Ladies and Gentlemen, I have seen the promised land of shooting ranges. I was there all day yesterday with the guys from Tac-Con, and I’m smitten. Imagine for a second, tactical bays out to 100 yards as far as the eye can see. Pistol bays that stretch still further. A 1000-yard range with wind flags each 100 yards along the way. Trap. Skeet. And even sporting clays. Folks, I give you . . .
The Ben Avery Shooting Facility in Phoenix, AZ. Holy moly y’all. This is one of the largest publicly operated ranges in the country. And yes, the emphasis is important. The taxpayer dollar funds this mecca in the desert. I’ll let their main page give you the lowdown:
Founded in 1957, the Ben Avery Shooting Facility, formerly the Black Canyon Shooting Range, is one of the largest publicly operated shooting facilities in the country.
Our world-class shooting range is a City of Phoenix Point of Pride. It has received a Five Star rating from the National Association of Shooting Ranges. This means that it is the best of the best at providing a quality recreation experience and is the first government facility to receive this designation.
Located on 1650 acres in north Phoenix, the facility averages more than 120,000 shooters per year. The facility offers are wide array of target shooting opportunities. This shooters’ paradise is home to a number of regional and national class competitions and other major events.
Ben Avery Shooting Facility is funded by the revenues generated by user fees and federal dollars appropriated through the Pittman-Robertson Act.
With extensive facilities, the Ben Avery Shooting Facility offers a fun and safe environment for all of your shooting needs. Men, women and children ages 5 and older of all experience levels are welcome. Trained safety officers are on the firing line at all times to oversee safety and to offer informal coaching when needed.
This range has it all. Long range, short range, and tactical bays. There’s an archery range along with clay shooting of all types. There’s also a campground for shooters looking to maximize their time at the range and even an equestrian area for those practicing their riding and shooting disciplines. All this for the princely sum of $7 per day. I’m simply stunned at how good Arizonans have it. And yes, this Texan is totally jealous.
I’m mostly impressed with how well-kept the place is. Obviously, there’s not a lot of grass growing out here, but the gravel bays are all immaculately swept for trash, the roads are super-clean, and all the facilities seem to be in top shape. Now I’ll admit that I’m here on Tac-Con’s time and they seem to have made an arrangement with the Ben Avery folks so we could have a private bay. I don’t know what being a regular Joe at this range is like, so if you’ve been here, please weigh in below in the comments and let us know what your experience has been. Also, I’m jealous. Did I mention that?