LETC 2017 Registration is OPEN!

Law Enforcement Training Camp 2017 Dates Announced! 

LETC 2017 DATES: SEPTEMBER 11 – 15, 2017

CLICK HERE to register.

letc-2016-052

 

PROVO, Utah – December 12, 2016 – Action Target Inc., the leading manufacturer of modern shooting ranges, announced the dates for the 2017 Law Enforcement Training Camp. The training will take place September 11-15, 2017 in Thistle, Utah. To register click here.

Action Target provides world-class instructors and schedules the week with elite courses that are filled with high volume shooting. LETC is designed to aid firearms instructors from across the country in their training effectiveness, allowing them to pass those skills along to officers in their respective agencies.

“We’re proud of the success of our LETC program. It’s a unique opportunity for ATI to show its ongoing support for our law enforcement by providing this elite training program. Members of Law Enforcement everywhere are the reason why we do what we do. This year we have received the highest accolades from LETC attendees and we are very excited to expand the program for next year!” -Kevin Tomaszewski, VP of Marketing and Engineering at Action Target.

LETC 2016 Highlights

 

For more information or to register, CLICK HERE.

About Action Target

Target Inc. Action Target Inc. is a privately owned business headquartered in Provo, Utah. As a world leader in shooting range technology with more than 4,000 products and 40 patents for the systems it designs and manufactures, Action Target has installed thousands of shooting ranges across the United States and in 40 other countries around the world. Action Target also designs systems and conducts firearms training for law enforcement and various military divisions. For more information on Action Target, visit www.ActionTarget.com. To learn more about Action Target products or to purchase items online, visit www.LETargets.com.

A Veteran’s Perspective

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Veteran’s Day is a time for Americans to remember and honor those that have fought as well as thank those that currently fight for our freedom. Undoubtedly Veterans Day is a different experience if you are a Veteran. We decided to ask Steve Owens here at Action Target what Veterans Day means to him.

Steve Owens, United States Air Force (28 years)

“To be perfectly honest, for me Veterans Day has mostly been just another day. I usually try to get through it unnoticed. I still become uncomfortable when someone thanks me for my service after noticing my retired ID card. It is not that I am not proud that I served, I guess I just remember too well the Vietnam days and how badly Vets were treated at that time. Despite having served in the Air Force for 28 years myself, when I think of “Veterans” I still picture people like my Father, Grandfather and a handful of uncles that served during WWII and a great uncle that survived the trench warfare in Europe while serving during WWI. Time and opinion being what they are, wars and warriors go in and out of fashion driven by the prevailing views of society at that moment. These opinions are but fashions, rolling as waves upon the seas forged by the tidal forces of public opinion. Sometimes we surf upon the crests, other times we drown in the depths of their troughs. At times the hero, other times the goat. That is often the lot of the veteran and so often one never knows which appellation to expect… except perhaps on November 11th.”

Join us in saying thank you to all of the men and women who fight to protect our freedoms! 

 

Action Target Announces Dates for 2016 Law Enforcement Training Camp (LETC)

LETC 2016

PROVO, Utah – Action Target today announced official dates for the 2016 Law Enforcement Training Camp (LETC), an annual event featuring advanced firearms training presented by many of the best instructors in the industry.

LETC 2016 DATES: SEPTEMBER 12 – 16, 2016

Now in its 24th year, LETC brings together over 140 of the very best firearms and tactics instructors from around the world for five-days of intensive firearms training on Action Target’s state-of-the-art shooting ranges.

"We’re very proud of the LETC program and the opportunity it provides for Action Target to give back to the community. Each year we receive the highest accolades from attendees and supporters. LETC 2016 will bring new courses, better ammo purchasing and shipping opportunities, more vendors, and much more," said Seth Ercanbrack, Marketing Communications Manager at Action Target.

Agencies and trainers interested in attending LETC 2016 are encouraged to subscribe to the Action Target email communications list. Learn more about Action Target’s Law Enforcement Training Camp at http://www.actiontarget.com/LETC.

LETC 2015 Video Highlights

About Action Target

Target Inc. Action Target Inc. is a privately owned business headquartered in Provo, Utah. As a world leader in shooting range technology with more than 4,000 products and 40 patents for the systems it designs and manufactures, Action Target has installed thousands of shooting ranges across the United States and in 40 other countries around the world. Action Target also designs systems and conducts firearms training for law enforcement and various military divisions. For more information on Action Target, visit www.ActionTarget.com. To learn more about Action Target products or to purchase items online, visit www.LETargets.com.

IDPA teams with Action Target to create official steel practice target

PT IDPA Practice Torso [square]Action Target announced today that it has partnered up with the International Defensive Pistol Association (IDPA) to create the organization’s official steel practice target named the PT IDPA Practice Torso.

The new target, which is available for sale on Action Target’s online store (www.letargets.com), features a regulation torso shape including scoring zones with reactive swinging plates to provide instant visual and audible feedback for accurate shots.

“We were really excited to work with Action Target on this project because of their ability to take our requirements and come up with an innovative solution,” IDPA Executive Director Joyce Wilson said. “Specifically, we wanted a steel target that encourages shooters to focus on accuracy. To do this, we diminished the sizes of the down zero zones by two inches to encourage tighter groupings in training which can lead to better scores in competition.”

While the PT IDPA Practice Torso is designed specifically for competitive handgun training, it is built with 3/8-inch AR550 armor steel which can withstand any standard handgun round and is also rated for rifle use at 100 yards. It is also designed with the safety of the shooter in mind with no exposed bolts, clamps or brackets for a completely flat shooting surface that produces predictable splatter patterns and reduces the risk of ricochet coming back at the shooter.

The patent pending target hinge design of the PT IDPA Practice Torso.
The patent pending hinge design of the PT IDPA Practice Torso.

“A lot of work went into the design of this target,” Chris Hess, Action Target’s product marketing manager over steel targets, said. “Not only did we ensure that the torso dimensions of the target perfectly match IDPA regulation, we also created a new patent pending hinge design for the reactive plates that minimizes the number of parts needed and provides consistent reaction on every shot. This new design will soon be used on all of our reactive steel targets.”

The PT IDPA Practice Torso made its first debut at the 2014 IDPA National Championship held in Tulsa, Okla., where the prototypes were tested by competitors and IDPA executives. Two-time national IDPA champion and member of the Smith & Wesson shooting team Tom Yost was especially influential in the creation of the target and suggested improvements that led to the final patent pending design.

“As a competitive shooter, this is exactly the kind of target I want to train with,” Yost said. “Practicing on steel helps build muscle memory for accurate shots better than anything else because it provides instant feedback that you can hear and see. Those habits built shooting on steel transfer perfectly to the official cardboard target.”

The PT IDPA Practice Torso comes with the buyer’s choice of a 1-foot, 2-foot, 3-foot or 4-foot stand and will begin shipping March 13.

Product Specifications:
–          As Low As: $339
–          Height: 5’ (with recommended 3’ stand)
–          Weight: 59 lbs.
–          Torso Dimensions: 12” x 25.75” (adjusted for target angle)
–          Reactive -0 Square Dimensions: 3” x 3”
–          Reactive -0 Circle Dimensions: 6”
–          Steel Grade: 3/8” AR550
–          Handgun Shooting Distance: 10 yards+
–          Rifle Shooting Distance: 100 yards+ using ammunition below 3,000 fps

 

About Action Target Inc.

Action Target Inc. is a privately owned business headquartered in Provo, Utah. As a world leader in shooting range technology with more than 4,000 products and 40 patents for the systems it designs and manufactures, Action Target has installed thousands of shooting ranges across the United States and in 40 other countries around the world. Action Target also designs systems and conducts firearms training for law enforcement and various military divisions. For more information on Action Target, visit www.ActionTarget.com. To learn more about Action Target products or to purchase items online, visit www.LETargets.com.

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Action Target Inc., 3411 S. Mountain Vista Pkwy, Provo, Utah 84606 USA
Contact: Laren Helms (801) 396-1212 Office / lhelms@actiontarget.com

Emergency Medical Action Plans for Live-fire Range Operations

By – John Krupa III

How many times have you been at the range and thought “What do we do if someone gets shot or injured during training?” You’d be surprised to learn that there are a lot of range facilities that do not have a posted Emergency Medical Action Plan (EMAP) in place to deal with serious on-site injuries! Sure, they may have a policy protocol established in their range operations manual, but who is responsible for executing it? Have they been trained appropriately on how to respond to medical emergencies and what resources are available on site to actually deal with serious injuries?

LETC [2014] 114

If you do ask that question at the range, most of the time the response will be to use the first-aid kit that is available on site and to call 911 for serious injuries. It’s obvious that there needs to be a much more detailed plan other than just slapping a band-aid on a wound and waiting for EMS to arrive.

It has been my experience when inquiring about EMAPs at range facilities that they are not all prepared to deal with serious medical emergencies and lack proper equipment and training to deal with trauma injuries.

So let’s explore some steps on how to establish a reliable EMAP and how it can be implemented so students, instructors and range staff alike will know these procedures and what actions to take at the onset of each training evolution.

Start out by acquiring medical supplies and build medical kits that can be easily identified and accessible on the range. I recommend building a First-Aid Kit, a Trauma Injury Kit and AED Kit.

The First-Aid Kit is typically built using a heavy duty plastic tool box or tackle box that is orange or yellow in color. Use an indelible black marker to write FIRST AID KIT on the front, back and sides of the box in large letters so it can be easily identified.

The First-Aid Kit will include all of the essential medical supplies that will be used for non-serious injuries and will be accessed regularly to treat small scrapes, cuts and other minor injuries. This kit should be monitored on a regular basis to ensure that used items are replenished.

TMS-R-AID

The Trauma Injury Kit is typically built using a heavy duty plastic tool box, tackle box or soft canvas bag that is RED in color. Use an indelible black marker to write TRAUMA KIT on the front, back and sides of the box or bag so it can be easily identified.

While this kit will rarely, if ever, be accessed (hopefully you won’t need to use this kit!) it should also be monitored regularly so items with expiration dates can be rotated out and replaced with fresh supplies.The Trauma Injury Kit will include all of the essential medical supplies that are needed to treat serious trauma injuries such as; hemorrhage control, deep lacerations, penetrating puncture wounds, gunshot wounds, sucking chest wounds and tension pneumothorax.

The Trauma Injury Kit should ONLY be accessed for serious injuries and by personnel that have been properly trained in TCCC (Tactical Combat Casualty Care) or training of equivalent level.

The AED Kit (Automated External Defibrillator) is something that every range facility needs to acquire and have available at all times. While AED units can be purchased new, with a little work searching on the Internet, you should be able to find a source that will donate a decommissioned unit for your facility.

The First-Aid Kit, Trauma Injury Kit and AED Kit should be kept on-site where the training is actually taking place and immediately accessible. These kits will be useless if they are kept in a range building down the road or in a vehicle parked 100 yards away!

The next step is to establish a communication protocol to contact 911 for EMS response. While hard line phones may be on-site, they might not be immediately accessible on the range. I recommend assigning at least (2) range staff members or students with reliable cell phone service to keep their phones with them on the range in the event a 911 call needs to be made. Another option is to have a police radio on the range for direct contact with dispatch. Assign (2) people to emergency call duties in case one of them is the person that is injured.

Create a laminated handout, outlining the EMAP, that can be kept on the range and accessible with the medical kits. The handout should contain the physical address of the range facility, GPS coordinates (for Life Flight dispatch) and the direct phone number to EMS dispatch. The direct number is important, as a 911 call on most cell phones may not always reach the dispatch center for the area you are training at. Having the direct number to dispatch available, the people assigned to emergency call duty can preprogram that number into their cell phones.

