Need a Place to Shoot?
NSSF's wheretoshoot.org® website will help you locate a shooting venue nearly anywhere in North America
By Tony Mandile
Just beginning to shoot? Traveling on vacation or business, and you'd like to take the opportunity to shoot at stationary targets or bust a few clay birds? Looking for a league that will allow you to regularly schedule some shooting time? If the answer to any of these questions is "Yes," an organized range that provides a safe environment is the ideal vehicle to meet your need. Sometimes, that's simply a case of finding one nearby.
This is where to the National Shooting Sports Foundation's (NSSF) wheretoshoot.org® website comes into play. With a few clicks of a mouse, users can go to the Find a Range page and search the NSSF's extensive database of thousands of indoor and outdoor shooting facilities in the U.S. and Canada. Best of all, each search can be customized in several ways.
Looking for a place in your state? No problem; just select the state from the drop-down menu and hit the search button. If you want something more precise to a given location within the state, a selective search using either a telephone area code or a zip code is available. It's even possible to limit the results to within 10 miles or widen it to as many as 120 miles.
The search function can also be fine-tuned to arms type by using an additional drop-down menu that lets users choose between rifles, shotguns, handguns and even archery gear. Or you can even look up places where instructions and rental firearms are available or locate retail outlets for firearms and related merchandise.
Each entry listed for a specific search result will provide the name of the range, city and zip code. If the mileage limitation is utilized, the listing will also give an approximate distance to every facility shown. Some will also show a "star rating" -- the system the NSSF uses to distinguish the mostly highly evaluated shooting facilities in North America. The NSSF has determined these highly rated ranges consistently provide top-notch recreational experiences.
Once a list is generated by a given search criteria, the user can click on any individual entry, which will open a new page with all of the pertinent data for that facility. It will show the full street and website address, and contact information, including phone number and email address. Also noted are the services offered and what type of shooting is available. In other words, everything you need to know is either on the computer screen, which typically has a link to the range's website, or a quick call or email away.
Another great feature of the wheretoshoot.org website is the Shooting Disciplines page. Especially useful for new shooters, this information source will help them learn about the various firearms types and the shooting sports associated with each. Separate sections are devoted to either the handgun, shotgun or rifle sports, and each shooting discipline is explained in an easy-to-understand way.
Scattered throughout the page are links to various organizations involved in promoting the shooting disciplines. By clicking on one of these links, visitors can learn much more about an individual discipline at the organization's website.
Range owners and managers may also use the List Your Range page at wheretoshoot.org to add a new range or to update an existing entry.
In 2010, wheretoshoot.org had nearly 900,000 visitors, and this year the site is generating the same activity as more shooters discover this great resource. So whether you want to break a few clays, clang some steel targets or just punch holes in some paper, you can find a place at wheretoshoot.org.