Simulated Shooting Range Opens in Kona
An indoor simulated shooting range called The Range opened recently in Kona.
Located in the old Kona Industrial area at 74-5543 Kaiwi St., the facility is the only indoor simulated shooting range in the state.
Co-owner Dee Anne Kaniho Thompson said she and her husband Mike Thompson were originally interested in opening a live outdoor shooting range in West Hawaii, but were unable to find a property with the proper zoning.
The couple, who also own Threat Options Tactical, a tactical gear and gun accessory business, were at a trade show earlier this year when they saw a demonstration of the shooting simulator.
Dee Anne said the company that designed the simulator, TI Training Corp., works primarily with law enforcement agencies and had just started offering shooting simulators for commercial use.
They were able to secure space next to their existing business. They brought the equipment to the Big Island in April and opened less than a month ago.
Customers pay per session and choose a scenario in which to practice their shooting skills using static or moving targets.
Simulator scenarios include zombies, westerns, and chaos, among others. Special scenarios are available for law enforcement and military personnel with proof of identification.
Dee Anne explained that while the firearms are real, they have been modified for the simulator and do not contain bullets.
“Nothing actually comes out of the weapon at all,” said Dee Anne. The barrels have been modified with an infrared laser that will show up on the screen.
“The guns have a CO2 cartridge that gives recoil and blowback effect, for the feel of real life shooting,” she said. “t’s the closest thing to the real thing.”
While the facility is open to adults and children, anyone under the age of 18 must have a parent sign a waiver.
The Range is open Tuesday through Thursday from noon to 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday from noon to 10 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. It is closed Monday.
For more information, call 326-7141.