HomeAbout UsRates Courses CalendarFacility Contact Us Links


If you would like to send us your testimonial please email us at:


Greetings, I just had a great class with John Ritchie. He teaches directly, he watches for bad habits, and he's got terrific real world anecdotes to ensure we get it. Most importantly, he tells you what to do and why you're doing it, a step often left out in other classes. While John may not be the instructor, I'm extremely excited for Defensive Pistol II, so please let me know when and if the class is scheduled so I can clear the calendar. Thank you for your time.

Brian S.


I took the DP II on Feb 11 with David. It was a great class. I learned a lot and am looking forward to DP III

Ralph S.


I highly recommend the classes at the Bridgeport Shooting Range for the experienced instructors and excellent rates. My first class was The NRA Basic Pistol Course that I took in August 2011 with Merrill Galer. Merrill has been around firearms his entire life and was very easy to understand and follow and walked us through all the necessary material to pass to the required multiple choice written exam after the class. Merrill's instruction on the range was simple, straight forward, and not intimidating. I took the second class, Mastering The Fundamentals of Shooting with John Ritchie, in November 2011. Even though I had shot before it was clear that I needed some fundamental instruction to get even better. John made the class simple and safe. John has experience as a Military Police officer and currently manages 27 full time employees as the Supervisor of Public Safety at a local University. As a result of the class, I have become a more consistent and better shooter.

In December 2011 I took Self Defense and Firearms Law. It was taught by Paul Smith who is the Owner of the establishment and has had experience in the Police Force as a Lieutenant and currently manages the training and development for one of the largest security firms in the World. I learned a lot in the class. Most notably, when a civilian draws and/or shoots a gun s/he is responsible for the lawyer fees for both criminal and civil suits. Even in a justified shooting, the judicial system is not something you want to enter. So, don't even think about taking a firearm out of a holster unless you absolutely cannot retreat and your life or your family's life depends on it. That is because you are essentially trading off your life and/or your family's life for some or all of your life savings. The best $50 I ever spent was for this class and I'm 52 years old!

Robert S.


Recently, my wife and I had attended a "New Basic Pistol Safety Course" led by John Ritchie. Now, it's fair to say that both my wife and I have attend over a combined 100 training classes for our careers. Without a doubt, John was one of the best we've seen. He is an impressive leader and facilitator. He clearly has a full command of the material and took us through each step thoroughly without rush or delay. He took and eight hour course and made it attention grabbing the whole time. The information was concise, easy to follow, and pertinent.

I've been looking forward to getting my pistol permit for some time now. My wife has a bias against guns and never wanted them in the house. But I insisted that she come with me to the training so she could be familiar with the best methods of gun safety. Now that she's been properly trained, she is ready to accept having a weapon. As a matter of fact, she's even getting her pistol permit as well. As a follow up to the course, you'll be seeing us both at the "Self Defense and Firearms Law" course as well as the "Mastering the Fundamentals of Shooting" course. We are thrilled with availability of these courses and are excited to learn and prepare ourselves even further. Please pass our gratitude along to John. And thank you for offering so many excellent courses.

Michael S.


I highly recommend the Defensive Pistol 3 (DP3) class. I have taken it twice over the past two years and expect to continue to attend at least annually. The class takes the skills you learned in DP1 and DP2 and tests them in dynamic situations involving stress. Some of the situations included shooting at moving targets, shoot or no-shoot decision making, weapon manipulation while you are moving, shooting after you do push-ups, working around corners, etc.. The instructors I had were John Ritchie for one class and Tom Herlihy (ably assisted by Hector) for the second. Both instructors were great, both had their own areas of emphasis and their own unique drills to keep the class informative and fresh. You'll learn a lot about what your proficiencies and deficiencies are in DP3 and that's the only way to keep improving. Sign me up for the next one!

Tom M.


I just took the Mastering the Fundamental class this past saturday...had a blast and learned quite a bit. I definitely recommend it! Thanks BSR

Anthony C.


