Monday, September 21, 2015

Business spotlight - Windham Indoor Shooting Range & Retail Store - By Michelle Libby

Opening soon, Windham Indoor Shooting Range & Retail Store (WISR, pronounced “wiser”), is two weeks away from being able to meet the needs of shooting sports enthusiasts from all over southern Maine. On October 3, WISR will have a soft opening of the retail store that will feature firearms, rifles, shotguns and all of the parts and accessories for them, including being a retailer for Windham Weaponry, which is a sister company to WISR. 
The store and range are located at 999 Roosevelt Trail. Although the range won’t be complete until mid-November, memberships are ready to purchase. Prices range from $260 annually for an individual or $65 for a three month membership. For family of two the membership would be $495 or $123.75 for three months. Each additional person is $125 on a family membership. Each membership comes with perks, free passes and discounts on trainings. There is also a lane fee of $12 per hour for members. 

The range will accept walk in customers who are not members. They will pay a $20 per hour range fee and $15 for each additional person. 

WISR has 22 employees, including six fulltime, eight part time and 12 adjunct instructors.
Under the direction of general manager Peter Joyce, WISR will also be the premier place for training. “We have a good variety of training instructors,” he said. “They were hired because of their track record, training skills and ability.” All instructors will be NRA certified. Many have additional certifications from the military, law enforcement or others. “They go above and beyond the NRA instructor course,” Joyce said. 

Specialty training will be offered like low-light training, home defense, “running and gunning” classes, hunter safety and basic rifle classes. Training will start in mid-October. 

“The military and law enforcement have more tactics when your body is under stress at home or in the streets,” Joyce said. They help teach accuracy and decision making skills, when split seconds count. “You will revert back to the level of skill you mastered,” Joyce added. 
WISR will also hold women only classes and shooting experiences and have classes for concealed carry permits. 

“Education is the key. If someone has a gun at 85 years old they have to be able to use it safely,” said Joyce.

The retail store employees were hired for their knowledge of firearms and their friendly, courteous manner with customers. “It’s about creating relationships with our customers,” said Joyce. They will have patience with different types of customers from the brand new firearm owner to someone with years of experience. They will provide information on the products, accessories and trainings that would be helpful to the customer. They all have experience with ATF regulations. 

“In a business where you run firearms, safety is the number one priority,” said Joyce. “Everybody coming through those doors needs to feel safe.” 

The store, run by retail manager Ryan Petersen, will carry handguns, rifles, shotguns, holsters, extra magazines, cleaning supplies, ear and eye protection, flashlights, weapon mounted lights, ammunition, cases, safes and AK parts and accessories. 

“We are one stop for everybody’s shooting needs,” said Petersen. “We hope to make it a stress free environment. We want to get away from the tactical image.” 

There will also be an antique firearms (1898 and older) appraisal area. Bob Caron who used to run his own antique and sport shop, will do the appraisals the first Saturday of every month from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. He will also be in the store twice a week by appointment.   

There are only a few facilities in the state where people can test drive a firearm. The climate controlled environment means that regardless of the weather, WISR is a year-round place to practice and learn skills. Bill Keith is the head range safety officer. 

Watch for updates on classes and programs from competitions leagues to youth training programs. Gift certificates are available. To reserve a range or for more information, call 892-0274.


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