Include the name, address and phone number to ER of the closest Level 1 Trauma Center in the laminated handout in the event the decision is made to use one of the vehicles on site to grab and go vs. waiting for an ambulance. Sometimes it may be quicker to drive someone to the local hospital vs. waiting for EMS to respond. If you do decide to grab and go, make sure a phone call is made to the hospitals ER in transition from the range to the hospital to notify them of what you have and ETA to ER.LETC [2014] 282

In summary, review the EMAP with everyone at the beginning of each training evolution during the range safety briefing. Show everyone in the class where the medical kits will be located on the range. Identify range staff that are TCCC qualified. Identify any students in the class that might have a medical skills background and recruit them to assist the range staff, should a medical emergency occur.

Assign at least (2) reliable people on the range to emergency phone call duties and verify the direct dispatch number, GPS coordinates and range address with them. Make sure they know where the laminated EMAP handout is located with this information.

Lastly, if a serious injury incident does occur, whether you decide to wait for EMS or grab and go to the hospital, be sure to secure the area where the incident occurred as responding LEO’s will be required to process that area as part of their investigation. It is also recommended that anyone that witnessed the incident remain on scene for LEO debrief.

If you follow these procedures and develop a sound EMAP, you’ll be ready to handle any emergency medical situation that occurs on your range.

As always, stay safe, remain vigilant and Fight to Win!

John Krupa III – Bio

John is a police officer with the Orland Hills Police Dept. (IL.) and has over 24 years of experience in law enforcement. He has previously served as a patrol officer, FTO and firearms instructor with the Chicago Police Dept. He is a recipient of the Award of Valor, Silver Star for Bravery and Distinguished Service Award for his actions in the line of duty. He is a certified Master Firearms Instructor from PTI and graduate firearms instructor from the Secret Service Academy, FBI, DEA and FLETC. He holds the rating of Distinguished Weapons Expert with the Department of Homeland Security and has presented numerous courses at training conferences across the country including ASLET, IALEFI and ILEETA. John can be reached at – jkrupa@teamspartan.com

John Krupa III

SHOT Show 2015 Report

Another successful SHOT Show is in the books, and this year was just as busy as any with nearly 64,000 industry professionals attending and more than 1,600 exhibiting companies. The show, which takes place at the Sands Expo Center in Las Vegas every January is the largest firearms tradeshow in the world and is a great place to show off new products and make connections in the shooting and hunting industry.

Here’s a look at some of the big events from this year’s show:

SHOT Show Industry Day at the Range

Action Target and its subsidiary Law Enforcement Targets once again sponsored SHOT Show Industry Day at the Range which is held every year at the Boulder Rifle and Pistol Range in Boulder City, Nevada, the day before the show starts. Industry Day at the Range is an integral part of the show and allows both media and buyers the opportunity to try out new guns and shooting accessories.

This year, more than 1,100 media members and 500 buyers converged on the outdoor range complex where everyone got the chance to shoot a few rounds and try out this year’s new gear. All of the targets used at the range were provided by Action Target and Law Enforcement Targets and included an array of steel and plastic targets.

SHOT Show Industry Day at the Range Action Target Safety Award

More than 160 Industry Day exhibitors were judged on their firearms safety practices by a panel of safety auditors from DOA Tactical. The scores for each exhibitor were determined based on specific safety criteria such as the handling of firearms, ammunition placement, and maintaining a safe environment at their shooting stations.

Smith & Wesson was the winner of this year’s award for holding the highest standard of safety during the event. The award was presented in Action Target’s booth to Smith & Wesson’s Director of Marketing Jan Mladek.

“Safety is paramount for events like this,” Mladek said. “We wanted everyone to have a fun and safe experience, so we had range safety officers providing one-on-one instruction with the people who came to our shooting bay.”

Action Target Safety Award Presentation [small]

ATAC Range Day

This year, for the first time, Action Target was the official target sponsor of ATAC Range Day which is put on by ATAC (Advanced Tactics and Countermeasures) Global as a way for military and law enforcement personnel to test new products in the tactical market. Much like Industry Day at the Range, several exhibitors sponsored shooting bays where attendees could shoot everything from service pistols to turret mounted machine guns. Action Target provided steel targets for all of the exhibitors at the event and displayed products in the exhibitor area.

ATAC-Range-Day-2015-1024x186

New Booth

This year, Action Target moved to a new location where we were able to expand to a whopping 40′ x 70′ booth and combine with Law Enforcement Targets to demonstrate the full capabilities of our turnkey shooting range solutions. The booth included a steel target kiosk with new releases, a range design station where clients could print custom plans, a bullet trap deceleration chamber display, and a four-lane shooting range with functional target retrievers.

New Products

Action Target debuted two new steel targets at the show: the E-50 Silhouette and the PT IDPA Practice Torso.

E-50 Silhouette

Bring out the big guns for this military-grade steel target capable of handling .338 Lapua and .50 BMG from as close as 100 yards.

The E-50 Silhouette is the first commercially available target from Action Target capable of handling .50 BMG and is the only steel target on the market made from 1/2” AR550 armor steel. Designed according to U.S. Marine Corps steel target specifications with a 20-degree angled shooting surface and standard military E-type silhouette proportions, this target is made for everything from heavy military firearms training to long-range rifle shooting. With a patent pending stand design that keeps the target grounded even with the biggest of ammunition, you don’t need to worry about using sand bags to keep it upright or going downrange to reset it.

[NEW] E-50 Silhouette

PT IDPA Practice Torso (coming soon!)

Hone your competition skills with the official IDPA steel practice target.

The PT IDPA Practice Torso is the official steel practice target of the Independent Defensive Pistol Association (IDPA) and one of the most effective training tools for competitive shooting. It features a regulation torso shape including the -1 and -0 scoring zones with reactive swinging plates for the -0 head square and center mass circle which are both reduced 2” to encourage more accurate shooting. The reactive plates are gravity reset which means you can spend more time shooting and less time walking downrange. The PT IDPA Practice Torso also helps reinforce good shooting habits. For every shot that is on target, you get instant feedback from seeing the target react and from hearing the distinctive “clang” as the bullet makes impact. This allows your brain to make a connection between the exact muscle movements you made and the reward of positive feedback.

[NEW] PT IDPA Practice Torso

Wednesday Night Client Event

On Wednesday night of the show, we hosted a client event at the Las Vegas National Golf Course with excellent appetizers, open bar, driving range contest, and some celebrity friends. More than 350 people attended including Rich Wyatt of Gunsmoke and Ted Nugent making for a great night with our clients and friends.

Thank you to everyone who visited us at SHOT Show! If you weren’t able to make it this year, we hope to see you next time.

GunVote Campaign

As a voting member of the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), Action Target supports the Gun Vote campaign. This campaign encourages citizens across the nation to vote for those who support gun rights. The NSSF provides up-to-date news and information on political races and politicians looking to impact the Second Amendment. The website also features RSS feeds to Senate, House, and Governor races, as well as links for voter registration, absentee voting information, news on the latest polls, and more. Everything you need to know about the Second Amendment and gun rights is in one place for Election Day. Visit the site for more information.

Choosing A Concealed Carry Course

According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the number of concealed carry holders increased 29% from 6.9 million people in 2010 to 9 million people in 2012. Whatever the reason or motivation, more and more people are making the decision to become a concealed carry permit holder. Making a decision to become a concealed carry permit holder is a big decision and can often be met with a lot of questions and possibly uneasiness, especially for those who may be new to the gun industry. Every state is different in their requirements and how they issue, but most states require a person to demonstrate competence with a firearm before they will issue a concealed carry permit.

One of the most common ways to do this is by taking a class. This may be a safety course, law enforcement or training course; whatever it is, they usually vary in curriculum and length. It may be appealing to take the shortest course and complete the minimum requirements, but most experts in the industry suggest against this.

Especially for those who are new to firearms and the gun industry, a concealed carry course can be a great introduction and foundation to understanding proper gun etiquette and conduct. A longer course can provide more range time and more instruction about state laws and regulations. An in-depth knowledge of state laws and the responsibilities associated with concealed carry can prevent costly fines and other issues that result in being ignorant about concealed carry laws. Many suggest thinking about why you want to get a concealed carry permit, and then finding the course that will help you achieve your objective.

It is also recommended that additional training be completed after the concealed carry course is over. When it comes to firearms, there is no such thing as too much practice. Many shooting ranges offer concealed carry courses along with other courses designed to enhance firearms proficiency. These ranges also offer special events and promotions such as Ladies Night where women can shoot at a discounted rate, or receive additional instruction from a Range Safety Officer.

Whatever the level of shooting expertise, taking time to choose a concealed carry course that matches your objectives and ideals will help to increase firearm proficiency and safety.

 

Other Things to Consider When Thinking about Concealed Carry:

Keep your firearms clean and operational. It is recommended to clean your firearm after each shooting session and check for any worn or broken parts.

Keep firearms out of reach of children (or anyone else that should not have access to them).

Tactical training is highly recommended. Look for courses in your area and sign up.

Let it be known to very few people that you concealed carry.

 

LETC 2014: A Week of Advanced Firearms Training

Action Target’s Law Enforcement Training Camp (LETC) is the best value in law enforcement firearms training. With over 20 years of traditionLETC 2013 - 082 and experience hosting LETC, Action Target has created a week long training experience designed to aid department firearms instructors in their training effectiveness and skill – and pass those skills along to officers in their own agencies. This four day training event will be held September 8-12, 2014 at Action Target headquarters in Provo, Utah. This year’s courses include:

  • L.E. Small Arms Combination
  • Reactive Shooting
  • Ultimate Shotgun
  • Rapid Deployment Rifle
  • Shoot, Move, Communicate
  • Shoot house Instructor Orientation
  • Training for the Fight with the PistolLETC 2013 - 006
  • Practical Shooting while Moving
  • Emergency Medical Response
  • L.E. Precision Rifle
  • Modern High Speed Pistol and Knife

Action Target has selected some of the best firearms instructors in the industry including instructors from Safariland Shooting School, Hoffner’s Training Academy, Spartan Tactical Training Group and others. These instructors offer decades of experience in firearms and tactical training. Click here for more details about the courses offered.

$550 tuition includes:

  • Four days of world class firearms instructionLETC 2013 - 037
  • Official certificate of completion
  • Six meals including a BBQ and closing banquet
  • Networking with industry training professionals
  • LETC collectible t-shirt

LETC is limited to the first 160 paid applicants, and classes are first-come first-served. Slots are filling up fast, so register today. While primarily geared toward law enforcement firearms trainers, all law enforcement officers are invited to attend. Join us for a week of top-notch firearms training. Click here to download the registration form, and email academy@actiontarget.com with any questions or concerns.

 

 

Action Target Builds TriCounty Tactical Mobile Shooting Range

The lead trainer for TriCounty Tactical, Kurt Newman, was aware of the training needs across many police departments and law enforcement agencies, but also realized the tight budget constraints of these same agencies. Knowing what they wanted to accomplish, TriCounty Tactical requested a mobile shooting range with ballistic containment and advanced training capabilities beyond what had developed as the standard for mobile shooting ranges.

TriCounty Tactical approached Action Target with the idea to create this mobile shooting range. The goal of this mobilerange-thumbmobile range was to meet the unique demands of law enforcement training, concealed carry training and certification, and also provide a new experience for gun enthusiasts throughout the greater Chicago area.

