Firearm Training Trip: Constellis Academi- Moyock, NC

“No pressure.. just everyone is watching.” Ric Sutton remarks with a half smirk to you through his tinted sunglasses as you make your way to the front of the class to stand beside him to perform the next training shooting exercise. The words.. “Make ready.. Stand by.. THREAT!” is bellowed out on Range 6 from the familiar voice of one of the legends at this secluded training facility. The same legendary voice that can make a highly trained 4 year Navy Seal feel like he was back at training day in High School JROTC. No matter what “Student of the Gun” level you may be, rest assured, you will fall under the way of Ric Sutton’s cardinal laws of either or all of (usually the latter): 1. Have fun, 2. Learn something new, 3. Something reinforced, or 4. Get out of your comfort zone.

Let me go ahead and encourage you, reader, to stop reading this blog now, pull up your calendar and pencil in some dates to travel over to a little town called Moyock in North Carolina (well really right at the eastern boarder of NC and VA). And to further sweeten the temptation, not only would you be penciling some time in with an instructor like no other, but also at one of the most unique facilities in the United States. Being one of the original trainers at Blackwater Training Facility, now called Constellis Academi, Ric Sutton brings over 40 years of training for all shooter levels and from a competitive shooter, military experience and police officer background. I have had the pleasure to take 4 of Ric’s classes including Moving and Adverse Angle Shooting, Positional Shooting and Barricades, Pistol Dynamics, and a Carbine Course. All of these that I have taken thus far have been some of the best training I have ever experienced. Ric has a finesse of taking even those most “green” shooter and have them at an intermediate level within one class.

Y’all this is why I started this blog.. to give like-minded, avid, traveling shooters, like yourself information on incredible places to travel, train/shoot at, and encounter new experiences. So how do you plan a trip to little ole Moyock? Simple! Just hop on over to Ric’s company: Aggressive Defensive Solutions’ Facebook or Website to sign up for one of their courses, or if you are familiar and registered under Practiscore, they also list their training events there. Once you schedule a class, go ahead and book your room at Constellis at the Black Bear Inn. Note: you must register for a class in order to be able to stay at the Constellis facility/premises. Now, to my lady shooters and readers regarding the Black Bear Inn, just note, the Inn is certainly not anywhere like a Hilton. There is no “frilly” fake plants, no 1,000 thread counted sheets, nor triangle folded toilet paper, but the facility is very clean, the staff is very friendly, and there is a common area with a shared fridge, microwave, fresh made coffee, pool table, and the best part is you get to the opportunity to stay at one of the world class facilities that has trained countless individuals such as Army Special Forces, US Navy Seals, US Army Rangers, US Marines, US Coast Guard, SWAT Teams, and more, with no need to travel too far to attend your training class at the facility.

Couple of things to note regarding the facility.. There is tight security at the entrance to Constellis. If you are not registered for a course, nor an authorized guest, nor staying at the Inn, you will not be permitted to enter the facility. Once you have the vehicle access pass, you may leave the facility and come back at any time during your permitted stay though. There are 54 tactical ranges, 5 ballistic houses, explosive ranges and so much more.

Pictures allowed are limited; this picture is From Constellis’ website of the pro-shop

For the Operative Shooter:

  • One entrance/exit to the highly secure Constellis facility with highly trained security
  • Hospital: if an emergency occurs there are first aid kits on the ranges and basically every person you see will more then likely have a tourniquet, and for more severe cases, there is a helicopter medieval available and can transport someone in around 9-10 minutes to the Norfolk VA hospital.
  • There are gas stations and banks about 5 minutes from the facility. There is no ATM on the facility grounds.

Okay my fellow foodies.. I know you have been skimming this post trying to find the information on the food situation at Moyock and during your training. Don’t worry, your time has come, so here you go.. Yes there is a cafeteria literally on the Constellis facility and in walking distance to the Inn. Breakfast, lunch and dinner is served there during specified hours. The satisfactory factor you ask? I’d rate it relatively high in my opinion, especially for the low cost factor of around $7 for pretty much all you can eat, decent variety of options, and pretty good taste factor! If you have more of an interest in maybe a local spot or food outside of the facility, there are some limited options, but options no doubt! The travel distance to other food sources is about 5 minutes once you exit the facility. After you head out through the neighborhood concealing the 3,600 acre secluded facility, head to the traffic light, turn right and a few blocks down is a hot spot for the locals, the ye olde Food Lion. In this area I would recommend two local restaurants to try. Firstly, a yummy hibachi and sushi restaurant called Sakura. Coming from some who’s college job was working at a hibachi restaurant, the food here was great and highly recommended! If you are in the mood for something with more of an American food taste, there is a fantastic pizza place also in that area called Moyock Pizza Kitchen. Here you can eat-in or take-out. I DEFINITELY recommend trying the pepperoni pinwheels. They are massive in size and look like a nice juicy pepperoni and cheese rosette. Try them. You will thank me later!

Picture from Moyock Pizza Kitchen Website of the Pepperoni Pinwheels

Just past the Food Lion area, about 10 minutes drive, there is a small gun shop called Gale Force Guns you can visit, for those of you gun nerds that like to find the small local gun shops. And really there is not too much else to get into there in the quiet, peaceful town. But if you are like me, most of your time would want to be spent as a sponge slowly soaking in every word leaking from the lips of the legendary Ric Sutton.

Moyock is one of those hidden gems for the avid shooter. It’s an opportunity to experience new training and a new elite shooting environment you may not have experienced before. If you have the opportunity to train on the East Coast, give this place a try! Aggressive Defensive Solutions also offer handgun and two gun matches, so if you are into competing also, check these folks out and sign-up for one! They are a blast with some great folks!

After reading this post, I am sure you may have a question or two, please don’t hesitate to contact me, I am happy to help! For now.. thanks for reading, clean your guns, pack your bags, “make ready”, and unlock your compass!

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