I'm happy to report that gun owners have another choice. Shooters of Maumee is open for business, and the place is excellent. Keep reading for a curmudgeonly run down on the facts, features and vicious rumors.
|Shooters of Maumee as Seen from the Street|
Shooters of Maumee
507 West Sophia Street; Maumee, OH 43537
Tuesday - Thursday 10-7
Friday and Saturday 10-8
Web Site: Shooters of Maumee
The gun range is on Sophia Street, but unless you're a warehouse regular you probably won't know just where Sophia Street is or how to find it. Sophia runs parallel to the Anthony Wayne Trail/US 24 between Conant and Ford. You probably won't be able to see Shooters as you're driving by - I didn't - but since Sophia is only one block off the Anthony Wayne Trail and is just a few blocks long, once you're on Sophia just drive up and down the street a few times until you stumble into the parking lot.
|Shooters of Maumee|
Shooters of Maumee is what I would call a family oriented gun range. The place is clean, including clean rest rooms (which may not matter to the men, but as any older man can tell you women have different ideas about rest rooms and will insist on a sterile environment to do whatever the hell it is they do in there - I don't know and don't want to know, I just accept the truth in this matter). The place is well lit and the staff are numerous and friendly.
If this is your first visit to Shooters, you'll be required to watch a video about gun safety and range rules before you sign in. The video is about ten minutes long and is professionally produced; it is not some homemade tape shot by your neighbor in bad lighting with worse sound qualities. After the film you are free to go into the range and put some lead in the air.
There are two sides to the range; 50 foot and 75 foot with six lanes on each side. Some more good news is that the range is set up for ballistic level 8, so if you'd care to shoot your AR-15 then by all means, have at it. The area behind the firing line is comfortable. It isn't large enough to encourage a lot of activity, and it isn't so narrow as to disturb the people at the firing line while you're walking around. That's kind of a nice touch, as I'm generally adverse to someone standing behind me fooling around with a firearm.
The wall separating the range from the store has a series of large windows that allow patrons and staff to watch the shooters. The latter are free to observe other shooters and so feel better about their own score, while the staff can watch and see if anyone is doing anything they shouldn't. The first time Big Mike and I shot here the staff unobtrusively kept an eye on us to make sure we knew what we were doing. I was shooting pretty well that day and cut the bull out of a target with my Ruger .22, and when I glanced over at the window I saw one of the staff giving me the high sign. When we left, the man volunteered that he'd been watching us to see if we knew what we were doing, but when he saw me cut a hole in my target he decided we were okay. I appreciate that kind of thing, because I'm not the one I'm worried about. I'm not worried about Big Mike either. What worries me is the shooter who is careless, and who the management doesn't do anything about. That scenario won't play out at Shooters.
|The Range at Shooters|
|The 50 Foot Range|
I could wish for better lighting. It isn't that the place is dark or that the lighting is poor, because it isn't. It's that my eyes are failing me as I get older, and I'll do a lot better with brighter light.
|General Rules and Regulations|
Two other nice things about Shooters are the pricing and the rental guns. Range time costs $20 per session, with no time limit. That means that if you stay three or four hours it will only cost you twenty bucks. I've never seen pricing like this, but it makes a lot of sense. In the past I've found that I get charged for a half hour of time when I've exceeded the hour by five minutes, which isn't quite right. Now I don't have to worry about watching the clock.
Shooters has the largest selection of rental guns I've ever seen. I didn't do a count, but the inventory includes the odd stuff such as a .410 revolver and various pocket pistols. If you are considering buying a pistol, this would be an excellent place to begin as you could shoot several and do a comparison. The only requirement for gun rental is that you buy your ammunition from Shooters, which makes a lot of sense. I once got hold of some red hot .44 magnum reloads courtesy of an erstwhile friend, and when I torched one off I thought I broke my wrist.
I've been to Shooters several times, and up until last Saturday I've always done pretty well. I started off with my Ruger .22 and tried to warm up a little.
|Ruger Mark II .22|
|Ruger Mark II .22 Results|
Big Mike decided to practice with his infamous sock drawer gun, the FN Herstal in .380. I've shot the little monster before but never was much good with it. For one thing the pistol has infinitely tiny fixed sights that you can't see anyway, and for another the gun is light as a feather, and since there isn't any weight to soak up the recoil the .380 provides a nasty kick that will wear out your hand.
|FN Herstal in .380|
|FN Herstal Results|
My own sock drawer gun is the Smith and Wesson 686 revolver in .357. I shot .38 ammo in it as I was not in the mood to endure the racket and the recoil from a .357, and particularly from the red hot stuff that Commander Cody sold me. I vividly remember old Cody selling me a box of .357 ammo and saying, "Here Jack, these have got some snort to 'em." The first time I torched one off everyone on the range stopped shooting and I thought the gun blew up. Anyway, shooting .38 didn't matter much to my score.
|Smith and Wesson in .357|
|Smith and Wesson in .357 Results|
Well, at least I kept everything in the black. This was shot both single and double action at 21 feet, both one and two handed.
When we were about ready to leave a group of three young people came in and set up in the booth next to Big Mike. As Mike was throwing away his targets one of the fellows caught sight of the results and commented "Holy crap - I'm not gonna rob your house!"