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

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

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

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

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

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

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

THINKING ABOUT BUILDING A SHOOTING RANGE?

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

About The Bianchi Cup

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

 

The Gun Vault

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

 

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

 

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

Gun Vault Members Lounge 2

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

 

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

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

Thinking about Building a Shooting Range?

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

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

The Shooting Sports Industry: A Consumer’s Market

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

The Social Connection

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

Recognizing Areas of New Growth

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

Putting Data into Practice

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

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

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

Action Target’s LETC Registration Now Open

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

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

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

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

 

 

A Beginner’s Guide to Lead

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

WHY IT MATTERS

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

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

WHERE TO FIND INFORMATION

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

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

RELY ON THE EXPERTS

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

Action Target’s Range Ventilation Systems lead in the industry when it comes to ventilation. We design each ventilation system with specialized custom components that are manufactured and installed on a per-job basis to meet the specific needs of each individual range.

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

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

Trending: Women and Shooting Sports

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Frisco Gun Club Range Highlight

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

 

About the Range

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

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

 

Training & Classes

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

 

Membership

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

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

 

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

 

Thinking about Building a Shooting Range?

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

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

 

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

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

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

The History of H&H Shooting Sports Complex

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

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

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

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

The Value of Guest Service

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

H&HShootingRange

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

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

The Future of the Industry

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

H&H-ShootingRange (2)

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

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

Thinking About Building a Shooting Range?

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

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

 

The 411 on Shooting Range Ventilation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why Range Ventilation is Important

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

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

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

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

Ventilation Systems and How They Work

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

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

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

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

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

The Economics of Range Ventilation

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

If the system is too difficult for the range staff to use, chances are the staff won’t use it, or it won’t be used properly. The top names in the industry have made usability a priority to ensure each ventilation system is easy for the end-user to understand and operate. For example, 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.

Action Target at SHOT Show

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

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

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

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

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

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

SHOT Show 2014 - 22

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

SHOT Show 2014 - 23

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

SHOT Show 2014 - 24

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

SHOT Show 2014 - 18

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

SHOT Show 2014 - 25

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

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

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

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

By John Krupa III

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

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

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

Getting your Illinois Concealed Carry License

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

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

What is the instructor’s background?

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

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

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

Get familiar with the Illinois CCL law

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tips for ISP Approved CCL Firearms Instructors

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

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

Know the law and protect your students

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

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

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

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

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

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

Be thorough in your presentation and cover all CCL elements

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

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

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

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

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

Continue to build your instructor credentials

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

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

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

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

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

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

Where is the Illinois CCL program headed?

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

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

As always – stay safe.

 

About John Krupa III

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

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

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

What Great Shooting Ranges Look Like Inside and Out

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

 

POINT BLANK

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

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.

What Makes a Professional Firearms Instructor?

By Dave Staskievicz

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Professionalism

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

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

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

Evaluate Yourself – Keep an Open Mind

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

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

Evaluate Techniques, Tactics, and Gear

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

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

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

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

Learning Environment

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

StaskiewiczAbout Dave Staskiewicz

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

Action Target Law Enforcement Training Camp a Huge Success

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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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.”

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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.

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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

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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?

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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.

Quick Ways to Supplement Your Law Enforcement Budget at Year’s End

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Proper training begins with proper facilities and equipment. For law enforcement agencies, the fiscal year is coming to a close – making now a great time to use that extra budget for needed range equipment, upgrades, and services.

For agencies looking to upgrade while still saving money, Action Target | Law Enforcement Targets offers a number of programs to help law enforcement departments supplement their budgets without skimping on their ranges.

Recycling brass is a great way to reduce costs without cutting into budgets – and if done right, can mean more money for the range. The Law Enforcement Target Brass Program allows departments to recover money on their spent brass by applying credit to their account. The department then receives credit that can be used toward any Action Target or Law Enforcement Targets product or service including portable targetsrange services, spare parts, or even range upgrades. Credit earned through the program never expires and can be accumulated over time for larger purchases. One agency accrued over $60,000 through brass trade-in alone.
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The process is simple: a range master collects the spent brass and securely fastens the containers to a pallet. The range master then contacts Law Enforcement Targets at 800-779-0182 and schedules a time for the brass to be picked up. The brass is picked up and sent to a local recycler, sorted, inspected and weighed. The freight cost will be taken out of the credit received. The range master is then contacted by Law Enforcement Targets with the credit amount based on the net weight of the brass which is competitively priced based on current commodity pricing.

