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Moving to Chattanooga

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I haven't paid any attention to the Clubs feature of TGO until now.  Now my wife and I are preparing to move from Nashville to Chattanooga (we bought a house there and are closing in December).  Neither one of us knows a single person in Chattanooga; we chose it purely on the basis of the proximity of the river and mountains and because the city had a nice feel whenever we've visited.

So, anyone want to give me the lowdown there?  What are the best gun stores?  Places to shoot?  Any good gun shows in the area?  I've met some fine TGO folks in the Nashville area over the years and hope to make some connections with good people in our new hometown.



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  • 1 month later...

Hey Whisper,

I just joined the forum, but I live in Chattanooga. Moved here about 7 years ago from Middle TN. To answer your specific questions:

Chattanooga Gun Stores in my opinion are ok, but no great ones. I thought the stores in Mid TN were a lot better. There are several to choose from, but in my experience if you want something specific at prices that won't destroy your wallet, you gotta go box store or online. I've got a guy super close to me that does transfers pretty cheap, so a lot of times I go online.

Actual stores:

Carter Shooting Supplies in Harrison

Shooter's Supply in Hixson (FYI, one of their affiliated trainers spoke to local media against Constitutional Carry)

Southland Shooter's Supply in East Ridge

Shooter's Depot in Ringgold, GA (They had a TN store, but unfortunately it burned)

Cleveland Shooting Sports

Box stores: Bass Pro Shops in East Ridge, Sportsman's Warehouse (my personal favorite), and a couple of Academy's.


There are several places to shoot, but many of the best ones are about an hour or so from downtown. 

Shooter's Supply gun store (25 yard indoor range, must shoot there ammo) Rifle and Pistol ok

Carter Shooting Supplies (25 yard indoor range, must shoot their targets) Rifle and Pistol ok

Shooter's Depot in Ringgold (don't know much about this one, I've never shot there)

Cleveland Shooting Sports (25 yard indoor range haven't shot here either, but a friend said it was a good range) Pistol only

TWRA Range in Prentice Cooper

Chattanooga Rifle Club (membership only, I've heard there is a waiting list, but I personally haven't check them out)

Montlake Sportsmen's Club Soddy Daisy (almost joined, looks like a well run club)

Dead Zero Shooting Park Spencer, TN (Hour fifteen from downtown, very nice ranges, out to 1k yards with electronic targets)

Mountain Top Gun and Archery, McMinville, TN (Hour fifteen from downtown). This is where I shoot. $10 day, no memberships. Pistol range and covered rifle range out to 500 yards. Most of their business if from hosting local trainers, so check their FB page to make sure the range isn't booked. When it is, you generally have it to yourself and you can get out on their rifle range and do some shooting and moving. 


Gun Shows - very mediocre compared to what I've been to before

The Shriners host a gun show several times per year

Camp Jordan in East Ridge shows are probably once a quarter. I think they are RK affiliated.

Ft. Oglethorpe gun show (to be fair, I've never been to this one)


Welcome to the Scenic City! I'm always looking to meet up with fellow people of the gun, so if you have any other questions about the area, or want to grab a bite to eat some time, let me know.





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  • 3 weeks later...

This is a lot of helpful info.  Thanks much.  Any comments on gunsmiths?  I have a couple of gun projects in the works and would love to have a recommendation.  I called the Shooters Depot to ask about getting a gun milled for a red dot sight and they told me it wasn't worth the expense because it would cost as much as buying a new gun.  🤨

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As Sempratus mentioned, the better shops & shows are in Middle TN. Any one of close to a dozen shops in the Nashville area is better than what our best one is here, IMO. Ah, well. It is what it is.

Camp Jordan shows used to be better, pre-covid. Hopefully that will pick up before too long? Right now it's worth the 2hr drive to the Knoxville Expo show, IMO. 

One range not mentioned is the one off of Hwy 411, in Polk Co. It's on National Forrest property but it's unmanned. Has a nice shed, benches & so forth. There may or may not be any target holders so it's better to bring a big cardboard box of something to use. Some folks use some PVC pipe to assemble a target holder for example. Public range, fee is something like $6 per car load but I could be wrong on that price. It's been a while since I've used it. 

Oak Ridge, TN has a pretty nice range. Goes out to either 800 or 1000 yards, I don't recall which. Open to the public. Google them up to get a more accurate poop than what I know. I've never used it. so I can't say too much about them. 

If you haven't already, please look into joining the TN Firearms Association. They're our local NRA except they're actually influential. They're the reason TN has better gun laws than 90% of the rest of the US. I've been a member for close to 12-15 years now. TFA web site.

The SE TN corner is blessed with all sorts of terrain for outdoorsmen. Hiking, hang gliding, fly fishing, hunting, rafting, kayaking, motorcycling, photography, etc are all done here at all compass points. You won't have to keep going to the same place over & over, there's multiple options. It's the Smokies without the crowds or traffic, in short. If you get the occasional Big City itch, Atlanta is only an hour or so down I-75. Buckhead Mall is a fav of the ladies.

There are multiple Civil War sites if you're interested in history. Lots of Indian history as well. Just a cool section of the country that offers things not many other places can, if any. 

My .o2

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  • 9 months later...

Hi Whisper,

I'm a new transplant from Southern California - our family of five came to Chattanooga without knowing a soul here. I fought the good fight on the Left Coast, served in elected office as the President of a local Board of Education, own and operate a successful but heavily oppressed gun shop, and was a guest speaker in local churches. Once we realized our home state was truly unsalvageable, I began a nationwide search for the ideal place to settle for my future generations, with an eye towards a 3-5 year plan.

That 3 year plan became a 3 month plan, as our home value skyrocketed and I realized that *now* was the time, as my three kids are all still at home with us, but in 3-5 years we might have one married or otherwise tied to the area. Having the whole family mobile at a time when our home had gained $1M in equity was the right timing, as uncomfortable as it was to move on short notice.

I'm a very studious person - I love detailed research and data-driven decisions backing up prayerful consideration. In looking at the whole of the nation - every state, every region - Chattanooga rose to the undisputed top of the list. Tennessee for obvious reasons, but Chattanooga offers the very best of the Volunteer State's advantages, for our tastes and desires, with any drawbacks minimized.

I founded my firearms business in CA 8 years ago. After a layoff from the building materials industry when things slowed in 2012, I returned to my military roots and began gunsmithing (I got my GS Cert at SDI after I left the service) out of my home. What was intended to be a side job while I found my next career ended up being so successful, I *had* to open a brick and mortar. It has been a wonderful ride.

My shop remains open in CA, but I am removed from daily operations. My staff handles everything including the local gunsmithing operations under the man who apprenticed under me. I am here now in Harrison Bay and I'd be happy to take a look at anything you need done. I don't have a lathe here like at the shop, so my barrel and round rod machine work is limited, but I have all my skill and a second set of most of my specialty tools. In any case, gunsmithing or not, I sure would like to meet like-minded people who are also looking for a new network of local friends.

- David

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  • 1 month later...
On 11/17/2022 at 9:12 AM, DocHawk said:

That 3 year plan became a 3 month plan

I know that feeling.

Our 5 year plan turned into a 3 year plan turned into a "Well, time to hit the road" plan.

Bought property on the hill around 2018. Wanted to get 25 years into the pension before we left. Covid hit. My department shutdown. Wife was able to work remote. Property taxes were going up. Bought back some .mil time and got 20 yrs in the pension.

Sold the house Mass and started building down here. Added an in-law to the build and my mother moved with us. Went from turning wrenches to building service trucks.

Best decision ever.

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