I have a few years shooting experience and was looking for some type of new training. I just attended the IPD System class at the the Bridgeport Shooting Range on June 19, 2010. If you are looking for something new and outside the box, this class is for you. This is not a fantasy class. Here you learn realistic training. The class was given by Brnet6 Thompson. Brent was a great instructor who did not leave any question unanswered. He explained the system and why it works so well in a realistic situation. The classroom time gave you a chance to learn about the system and all its techniques. We drilled in all the shooting stances as well as gun retention which is overlooked. All the hows and whys where answered, quite simply this is an excellent system. After the classroom we took what we learned to the range. We ran dill after drill. Every drill had a purpose. If that purpose was to prove the system worked it did it's job. Brent did a great job on the range with us. Every drill he gave us could be applies to any situation any of us could face one day. Reality training like I said. The bottom line is that system works. I'm sold on it. So if your looking to think outside the box or learn new skills this is the class for you. You will not regret it.

Aaron R


I've taken several classes at BSR over the past few months and wanted to offer my thanks and feedback. I'm very happy to have come across BSR and the training programs offered through it by both APC and IPD Systems. The breadth and quality of the training offered to civilians is frankly hard to find anywhere else in our state. "The best $50 you'll ever spend," was the perfect description for Paul Smith's "Self Defense and Firearms Law" class. Anyone who keeps or carries a weapon for self defense must take this class. Informative, entertaining, thought provoking - what you think you know, what is intuitive, is often wrong. Paul covers the theory, the practice, and the realities you must know to keep you out of hot water, or at least minimize its temperature. The Defensive Pistol courses taught by John Ritchie were also terrific. John combines knowledge, experience, and skill with an open approachable manner and brings the best out of his students. Holster draws, shooting and moving, shooting from positions of disadvantage, shooting and malfunction drills with the off-hand, etc., etc. - John teaches you what you need to know and practice for when an unavoidable situation goes from bad to worst. For a truly unique experience, Gary Belanger's IPD Systems class on center axis relock is hard to beat. Both Gary and co-instructor Brent Thompson taught an approach to handgun deployment and use that is revolutionary. Recoil? What recoil? No more double-vision looking at the front sight! Being able to rapidly put rounds on target without muzzle climb. Amazing stuff and I look forward to the advanced class in development for next year. My thanks again to BSR for offering such excellent training programs.

Best regards, Tom M


"We all had a great time this Saturday with John Ritchie doing Defensive Pistol I. John is a great instructor, really knows his stuff, open to questions and viewpoints and has lots of tidbits of info that you just won't find out on your own."

Robert C


Dear Gary,
I wanted to thank you again for your instruction yesterday. The IPD system training and your friendly, insightful and thorough method of teaching was the best I have ever participated in. Thanks to you, I am a believer in the IPD system for my own personal defense and the course helped me significantly improve my trigger speed and control, as well as my confidence to protect myself and my loved ones. I was amazed at how quickly my skill improved through the simple, yet effective drills. Almost intuitively, I followed your guidance and let my body work naturally with my gun and began shooting center mass consistently at speeds I had never achieved before. I also enjoyed the ever changing challenges you placed before us and the team competitions with my classmates. I have already emailed my brother in-law and a few friends encouraging them to take the class. Again, the class and your instruction was top shelf!

Please keep me posted as you develop an advance class or other follow-up courses to the one I participated in.

Respectfully, Jose O


I just wanted to drop you a line about the IPD coarse that I took on Sat. I wanted to personal thank you for hosting the class. It was the most informative class that I have ever attended.The instructor Gary was great. It was wonderful that a range will let you learn in that manner.

Steve P


I recently attended Gary Belanger's IPD Systems course at your range on May 2. I would like to inform you of how much I enjoyed the course. I found it to be very practical and educational. I hope to be able to return and stay current with the skills learned.

I also wanted to thank you for allowing students to use your rage to practice shooting in the style taught to us - not many ranges allow that privilege.

