Interviews with local business owners is part of our Making It Happen Series. Today’s feature is on LouAnn Patterson – owner of Camp Verde’s Copper Star Indoor Range.
Having good aim requires some serious sharp shooting skills. It is no wonder shooting sports have been a part of the Modern Olympics since their revival in 1896. Men and women alike compete with rifles and pistols for the gold each and every term. If being a sharp shooter or a trick shot like Annie Oakley has ever been your dream, you now have a place to sharpen your skills.
The Copper Star Indoor Shooting Range, located just outside of Camp Verde near the Out of Africa Wild Park, was opened by LouAnn Patterson in 2012. The business she has built and the range design are anything but ordinary. When you step through the large, lodge-style building’s front doors, you realize this is not just a good ol’ boys hang out, or your community gun or archery shop, but a place for beginners who need training, a place for professionals who are serious about their craft, and for those improving themselves through the discipline. Of course, there is a heap of fun that happens as well, with archery and firearms fun events.
The Copper Star boasts the only 100 Yard Indoor Rifle Ranges in the state of Arizona. Who knew? The entire shooting range is indoors and nice and cozy, no matter what time of the year it might be. In addition to a rifle range, pistol range and archery range, there is a large store built in where you can purchase or rent guns, buy ammunition, targets, holsters and more.
The price to try your hand is actually quite affordable. If you have your own equipment, the archery range is $10 for the hour, the pistol range $12 for an hour and the rifle range $15 for an hour. They also offer memberships for the avid, or frequent shooter.
If you don’t own a long gun or handgun, ammunition, targets and all that business – you can get everything right at the range. You can also take shooting classes or ask to have a safety coach assigned to you if you are unfamiliar or uncomfortable with guns.
Do you like competition? Who doesn’t? Join in a number of competitions the shooting range has during the year for some pretty quality prizes. If you don’t consider yourself that sharp of an aim, you can bring a group of friends in and have your own competition – just for fun.
LouAnn added that many of their guests are actually tourists coming in from Sedona, the Valley, and many other countries. “People love our range. We have groups such as ‘pre-bachelor or pre-bachelorette’, family reunions and international tourist parties stopping by to make it an event destination. We also have people who are just looking for something different to do on the weekends as well.” People have coming from all over the world, never having shot, or shot very little, and have a world class experience.
People especially like shooting the Copper Star’s machine gun. Yes, they own the machine gun from the movie Red Dawn, the same gun Patrick Swayze used. The cost to shoot it? Only $40 for non-members plus ammo. And yes, there are more machine guns on the way.
“Few people can say they have shot a fully automatic machine gun, fewer still have shot the gun from Red Dawn the movie” Patterson added.
So what made LouAnn Patterson so interested in building a shooting range? Probably her and her team’s history with the Army and her work to safely dismantling aging bombs, landmines and other dangerous munitions during her military and civilian careers . While Patterson says she collects M1911A1’s (.45 caliber military pistols), she also collects teapots, which makes her even that more interesting.
More Information on Copper Star Shooting Range:
3535 Sharpshooter Way
Camp Verde, AZ 86322