Ben Avery Upgrades Air Gun Range

Ben Avery Upgrades Air Gun Range

PHOENIX – -( After hearing this news, Ralphie, the 8-year-old boy from the movie A Christmas Story, would be grabbing his trusty Red Rider BB gun and fixing his sights on the Ben Avery Shooting Facility’s Air Gun Range – and he won’t have to worry about shooting his eye out.

The Arizona Game and Fish Department’s Ben Avery Shooting Facility has made extensive improvements to its Air Gun Range. Now fully paved and well lighted, the 42-position indoor range offers temperature control for yearlong shooting. All shooting lanes are freshly painted and identified, as are both the yellow and red firing lines. There is a raised platform booth for the range master with a full PA system for conducting safe shoots. There are plans for stadium seating in the near future.

Air gun shooting is one of the fastest-growing shooting sports in America, and competitive shooting can lead to college scholarships or even a chance at Olympic competition. While these accomplishments may be the cream of the crop, other lessons learned from target shooting include humility, accountability, honor, integrity, commitment, teamwork, self-confidence, problem-solving skills, and many other positive personal character developments important to becoming a good citizen.

To celebrate, the Arizona Game and Fish Department is hosting a Grand Opening Fun 3-Position Cup Match for both sporter-class and precision-class shooters. The event will take place at 8 a.m on Friday, March 27, the day before the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s Outdoor Expo. Although there will be experienced 3-position shooters participating, this is a great opportunity to see what this safe and fun shooting sport is all about. And, if you don’t have an air gun to shoot, don’t worry, the range has loaner guns available. There is no cost to enter, but preregistration is recommended.

In addition, if you find you have the “shooters bug” like Ralphie, with no plans this summer, look no further. There is an evening summer league starting in June for shooters ages 8 and over with skill levels of beginner to veteran. Registration is $30 for junior shooters and $40 for adults, and loaner guns are available for newcomers. Families receive a discount and will benefit in sharing a common interest. A single adult with one or more junior shooters pays only $20 per junior shooter. Two adults with one or more junior shooters pay only $15 per junior shooter. The adult pays the regular $40 fee.

To register for either event, call the Ben Avery Shooting Facility at (623) 582-8313.

The range is restricted to air guns shooting 600 feet per second or less only. All shoots, leagues and instruction will follow the National 3-Positions Air Rifle Council rules and regulations. To learn more about 3-position air gun rules, visit

The Air Gun Range is located at the east end of the Ben Avery Shooting Facility, located on Carefree Highway, ¼ mile west of Interstate 17 in Phoenix. For more information, visit

The Arizona Game and Fish Department’s Outdoor Expo offers an extensive amount of hands-on shooting activities, including old west style cowboy action shooting, youth .22 and air gun shooting, to black powder muzzle loaders, and the opportunity to try out the latest in firearms from well known manufacturers like Smith and Wesson, GLOCK, Ruger and more. Open March 28-29 from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. at the Ben Avery Shooting Facility, the free event caters to families of all ages interested in the outdoors. For more information, visit

The Arizona Game and Fish Department prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, age, or disability in its programs and activities. If anyone believes that they have been discriminated against in any of the AGFD’s programs or activities, including employment practices, they may file a complaint with the Deputy Director, 5000 W. Carefree Highway, Phoenix, AZ 85086-5000, (602) 942-3000, or with the Fish and Wildlife Service, 4040 N. Fairfax Dr. Ste. 130, Arlington, VA 22203. Persons with a disability may request a reasonable accommodation or this document in an alternative format by contacting the Deputy Director as listed above.