Q&A: How To Run a League Vol. 14 No. 1 Winter 2011
NSSFâ€™s Magazine for Shooting Facilities
Backstop & Bullet Trap Roundup Partner with Local Retailers Simulators Can Stimulate the Bottom Line
The Range Report
The Range Report
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www.nssf.org • www.wheretoshoot.org • www.rangeinfo.org Vol. 14 No. 1 Winter 2011
Backing and Trapping Here’s a helpful roundup of some backstop and bullet trap options and innovations. By Carolee Anita Boyles
Partner with Local Retailers
Create money-making arrangements with other businesses. By Michael D. Faw
Electronic ranges are generating profits and bringing in new customers. By C. Douglas Nielsen
Letter from the Editor
The SHOT Show? Of course! By Glenn Sapir
Scoping out news for the shooting range community By Glenn Sapir
6 20 22
Q&A How do you set up and run a successful league? By Rex A. Gore and Mike Critser
The Undercover Shooter Getting into Handgunning in Tampa
Home on the Range New Study Can Aid Planning By Jim Curcuruto and Mark Damian Duda
On the cover cover:
Ranges need to be aware of the latest in backstops and bullet traps. Photo courtesy of Action Target
The Range Report
© 2011 National Shooting Sports Foundation, Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Range ReportSM, SHOT Show® and all other trade names, trademarks and service marks of the National Shooting Sports Foundation appearing in this publication are the sole property of the Foundation and may not be used without the Foundation’s prior express written permission. All other company and product names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.
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Letter from thethe from Editor Editor G l e n n
S a p i r
The SHOT Show? Of Course!
ou have a lot of decisions to make in running your facility, and many of them—in fact, most—aren’t easy. One decision that should be a no-brainer, however, is whether to attend the SHOT Show. Forget the excuses of time and money. Both figure into an investment that will pay huge dividends. If you are not familiar with the SHOT Show, which this year runs Jan. 18-21, then I suspect you’ll likely be looking for your shadow on Feb. 2. If you have been living on the bright side of the earth’s floor, however, then you know that the Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade Show is the largest gathering of the sport shooting, hunting and law enforcement industry in the world. Founded in 1979 and forever growing in stature, the SHOT Show brings together manufacturers from all over the world to display their newest products to retailers, distributors, buyers, law enforcement personnel, the largest corps of outdoor press on the planet and, yes, range owners and managers. It’s where you see the newest products, literally from A to Z—from ADCO Arms to Zulani Safaris—with a whole lot of the 1,600-plus exhibitors in between holding a special interest to the range industry. The SHOT Show is also where you can cash in on the exclusive “show specials” many of these companies offer. Besides having the spectrum of the shooting industry on view for your inspection, you will treasure the chance to meet with company personnel, including senior management, product designers and perhaps your local sales representative, get your questions answered and create valuable professional relationships. In fact, relationships—and networking—are, perhaps, the greatest benefits of the SHOT Show. You’ll not only meet manufacturers and other exhibitors, but you’ll rub elbows and talk with fellow range operators, ATF and NICS representatives, and a variety of other folks who could prove of value to you in your operation. SHOT Show University, the daylong
series of relevant seminars presented by industry leaders, precedes the official opening of the show. Range personnel with an interest in improving their business as retailers make a point of arriving at the show a day early to attend the university. This year’s program will allow attendees, in addition to participating in the lineup of sessions, to visit with representatives of many of the companies that offer members of the National Shooting Sports Foundation special member benefits, to learn about their programs and get questions answered. Not a member of NSSF? At the SHOT Show, NSSF staff members will man—and woman—a prominently located booth to meet, greet and answer any questions you might have about NSSF. If you are a member, stop by to say hello and pick up your member ribbon, which allows you exclusive entrance to the NSSF Members Lounge and Business Center, where you can dine conveniently on moderately priced meals and use the free Internet, printer, fax and copy service. The 2011 SHOT Show will kick off the business year with its run from Tuesday, Jan. 18, to Friday, Jan. 21, 2011, at the Sands Expo and Convention Center in Las Vegas. SHOT Show University opens its doors, for a nominal price—too low, really, to even refer to it as tuition—on Monday, Jan. 17. It may be a last-minute decision, but you can still easily make all of your arrangements online at www.shotshow. org. Here you can register for the show and register for SHOT Show University. At the website you can also make airline, hotel and car-rental arrangements and learn even more about the show. If these words have sparked your coming to your first SHOT Show, or reignited a desire to attend once again, then look for me at the press registration desk at the show. I’d love to say hello and hear RR how the show has rewarded you.
www.nssf.org The Range Report, published four times per year by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, is dedicated to serving the needs and to helping meet the challenges of today’s shooting facilities. The Range Report encourages letters, comments, suggestions, questions and tips. Material to be returned should be accompanied by a stamped, self-addressed envelope. The Range Report does not assume responsibility for the loss of unsolicited graphic or written material. Correspondence should be sent to: The Range Report c/o NSSF 11 Mile Hill Road Newtown, CT 06470-2359 Fax: 203-426-1245 E-mail: email@example.com We reserve the right to edit for clarity and space.
Managing Director Editor Advertising Director Art Director
Mark Thomas Glenn Sapir Chris Dolnack Deb Moran
Association of Shooting Ranges www.nssf.org/ranges ADVISORY COMMITTEE Don Turner - chairman president of NSSF’s Association of Shooting Ranges Shooting park manager Consultant, DonTurner LLC Clark County Shooting Park North Las Vegas, Nev. firstname.lastname@example.org North Las Vegas, Nev. email@example.com Robin Ball, owner Robin Ball, owner Sharp Shooting Indoor Range and Gun Shop Sharp Shooting Indoor Range and Gun Shop Spokane, Wash. Robin@sharpshooting.net Spokane, Wash. Robin@sharpshooting.net Brian Danielson, sales manager Brian Danielson, sales manager Meggitt Training Systems Meggitt Training Systems Suwanee, Ga. firstname.lastname@example.org Suwanee, Ga. email@example.com Glenn Duncan, owner Glenn Duncan, owner Duncan’s Outdoor Shop, Inc. Duncan’s Outdoor Shop, Inc. Bay City, Mich. firstname.lastname@example.org Bay City, Mich. email@example.com Jon Green, director of education and training Jon Green, director of education and training Gun Owners Action League (GOAL) Gun Owners Action League (GOAL) Northborough, Mass. firstname.lastname@example.org Northborough, Mass. email@example.com Bill Kempffer, president Bill Kempffer, president Deep River Sporting Clays, Inc. Deep River Sporting Clays, Inc. Sanford, N.C. firstname.lastname@example.org Sanford, N.C. email@example.com Holden Kriss, director Holden Kriss, director Indian River County Public Shooting Range Indian River County Public Shooting Range Sebastian, Fla. firstname.lastname@example.org Sebastian, Fla. email@example.com Barry Laws, CEO Barry Laws, CEO Openrange Inc. Openrange Inc. Crestwood, Ky. firstname.lastname@example.org Crestwood, Ky. email@example.com Phil Murray, national sales manager Phil Murray, national sales manager White Flyer White Flyer Houston, Texas Murray826@aol.com Houston, Texas Murray826@aol.com Stan Pate, president Tim Pitzer, president Oregon State Shooting Association Oregon State Shooting Association Albany, Ore. firstname.lastname@example.org Albany, Ore. email@example.com The Range Report
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Scoping out news for the shooting range community
By Glenn Sapir, Editor
Range Survey Report Updated and Online The National Range Survey Industry Intelligence Report has been updated and placed online in PDF format in the member section of the National Shooting Sports Foundation website, www.nssf.org. The report is available for free to members. This Industry Intelligence Report has compiled trend data and current findings from NSSF surveys to ranges and is a good source of information for public and private, indoor and outdoor ranges to see where they stand among their peers. Once in the member-only section
of the NSSF website, visitors should look under “NSSF Research Publications, Industry Intelligence Reports.” Having trouble downloading the report? Not a member of NSSF, but you’d like to learn about becoming one? Contact Bettyjane Swann, NSSF director, member services at 203-4261320, e-mail bswann@nssf. org. For further information regarding NSSF research publications, contact Dianne Vrablic, NSSF research coordinator, at 203-426-1320, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Members may also request a printed copy of the report from Vrablic.
