Tag: shooting range

The NSSF Gives Five-Star Range Rating To Shooters World of Florida

Florida’s Shooters World Earns
NSSF Five-Star Range Rating


NEWTOWN, Conn. – The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the trade association for the firearms industry, is pleased to announce that Shooters World has been recognized with the association’s Five-Star range rating. This is the first range in Florida to receive a star rating under NSSF’s revised evaluation system launched in 2016.

Shooters World is said to be the largest combination retail store, indoor firing range and firearms training center in the State of Florida with a footprint encompassing more than 62,000 square feet. Operating seven days a week, the shooting facility includes 27 pistol range lanes, and seven 100-yard rifle range lanes, all of which can handle .50-caliber fire and can be used for Shooters World’s many training programs. Customers can take advantage of everything from curriculums developed specifically for junior shooters and women to concealed carry, hunter safety and advanced skills classes. A generous rental gun program and an expansive retail center support the range and provide a complete shopping and entertainment experience to a steady stream of recreational firearms owners – from beginner to expert – serving the entire densely populated Tampa Bay metro area.

“We were certainly impressed with Shooters World when we awarded it our Five-Star rating under our original program,” said Zach Snow, NSSF Director, Range Services. “To say that we were wowed with what they’ve done since that first recognition under our previous rating program would be an understatement. This company’s team of professionals has demonstrated it is dedicated to providing a memorable customer experience to every person who walks through its doors. Combined with the high overall quality of the facility and the staff’s commitment to safety and education, Shooters World sets the bar for our elite Five-Star ranges.”

“All of us at Shooters World are humbled and grateful to receive the new Five-Star range certification and award,” said Bing Kearney, Shooters World owner. “Shooters World continuously strives to provide our customers, employees and vendors with the world’s best firearms experience in the exercise of our Second Amendment rights, while listening to our patrons and embracing change that improves our facility and services. This, along with our mandatory objective for providing outstanding customer service, makes for a very comfortable, family-oriented environment for all of our guests. The entire Shooters World Team here in Tampa is very honored to receive the new Five-Star rating and will always strive to exceed the new, more stringent criteria.” 

NSSF’s highly respected Star-Rating Range Program works to encourage ranges of all sizes and locations to excel. Applying for rating requires answering a comprehensive questionnaire and business owner self-evaluation of the facilities, staff, community outreach and other criteria. Ranges that appear to meet the criteria for Four- or Five-star rating receive an on-site evaluation by NSSF staff. NSSF member ranges that meet a Three-star rating are recognized for being a part of the Star-Rating range family and are provided guidance to improve their facilities and achieve the higher two ratings. For more information, including instructions on how to apply for NSSF’s Star-Rating Range Program, visit www.nssf.org/ranges or contact Zach Snow at zsnow@nssf.org.

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About NSSF The National Shooting Sports Foundation is the trade association for the firearms industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of more than 12,000 manufacturers, distributors, firearms retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen’s organizations and publishers. For more information, visit www.nssf.org.

NRA’s American Rifleman Tests the AWD Pro

Training With the Action Target AWD Range System

Training With the Action Target AWD Range System

Although we spend a good deal of time discussing firearms and ammunition on this site, they wouldn’t be all that interesting to own without quality shooting ranges where we can exercise our rights. One company that’s often overlooked by the average shooter for its important contribution to the industry is Action Target of Provo, Utah.

 

Founded in 1986, Action Target started out by providing a pneumatic turning-target system for the Provo Police Department to use for training its officers. Over the years, this company has developed top-grade range technology favored by military and law enforcement around the world.

 

If you attend SHOT Show, you’ll find that Action Target takes up a section of floor space more like a city block than a booth slot. Today’s in-house options from Action Target include a variety of equipment such as portable interactive steel targets, eco-friendly bullet traps and entire training structures like the ALERRT shoot house. A tour of its production facility revealed just how much steel the company processes into range equipment.

   

As much as we can appreciate the services and facilities that help keep our country’s service personnel sharp, most of us will never get to use them. I wanted to learn more about how Action Target is tackling the training needs of John Q. Public. To answer this question, I was invited to company headquarters where I was introduced to the AWD Range System, one of the more advanced options currently installed at commercial indoor ranges.

The AWD, or All Wheel Drive target support (called a target retriever), was just one part of the complete set of furniture at the test range I visited. The shooting stalls, ceiling-mounted rails, noise abatement, bullet trap and ventilation were all selected from Action Target Offerings. These elements all came together to form a professional grade, clean-lined shooting environment that was comfortable and convenient to use.

Traditional square ranges, which wheel paper targets back and forth, are useful for developing important marksmanship skills such as forming a sight picture, trigger press and reloading. Paper targets also have the advantage of being fairly inexpensive. However, back-and-forth targets don’t offer much more than that. Even the most devoted shooting enthusiast can, at times, find traditional square ranges to be a little tedious.

The AWD system employs the rail-mounted target retriever paired with a programmable, wireless touch-screen control pad. The retriever is fast, smooth and quiet, traveling at up to four yards per second. It’s also accurate, consistently stopping along the rail within 0.5″ of its programmed position. The retriever’s paper-target clamp is motorized to rotate 360 degrees. This allows it to display the front, back and side edge of the target toward the shooter and present a variety of shoot/don’t shoot configurations as the target changes locations.

What makes the AWD system such an interesting and useful update to square-range shooting is software programmed into the wireless touch control. To keep folks engaged, it’s preloaded with more than two dozen different games and drills developed by professional instructors. Beginner, intermediate and advanced formats are available for pistols and rifles. The Pistol Qualification Drills can be used by civilians or law enforcement to practice using standardized qualification scenarios. The personal-defense programs provide self-guided training with charging, reload and decision-making drills, while the game programs keep things interesting.

One of the system’s programmed behaviors that was refreshing and challenging to work with is called a “tease” function. There are times that when the target is turned edgewise, it will twitch as if it’s about to turn, but then it doesn’t. In other words, it tries to fake you out once in a while! If you’re too quick on the trigger you’ll send a round hurdling downrange into empty space.

The AWD’s programmable controls and the option to use a wide variety of different paper targets make the system one of the most flexible indoor shooting experiences available. Using a duty-size Smith & Wesson M&P 9 mm pistol provided by the staff, I started off with a basic shoot/don’t shoot drill with the target stopping, turning to face me and then moving further away for the next series of shots. Simple exercises are a great place to start for the beginner or to get warmed up.

Then we switched over to an intermediate skills drill using a target with much smaller round strike zones. The target’s face times were much shorter, varied in length, and the target would tease me from time to time. This was much more challenging. For those ranges that choose to add it, the system includes advanced lighting features. Choose from a constant on “daylight” white light, or low-light situations that include simulated muzzle flashes or police-car strobe lights.

The shooting session wrapped up with self-defense scenarios, which can provide a real eye-opening experience. Unlike most ranges, where the targets usually rest a good ways out, the AWD can be programmed to drive a paper target straight toward the shooter at high speed to simulate the charge of an assailant. In my case, we used an image of an attacker wielding a knife. I caught myself “rubber necking” with this target a couple of times.