 

Action Target | Law Enforcement Targets is a turnkey provider for Gun ranges and training facilities. With the Brass Program, departments can use the credit for range parts/services/range consumables including de-Lead products, eye and hearing protection, general use products or products for resale.

Guns and ammunition can also be converted to credit. Action Target works with PoliceTrades.com to help agencies receive revenue from ammunition, duty firearms, confiscated guns, and even restricted Class 3 weapons.

PoliceTrades.com works through a bidding process. An agency sends a list of firearms it is looking to remove, and PoliceTrades.com sends it to a bid network of Federal Firearms Licensed Dealers (FFLs). FFLs then bid, and the highest bid is presented to the agency for review. Once accepted, the agency ships to the FFL and receives credit toward Action Target products and services. This process works for both duty and confiscated firearms. A similar process is available for Class 3 firearms (select-fire and short barrel rifles and shotguns). PoliceTrades.com handles all of the ATF Form 5 transfer paperwork, so departments don’t have to worry about trudging through all of the red tape.Cut_4006_2

PoliceTrades.com also has a parts stripping and destruction program. Agencies can receive revenue through having old or confiscated firearms destroyed. Guns are stripped of valuable parts such as the slide, recoil springs, grips, and magazines while the serialized frame of the firearm is destroyed. The agency receives revenue from the parts as well as a certified letter detailing the serial numbers of the firearms and the date they were destroyed.

For more information on the brass trade-in program, the PoliceTrades.com programs, or any of Action Target’s products and services, call 801-705-9113.

LETC 2013: A Week of Advanced Firearms Training

With so many lives on the line, proper law enforcement firearms instruction is absolutely crucial to any police department’s ongoing training efforts. That is why Action Target has hosted its Advanced Law Enforcement Training Camp (LETC) for more than 20 years. This September, from the 9th to the 13th, marks another year as law enforcement departments from across the country and the world meet at Action Target’s headquarters for unparalleled advanced firearms training.

LETC is designed to aid department firearms instructors in their training effectiveness and skill – and to pass that on to officers in their own agencies. Classes are geared toward getting participants out of their comfort zones and pushing beyond their current skill levels. Past classes have enabled even the most experienced professionals to excel further and improve.

J.C. Boylan, Range Master from Maricopa County, Arizona, participated in LETC 2011. “The firearms training and range were excellent,” Boylan said. “I have been a firearms instructor since 1984 and trained with some outstanding trainers…I can say because of Action Target’s LETC, I became a better and more confident shooter as well as a better firearms instructor.”LETC 111

Participants choose four eight-hour classes to attend from the 11 offered.

This year’s classes include:

  • Advanced Practical Handgun
  • Ultimate Shotgun
  • Extreme Close Quarter Battle Tactics with Hands, Knife, and Pistol
  • Rapid Deployment Patrol Rifle Operator
  • Training for the Fight with the Pistol
  • Emergency Medical Response for Firearms Instructors
  • Shoot, Move, Communicate
  • Glock Armorer’s Course
  • Reactive Shooting
  • Shoothouse Training – Instructor Training
  • High Performance HandgunLETC 013

Classes will be held both at Action Target headquarters in Provo, UT, and the Utah County Sheriff’s Office Thistle Firing Range – just a short drive up the canyon in Thistle, UT.