Action Target designed and built an advanced shooting range contained within a 53 foot semi-trailer completely armored in AR500 steel. The range includes advanced target retrievers, a custom air filtration system and a custom rubber berm trap for bullet containment and recycling. The trailer also utilizes an onboard diesel generator for untethered powering allowing it to be used virtually anywhere.

The safety of the shooter and anyone outside the range was paramount in the construction process. A great amount of mobilerange6time and resources was devoted to ensure the shooting range could be used safely in any location by anyone from the novice to expert shooter.

The mobile range has a “no blue sky” design, meaning there is continuous overhead ballistic containment from the firing line to the bullet trap for tactical use. This was accomplished by armoring all four sides of the trailer with AR500 armored steel.

A sound abatement material called PEPP was used to cover the side walls, overhead baffles and the area behind the shooter to reduce the noise generated from shooting and reduce reverberation in the range. The PEPP also helps contain bullet splatter from errant rounds.

Three shooters can train from the standing position at one of three clear shooting stalls or the table can be collapsed at mobilerange4each position to practice drawing from the holster or shooting from a prone or kneeling position.

Bullets are safely captured in a custom rubber berm trap that is capable of stopping all handgun rounds as well as rifle rounds up to .50-cal BMG.

To meet the unique training demands of law enforcement, the Mancom Touch Plus was installed as the target retrieval system. The Touch Plus offers 360 degree turning as well as blue, red and white LED lights on the carrier and programmable scenarios for different qualification courses.

The three target retrievers can be controlled by the individual shooter from each shooting stall or by a range master from a master control system.

Carey’s Small Arms Range Ventilation designed and installed the HVAC system. The ventilation system keeps finalsm1shooters and trainers safe by creating airflow that pushes the contaminants generated from firing guns down range. The HVAC system meets or exceeds all OSHA, NIOSH and EPA requirements by using a series of pre-filters and HEPA filters. Once the air from inside the range is filtered it is exhausted back into the environment cleaner than it was when the air entered the range.

All of these safety and training features came together to provide a new training tool available to any agency that has a training need but lacks funding for their own shooting range. It also serves the civilian market by providing a shooting range that can be delivered on demand.

TriCounty Tactical plans to make the mobile range available for not only law enforcement, but for corporate events, DSC_0161private parties and many other uses that open the doors for people to enjoy and experience the shooting sports in a comfortable and unique way.

 

THINKING ABOUT BUILDING A SHOOTING RANGE?

Building a shooting range can be an overwhelming process. Your time and resources deserve a partner who will listen to your ideas and turn your dreams and plans into a successful, thriving business. If you are considering building a range, talk to the Action Target Range Consultant in your region, and he will be happy to help you find the right equipment to fit your needs and budget. You can also use our Request a Quote form to get started on your range project today.

Please note, the tips included in this message have been found to be helpful for many clients throughout the years but may not apply in all situations. Please use judgment in determining which tips will be helpful in your particular situation.

 

Georgia Gun Club Opens First 100-Yard Indoor Rifle Range in Georgia

Georgia Gun Cub hopes to change the way people in the surrounding area think about indoor shooting ranges. Building the first 100-yard indoor rifle range in Georgia seems like a good start, but they aren’t stopping there. Adopting the tagline, “You’ve never shot like this before,” the goal is to give customers an unparalleled experience when shooting at the club. Georgia Gun Club is doing this through high-quality equipment and taking the country club approach to the shooting range business – an approach that is becoming a widely accepted concept across the country.

Georgia Gun Club’s nearly 40,000 square foot facility includes an indoor shooting range, member’s lounge, classrooms, simulation theater gunclub190-3324986480-Oand retail space. The range is outfitted with Action Target equipment and has a total of 28 lanes. There are eight 100-yard lanes reserved specifically for rifle use and the other 20 lanes are 25-yards long. The range is not only for the shooting novice or enthusiast, but is also designed for local Law Enforcement agencies that need a place to complete training and certification. Action Target retrievers, turning targets and full panel clear ballistic shooting stalls provide a quality experience for each shooter who visits the club.

The Action Target Total Containment Trap’s unique technology collects bullet rounds while simultaneously reducing ricochet and lead dust build up. Overhead safety baffles are in place to catch errant rounds and provide an added level of noise abatement and safety. The integrated ventilation system also ensures the air is free of lead contaminants and maintains a comfortable temperature inside the range.

The club offers several training courses including personal protection, home firearm safety and basic pistol, rifle and shotgun courses. ThereGGC portico sign 2 is a full-time gunsmith available to help customers and nationally certified instructors who are also Range Safety Officers.

A theater room with video enhanced simulator training and an impressive retail space only add to the overall experience of the club. Although the space is full of amenities, Georgia Gun Club stresses their overall goal is a safe environment.

“I am pleased to have designed and led the effort of bringing a safe and family friendly shooting facility to the Atlanta metropolitan area,” said Verne Fowler, Managing Partner. Fowler continued saying, “We have worked hard to ensure that this shooting facility is unmatched in its capabilities and overall experience for the customer.”

THINKING ABOUT BUILDING A SHOOTING RANGE?

Building a shooting range can be an overwhelming process. Your time and resources deserve a partner who will listen to your ideas and turn your dreams and plans into a successful, thriving business. If you are considering building a range, talk to the Action Target Range Consultant in your region, and he will be happy to help you find the right equipment to fit your needs and budget. You can also use our Request a Quote form to get started on your range project today.

Please note, the tips included in this message have been found to be helpful for many clients throughout the years but may not apply in all situations. Please use judgment in determining which tips will be helpful in your particular situation.

 

Action Target upgrades moving target systems at the 2014 Midway USA & NRA Bianchi Cup

Action Target is proud to celebrate another year as the official target sponsor of the Midway USA & NRA Bianchi Cup. This year the prestigious match celebrated its 35th anniversary, and Action Target was pleased to support the match with continued upgrades to the target systems.

This year Action Target worked with the Green Valley Rifle & Pistol Club, the home of the Bianchi Cup since its inception, to upgrade the moving target systems. The moving targets were previously supported by a cable and string system. The targets now travel securely and smoothly on a ground anchored track system. The new systems also feature simpler controls, and more advanced tracking for the speed and movement of the targets. With the addition of the moving target systems, all of the events at the Bianchi Cup now feature Action Target products.These new moving target systems will be available to the broader Action Target customer base in the fourth quarter of 2014.

“We are excited to have these new moving target systems in place for the Bianchi Cup, and for every range to now have Action Target products for the Bianchi Cup.” said Kevin Tomaszewski, Vice President of Engineering & Marketing for Action Target. “We’re very happy with the performance of the new moving target systems to help the match run more effectively, and for the opportunity to showcase our products at such a high-level event like the Bianchi Cup,” added Tomaszewski.

In addition to the upgrade, the Green Valley Rifle & Pistol Club also worked with Action Target to add one more shooting bay with moving targets, which allowed more shooters to shoot the match within the scheduled championship dates. This year the NRA reported 300 shooters participated in the annual event.

“Action Target’s continued support of the Midway USA & NRA Bianchi Cup has been a huge boost for the match in ensuring the equipment runs smooth and is consistent for every shooter for the duration of the competition year after year,” said Tom Hughes, National Manager-Pistol Department and Competitive Shooting Division for the NRA. “The new mover targets this year were a great addition, allowing us to run all the competitors through easier, and even allowing more capacity for the competition so more shooters could participate this year and in the years to come.”

The 35th anniversary match brought added excitement to shooters and spectators alike, with a new first-time champion, Kevin Angstadt. Angstadt has been a top competitor in NRA Action Pistol competitions for many years, and this year he was the only shooter to shoot the entire match with a perfect score of 1920. Doug Koenig, the annual favorite to win, shot his last shot of the match just outside the 10 ring, scoring an 8 on the shot and leaving Koenig with a final score of 1918. Other top contenders like Bruce Piatt and Kyle Schmidt struggled with weapon malfunctions that cost them valuable points.

Action Target also continued its support of the women’s championship at the Bianchi Cup this year, with top honors going to Team Taurus’ Jessie Duff. Duff edged out New Zealand’s Tiffany Piper in a decision that came down to a two point advantage favoring Duff. This victory marks Duff’s fourth win at the Bianchi Cup.

About The Bianchi Cup

Founded in 1979 by law enforcement veteran and holster innovator John Bianchi, the Bianchi Cup began as a shooting competition designed to test a law enforcement officer’s skill with a pistol. The competition challenged shooters’ speed and accuracy using barricades, alternative positions, and timed events. It did not take long for the match to gain popularity among the shooting community with many top shooters attending from all over the world year after year.

 

The Gun Vault

Gun Vault Exterior BestThe Gun Vault, a 25,000 square foot facility based in the suburbs of Salt Lake City, says it sets the standard for what Utah residents can expect in an indoor shooting range. The Gun Vault owners designed their range to be not only one of the largest in Utah, but one of the most upscale and high-end, providing a quality experience for anyone who visits the range. The Gun Vault was created with the idea to provide Utah residents a great shooting environment no matter a shooter’s individual skill level.

 

Gun Vault Lobby 3The facility hosts a 7,000 sq. ft. retail space. The exposed rock architecture and high ceilings with skylights give the area an open atmosphere with plenty of light. Friendly and knowledgeable staff members are on hand to answer questions and provide information. One of the goals of The Gun Vault is to create a non-threatening environment where anyone from the first time to professional shooter can come and enjoy an indoor shooting experience.the idea to provide Utah residents a great shooting environment no matter a shooter’s individual skill level.

 

Gun Vault Stalls 2The shooting range features 15 lanes at a 25-yard distance with a viewing area behind the range. The range features Action Target equipment including a Total Containment Trap, overhead safety baffles, wall baffle system, target retrieval system, shooting stalls, and sound abatement material to help contain noise within the range. A Carey’s ventilation system provides top air quality and protects consumers from lead and other harmful air contaminants. Regarding the range equipment the staff says, “We have chosen the best in the industry to make sure our customers have the best experience possible when they come see us.”

Gun Vault Members Lounge 2

But The Gun Vault doesn’t stop with an impressive retail area and quality range equipment. It also houses two simulators, classrooms and a lounge. The simulators provide an opportunity for training, target shooting, and just a chance to become familiar with a gun in a non-threatening environment. The simulators feature a variety of conceal carry, target and home defense scenarios. The Gun Vault also offers classes ranging from basic handgun to CFP to private seminars.

 

The lounge area tops off the facility with leather couches, poker tables, pool tables and six large televisions. Strategically placed skylights throughout the lounge add natural light and an inviting atmosphere. The lounge, simulators, and classrooms are all available for rent to the general public. Corporate events, training sessions, or company parties can all be hosted at The Gun Vault.

The Gun Vault offers Utah what more and more ranges are trying to offer to shooting sports consumers across the nation: a premier environment where anyone can come and enjoy a high-quality shooting experience.

Thinking about Building a Shooting Range?

Building a shooting range can be an overwhelming process. Your time and resources deserve a partner who will listen to your ideas and turn your dreams and plans into a successful, thriving business. If you are considering building a range, talk to the Action Target Range Consultant in your region, and he will be happy to help you find the right equipment to fit your needs and budget. You can also use our Request a Quote form to get started on your range project today.

Please note, the tips included in this message have been found to be helpful for many clients throughout the years but may not apply in all situations. Please use judgment in determining which tips will be helpful in your particular situation.

