The First Day of Summer at Premier Shooting: A nice way to celebrate what America is all about

I can’t say enough about Premier Shooting and Training Center which is in West Chester, Ohio. Every time I go there I feel renewed it is one of those places that has a spirit about it that is extremely positive. It’s a unique creation of American philosophy that does not shy away from their positive impact into the local community. They make West Chester so much better in what they do which is train people not only in proper firearms conduct, but general self-defense with various martial art forms. They are a really neat operation. Of course I’ve been to a lot of gun ranges over the years, but Premier is absolutely the best.

I was taking a VIP there the other day and it just happened to be the first day of summer and Premier was giving out free water bottles with the Premier logo on them and hot dogs. In addition to a really nice gun range that is wonderfully well ventilated and training classrooms that are equal to any college campus, they have a cafeteria overlooking their fishing lake which is very well stocked. So after doing a little shooting, they welcomed us to some hot dogs as a way to celebrate the arrival of summer which I thought was a very nice touch. Me and this VIP might have otherwise have gone to Jags for lunch, but the hot dogs were good enough given the atmosphere.

I’ve been to Premier before but recently since acquiring a gun that I had been thinking about for a very long time I have been going regularly to shoot it. Most of my shooting these days has been in my private range in my home where I shoot Cowboy Fast Draw. While that is fun, and still constitutes most of my shooting activity, the bullets are wax and not the same kind of experience as shooting my .50 AE Desert Eagle. To shoot that, you really need a range like they have at Premier. On this particular day I brought along my .500 Magnum, so we were shooting some very big ammunition for which the Premier ventilation system really showed its use. There was no lingering smoke from those big guns hanging around, it was all scooped up leaving a very pleasant environment to shoot in which is what they do best at Premier.

When I shoot in my garage with Cowboy Fast Draw, my wife loves the smell. The gunsmoke is part of the appeal for her. I leave the garage door closed when I shoot there so that the sounds don’t wake up the neighborhood. It’s not uncommon for me to shoot really early in the morning or late at night. But as good as the smoke smells it’s not good to breathe. When I’m done I usually open the garage door to let the smoke out and get the ventilation moving again. But with that type of shooting the only real explosive element is the 209 shotgun primers which are used as the propellent for the wax bullets. We’re only talking about a 7 grain bullet with about 600 FPS velocity at the barrel. You always need to use proper gun safety but these are not the types of bullets that are killing anyone. They can sting, but are perfectly safe to use in a sport like Cowboy Fast Draw. They are effective up to about 15 feet, although we compete with them up to 21 feet. But firing the .50 AE is a different matter, it typically has a 300 grain bullet with muzzle velocity of 1475 FPS and a whopping 1449 ft/lbs of muzzle energy. It really is a remarkable cartridge and what I consider an engineering marvel, to be able to contain all that power into a relatively small gun. The Desert Eagle is not a small gun by any means, but for the power output that it is utilizing, it is a real engineering feat to have such a thing work so well under such violent conditions. The smoke that is left behind if you are shooting indoors can be a lot, but at Premier, you don’t even notice it. Their ventilation system picks it all right up, it’s very impressive all its own.

Shooting for me is a daily occurrence so it’s very disingenuous to listen to people who don’t understand the sport of shooting to cry out against the 2nd Amendment. It really gets on my nerves because guns in America are not a brutal thing, they are a deeply philosophical element to the freest country on earth. Because without all the guns that we have, and places like Premier which helps take the gun from a thought to a practice, the Constitution would have been eroded away a long time ago. The only thing that keeps the three branches of government working properly, in that one doesn’t try to take over the others is the very defined understanding that the people of the nation can at anytime take back their country from the grips of corruption, should they choose to. That gives weight behind our police to do their jobs in defending our laws because if that doesn’t work, an armed society is there is a backstop. I view gun ownership as an essential American right that every household should participate in. But that right comes with responsibility and places like Premier Shooting do a fantastic job of defining that balance. The atmosphere of the place is very family oriented and patriotic. It’s the kind of place that certainly charges me up whenever I step into their doors and by the time I leave I’m good for a few days. My new Desert Eagle gives me a reason to go there more now than I did in the past and that has greatly enhanced my life.

Smaller caliber guns really don’t excite me, because I do so much shooting with the wax bullets. Working on my accuracy just on paper targets wasn’t a big attraction for me prior to the Desert Eagle. My big .500 Smith & Wesson Magnum was just too expensive, ammunition is over $3 a shot, so shooting it regularly isn’t practical. It wasn’t until this Desert Eagle for me that the slightly over $1 per shot made visits to Premier Shooting a viable option for my personal lifestyle. If I’m going to shoot a gun, I like it to be a big one because that’s kind of the point. The ballistic power so self-contained is amazing to me and is part of the joy. But to enjoy it I need a good range and that is where Premier comes in. They are the best certainly in Cincinnati and compared to most places in the country. Specifically, to West Chester, they are a great asset to a community that already had it all. I’m glad they are there. When I want to have such an experience with a VIP and we don’t feel like spending a whole half of a day playing golf or some similar activity, a half hour on a shooting lane at Premier is just the right thing. We were in and out and back to our professional tasks within the hour, and that included enjoying a hot dog by the fishing lake—and that is what makes shooting in America such a special thing, and Premier does it better than anybody.

Rich Hoffman

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