New Signs and Decals for Four and Five Star Ranges The NSSF’s Association of Shooting Ranges has designed a new graphic to recognize its Four and Five Star Range members. To help further promote shooting facilities for achieving this status, Four and Five Star ranges will receive window decals, a metal sign and a webbased graphic to use on advertisements, brochures and their own website. “This is another way to recognize exemplary shooting facilities across the country,” said Zach Snow, NSSF manager, shooting promotions, “and we encourage more ranges to strive and apply for this recognition.
“Ranges that are Four and Five Starrated facilities should replace any old signage with the new graphic, to ensure a consistent look for the Five Star Rating program throughout the country,” Snow added. For more information on how to become a Four or Five Star range, visit www.nssf.org/PDF/FiveStar.pdf or contact Snow at 203-426-1320, e-mail email@example.com.
H&H Gun Range Moves Up in INC Magazine 5,000 H&H Gun Range & Shooting Sports Outlet, in Oklahoma City, Okla., has been included among the nation’s fastest-growing companies in INC Magazine’s top 5,000 privately held companies listing. This marks the fourth straight year of the shooting facility’s selection. Its ranking at 1,123 was an increase of 1,207 positions over its previous mention. H&H was the only gun range and store on the list. The facility is owned by Miles and Jayne Hall. “INC is an impressive and important publication, so this is an honor to our operation and the shooters of our area,” said Miles Hall. The Range Report
First Shots, Keystone Promotion Can Get You Five Free Crickett .22 Rifles Shooting ranges that have hosted First Shots know that it is a productive way to attract newcomers to the sport and to the range. Now, host ranges have another very good reason—five of them actually—to commit to hosting two First Shots this year. Keystone Sporting Arms, the Milton, Pa.-based manufacturer of youth-model firearms has provided 1,000 youth rifles to be distributed to participating First Shots shooting ranges. The first 200 ranges that commit to hosting two First Shots seminars in 2011, of which at least one must be specifically for parents and youth, are eligible to receive the set of five rifles. So, if you are a shooting facility that has been presenting First Shots seminars, schedule your 2012 events now. If you are a range that hasn’t come on board, now’s the time to become a First Shots host. In addition to the generous cooperative advertising reimbursement to which First Shots hosts are always entitled, an additional coop ad program has been built into this special Keystone promotion. Learn more about hosting a First Shots seminar online at www.nssf.org/ FirstShots/RangeOwners/. Only NSSF member shooting facilities are eligible. To get more information on NSSF membership, contact NSSF Director, Member Services Bettyjane Swann at 203, 426-1320, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the NSSF website at www.nssf.org/indusRR try/members/. 5
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Q&A Your questions answered
Rex A. Gore Owner Black Wing Shooting Center Delaware, Ohio
Mike Critser IDPA Volunteer Coordinator Connecticut Sports Shooters Hartford Gun Club East Granby, Conn.
A League of Your Own Q. How do you set up and run a successful league? A. Rex A. Gore, owner, Black Wing Shooting Center: At Black Wing Shooting Center, we have found that leagues are a great way to get both new and experienced shooters out to the range on a frequent basis. We find that if you aren’t constantly creating reasons for people to come to your place of business, then your competitors may see your customers more than you do. Pick your slowest day or evening and create a league shoot for that timeframe. This could become a much more busy and profitable time slot. Leagues success is based on a few fundamentals. First, the league needs to be well planned, organized and
In Q & A, The Range Report invites NSSF’s Association of Shooting Ranges advisory committee members past and present, and others with special expertise, to provide their answers to questions of interest to our readers. If you have a question you’d like to see addressed, submit it to email@example.com. If you would like to comment on the answers given in this edition’s Q&A, or if you have related follow-up questions for this team of experts, please share your thoughts at the same e-mail address. 66
professionally run. The league program specifics need to be developed and reduced to writing, by outlining the rules, scoring, shoot times, cost and awards. Second, the league needs to be promoted well in advance of the starting date. Use your normal means of advertising and have your staff talk it up in the store. If people don’t know about it, then they won’t be signing up. Third, offer a free clinic prior to the league’s starting for those new to league shooting. At that clinic, go over all of the league rules, how the league will be shot, scoring methods, etc. You might also take the attendees to the range to shoot a few targets, which will help their confidence and take the mystery out of it. Lastly, make sure you are there to support the shooters during the league, making it a fun and entertaining atmosphere, loaning them firearms if needed and coaching them when possible. You have to make sure they have fun, or they won’t be back for the next league. At Black Wing, we have leagues running throughout the year, on both our indoor and outdoor ranges. On the indoor ranges we have the traditional rimfire and centerfire bull’s-eye leagues, bowling pin league shoots and dueling tree league shoots. On the outdoor ranges, we have trap leagues, skeet leagues, sporting clay leagues and the popular Polar Bear League, which, held during the winter, is a combination of all three clay target games. We encourage our customers to shoot all of the leagues, challenging them to get involved and experience all of the various shooting sports we have to offer.