When drivers become focused on an accident at the side of the road, their hands will turn the steering wheel toward that spot, causing the car to drift out of its lane. As the target charged me from several yards away, I had a few shots drift from center to the left side of the target as it rushed up to me. That’s where the knife was, over on the left side. As the threat drew closer, I let my attention drift from center mass to the knife. As a result, the shot placement followed. Details like these can only be learned through personal experience.

 

The Action Target AWD system has been installed at commercial shooting ranges all around the country. Just follow this link and use the map at the bottom of the page to locate a facility near you. And as long as you’re on the site, take a few minutes to look over the top-notch selection of portable steel targets the company offers as well.

DUEL RUNNING MAN PRO

ACTION TARGET LAUNCHES THE DRM PRO, 

DELIVERING AN ADVANCED RUNNING MAN TRAINING SYSTEM.

PROVO, Utah – September 26, 2016 – Action Target INC., the leading manufacturer of modern shooting ranges, is pleased to announce the launch of the Dual Running Man Pro, the most powerful and feature-rich running man system ever designed.

The DRM Pro boasts 3HP motors, ultra-wear resistant pulleys, speeds up to 20 fps, realistic acceleration, and an easy to use control interface for use on tablets and mobile phones. The DRM Pro uses two lateral traveling, non-turning target carriers capable of moving independently from one another because they are mounted on two separate tracks that run parallel to each other.

The DRM Pro includes industry leading technology, with added features such as built-in Wi-Fi, easy to use control interface that runs on a tablet or smart phone. The DRM Pro integrates with our range control software for advanced features and functionality. All components of the DRM Pro are IP54 compliant for year-round outdoor and indoor use. The DRM Pro is capable of traveling at variable speeds, up to 20 feet per second, which allows for a more advanced target acquisition training. The DRM Pro boasts high precision encoders to ensure target positions are accurate to within 6 inches. The modular ratcheting mechanism on the DRM Pro make cable tensioning quick and easy.

The DRM Pro is the perfect running man training system because it allows users to advance their training by having duel targets moving independent of one another. This allows trainers to designate one as a non-shoot and the other as a target. This will add stress and reality to training scenarios, allowing the user to develop and improve their decision making skills.

For more information about the DRM Pro or to purchase yours today, call 801-377-8033

The Guardsman Shooting Stall

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


ACTION TARGET LAUNCHES THE GUARDSMAN SHOOTING STALL.
THE LOW-COST SOLUTION.

PROVO, Utah – October 26, 2016, Action Target Inc., the leading manufacturer of modern shooting ranges, is pleased to announce the launch of its newest shooting stall – The Guardsman Shooting Stall. The Guardsman Shooting Stall is geared towards providing a lower-cost option for gun ranges looking for a more economical stall partition solution. The Guardsman Shooting Stall features a rugged, yet simple design that retains the industry-leading ballistic standards to which Action Target proudly holds itself.

The Guardsman Shooting Stall boasts a rugged ABS protective skin that resists brass impacts for long life and low maintenance and also features a stainless Steel trim that protects all of the edges of the Guardsman from damage. The Guardsman Shooting Stall consists of a standard Action Target stall table with a non-slip rubber top and an optional lower shelf that adds a functionality for shooters that is unmatched in the industry.

“The new Guardsman shooting stall allows the most budget-conscious facility to upgrade to the superior quality and unmatched ballistic standards of Action Target’s industry leading products.” – Jesse Nelson, Product Marketing Manager at Action Target.

The quick and easy installation of the Guardsman cuts down the cost and time of installation. The Guardsman is a low-cost option for gun ranges that are looking for a more economical stall partition solution. The Guardsman retains Action Target’s industry-leading standards and is compatible with all Action Target retrievers.

The Guardsman Shooting Stall is available for order today and may easily be retrofitted into any existing ranges. For more information visit https://www.actiontarget.com/Guardsman or to purchase the Guardsman, call 801-377-8033.

ALL WHEEL DRIVE PRO

Action Target Elevates Shooting with New Retriever 


PROVO, Utah – Action Target Inc., the leading manufacturer of shooting ranges, today announced its release of the All Wheel Drive (AWD) Pro: a new target retriever proven to take ranges to the next level.

The wireless AWD Pro retriever is the most engaging and robust retriever on the market. It features a modern, easy to use interface with 27 addicting games and training scenarios for all skill levels. These programs offer shooters an unparalleled experience, improving both novice and expert shooters and keeping them at the range longer.

“Shooting at a static target is no longer sufficient to engage this new generation of shooters. They expect more from their equipment and are looking for an entertaining experience. The AWD Pro engages shooters like never before, with its intuitive interface, self-guided shooting scenarios and easy-to-setup drills. Not only will shooters benefit from this new equipment, but the range will as well,” said Jesse Nelson an Action Target Product Marketing Manager.

The AWD Pro was recently installed at Nashville Armory in Nashville, Tennessee, where shooters were ecstatic with the update. After the installation, ammunition consumption increased over 23% and 89% of shooters said they enjoyed the new retriever over traditional range equipment. Another interesting statistic was that over 80% of shooters interviewed said they would drive farther and pay more to use the new equipment over traditional range equipment.

These numbers can be attributed to the addicting shooting scenarios the AWD Pro offers. These preloaded games and drills were developed by leading firearms trainers and challenge every shooter no matter their skill level.  Whether shooters are trying to improve their previous score on a drill or are competing with their friends with one of the games, shooters will find themselves using more ammunition and feeling more satisfied when they leave the range. Plus, the fun environment of competing with friends on challenging drills adds an element that shooting ranges have lacked in the past and will keep shooters coming back for more.

The AWD Pro’s friendly touch screen user interface also plays a part in the new shooter experience. With its intuitive and engaging design, users are able to control more including: shooting distance, stall lighting, target lighting, target behavior, time drills and more. All of these features give the shooters more freedom, putting them in charge of their experience at the range.

“This product is just one of many future developments that testifies of Action Target’s long-term commitment to developing the shooter’s experience as well as breathing new technology and innovation into the shooting range industry. We are convinced the AWD Pro will meet the needs of today’s shooters by promoting skill building, competition and an overall higher engagement with the shooting sports,” said Kevin Tomaszewski, Action Target’s Vice President of Marketing and Engineering.

The AWD Pro gives shooters a whole new experience of improving their shooting skills while having a good time, making it the reason ranges with the AWD Pro will become the go to destination. To learn more about the AWD Pro visit link: www.actiontarget.com/products/awd_pro.

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.

 

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.

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, Action Target’s ventilation 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, Action Target 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.

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.

Point Blank

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Illinois Shooting Range Braces for New Concealed Carry Law with Huge Upgrade

As Illinois becomes the 50th state to allow the concealed carry of firearms, one shooting range a half hour out of Chicago is preparing for the influx of new shooters and turning heads in the process.

GAT Guns of East Dundee, Ill., recently added a monumental 39 new indoor lanes to its existing 24 making it one of the largest indoor shooting ranges in the country and the go-to destination for shooters near and far.GAT Guns 3

The new ranges, which were designed and installed by Action Target, include 50-yard and 75-yard bays with 14 lanes each as well as a 50-foot long tactical training range with 11 lanes. There is also a large classroom to accommodate the thousands of concealed carry permit applicants expected to come through the doors when the new law goes into effect on January 5.