The Shooting Sports Industry: A Consumer’s Market

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) recently issued a report to assist member companies in better understanding their customer’s shopping experience. This report highlights the use of mobile eye-tracking technology to help retailers understand what really attracts consumers to products. This is just one example of how retailers and businesses within the shooting sports industry are evaluating customer behavior, and in turn understanding and serving customers more effectively. It’s a good time to be a consumer in the shooting sports industry and here are a few reasons why.

The Social Connection

Social media is not a new or novel concept when it comes to business strategy. In fact, some businesses or individuals might be getting sick of hearing about social media and all the different platforms available to communicate different ideas and media. However, social media has provided a valuable method of communication for retailers within the industry. Businesses ask questions like, “Who would be interested in a family shooting night?” or “What’s the most important thing when you visit a gun range?” The list goes on, but businesses are reaching out to customers, listening to what they have to say, and then implementing popular ideas into their business model. Social media gives businesses a real-time pulse of their customer base. It also provides the customer a voice that can be heard instantly, regardless of the company’s size or location.

Recognizing Areas of New Growth

Recognizing areas for new growth within the industry and catering specifically to these markets has opened up new product lines and a new way of thinking for many companies. For example, there has been a lot of media coverage given to the increase in participation among women in shooting sports. Shooting ranges, distributors and retailers alike have made marketing to women a focus within their organizations. To the outsider looking in, changing the color of the gun or making something glitter might be the answer. But retailers realize that some women don’t want to shoot a pink gun. The answer might be in a cleaner facility, a slimmer gun model, or an instructor they can relate to. There is not one correct way to go about this, but realizing and capitalizing on growing market segments has created new ideas and innovation within the industry.

Putting Data into Practice

I talked to a shooting range owner recently who explained research and surveys this way: “I find it odd that businesses in the gun industry don’t put more focus on what their consumers are telling them.” He says he listens to what his customers are saying and what they want, and in turn, they have always taken good care of him and his business. This owner also teamed up with a local university to survey his customer base. When the university provided the results of the survey, the company implemented changes based on the information to try and improve their processes. This shooting range owner is not alone in his pursuit to understand his customer base and meet their needs more comprehensively. Online surveys and a closer analysis of website traffic are helping businesses to adjust their practices based on consumer wants and needs.

When it comes to customer service, customer behavior, and better understanding what customers ultimately want, there is never just one answer. The market is evolving and changing rapidly with consumers having more of a voice about products and services. The one size fits all mentality is becoming less common as all companies try to provide solutions to serve the needs of each unique customer.

Please note, the tips included in this message have been found to be helpful for many clients throughout the years but may not apply in all situations. Please use judgment in determining which tips will be helpful in your particular situation.

Action Target’s LETC Registration Now Open

Registration for Action Target’s annual Advanced Law Enforcement Training Camp (LETC) is now open. LETC will be held from September 8 – 12 at Action Target headquarters in Provo, Utah, and at the Utah County Sheriff’s Office Range in nearby Thistle, Utah. Action Target has hosted LETC for over 20 years, providing Law Enforcement officers everywhere an opportunity for superior firearms training with some of the best instructors in the industry. Last year LETC hosted 128 officers from more than 20 states, Canada, and Brazil.

LETC-newsletter article image
Officers at Utah County Sheriff’s Office Thistle Firing Range, LETC 2013

This five day training event is designed to aid department firearms instructors in their training effectiveness and skill. Those instructors take this knowledge back to their respective agencies and train their officers. Courses are designed to challenge each individual’s skill level, pushing even the expert shooter to improve technique and ability. Classes cover a variety of subjects and weapons platforms including pistol, rifle, shotgun, and precision rifle. There is even a medical class geared towards range operations. Action Target has instructors from Safariland Shooting SchoolHoffner’s Training AcademySpartan Tactical Training Group and more. The instructors at LETC offer decades of experience in firearms and tactical training and accuracy.

Tuition is only $550 which includes four full days of training and six meals. Click here for registration information and to learn more about event details. Contact David Mathis at davidm@actiontarget.com for any registration questions or concerns. LETC is limited to the first 160 paid applicants, and classes are first-come first-served. Slots are filling up fast, so register today. While primarily geared toward law enforcement firearms trainers, all law enforcement officers are invited to attend. Join us for a week of top-notch firearms training!

 

 

A Beginner’s Guide to Lead

According to a recent article published by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) approximately 40,000-60,000 people are employed by shooting ranges across the country. It’s also estimated that approximately 20 million people participate in target shooting every year (NSSF). With shooting sports becoming more and more popular, it is no surprise that lead exposure and the associated risks and health hazards is a popular topic when talking about indoor shooting ranges. Whether a person is a current or potential shooting range owner, a range employee, or a first time or experienced gun owner, understanding the basics of lead exposure and knowing where to find more information is extremely helpful.

WHY IT MATTERS

Lack of proper range maintenance is a liability issue for the range owner. Any company working in a lead contaminated range has to follow the law, or it becomes at risk for lawsuits or fines. Neglecting manufacturer specifications with lack of proper bullet trap inspections can be a liability. Neglecting ventilation filters and having positive pressure in the range can also be an issue. This can overexpose customers and contaminate adjacent areas. Being in violation of regulations and putting employees in harmful situations can be extremely costly. A range can be fined millions of dollars for overexposing employees to lead and violating health codes. In addition to this, there is also loss incurred from shutting down the range for the decontamination and inspection process if there are lead problems.

Poor maintenance is not only a potential liability; it’s also a health hazard. Lead can only enter the body through inhalation or ingestion. Once it enters the body, lead can cause poisoning which can affect the nervous and digestive systems, as well as the brain. Some side effects or symptoms include abdominal pain, headaches, difficulty thinking or concentrating, loss of appetite, or in severe cases it may cause a seizure or coma. The potential health issues associated with lead can be overwhelming, but following regulations and best practices can negate these risks.

WHERE TO FIND INFORMATION

With so much information available on the topic, it can be hard to know what is accurate and reliable. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) along with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have developed health regulations and standards that each shooting range must meet. NIOSH has a section of their website specifically devoted to lead exposure and indoor shooting ranges. They recently created a Twitter account (@NIOSHFir_Ranges) to further educate the industry and consumers about exposure to lead and other hazards. All of the information they publish is pertinent information for those who manage ranges, or for the everyday customer looking for more information.

It’s also important a range owner is aware that every employee needs to undergo initial testing for lead exposure. There are three different levels of testing, and each one of them is different depending on the employee’s job responsibilities. For example, an employee who works in the retail area of the range needs to be tested far less than the employee who deals directly with lead. Companies who specialize in lead removal and recycling can provide more detailed information about the employee training and testing process.

RELY ON THE EXPERTS

What can be done to avoid the stress, potential legal issues, and health hazards of lead exposure? Lead maintenance can seem like an overwhelming aspect of building and maintaining a range. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Luckily, there are experts in the industry who are ready and available to answer questions and take on the challenges associated with lead. Ventilation companies make it their business to meet all health regulations, ensuring clean air for customers and range employees. Companies also specialize in lead removal and will make sure a range is safe to be operating, while also offering their expertise regarding the necessary equipment and training for employees. When employees have close contact with lead, there is no such thing as too much research and training.

Carey’s Small Arms Range Ventilation Systems: Carey’s Small Arms Range Ventilation Systems is a leader in the industry when it comes to ventilation. Carey’s designs each ventilation system with specialized custom components that are manufactured and installed on a per-job basis to meet the specific needs of each individual range. Because Carey’s specializes in ventilation for indoor shooting ranges, they are a great resource for information about ventilation.

Best Technology Systems: Best Technology Systems (BTS) was started in 1994 and specializes in lead exposure and maintenance for indoor and outdoor shooting ranges. They monitor range employees for lead exposure and properly document the findings. They also recover and recycle lead while remaining compliant with all government regulations, and make sure the range staff is not at risk. BTS is also familiar with the industry’s bullet traps and can also make sure the trap is up to manufacturer’s specifications.

Action Target offers the best in shooting range equipment. There are hundreds of things to take into consideration when building a shooting range, but your top priority should always be safety. Before anything else, make sure your range is going to be safe for your customers, your employees, and the environment. Our team of knowledgeable Range Consultants is available to answer any questions and guide you through the entire process. Contact the consultant in your area today for more information.

Trending: Women and Shooting Sports

 

“For the gun industry, women are the next big thing… Gun industry courts women with pink guns.” These are just a few headlines that have appeared in the news lately. The rise of women in the shooting sports industry has been a popular topic recently, as female participation in the sport continues to increase.

Recent numbers from the NSSF stated that nearly 80% of gun retailers reported an increase in female customers in 2012. In Florida, 22% of the concealed carry permits are held by women. In Texas, women hold 28% of concealed carry permits, up sevenfold in the last 10 years.

According to the NSSF, the women’s market is a very real one, and it is growing, untapped, and undeveloped. The retailer who meets the demand for specialized equipment will find a group of enthusiastic, supportive buyers as well as loyal customers. The industry has already seen an increase in businesses servicing this demographic as more products are released with women in mind. Custom gun cases, smaller frame pistols, accessories dressed up with bling or pink, all of these products are created to target the female market.

Some marketers have the philosophy that the products need to be pink or glitter to attract women, while others are focusing more on the gun design or an increase in friendliness and customer service. While one idea or product might not be appealing to 100 percent of women, they can all find something to appreciate in the industry’s new initiative to tailor products to their wants and needs. In turn, most businesses and organizations are discovering women are a driving force in the industry, and listening to them yields positive results.

Many shooting ranges across the country have weekly ladies nights or host chapters of women’s gun clubs. One shooting range owner said 47 percent of his customers are women. He says women are a large part of the sport’s growing population, and it’s important their opinions are heard and they are taken care of.

Organizations have also been created to advocate women’s participation in shooting sports. Many of them have Facebook and Twitter accounts with a large following and relevant content. For most of these organizations, education and empowerment are the driving purposes. Karen Butler, founder of Shoot Like a Girl, realized the number of women involved in the shooting sports was growing, but felt like there were still factors limiting a woman’s development in the sport. Butler felt like there needed to be more opportunities for women to try equipment that fit in a safe environment. Shoot Like a Girl is just one example of the many organizations that have given women a voice and a place within the shooting sports industry.

As the shooting sports industry continues to grow, women look to be a key factor in the sport’s constant development. The retailers and businesses that see women as a valuable sector of their customer base will find new growth and a group of customers who want to be educated and skillful in shooting sports.

Please note, the tips included in this message have been found to be helpful for many clients throughout the years but may not apply in all situations. Please use judgment in determining which tips will be helpful in your particular situation.

Frisco Gun Club Range Highlight

When he started plans for Frisco Gun Club, owner Christian Putman wanted to create the Nieman Marcus or Barney’s of shooting ranges. Now that dream has become a reality as Frisco Gun Club is not only one of the largest indoor ranges in the nation, but one of the most luxurious. The sheer size alone is impressive: a 43,000 square foot facility with 40 shooting lanes, 7,000 square feet of retail space, and a 100-person training classroom. But the luxury factor is what sets Frisco Gun Club apart from the rest.

 

About the Range

The range is designed to challenge each individual shooter’s skill level. The range includes 40 shooting lanes. There are 36 25-yard lanes, with six of these reserved _MG_5995exclusively for VIP Club members, and four 100-yard rifle lanes. Each shooting stall is divided by one-inch thick bulletproof glass, and the stalls are nine inches wider than standard shooting stalls. Each person can determine his or her difficulty level with hands-on target operator consoles and individual control screens. Twenty four of the lanes can be viewed through bulletproof observation windows so people can watch their friends and family outside the range.

