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October 18, 2012 | 12:00 a.m. CST
It’s not hard to find places to buy guns in Columbia, and it’s equally easy to try your hand at shooting in your free time. With several gun shops and two shooting ranges within city limits, getting immersed in Columbia’s gun culture can be as simple as a quick car ride.
ZK Guns has targets that bleed and will keep bleeding for multiple rounds. Several of them even look like different animals. There are also targets of Nazis, zombies and zombie clowns.
The store carries handguns, rifles and shotguns and has a license to sell fully automatic guns. It’s also a blue level Glock distributor, which means the store can sell Glocks to the local police at a discounted rate. - AD
Where: 2529 Bernadette Dr.
Hours: Mon. through Fri. 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.; Sat. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Despite the rifles, handguns, parts and accessories that fill Black Rifle, the AR-15, the civilian version of the military M16, is the store’s specialty and top seller. Black Rifle prides itself on not selling any of the sport shooting staples other gun stores usually feature.
Those who buy the AR-15 are primarily customers interested in recreational sport shooting and hunting. The store also offers minor repairs on AR-15 models as well as handguns, a gun that represents a growing segment of the shop’s sales. - AH
Where: 800 Vandiver Dr.
Hours: Mon. through Sat., 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Cost: AR-15s $899 and up; the more popular handgun models sells for about $300 and up
Bass Pro Shops is like an amusement park for those who love the outdoors. Stocked with gadgets and gizmos to make a hunter’s heart flutter, the supercenter is home to some of Columbia’s most popular guns and accessories, especially hunting rifles. Bass Pro also offers a variety of classes and informational courses. - MK
Where: 3101 Bass Pro Dr.
Hours: Mon. through Sat., 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sun., 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Powder Horn Guns and Sporting is one of the oldest gun stores in Columbia. Regulars spend time in the store just talking about guns, and both customers and salespeople are quick to offer advice and knowledge.
Powder Horn carries a variety of guns, from handguns to rifles, and they also offer ammo, reloading supplies, bows and arrows. First-time shooters can get everything they need to get started. - AD
Where: 1915 Paris Rd.
Hours: Mon. though Fri. 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Sat. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Online: Find them on Facebook
Target Masters is an indoor shooting range and a gun store rolled into one. The store features standards such as Glock, Smith & Wesson and Springfield Armory and also offers accessories, private lessons, conceal and carry classes and minor firearm repairs.
The store has the only indoor shooting range in the Columbia area. On the range, customers can shoot handguns and handgun-caliber rifles. To increase female participation, the range offers a ladies night on Mondays from 4-7:30 p.m., when women can rent a lane for free. - AH
Where: 4101 N. Rangeline St.
Hours: Mon. through Fri., 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Sat.; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Prairie Grove’s range offers trap shooting, skeet shooting, 5-stand, mini-clay shooting and sporting clays.
The shooting range hosts several competitions such as the Missouri 4-H State Shoot competition. Gerry Snapp, state coordinator for 4-H shooting sports, says the ease of working with the owners has been part of why the state shoot has been held there multiple years. - AH
Where: 1420 County Road 276
Hours: For individuals, Tue. and Thurs., noon to dark; Sat., 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sun., 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.