By Brad Harper
Montgomery Advertiser, Ala.
Husband and wife entrepreneurs Lilly Ann Gibbs and Frank Manuel took a different approach to their latest project, the Montgomery Indoor Shooting Complex.
That’s clear when you see the alien and zombie targets lined up behind the counter.
“This is a family establishment,” Manuel said. “It’s entertainment. You’re not going to find retired drill sergeants here. Our competition is the new movie theater. Our competition is the bowling alley.”
It opened about a year ago and already has thousands of Facebook fans and loyal customers. Manuel proudly shows pictures of a father and daughter shooting together on the archery range, and a video of a young man firing a canon in the gun range on the fourth of July.
Question: What can people do out here?
A: Gibbs: You can shoot handguns. You can shoot rifles of certain calibers. You can do archery. You can get instruction.
A: Manuel: We have 10 lanes of indoor pistol. We have 10 lanes of indoor archery. It’s all climate controlled. There are only six indoor ranges in Alabama, and this is the only one within 100 miles. This is the first time this has really been done in central Alabama.
Question: Should people bring their own weapons?
A: Gibbs: They can. If it’s what they’re going to use, they should bring it to practice with. They can bring their own firearms, their own ammunition. We do have a limit on the types of ammunition. They will need safety equipment — safety glasses or prescription glasses. If they don’t have any of that they can rent what we have. We have all of the basic handguns and some exotic firearms if people just want to try it.
A: Manuel: We have the guns that you see in the movies. We have the guns (like the ones) used in “Face Off,” “Robocop,” “Terminator” and the “Call of Duty” video games. We have those real guns here.
Question: How has business been?
A: Manuel: We’ve gotten a good response. We’re performing financially at the level of a mature range that’s been in business for 10 or 12 years. We did that the first year. I think that’s pretty good.
Montgomery Indoor Shooting Complex
LOCATION: 5765 Carmichael Road
DETAILS: Archery, pistol and rifle shooting with rentals available; certified trainers also available
CONTACT: 657-7878 or montgomeryindoorshooting.com