“We foresaw a need for a full service training facility in the area,” GAT Guns General Manager Randy Potter said. “There’s nobody else around here that can take care of customers from A to Z as completely as we can. We have the training classes, the firearms inventory, the accessories, and now we have one of the most advanced firearms training facilities in the country.”

With the new Illinois concealed carry law requiring 16 hours of training (including live fire training on a shooting range), GAT Guns provides the ideal venue.

GAT Guns 4

The new shooting bays include steel funnel bullet traps which safely collect and contain lead debris, bullet proof shooting stalls, an advanced air filtration system and Mancom target retrievers that allow for complete control over target distance, lighting effects and 360 degree random edging from an LCD control screen in every booth.

“Customers are blown away by the quality of the ranges,” Potter said. “The technology on our ranges allows shooters to control every aspect of their training. It’s an entirely new shooting experience.”

GAT Guns, which was founded in 1979, is already known as the Illinois headquarters of all things firearms with more than 6,000 guns in stock on any given day and 2,500 unique pieces on display.

“We consistently have folks from 150 miles south of here to the Wisconsin border and even as far west as the Mississippi River,” Potter said. “I attribute that to us being as unique as we are in size and scope as well as our commitment to professional customer service.”

GAT Guns 2

GAT Guns originally began in nearby Hanover Park and moved to the current location in 1989 where owner Greg A. Tropino (and thus the acronym “GAT”) bought an old restaurant and retrofitted it into the two-story gun supercenter it is today.

“Greg’s told me in the past that when he originally bought the building, he had no idea what he was going to put upstairs in the original footprint,” Potter said. “We’ve outgrown that by 10 times now.”

With 63 total lanes and shooting bays located on both floors, GAT Guns has quickly become one of the most talked about ranges in the country. It’s even attracted the attention of R. Lee “The Gunny” Ermey from Glock who spent a day there in May to promote the range and sign autographs.

“We had over 1,200 people wait to meet The Gunny that day he was here. It was a very fun event,” Potter said.

GAT Guns 1

Even more than entertainment and retail, however, the mission of GAT Guns is to provide a central location for firearms education and quality training.

Training courses provided at the range currently include NRA First Steps, women only classes taught by women instructors, five phases of tactical pistol, five phases of tactical carbine, introductory handgun, practical holster and soon, Illinois concealed carry classes.

The new shooting bays recently opened up to the public and are also available for law enforcement qualification as well.

Action Target Increases H&H Shooting Sports’ Lane Count

shootingbay6

PROVO, Utah – Aug. 15, 2013 – H&H Shooting Sports of Oklahoma City recently teamed up with Action Target, the world leader in shooting range development, equipment and services, to increase their shooting lane count from 55 to 61 making them one of the largest gun range and retail firearm stores in the nation.

Action Target’s six-lane addition to the H&H Shooting Sports Complex brings them to a total of 82,500 square feet and is the physical embodiment of their goal to grow the shooting sports. The 61 current lanes are not the typical shooting range variety, either. They have specific uses assigned to them from pistols to shotguns, archery, air guns and even black powder rifles.

“It wasn’t good enough to just do handguns, guests wanted to be able to shoot rifles, shotguns, black powder guns and bows too,” H&H founder Miles Hall said. “We really listen. Guests told us what they wanted and we kept adding lanes to meet those needs.”

For their guests (a term they use they use exclusively instead of customer), H&H is the mecca of the shooting sports world, a destination that attracted nearly 750,000 visitors in 2012 alone. H&H has also influenced the business side of the industry by becoming the model upon which many new ranges and stores are based.

“This complex shows the world that the gun industry still has validity, not just in Oklahoma, but everywhere,” Hall said. “These complexes are the new face of the industry and it is awesome that some folks want to duplicate what we have here back in their home states.”

The HallsWhile H&H Shooting Sports now boasts one of the largest commercial shooting ranges in the nation, it came from very modest beginnings. When Hall and his wife founded H&H in 1981 at the young ages of 20 and 18, it had a mere 10 50-foot shooting lanes. And it wasn’t until 15 years later, in 1996, that a retail store was added—a decision that set H&H on the path to becoming a hub of the shooting sports.

H&H now features a store with more than 2,000 firearms, a restaurant, virtual simulators, an online newswire and even the occasional wedding. Hall said he wishes he could take credit for the range’s success but that it all comes down to customer service and the simple act of listening.

“If you listen to people and watch who they are and do what they want you to do, they’re going to take good care of you,” Hall said. “They’ve taken good care of us here.”

H&H (which stands for “Hers and His”) is especially conscientious of women shooters who now make up nearly half of its customer base.

“Shooting is not a men’s only club anymore,” Hall said. “47 percent of our customer base is women, and ethnically, it is all over the board. We love that our guests are as diverse as they are.”

Even with the evolving landscape of new guests, technology and products, H&H stays true to their educational goal which includes training and teaching shooters how to safely use firearms while keeping it fun.

“We understand the entertainment factor, but its really all about education,” Hall said. “No one has to participate in shooting sports. They do it because they want to, and we try very hard to make it a fun and enjoyable time for them.”

H&H has plans to add more shop space to accommodate a larger selection of gun safes that will increase their size to 90,000 square feet. Plans are also being made to add another six shooting lanes after retrofitting some of the older ones.

2363A4E5-A751-4890-B362-D2A2413EF533[5] The grand opening of the new shooting lanes will be held Labor Day Weekend during normal business hours.

Crowdfunding and Shooting Ranges: Odd Couple or Perfect Match?

Shooting Range

 

In the old days, if you wanted money to finance a project or new business (like a shooting range), there were only a few ways to do it. You could talk to local business investors, obtain a small business loan, or beg a rich uncle. And if none of those worked, then you put the project on the back burner and waited to win the lottery.

It didn’t matter that there were tons of people who wanted whatever product or service you had to offer. If the people with the money weren’t convinced, then you really didn’t have any other options.

In 1997, fans of the British rock band Marillion broke that norm. They wanted to see the band go on tour despite the untimely bankruptcy of their record label, so the fans paid for it themselves. They set up an online campaign where people could donate whatever amount of money they could afford, and within a short period of time, they had raised enough money to send Marillion on a 21-date tour.

It wasn’t long before others caught on and started websites to fund bands, albums, movies, and art projects. Inventions and games soon followed with the introduction of gadgets like the Pebble Watch ($10.3 million raised) and an online video game called Star Citizen which raised more than $14 million through crowdfunding campaigns on its own website as well as Kickstarter. Thousands of other campaigns have been successful in the few short years crowdfunding has existed with a total of $2.7 billion being raised in 2012 alone.

But it wasn’t until the JOBS (Jumpstart Our Business Startups) Act was signed in April 2012 that all of this meant much to small businesses. This new legislation opened the doors for startups to solicit equity financing from the general public pending implementation of regulations by the SEC. While that piece of the JOBS Act has yet to go into effect, small businesses are still finding ways to get their ventures off the ground through crowdfunding sites.