Thank you again, Mitch


Saturday May 2nd The IPD Program was Fenominal. I had a great time with all the other students that attended. The course Instructor Gary Belanger was great. His style of showing his tactics and skill was very helpful and I admired his talent of firearms. As far as the program, it was a new experience in shooting and learning close up and personal. Just wanted to drop a note to say tanks for everything and to your entire staff. I have come a long way because of you and your staff and all the programs you have to offer. Thanks and see you on the range.



Gary, this was an absolutely great learning experience and a blast (no pun intended). You are an excellent teacher. The course is both an education and an extremely enjoyable experience. Both you and Jamie deserve credit for the training opportunity offered. If you decide to offer an extension, or follow on course, please consider signing me up. I know that several of the other guys in this class feel the same way.

Best regards, Jim S

PS: Thanks again for the way you worked with having a revolver guy in the class. Even though the course is designed for semi-auto high speed shooting, I learned a great deal. As you pointed out in the beginning of the class we all came out of the evening as changed shooters.


To the folks at BSR, Mr. Belanger,

Thanks again for a excellent class experience. The May 2nd IPD Class was my third session, and I can confidently state: it doesn't get old. Keep up the great work guys and gals, and best of luck going forward.

Lorenzo Q - Branford, CT


Dear Gary, I just recently attended your course at BSR and was thoroughly impressed. The training was top shelf. The shooting skills became imprinted and second nature due the the repetition. Best class I have ever taken, many thanks. I look forward to an advanced or second class.

Jim M. - DJ & Sons Bail Bonds


I attended a class at your facility this past Saturday as an observer (my son was taking the class). As always I was thoroughly impressed with the Instructor, Gary Belanger. I am a Sergeant and a firearms instructor for my department as well as our Regional Emergency Services Team (where I was a Team Leader for over 10 years).

I applaud the fact that you support the teaching of such a “high speed” course at your facility. Combined with the fact that Gary Belanger and Paul Castle put this course together for civilians, I hope the shooting public recognizes the value of this course.

I am a certified C.A.R. instructor and if it was up to me every police officer would take the 3-day C.A.R. course. Having now seen the civilian version I would just as enthusiastically endorse that course for anyone who carries a firearm or has one at home for personal defense.

Thank you for supporting this type of course. If it was not for people like yourselves a very valuable course could not be provided for the shooting public. Also please extend my thoughts to Gary Belanger for a job well done.


Sergeant Daniel “Zeke” Mathena
Bloomfield Police Department
North Central Emergency Services Team


Just want to drop you a line letting you know how much I enjoyed the IPD class on Saturday Jan 19th. Gary (and BSR) made the teaching atmosphere comfortable and educational. The IPD system was pretty easy to pick up and showed me a totally different way to react to and engage threats up close. I live in Wallingford and several ranges are closer to me, but because of BSR's "openness" to shooting up close, shooting rapidly, and shooting rifles BSR has become my range of choice to shoot at. I look forward to taking more classes at BSR. I hope Gary holds an advanced IPD class at BSR in the near future.

Thanks again for hosting the class Jamie, - Jeff M

Gary, (12/16/07)

I want to offer my kudos for an excellent IPD System training session. Your presentation was intelligent and informative. As an NRA instructor, I feel certain that as I progress in the IPD System, it will improve my own classes and allow me to offer a better level of service to my students. Having completed your session, and witnessed first hand how anyone can be as accurate as I was using it, I can confidently say I will recommend your course as a must do for those students seeking further tactical training.

Thank You Again, Lorenzo Q


Just wanted to let you know, thanks to all the training and support from all of you guys and gals up there. I wanted to once again thank you, Paul and the rest of the staff for all of the excellent knowledge and professional training I receive by taking the BEA course. Thanks again, hopefully I can get up there soon to take part in yet another well taught well informed training program - You guys are the greatest!!

D Caruso


Just wanted to say thanks for an outstanding experience yesterday at your facility. The depth and pace of the class was excellent for someone like myself with limited shooting experience. I had way too much fun during the live fire exercises and am well on my way to becoming fully addicted.

