During the last Dallas Safari Club convention, my wife won an auction for a range session at the Sportsman Shooting Center
in Grapevine. If you've never heard of the place, the operation is a European style indoor cinema shooting range and I was informed the range is owned by the same management group as Aimpoint. It's very difficult to do justice to the facility in words or even pictures, as I think it almost takes video to adequately demonstrate the facility, but I'll try to describe it as best I can.
I invited a couple of friends to join me at the range. We really had no idea what to expect but the blurb on the company web site looked fun, and we had nothing to lose. I brought a couple of rifles, but ended up shooting my suppressed Armalite AR10 topped with a 1.5-6x scope. One of my friends brought his 16 lb 308 topped with a 5-20 NF SHV, and the third brought a .17 HMR with a 3-9x. Like I said, we really had no idea what to expect, so we brought whatever was handy; but more on this later.
The facility offers a variety of packages, but mine was divided into three parts. In the first part, we confirmed the zero on our rifle at the underground range. The range had self healing targets and the point of bullet impact was marked on an electronic screen. It was both slick and convenient. After we confirmed zero, we moved to the laser room. In the laser room we took turns performing aiming diagnostics with training "rifles" (dummy, but realistic) tipped with lasers. We were able to track and replay our aiming and muzzle control prior to and until the shot was fired. I'm not remotely doing this justice as it was really, really interesting to watch the muzzle wobbles, the fits and starts, etc,, that took place before pulling the trigger. It was really eyeopening and an excellent diagnostic for the serious shooter.
The final phase was the cinema room, where we were presented with moving game targets at which we shot with our personal firearms. The system is calibrated for distance and animal speed and is a terrific way to practice shooting at running game without suffering the consequences of bad shooting. We shot moose, deer, boar and bear, and then moved on to gallery type targets, which were also fun. Once again, this is done with real rifles. The cinema range is set up to emphasize shooting at moving targets, so low powered scopes are the way to go; nothing over 4x and I used 1.5x with great satisfaction. My friend with the NF was over scoped and was unable to make some of the faster shots. The .17 HRM worked decently at some of the targets, but the system had problems with the small bullets, so we swapped it out for a Blaser R8 in .223 topped with an Aimpoint; a slick outfit, for sure. I was also told that the .22 RF will not register correctly. I brought shooting sticks, as I always hunt with sticks, and they were a great convenience.
If you really want to test yourself, shooting at the moving targets with a light sporter is quite the challenge. When I go back, and I will, I'll do it without the sticks and bring a hunting rifle rather than a shooting rifle.
In short, we had a great couple of hours at the facility. Everyone was helpful and friendly and did everything possible to make our experience a good one. The prices are reasonable, particularly if you get an annual membership. A special thanks to Jennifer, our instructor, who guided us through the rocks and shoals and made sure our time on the range was effective, educational and fun.