Business partners Rob Krop and Matthew Jones are doing just that with a campaign to build an indoor shooting range in Frederick, Maryland, called The Machine Gun Nest. The pair started the project with two goals in mind: build an indoor range in a neglected area and create responsible gun owners one experience at a time. To meet those goals, they decided to reach out to the community through crowdfunding.The Machine Gun Nest

“Right off the bat, there were really only two crowdfunding sites that would allow us to do what we wanted to do. It was Indiegogo and GoFundMe,” Krop said. “One of the big reasons we chose Indiegogo was because they had better reviews, we saw better products, we saw more activity, and we also saw larger donations.”

Indiegogo allows people to donate to The Machine Gun Nest’s campaign by purchasing one of several perks including pistol and machine gun rentals, one year memberships, family memberships, and lifetime memberships. They also offer more extensive perks for larger donations of $5,000 and $10,000 like premier access to new machine guns and having a shooting lane named after you for sponsor donations.

The Machine Gun Nest has seen initial success with nearly $22,000 raised in the first 24 hours of the campaign being launched, but beyond donations, their campaign through Indiegogo has increased the project’s visibility and built awareness among their future customers.

“This provides a venue where we can not only raise capital, but we can raise awareness and reward people for believing in us before the project is created by giving them discounts for their donations,” Jones said. “It creates awareness. It creates a buzz. And everyone can see it happen right there on our campaign. They see dollars that are going toward something that they also care about.”

Other shooting ranges have attempted to finance themselves through Indiegogo in the past, but only one managed to raise more than $195 after a full 60-day campaign. The difference with The Machine Gun Nest campaign, Krop says, is that they’re hitting the pavement and talking to people about it in person as well as online.

“One of the things that has really helped us is just getting out in front of people. We got a booth at the local gun show and that was huge. We got a great response. People seeing that we’re moving forward and that we’re out there in person gave a lot more validity to what we’re doing, and people felt more comfortable donating,” Krop said. “The more we get out in front of people and talk to them, the more they see that it’s a real thing and not just something online.”

For both men, that determination comes from more than just a desire to own a profitable business.

“This is a cause as well as a business, and it matters to us,” Jones said. “We want to create an environment where we can show safe and proper use and training for firearms so the public can see that firearms do have a place in the hands of responsible citizens.”

Only 43 days are left in the campaign, and Krop and Jones both plan to continue face-to-face and online efforts to reach their campaign goal of $500,000 – a very tall order in the world of crowdfunding – but whether they reach their goal or not, they still plan to open the shooting range with the help of community investors.

Opening the range may not be their biggest achievement, however. The Machine Gun Nest has the chance to become the first shooting range ever to be successfully financed through crowdfunding and may pave the way for other ranges like it. With crowdfunding expected to explode in the next year and with the implementation of public equity financing coming soon, the shooting range industry has a unique opportunity to bypass traditional financing options and get direct support from the shooting community itself. While there are likely to be many failed campaigns along the way, there will also be those who rise to the top and pioneer a new business model for shooting ranges everywhere.

New Firearms Retailer Provides an Indoor Shooting Range for an Area Long Neglected

Red Dot Firearms of Layton, Utah, joins the short list of gun ranges in Davis CountyRed Dot Firearms 21

PROVO, Utah – May 22, 2013 – Davis County, Utah, recently welcomed a new kind of business to one of its largest shopping districts. Now you can get all of your grocery shopping done and hit the indoor shooting range all in the same place.

Red Dot Firearms, located just off I-15 exit 331 in Layton, recently opened its retail gun store and a 25 yard indoor shooting range capable of handling both handgun and rifle rounds including .5o BMG.

“We are the only retail firearms store in the area besides some of the big box stores, and we were the first place ever to apply for an indoor range license in the county,” owner Denny Wanlass said. “We felt like it was time people in the area had another option.”

According to Wanlass, many shooters in Utah have started moving their weekend shooting ventures away from public lands due to wildfires and other concerns, which means a higher demand for indoor ranges like Red Dot Firearms.

Red Dot Firearms 02
The ventilation system blows refrigerated air from the rear of the range to the bullet trap where it is filtered to prevent shooters from being exposed to hazardous lead dust.

“A lot of people just drive out to the desert to shoot, but last summer, several wildfires were blamed on target shooting. Whether true or not, it’s still driving many shooters away from the wilderness areas and indoors,” Wanlass said. “That combined with the closures of public land and the increase in gas prices make our indoor range the perfect alternative.”

Shooters transitioning from the outdoors also get the added benefit of a climate controlled environment and a ventilation system installed by Carey’s Small Arms Range Systems that exceeds NIOSH, EPA and OSHA standards.

“We wanted a good ventilation system because we take our customers’ health very seriously,” Wanlass said. “Just about every person who has come out of there has said, ‘I love being in a range where I can breathe!’”

Fellow Utah business Action Target was contracted to install the range equipment at Red Dot Firearms including a 48-foot wide steel funnel bullet trap, armor steel ceiling and wall baffles to prevent rounds from escaping, and shooting stalls capable of stopping rifle rounds from point blank range.

Red Dot Firearms 01
The Total Containment Trap is capable of handling handgun and rifle rounds including .50 BMG.

“Throughout the course of our research, it was clear that there really isn’t anyone else besides Action Target that is worth using,” Wanlass said. “The equipment on our range is second to none, and that means our customers can shoot with complete confidence that their safety is never going to be jeopardized.”

Red Dot Firearms is now open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Classes in concealed carry, personal defense, hunter’s safety and more will be held regularly.

Bullet Trap Comparisons, Pt. 2

Building a shooting range can be a daunting task. There are so many different things to consider and decisions to make that it can become a little overwhelming. One issue that seems to confuse potential range owners the most is bullet containment. Without a doubt, bullet containment is the most important aspect of every indoor and outdoor range. Proper containment of fired rounds means safety for your employees and customers, but with so many different types of bullet traps available on the market that promise to do this or that, choosing the right system can be hard. The purpose of this article is to provide accurate information and valuable education by examining various bullet trap theories, technologies, and applications in an objective manner.

The following information represents the views and opinions of Action Target based on our experience and observations. You are encouraged to conduct your own research and speak with other users about their experiences with the various bullet trap technologies presented.

Rubber Lamella Trap

Rubber Lamella Trap 1With this trap, tightly grouped rubber curtains or lamellas are hung from a support structure to create a bullet stopping barrier. As bullets pass through the layers of rubber strips, their energy is dissipated until they come to a stop. A steel plate is mounted at the back of the trap to block rounds that make it through the lamellas.

Because rubber is destroyed every time you shoot into it, the rubber strips are quickly shredded under any kind of moderate to heavy use. One of the most quoted features of rubber traps is that bullets don’t fragment on impact like they do on steel. This is true until bullets start impacting other bullets already embedded in the rubber.

Regardless of the application, the use of a rubber bullet trap introduces a very real fire hazard that must be considered and dealt with appropriately

The benefits of a lamella trap include its small floor space requirement, and the ability to capture some bullets whole.

Weaknesses include high maintenance costs, fire hazard, messy appearance, and the restriction of low volume shooting only.

Vertical Rubber Granule Trap

Vertical Rubber Granule Trap 3Another European design uses a large steel chamber filled with chopped rubber and a penetrable rubber sheet across the front the keep the rubber granules in place.