Thanks again. F. Powell


Thank you again for a wonderful class last Saturday. I was so happy to be in a friendly environment where I was not intimidated. So often I find people putting up barriers in front of things I want to do. I am uncertain as to the reason whether it be my age or that I am female, but treated everyone equally. And you made it fun and easily understood. Great job!

Look forward to seeing you at the range,


I wanted to once again tell you what an excellent class you taught last Saturday. Aside from the basic NRA curriculum, I was very impressed with the accuracy of your presentation and the clear manner in which you delivered it. You're a natural trainer!

Brian B


I just wanted to send you a follow-up email and thank you for an extraordinary job in teaching the Pistol Permit class this past week. I will be contacting you for my Blue Card certification class very soon.

Regards - C. Rodriguez, Security Supervisor


I want to thank you for the expert instruction that I recently received during the NRA pistol and revolver safety training course given at the Bridgeport Shooting Range. You were superb in the class room as you covered a wide range of topics that ranged in difficulty from the novice to the expert. You allowed everyone to participate during question and answer periods and every question was taken in a serious manner no matter how simple the answer might be. Your emphasis on all aspects of the safe handling of firearms was thorough and exemplary. You are a wonderful teacher!

Sam B

Dave, (10/19/05)

I just wanted to take a minute to thank you for providing the Westport Tiffany and Company store. You did an excellent job making sure that everyone understood the information and you tried to make sure that it was interesting by providing examples. If you even need a reference for your course or any other assistance I will be more then happy to help you. Thank you again.

J. S. Dias - Security Supervisor, Tiffany & Co.


I just wanted to let you know how much the guys from the Emergency Response Teams enjoyed the BEAMHIT training that they did on the 13th. There wasn't one bad thing said or criticism. If anything, it was a real eye-opener for most of them in the realities involved in shoot/no-shoot scenario. Many, many thanks to Jen also for her patience and expertise. I am definitely looking forward to doing more training with this system in the future.

Sgt. Milton Harrigan, Head of Training and Security - Sikorsky Aircraft

Dear Paul, (9/10/05)

I would like to advise you that I found David Salthouse to be an excellent instructor with a great deal of knowledge and very professional. It was a pleasure for my employees and me to be in his class. As a result I have decided to use your company for our future training and development needs.

Sincerely, Mark Costello - Mark A. Costello Security Services, LLC

Hi Paul,

Thank you so much for a terrific class the other night at the range.  You did an excellent job, kept it informative with a great humorous style! I will follow up with you soon on some other possible opportunities.

Take care and thanks again, - Gregg B. Communico Ltd.

Hi Paul,

I have gone to a bunch of handgun safety courses and occupational classes and your approach to teaching is A+. You hold interest and all the extra's you gave us today was fantastic.

Phil and myself are going to attend a few more of your classes. You have a great approach of getting the point across.

Sincerely, Lou Q. - Cos Cob Archers

Hi Paul,

Just wanted to personally thank you for your giving the NRA Range S.O. Course. Spoke with several of the attendees and you got RAVE REVIEWS. Everyone got something from the training.

Bill Hatch mentioned the possibility of another training session for those of us that carry concealed. Once we get a feel for the level of interest, we will certainly be back to you .

Thanks & Regards, Larry S. - Cos Cob Archers

Hi Paul,

I just completed the second day training for the Bail Enforcement Agent Certification and I am enjoying it immensely!

Shane G.


Hi Paul,

I am one of the Security Officers at Sikorsky that took your Security Officers Training class. I found the class very informative and a very interesting class. I learned a lot about being a security officer. I am very interested in taking more of your security/ firearm related classes on my own time.

J Gregory S. - Sikorsky

Hi Paul,

Excellent course Saturday. A lot of food for thought!! Thanks again and I will highly recommend you to anyone requiring what you have to offer.

Regards - Fred


Thanks again for the great course today.


Hi Paul

I understand from Rich in our CT office the training was great and informative. We appreciated the time effort you provided to us. We will be calling you for your services again.

Mark A. - Spartan Security Service


All Rights Reserved - Bridgeport Shooting Range, LLC - 1918 Stratford Ave - Bridgeport, CT - 203-330-9772