News

Back to News

November 6, 2020

New NSSF #RangeChallenge is a Hit at Reloaderz NJ


By Peter B. Mathiesen

In the shadow of New York City, a New Jersey gun range used election day to kick off the NSSF’s new “Aiming in Autumn” #RangeChallengeSM event. Reloaderz NJ, in Wayne, an NSSF® Five-Star range, had such great success with the summer version of the #RangeChallenge that it was quick to embrace the new target challenge for the fall season—and just a few days in, Reloaderz NJ expects participation to surpass the summer’s high traffic.

The #RangeChallenge Summer Shots Series, launched during August’s National Shooting Sports Month® and which ran through late September, was created to be an easy to implement and highly fun target shooting activity that engages both new and experienced shooters. The target includes three different games or courses of fire participants can try out at 15 feet (for handgun) and 30 feet (for rifle). Reloaderz NJ elected to put their own “competitive” spin on the Summer Shots target promo, limiting shooters to only five rounds (due to ammunition supplies and because there are five different scoring zones on the target), with a handgun only. at 15 yards. For the “Aiming in Autumn” #RangeChallenge season, Reloaderz NJ has upped the shot count to 10 rounds while keeping the distance at a challenging 15 yards.

Cassandra Diamandas, Training Coordinator at Reloaderz NJ, commented, “With the help of the NSSF, we’ve been able to make this shoot so much fun that many individuals who walk into our facility participate, from staff to clients.”

During the summer, Diamandas and Range Manager/Range Safety Officer (RSO) Ray Van Luvender, asked their fellow RSOs to participate and hang their scored targets inside the range to promote the event. The result was a firestorm of participation from both staff and clients—everyone wanted to beat the staff members they’ve become fond of throughout the years. Once Diamandas and Van Luvender understood the RSOs’ involvement was vital to client participation, Reloaderz NJ continued this method for the fall challenge.

“We made the change to 10 rounds, instead of five, because New Jersey has a 10-round maximum magazine restriction, but also because we’re having better access to ammunition. By sending the target out to 15 yards and restricting our clients to handguns only, it completely changes the game because a handgun’s sight picture covers almost the entire target, obscuring most of its five, smaller-point positions. It takes tremendous skill to shoot it consistently,” Diamandas said.

“Although it may seem daunting, we’re having many younger, less experienced shooters participate, and most of them actually outperform the more seasoned shooters!” said Diamandas. “The clients have acquired a great sense of confidence in being able to top our RSOs and seasoned members. Simply put, it gives them a feeling of accomplishment and makes them want to shoot even more.”

Another motivation to participate are the gift bags Diamandas created for the winners. Whichever customer scores the highest amount of points during one of the three weeks Reloaderz NJ is hosting the event, they will receive a gift bag which has branded merchandise, such as shirts, hats, stickers and range passes. Since Reloaderz NJ is hosting the event for three weeks, there will be a total of three winners. In addition, all shooters participating in the autumn #RangeChallenge can enter to win a variety of prizes from NSSF and its industry partners. All they have to do is post a picture of them with their “Aiming for Autumn” target to Instagram using the #RangeChallenge hashtag.

In this year of a pandemic and heightened traffic at many range facilities, keeping events like these entertaining is essential. During the August National Shooting Sports Month, many facilities discovered how important these opportunities are for their clients, especially now.

“We have an obligation to our new shooters and firearm owners in these odd times. Give them the knowledge, make it fun, and they will embrace what the shooting sports have to offer,” Diamandas emphasized.

“Aiming in Autumn” will continue for the first three weeks of November at Reloaderz NJ. (Any range can participate in the challenge through Dec. 29 at 11:59pm.) Diamandas said she can’t wait to get the scores of CEO, Cheryl Nylen, up on the wall, saying, “This is the kind of experience that makes shooting fun.”

About the #RangeChallenge “Aiming for Autumn” Series

The #RangeChallenge “Aiming for Autumn” Series runs through Dec. 29 at 11:59 p.m. To shoot the target, consumers can locate a host range with the #RangeChallenge targets in their area or download and print the target themselves. It takes just 10 rounds to complete the challenge. To enter a target to win one of the weekly giveaways, all participants need to do is post a picture with their target to Instagram using the #RangeChallenge hashtag.

Ranges interested in becoming #RangeChallenge “Aiming for Autumn” hosts should contact Zach Snow at [email protected] to inquire about receiving a target package and promotional materials while supplies last. Those ranges agreeing to host the “Aiming for Autumn” series will also be included on #RangeChallenge Series Host Map on LetsGoShooting.org.