The range equipment provides all customers and club employees a safe and clean environment. Action Target’s unique Total Containment Trap is a bullet trap specifically designed to handle a large volume of rounds while depositing all the lead safely into a single 55-gallon barrel using the Screw Conveyor collection method. The ventilation system is also top-of-the-line, meeting and exceeding NIOSH and EPA regulations. With the best in equipment, club employees can spend their time on what’s most important: servicing their customers.

 

Training & Classes

Training and safety is a large part of the club’s focus. The club hosts a 100-person training classroom, and several classes are offered including CHL, Firearms Safety, Introduction to Handguns, and a variety of NRA classes. Ladies Nights are a regular occurrence, and the range is also available for events and parties. A full-time gunsmith is employed at the club, and common and custom gunsmith services are available six days a week.

 

Membership

Frisco Gun Club is open to the public, but it caters especially to its members. The club had 2,300 members before it even opened its doors in early December 2013. VIP-Lounge-1200There are three levels of membership available; guests can sign up for a standard, platinum or VIP membership. Family memberships are also available. Benefits vary depending on the level, but all members enjoy a 10% discount on accessories, complimentary eye and ear protection, a discount on range fees, and much more.

The VIP Club goes a step above what customers are typically accustomed to with a gun club membership. Membership in the VIP club includes amenities such as valet parking, free gun cleanings and no range fees. VIP members also enjoy a private entrance after hours and full-time attendant, up-scale dining and drinks, cigar room, 24/7 biometric range access, and private storage for their firearms in the on-site gun vault. The VIP lounge with a fireplace, leather seating, and Wi-Fi is just one more way Frisco Gun Club provides this tier of membership a premier experience.

 

From their top-of-the-line range equipment to the member benefits and classes offered, Frisco Gun Club strives to provide the best experience for any customer that enters their doors.

 

Thinking about Building a Shooting Range?

Building a shooting range can be an overwhelming process. Your time and resources deserve a partner who will listen to your ideas and turn your dreams and plans into a successful, thriving business. If you are considering building a range, talk to the Action Target Range Consultant in your region, and he will be happy to help you find the right equipment to fit your needs and budget. You can also use our Request a Quote form to get started on your range project today.

Please note, the tips included in this message have been found to be helpful for many clients throughout the years but may not apply in all situations. Please use judgment in determining which tips will be helpful in your particular situation.

 

Looking Downrange: Miles Hall Takes a Look at the Shooting Range Industry

H&H Shooting Sports Complex owner Miles Hall gives us his take on being a range owner, and his thoughts about the current and future state of the shooting range industry.

We sat down with Miles Hall, Founder and President of H&H Shooting Sports complex, and asked him some questions about his experiences as a range owner and the unique nature of the shooting sports industry. Here’s what he had to say:

The History of H&H Shooting Sports Complex

Miles Hall was not always a gun owner. He and his wife, Jayne were young and just starting their life together when neighbors encouraged them to learn how to use guns and become gun owners. Miles and Jayne decided to visit a local shooting range. Hall says, “We really enjoyed the magic of shooting but found the facility left much to be desired. It was very dirty and obviously hand-made in appearances. But what finally made the decision for us was that we felt we could provide a better place and serve the long-term interest of the sport of shooting.”

Miles and Jayne Hall opened their range in 1981 with the idea of promoting shooting sports. They wanted to be a shooting range, but also an H&H-ShootingRangeeducation center. When Hall opened his doors, he had 10 lanes at 50 feet with a lobby and a classroom. Those who originally built the range told him he would never need to add more lanes or increase the range space. Over the years, he has proven that initial statement wrong as they have expanded the facility to meet the demand of the increasing customer base. Last year they had 742,000 people visit their complex that boasts 61 lanes and 90,000 square feet.

As they have run their business over the years, the Halls have tried to meet client demand. Hall says, “It wasn’t good enough to just do handguns. They wanted to do rifles. They wanted to come in and be able to shoot their shotguns even though it’s not a skeet range, and they wanted it to handle their black powder guns. And then archery stepped into the fold and air guns also. That was another one too for those folks who shoot pellet rifles and so forth.” The Halls have tried to develop a complete solution for anyone interested in shooting sports, and in doing so, have become among one of the largest retailers in the country. Hall says, “The shooting sports has changed, and you have to either be changing with it or you’re going to die in the past… A lot of things have changed since 1981 when we started.”

Although they service a high volume of guests, H&H tries to make it an enjoyable experience for each person who comes to the complex. Hall says because they are in the entertainment business and no one has to be there, they try very hard to make the time people spend at the range memorable. Their philosophy concerning customer service, or guest service as Hall refers to it, has remained unchanged throughout the years.

The Value of Guest Service

Hall says guest service is the biggest key to his continued growth. At H&H, they don’t call the clients customers. They refer to them as guests. He relates guest service to inviting people into your home. People want to be taken care of and feel welcome. Hall says he listens to what his guests are saying and what they want, and in turn, they have always taken good care of him and his business. He says, “I find it odd that businesses in the gun industry don’t put more focus on what their guests (and their changing guests, by the way) are telling them.”

H&HShootingRange

H&H has a process where guests can contact them at any time and give their feedback and concerns. Hall also teamed up with a local university to survey his guest base. When the university provided the results of the survey, the company implemented changes based on the information to try and improve their processes and business. For H&H, guest service is an integral part of their day-to-day operations and business model and not just an afterthought.

Hall also discusses the importance of catering to the women demographic. He says 47% of those using the range and purchasing product are women. After all, H&H stands for Hers and His, and it’s said “Hers and His,” not “His and Hers.” Hall says women are a large part of the sport’s growing population, and it’s important their opinions are heard and they are taken care of.

The Future of the Industry

When asked what goals he has for the future, Hall says he wants to keep growing the sport. He says, “We love being the center of everything. We would love to be a hub… a hub of the shooting sports. The gun industry still has validity. Not just in Oklahoma, but everywhere else. It’s still all about growing the sport.” Future expansion plans for H&H include upgrading their 90,000 square foot facility, and possibly adding two more bays. In the end, Hall again stresses that it’s all about meeting and exceeding the expectations of guests who come visit their complex.

H&H-ShootingRange (2)

“Ultimately, we’re in the business to make a profit, but we actually look at it a little differently. It’s all about growing the sport.

The tagline on H&H’s website summarizes perfectly what Hall is trying to accomplish: “H&H Shooting Sports Complex is a community, educational and retail facility for developing and promoting the sport of shooting, and it’s to the people of Oklahoma we dedicate our business.”We give them an outlet… the guests, anyway… an outlet to feel pride and go back to their friends and talk about shooting. The fact that they’re shooting at H&H is a good thing, but the real good thing is that they’re shooting period instead of riding a jet ski or bowling or whatever else.”

Thinking About Building a Shooting Range?

Building a shooting range can be an overwhelming process. Your time and resources deserve a partner who will listen to your ideas and turn your dreams and plans into a successful, thriving business. If you are considering building a range, talk to the Action Target Range Consultant in your region, and he will be happy to help you find the right equipment to fit your needs and budget. You can also use our Request a Quote form to get started on your range project today.

Please note, the tips included in this message have been found to be helpful for many clients throughout the years but may not apply in all situations. Please use judgment in determining which tips will be helpful in your particular situation.

 

The 411 on Shooting Range Ventilation

Ventilation is one of the most important aspects of an indoor shooting range. However, many misconceptions and contradictory information exist on the topic. As a range owner, it can be difficult to know what information is accurate and what the most important aspects of range ventilation are. Here are a couple common misconceptions debunked:

Misconception #1: The type of rounds shot will change the ventilation design.

Truth: It does not matter what type of rounds are shot, what type of ammunition is used, or how much shooting occurs in a small arms range. There is a standard ventilation design that works great for all ranges regardless of what ammunition is shot.

Misconception #2: Air flow speed in a range can be anywhere between 50 feet per minute and 75 feet per minute at the firing line.

Truth: The range should be designed for 75 feet per minute at the firing line or lines. This should result in an air flow that is not below 50 feet per minute at any individual point.

Misconception #3: Air flow tests should be done with people or mannequins in shooting positions.

Truth: All air flow testing should be done on an empty range. The testing and commissioning procedure on an empty range has proven to meet Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) exposure levels.

Why Range Ventilation is Important

Along with understanding the misconceptions that exist about range ventilation, it is important to understand the various purposes behind vent3ventilation and why ventilation is so critical to a shooting range’s long-term success.

The first and primary purpose of ventilation is to remove contaminants created during the firing of a weapon from the respiratory zones of those occupying the range. Exploding primers containing lead styphnate and friction from the lead slug against the gun barrel create airborne lead. Carbon monoxide and other contaminants are also created during the firing of a weapon. The ventilation system removes all of these harmful particles.

The second and equally important reason for a properly designed and installed ventilation system is to keep the range at a negative pressure to the surrounding building space. Contaminants need to be contained in the range space. This will prevent the ingestion of these harmful particles, and also keep the non-range spaces and surfaces of the building free of contamination. This in turn will ensure the health and safety of all customers and employees.

The final purpose of the ventilation system is to remove the smoke from the range so visibility is high and the targets can be seen.

Ventilation Systems and How They Work

Many range owners are aware of the purposes of a ventilation system but may have questions when it comes to the system types and designs.
The suggested air flow for a small arms range is an average of 75 feet per minute at the firing line. This air flow must be even from floor to ceiling (known as laminar flow) and have minimal turbulence. There have been two general approaches to the distribution of air that have been used within the industry.

The first is a plenum wall. Although this approach can work and some have successfully tested to provide laminar flow, the plenum wall has also been prone to problems. The main issue is when the access door to the range and the window from the range safety office have been installed they tend to create turbulent areas. This can disrupt the laminar flow, which can prevent the contaminants from being properly contained. There have also been problems where the range officer standing in one position has caused a lane to fail the exposure test.

The second method that has proven successful is the radial diffuser. This method disperses air into the range in a 180 degree radial pattern. These diffusers are custom built and tested to provide proper air flow at the firing line. It is critical to only use proven products that have been tested to achieve the laminar or even air flow at the firing line. This will ensure the safety of range employees and customers and also keep the range compliant with health and safety regulations.

When deciding on the design of the ventilation system, negative air pressure is also important. Providing negative pressure in the range is accomplished by designing more exhaust than supply air. Creating laminar air flow at the firing line will protect a shooter’s respiratory zone, but it will not keep contaminants created in the range from entering other areas of the building. The industry standard for this design is 10% greater exhaust than supply. The tighter the range area of the building is constructed, the less differential is necessary to maintain the proper pressure differential. Some ranges have been designed with the 10% differential, but the exhaust is filtered and there was no method of modulation for the exhaust based on filter loading. This caused the range to go positive within a week of a filter change. It is very important to oversize the exhaust fan and use a variable frequency drive or an inlet vein vortex damper to regulate the fan. This will control the amount of exhaust that is filtered and keep the air at a negative pressure differential.

The most critical component to keeping the range negative is a control system that can start up, stop, and maintain a negative pressure in the range at all times. The control system must also monitor the range conditions as well as sound an alarm and shut down if unsafe conditions are present.

The Economics of Range Ventilation

Price may be another factor in considering a ventilation system as they can be expensive. A range owner might think about just using a local vent8heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) contractor to install the system. Unfortunately, most local HVAC contractors do not have the required experience with shooting ranges to make everything work properly, and standard HVAC equipment by itself is not sufficient for the task. There are specialized custom components that must be manufactured and installed to exacting standards. Experts in the industry handcraft these custom parts on a per-job basis to meet the specific needs of each individual range.

