Stephen Stewart’s Central Illinois Shooting Sports store officially opened Saturday to hundreds and hundreds of folks coming to see the latest indoor shooting range and gun shop in Illinois. Located in Normal, IL at 700 Wylie Drive, the facility is nearly 30,000 square feet in size and features a 16-lane indoor range (all lanes are rated to .50 BMG for those wondering), hundreds of guns and a massive, full-line of 5.11 Tactical products.
Originally planned to open this time last year, the business represents quite an expansion on the former “10-8 Outfitters” business in Bloomington – which was all of 2,000 square feet in size.
There was plenty to look at with hundreds of handguns on display, along with scores and scores of long guns. Tactical seems to be the prevailing flavor in the inventory, but there’s just about something for everyone.
The indoor range is very nice and very modern. The noise is nicely attenuated. It’s well-lit and the air is clean and air-conditioned and heated depending on the season. The shooting stalls are very roomy, with about four feet width or more in each lane.
There are no limitations on caliber. It’s rated up to and including .50 BMG. They do check to make sure you’re shooting factory ammo. Obviously tracers and the rubber backstop materials don’t play nicely together. Steel-core projectiles aren’t welcome either.
The fee to shoot is $18 per day. Yes, $18 gets you as much range time as you want – with the exception of weekends when people are waiting. In that case, you shoot for an hour, then you take an hour break and then you can shoot again. For those willing to plunk down a few Benjamins, you can shoot whenever you want without limits aside from those already mentioned without any charges. For those who like to shoot a lot, that could be quite a value.
Oh yeah, C.I.S.S. had .22 ammunition at reasonable prices. This, of course, was very popular with everyone there. There were quantity limits, but there was plenty for everyone to walk away with at least 300 rounds, if not more.
Roughly a third or more of the retail space is dedicated to 5.11 products. CISS is stocking 5.11’s entire line, everything from boots to clothes to accessories. It seemed as if every color, every size and every type of fabric of 5.11 pants and shirts are there. There are jackets, shirts, vests, boots, shoes, socks, belts, flashlights, and anything and everything else 5.11 present.
Well, one thing we didn’t see there was 5.11 kilts.
Marshall Smith, 5.11’s Illinois and Wisconsin territory manager was on hand to talk up 5.11 products and to hand out very nice 5.11 ball caps.
The new facility is very, very nice. It’s a modern, high-class retail establishment, something Central Illinois can be proud of. It’s kind of like Gander Mountain only with 15-20% lower prices.
If you’re within an hour or three of Normal, IL (really, the west side of Bloomington, IL), do yourself a favor and check this place out. It’s very nice and the people working there are very friendly.