The more people we can get into the shooting sports the better for everyone. A. Mike Critser, IDPA volunteer coordinator, Connecticut Sport Shooters, Hartford Gun Club: Setting up a successful league is not rocket science. The same principles that work in management work here. Find and surround yourself with good people and then listen to them. Too many people think it’s all about just shooting; it’s not. We provide entertainment. Our shooters are our customers, and it’s important that they have a good time. Top-notch safety/range officers are key to making this happen. You must recruit and retain safety/range officers that understand safe shooting, the rules of the sport and, most importantly, how to treat the shooters with respect and assure that they enjoy the experience. Safety/range officers are volunteers, and the mistake I see most often is that those in charge tend to treat them like employees. They are NOT! They volunteer their time and resources because they love the sport and want it to continue. They should be shown and treated with respect and made to feel that they are vitally important to the success of the match, because they are. Find a range that has a reputation for running a top-notch league. See what they do. How do they treat their shooters and their range officers and safety officers? Talk to the shooters to learn what they like—and dislike— about the league? Find out what successful people are doing, and then RR copy and improve upon that. The Range Report
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The Range Report
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Backing and Trapping Roundup of some backstop and bullet trap options and innovations By Carolee Anita Boyles
any critical components are required to build a successful range. Whether you have an indoor or an outdoor range, nothing is more essential than some way of stopping lead that’s headed downrange. Over the years, ranges have used many techniques to stop and collect bullets, from sand and granulated rubber berms to metal backstops and louvered or Venetian blind backstops. “The general trend we’re seeing is an emphasis on the environmental impact that bullets bring to the whole training segment of the industry,” said Tonie Kruse, marketing director at Range Systems in New Hope, Minn. “As a result, we’re seeing a lot of environmental influence on how ranges capture lead and debris in bullet traps. That’s been on the table for many years, but there’s a strong push for it right now; ammunition is changing, so the range industry has to be aware of building products that can tolerate the new ammunition.” As technology has advanced, Kruse said, so have bullet traps and backstops. “Every manufacturer is continuing to be more responsive to these 8
changes,” she said. “Regardless of what kind of system a company builds, we’re all trying to do what’s best for range safety and the environment. That keeps everyone pushing ahead to produce a better design.” Clark Vargas is a professional engineer and president of C. Vargas and Associates. He said that some old-style backstops produced undesirable results. “When a bullet slams into steel, it releases a lot of energy,” he said. “In order for the steel not to be damaged by the bullet, we made the steel harder than the bullet. The bullet was destroyed when it hit the steel, which created dust and splatter. Plus, when you’re shooting a bullet at 3,000 feet per second and you stop it immediately, the amount of heat released is unbelievable. And what melts isn’t the steel; it’s the bullet.” Indoors Although first indoor ranges are covered here, most of the systems mentioned in this report can be used outdoors as well. Vargas said one significant step in the evolution of bullet trap design took
place at Savage Arms about 15 years ago and resulted in the formation of Savage Range Systems. “Manufacturers typically test fire newly manufactured firearms as part of their quality-control process,” Vargas said. “That commonly means three shots out of every barrel, or, if it’s a semi-automatic, a full clip. That’s a lot of shooting.” Instead of continuing to use smash plates, Savage designers came up with a funnel arrangement that went into a snail-shape bullet trap. “The centrifugal force kept the bullet against the steel in the scroll, and friction forces stopped the bullet,” Vargas said. “Then the bullet dropped into a bucket or another container.” The next stage in the development of this trap—which became today’s Snail Trap—was to lubricate it with water and eventually with a biodegradable-oil-and-water mixture. Eoin Stafford is vice president and general manager of Savage Range Systems in Westfield, Mass. He said that about a year ago, the company came out with a modification to their original Snail System, called the Big Mouth Snail. “Some people had the perception that if you were cross-firing on a range, shots could hit the steel supports and cause some ricochet issues,” he said. “We’d never had a problem with that, but we eliminated the vertical faces so the throat is completely open across the front of the trap.” Although Savage patented the particular recovery system, other manufacturers followed suit with funnel-type systems. Several are on the market today, each with its own unique features. However, Vargas said, most or all of these other traps are dry traps, so that ranges still have the issue of what to do with bullet fragments, dust and lead particulates downrange. “Dry traps have dust-collection systems that collect all that stuff that has to be filtered,” he said. There are some who find flaws with the oil-based system, which means there’s room in the market for a drytrap option. “I think the oil traps can be a maintenance problem for ranges because The Range Report
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they may make things around the traps sticky,” said Gary Johnson, president of Johnson Architects in Duluth, Ga. “Plus, the oil gets into the air through the mechanical systems, and you can feel it after you’ve been in the building for a while.” The commonality of all these traps, both oil lubricated and dry, Vargas said, is the angle of the steel plates that the bullets strike. “They’re all about 18 degrees,” he said. “That means that the bullet kisses the plate and then rides up and then goes into a collection system and is recycled. That kind of design is top of the line now.” Action Target also makes steelfunnel-type traps such as Vargas described. “The Total Containment Trap is what we consider our state-of-the-art trap,” said David Mathis, marketing director at Action Target. “You can shoot rifle, shotgun or any kind of military or law enforcement small arms on it.” Mathis said the shallow angle of the plates that Vegas described means
that bullets can’t escape from the trap, no matter where the bullet hits. “If the bullet strikes the bottom plate and then goes up and strikes the top plate, it continues to travel toward the back of the trap,” he said. “The angles funnel it toward the throat of the trap, which is a small gap where the top and bottom plate meet. Once the bullet goes through that gap it enters the deceleration chamber, which is like two halves of a circle so the bullet can’t escape. All the bullets are contained in that deceleration chamber so they can be collected with one of several systems that we have.” Prevent Ricochets As Savage Range Systems has done, Action Target recently removed internal supports from their Total Containment Trap to prevent the possibility of ricochets, resulting in a fully open trap. “Until a couple years ago, in each firing lane of the Total Containment Trap, the plates had to be supported at the mouth of the trap,” Mathis said.
“In recent years we’ve developed a completely open throat trap, so the funnel and the throat of the trap are completely open from both sides of the lane. You can be standing on the far left side of the range and shoot diagonally across to the far right side of the range, and you won’t impact any vertical plates; you’ll only impact the angled plates so the bullets enter the deceleration chamber.” Ranges now have a couple of different options for collection systems on the Total Containment Trap. “One option is just buckets that sit on the bottom of the deceleration chamber and collect the bullets,” Mathis said. “We also have an auger option, which is just a big screw that goes the whole length of the bullet trap. The bullets fall down in the deceleration chamber, and when you turn the auger on, it moves all the collected lead and whatever else is there to a large container such as a 55-gallon drum. Then you have someone come in with a forklift and pick it up.” A vacuum-operation air conveyor
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The Range Report
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The Air Barrier System in Savage Range Systems’ Big Mouth Snail creates a barrier at the throat of the deceleration chamber keeping lead particles inside the chamber.
system is another option, but Mathis said the most popular collection system is the auger system. Dry traps such as these have their own HVAC or air-barrier systems behind them to deal with contaminants other than bullets. “They take the lead dust through that system and through filters,” Johnson said. “It’s a separate system from the HVAC system for the building.” Both Savage Range Systems and Action Target have an option of this type. When talking about indoor bullet traps and backstops, we can’t overlook rubber. Quite a few rubber traps of various designs are on the market, including Action Target’s rubber-berm trap and Range Systems’ Encapsulator rubber backstop. “Our rubber-berm trap is made of chopped rubber and is suitable for both indoor and outdoor use,” Mathis said.