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

“The intensity of the conference was welcomed, and it was a true privilege to be among the world’s best instructors in the business,” Detective Juan Lopez said. “The training was beyond thorough, [Action Target’s staff’s] hospitality was over the top, and this training was hands down the most bang for your buck. The detailed lesson plans helped me to document and remember what I learned at the conference so I can continue to develop my skills as well as pass this training on to our officers who were unable to go. This was nothing less than the ultimate training experience and every range instructor’s dream.”LETC 072

A $500 tuition provides:

  • Four eight-hour classes taught by world class firearms instructors (choose from selection of 11)
  • Six meals (four lunches, BBQ dinner, and the closing banquet)
  • LETC “Dirty Harry” competition
  • LETC collectible T-shirt
  • Official certificate of completion signed by instructors
  • Collaboration with training professionals across the country

Attendees are required to bring their own weapons and ammunition. If the current ammunition shortage is preventing you  from attending, please contact us as we may have a solution for you through Salt Lake Wholesale Sports for most common handgun and rifle calibers.LETC 198

Registration is currently underway. Go to www.ActionTarget.com/calendar and follow the link under the “More Info” column for Sept. 9 – 13. Submission instructions are located at the bottom of the page. Contact Dallon Christensen at dallonc@actarg.com for any registration questions or concerns including ammunition needs. LETC is limited to the first 160 paid applicants, and classes are first-come first-served. Slots are filling up fast, so register today!

While primarily geared toward law enforcement firearms trainers, all law enforcement are invited to attend. Join us for a week of top-notch firearms training!

Action Target More Than Doubles Its Arc-On Time through Use of Hypertherm’s TurboNest Software

Action Target is reporting less scrap and more arc-on time through the use of Hypertherm’s TurboNest software, part of the Hypertherm family of software products.hypertherm

Action Target is reporting less scrap and more arc-on time through the use of Hypertherm’s TurboNest software, part of the Hypertherm family of software products. In the past, the company manually nested its parts, as Tyler Haderlie, an associate process engineer explains. “We were nesting our products on the burn tables manually, which would take up to an hour between burns.”

The process was not only time consuming, but so inefficient it left the company with a lot of scrap metal. The company decided to use TurboNest so a computer could figure out the best way to nest its parts. This helped Action Target significantly reduce its steel consumption. In addition, Action Target was able to take advantage of the CAM software’s advanced editing features.

“Before we purchased TurboNest we were seeing average torch-on times in the low 30 percent range. Now…we are averaging in the low 70 percent range on both tables! Our capacity, on these two tables, is better than it has ever been,” Haderlie explains. “TurboNest was the easiest, and smartest, investment we have made for the burn tables.”

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TurboNest nesting software provides mechanized cutting users with an efficient and intuitive solution for profiling operations. The full-featured intermediate level nesting software is configurable to meet business needs, and backed by high quality technical support. Benefits of the software include better productivity, improved part quality, and increased cost savings. TurboNest also features a straightforward user platform, thoughtful screen layout, and intuitive navigation.

TurboNest has been one of the industry’s leading intermediate nesting software products for a number of years, offering best-in-class performance and reliability with a straight-forward, easy-to-use design. TurboNest is also a component of Hypertherm’s Built for Business™ Integrated Cutting Solutions,. Learn more about TurboNest at http://www.hyperthermcam.com.

 

 

This press release has been republished with the permission of Hypertherm. For more information, please contact Michelle Avila at PR@Hypertherm.com.

The Firearm Blog Reviews Nashville Armory

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Nashville Armory
Credit: The Firearm Blog

Writer Alex C. of The Firearm Blog, one of the most popular gun related blogs in the world, recently took an afternoon to check out Nashville Armory, Tennessee’s newest shooting range installment. Nashville Armory has only been open for a few short months but is already making a huge splash in the firearms community because of its friendly environment and unmatched range technology. The 15,000-square-foot facility boasts a huge inventory of guns, ammo, shooting accessories, and even a shooters’ lounge where customers can grab a snack and a drink. Besides the retail and amenities, however, Nashville Armory’s claim to fame is its advanced indoor shooting range. The indoor range features two 75-foot bays with eight lanes each, a Total Containment Trap from Action Target, bulletproof glass shooting stalls, wireless target retrievers from Mancom (a subsidiary of Action Target), and 75-cubic-feet a minute ventilation provided by Carey’s Small Arms Range Ventilation.