If the system is too difficult for the range staff to use, chances are the staff won’t use it, or it won’t be used properly. The top names in the industry have made usability a priority to ensure each ventilation system is easy for the end-user to understand and operate. For example, Carey’s Small Arms Range Ventilation System features a single control switch that activates the entire ventilation system and indicator lights that turn on when the system is ready for use. A convenient digital interface screen displays the status of the ventilation system at all times and displays any errors, alarms, or unsafe conditions that might arise. If something happens, Carey’s can dial in to the ventilation system via a built-in modem to diagnose and make adjustments remotely.

Proper shooting range ventilation is essential. There are hazards and pitfalls that can be avoided only by companies with sufficient expertise and experience, so make sure to choose a team that can do the job right. The effects of poor ventilation in a shooting range are a serious matter, and potentially hazardous to the health of both range employees and customers. Lead poisoning in adults and children can cause digestive problems, high blood pressure, hearing problems, memory and concentration problems, and a host of other health issues. These hazards can be avoided if the range is ventilated properly. Without fail, an indoor range ventilation system must provide and maintain clean air for everyone in it. With a properly installed and functioning ventilation system, range owners can operate their range worry-free, assured the system is keeping the range, employees, and customers contaminant free and healthy.

Rely on the Experts for Help

There are hundreds of things to take into consideration when building a shooting range, but your top priority should always be safety. Before anything else, make sure your range is going to be safe for your customers, your employees, and the environment. If you are considering building a range, talk to the Action Target representative in your region and he will be happy to help you find the right equipment to fit your needs and budget. You can also use our Request a Quote form to get started on your range project today.

Please note, the tips included in this message have been found to be helpful for many clients throughout the years but may not apply in all situations. Please use judgment in determining which tips will be helpful in your particular situation.

Action Target at SHOT Show

Yesterday was the very last day of SHOT Show 2014. It’s been a fun and eventful four days with range days, banquets, client meetings, new products, and plenty of giveaways. As it’s coming to a close, we’d like to thank everyone who stopped by. To those who weren’t able to make it, we hope to see you next year. Here’s a quick look at what happened for Action Target during SHOT Show 2014.

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Action Target has been the official steel target of Industry Days at the Range (formerly Media Day at the Range) for several years and has donated more than 200 targets to SHOT Show to host the event. Each exhibitor is given a number of targets to use when demonstrating their firearms. Many bays were also equipped with paper and cardboard targets from Action Target’s subsidiary Law Enforcement Targets which is the official paper target of Industry Days at the Range.

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Industry Days at the Range was a huge success in its first year as a two-day event. Members of the media were invited to the first day, and buyers were allowed to come on the second day to try out various firearms and systems.

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The Action Target Industry Days at the Range Safety Award was presented to Adcore for the extra precautions they took to ensure every person who shot on their bay was fully briefed on range rules, emergency precautions, and gun etiquette. They also had eight combat medics on hand in case of an injury. In addition to the award, Adcore received credit toward the cost of next year’s spot at Industry Days at the Range.

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Action Target went all out this year with a huge two-story booth that reached nearly 25 feet up tall.

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One section of the booth included a shooting stall and target retriever setup featuring new stall designs from Action Target and innovative target retrievers from Action Target subsidiary Mancom Manufacturing. Current and potential clients were able to get a hands-on feel for what their own first-class shooting ranges could be with actual working equipment.

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The first floor of the booth included TVs with education videos, places to sit and talk as well as a full wall of past performance examples.

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The top floor of the booth included meeting areas where Action Target’s shooting range consultants could talk with their clients and discuss plans. A drafter was present in the booth to create custom range drawings there at the show allowing potential range owners to walk away feeling that their projects are one step closer to a reality.

SHOT Show 2014 - 24

The Action Target portable targets booth was just a stone’s throw away from the corporate Action Target booth. This year’s focus was on signing up dealers with the added benefit of free shipping for any order made at the show. The booth also featured a new pneumatic military target system and a sneak peek at the upcoming Action Target Military Strong steel target line.

SHOT Show 2014 - 18

The portable targets booth was hard to miss with giant cutouts of a shooter and PT Plate Rack extending beyond the 12′ backdrop. Several friends dropped by including Randi Rogers, Evil Roy, Razor Dobbs, Texas Triggers, Rob Leatham, Fateofdestinee, Panteao Productions, and the Firearms Radio Network.

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Law Enforcement Targets had a strong presence at the show with plenty of steel targets and a full rack of paper and cardboard targets.

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Corporate partner Ti Training had a prominent position in the Law Enforcement Targets booth where they showed off their simulated training system that allows users to use real firearms that have been modified with a laser and compressed air system for realistic recoil.

Thank you to all of our friends and especially the NSSF for putting on yet another fantastic SHOT Show.

Illinois Concealed Carry Instructor Fraud: Are Citizens Being Trained Correctly to Carry Concealed Firearms?

By John Krupa III

As citizens rush to obtain their Illinois Concealed Carry License (CCL) many unwarily fall victim to instructors failing to properly administer the state mandated training requirements.

The Illinois State Rifle Association (ISRA) and the Illinois State Police have received numerous complaints that ISP “approved instructors” are taking shortcuts, skipping required training elements or simply signing off on CCL certifications without presenting any course material at all!

As one of the Senior State of Illinois Certified Master Firearms Instructors I feel obligated to take point addressing these issues to not only alert citizens of CCL instructor fraud, but also contribute to the education of ISP approved CCL firearms instructors state-wide.

Getting your Illinois Concealed Carry License

When people ask me “What’s the best way to find a reliable CCL instructor?” here’s the advice I give them: Take your time, do your research and don’t rush at the first open slot in a class. It’s better to find an instructor you are confident in and wait your turn to train with him / her.LETC 2013 - 186

When you find an instructor on the Internet that interests you, make sure that person is listed as an approved instructor on the Illinois State Police website. If they are not listed on the approved instructor list, but are offering Illinois CCL classes, then it’s a scam!

What is the instructor’s background?

Do the instructors have their credentials available for you to review on their website? If they don’t have their credentials posted on their website, ask them to provide you with a copy of their Professional Vita. If they decline to show you their Professional Vita, I’d seriously question considering them as the person you want to complete your CCL training with.

Keep in mind that the person you select to certify you for your CCL is the person that is required to retain your training records and will be one of the witnesses that will be subpoenaed to court to testify on your behalf. The selection process to secure your personal defense experts starts BEFORE you use deadly force, and begins with the person you select to certify you for your CCL!

When reviewing an instructor’s credentials, you also want to look at the instructor’s experience. Are you selecting a person that specializes in personal defense training? Can they demonstrate the length of their experience on this subject? Will that person be able to provide expert testimony in court on your behalf based on their established experience? You may want to consider avoiding inexperienced instructors with no background so you don’t end up being their crash test dummies.

Get familiar with the Illinois CCL law

Go to the ISP website and download the Illinois CCL Law PDF. It’s a lengthy document (over 160 pages) so I’m recommending students to copy it to a thumb drive and take it to their local print shop and have them print it out. Have the print shop copy it double sided on 3-hole punched paper so you can keep it in a binder. This will allow you to highlight the important issues you need to remember and make notes where needed.

Read the law and become familiar with it prior to attending your CCL certification course. Write down questions on topics you don’t understand and have them ready to ask the instructors as they cover those topics. You are not going to become intimate with this law over a 16-hour course. Ultimately, it will be up to you to know and understand the law.

Review the list of topics the Illinois CCL law requires you to learn

Go to the ISP website and download the Concealed Carry License Firearms Curriculum Approval PDF. This form outlines the curriculum elements that each instructor is required to present to their students in their classes by State law.

Print this form out and bring it with you to class and check off each element as the instructor presents them to ensure the instructor covers all of the elements you are required to learn.

Should the instructor miss any of the required elements that are listed on the Curriculum Approval form or fails to cover them in detail, make sure you ask questions about those elements until you are satisfied that you understand them.

If an instructor deliberately skips any of the elements they are required to teach or refuses to address your questions about elements they have failed to cover, then you HAVE NOT been properly trained as required by State law.

If this happens, I recommend that you immediately withdraw from the class, request that your tuition be refunded and find an instructor on the ISP website that is going to present the course materials correctly.

If you are the victim of ANY instructor transgressions described in this article, you should be aware that the Illinois State Police has investigators assigned to investigate these violations! Any ISP sustained complaints will result in that instructor’s ISP approval ID number being revoked and their name removed from the approved instructor list.

Tips for ISP Approved CCL Firearms Instructors

First and foremost, congratulations if you made the ISP approved instructors list. While many of you have worked very hard to become certified and registered to teach Illinois CCL courses, it is important to know that the bulk of the instructor transgressions that have been reported to the ISP have been committed by a very small percentage of approved instructors.LETC 2013 - 062

With that being said, here are some tips that can help you provide the most professional CCL training courses to your students.

Know the law and protect your students

There is A LOT of responsibility in teaching this program. As an instructor, you have to know the Illinois CCL law beyond a “working knowledge”. Instructors need to be able to understand the law at a level where they should not only be able to teach it, but also be able to explain what they presented as an expert during testimony at depositions and in a court of law.

An instructor must be able to demonstrate knowledge of the Illinois CCL law beyond the familiarization offered to students. If an instructor fails to demonstrate accurate knowledge of the law during testimony, how can the instructor testify (demonstrate) that his / her students were trained correctly?

If a student claims that they did what they were trained to do and it’s proven during depositions and / or court testimony that the instructor did not train the student correctly, the student is at fault for not understanding the law!

In turn, as soon as the student is found liable for punitive damages (or possibly criminally convicted) that student is going to file a vicarious liability lawsuit against the instructor for failure to train (i.e. improper training).

There are many cases that have influenced law enforcement training policy changes along these lines where police officers sued their agency and fellow officers for these very same reasons.

Instructors are responsible for EVERY student they certify! If one of your students is involved in a CCL related use of deadly force incident (good or bad) you can bet that the instructor that certified them is going to be subpoenaed to testify in that case.

Be thorough in your presentation and cover all CCL elements

Shortcuts are not an option, so don’t skip material or leave anything out. Present the Illinois CCL curriculum as required. Your students are relying on you to be the expert on this. Earn your students trust and give them the confidence that you have their back and they can rely on you if their case ends up in court.

So many instructors are bent on presenting their CCL programs at the minimum standards! If you read the ISP curriculum requirements, you will see that the ISP leaves the discretion up to the instructors to exceed those standards.

This means you can increase the number of training hours to include enhanced course elements; more dry-practice drills, more live-fire drills, extended lectures on combat mindset, situational awareness, conflict resolution, etc.

You don’t need to turn this into a 20 or 30 hour course, but to add another 1 or 2 hours onto your program to make sure your students have everything they need is just another way of showing how professional you are at what you do and that you care about your students safety and wellbeing.

Take pride in the program you present and your students will be proud to have trained with you!

Continue to build your instructor credentials

“As instructors, we are committed to serving our students. We serve our students by striving for excellence in training and being the best we can at what we do. We become the best by constantly training hard and seeking perfection in every task we complete. These are the traits that make us unique.”

– John Krupa III, Chicago Police Department, IALEFI Conference 2007

Whether you’re a brand new NRA Basic Pistol Instructor or you’ve been teaching for the last 20 years, you never stop training! The firearms training industry is constantly evolving and requires us to keep up with training trends and continuous maintenance of our skill-set.

Attend as many training courses as you can. Study what other instructors are doing and see how you can apply new training concepts to your Illinois CCL course. The more diverse your training background is the stronger presence you will have as a professional trainer and expert witness.