Resources Action Target (provides printed resources on trap and backstop considerations and design) P. O. Box 636 Provo, UT 84603 801-366-8033 www.actiontarget.com Meggitt Training Systems 298 Brogdon Rd. Suwannee, GA 30024 763-568-7166 www.meggitttrainingsystems.com 10 winter11_RangeReport.indd 10
The Pulsatron Self-Abatement System filters and recirculates air requiring less air volume for circulation, necessitating a smaller fan motor and offering energy savings.
“With all-rubber berm traps, you have to go in and ‘mine’ out all the bullets that were shot into it. You have to close down the range, dig up the trap, get all the bullets out of it and replace the rubber.” One upside to this type of trap is that it has a lower upfront cost than steel traps. Johnson pointed out, however, that all rubber systems are labor intensive. “It takes a lot of labor to get the bullets out of them,” he said. Stafford added, “Yet, many ranges continue to use rubber systems because they have a smaller footprint, and they are less expensive.” “When I took over Savage Range Systems four years ago, we didn’t offer rubber systems,” he continued. “A lot of people wanted them, so we started offering them, but many range owners who have them say that if they’d known
Range Systems 5121 Winnetka Avenue N., Suite 200A New Hope, MN 55428 www.range-systems.com Savage Range Systems, Inc. 100 Springdale Rd. Westfield, MA 01085 413-568-7001 www.snailtraps.com Shooting Ranges International 665 Andover Park W. Seattle, WA 98188 206-575-9797 www.ais-sim.com
before they put them in what they know now, they might have made another choice.” Outdoors All the options covered can be used outdoors as well as indoors. Outdoors, however, another option builds on the safety berms that are already on many ranges. “The least expensive option for outdoors is sand,” Vargas said. “That keeps the bullets within three feet of the surface. In this case, the backstop is more than just a safety device to terminate the energy of the bullet. Now it’s also a storage device. You know where the lead is, and periodically you sift it out.” Even in a sand berm, Vargas said, there can be innovation; he has started putting what he calls “bump-outs” on ranges. “We make them out of ballistic sand, which is a matrix of sand and clay or loam,” he said. “Then periodically you just knock that down, sift it and put it back up.” A lot of factors go into choosing which type of backstop or bullet trap you’re going to install on your range. “A lot of it depends on whether it’s a small commercial range, a commercial range that also has law enforcement training on it or strictly a law enforcement range,” Johnson said. “It’s like picking a car: do you want a Ford, a Chevrolet or a Buick? There isn’t any one product that’s perfect for every RR application.” The Range Report
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Your Future Is Our Business It’s Also Our Mission and Passion National Shooting Sports Foundation® Join the National Shooting Sports Foundation. Help us attract, excite and inform new hunters and shooters – and turn them into your customers. All of us are a part of the lucky few who make a living pursuing our passion. We are the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the trade association of the firearms, ammunition and shooting industry. By becoming a NSSF member, you enable us to attract, excite and inform new hunters and shooters in every state about the sport we love . . . new enthusiasts mean more business for everyone. Whether it is in the field, on the range, in Washington, D.C. or 50 state capitals, we stand proudly as your voice. Help us make your voice louder and stronger where it counts.
For 50 years, our mission has always been to promote, protect and preserve our hunting and shooting sports. Now more than ever, it’s time to shoot for more and become a NSSF member. To join, contact Bettyjane Swann at (203) 426-1320 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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The future of your business depends on it.
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Central Range staffer Joe Pass, right, points customers from his Dubuque, Iowa, indoor range to Cedar Valley Outfitteres gun shop in Marion, Iowa, some 50 miles away, and, in return, Ernie Traugh, left, owner of Cedar Valley, steers customers to Central Range.
Partner with Local Retailers By Michael D. Faw
etailing partnerships can be profitable. The great news is that ranges, gun stores and other shooting sports-focused businesses can explore an endless number of ways to work cooperatively and profitably to better serve customers. These partnership opportunities range from in-store exchange advertising, to providing a free or discounted range use session as part of a firearmspurchase package. Partnering can definitely bring more customers to your sales counter and yield more positive exposure for your business. You might have more reasons to partner than you think. “We tell them where the outdoor ranges are, and we also direct them to Central Range, an indoor range up the road in Dubuque,” said Ernie Traugh, owner of Cedar Valley Outfitters gun shop in Marion, Iowa. “I would gladly set up a partnership and advertise with them (Central Range), and we already send each other customers.” Cedar Valley Outfitters teaches concealed carry courses and carries tactical firearms, law enforcement gear and reloading supplies. The range specializes in high-end firearms and 12
technical shooting gear. Central Range, a full-service store with an indoor range, specializes in hunting gear. It’s about 50 miles away from the Cedar Valley Outfitters’ gun store. Central Range often directs customers back down the highway to Cedar Valley Outfitters. “Each of our businesses attracts different type customers, and we feel there is very little crossover,” said Craig Stockel, owner of Central Range. “When we have customers that ask for gun parts or supplies that we don’t stock or have, we send them down the road to Cedar Valley Outfitters.” Both stores sell ammunition and firearms, and both businesses profit from the working partnership. Many customers also benefit from this gentlemen’s agreement. Other ranges and gun shops could benefit from similar partnerships. Partner Opportunities When it comes to creating a profitable partnership with retailers, a little creativity and personal assessment of the services you and the store offer can go a long way toward helping a wide variety of customers—and
each business. Here’s how a potential partnership could exist: As the customer before a retail store’s salesman ponders whether to buy that new rifle, shotgun or pistol, the salesman casually mentions that any firearm purchase in the shop also has an incentive attached—a free one-hour shooting session at a local gun range—your gun range. At your range the staff and “advertising” signs redirect shooters to the original store for needed shooting supplies, ammunition and firearms purchases. As an additional measure of specialized cross-promotion, your range and the store could form a partnership where a receipt for shooting at the range could mean a dollar off on a box of ammunition purchased at the store. Perhaps a purchase of a brick or case of ammunition in the gun store could come with a coupon for a discount shooting session at the range. At Central Valley Outfitters in Marion, Iowa, customers who purchase a Glock handgun get a coupon for a free class covering handgun care and basic shooting instruction with a local Glock-certified instructor. The Range Report
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“This helps me seal a sale, helps the instructor meet potential students for his shooting classes and helps the customer learn more about the handgun they purchase,” explained Traugh. That instructor recommends Cedar Valley Outfitters to students as part of the partnership agreement. Other gun ranges and firearms dealers, or outlets that sell hunting and shooting gear, have also struck up varied profitable partnerships that help both retailers—and that help encourage clients to open their wallets. It’s a win-win-win situation. Think creatively and outside the box when forming partnerships with retailers. Some ranges and gun stores provide working counter space to an independent gunsmith within their building. Ahlman’s Gun Shop in Morriston, Minn., has such a partnership. Alpine Shooting Range in Fort Worth, Texas, has a close partnership with a taxidermist. Alpine Taxidermy shop has mounts on display within Alpine Shooting Range’s store. The nearby taxidermist, an independently owned and operated business, is in a separately leased building. The range and taxidermist cross promote other’s each business. It’s a partnership that works.
