On MN Pro Paintball's 10 outdoor fields spanning 150 acres, players are immersed in a combat-style experience, darting amongst towers and trenches to avoid the paintballs whizzing through the air. Two commanders lead each team through each mission-based battle, guiding participants as they duck and weave, and certified guides supervise battles to ensure that combatants play fairly and wear their mandatory eye protection. The insured facility rents out traditional equipment from protective gear to ammo carriers, and also carries smoke and paint grenades.
A duck tower stands 75 feet above Metro Gun Club's shotgun and handgun facility. Here, shooters aim from five different blinds, where incoming and outgoing targets simulate a duck's flight path. The towering perch looms over the range's other outdoor facilities, where instructors teach novices how to fire shotguns. Indoors, firearms experts teach handgun classes at the range, where they also host pistol leagues and oversee rifle shooting.
Gander Mountain Academy updates its lessons in gun safety, handling, and marksmanship with virtual shooting technology that was once only available to military and law-enforcement agencies. The ladies-only basic fundamentals class gives women a foundation in the mechanics of handguns and how to use them safely. Students start by winnowing down the right type of gun for their needs, be they self-defense, hunting, or reclaiming the garage from infestations of gremlins. Next, instructors with callused trigger fingers explain the safety rules of handguns, compare ammunition options, and demonstrate proper grip, stance, and trigger control.
Ever since its inception in 1935, the South St. Paul Rod & Gun Club has challenged visitors’ aim and timing in the rugged backwoods surrounding the Mississippi River. At year-round shooting ranges, guests raise their shotguns on four trap-shooting fields and three skeet-shooting fields. They can also travel to eight raised, wooden stands on a 50-target sporting-clay course or switch up positions on a five-stand field, blasting at targets shot to simulate the flight patterns of various game birds. To challenge technique and speed, staffers fire a range of specialty targets such as vertical-launching springing teals and arcing chandelles.
When not training beginners, the club’s staffers host leagues and seasonal tournaments where competitors test their shooting prowess. All visitors can refuel at an onsite restaurant and bar, or stock up on shells, earplugs, and apparel at the pro shop.
It's no easy task to navigate the large warehouse that holds Devil Ops Airsoft. Two separate airsoft fields are like giant mazes, where opponents and their plastic artillery could wait behind each and every corner. The first arena takes the form of fast-paced hallways, where players must change strategies on the fly and resist the urge to quote long speeches from action films. The second arena? A two-level battlefield. Here, players fight their way up and down stairs, then battle for control of multiple rooms. The team at Devil Ops Airsoft runs public games every Saturday and Sunday and they rent out their facility for private events during the week.
Current and former military and law enforcement officers comprise the staff of instructors at Blue Line Defense, who aim to increase firearm awareness and the training level of the general public with each class they teach. The course list runs the gamut from introductory defensive handgun lessons to women's self defense and advanced group training classes. The site also provides firearm-related resources for the community, such as familiarization with use-of-force laws, firearm-sales intricacies, and gun-naming dos and don’ts. Blue Line also regularly participates in fundraisers and charities to help give back to the community.