Today marks the start of my last week at Rackspace Hosting. Writing for the biggest firearms related publication in the world has its perks, but a 401k and health insurance aren’t part of the package. [ED: Yet.] The dream has always been to work in the firearms industry, turning my passion for guns into a full-time job that pays the bills. With The Range at Austin I’ve finally found an opportunity to use my IT skills and firearms expertise to help develop the greatest indoor range and gun store in the world — and I’ll be showing you the process of building the range from start to finish. Here’s a taste . . .
The Austin, Texas area is definitely lacking in range options. There are a couple indoor operations within driving distance. While they’re serviceable for occasional practice they’re less than ideal and the experience can be so much better.
There have been a few so-called “guntry club” facilities popping up around the United States bringing the indoor shooting experience into the 21st century. They’ve improved the ambiance and the quality of the facilities, but there’s still much that can be done from a technological standpoint to take things even further. That’s where I come in.
I’ve been hired as the Director of Information Technology for The Range at Austin.
I’ll be doing the normal IT stuff — setting up the local network and managing their IT systems. The other part of that mission: design, develop, and deploy a suite of custom applications that greatly improve the shooting experience. From real-time online lane reservations to recording your machine gun rental experience on video with built-in cameras and posting it directly to Facebook from the lane, we’ll be offering features (not bugs) that haven’t been done before (or done well).
A quick note about my role here at TTAG: things aren’t changing. I’ll still be the Testing & Reviews Editor, overseeing the reviews that TTAG writes and doing my own as well. To keep from any possible conflicts of interest my compensation from The Range will in no way be tied to gun sales. In short, I don’t get paid to sell guns — and definitely don’t get paid to push specific firearms.
I’ve never been more thrilled to start a new project. I’ll be working with people I know and respect — Amy Pevear and Jeff Creamer (formerly of SIG SAUER), Grant Shaw and Alex Bosco (from SB Tactical) and many more — on a project that really excites me. We’re building a range for ourselves, a range where we would love to go every single day. Stay tuned.