Here is an excerpt from Alex C.’s review:

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Range owner Gary Semanchik
Credit: The Firearm Blog

Over the course of my life, I have probably waddled into no fewer than twenty or so indoor gun ranges. I love a quick visit to an indoor range to test a few pistols, have a short bit of fun, and get out quickly because the facility is usually either too hot or cold (depending on time of year), filled with lead particles and spent powder in the air that seems to linger forever, or be so dark and dank that at longer ranges you can barely see the holes you punch in the target. I am proud to say that on the advice of a friend of mine I got to check out what I believe may well be the finest gun range I have ever set foot inside. On Monday, May 6th I hopped on a plane and flew from Dallas to Nashville to check out this facility that I had only seen a few photos of hoping that it would be all it was cracked up to be. Let me tell you that without a doubt, it was.

Gary is the owner of Nashville Armory, but you wouldn’t know it if you were an unassuming patron. You see, Gary says that he likes to meet all of his customers at the door with a smile taking to the Walmart-greeter method (his words, not mine), and immediately you feel welcome. This stands in contrast to some other gun shops/ranges where the staff makes you feel privileged for being allowed to patronize their establishment.

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Employees pose with their favorite guns
Credit: The Firearm Blog

Now what makes Nashville Armory different you might ask? Well, I asked the very same question to Gary and he said simply this: “I wanted to set out and build the Apple Store of gun ranges; A one stop shop for firearms, equipment, classes, and training that would be family friendly and inviting”. Now that is a bold statement, but Gary has made it work and after the tour it is easy to understand how.

Read the full review on The Firearm Blog.

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.

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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.

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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.

The Truth About Steel and Steel Targets, Pt. 2

When it comes to steel targets, it is important to understand there are crucial differences in the quality of the steel used to make the targets and the design of the targets themselves. In an age where it seems everyone “knows a guy” who can make steel targets for them out of a welding shop, understanding the facts about steel is even more important. Steel targets can be perfectly safe and a fantastic training tool if done right, but they can also be extremely dangerous if done wrong. Here at Action Target, we have been designing and manufacturing steel targetscart Small and tactical training systems for nearly 30 years. Here are some of the things we’ve learned along the way.

TRUTH – THERE IS A SIGNIFICANT DIFFERENCE IN THE QUALITY OF STEEL BEING USED

Unfortunately, there are steel targets out there that are poorly designed and are made of inferior steel. Homemade targets from local welding shops are usually the culprits, but some commercial target manufacturers use inferior steel as well. Because these targets are vulnerable to cratering, pocking, and general deformation, they are very dangerous and should be avoided. Any steel with a Brinell hardness rating under 400 falls into this category, including standard “T-1” steel with a hardness rating in the 300 range.

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Action Target centerfire handgun targets (like this 8″ circle) are all made of 3/8″ AR500 armor steel. Our rifle targets are made of 3/8″ AR550 armor steel.

After many years of experimenting to find the best solution, most major manufacturers of dependable, high quality steel targets now use steel with a Brinell hardness rating of at least 400. A few premium quality manufacturers use steel with a higher Brinell hardness rating of 500 or even 550. Fewer than 10 steel mills in the world can provide quality AR500/550 steel. Action Target has direct relationships with many of these suppliers which allows us to purchase steel mill direct. Steel of this quality is always certified by the plant that created it, however, at Action Target we conduct independent hardness testing on every shipment we receive. If the steel does not meet our ballistic standards, we reject the entire order and send it back.

Other steel certifications like “Magnum Steel” or “Extreme Steel” are merely marketing terms added by the manufacturer. When all the rhetoric is boiled away, there are manufacturers who use steel that is not appropriate for targets, and there are those who use steel that is. Make sure you know the difference.

PROPER DESIGN IS CRITICAL

Even the best steel can’t compensate for poorly designed targets. There are several unavoidable principles that must be followed to create targets that are as safe and durable as possible.

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All Action Target steel targets are designed for predictable splatter. There are never any exposed bolts, clamps, or brackets on the shooting surface, and the target leans forward slightly to dissipate some of the bullet’s energy.

