South Florida Shooting Ranges
If your looking to go shooting while in Sarasota County and south Florida, you're in luck. There are a number of ranges both indoor and out. They all have various quirks, as one might imagine. Some are public parks, while others are private clubs still open to non members. Offered here are highlights of some pro's and con's of each shooting facility, and the staff that run them. Your experience at these facilities may differ, but it may not!
Knight Trail Shooting Range
Address: 3445 Rustic Road, Nokomis, FL 34275
Phone: (941) 861 - 5000
Hours: Wednesday - Sunday 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Knight Trail shooting range is a Sarasota county park and therefor open to the public. The ranges facilities include benches for rifles and long tables for pistols at 13 to 100 yards. All shooting areas are covered and bathrooms have running water. The rotten economy (and the doubling of the entrance fee) have left the days Knights Trail shooting range is open to just Wednesday through Sunday.
Visitors to Knight Trail who point out violations of the posted range rules have been told to leave, while violators have been allowed to stay. This, of course, runs opposite to every other shooting range in the country! (Note, Sarasota is voted meanest county in America consistently. One local veteran even had to file a suit to get "freedom isn't free" allowed in the schools.) While it's always wise to keep an eye out for safety at any shooting range, it is really important at Knights Trail shooting range! Check out the picture below and see for yourself. Never rely on others for your safety, especially when they discourage speaking up.
Take Aim Sarasota
Address: 1865 61st Street
Sarasota, Florida 34243
Phone: (941) 351 - 4867
Hours: Tuesday-Friday: 10 a.m. - 10 p.m. , Saturday & Sunday: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. , Monday: Closed. Thursdays: Ladies shoot free all day with purchase of ammo.
Take Aim is a combination indoor shooting range and retail gun shop in north Sarasota County. The shooting area is rather small. As with most indoor shooting ranges, noise from fellow shooters is intensified coming off block walls. This often rattles even seasoned shooters! The Take Aim shooting range is not restricted to lead free ammunition, and therefor one should always consider possible lead levels and other carcinogens in the air and on surfaces. (Outdoor shooting facilities enjoy natural ventilation of the air.)
Manatee Gun Club
Address: 1805 Logue Road
Myakka City, FL 34251
Phone: (941) 322 - 0055
The Manatee Gun & Archery Club is a private shooting club and facility, but remains open to non-members. Plunk down the entrance fee and your in.
You might be in for quite a show too.
The range officers at Manatee Gun Club are notorious for getting into physical confrontations with the public, sometimes even leaving the shooting line and following patrons to the parking lot. On one occasion, several families with kids on the 200 yard range were told to leave when one old shooter wanted the entire range to himself.
Staff problems aside, the facility at Manatee Gun Club does have a 1000 yard shooting position and shotgun, handgun and even machine gun is available here.