by Alan Brooks
Christmas just got a little merrier for those of us in central Texas with the grand opening of a new outdoor range just south of Austin. The Shooting Ranch welcomed its first customers the day after Christmas with an apparently spectacular machine gun shoot on their demolitions range. I couldn’t make it to see the machine guns, but I drove out the next day to take a look at the facility and to meet with James Stinson, the owner. James is a serial entrepreneur with a unique vision for the 150 acre plot of former cattle pasture that The Shooting Ranch is built on . . .
“I want this to be the Schlitterbahn of shooting,” James said, referring to the famous Texas waterpark. The current four ranges (a 300 yard rifle range, a 50 yard pistol/rifle range, a 150 yard full-auto/demolitions/steel target range, and a .22 cal kids’ range) take up about a tenth of the property and James says that he plans to expand over the next year-and-a-half to include a 3D archery course, a 50 yard pop-up steel target pistol course, and an 18-stop sporting clays area.
All that plus a stocked catfish pond so mom and the kids can go fishing while dad puts a few rounds downrange. Although mom may not mind shooting so much anymore. One of the big differences you’ll notice at The Shooting Ranch is that the staff is almost entirely female. James said that he wanted to get away from the stereotype of the grumpy old men that staff some ranges.
James says he wants people to feel comfortable at his range, particularly women and new shooters.
I for one am thrilled at the prospect of having a place to test handloads that’s only 20 minutes away and I’m sure that many other central Texans are just happy to have a place to shoot that isn’t Red’s Indoor Range.