How much does this cost?
Our regular themed events, like Zombie Hunts, are normally $25, but are currently priced at $20 as an introductory special (as of Aug 26, 2012). They’re an experience you’ll tell stories about! That includes two magazines; if you want to shoot more you can, and there would then be an extra charge. We also offer a short introduction to shooting course, which is a great way to learn the fundamentals of pistol shooting in only 15-20 minutes before you go into “battle” in your first zombie hunt!
And we’re family friendly–our “Couples Apocalypse Training” package is a great date night package!
Use of our training range is free–you pay only for each magazine you use. We provide the gun, load your magazines for you, clean the weapons after each use, and provide a wide range of moving and reactive targets. Each magazine is $10 (with discounts for more magazines). But remember, this is not the kind of range where you just stand there and pop off box after box of ammo shooting at boring, static targets. In our ranges, you have a chance to practice real-life skills, and work on tactical drills, so each magazine will tend to last you a lot longer than one would at an old-style range somewhere else.
Why can’t I shoot my own weapon?
Our first consideration is ensuring the safety of our customers. Only weapons that have had Simunition conversion kits installed in them are allowed on our range. The time associated with installing and removing conversion kits makes it impractical to convert customer weapons for single sessions.
What kinds of guns can I shoot at Shoot Extreme?
We stock SIG Sauers, Glocks, Smith & Wesson M&P (these two are great, reliable pistols, which is why they’re the most popular guns among the law enforcement community) as well as other S&W pistols, Beretta 92’s (the U.S. military’s side-arm). Some Shoot Extreme ranges stock M1911-style government model .45 caliber pistols (converted to fire a 9mm Simunition round). We have AR-15 rifles (the civilian, semi-automatic version of the M-16A2) and pump action shotguns. Shoot Extreme ranges expand their inventory continuously, both because getting to shoot with different guns is fun and because we know you want to being able to train with the weapon you have at home.
You’re using real guns–is this really safe?
It’s as safe as realistic training can be, in every respect we can control. All the weapons are clearly marked as weapons converted for training, and the conversion kits preclude the chambering of live, lethal ammunition. The Simunition® system we use is the same one that’s been in use by military and law-enforcement units conducting force-on-force live fire training for over ten years, with steady improvement in reliability and safety over that period. The non-metallic projectiles used in our pistols are fired with only about 1/4 the amount of energy it takes to puncture skin, and travel at about half the speed of a real bullet. However, it’s important to understand that a Simunition bullet hitting unprotected skin will leave a welt and could create a small tear if it hit skin covering a bony area. We always observe the ironclad rule that all guns should always be treated as if loaded and provide mandatory sets of protective gear for anyone who wishes to participate in training where they’re likely to be hit by another shooter.
We require eye protection in any area where people are handling guns. We require full head, face, throat, and groin protection for anyone participating in force-on-force training or recreation. Finally, our bullets are sub-sonic, so the reduced noise means hearing protection is not required (ref. OSHA specs). Of course, you can wear hearing protection if you want, but even our instructors, who are in the ranges all day long, are not required by OSHA standards to wear protection.
Can you teach me how to shoot?
Absolutely. Our helpful staff and trainers can give you an orientation to shooting with either handguns, military-style assault rifles, or shotguns. We can help you with the basics of safety, stance, grip, trigger pull, sight picture, loading and unloading, and how to handle different types of misfires (cases where the weapon doesn’t shoot when you pull the trigger). You’d be amazed how many people never shoot as well as they could, simply because they have never had someone give them a quick course in shooting fundamentals. The next time you go to a range other than Shoot Extreme, watch how many people spray shots all over their targets, even at close ranges–if they’re using live, lethal ammo, that’s scary, because those folks don’t know what they’re doing!)
We can usually have you shooting nice, tight groups in less than 30 minutes. It’s a great confidence builder.
Is there a less expensive way to work on my skills?
Yes, for those looking to save a little money, and willing to sacrifice the reality-based training benefit of using a real service weapon exactly like the one you might have at home, we offer a number of Airsoft guns, both rifles and pistols. We use exclusively gas-blowback, top-end Airsoft guns. It’s as realistic as we can make Airsoft, though of course that’s not as realistic as using a real gun.
Is there any aspect of shooting Simunition that’s not realistic?
Because the ammunition we’re shooting is lower-powered than real, lethal ammo, the gun’s recoil is reduced. The only time this makes a difference is if you want to train for double-taps (two very rapid shots without pause) or for very rapid-fire shooting. The benefit of the reduced recoil is that it helps train good fundamentals. Training to shoot a double-tap without mastering fundamental marksmanship makes little sense–if your first shot doesn’t hit the target, your second will probably miss, too!
You mentioned that you use toxin free cartridges?
Yes, our safety considerations are extensive. We use ToxFree® primers. Contrast this with the munitions at a “normal” shooting range, where you’re exposed to lead in the bullets (some of that residue can be transferred when you’re handling the bullets), lead dust from the backstops, and lead styphnate in the primers. You can be exposed to lead fumes even if the range has decent ventilation. Some people might be found shooting older rounds whose primers use mercury fulminate, or even antimony or barium. Who wants to breathe that stuff?!
We use toxin free projectiles and primers. So, our ammunition does not contain the lead or mercury poisons that contaminate normal ranges.
Can I store my own weapon and/or conversion kit at the range?
Yes. Special consideration can be made for members who want to store either a weapon or a conversion kit at the range, but neither conversion kits nor converted weapons can be allowed to leave the range. It’s an expensive alternative, but allows advanced shooters with customized weapons a way to train with that customized weapon. Coordination must be made with the range manager and a conversion kit lease signed before bringing your weapon into the range with intent to use it for training.