The trap works the same way a sand berm works, except the sand is replaced by granules of chopped rubber and the face of the trap is vertical. Like the rubber lamella trap, the front skin of the rubber granule trap is permanently damaged each time a bullet is fired into it.

As larger and larger holes are created in the front skin, rubber granules can spill out and large bulges can develop as the structural integrity of the trap is compromised. Regular patching and repair is often required to keep the granules in the chamber.

As the granules settle, areas of dangerously low density can form at the top of the trap causing rounds to pass through the rubber and escape out the back. To clean the trap, bullets must be mined and separated from the rubber then disposed of properly.

The benefits of a vertical rubber granule trap include its small floor space requirement, the ability to capture some bullets whole, and reduced lead dust levels.

Weaknesses include massive ongoing maintenance, service costs, fire hazard, and the restriction of low volume shooting only.

Rubber Block Trap

Rubber Block TrapThe rubber block trap is similar in concept to the rubber granule trap, except the rubber granules are molded together to form a solid object. The rubber blocks are stacked on top of each other to create a wall that serves as the bullet trap. When a bullet is fired into the blocks, it is stopped and stored within the block itself. Like all rubber traps, the blocks are damaged with every shot and large holes can quickly develop, severely limiting the trap’s ability to stop bullets. As the holes get larger, the blocks get weaker and the whole wall tends to collapse under its own weight.

The benefits of a rubber block trap include its small floor space requirement and the ability to capture some bullets whole.

Weaknesses include UV breakdown, significant ongoing maintenance, fire hazard, and structural collapse.

Wet Funnel Trap

Wet Funnel Trap 1The wet funnel trap incorporates gently sloping steel plates that reduce bullet fragmentation on impact. As bullets hit the plates, they are directed to the narrow end of the funnel and enter a deceleration chamber where their energy is dissipated.

While the upper impact plates remain dry, the lower plates are constantly flooded with a water and oil mixture that is intended to lubricate the steel. The water is continually recycled as it flows down the plates and into a holding tank where it is electrically pumped out and again sprayed on to the plates.

On indoor ranges, some wet trap owners report that the increased humidity can leave an oily film on the rest of the range and may cause HEPA filters in the ventilation system to clog. They have also discovered that frangible ammunition can cause problems because the powder created by disintegrating bullets mixes with the water and hardens into a cement-like substance that requires an extremely difficult cleaning process.

It has been recommended to treat the water with chlorine to prevent algae in warm climates, and antifreeze to prevent freezing in colder climates. These substances combine with the water, oil, and lead, and can create a significant hazardous waste problem.

The benefits of a wet funnel trap include the durability of steel, reduced bullet fragmentation, reduced lead dust levels, and the ability to handle larger calibers.

Weaknesses include its higher cost, large floor space requirement, water treatment chemicals, increased humidity, problems with frangible ammunition, maintenance of the electric pumps and filters, and its nonmodular construction.

Vertical Funnel Trap

Vertical Funnel Trap 2Instead of a continuous horizontal funnel, this trap uses a series vertically oriented funnel boxes to gather the bullets. As with a horizontal funnel, bullets are deflected by the impact plates into a deceleration chamber at the back of the trap where they are collected and stored.

The angles of the impact plates are not as severe as a venetian blind or escalator type trap, but they are more severe than other modern steel traps so bullet fragmentation on impact can still be an issue.

As individual chambers are mounted next to each other, vertical edges that run from the top to the bottom of the trap are created. These edges can pose a significant ricochet hazard. Additionally, the individual chamber design prohibits any cross-lane shooting and greatly limits the flexibility and functionality of the trap as a whole.

The benefits of a vertical funnel trap include the durability of steel, easier lead collection, and a smaller floor space requirement.

Weaknesses include bullet fragmentation, no close-range shooting, and no cross-lane shooting.

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.

Bullet Trap Comparisons, Pt. 1

For many years, bullet trap technology has been mired in confusion, misunderstanding, and misinformation. The various approaches to bullet containment and disposal have become as diverse as they are numerous. The purpose of this article is to provide accurate information and valuable education by examining various bullet trap theories, technologies, and applications in an objective manner.

The following information represents the views and opinions of Action Target based on our experience and observations. You are encouraged to conduct your own research and speak with other users about their experiences with the various bullet trap technologies presented.

Sand Berm

Sand Berm 1The sand or dirt berm is the oldest and most basic type of bullet trap. It uses the mass of the berm itself to stop and store bullets, and on outdoor ranges it can literally be the side of a mountain. On indoor ranges however, some type of structure or barricade is used to support the berm and hold back the sand.

On ranges where qualification or other events where tightly grouped shooting patterns are common, concentrations of lead called hot spots can form behind the targets causing subsequent shots to ricochet and bounce back toward the shooter. In order to recover spent bullets, the berm must be mined and the lead separated out. A certain amount of the sand will be contaminated and must be replenished each time the trap is cleaned. Sand and dirt berms are coming under increasingly harsh environmental scrutiny due to high lead levels in the ground around the trap and the tendency of the lead to seep into surrounding ground water.

The benefits of a sand berm include low cost, relatively low maintenance, and the ability to use any kind of ammunition.

Weaknesses include potential environmental hazards, expensive mining, and hot spot ricochet.

Pit and Plate Trap

Pit and Plate Trap

With this application, a steel plate is used to redirect bullets into a bed of sand. The steel is often called a “smash” plate because the acute angle—in this case, anything greater than 25 degrees—causes bullets to smash into small pieces on impact before they are scattered on the sand below.

Because the lead fragments rest mostly on top of the sand, this trap must be cleaned frequently by mining the lead from the sand and disposing of it properly. Under moderate to heavy use, a thick lead build-up can develop in the back corner of the trap causing bullets to be deflected back toward the shooter.

The benefits of a pit and plate trap include lower initial cost and simple installation.

Weaknesses include bullet fragmentation on impact, lead build-up, ricochet, and high maintenance.

Water and Plate Trap

Water and Plate Trap

The water and plate trap is similar to the pit and plate trap, except the sand is replaced by a large trough of water. Bullets still fragment into small pieces after impacting the smash plate, but with this system, they splash into the water and sink to the bottom of the trough. To retrieve the lead, you must shovel or scoop it from the water and dispose of it properly. The water in the trough must be replenished due to evaporation, and the evaporation can cause increased humidity on your range and problems with your ventilation system.

The benefits of a water and plate trap include lower lead dust levels and no ricochet off other bullets.

Weaknesses include bullet fragmentation on impact, maintenance of the water, and the limitation to indoor use only.

Venetian Blind Trap

Venetian Blind Trap 1

This older application uses a series of angled steel smash plates to redirect bullets to the back and bottom of the trap. Some versions of this trap have the smash plates mounted loosely to help absorb some of the bullets’ energy, but the acute angle of the plates can still cause significant fragmentation. To keep bullet splatter from bouncing back at the shooter, rubber curtains are often mounted across the entire face of the trap.

Because rubber is destroyed every time you shoot into it, these curtains must be replaced or patched frequently to maintain their effectiveness.

The benefits of a venetian blind trap include the durability of steel, no sand or granules, and a small floor space requirement.

Weaknesses include bullet fragmentation on impact, splatter and ricochet, no close-range shooting, and maintenance of the rubber curtains.

