Shady Oaks Gun Range Firearms Instructor – Victoria Kogan

  • NRA Certified Instructor for Basic Pistol (since 2017)
  • Texas License to Carry (LTC) Instructor (since 2018)
  • NRA Refuse to be a Victim Instructor
  • Member of A Girl & A Gun Women’s Shooting League
  • Member of CAPS Shooting Club

Message from Victoria:

The first time I was handed a pistol, I had absolutely no experience with firearms. With no warning, no instruction, and no ear & eye protection, I was given a handgun and challenged to take a shot. I aimed at the target, pulled the trigger, and simultaneously let out a startled scream as I was shocked by the sound and recoil. Others had a good laugh at my expense, but I will never forget the humiliation felt in that moment.

Twenty years passed before I was interested in firearms and finally purchased a handgun in 2012. When I became a gun owner, I didn’t realize it would start a journey that would add so much empowerment and joy to my life.  That path progressed into competition shooting where I found a warm and welcoming family, and I have been blessed with many friendships along the way!

In 2014, I began working at Shady Oaks Gun Range when they opened the doors on Day One.  I had the wonderful opportunity to watch it grow and expand in 2017. Although my professional background was mainly in accounting and office management, I soaked up a wealth of practical firearms knowledge at Shady Oaks Gun Range. This also put me on the path of becoming an instructor as I often found myself coaching folks from things I was learning. It brings me joy to help others become competent and confident with a firearm as I learn and develop as a competitive shooter.

As a woman who became interested in firearms “later in life,” I’m not your typical “Tactical Tammy” firearms instructor with a militant style or lifetime of gun experience. However, because I came into firearms “later in life,” I am acutely familiar with a lot of misinformation given to new firearm owners and to women particularly.

I love working with beginners and with people who may be intimidated by firearms. These are probably my favorite students. I am passionate about teaching others to be confident and competent at their own pace.  My goal is to equip students with a safety-first mindset while also developing confidence to the point where they are comfortable using the range on their own.  I also like to work with folks interested in getting started with pistol shooting sports and who wish to further develop their firearms proficiency. 

Victoria’s advice for beginners:

Understand and follow the four gun safety rules. It’s best to learn the basics of how to shoot before purchasing a firearm. (Would you buy a car before learning how to drive???)

My most successful beginner students follow this progression:

  • Small Caliber – It’s generally easier to start with .22LR and mastering that before moving on to a higher caliber.  While this isn’t the best choice for self-defense, it will establish good fundamental habits, develop confidence/competence, and is more affordable.
  • Full-Size Gun –  The next step would be to practice with a full-size gun.  When you have an explosion going off in your handgun, weight and size are your FRIEND when learning how to manage recoil.
  • Compact Gun – Those cute little pocket pistols are designed to save your life and be easy to carry/conceal.  The trade-off is that they are difficult to learn the basics.  The “snappy” recoil can be a challenge, and it’s also difficult to be accurate because the shorter barrel amplifies shooting errors. Master a full-size gun before advancing to a compact gun.
  • Revolvers are awesome and fun to shoot. If you want to learn a wheel gun, start with a full-size as explained above. Those little snubby revolvers can be a beast for a novice, especially if you’re trying to shoot the 50-round LTC Qualification.

If License to Carry is your goal, please note it’s not necessary to qualify with the gun you intend to carry. You can shoot the LTC qualification with .22LR!!!

Read my blog post Benefits of Having a License to Carry (LTC).

Book a Private Lesson

Victoria is available by appointment only for one-on-one private lessons for PISTOL and for LTC-License to Carry. Lessons are taught in 1-hour blocks, in a one-on-one format, covering the goals of your choice.

Private Lessons are conducted with one person at a time. If two people want to sign up for a lesson together, you should book TWO lessons, back to back, with the same instructor. While any classroom instruction can be taught together, when it’s time to transition to the range, Shady Oaks Gun Range only allows for ONE PERSON to be on the range with an instructor at a time, meaning the 2nd person will have to wait in the classroom or pro shop for a time and then swap out on the range for their turn.


  • Private Lesson – One person, book one hour = $60 (+tax)
  • Private Lesson – Two people, book two hours = $120 (+tax)

Availability is highlighted on the calendar below. Book your appointment today!

If you can’t find availability with Victoria, our other staff instructors post their availability here.