Made in Tarrant: President of local shooting range revels in business’s success

Editor’s note: Made in Tarrant is an occasional Q&A series on small businesses started in Tarrant County. Submit your business here. 

Will James is the president of Defender Outdoors, a shooting destination business with both an indoor center at 2900 Shotts St., Fort Worth and an outdoor shooting range at 8270 Aledo Road, Fort Worth. The company opened its first location in February 2016 and currently offers services such as training, private events and rentals, gunsmithing and memberships.

Contact information:

Email: [email protected]

Phone: 817-935-8377

Facebook: DefenderOutdoors

The Fort Worth Report spoke with James about the business’s history and current trajectory. 

Ismael M. Belkoura: How did you start Defender Outdoors, and how has it grown in the last couple of years?

Will James: We saw a need for a “high-end” firearm store in Fort Worth. Too many of our friends were driving to Dallas to buy all this stuff. Why not here in The Fort? We were not originally going to build a range, but the building was perfectly suited for it. We toured around the country and looked at many other ranges and set out to build our own. The last several years, we have seen tremendous growth in thermal optic and suppressor sales. 

Belkoura: Why did you start the company, and what brings you joy from running it?

James: We love Fort Worth, and this was one thing that was missing. Too many folks here love to hunt, shoot and compete. Fort Worth needed a state-of-the-art indoor range and retail store.  This is what I have always loved to do. This job allows me to make people happy in an industry that I love.

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Made in Tarrant: President of local shooting range revels in business’s success

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