Again, both businesses could also promote each other on their bulletin boards or sales counters. Marketing efforts that promote partnerships or make them mutually profitable can take many routes. Each side of a two-sided brochure can provide hours, services and a map to the partnering parties. This type of marketing brochure would help reduce printing costs for both businesses. You can also partner with retailers that offer concealed carry classes, have
women’s shooting courses or that attract customers who want to experience firearms in a “try before they buy” program. “We do promote Calibers Indoor Pistol Range in Greensboro, along with several other ranges in the region,” said Don Efird, owner of Archdale Ammo in Archdale, N.C. “We have flyers and cards from those ranges on our bulletin board, and we keep membership applications for Calibers and those other places in a
Atmosphere at no expense If you partner with a taxidermist, it pays to let the taxidermists display mounts in your range’s lobby. This creates “atmosphere” at no expense to your business. You can also have the taxidermist’s shop promote your range or gun shop through displayed brochures. Through partnerships, your range can offer more services to your clients. The next best thing to on-site service could be offering gunsmithing services to your clients, and then transferring the in-need-of-repair firearms received to a local gunsmith where you have developed a working partnership. You charge your client $50 per hour for services for which the partner gunsmith charges you $35 per hour. Your profit is for your time, and your customer is happy when the repaired firearm is returned to him or her in your lobby. The Range Report
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way back to cash registers in the form of purchases and customer visits. Customers love coupons! “We don’t have formal partnerships, but we do have several local pawn shops that give free passes from our center to their customers when those customers purchase a gun,” said Bob Oberst with Palmetto State Shooting Center in Ridgeland, S.C. “It’s all a part of marketing.” Oberst visits the pawn shops to drop off the passes, and he indicates the partnership definitely brings customers to the door and sales counter. Anyone buying a gun at the pawn shops has a recommended place to go try it out, and that makes customers happy. In addition to coupons, informative flyers with a pull tab (or tag) on the bottom that provides a Showing taxidermy work at the range provides business name and phone free décor and outdoor ambience for no cost but number are also customer promoting the taxidermist. motivators. These are often tacked to in-business bulletin boards, and customers pull magazine rack by our door. Calibers and take the tags. These promotions definitely sends customers up here.” In exchange, Calibers Indoor Pistol are not as strong as word-of-mouth or staff recommendations, but they help Range often hands customers a busicustomers discover options. ness card with complete Archdale Most retail partnerships provide Ammo info. At Calibers, customers wider reach or exposure for those can shoot and try various handguns involved and create more efficient for free. Through a unique retail partmarketing efforts—that is, more bang nership, those firearms are on loan for your bucks. Partnerships can also from Archdale Ammo. help grow a larger customer base. “If I think it will be a good gun Including retailers in your efforts for me to sell, I’ll take it over there [to Calibers] and leave it for up to 90 days,” through various partnerships can bring traffic to your facility. continued Efird. “We let their customers try our guns, and Calibers’ staff Other Partnering Possibilities directs those interested customers back While shooting ranges and gun to us for a purchase. The handgun has my company name on it while the guns stores without ranges are a natural “marriage,” it often pays to seek are there in the customers’ hands.” partnerships with outlets that sell That’s a powerful partnership hunting goods, such as tree stands with a proven success record. Other or camouflaged duck hunting boats. retailers offer passes, coupons and other items to move customers to part- Those retailers could possibly send nering ranges. Many discount coupons hunters who purchase gear to your range for before-the-hunt practice. offered in these programs find their 14
You could, in return, send shooters who ask about tree stands, daypacks or hunting gear to the other retailer— after you sell them ammunition or a firearm. Another possible retailer fit would be a stand-alone sporting clays course partnering with a dog breeder specializing in hunting dogs, or with a local shooting preserve that has birds to hunt but no sporting clays course where customers can practice. Both could point customers to each other, and both could easily sell firearms and ammunition without detracting from the other. Be creative! Concealed carry classes are also bringing a new group into the shooting sports, and these graduates could be looking for a place to practice or a store to purchase supplies and gear. Reach out to instructors who can promote your services while you promote their classes. Consider offering discount coupons or other incentives to students in those programs, plus a map or brochure with details about your business or range. The same goes for hunter education, Boy Scouts and 4-H programs. Again, reach out and offer a partnership. You will help those groups meet their training requirements, and they will help you find customers and make sales. “We hold hunter education classes six times per year, plus charities use our range for charity shoots,” says owner Robby Parks with Alpine Gun Range. “Those groups include Big Brothers, Big Sisters, the 4-H and others. The groups mention our range in their event brochures, on their websites, and in their marketing programs. This definitely helps promote our range and services, plus it brings customers out on the day of the event—and after the event.” The range also has partnerships with local builders, contractors, and other businesses. Many partnerships are secured with words and a handshake, but more technical and detailed partnerships might require a contract, especially if large sums of money are at stake. In other cases, exchange of goods, space, services and other amenities can be bartered or traded. RR The Range Report
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New Study Can Aid Planning...continued from page 22 participants), trap shooting (3 percent participation rate; 7.6 million participants) and skeet shooting (3 percent participation rate; 7.0 million participants). See the accompanying chart. A regional participation breakdown shows the following participation rates: Northeast—11 percent, which represents 4.7 million participants; South—16 percent, 13.2 million participants; Midwest—18 percent, 9.2 million participants; and West—14 percent, 7.5 million participants. The survey also asked about the days of participation in each type of target or sport shooting. Nationally and in each region, shooting with a modern sporting rifle is the activity with the highest annual mean days of participation (23 days nationally). Nationally, this is followed by target shooting with a rifle (17 days), target shooting with a handgun (16.7 days), skeet shooting (15.5 days), trap shooting (14.8 days) and sporting clays (13.7 days). Among the American public, shoot-
The Range Report
ers are predominantly rural or from a small city/town, and a majority do not have a bachelor’s degree (although some of that majority have an associate’s degree or trade school degree). To no surprise, the overwhelming majority of shooters are white and male. Americans who live in the Midwest region participate in shooting at higher rates, and two age groups are associated with higher participation rates: people younger than 35 and people from 45 to 54 years old. Among shooters, those from suburban areas with an education level of a bachelor’s degree have a higher rate of participation in target shooting with a handgun. Thirty-five to forty-four year olds, shooters from the Midwest, those living in rural areas and holders of a bachelor’s degree or higher have higher rates of participation in trap shooting. Shooters living in rural areas on a farm/ ranch, those 25 – 44 and those with graduate or professional degrees have higher rates of participation in skeet shooting. Shooters 18 – 44, living in rural areas