Join professional instructor associations such as the International Association of Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors (IALEFI) and the International Law Enforcement Educators & Trainers Association (ILEETA). Attend annual training conferences and network with your fellow instructors.

In the end, your instructor skills will only be as good as you allow them to be. Don’t let yourself fall into a comfort zone where you start thinking “I know everything I need to know about shooting and teaching”. So many instructors fall into this pit and many never make it out.

Where is the Illinois CCL program headed?

Ultimately, the Illinois CCL program will only be as good as we want it to be. If we allow incompetent instructors to breed incompetent CCL students the potential exists to generate negative case law that could result in stricter CCL restrictions or rescinding the Illinois CCL law altogether.

We have an obligation and responsibility to work together to protect this right that we have worked so hard to establish in Illinois. Let’s train smart, train safe and carry responsibly.

As always – stay safe.

 

About John Krupa III

John Krupa IIIJohn is a police officer with the Orland Hills Police Dept. (IL) and has over 23 years of experience in law enforcement. He has previously served as a patrol officer, rapid response officer, FTO and firearms instructor with the Chicago Police Dept. He is a recipient of the Award of Valor, Silver Star for Bravery and Distinguished Service Award for his actions in the line of duty. He is a certified Master Firearms Instructor from PTI and graduate firearms instructor from the Secret Service Academy, FBI, DEA and FLETC. He holds the rating of Distinguished Weapons Expert with the Department of Homeland Security and has presented numerous courses at training conferences across the country including ASLET, IALEFI, and ILEETA. John can be reached at – jkrupa@teamspartan.com

For more information about training courses offered by John Krupa, visit his website at www.TeamSpartan.com

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Action Target as a company.

What Great Shooting Ranges Look Like Inside and Out

We are proud of every range we build. Hard work, dedication to quality and safety, along with expert knowledge go into every project. Out of all the shooting range projects Action Target completed in 2013, the following four ranges stood out as great examples of what shooting ranges can be and should be by adapting with the changing industry. Click on the photos to learn more about each range.

 

POINT BLANK

Point Blank in Cincinnati is owner Tom Willingham’s second shooting range. There are only four locations in the world that use the new Mancom AWD wireless target retrievers and this range is one of them.

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Centershot Gun Range

Centershot Gun Range has two shooting bays so they can accommodate law enforcement and  the general public at the same time and with different training scenarios.

Centershot

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Barracks 616

Barracks 616 was designed with opaque shooting stalls to provide privacy for shooters and PEPP sound dampening material creating a more comfortable atmosphere for shooters by reducing the reverberation generated by gun shots.

Barracks 616

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shoot Straight

Shoot Straight in Fort Lauderdale is the seventh Shoot Straight location in Florida. This shooting range features 24 lanes rated for rifle and pistol use to provide customers the opportunity to shoot a wide variety of calibers in one location.

Shoot Straight

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2013 showed continued growth in the shooting sport in part because of the new indoor commercial ranges opening up throughout the nation. They are not the old, dark, and foreboding shooting ranges of the past; they are comfortable and inviting for new and experienced shooters alike. There are many other great ranges that Action Target was a part of and we wish we could show them all off here but that would make for an extremely long post. To everyone we have had the opportunity to work with, we thank you.

7 Public Relations Tips for Shooting Ranges

Point Blank RangePublic relations can be difficult no matter what industry you’re in, but for those who own shooting ranges and gun shops, it can be absolutely terrifying. It seems the majority of news stories about shooting ranges are purely negative and focus on battles over zoning, environmental concerns, community opposition, or violent crime. The media may seem to have complete control over the conversation, but there are things you can do to shed some positive light on your range and the industry in general. If you own a shooting range, work at a shooting range, or you are planning to build one, here are seven tips that will help you overcome the preconceived notions, myths, and fears that surround them.

#1: Educate your neighbors.

People fear what they do not understand. The majority of the resistance you will experience in building your range is often the product of a lack of understanding from misinformation. A quick online search will show the majority news stories that talk about shooting ranges center on how they create dangerous environments for children and communities because of the presence of guns or the possibility of bullets escaping the confines of the range. Do not be afraid to attend local civic meetings and community events or even go door to door to educate the public about your project and how it will benefit the community as a whole. It is important to be visual and factual in your presentation. Use pictures and graphs to illustrate your points rather than relying solely upon words. Always exercise caution when speaking to the public and local government officials. Before you attempt to communicate openly about your shooting range project, you should conduct or find research to determine the political atmosphere of your community. Depending on potential resistance, keeping a low profile may be the best course of action rather than attacking public perception head on.

#2: Know what makes your range unique.

Red Dot Firearms 21When it comes to the media, it is not enough to say you’re building a “state-of-the-art” shooting range. You need to know what makes you unique from every other range that also claims to be “state-of-the-art.” Look closely at your equipment, business model, history, future plans, and services. Somewhere in those details is an angle that will draw the attention of the media. A great example of this is Eagle Gun Range in Lewisville, Texas. Owner David Prince contacted the media early and often but was met with complete indifference because several shooting ranges had already opened in the area in a fairly short amount of time. After a number of attempts, a reporter finally asked, “What makes you different from all the other ranges?” Prince began listing all the aspects that make Eagle Gun Range so great including safe equipment, training classes, inventory, and events like birthday parties. What caught the reporter’s attention were the events. “Birthday parties? Like, for children?”

What followed was a media frenzy. Not only did it catch the attention of the local news agencies, the story also found its way into the national limelight with coverage from ABC News, Yahoo News, Fox Business, U.S. News on NBC, The Blaze, and Guns.com. Even Jimmy Kimmel caught wind of it and featured a skit about the range called “Chuck E Norris” on his show. Obviously, not all of the coverage was positive, but it gave Prince a chance to talk about his range on a public stage and draw enormous attention before the range had even opened.

#3: Talk to the media early and often.

Red Dot Firearms 06The media does not have to be your enemy. If you help them by providing a story that is newsworthy, they will help you. It is important that you reach out to them early in the process and approach them often. Invite them out to visit your range during different stages of the building process. Explain to them how your bullet trap works and why it is impossible for bullets to escape the range. Show them what makes your range unique. Give them the opportunity to shoot on your range (include both the reporter and the camera operator). Talk about how your range will protect the environment with your lead collection and ventilation systems. The more you get the media to your range, the more you can influence the conversation and educate the public.

#4: Host a grand opening event.

Holding a grand opening event is one of the best ways to get the attention of your local community and media. Don’t jump the gun, though. It’s generally best to have an unannounced soft opening with your grand opening celebration taking place a few weeks or even a month later. Delaying the grand opening will give you time to make sure everything works properly, shelves are stocked, and employees are trained. Coordinate with one of the main firearm brands you will carry to be on site during the event to do demonstrations or even hold raffles (if charging for raffle tickets, make sure you follow your state’s gambling laws). You can also draw attention by offering discounts or sales on merchandise, range passes, memberships, etc. Invite notable community members like the mayor and the chief of police and include them in an official ceremony like a ribbon cutting (or ribbon shooting). Once plans have been made, get the word out to the media. Research reporters in your area who would possibly be interested and send them an official invitation two weeks in advance that quickly details what will happen, who will attend, and why it is important. Send the invitation early in the week to avoid traditional end-of-the-week deadlines, and keep it as short as possible.

Hire a professional photographer to be at the event. Photography is often one of the most overlooked aspects of opening a range. Too often, a new shooting range opens and the only available photos are dark and grainy and were taken before construction was even complete on whoever’s cell phone happened to be handy. Invest in a good photographer to document your range and provide you with attractive photos that you can use on your website, in social media, and in the news. The better you can portray your range through photos, the more people will want to come.

#5: Be an expert on all things firearms to the media.

Red Dot Firearms 12Your range doesn’t have to be the source of the news in order to get into the news. In today’s world, there is no shortage of news stories involving firearms in one way or another. Present yourself as a firearms expert to the media, and they will seek your opinion. Doug VanderWoude, OnTarget Range Manager for AcuSport and former owner of Silver Bullet Firearms, managed to get his range into Time Magazine. It wasn’t because his gun shop/shooting range did anything worthy of national attention but because VanderWoude actively contacted the media and presented himself as an expert in the field. So when Time Magazine began writing an article on booming gun sales, they came knocking at his door first. Merely owning a shooting range does not necessarily qualify you as an expert, however. Make sure you’re up to the task by reading as many publications about the firearms industry from as many different sources possible. Focus on politics, local firearms laws, trends, new products or innovations, and firearms makes and models. The more you can back up your personal experiences with trends and research, the better you will perform as an industry spokesman.

#6: Hold/support regular community events.

Continue to interact with your community regularly. Host various shooting groups (especially women shooting groups) at your range on specific days or nights. Hold IDPA, USPSA, Ruger Rimfire Challenge, or other competitions at your range if possible. Support local organizations like the Boy Scouts of America, law enforcement agencies, and veterans groups. Make sure you plan events well in advance to provide adequate time to advertise and plan them. If you do not give your community enough time to plan to attend or even the opportunity to find out about the events you hold, these will end up damaging you rather than benefiting you.

#7: Maintain Constant Contact.

Never stop building and strengthening your brand. Communicating with your customers, the community, and the gun industry outside of work will help build mutually beneficial relationships. There are too many ways you can do this to list all of them, but here are the ones we feel are most effective when used correctly:

  • Social media – Make good use of Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and other platforms to provide an easy way for your customers and community to communicate with you. These are great places to talk about events, share pictures, and post how-tos. As the social media population continues to grow, it is ever more important to have an active presence.
  • Craft a newsletter – You do not have to publish a daily, weekly, or even monthly newsletter. It just needs to be consistent and expected. You and your staff are firearms experts, so share that knowledge as much and as often as you can. Newsletters are a great place to put a calendar of events to let people know what is happening at your range and when.
  • Spotlight your employees – You can do this in the newsletter, on social media, through the news, or in your business. If you have an employee that is a trained instructor, excellent with customer service, or anything else that is noteworthy, brag about them.
  • Listen to your customers – You have to listen to your customers and make changes based on what you hear. Your ability to adjust to the needs of customers will determine your success. Actively listen to their suggestions by providing a forum. Include a comments and suggestions section on your website, host surveys through social media, and ask every customer who comes through your doors what is most important to them.

No matter where you are at in your range project, it is never too late to take control of your public image. Remember that your reputation, image, and brand are all living things. The moment you stop feeding and putting effort into them is when they will start to work against you.

Help Shape the Changing Face of Shooting Sports

A young woman practices correct form at an Action Target shooting range.According to a recent study done by the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), “the landscape of target shooters has shifted.” With 20% of current shooters having taken up the sport in just the last five years, a new generation has emerged with a completely different demographic profile.

The study compares established shooters (more than five years of experience) with new shooters and shows that this new wave of shooting enthusiasts is often younger, female, and urban. Here’s a breakdown of the numbers:

Younger: 66 percent of new shooters fall into the 18-to-34-year-old category compared to 31 percent in the same age category for established shooters.

Female: 37 percent of new target shooters are female compared to 22 percent of established target shooters.

Urban: 47 percent of new target shooters live in urban/suburban settings versus 34 percent of established target shooters.

Miles Hall poses with his wife at H&H Shooting Sports in Oklahoma City.
Miles Hall poses with his wife at H&H Shooting Sports.

For owners of shooting ranges and gun shops, this means that it is no longer “business as usual.” As customer demographics change, so must the industry.

