Located in South Australia, The Gunnery is Australia’s first and only digital live fire range, which basically means the targets are computer generated, but the firearms are real. Working with a European software company, The Gunnery uses an exclusive computer program to make a projection that displays targets on a steel backdrop. This means just about anything can be projected onto the screen and become a target. Standard targets can be changed into scenarios such as galloping antelope on the African plains as well as a wide variety of other target options.
The Gunnery’s range is built fully enclosed within the same building as its fully operational store, in Adelaide’s southern suburb of Christies Beach. The range itself is only 10m in length, but that’s no problem if you want to shoot at targets further away. The targets simply scale down in size to appear more distant, transitioning to a smaller area to aim at. Sensors on the screen calculate to within 1mm where a shot has hit and provide accurate and immediate feedback. The software and sensors allow for trajectory drop, making it just as lifelike as a standard range.
The targets can be set to be as far away as 50m, which is perfect for the wide range of handguns available from .22 and 9mm self-loading pistols to .357 Magnum and .44 Magnum Super Blackhawk revolvers. Shooting package prices start from $60 for 30 shots of .22 or 20 shots of 9mm.
Peter, the owner of The Gunnery, says they have had lots of people coming in to check the place out. “People can come in straight off the street and have a go,” he said. “First-timers can become a bit more familiar with firearms in a safe environment while having a good time.” Peter says he has had enquiries from first-time shooters about how they can get involved in the sport. Local shooting clubs are supporting the range and The Gunnery has sponsored a number of competitions at different clubs.
One important feature of The Gunnery range is that it uses a tethering system for anyone without an Category H licence. The tether keeps the firearm facing forward, with an additional tether around the chest of the shooter anchored to a point in the ground behind them. The tether system is aimed at keeping everyone safe while making them comfortable since lots of first-timers are coming into the range. In the future, Peter also plans to provide visitors with videos and print-outs from the screen so they can see where and when they shot.
When asked about the effectiveness of practising at the digital live fire range, Peter said that his own daughter recently gave a strong performance at the IPSC National Championships – obviously it’s a handy resource.
The range and shop is family-operated and staffed by friendly and knowledgeable staff. Peter says he buys in bulk and can pass on huge savings to his customers while still stocking everything you would expect or need in a firearms store, including firearms, ammunition, knives, clothing, shooting and hunting accessories, safes and much more.