BEST GUN RANGE (1998)
One name continually shoots to the top when gun-shop owners are asked to rate area gun ranges: Burnsville Pistol Range, regularly cited for its economy and customer service. Open since 1981, the range has been tended for the last seven years by owner Roger Hird--who, along with his assistant, J.D. (both NRA-certified), watches over the range's dozen 25-yard lanes. In addition to handguns, the range can also accommodate pistol-caliber rifles. The basic rate is $3 per person and $3 per gun with no time limit. (Ear and eye protection are provided free of charge.) For competitive shooters (those who shoot two or three times per week), there's the Megashooter plan, which pays all range fees for an annual rate of $300. For those who visit the range less regularly, there's the $80 Frequent plan, which cuts range fees in half. Best of all, the range offers a 10-punch shot card: good for 10 visits, valued at $6 a punch, and offering no limit on the number of guns brought in during the session. Experienced shooters interested in more than the usual target practice would do well to ask about the International Practical Shooters' Confederation's action-shooting courses, run from October through April, and the Bowling Pin Shoot competition, run during the winter.