PALMER — The Valley’s only indoor shooting range just got an upgrade. The Matanuska Valley Sportsmen’s Shooting Range unveiled their most recent expansion to the public during a ribbon cutting and community potluck Oct.18, showcasing their new high caliber shooting range.

The high caliber range is the newest addition to the facility and it can handle both rifles and handguns. Vice president Earl Lackey said the new 25 yard range can house target shooting for calibers as high as the .50 caliber Browning. Up until this point, the maximum caliber members could use went up to .44 Magnum.

The range was designed to be as safe and effective as possible. The very shape is meant to funnel all the bullets down a shaft to the centrifuge. The various bullets spin around and filter down into a collection bucket. Lackey said they recycle the used bullets.

“The walls and the ceiling are armor plates so when the bullet leaves the gun, it has got to get in the centrifuge. There is no other way,” Lackey said.

No matter where all the bullet first start bouncing from, in the end, the very nature of the tunnel will lead them all to the same place. This is particularly helpful with novice shooters, according to Lackey.

“It is definitely the safest range in the Valley,” Lackey said.

The Matanuska Valley Sportsmen’s Shooting Range is managed by The Matanuska Valley Sportsmen, Inc., a nonprofit organization ran by passionate and education oriented marksmen. It functions as a seven-member board aided by numerous volunteers throughout the year.

Their goal is to educate the public on proper gun handling for overall protection and outdoor recreation. From self-defense classes to hunting workshops, the goal is to cover all the bases from both a sporting and public service perspective.

There are about 1,400 current members, according to Lackey. He said they typically see more involvement during the winter, averaging around 1,600 members during that time.

“We’re hoping that will improve now that we’re opening this section of the range up. This will be open to the public now,” Lackey said.

The Matanuska Valley Sportsmen’s Shooting Range is located at 2450 South Glenn Highway in Palmer.

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Contact Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman reporter Jacob Mann at

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