My Tour of One of the Best Air Gun Ranges in the USA

My Tour of One of the Best Air Gun Ranges in the USA

The Sills Air Range is one of the best ranges I've ever seen. Don't just take my word for it - check it out!

 The Sills Air Range in Centreville, Virginia boasts 20+ electronic targets. (The "How-To" Gun Girl photo)

The Sills Air Range in Centreville, Virginia boasts 20+ electronic targets. (The "How-To" Gun Girl photo)

Technically I learned how to shoot here. But that was when it looked more like this: 

 When I started shooting air rifle, around 2001, the range was a lot more low-tech than it is now! (Floyd Houston photo)

When I started shooting air rifle, around 2001, the range was a lot more low-tech than it is now! (Floyd Houston photo)

Now this range is noteworthy for its high tech, clean look rather than for the uninsulated walls and outhouse (yes, really). I wrote about this range a while back when I detailed how to get into competitive air rifle shooting. After writing about the range's transformation, I wanted to see the changes in person. Thankfully the opportunity to see the range presented itself earlier this year.

At the Izaak Walton League in Centreville, Virginia I met up with coaches Tom Pike and Roger Thrasher. Both Tom and Roger were instrumental in elevating the range to what it is today. Thanks to a major fundraising effort, the range is state of the art. 

 A closer look at the Megalink electronic target system at the Sills Air Range. (The "How-To" Gun Girl photo)

A closer look at the Megalink electronic target system at the Sills Air Range. (The "How-To" Gun Girl photo)

The Megalink electronic target system allows shooters to see where their shots land within fractions of a millimeter just by looking at a computer monitor at each firing point. This is the same system used at many NCAA rifle facilities. Electronic targets take the mystery out of scoring targets, and in this case the targets reduce the cost of entry into the sport. Shooters no longer need a spotting scope to see where they are shooting. New shooters can borrow club equipment and start shooting right away.

 The Megalink target system provides a monitor at each firing point so shooters can see where their shots landed with great precision. (The "How-To" Gun Girl photo)

The Megalink target system provides a monitor at each firing point so shooters can see where their shots landed with great precision. (The "How-To" Gun Girl photo)

This range is already seeing a ton of shooters each week thanks to several air rifle teams that call it their "home." Many teams in the Potomac High School Rifle League practice here, along with the Nova Sharpshooters program run by the Izaak Walton League. It makes me so proud to be a part of this program and to see how much it has grown since 2001. 

Hopefully someday soon I will make it down there to shoot a match!

 The Ready Room at the Sills Air Range provides a place for observers to watch the match and for shooters to get ready in between shooting relays. (The "How-To" Gun Girl photo)

The Ready Room at the Sills Air Range provides a place for observers to watch the match and for shooters to get ready in between shooting relays. (The "How-To" Gun Girl photo)

You can see a full tour of the facility in this video I made via Facebook Live. #Sorrynotsorry for the gun fire at the beginning of the video - gotta love it when people shoot on a beautiful day! More information on the facility, including how to get started shooting there, is available at the IWLA Sills Air Range website: http://afc-iwla-sillsairrange.org/ 

With a full range of electronic targets, a ready room, full restroom facilities and proximity to the Washington DC area, the Izaak Walton League of America (IWLA) Sills Air Range is top notch! I toured the facility and made a Facebook Live video of the range. Visit http://afc-iwla-sillsairrange.org/ for more info!
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