

    Wait, where is his operator tactical beard?

    1. avatar Alex Waits says:

      Have you ever tried to wear a gas mask with a beard? it just doesn’t work.

      1. avatar Geoff PR says:

        Since SEALs tend to look like offshore oilmen, this guy is obviously undercover…

    2. avatar neiowa says:

      Its “Protective Mask”

      Beard, badazz “operator shades/ball cap/khaki___, cigar” Gotta had da look.

      Where do all these ustabe Seals do their scuber divin and such in Texas? The only Tx river I’ve seen is San Antonio and it isn’t much to look at.

      1. avatar Geoff PR says:

        I know at one point SEALs trained in the Gulf for boarding ships at sea.

        They’ve also been known to do that in the North Sea off the coast of Scotland, even in winter…

      2. avatar Defens says:

        Uh – since the SEALS are members of the US Navy, here’s a hint – they use Navy bases. Like the one in Coronado, CA. Although recently, it seems that SEALS don’t necessarily need to keep their flippers wet to accomplish some outstanding tasks.

    3. avatar jwm says:

      Shaved is the new beard.

    4. avatar neiowa says:

      Shame it won’t be located 8.09mi near the University.

    5. avatar Anonymous says:

      I didn’t get it either – I thought they were boonie hat and beard guys.

  3. avatar Andrew says:

    Let us know when you guys have a class schedule!

  4. avatar jjimmyjonga says:

    Will Mr. Gonzales be offering input on TTAG? His range access and experience would lend to firearm reviews one would think.

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      And settling arguments about SEAL training and capability…

  5. avatar John Boch says:

    You kickin’ doors or storming beaches in your spare time?

    I have seen first-hand that “military” and “police” listed in someone’s credentials means very little when it comes to what civilians need to be taught. Unless you’re teaching a bunch of Walter Mitty-types.

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      I think it’s fair to say he could teach marksmanship…

    2. avatar JoshFormerlyinGA says:

      Who are the only people likely to have real world experience in gunfights and room clearing? Oh yeah, that would be….uh….the cops, and retired military.

      1. avatar Robb says:

        I think you missed the point. For us civilians with CHL/CCW, most of the tactical training is not really important or needed. Room clearing is something I, or the vast majority, likely will never need to do.

        1. avatar LarryinTX says:

          Lessee, you come home to a strange car in your driveway, and your wife and kids are supposed to be inside, and the door’s been kicked in. You waiting 45 minutes for 911? A few suggestions would be nice, all I know is bust into every room with gun drawn, and see what happens.

        2. avatar MamaLiberty says:

          Larry – why wouldn’t the wife and older “kids” be able and willing to defend themselves? I can see the cops coming and arranging for the dead meat to be hauled away. The only room in my house I need to “clear” is the one I’m in at the time.

        3. avatar Robb says:

          I get your point Larry, but the probability of doing it is so low you might as well watch YouTube videos for suggestions. You’d probably retain the info just as well and it’s free.

          Taking defensive use classes is far more important, IMO, and more likely to be used than room clearing or other ‘tactical’ classes.

          Just my $.02.

  6. avatar Pascal says:

    Will “The Range” be open in time for the Texas Firearms Festival?

  7. avatar Defens says:

    Congratulations to Jeff – and to TTAG for engaging one of the top instructors I’ve ever had the pleasure of training under. I first met Jeff in the early 1980’s when I corralled a group of fellow employees, and Jeff traveled to Washington State to teach his intermediate combat handgun course.

    The course was a hit – and even though Jeff was still in the early stages of refining his syllabus, the level of training was excellent. Comparing well against courses I’ve taken from Andy Stanford, InSights Training, Seattle Firearms Academy, Chuck Taylor, and others. From that beginning, his courses only got better – with me taking additional courses in advanced handgun, carbine, and force-on-force. Although I’m enthusiastic about Jeff and his expertise, I’m by no means a blind fan-boy. As an instructor myself, I think teachers need to earn trust through capable teaching, excellent modeling, and a great grasp of the mechanics of their field of study. Jeff definitely checks all those boxes.

    1. avatar Defens says:

      Correction – didn’t meet Jeff in early 80’s – it was in early 2000’s. Around 2002 or so.Just to keep the record straight.

  8. avatar CTstooge says:

    TTAG-brand firearms training, I like it. Walkin’ the walk.

  9. avatar Jake in AK says:

    While I’m quite happy for you all, and am looking forward to hear what shananagins are gotten up to at “The Range”,
    This post caused me to ponder… Has TTAG ever done a review of Front Sight?

    I’ve read a fair bit of gushing fanboy stuff, and angry operatortastic hate mail about the training at Front Sight.

    I had an oportunity to go a few months ago for both a four day defensive handgun, and a two day practical rifle class.
    The only other semi-professional firearms training I have recieved was in the military- and as a non-infantryman at that.
    I’ve been taught basic safety and marakmanship since I was a kid, and turned around and tought those same basic classes in Boy Scouts, and I’ve taken NRA instructor lead safety classes, but the two classes I took at Front Sight were the first firearms classes I’ve taken as a civilian that incorporated movement, as opposed to simple marakmanship and safety.
    Having nothing to compare those classes to, I had fun, and I ended up able to draw and fire on their target more confidently and quickly than when I began the class, so mission accomplished I guess?
    I’d like to hear if anyone else had an experence that fell between the extremes of “best and only training evar!” and “useless expensive pyramid scheme Scientology filled crap-show” as those two seem to be the only views one finds online.
    If the TTAG crew have gone, can someone point me to that review? My Google-fu is weak. If they haven’t, perhaps someone from TTAG could go?

    Edited- I don’t know why sometimes the word “Front Sight” is a hyperlink to brownelles- and I can’t make it go away.

    1. avatar Ing says:

      The link shenanigans are a monetization thing. Annoying, but if it keeps the lights on at TTAG, then I guess I can deal…

  10. avatar formerwaterwalker says:

    Wait -does RALPH know he’s supposed to relocate to Texas RF??? Sounds pretty hot for an old northeast dude…

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      Yup, I know and I’m working on it. And I like the heat. It’s hard dealing with the damnable New England cold and damp.

    2. avatar Anonymous says:

      Ralph doesn’t do BBQ, he does hot tea.

      1. avatar LarryinTX says:

        He’ll have to learn BBQ, there will probably be a shop at the range.

  11. avatar Anonymous says:

    Jeff is a decorated and respected U.S. Navy SEAL who served as an operator…

    What did he operate?

    1. avatar jwtaylor says:

      Hair gel tubes, body sprays, beard combs, hair ties…you know, operator stuff. Duh.

      In all seriousness though, the dude’s a class act. I just can’t ever pass up an opportunity to make fun of the navy.

  12. avatar LarryinTX says:

    Say, is the range going to have chronos? Red’s used to have some you could rent, but customers shot them to pieces so he gave up. I’d like to get a reading on a couple of loads, so I could see about getting custom turret caps for my Leupold.

    1. avatar Robert Farago says:

      My sources say possibly, but definitely not from day one.

  13. avatar Paul Hurst says:

    They should have learned from the mistakes at the Frisco Gun Club before building that place.

  14. avatar Joe Stalvey says:

    A Navy SEAL team travels to Colombia to spy on a secret meeting in its jungles and is subsequently attacked by a paramilitary group who seeks to disrupt the meeting, which turns out to be peace talks. The film features a Navy SEAL team in Africa attempting to stop weapons from falling into the wrong hands.

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