Shooting sports enthusiasts will have a range of options when Wolcott Guns holds a grand opening in late August.
“We have had a tremendous number of startup setbacks, but things look good for an opening in late August,” Ken Wolcott said of his 21,000 square-foot shooting complex at 3052 Walden Avenue in Depew.
For area folks, the building was formerly best known as Fast Freddie’s Speedway, an indoor go-kart track on the corner of Burkhardt Avenue.
Wolcott not only took over the indoor go-kart space, he widened one wall and did some serious ceiling work to accommodate pistol, rifle and bow shooters along computerized shooting lanes on ranges out to 50 yards.
Codes compliance and regulations requirements have gone smoothly, but construction — and reconstruction — work has taken more time than expected for this major complex, which will include all kinds of shooting-related products and services as well as shooting ranges.
Wolcott, his wife Dawn and a competent staff have put together an infrastructure that will provide shooting opportunities for archers as well as firearms shooters.
A separate area is designated to archery equipment sales, rental and repair. The bow-shooting range offers 14 approved archery lanes for either target or 3-D shooting at 20 and 30 yards. Another area offers bow simulator shooting.
Along with firearm sales, the store will offer pistol rentals for shooters who would like to take their time and try out various calibers and models on the range.
All shooting ranges are set up with bulletproof 1 5/16-inch Lexan glass windows for viewing galleries behind the shooting stations.
Each shooting station has a control panel so shooters can adjust ranges, pivot targets at 180 degrees of angle and retrieve targets without stepping onto the firing line. All lanes have “safety eyes” that go off if any one steps out or reaches beyond the bench/stall in which he or she is shooting.
Armor-plate baffles deflect rounds that may stray off targets; a trap-stop system functions fully in stopping shells fired into the backstops, which are encased in an armor-plate safe box.
Wolcott said, “We put 27,000 pounds of cubes of recycled tires in each of the two main ranges,” noting that a pistol or rifle fired at close range would not reach the back of the safe box. He added, “This system will stop a 44 Mag at point-blank range.”
Two massive exhaust fans, one down range and one at mid range, remove airborne particles and gasses discharged during shooting.
Safety is a main concern throughout Wolcott Guns. The complex has 16 security cameras placed around the interior and scanning the outside areas and all 30 parking spaces, four of which are handicap designated.
Lockers will be provided for shooting groups and enforcement agencies holding periodic qualification shoots. A 52-seat classroom is available for hunter, bow, trapper and other certification courses and for seminar presentations.
Separate display cases have been set up for NRA, SCI, Duck Unlimited or any other shooter/sportsmen organizations that would like to exhibit their programs and achievements in a secured glass enclosure.
A formal date has yet to be set for an official opening at Wolcott Guns, but staffers are in place and certification classes have been scheduled in August and thereafter.
For information about the store’s many options, call 901-7807 or go to wolcottgunsinc.com.