From Bob Hanna about central Texas firearms training history:
In 1975 I bought 49% of the Marksman indoor Range in South Houston, TX. That’s when I really became involved with the Houston gun scene and folks like: Fred Rexer – Wikipedia, machine gun dealer, screenwriter, movie consultant (Apocalypse Now, Red Dawn etc.). https://www.joebowman.net/ Joe was an exhibition shooter and trainer, taught movie stars (Sammy Davis, Jr, Robert Duvall etc.) and law enforcement. Herman Mueschke, who designed the ambi safety used by Colt. Several deceased gun writers whose names I no longer remember unless they are mentioned. Col. Cannon, former OSS, inventor of the Glaser Safety Slug, several very interesting conversations over coffee in his kitchen.
Became involved in “Combat Shooting” matches about this time with The Brazos Practical Shooters, a sub group of the Sugarland Sportsmans Club, a long gone competition club. I was Competition Director in 1978 when Jeff Cooper sent me “…the First Draft of the IPSC rules for practical pistol competition.”
In 1977 and 1978 I was Co-Manager for Collectors Firearms, probably the nicest gun store in Houston. Founded by Mike Clark, Jerry Fountain, Gary Green and a guy I can’t remember, they started with $20K. Two of them dropped out and it left only Mike and Jerry. They split up shortly after I left Houston in the early 1980s, Jerry took his half and opened Fountain Firearms.
Around this time I was an assistant for a Police Defensive Tactics course at San Jacinto College. Primarily, I knew how to do break falls and the students practiced Judo throws on me until they learned how to be thrown without being hurt.
Jeff Cooper and my Uncle, Mike Ryan were stationed at Quantico together and Mike, Jeff and their wives, Marjorie and Janelle played cards weekly, Pinochle if I remember correctly. Jeff Cooper came to Houston to teach what he called an extension course in 1979, I scored Expert.
Then in 1980 I went to Gunsite for the 499 Advanced Class, I believe I have given you some paperwork on that. This was I believe the first class after Chuck Taylor left, he had been the Operations Manager and Lead Instructor. He and Jeff had a serious disagreement and parted ways abruptly. Chuck ran things and Jeff would teach some things, but also ferried people around from range to range where the different instructors were teaching. The class, in my opinion, did not seem well organized and were not worked near as hard as in the 250 and I blamed that on Chuck’s abrupt departure. I was not the only one in the class who thought so. I mentioned it to Jeff in private and he took exception to it. This and some inappropriate actions to the wife/girlfriend of a student by two students in the class, Presidential Bodyguards from Guatemala, that was just ignored sort of turned me off to Jeff/Gunsite at the time. I guess Jeff and I parted ways as did Chuck. I had told my uncle about my discussion with Jeff and his response. My Uncle said “Jeff is very opinionated.” When my uncle died, Jeff wrote a nice comment in Guns & Ammo and his Commentaries, article attached, and twenty years had passed, I mellowed on my opinion of Jeff/Gunsite.
Around 1981, the Harris County DA’s Office asked my assistance as a Professional Witness on a couple of cases, though none actually went to trial.
In 1981, I was looking for more training and contacted Chuck and we came to an agreement that I would bring him to Houston to teach classes. I partnered with a friend, Wally Gorman, owner of Alexander’s Guns, we put on several classes a year through about 1985 or so. I moved to Wimberley in late 1982 and we put on classes in Houston and Austin. I had assisted Chuck in his classes since 1981 and in 1984 I was invited to an Instructor Course, certificate attached. Teaching Scuba full time at Southwest Texas State and teaching gun classes on the side was keeping me pretty busy and so we ended our promotion of Chuck Taylor classes at the end of 1985 I think.
Took a class from Ross Seyfried just after he won the 1981 IPSC World Championship. I don’t recall any handouts, Ross suggested some things Chuck did not agree with.
Around 1984 I was a guest Instructor for a SWAT Class at San Antonio College with officers from small departments, The class was so they would be familiar with operations if they interacted with SWAT teams , I taught most of the firearms section. The 1991 IPSC World Champion, John Dixon, put on bowling pin matches at the Marksman Indoor Range one night a week while I was part owner.