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If the recent NRA convention in Phoenix got your American spirits pumping, or you just recently bought a new firearm to replace that old hand-me-down, then now is the time to join one of the summer recreational shooting leagues at the renowned Ben Avery Shooting Facility.
Beginning in June and running for eight weeks, these three leagues are designed to introduce recreational shooters to organized shooting that will expand and improve your marksmanship skills. The disciplines are bull’s-eye pistol, international-style archery and off-hand air gun. Both the pistol and archery leagues will be outdoors under stadium lighting, with the air gun league housed under the recently renovated indoor air gun range.
“All three of our leagues offer participants a safe and recreational atmosphere to improve their shooting skills,” said Marty Herrera, manager of the Ben Avery Shooting Facility. “Our leagues are run by our certified Range Safety Officers who have experience and knowledge in a variety disciplines and organized shooting.”
Bull’s-eye pistol league:
The bull’s-eye pistol league is for shooters ages 14 or older. Each night consists of four components: a slow-fire, timed-fire, rapid-fire, and a national match component.
The four components collectively make up a 900-point match in which participants may shoot one or more of the components.
The league meets every Tuesday night from June 9 to July 28 at the Small Bore Range. Shooting begins promptly at 6:30 p.m. Participants are encouraged to use their own firearm and ammunition (rimfire or centerfire) and either revolvers or semi-automatics are permitted.
The range has a limited supply of loaner .22-caliber firearms and ammunition available on a first-come, first-served basis. The cost is $24 for each single component or $80 for all four components. Pre-registration is required, contact Christopher Dean at firstname.lastname@example.org or (623) 582-8313.
International-style archery leagues:
The international-style archery league offers brackets for youth ages 8-17, men and women.
FITA style targets will consist of a 3-spot or single 40 cm target face at 20 yards or an 80 cm target at 10 yards for the youth.
The league meets every Wednesday night from June 10 to July 29 at the FITA Range with an awards banquet on Aug. 5. Start time is at 7 p.m. Loaner bows (introductory style) are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Individual costs are $60 for adults and $30 for youth. Family shooters receive a discount. Pre-registration is required, contact Mike Raum at email@example.com or (623) 582-8313.
Off-hand air gun leagues:
The off-hand air gun league is for shooters looking to have fun and learn about one of the fastest growing forms of shooting sports competition. Each match includes 300-points consisting of three relays of 10 shots from 10 meters in 20 minutes.
The league meets every Thursday evening from June 11 to July 30 at the Air Gun Range. Shooting starting promptly at 6:30 p.m.
The range is restricted to a velocity of 600 fps (feet per second) or less. Loaner air guns and pellets are available on a limited and first-come, first-served basis.
Adaptive equipment may be available for disabled shooters, but please include any equipment needed during pre-registration. The cost is $60 for adults and $30 for youth 17 and under. Pre-registration is required, contact Matt Schwartzkopf at firstname.lastname@example.org or (623) 236-7076.
The Ben Avery Shooting Facility is on the northwest corner of I-17 and Carefree Highway in north Phoenix, approximately 10 minutes north of Loop 101. Located on 1,650 acres, it is one of the largest government-operated recreational shooting complexes in the world.
This unique shooting complex averages more than 120,000 shooters per year and is home to a number of regional- and national-class competitions and other major events. Offering a wide array of target-shooting opportunities, the facility has 67 covered stations at the main range (all handicap accessible), and more than 25 additional rifle, pistol, and archery ranges for recreational and competitive shooting.
The Clay Target Center offers 18-lighted trap/skeet overlay fields and two sporting clays courses.
The summer hours are Wednesday and Thursday, 7 a.m. to 1 p.m., then 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.; Friday, 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.; Saturday, 7 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.; Sunday, 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. The range is closed Monday and Tuesday.
To learn more about shooting sports and the Ben Avery Shooting Facility, visit www.azgfd.gov/basf.