CRIDERSVILLE — Midwest Shooting Center is now open to the public.
Co-owners Dave Sabo and Jeff Swinford repurposed the old Endless Endeavors antique car center in Cridersville into a multi-purpose shooting center, complete with an indoor gun range, firearms training facility and retail area.
The range features 24 shooting lanes spread across three bays, including two 25-yard bays and one 100-yard bay suitable for more powerful firearms up to .50 caliber machine guns.
The front of the facility is dedicated to retail, with hundreds of firearms and associated merchandise for sale, while the back has been converted into a dynamic training area for law enforcement and the public.
This is now the second brick and mortar firearms store for Swinford and Sabo, who founded an ecommerce firearms site in June 2016 and later founded Black Rifle Firearms in Marion, Ohio. But Midwest Shooting Center, 501 S. Dixie Highway, is the first shooting range the two former U.S. Marines have opened.
The center opened to members March 2 and to the public March 16.
“The community’s been overwhelmingly supportive,” Swinford said. He estimated nearly 1,000 people purchased pre-sale memberships.
Sabo added, “We have the population to support the concept.”
Keeping the facility secure
The shooting center is equipped with steel rolling gates, shatter-proof glass and a remote monitoring system that can detect movement in the parking lot after hours.
“If somebody’s in our parking lot (after hours), we’re notified as is the Cridersville Police Department,” Swinford said.
All firearms at the facility are caged, Swinford said.
The shooting center also employs range safety officers who monitor the shooting bays and work with less experienced shooters to ensure safe firearm handling.
Training passes are available to law enforcement and the public, including concealed carry classes and courses for beginners.
In each session, Sabo said patrons are fitted with a firearm that shoots a non-lethal projectile.
“We can put them through different scenarios so that their muscle memory is a little more enhanced,” Sabo said.
In one such class for concealed carry permit holders, participants are put in compromising situations in which they must decide whether to pull the trigger or deescalate through “empty handed skills,” Swinford said.
“That way they leave and have been put in those situations where you have to go against an opponent who is a real, living, breathing, thinking human being,” he said. “They leave feeling more confident and competent.”