TRUTH – SMOOTH AND TOTALLY FLAT SHOOTING SURFACES ARE ESSENTIAL FOR CONSISTENT SPLATTER PATTERNS

There are two things manufacturers can do to ruin the smoothness and flatness of a steel target. First, they can use inferior steel that will crater, pock, and deform. Second, they can put brackets, clamps, or bolts in the way of the shooting surfaces. Remember, anything that can be shot will be shot. Why is this an issue? Because you can do a reasonable job of predicting and protecting against a bullet’s splatter pattern when it hits a flat, uniform surface. If the steel is damaged or if anything else is in the way, all bets are off. Bullet fragmentation and ricochet are inherent and acknowledged issues when shooting on steel targets. Proper target design helps you address those issues with the highest degree of safety possible.

TRUTH – DISSIPATING A BULLET’S ENERGY IS SAFER AND HELPS YOUR TARGETS LAST LONGER

When a bullet strikes a steel target that is completely stationary at a 90-degree angle, all the bullet’s energy goes directly to weakening that point on the steel. If the target is completely stationary but is positioned at less than a 90-degree angle, a portion of the bullet’s energy at impact is deflected rather than absorbed. If the target is positioned at slightly less than a 90-degree angle AND the target is able to move on impact, a much larger portion of the bullet’s energy is deflected rather than absorbed.

NO STEEL TARGET IS INDESTRUCTIBLE

Without exception, every steel target out there today can be damaged. Steel hardness and proper design can both be defeated by misuse and/or abuse of the target.

TRUTH – THE BASIC DESTRUCTIVE FORCE GENERATED BY BULLETS STRIKING STEEL TARGETS IS HEAT

Excessive concentrated heat alters the steel’s hardness properties and results in damage to the target’s face. The amount of heat generated is proportional to the speed of the bullet, which is why rifles cause more damage to steel targets than handguns.

TRUTH – RIFLE DISTANCE ON STEEL TARGETS IS NOT AN EXACT SCIENCE

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Even though this target is made of AR550 armor steel, shooting too close or shooting with piercing rounds has caused severe damage to its shooting surface.

No matter what anyone tells you, shooting a steel target with a rifle – even at 100 yards – can damage your target, even if it has a Brinell hardness rating of 550. You must be very careful about your choice of steel and ammunition! Even with 550 Brinell steel and the target mounted at a significant angle, some damage is still possible, even at 100 yards. For best results, use only steel targetscart Small that are specifically designed for use with rifles.

With so many complex variables like ammunition type, rifle manufacturer, barrel length, bullet velocity and so on, it is virtually impossible to establish a set distance for shooting rifles on steel targets. To determine what works best with your specific equipment, we suggest the following: Fire a test shot from 100 yards and then examine the target. If there is no damage, move in a few yards and fire another test shot. Repeat the process until you find the optimal distance for your combination of rifle and ammunition. Some people may be comfortable with a certain amount of dimpling on the steel. Minor damage to the shooting surface will not create a shooting hazard if you are shooting at 100 yards, but if can be very dangerous if you choose to shoot at close range with a handgun on the same target. Even if your steel targets have only minimal rifle damage, they should never be used for closer distance handgun training.

TRUTH – SHOTGUN SLUG DISTANCE ON STEEL TARGETS MEANS 100 YARDS MINIMUM

Shotgun slugs have the greatest potential for bodily harm to the shooter due to the sheer volume of lead that can be returned from damaged or poorly designed steel targets. Stay back!

TRUTH – FRANGIBLE AMMUNITION REQUIRES THE SAME QUALITY STEEL AS REGULAR AMMUNITION

Many types of frangible ammunition, particularly for rifles, are lighter than regular lead ammunition. Remember that lighter bullets can mean greater speed, which means more heat, which can mean damage to your steel target. Just because frangible ammunition is designed to break up on impact doesn’t mean the distance requirements do not apply. You should follow the exact same rules with frangible ammunition as you do with any other.

TRUST THE EXPERTS

When it comes to your safety, don’t settle for the advice of your local welder. Steel targets can be fun and safe as long as they are made of quality steel and designed to produce predictable splatter. In fact, steel targets can be one of the greatest tools for firearms training, but they have to be manufactured correctly. Shooting on poorly designed targets made of inferior steel can result in severe bodily harm. Here at Action Target, your safety is our biggest concern. We have decades of experience manufacturing steel targets, and we constantly conduct ballistic research to make sure the steel we use meets our standards and your expectations. If you are looking for a steel target, trust us to point you in the right direction.

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.