Pros: A great gun range with military style hardware. VERY SAFE.
Cons: Not many - this place is awesome!
Sunset Hills Shooting Range is located in Henryville, PA at 1650 Club House Road (18332). This road does not show up on older GPS units, so driving directions and coordinates are available on their website. The range is open from 10AM – 5PM seven days a week, but you may want to call before going there on religious holidays. The phone number is (570) 629 – 3981.
The mountainous area Sunset Hills is located in is poorly covered by GPS signals and some cellular services. Therefore some GPS units won’t be reliable. I found it easiest (coming from NY) to take the Lincoln Tunnel to i280 and then take i80 straight through Pennsylvania to Route 715 – which can be taken directly to Club House Road. Make a left onto Club House Road and you’re there in less than a quarter of a mile.
With the plethora of First Person Shooter video games on the market, Sunset Hills took the initiative to procure guns that are being made famous and allow you to shoot them for money. Sunset Hills has an À la carte shooting menu where you can choose which gun to shoot and you pay for a specific number of bullets. For example: if you want to shoot the Desert Eagle .44 Caliber and the FN FAL exclusively – you can. Want to spend the day trap shooting? It’s up to you! Each shooter is given a card which the instructors mark off as you shoot. At the end of your stay, this card is tallied by a cashier and you pay for whatever equipment you’ve used. Your first paper target is free. Each additional target is $1.
Here is a video I made that clearly demonstrates the professionalism that goes into Sunset Hill's personal safety training:
Even though a gun range is a potentially dangerous place, Sunset Hills has taken plenty of measures to ensure your visit will be as safe as possible - given you follow their rules.
#1 Anyone can shoot. Children 13 years and older can come if assisted by their legal guardian/ natural parent. People 18 years and older can shoot and all they need is a state ID/driver’s license.
#2 Hearing and eye protection must always be worn. They are given to you at the counter when you sign in.
#3 There are 15 booths and each one has an instructor. The instructor explains how to use each gun, has you dry fire each gun before firing it and maintains close control over the weapon from directly behind you. They lock and load each firearm and ensure you are cleared if a gun jams. They ensure you do not shoot or aim the weapons in dangerous directions.
Though there are plenty of safety elements in place, it’s still a gun range. Guns are inherently dangerous and can explode or otherwise injure people who are careless...or by accident. The only thing that’s happened to me is an empty shell flew out of my Glock and landed in my shirt collar giving me a small burning sensation. Smaller people who’ve fired big gauge handguns such as the Smith & Wesson .500 ($5 per bullet) have witnessed recoil so strong, they’ve smacked themselves in the faces and gotten bruises. To check your ability to deal with recoil, the instructors test your grip during a dry fire exercise.
Some of the instructors are moonlighting police officers from the tri-state area. Some of them are armed and act as supervisors and guards for the facility to make sure no psychopaths are able to go on rampages. They are all very approachable and very professional. I’ve noticed a lot of young women and foreigners at this range. The supervisors approach each person with respect and treat them as if they are new to shooting so as not to allow anyone to get into an unsafe situation.
Sunset Hills is actually a great shooting range and allows people access to weapons even if they’ve never shot before. I’ve had nothing but positive experiences there, but there are a few aspects to look out for:
#1 The check in/check out cashier gets crowded very quickly because they can only process 2 or 3 people at a time. You do not want to stay till the 5pm closing because you may end up waiting an hour to check out.
#2 Because the range is open year round and is located outside, you’ll need to dress according to the weather.
#3 Besides hot dogs, soda and water, there isn’t much food offered. You’ll either want to eat before you get here or after. If you want to help support the facility, you could buy their food items – which for the most part are fairly priced.
#4 You should start with small calibers before moving to large calibers if you’ve never shot before. The .308 rifles and magnum handguns are powerful and can bruise you if you don’t know what to expect. Video games in no way prepare you for firing a real gun. I was hoping Sunset Hills could procure a Barrett .50 caliber sniper rifle, but a weapon like that can dislocate your shoulder or bruise your eye if you aren’t ready.
#5 There really isn’t much to shoot. They offer you paper targets for the handguns, but, the rifle range doesn’t have any hard targets such as plastic bottles or animal silhouettes. I’d recommend statues or paper targets of dictators/ terrorists.
Sunset Hills does their best to get guns you are familiar with from video games and movies. Right now, they have a wide range of assault rifles, pistols, shotguns and rifles which include: the SCAR-L, Uzi 9mm, MP5, M4, USP 9mm, Desert Eagle .44, .308 FN FAL, .308 AR-30, AK-47, HK G3, Glock 9mm/.40 cal, and the Smith& Wesson .500.
Sunset Hills has a number of 10 and 12 gauge pump action shotguns and a trap shooting booth. $27 for 25 shots is a decent deal to shoot the orange clay pigeons if you’ve never done it before.
Unfortunately, all of these weapons are semi-automatic only. No burst fire means you won’t be able to “go Rambo” on a paper target. They also don’t have exotic (movie) weapons like the Desert Eagle .50cal Chey Tac Intervention or the Barrett .50 cal Having weapons from Counter Strike such as the .338 AWM and SG 550 would have definitely been cool. One of the AR-15’s has an M203 Grenade Launcher, but you can’t (understandably) use the launcher. Too bad they don’t have dummy grenades so you could see what firing a grenade is like.
If you’ve never shot before and want to try it, this is a fantastic place for anyone in the tri-state area. You get plenty of excitement for your money and the facility is excellent. Try it out!
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