The lead is flying at the the newly opened, $8.5 million
Scottsdale Gun Club, the nation's largest indoor shooting
Phoenix-based LGE Design Build Corp. started the 35,000-sq.-ft.
project on Northsite Boulevard in March 2003. The gun club
features four shooting bays with eight lanes in each bay.
The project is near the Scottsdale Airpark.
"We have been training law enforcement and the military
since 1986, and with the rising interest in self protection,
we are seeing a lot more civilians," said owner Terry
"We found there were no places civilians could go where
they could shoot safely as well as have fun."
There is a two-story tactical "shoot house" to train
law enforcement professionals, a gunsmith and a retail component
selling weapons. There's also a defensive tactics center for
training in personal defense for people who would rather use
hands than guns.
"This is the first gun club in Arizona to shoot lead
rounds from fully automatic weapons," said David Sellers,
vice president of LGE Design Build.
The project sits on a slab-on-grade foundation with 7-in.
tilt-up concrete walls. In non shooting areas, the building
is topped with steel and wood trusses, while the shooting
range features concrete double Ts for a roof system. The double
Ts are covered with a .25-in. ballistic plate steel on the
interior to deflect bullets.
The gun club is open to the public but also offers memberships,
with the highest tier of membership able to access a private
on-site club featuring pool tables, big screen TVs and other
Originally envisioned as a frangible-round shooting range,
owner Terry Schmidt changed the design to use all types of
ammunition, including lead rounds. The change allowed the
gun club to offer tactical training classes to police departments
from around the country.
"After we met with various departments, we found they
had certain requirements because of lawsuits," said architect
Peter Sangiorgio of Phoenix-based Arrington Watkins Architects.
"If they (law enforcement) ever got called into court
for using a gun in a police shooting, the lawyers will ask
if they have trained with that gun and ammo. If the answer
is no, there is liability."
The new design forced major changes in the building's mechanical
system. The $1 million mechanical system can recirculate 100
percent of the building's air through massive, 50-in.-diameter.
ducts. A carbon monoxide detection system features sensors
tied to an active control system that uses fans ranging from
17,000 c.f.m. to 35,000 c.f.m. The mechanical systems also
feature high-efficiency particulate absolute filters, with
a total of 100,000 c.f.m. of circulating air when shooters
are on the range.
"Basically, to shoot indoors in an air-conditioned environment,
you have to filter the lead out of the air stream and return
it to the space," said Greg Paraino, a principal with
Phoenix-based Applied Engineering, a mechanical and electrical
To limit lead contamination, designers employed a $300,000
"snail" system for recovering lead rounds. The system
is manufactured by gun maker Savage Arms of Westfield, Mass.
The "snail" in the system is a steel chamber shaped
like a snail's shell. When the round enters the chamber after
passing through the target, its velocity is rapidly diminished
as it spins through the snail shell.
An auger then moves the spent rounds to an outdoor receiving
bin, where they are hauled away and recycled.
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