NORMAL — The five-year-old vision of former Florida police office Stephen Stewart will have its grand opening Saturday, giving gun enthusiasts another indoor shooting range option.
C.I. Shooting Sports, 700 Wylie Drive, in the Crossroads Center, has 16 shooting lanes — all rifle-rated, Stewart said.
"You're looking at the best range equipment made," he said.
The bullets will be captured in chunky rubber at the end of the range. "It's like shooting into a bed of rice," he said, slowing the bullets down and preventing them from deforming. That limits the amount of lead released in the air.
The heated range also has an air system that includes an air defuser that filters air coming in, pushes it through the range, pulls spent gases away, and filters it again before releasing it outside.
But the shooting range is only a part of the amenities at in the 25,000-square-foot building that replaces Stewart's former 2,000 square-foot storefront, 10-8 Outfitters at 1206 Towanda Ave., Bloomington.
C.I. Shooting Sports will have more than 500 firearms for sale. Stewart said handguns will range from $300 to $4,000; rifles and shotguns from $200 to $4,000.
"We'll have something for everybody," he said.
The handguns will be showcased in glass cases that can be covered with metal flaps and locked overnight. Long guns will be displayed on the walls.
"We've gone above and beyond making sure they are secure," he said.
Seventy firearms will be available to rent and try out before purchasing, Stewart said.
The new facility also has a classroom for training in conceal and carry, basic personal defense and advanced personal defense classes. In the near future, there also will be a video simulator room that will offer a chance to virtually respond to more than 400 deadly force scenarios.
Stewart also has expanded the clothing options he offered at 10-8 Outfitters. C.I. Shooting Sports will have a full line of 5.11 Tactical apparel and accessories for men and women, including gear for a variety of outdoor sports and clothing for first responders.
There also is a platinum members' lounge that features a double-sided, floor-to-ceiling stone fireplace, comfortable couches and chairs, two televisions and a pool table. The space also will be available for party rental.
"Reload Cafe," a vending machine area with cafe tables is open to everyone.
"We wanted to create a gathering atmosphere; more than a range and place to buy a gun," he said.
There is an $18 daily rate or a variety of membership packages available. The facility will be open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sundays.