Escalator Trap

Escalator Trap 2

This is another old-fashioned steel trap that uses steeply angled smash plates to stop bullets and direct the fragments to an open collection area. Some manufacturers recommend that the impact plates be coated with oil to provide lubrication and reduce fragmentation. This oil can be washed away into the surrounding soil if the trap is not protected from the elements in outdoor applications.

The same system of protective rubber curtains may also be necessary with this trap due to the acute angle of its steel smash plates.

The benefits of an escalator trap include the durability of steel and no sand or rubber granules.

Weaknesses include bullet fragmentation on impact, no close-range shooting, maintenance of the rubber curtains, and poor lead storage and collection.

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.

 

Action Target Builds its First Shooting Range in South America

The PCERJ range in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, marks a milestone for Action Target’s growing international program

PCERJ 3
Action Target’s subsidiaries Mancom and Law Enforcement Targets provided equipment and targets for the new PCERJ range.

PROVO, Utah – April 9, 2013 – Action Target recently installed a new shooting range in Brazil for the State Civil Police of Rio de Janeiro (PCERJ). This is the first range built by Action Target in South America and marks a milestone for the company as it continues to branch into international markets.

“Opening the doors to South America was a big step for us,” Action Target’s Director of International Business Development Adam White said. “I think the Brazilian government understands training facilities of this kind are essential for progressive, effective training, and we hope to continue to work with them in the future.”

The new range was purchased by the PCERJ in a push to increase training standards for state and local law enforcement, but will also support training for special operations units from other states around Brazil as well. It features an open air 11-lane shooting range with user-friendly target retrieval systems from Mancom and a nine-room shoot house facility. To ensure bullet containment, the new range also includes a steel funnel bullet trap and safety baffles which provide ballistic protection for the shooting area.

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The range’s Total Containment Trap and safety baffles ensure that not one round will be able to escape.

“There is no roof on the range to allow for natural ventilation, but the safety baffles we installed also make sure no rounds have the chance to escape,” White said.

One aspect of the range that is especially important to the Brazilian government is its effect on the environment. The PCERJ range utilizes technology from Action Target to ensure lead dust and debris are safely contained and collected for recycling.

As a bullet strikes the armor steel plate of the Total Containment Trap (Action Target’s patented steel funnel bullet trap), it is forced through the small horizontal opening in the middle of the funnel.

Once it has passed through the opening, the bullet enters the deceleration chamber where it spins until it loses energy. The bullet then falls into a trough where it is funneled into one of many plastic canisters.

“The canister lead collection system is simple but extremely effective,” White said. “Once the canisters (which are just 5-gallon buckets) get about two-thirds of the way full, you can just pop it off, put a lid on it, and it’s ready to be recycled. None of the range personnel ever have to come in direct contact with the lead, and it’s easy to maintain.”

PCERJ 2
The Total Containment Trap uses a steel funnel design to safely capture fired rounds without introducing lead contamination into the environment.

The threat of lead dust created by the impact of the bullet is also eliminated through a Dust Collection Unit which uses negative pressure to pull dust and air-borne toxins toward the rear of the bullet trap where it enters a filtering system. This system removed 99.98% of lead and other materials before the air is released into the environment.

Brazilian officials are also grateful for the safety the new range will provide officers during training situations. The old facility often used wood as backstops for shooting drills and presented a significant ricochet danger for trainees.

The new range allows for nearly limitless use of tactical weapons from handguns to fully automatic rifles with complete containment. That assurance makes for a healthy environment where law enforcement trainers can push officers to the limit without putting them in harm’s way.

And Rio de Janeiro’s law enforcement officers will certainly be pushed to the limit as they run intensive tactical drills in the new nine-room Modular Armored Tactical Combat House (MATCH). Equipped with a catwalk and ballistic walls, law enforcement teams can now practice essential close quarter skills like room clearing and hallway navigation with live fire weapons while under close watch from above.

The PCERJ range’s grand opening will be held at the end of June when it becomes fully functional as a law enforcement training facility, but tours have been ongoing for those attending the LAAD Defence and Security International Exhibition held this week in Rio de Janeiro.

Action Target Hits the Beach with a Record-Breaking Bullet Trap

Action Target engineers are doing more on the beaches of Florida this spring than just surfing or getting a tan: they are designing the biggest bullet trap ever built.Outside

Lotus Gunworks of Jensen Beach, Fla., will be opening its doors next week and inviting shooters to try out its new double-decker shooting range featuring a two-story steel funnel bullet trap. Nicknamed the Lotus 8/11 for the number of steel panels used to create it (eight panels on the bottom slope and 11 panels on the top slope), this version of Action Target’s Total Containment Trap is the first of its kind.

“No one has ever seen a range like this before,” Lotus Gunworks’ Director of Operations Robbie Abell said. “We’re truly making industry history.”

Abell stumbled into the gun industry a few years back when he and a family member decided to go in on a gun store. It seemed like a crazy idea, he said, but with a little bit of luck and ingenuity, they just might be able to make it work.

“We spent about eight months riding around different areas and looking at gun ranges,” Abell said. “After some research, we ran into Action Target and were introduced to the local shooting range consultant Robb Anderson. After that it was a no-brainer, so we freight trained forward.”

They found an existing building in Jensen Beach that met their needs but quickly ran into issues when it became apparent there would not be enough room for two adjacent ranges and a gun store. Abell did not want to cut back on the number of ranges, so the only option was to make a double-decker range where both levels shot into the same bullet trap.

“It hasn’t ever been done before, and at first, the answer was that it couldn’t be done,” Abell said. “I believed there had to be a way, and after three weeks of pushing, I got a call from Robb at Action Target saying, ‘We think we might be able to do this.’”

The answer was to extend the Total Containment Trap (usually just 8 feet tall) to a whopping 19 feet and to mount steel cross beams to support the Mancom Touch ‘N’ Go target retriever system.Upper level stall view

With the equipment issues resolved, the next hurdle was proper ventilation to prevent customers and employees from being exposed to hazardous lead dust. The sheer size of the room presented a unique challenge, so Lotus Gunworks enlisted the help of industry ventilation specialists Carey’s Small Arms Range Ventilation.

Despite doubts that a range that tall could be ventilated at all, Carey’s managed to create a system that not only met environmental standards, but exceeded ventilation standards for even federal shooting ranges.

“The air flow in the upper level was the best I have seen on any range, and the airflow on the bottom was also very good,” Carey’s controls and commissioning tech Mark Hanson said. “This was one of the easiest range ventilation systems we’ve installed.”

Aside from being environmentally safe by completely replacing range air every 80 seconds, all of the filtered air pumped into the range is refrigerated, which, according to Abell, is a pretty big deal in Florida.

“We want this to be the most comfortable range possible,” Abell said, “and we’re doing that with refrigerated air, great lighting, great service and friendly employees. We want people to come and stay. We want this to be a destination point where you hang out for the day.”

Lotus Gunworks is especially friendly to new shooters with a Ti Training simulation system that allows those completely new to shooting to try it out on a real gun equipped with a laser before hitting the range. Friday night fun shoots will also allow people to try out a variety of firearms including fully automatic rifles.

The range is expected to open for business the first week of April and will be holding a grand opening celebration April 20.

