By Sue Rodman
What is it about guns that draws in boys? I’m not a big gun enthusist and I’ll be honest, I almost cancelled my appointment to visit Stoddard’s Range & Guns. It was hump day of a long week with an even longer week ahead, plus what was I doing taking my boys to shoot gun. Thank goodness I felt obligated or I would have missed one of my favorite field trips. Here’s why.
Stoddard’s Range & Guns feels a little like walking onto the set of a History Channel show. Upon arriving at Stoddard’s Range & Guns, we were warmly greeted by owners Michael Halbreich and Ken Baye. Michael is a gun enthusiast who can tell you a story about every gun in the case, while Ken fills in the blanks and adds a laugh that makes you smile. In between are co-workers, brought into the scene when specific expertise is required.
Eventually the older boys and I got around to shooting on two of the 12, 75-foot-long rifle-rated lanes, but not before we took a Hollywood Tour of Guns.
Hollywood Guide to Firearm Rentals at Stoddard
- Smith and Wesson Model 10 – Called the detective’s special, this revolver is the classic Smith and Wesson gun my grandfather was issued on the New York City Police force in the 20’s and 30’s. It’s not one of the rental guns, but you can choose between six other revolvers.
- IMI UZI- 9mm – This gun made headlines when it was pulled by secret service when President Reagan was shot. This is one of eight different rifles available to rent at the range shooting.
- FNH PS90 – This gun is seen in the TV shows Top Shot, CSI and the video games Call of Duty and Battlefield. It’s also available to rent and shoot on the range.
- Walther PPK – The name is Bond. James Bond. And this is his gun of choice. This one isn’t in the rental pool, but there are 37 other varieties of semi-automatic pistols to choose from.
Stoddard’s Range & Guns are always adding to their selection of rental guns and renters can swap for different firearms during their visit for no additional charge. Note that the guns above may or may not be in the rental pool when you visit. If you want a specific gun, call ahead to see if it’s in the pool. At press time they had about 70 guns to choose from in their rental pool. Guests can also bring their own gun.
Responsible Gun Ownership
We had fun with our Hollywood gun tour, but Stoddard’s is serious about responsible gun ownership, safety and running a first class range. Michael’s reason for starting the range was similar to Walt Disney’s reason for creating Disneyland – he couldn’t find the clean, service-oriented environment he wanted to enjoy his hobby, so he created it.
This is my first gun range, but apparently air quality is a problem. Stoddard’s Range and Guns ventilation and filtration system keeps the air clean and smell free. Upon leaving the range, patrons are asked to wash their hands of gun residue and a matte takes residue off shoes. Children must be 10 or over to shoot on the range, so if you have younger kids, leave them home or make sure they’re ok watching from behind the glass. My youngest was a bit upset when he learned he couldn’t shoot.
Stoddard’s offers classes for all skill levels and special events such as bring your daughter to the range day, and shooting bowling pins. Since I’m the only girl in our family, my boys decided they wanted to bring their grandfather to the range. We’ve already asked Mike to dust off the John Wayne revolver for Pop.
Michael’s Antique Gun Collection
When you go to Stoddard’s, ask if owner Michael Halbreich is around and has time to show you his amazing antique gun collection. My boys loved shooting, but I loved the antique guns and the history behind them. We held authentic revolutionary war rifles, German pistols from WWII, a WWII Russian rifle and a tommy gun similar to the one gangsters like Al Capone would have carried. I was amazed at how heavy some of the guns were, especially the tommy gun – and we didn’t even have the magazine attached! We continued our Hollywood tour with a look at a John Wayne six shooter and a pistol like Clint Eastwood’s in Dirty Harry.
What: Shooting Range, Stoddard Range & Guns
Where: 5840 Bankhead Highway, Douglasville, GA 30134, 678-838-4848
When: Monday – Saturday 10 – 8pm, Sunday 11 – 6 pm
Cost: $27 per hour ($15 per hour for one shooter + $10 standard firearms rental +$2 protective eye and ear rental) ammo is additional and must be purchased at Stoddard for all rental guns
Early Bird Specials available Monday – Friday 10 – noon
Photos: For additional photos of Stoddard’s Range and Guns visit Field Trips with Sue on Facebook or Stoddard’s Range and Guns on Field Trips with Sue on TourBuzz
Field Trips with Sue was given complimentary admission for the purposes of reviewing Stoddard’s Range & Gun, as is common in the travel industry. The views expressed here are my own.