and those from the West had higher rates of participation in sporting clays. The results of this in-depth market research study can help ranges plan more effectively by assisting them in better understanding the shooting market -including participation rates by region, shooting activity, number of days of participation in each activity and the demographic make-up of each market segment. A basic premise of marketing is tailoring products to target markets and developing marketing plans based on a solid foundation of research. Incorporating the results of this study is the first step for any range interested in developing marketing efforts based on a solid foundation of market research. NSSF members may access the full report online in the member section at http://www.nssf.org/members/. Forgot your login information or you’re interested in learning more about NSSF membership? Contact Bettyjane Swann, email@example.com, or Cindy Brutting, RR firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Simulation Stimulation Simulators are generating profits and bringing in new customers By C. Douglas Nielsen
ruth: Ammunition is an expense, and in today’s economic climate money is tight for just about everybody. Truth: Today’s young people are not pursuing traditional outdoor sports – fishing, hunting and shooting – with the fervor of prior generations. No doubt these realities are having a financial impact on commercial shooting facilities across the country, but perhaps a page out of the high-tech playbook can help. Maybe the time has come for oldschool shooting range managers to make room in their business venture for an electronic shooting simulator, a computer-driven experience that 16
allows shooters to improve their skills without the overhead associated with shooting clay and other targets. With a simulator, targets are computer generated and projected onto a screen. The shooter aims and fires an electronic shot that is registered by the computer and marked accurately on the screen. Bob Ridge, a retired entrepreneur from Duncanville, Texas, thinks range managers who embrace the electronic shooting simulator can double their income within a year. “And,” he said, “I’m talking about doubling their bottom line, not the cash running through their company.” Ridge believes so strongly in the electronic shooting simulator’s poten-
tial that after retiring he went back to work as the United States distributor for the DryFire clay-target simulator founded in England. Feared by some, the electronic shooting simulator could provide enterprising range managers with yet another product for existing customers and a tool for recruiting new customers, especially from the younger market. Consider that today’s youth and young adults have never known a world without the Internet, without cell phones or without video games so advanced it is sometimes hard to distinguish them from reality. They will, therefore, have little trouble accepting a shooting simulator as part The Range Report
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of the shooting process. The shooting simulator “works especially well with new shooters, but I do have really experienced tournament shooters that come and use it when they are having difficulty for one reason or another,” said Dimas Nunez, a shooting instructor at Etowah Valley Sporting Clays in Dawsonville, Ga. “One of the biggest challenges we have in shooting is having enough youth shooters come in. We just don’t have that.” Nunez, who uses the DryFire system when teaching his customers, believes that shooting sports “play second fiddle” to other sports like basketball, football and soccer when it comes to the expenditure of a family’s discretionary income. He also believes, however, that a simulator is the means to make shooting more economical for a lot of people. A range can charge a nominal “lane fee” and still make money because there is no overhead The Range Report
cost for clay targets or live ammunition, and shooters use their own firearm. “I think they’re missing the boat by not having these in house,” Nunez said. “It gives people an opportunity to shoot a lot of targets.” With the DryFire system, Nunez is able to adjust multiple variables depending on the individual shooter’s needs or desires. Those variables include target speed, flight angle, shooting station for skeet replication, wind speed, choke, shot speed and shot pattern, among others. If you are a shooter and need to work on a particular shot at a particular range, Nunez can replicate that shot, help you identify your problem with that shot and then help you learn what you need to make that shot. That ability to identify a shooter’s particular problem is one reason why young shooters enjoy using the shooting simulator. “That’s what kids really love about it,” Nunez added. “They can really see the relationship between bird and barrel and the gap between those two [the lead] and how much lead they need to actually break the target,” said Nunez. Once Nunez has coached a shooter on a simulator, guess where that shooter is going to try out what he or she just learned on real clay birds? With the DryFire system and “Squadding Software,” up to five shooters can shoot in rotation. Nunez charges $75 per hour for an individual lesson, $150 per 1½ hours for up to three shooters and $150 per hour for four or more shooters. Those fees, of course, include instruction time. Without personal instruction, a range could charge much less. However, managers contemplating the purchase of any electronic shooting simulator should consider the cost of an employee to oversee and control the system while in use. In October 2001, the Alaska Department of Fish & Game purchased an electronic shooting simulator from Laser Shot. In addition to using the system as part of its Hunter Education program, the department has designed a public
shooting range with the electronic range as a primary element. The system has not only become a valuable teaching tool in the Hunter Education realm, but it also plays an important role for the shooting public. Shooters pay $12 an hour to use the simulator to prepare for their annual hunting forays. With the cost of ammunition where it is today, training like this is an important practice option for many hunters. “The E-Range [electronic range] simulates realistic shooting and hunting scenarios that would be logistically impossible or cost prohibitive to create in the Live-Fire range or in the field,” said John Wyman, manager of the Fairbanks Indoor Shooting Range. “The system can also be used for stationary or moving target shooting
The Cost of Electronic Business Range managers can step into the electronic age for an investment ranging from about $2,600 for the DryFire system to approximately $24,000 for the ST-2 Shooting Simulator by Sweden’s Marksman Training System AB. Expect to pay nearly $8,000 for the Laser Shot unit with everything you need to get started. To learn more about these shooting simulators contact the following: DryFire USA Bob Ridge email@example.com www.dryfireus.com 877-357-1485 Laser Shot Todd Mallon Sports Entertainment Specialists, Inc. firstname.lastname@example.org www.sportsentertainmentspecialists.com 303.926.1003 (O) 303.884.1109 (C) ST-2 Shooting Simulator Tommy Andersson email@example.com www.marksman.se/ +46 8 641 24 80
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Making Profit from Electronics Some range managers are concerned that electronic shooting simulators could end up costing them business. Bob Ridge of DryFire USA believes that’s shortsighted and offered the following scenario: Every week John Trapshooter shoots 100 clay birds for warm-up and then shoots a test event of 100 targets. His cost is eight boxes of ammo at about $5.50 a box/$44 total, and his target cost is $4 per 25 targets/$32 total. His overall cost for the day is $76. The cub’s profit is about $16 -- $2 per 25 targets. After learning the full benefits of the DryFire system, Mr. Trapshooter now shoots his warm-up round on the simulator, for which he pays $3 per round. Based on his previously established shooting budget, John can now afford to shoot 12 practice rounds indoors and four rounds on real clay targets outdoors. Financially the club now makes $36 for DryFire targets and $8 for clay targets – a total profit of $44 rather than $16 earned when Mr. Trapshooter shot all clay targets.