Innovative shooting ranges and gun shops across the country have taken notice of the trend and are adjusting the way they do business. One such innovator is Miles Hall, owner of H&H Shooting Sports in Oklahoma City.

“Shooting is not a men’s only club anymore,” Hall said. “47 percent of our customer base is women.”

In response to the shift, Hall has made a concerted effort to upgrade his shooting range facilities and provide firearms training that meets the demands of the new generation of shooters.

“There’s a huge audience out there who want to shoot, and you’re going to have to have the right equipment to take care of them,” Hall said. “The shooting sport has changed, and you have to either be changing with it or you’re going to die in the past.”

How You Can Help

A young woman points a semi-automatic handgun downrange.
(Photo taken remotely with an unloaded gun)

As a company that not only manufactures shooting range equipment but also consults with range owners on every aspect of their businesses, we try to provide the most accurate information to help them succeed. In response to the industry’s shifting demographics, Action Target has created a survey to better understand the preferences of women when it comes to shooting range equipment, technology, and amenities.

Take the survey here.

Survey participants who qualify will receive a one-time use 20% discount to Action Target’s online store. The discount will be available through the end of the year.

What Makes a Professional Firearms Instructor?

By Dave Staskievicz

Editor’s Note: Action Target has republished this article in its entirety with the permission of the author. Ideas, comments, practices, recommendations, etc. are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of Action Target.

LETC 2013 - 073There are so many different types of “firearms instructors” that it’s virtually impossible to give a standardized answer to this question. In no way do I think I have all the answers to this question. The purpose of this article is to simply get instructors thinking about possible answers.

Depending on the type of firearms instructor you are, your answers might be a little different. Just so we are all on the same page, a few examples of different types of instructors I’m referring to are hunter safety, trap, range safety, NRA, competition, defensive shooting, and tactical (law enforcement / military – life and death).

There are a wide variety of training doctrines and techniques to choose from – I won’t talk about any of them. This article will focus on the different attributes that make up a professional firearms instructor.

12-2 LETC 2013 - 174As I look at it, there are levels and stepping stones in your instructing career. Generally speaking, I would venture to say some of the best instructors have law enforcement (LE) and/or military backgrounds. However, I’m sure there are exceptions out there.

The majority of my experience as a firearms instructor comes from the LE / military arenas. However, I do occasionally help out with hunter safety and even coach some trap. Over the years, I have tried to listen and learn from many colleagues and instructors. One of the first lessons I learned was that I don’t know everything.

The first thing is to remember you can always learn something new. Never rest on your laurels, and always try to learn something that will make you a better instructor. Find a mentor or mentors and work on how you instruct. Every time I watch someone else teach, I’m trying to learn another way to communicate or relay information to the student. You can never stop learning and improving. I would never claim to be the best instructor, but looking back, I wasn’t a very strong instructor when I first started.

In my opinion, there are a few areas that make or break you as a good, professional instructor. I’m going to break down and discuss a few of these.

Professionalism

Standing barricadeSince we are trying to define what a professional firearms instructor is, it seems the first place to start would be to discuss professionalism. As I said earlier, there are many types of instructors which will alter some of the requirements. To begin with, we owe it to our students and our industry to have a clean professional appearance and attire. If you’re honest with yourself, it’s hard to disagree with the idea of showing a professional appearance. It’s not difficult to wear a polo or other collared shirt. Wearing some sort of T-shirt or an untucked shirt just tells your students you’re sloppy and unprofessional.

Professionalism also includes your documentation for the class. Every class needs a lesson plan and supporting documentation. Did you make a range safety plan and safety brief for your students and instructors? We can never afford to take safety for granted. Don’t cut corners or fall back on the “do what I say, not what I do” motto. Always set the example for your students.

Be courteous and respectful to your students and other instructors. Never bash another instructor or their techniques – that just shows that you are unprofessional. Never contradict another instructor in front of students unless it deals with an immediate safety issue. During a break, take the instructor aside and privately discuss any difference or suggestions.

Evaluate Yourself – Keep an Open Mind

IMG_0758I have already mentioned that you can always learn something new. To do that, you need to continually reevaluate yourself as a firearms instructor. I put a date on all of my police recruit / instructor manuals to require myself to reevaluate the techniques, tactics, and gear every two years. If you haven’t changed any of your curriculum in more than two years, you have most likely rested on your laurels and are now becoming a liability. Be open to evaluating different techniques.

Just because an instructor has the most years of service behind his name, it doesn’t mean he is the best firearms instructor. This is especially true if there isn’t an open mind to progress and change.

Evaluate Techniques, Tactics, and Gear

This area is critically important, especially for defensive and tactical firearms instructors. Realizing we need to keep an open mind about ourselves, we also need to keep an open mind about our techniques, tactics, and gear. As we look at new tactics, we always have to remember that some look really cool on a flat, sterile range when the students’ heart rates are low. Always evaluate the validity of a new tactic or piece of gear before you introduce it into the classroom. Will the technique work when the student performs it with an elevated heart rate? Far too often, I’ve seen an instructor show students a “cool” technique that doesn’t pass the common sense test.

Position #2 shooting _ Cover BlockThe worst thing a professional firearms instructor can do is to fail to vet a new technique, tactic, or piece of gear. Many times, I’ve watched an instructor go to a school or seminar, learn some new tactic, and come back to start teaching it as the “new coolest thing” in the world of shooting. Usually, within a few weeks or months, the instructor realizes the technique isn’t sound and may only work on flat, sterile ranges as opposed to real world situations. The problem is that the damage is already done. Every instructor is liable for what they have taught the students that have already completed the class. Good, professional instructors will vet any new technique before they go out and teach it to students. Consequently, they need to incorporate any changes into their lesson plans and stay consistent.

Think about this: if you’re with a group of instructors evaluating different techniques or gear and you’re always the one talking or you’re never wrong, you just figured out the issue – it’s YOU! If you run the training, you have to remember a good leader always depends on others to make you look good. Once you think you know everything, you are doomed. It’s impossible for one person to know everything, and if you think you do and you’re always right, you are the liability for your training program. Most of this comes down to leaving your ego at home. Remember, story time reduces training time.

As you update your curriculum, remember to have integrity. don’t take credit for other people’s work. Simply changing the name of a technique doesn’t make it yours, so don’t try to make a name for yourself that way. If you change the name of a technique, you will typically end up confusing your students anyway. This comes back to the ego again. The more you have to tell people how great you are, the more you are covering up your inabilities as an instructor or person.

Learning Environment

The most important thing a good firearms instructor can do is to help a student learn. Always remember, we must walk before we run. Breaking everything down into small tasks (modules) will go a long way to accomplish this goal.

  1. Explain what you are going to do
  2. Show them what you want them to do
  3. Demonstrate what you want them to do
  4. Have the student replicate what you want them to do in small parts (modules)

IMG_1040I still live by the old military adage we learned: KISS (Keep It Simple). We can drop off the last S. Trying to impress your students with big words only confuses the students and makes learning harder. There is no need to carry a dictionary on the range. It comes right back to the ego again.

Students always need to have a positive learning experience. For example, when teaching some of the basic fundamentals of firearms, we need to understand why a student’s rounds are going to a certain location. A good instructor has learned how to break down the drills to help students learn why their rounds are always going to a certain place. Until a new instructor understands this, a simple shot analysis card can be an easy first step for learning.

Do I have all the answers? Absolutely not. If I ever thought I did, I would be a liability to myself and others around me. Remember, the purpose of this article is simply to get instructors to think about what a professional firearms instructor is and then take the time to evaluate themselves and their curriculum.

As for the idea of coming up with standards for firearms instructors, I don’t think it’s a very easy or feasible task. The biggest problem with this would be that there doesn’t seem to be a good clearinghouse to standardize a professional firearms instructor.

Remember, as firearms instructors, our goals need to revolve around providing the best possible real world learning environment for our students. Teaching a student to shoot a firearm has a great deal of liability surrounding it. Having students use what they have learned from you in defense of their lives or another person’s life is forever rewarding.

StaskiewiczAbout Dave Staskiewicz

Officer Dave Staskiewicz is Range Master of the Omaha, Nebraska Police Department. He serves as the lead firearms instructor as well as the lead Taser instructor. Dave can be reached at dstaskiewicz@ci.omaha.ne.us.

Action Target Law Enforcement Training Camp a Huge Success

Action Target’s annual Law Enforcement Training Camp ended Friday as instructors and trainees parted ways after another year of advanced firearms training.3 Panorama - Lobby

This year’s LETC was attended by 128 law enforcement officers and firearms instructors from across the country and the world. Nearly 20 states were represented with officers from Hawaii and California to Florida and Pennsylvania. While LETC is traditionally a domestic law enforcement camp, as its fame has spread throughout the world, we’ve increasingly received requests to attend from foreign law enforcement agencies. This year, 12 officers from Canada and one officer from Brazil attended as well.

On Monday, Sept. 9, officers arrived at Action Target’s headquarters to sign in and pick up their gear which included personalized gun cases and water bottles. They were also able to tour the facilities where all of Action Target’s productscart Small are designed, engineered, and manufactured.

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Classes started Tuesday morning at the Utah County Sheriff’s Office Thistle Firing Range. This year’s training classes included Bob Schneider’s Shoot House Training, James Washington’s Training for the Fight with the Pistol, a Glock armorer’s course, and many others. A total of 12 instructors participated from a variety of organizations including Spartan Tactical Training GroupSafariland Shooting SchoolHoffners Training AcademyGlock Training Division, Police Training Division, JDS Tactical, and Clayton County Police Department.

Some of the world’s finest law enforcement instructors teach at the camp every year. Firearms training professional Brian Hoffner, who has been an instructor at LETC nearly every year since the mid ’90s, encourages students to constantly learn more and to keep coming back to LETC every year.

“I tell my students, first of all, if you get one thing from every class, then this camp has been successful,” he said. “But you don’t stop there. You continue to be a sponge and you keep coming back to this LETC every year because you’ll pick up that one thing or more every time. And then you take it back and you share it. We lead by example, we save lives, we keep departments safe.”

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Wednesday night, more than 30 officers at the camp put their skills to the test in the Dirty Harry shooting competition as they vied for free tuition at next year’s LETC. Participants were required to shoot a variety of reactive steel targets while moving among three separate stations. The officer with the fastest time would win free tuition to LETC 2013 with second and third place winning significant tuition discounts. For the fifth year in a row, a law enforcement officer from Utah Highway Patrol won the competition showing that home court advantage has its benefits even when it comes to shooting.

The classes themselves were anything but fun and games, however. LETC participant Dan Cord (who served in Fallujah, Iraq, before becoming the lead guitarist of the rock band American Hitmen) said he learned more in three days at the camp than he learned since joining the Marine Corps.31 LETC 2013 - 157

“When they said you’ll be able to do 2 in the chest 1 in the head in 1.68 seconds by the end of the day, I didn’t think it was doable. But by the end of the day, we were doing it. I’ve done more reloads and loads with a handgun in the past few days than I have in years. It’s amazing how you can train your motor skills and pretty soon you’re not even thinking about that, you’re thinking about the next target.”

The camp ended Friday afternoon with one final day of classes before attendees began their long journeys home to locations across the nation and the world.

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We at Action Target were honored to have so many exceptional officers at this year’s camp, and we hope that each one took home something new that they can share with the men and women they serve with. Superior law enforcement training has always been one of our corporate missions, but we couldn’t make that happen without the continued assistance of our instructors and the participation of the world’s finest. To everyone that attended, instructed, or helped, we thank you and hope you enjoyed your time with us.