Tucked away in the corner of your average strip mall is a place called Top Dog. At first glance I thought it was some kind of doggie day care facility. Upon further inspection, and just flat-out being nosey, I realized it wasn’t anything remotely related to dog boarding.
In fact as I got closer to the building I could see just underneath the big red letters, Top Dog, that the place was actually a virtual gun range and Retail Center.
I got excited and instantly knew I had to check this place out.
As I was about to swing open the main door, an image came to my wandering mind. Not knowing what I was about to get myself into I started thinking (like my mother), this place could be some kind of redneck, good ol’ boys, members-only type of clubhouse.
However when I walked in I was greeted by a really friendly yellow Labrador and a petite, dark haired woman standing behind a retail counter. The woman welcomed me and introduced herself as Sandra, the manager of the place.
I’m sure she was thinking from the bewildered look on my face that I was either an out-of-towner lost and looking for the Antique Mall which was next door or that maybe I was there for one of their license to carry handgun classes. Either way, Sandra was quick to offer me a cliffnotes rendition of what Top Dog Virtual Gun Range was all about.
Then I was kindly introduced to the man of the hour, Jerry Holt. Mr. Holt, who insisted I call him Jerry, identified himself as a retired member of law enforcement and Top Dog’s nra-certified handgun instructor. He gave me a personal tour of the retail area which offers a vast assortment of firearms, ammunition, holster hidden accessories and various stuff to spend your hard-earned money on to prove that you were there.
Then I was given a chance to experience the coveted virtual gun range. Again I’m thinking I’m going to be lead into a secret chamber, possibly hidden behind a thick red velvet curtain.
Much to my surprise I was simply lead towards one of their three rooms, equipped with a large projection screen mounted dead center against one of the rooms wall.
In this shadowy room was a fold-up table set up about 12-15 feet from the screen. A tablecloth adorned the 4×6 table as if a magician were about to use it to perform a rabbit out of the hat trick. On this table were 4 strategically aligned handguns.
This is where Jerry explained to me that since I was completely new to this I should start off with handling any one of their sirt laser pistols that was on the table.
When he said Sirt I was thinking of C. E. R. T but was way off on that thought.
Those pistols were one of many types available to try out and worked perfect for me.
The SIRT I used was equipped with a laser to show me where I was aiming.
Then Jerry went over all the different menu options which ranged from virtual paper targets to simulated real-life scenarios.
This is where the real fun started. I was able to practice my aim and proficiency while shooting at home burglars, carjackers and even wedding crashing zombies. I had so much fun trying to anticipate when to shoot but only after I shot my simulated boyfriend during one of the home robbery scenes. Oops
Guess that’s why one of the bulleted points of top dogs brochure, under the section “practice makes perfect”, states simulators to train everyone with shoot/don’t shoot scenarios.
Once Jerry demonstrated how to hold and use the weapon he made sure I knew how to maneuver through the point and shoot screen menu options. I was left on my own to venture through the world of being a virtual badass with a big gun. Bring on the zombies I said!
10 minutes later, I completed my “beginners” session only to be left with that sense of I need to kill more zombies.
With 10, 30 and 60-minute session times available to purchase I could have easily stayed there an hour and still have only completed 40 of their 450 different simulations. With themes like Zombie Exterminator, Futuristic Games and Wild West Shootout I was ready for more.
In all I had a really fun time and realized that I needed to add Top Dog Virtual Gun Range to my Top 10 indoor things to do in North Texas. Whether you’re a zombie hunter, virtual reality geek, self defense expert, pistol-packin cowboy or an everyday soccer mom this place is sure to entertain your mind.
Top dog is located at 1165 South Stemmons Freeway Suite 152 Lewisville TX 75067 (Link to Google maps)
Be sure to tell them that Sioux-Z, the Trippin’ Texas Gal and creator of TrippinOverTexas.com sent you.