By: Randy Tucker
The image of a gun range is familiar to every TV police show and Hollywood production since Dirty Harry blew up targets with his 44 magnum on the San Francisco police range.
Private and public ranges feature tires, sandbags, and culverts cut out of hillsides.
But what if your shooting range was mobile? What if you could place it anywhere you wanted, then move it to another location?
Mobile Range Technologies (MRT) has made that concept a reality with their 40’ container models and 53’ trailer-mounted, self-contained shooting ranges.
The brainchild of Scott and Allison Hinton of Henrietta, Texas, the MRT ranges bring the shooting to you.
“Our clients can be gun manufacturers that want a range to show off their products, or gun shops that offer try and buy shooting, but don’t have the room for a traditional indoor range,” Scott said.
Another feature of these mobile ranges is the environmental impact: there is none. All the lead fired and even the noise of shooting is contained within the range.
“All the environmental issues of lead stay inside the range,” Scott said. “We’ll set the 40-foot trailers as a modular or to stay on the ground, when this trailer leaves, all the environmental issues leave with it.”
The system offers side-by-side shooting in the eight-foot-wide container platform of the eight-and-a-half-foot semi-trailer settings. Both systems offer far more than simply blazing away at paper targets with live ammunition.
“We run simulation equipment for over 250 scenarios of shoot, don’t shoot training, it’s all live fire. There are a jillion different fun things to do on a simulator, doing it with real guns,” Scott said. “Our range is primarily for pistols. Most pistols are 160 to 170 decibels. Inside the range with sound absorbers, we’ve gotten it down to 112 to 120, outside the range less than 80 decibels.”
MRT began four years ago and went into production 18 months ago.
“It took a couple of years of trial and error to get things working perfectly,” Scott said.
Allison and Scott have two full-time employees and work with sub-contractors. And while the system is unique with a wide variety of shooting experiences available, it is not welcome in many cities.
“County and city ordinances limit purchases,” Scott said. “Cities with no discharge laws within city limits did not factor in indoor ranges. Cities won’t get over the fact that we’re still not discharging inside a city limits, that’s a pretty tough hurdle.”
Some places are easier to set up than others, however.
“In Texas, we speak with city planners, economic development, and we walk out with a handshake and a ‘good luck’,” Scott said. “In New York and California, we’re trying to get through the cities and counties.”
One way of getting around restrictive ordinances is to fire blanks. You get the same recoil, noise, and heft of an actual firearm, and with MRT’s unique inside-the-barrel laser device, your shots can be recorded on their simulator.
“Say you have Glock 19 or 17, the laser screws inside the barrel, you don’t even realize when you’re shooting that it’s not a real gun. Nothing comes out of the barrel at all, no wading, the barrel is plugged, there is just enough back pressure to eject the shell,” Scott said. “Firing blanks you can get around city live fire ordinances.”
Another unique feature of their system is a two-lane retrieval system that presents targets at various ranges on a CNC style XYZ axis. The target can advance, retreat, move left, right up or down and presents the most experienced pistol shooter with a challenging experience.
MRT will be set up at the annual SHOT Show in Las Vegas inside the beer garden with a fully function range for people to check out.
Randy Tucker is a retired history teacher and freelance writer from western Wyoming. He has a lifetime of experience in farming, ranching, hunting and fishing in the shadow of the Wind River Mountains. Contact him at email@example.com.