PoliceTrades.com Helps Agencies Find Additional Revenue Sources

Executive Video Summary

ptlogo_registered-copy

With the downturn in the economy and shrinking tax dollars, law enforcement agencies are searching for new sources of funding for needed equipment. PoliceTrades.com is helping law enforcement agencies find additional revenue through the trade of department firearms. Whether it be duty firearms, confiscated guns, or restricted Class 3 weapons, PoliceTrades.com is turning obsolete firearms into new equipment.

The PoliceTrades.com trade program is simple and completely free for law enforcement agencies. A list of firearms the agency is looking to eliminate is obtained and sent to the PoliceTrades.com bid network of Federal Firearms Licensed dealers (FFLs) for pricing. By using multiple vendors, PoliceTrades.com can obtain the highest trade value for the firearms. The highest bid is then presented to the agency for review. Once the bid is accepted, the agency ships the firearms directly to the FFL for resale. Payments are then made to the agency or to any vendor of the agency’s choice like Action Target. By paying a vendor directly, PoliceTrades.com ensures the money obtained through the traded firearms is used for the equipment needed by the agency.

For example, your police department could be in need of outfitting its outdoor shooting range with additional targets or equipment, but not have the funds to do it. Instead of trying to raise the money or fighting with local government to increase funding, you can turn obsolete firearms into credit with Action Target or any other vendor you choose. Action Target has been a corporate partner with PoliceTrades.com for the last few years and encourages law enforcement clients to utilize this opportunity to get the quality equipment and targetry they need to train effectively.

Many agencies are burdened with large inventories of confiscated and surrendered firearms. Evidence rooms fill up and agencies need a solution to eliminate this excess inventory. PoliceTrades.com offers several solutions to deal with confiscated firearms. One option, PoliceTrades.com can bid on the firearms as they would duty weapons, where they would be resold through licensed firearms dealers.

Cut_4006_2

The destroyed frame of an S&W 4006.

 

Another option is the parts stripping and destruction program. With this program, agencies can get paid while having the firearms destroyed. This is accomplished by stripping the guns of the valuable parts (i.e. slide, recoil springs, grips, magazines) and having the serialized frame of the firearm destroyed. This ensures the firearm will never be used again, yet provides funding with the parts value.  The agency is also provided with a certified letter, detailing the serial numbers of the firearms and the date they were destroyed.

Class 3 firearms (select-fire and short barrel rifles and shotguns) are another area where PoliceTrades.com can help you obtain revenue. Some agencies are under the impression that these guns can only be transferred to another agency. Through their Class 3 FFL dealers, PoliceTrade.com can purchase transferable Class 3 firearms for resale value and non-transferable firearms for parts value and destruction. PoliceTrades.com will handle all of the ATF Form 5 transfer paperwork.

PoliceTrades.com is the industry leader in the firearms trade business and can help your agency find untapped revenue sources. For more information, you can contact them directly via phone at (636) 536-2288 or mailto: Bids@PoliceTrades.com.

Myths About Wet Steel Traps

Wet Steel Trap 1As with anything else in life, the ability to make an informed decision is based on the quality of the information you receive. The purpose of this article is to explore some of the claims associated with using water on steel funnel traps.

This information represents the opinions of Action Target based on the experience and observations of our range consultants and engineers. We encourage you to conduct your own research and speak with other users about their experiences with the various bullet trap technologies presented before drawing your own conclusions.

CLAIM #1: You can use any type of ammunition on a wet steel trap.

It has been reported that frangible ammunition may cause problems with wet funnel traps because the powder created by certain types of disintegrating bullets can mix with the water and harden into a cement-like substance resulting in an extremely difficult cleaning process.

CLAIM #2: Wet steel traps eliminate lead dust on your range.

If a bullet strikes an area on a wet steel trap where the water and oil mixture is flowing (like on the bottom plates), the amount of lead dust generated at the trap on initial impact may be reduced. But if the bullet hits on the upper plates where no water is present, lead dust can be generated much the same as on a trap where no water system is in use. Also, lead dust containment systems such as water are meant to deal with lead on the bullet trap itself. They typically have little or nothing to do with emissions at the firing line or other areas of the range.

CLAIM #3: Wet steel traps capture all pullets whole and eliminate splatter and ricochet.Wet Steel Trap 7

The gently sloping angles of steel funnel plates do help prevent bullet breakup on initial impact, but bullets can also fragment into small pieces once they enter the rear chamber and strike more steel surfaces inside. Also, many designs include a vertical edge at every seam where two chambers meet and are attached to each other. Deflectors are typically used to protect these vertical edges, and bullets can fragment more significantly if they strike these deflectors. Our observations would indicate that the degree of bullet fragmentation is mostly related to the velocity of the bullet. Slower pistol rounds may be able to be captured more whole when using a primary decelerant or lubricant such as water, but faster rifle rounds tend to disintegrate whether the water is present or not.

CLAIM #4: Wet steel traps are more environmentally friendly.

A doctor’s first and fundamental responsibility is to do no harm and to not make a difficult situation worse than it already may be. The same can be said for a bullet trap. Because lead disposal is already difficult enough for most shooting ranges, the last thing we thing a bullet trap should do is to complicate the matter by mixing the lead with other substances such as water, oil, chlorine, or antifreeze.

CLAIM #5: Wet steel traps function equally well indoors and outdoors.Wet Steel Trap 9

Referring back to claim #4, it can be much more difficult to contain all potential contaminants generated by a wet steel trap on an outdoor range. Rain, snow, ice, wildlife, leaves, twigs, and other clogging debris can complicate matters when operating outdoors.

CLAIM #6: One piece welded funnel plates are better than modular funnel plates.

If everything is welded together on site, you can end up with a bullet trap that is much more difficult to service or repair should anything go wrong. Long, continuous sheets of plate steel can be more prone to stress fractures and cracking than shorter, modular plates. That is one reason why bridges and overpasses are often formed by bolting together multiple modular pieces. When modular funnel plates and joint systems are properly designed, you get a strong and maintenance-friendly bullet trap that requires no sacrifice of safety or performance.

CLAIM #7: Funnel plates mounted at a 12 or 13 degree angle function significantly better than funnel plates mounted at a 15 degree angle.Wet Steel Trap 6

If a 12 or 13 degree slope is better than a 15 degree slope, then isn’t 11 better than 12? Why not drop to 9 degrees? Or 7? Since every degree you go down can increase the cost and the front-to-back size of the trap, there is a point at which you can reach the point of diminishing returns. All other factors being equal (steel hardness, bullet trajectory, etc.), our high speed video tests do not reveal any significant difference between impacts at 12 or 15 degrees. Although it is possible to install an Action Target trap with plates mounted at either 12 or 13 degrees, we believe 15 degrees to be optimal for most uses.

CLAIM #8: A 30-inch diameter in the circular deceleration chamber is better than a 26-inch diameter.

Following the same logic, why not use a 40-inch diameter? Why not 50? Again, it is important to weigh multiple factors such as performance, cost, and space. Action Target believes that the most important thing about a chamber is that it effectively contain rounds, that it have a good service life, and that it can be easily serviced if and when the need arises. We believe our chamber design achieves these values in an optimal way.