as well as scenarios such as video footage of game species in natural settings, and as judgmental trainers for self-defense and law enforcement use.” Whereas the DryFire system allows shooters to use their own firearms, Laser Shot uses replica firearms that are true to weight and size. This enables shooters to repeatedly replicate the shouldering of a firearm and the sight-acquisition process. Wyman said demand for the E-Range is significant; yet, what he doesn’t want to see is the industry using electronic shooting simulators as a video game. “If we use tools like this as a game or just a money maker, without the educational aspect, we are sending the wrong message to future generations about hunting and shooting.” Another electronic shooting simulator that is making its way to the United States hails from Sweden and appears to be something akin to a high-end cross between the DryFire 18
and Laser Shot systems. Called the ST-2 Shooting Simulator, the system is produced by Marksman Training System AB in Stockholm. To date, just two of the 72 systems the company has installed are in the U.S., one in a private residence and the other at a dude ranch in Wyoming. The remainder are scattered primarily around Europe but can be found in other areas of the globe as well. “Most systems are used for serious shooting advice,” explained Tommy Andersson, company spokesperson. “People come, often in a group of three to six, and spend two to three hours with a shooting coach preparing for the duck hunting or moose hunting season,” The ST-2 offers shooters the chance to shoot all shotgun and rifle disciplines as well as participate in hunting-based scenarios in which game animals move at speeds ranging from a walk to a full run. Clay targets can be made to fly at a variety of speeds, and if you wound a brown
bear, guess who’s on the lunch menu. Andersson said there were four principles that guided development of the ST-2: first, the level of difficulty should be adaptable to everybody; second, the shooter must be able to use his own gun; third, feedback should enable the shooter to analyze and improve his technique; and fourth, shooters should experience realism in terms of the presented scenarios as well as exact registration of gun movement and firing direction. Any of these electronic shooting simulators could improve your bottom line. An important point is having the room to set up your system and still have room for onlookers. Room requirements range from a space measuring about 12x12 feet up to 18x20 feet, depending on the system of choice. If you clear the way for the installation of such as system, you can simulate shooting scenarios—and RR stimulate profits. The Range Report
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The Range Report
Winter Fall 2010 2011
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Getting into Handgunning in Tampa A true contrast in facilities
wo indoor ranges in eastern Tampa Fla., could not be more different. One range is located at the far eastern end of Fowler Avenue next to a giant flea market. It’s convenient to the University of South Florida and seems to attract a lot of students. The second range is in a light industrial section on US 301 several miles from the first range. The clientele in this facility is much more upscale than at the first range, and they have money to spend. Only members are allowed to shoot on this range. I shot at both, showing up at the desk with this story: I’m the president of a small nonprofit club, I sometimes come home late at night alone from an industrial area and my son has been nagging me to get a concealed carry weapon and permit. The only part I didn’t tell them was my previous experience shooting; instead, I said my dad had taught me to shoot a .22 rifle when I was a kid, but I hadn’t shot since then.
Range A Convenient to USF The Indoor Shooting Company looks really good on paper and on its website. It bills itself as “A gun range and training center,” and that may possibly be true if you don’t look too closely and you squint a lot. It also claims to be Tampa Bay’s only air-conditioned range, which is patently untrue; there are half a dozen air-conditioned ranges in the area. The Indoor Shooting Company 20
is located in a very small portable building that doesn’t look from the outside as if it could possibly house a shooting range. Gunfire is very audible from outside the building and is almost loud enough to be painful just outside the door. Inside, the reception/retail area is small enough to be crowded when there’s a class waiting to go on the range. Even here, the range noise is loud enough to make talking difficult. On the upside, staff members are courteous and knowledgeable, and one instructor took the time to explain the difference between revolvers and pistols. The range itself is very small; it’s only 25 yards long with just a handful of lanes, and the targets on the retrieval system bounce around anytime the other lanes are in use. This range has only a few rental guns available. There were four or five revolvers hanging on the wall, plus perhaps eight semi-automatic pistols. Two of the instructors were discussing one of the pistols having misfired the day before, with one instructor saying he had just put five rounds through it without a problem. Given the amount of unburned powder and fouling observed on one revolver, the care this range takes of its rental guns is highly suspect. The classes offered at this range sound good. According to the range’s brochure, a one-hour basic handgun instruction class is available for $45. A two-hour concealed-carry course is available for $75. Quite a few other classes are listed, including seven NRA instructor courses and four security-guard courses. What isn’t clear is where they’re taught, unless it’s in the small shed-type outbuilding beside the range. Reservations for the range are available, but walk-ins are welcome.
Range B Pricey, but worth it Shoot Straight Tampa is one of several ranges with the Shoot Straight name in southwest Florida, all owned by the same company. The Tampa location is on US 301 near the State Fairgrounds and just south of Martin Luther King Boulevard. US 301 is a major thoroughfare, and this range is easily accessible from all of eastern Hillsborough County. This range is in a stand-alone building next to Barloworld, a heavy equipment dealer. From outside there was no sound of gunfire, and no indication that a range is inside. In the retail area—which is large, open, and well-lit—gunfire was barely audible. The range check-in area in the center of the store was well staffed, with several- dozen rental guns available. In contrast to the first range, these firearms were all clean and under glass like the guns in the retail area. Each one was labeled as to manufacturer and caliber; bright pink signs in a couple of empty spots indicated that those guns were out of service for cleaning and maintenance. The staff member behind the counter started explaining the difference between revolvers and pistols, and when people began lining up to check in for the range, he promptly called another staffer to check in shooters so he could continue his informal lesson. Once the lesson was done, the staff member called someone else to explain the numerous classes and private lessons that are available in the in-store classroom. Only members are allowed to shoot on this range. The memberships are a little pricey, which makes this range expensive to shoot. There are both rifle and pistol ranges, including a 100-yard indoor rifle range; this is one of only two 100-yard rifle ranges in the Tampa Bay area, and the only one that’s indoors. RR The Range Report
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Indoor Shooting Company 9402 E. Fowler Avenue Thonotosassa, FL 33592 813-986-5456 www.indoorshootingcompany.com
Shoot Straight Tampa 3909 N. US Highway 301 Tampa, FL 33619 813-627-8550 www.shoot-straight.com
Editor’s note: The Undercover Shooter is an experienced recreational shooter but is not trained in technical aspects of range design and operation.
Each category is rated on a scale of 1-5 with 5 being the highest score.
Indoor Shooting Company Customer Satisfaction Rating Signage, Visibility:
• No signage to speak of. This range is easy to miss if you aren’t looking closely or don’t know where it is.
• Pleasant outside, but inside is cramped and not particularly welcoming. Can be very crowded if there’s a class waiting to go on the range.
to show beginners what to do and go over safety rules.
