MDC invites new shooters to Introduction to Handguns class Dec. 21 at Busch Shooting Range

News from the region
Saint Louis
Published Date

DEFIANCE, Mo.—When pistols and handguns come to mind, many people think of self-defense and home protection. But did you know that handguns are also a valid hunting method for several species, such as rabbits, squirrels, bullfrogs, deer, and coyotes?

The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) is holding an Introduction to Handguns class Tuesday, Dec. 21 from 5-7:30 p.m. at the August A. Busch Shooting Range and Outdoor Education Center. The course is free and open to ages 16 and up.

“We are seeing a lot of new shooters at the range with new handguns,” said August. A. Busch Shooting Range and Outdoor Education Center Manger Bryant Hertel. “We want to make sure they get a safe and informed start in shooting handguns.”

This program is for those who are new to handguns but want to learn how to handle and shoot them safely. The class will also help those who might feel uncomfortable or unsure about handguns feel more at ease with using them.

This program will provide information on how to get started shooting handguns. The course will be presented by the staff at MDC’s August A. Busch Shooting Range and Outdoor Education Center in Defiance. It covers handgun fundamentals, everything from purchasing to using. The class will discuss the different handgun actions, calibers and ammunition, plus basic operation, safety measures, maintenance, and safe storage. The class will also present proper shooting techniques.

Handguns offer a viable alternative to hunters who prefer to travel light or might have physical limitations or other restrictions regarding handling or carrying rifles. They can also be used for recreational target shooting.

Introduction to Handguns is a free program, but advanced online registration is required at

The August A. Busch Shooting Range and Outdoor Education Center is located at 3550 Route D, approximately five miles west of Highway 94 in Defiance.

As this is an in-person activity, MDC asks all participants to observe current local social distancing and masking guidelines. Bringing and wearing face coverings is encouraged when appropriate for the in-person activity.

Program registrants should note that families now have the option to link their children’s accounts to their own which will streamline the program registration process. Once a group account is set up, parents will be able to register their children to an event without having to logoff and login for each person. This allows parents to register an entire family or select family members to an event at the same time.

Stay informed of MDC latest programs by going to the MDC St. Louis regional events page at