CLAIM #9: Wet steel traps don’t require much maintenance.Wet Steel Trap 8

Regular maintenance should be expected with any bullet trap, regardless of the materials used. Just like anything else, range equipment must be properly cared for to keep it working.

The wet steel trap designs we have seen include a water pump, spray nozzle, and filter systems that should be regularly maintained. Potential debris like cardboard, paper, wood, and shotgun wads can certainly be a problem if they are introduced into these systems. Lead should be removed from the collection system and disposed of properly. And we recommend you account for any exposure the lead may have had to water, oil, chlorine, or antifreeze. Water sources should be maintained and you should deal with any potential sources of flooding or leaking. In some cases, an external settling pond or a drainage tank with a waste trap may be needed to keep contaminated water from entering the sewer system. Finally, you should consider any additional effect the potentially higher humidity may have on your ventilation system and any HEPA filters.

 

NOTE: None of the photos used in this article are of Action Target bullet traps.

Between The Berms: Athena, Goddess Of Gun Ranges

Editors Note: This article was originally published in The Shooting Wire on December 5, 2012. It is being republished here with permission from Editor Paul Erhardt.

The Athena Gun Club is the range your range hopes to be when it grows up.

Athena 3
Houston’s Athena Gun Club is setting the bar very, very high. Photo: P. Erhardt

Located in Houston, Texas, with something like 100,000 oil industry execs within a few minutes drive, the Athena Gun Club is 39,000+ square feet of ranges, retails space, classrooms, and amenities that sets it far apart from other ranges you’ve visited.

The design and layout of Athena is the brainchild of CEO John Boyert, and his wife (and CFO) Susan Cho, who worked with Houston-based firm Acumen Design to create an overall space and flow – along with a non-traditional firearms shopping experience – that gives the club its very upscale feel.

Upon entering the club the first thing you notice is the front desk, which is more akin to one you’d find in a hotel lobby than at any gun club you’ve seen. It’s located in a huge, open foyer that’s brightly lit, inviting, quiet and immaculate.

It’s at that front desk where you are immediately greeted by one of the club’s 49 uniformed employees who project both professionalism and warm hospitality – again, more akin to that of a hotel than a range – and leave you with the feeling that this is the place you want to come and shoot.

And that first impression, the importance of it on you as a potential member, is something Boyert borrowed from Conrad Hilton’s book. Hilton, of the Hilton Hotels empire, knew a thing or two about the value of first impressions, and considering that the Athena Gun Club sits next door to one of the richest zip codes in the country, Boyert understands how valuable that first impression is to the success of his business.

Athena 4
The front desk looks like it came straight out of a high-end hotel. Photo: P. Erhardt

To put it simply, everything about the Athena Gun Club is geared towards creating a high-end experience for the visitor – regardless if you are a multi-millionaire executive in the oil industry or the clerk from the mailroom.

Great attention to detail has gone into giving each and every visitor a world-class experience. And why not? They want you to come back.

Boyert has pored over all the available data from the National Shooting Sports Foundation that they’ve compiled to help firearms retailers and ranges. With that data in hand, and Conrad Hilton’s expert observations, Boyert has envisioned the club to be the place you don’t visit just once a month to shoot, but every week.

He explained that the Athena Gun Club is going after “a demographic that other ranges aren’t even targeting” and probably never considered.

For instance, because of the oil industry and corporate rules they have established about firearms on their property, Athena Gun Club will store firearms for its Executive and VIP members. These are individuals who pay a hefty membership fee and a regular monthly fee which provides them access to seven private VIP shooting lanes, on-site firearms storage, a cigar room with fully stocked humidor, private entrance and gun valet services, on top of other amenities and Athena’s always attentive staff.

Athena
To the right of the front desk is the fully computerized rental counter. Photo courtesy of Athena Gun Club

A tour through the VIP area was like walking through the clubhouse or members locker room at a private country club.

In addition to luring in Houston’s business executives, Boyert is also targeting the corporations themselves by providing them a unique off-site meeting place where a sales team can easily have their meeting thanks to standard business tools like WiFi, AV systems, a conference room, and catering (of course).

Though a brand new business that just had it’s grand opening this past weekend, the Athena Gun Club has reached out to build relationships with other local businesses. Not only has Boyert sought out the advise of local restauranteurs – again stealing from the hospitality industry – but he has also lined them up to help cater Athena’s special events and the range’s soon-to-be-opened cafe.

I know what you’re thinking, “Will they have that fried baloney you keep mentioning?”

No, you’ll have to make do with food from the likes of Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches and Carrabba’s Italian Grill, as well as other local venues Boyert is reaching out to in order to better service the Athena Gun Club members.

Athena 5
If we told you it was a fine jewelry store you couldn’t tell the difference. Photo: P. Erhardt

Building partnerships is a key element of the business philosophy employed by Boyert and Cho to help them deliver on the Athena promise. One of those relationships, and perhaps the most important one after that with Acumen Design, is with Action Target.

You can’t have a gun club without a range and Boyert literally met with every major shooting range company before settling on Action Target and putting his faith in them to deliver the best shooting experience possible.

And that faith paid off big time as contractor issues put the gun club build-out behind schedule, forcing Boyert to turn a 12-week range install into a 4-week rush job for Action Target.

For those familiar with the Utah-based Action Target, a company with one of if not the best reputations in the industry, it will hardly come as a surprise that not only did the Action Target team get the new state-of-the-art ranges – 26 lanes in all – installed in the 4-week window, but they did it without additional staff or going over budget.

Boyert’s appreciation for Action Target is apparent in the way he speaks about their work as one of their customers, and it reflects the way he sees Athena Gun Club’s members speaking of the club.

In picking other industry partners whose work and reputation reflects the appropriate image for the club, Boyert chose carefully when selecting the brands he’d carry in Athena Gun Club’s store.

When you decide to back everything you sell to your customers with a lifetime warranty you had better pick the right brands. In a retail space laid out more like an Apple Store with gun kiosks reminiscent of SHOT Show displays (instead of those dreary standard glass gun cases), you’ll find Glock, Smith & Wesson, HK, Sig Sauer, Wilson Combat, Kimber, SureFire, Magpul, Galco and others.

Athena 2
This is what retail product merchandising should be. Photo: P. Erhardt

And all of it at prices competitive in an area serviced by numerous firearms retails, including no less than 20 Academy locations.

It’s difficult to fully capture the essence of the Athena Gun Club experience but it’s one that is totally different than what most shooters have come to expect from their local indoor range. It is refreshing and hopefully inspires other range owners to up their game.

Of course, the obvious question is can an upscale shooting club of this nature survive as a going business concern. I asked Boyert directly how long he thought it would take to reach profitability considering the tremendous investment made in the facility by him and his shareholders. While I fully expected a three, four, or even five year response, I was delighted to hear not only does he see it taking one year, but that expansion to new locations is part of the vision for the future of the Athena Gun Club.

With something like 4,000 people visiting the facility during its grand opening, it looks like the Athena Gun Club is well on its way. And I won’t be surprised if more than a few industry execs find their way to the new club next year when they gather in Houston for the annual NRA Show.

….Hmmm, what an interesting place to hold a new product introduction and media event during the NRA Show.

– Paul Erhardt, Editor, the Outdoor Wire Digital Network