Retail Product Availability:
• $10 per half hour; $15 per hour. Prepaid and group rates available.
• Very little available other than ammunition to go with rental guns, and a few targets.
• Slow to greet someone coming in the door when busy. Staff members are friendly and knowledgeable, and they take the time
• If they really offer all the classes the brochure described, this could be a real “find” in terms of being a resource. However, the facility’s size very much limits what classes can be offered.
• Staff is knowledgeable and helpful, but facility does have its challenges. • About 12 firearms available. Guns are not
Rental Firearm Availability:
Shoot Straight Tampa Customer Satisfaction Rating Signage, Visibility:
hour, and the machine gun range is $15 5 per hour. However, the membership rates • There’s a big sign at the facility itself, make it an expensive range to shoot at. billboards are on the highway in both directions and a brightly painted SUV is in Retail Product Availability: 5 the parking lot. In addition, a number of • The retail facility has everything a shooter billboards advertise the facility throughneeds. out Tampa. You’ll find the place whether you’re looking for it or not.
Rental Firearm Availability:
• The retail space is clean, bright and inviting. The staff is friendly and helpful. All information about classes and programs is printed and readily available.
• Dozens of rental firearms are under glass, clean and labeled as to manufacturer and caliber. Most, if not all, of the major manufacturers and calibers are covered in both revolvers and pistols.
• This is the only disappointment about this range. With membership, the pistol range is $13 per hour, the rifle range is $15 per
• Only members can shoot; memberships are $35 per person per month, $225 per person per year, or $275 per family per year.
Law enforcement memberships are $150 per person per year or $200 per family per year.
• A separate classroom is available for an impressive list of classes, including a four-hour Concealed Carry class. Private lessons also are available.
• Except for the expense, this is as good as it gets. The staff is friendly, helpful and knowledgeable, and the facility is top drawer. Everything a beginning or experienced shooter could possibly need is right here in one place.
All reports, comments, impressions, opinions or advice expressed in the Undercover Shooter column are solely those of independent, recreational shooting range consumers and do not necessarily represent those of the National Shooting Sports Foundation or its affiliates. Neither the NSSF nor its affiliates make any warranty or assume any liability with respect to the accuracy or reliability of any information provided by Undercover Shooter contributors. Readers are encouraged to and should perform their own investigation of the information provided herein. The Range Report
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Home on the Range Views from NSSF staffers and guest contributors
New Study Can Aid Planning Participation profiles in your region identified By Jim Curcuruto and Mark Damian Duda
participants). These two types were followed by shooting with a modern sporting rifle (4 percent participation rate; 8.9 million participants), sporting clays (4 percent participation rate; 8.4 million
Jim Curcuruto is the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s director of industry research and analysis. Mark Damian Duda is executive director of Responsive Management, a survey research and marketing firm specializing in hunting, fishing and the shooting sports. He has conducted more than 500 studies on outdoor recreation and is the author of four books. His newest book is titled “The Sportsman’s Voice: Hunting and Fishing in America,” published by Venture Publishing.
Please turn back to page 15
he year 2009 was rich in sport shooting participation in the U. S., and a recent National Shooting Sports Foundation-commissioned study sheds light on the specific makeup of the sport shooting market. The detailed results and regional analyses by specific shooting activity can assist ranges in planning efforts by understanding market size and market makeup. The study, “Shooting Sports Participation Survey in the United States in 2009,” was conducted for NSSF by Responsive Management through a random digit dialing telephone survey of 8,204 U.S. residents ages 18 and older. This was a highly scientific study with the sample meticulously developed on a state-by-state basis to construct national and regional data. Both landline and cell phones were utilized in the actual proportions they exist within the American population. This type of survey yields a 95 percent confidence level. The report’s sampling error is plus or minus 1.08 percentage points. Because the main objective of the survey was to determine national and regional participation levels in the shooting sports, a strategy was devised in the survey questioning to avoid bias that would arise from the tendency for those who do not shoot to refuse to participate in a survey about shooting. Therefore, three introductory questions were asked that were designed to be of general interest so that nonshooters would be likely to participate in the survey. In this way, shooters and nonshooters would be equally likely to complete the survey. The survey found that 15 percent of the U.S. population participated in some type of target or sport shooting. This represents 34.4 million people nationwide. The most popular types of shooting are target shooting with a rifle (11 percent participation rate; 24 million participants) and target shooting with a handgun (10 percent participation rate; 22.2 million
By Jim Cucuruto and Mark Damian Duda
Percent of Overall Estimated Total U.S. Population Participants in U.S. Mean Days of Participation (ages 18 Activity years and older) Any target shooting or sport shooting 15.1 34,382,566 NA Target shoot with rifle 10.6 24,045,795 17.3 Target shoot with handgun 9.7 22,169,700 16.7 Trap shoot 3.3 7,582,479 14.8 Skeet shoot 3.1 6,979,680 15.5 Shoot sporting clays 3.7 8,399,989 13.7 3.9 8,868,085 22.9 Shoot with a modern sporting rifle Any target shooting or sport shooting 11.0 4,652,930 NA Target shoot with rifle 9.0 3,803,092 13.2 Target shoot with handgun 6.6 2,783,692 14.6 Trap shoot 2.1 895,346 13.2 Skeet shoot 1.6 683,042 16.0 Shoot sporting clays 2.1 890,847 18.4 Shoot with a modern sporting rifle 2.2 937,113 20.0 Any target shooting or sport shooting 15.9 13,150,116 NA Target shoot with rifle 10.7 8,847,901 19.9 Target shoot with handgun 10.3 8,535,671 19.7 Trap shoot 2.8 2,302,359 25.9 Skeet shoot 3.6 2,995,315 21.6 Shoot sporting clays 3.9 3,242,454 19.1 Shoot with a modern sporting rifle 4.2 3,486,156 29.6 Any target shooting or sport shooting 18.4 9,219,559 NA Target shoot with rifle 12.7 6,356,633 14.0 Target shoot with handgun 11.7 5,887,462 13.6 Trap shoot 5.5 2,759,134 9.9 Skeet shoot 3.7 1,831,631 9.7 Shoot sporting clays 4.5 2,244,763 8.5 4.1 2,041,366 15.5 Shoot with a modern sporting rifle Any target shooting or sport shooting 14.4 7,515,837 NA Target shoot with rifle 9.8 5,126,538 20.0 9.7 5,050,685 16.8 Target shoot with handgun Trap shoot 3.2 1,658,404 9.2 Skeet shoot 2.9 1,521,980 11.1 3.9 2,047,716 9.6 Shoot sporting clays Shoot with a modern sporting rifle 4.6 2,401,225 21.1 The Range Report
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The Range Report
Winter Fall 2010 2011
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The Range Report
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The National Shooting Sports Foundation's magazine for shooting facilities.