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JACK COSTELLO, the owner of Sleepy Creek Sports and former coach of the Junior Olympic Sporting Clays Team,
said it's "safety first" at his shotgun range. Eye and ear protection are mandatory for every person on the range. Shotguns are loaded only on the firing line and when not in use are kept in the open breach position.
Costello holds National Rifle Association (NRA) certification as a firearms instructor and as chief range safety officer. He also holds an instructor's certificate from the National Sporting Clay Association.
Located just off Rt. 13, the shotgun range is in a secluded wooded area near Stotler's Crossroads.
Unlike trap or skeet where clay "pigeons" are launched ahead of the shooter, sporting clays are launched from a variety of angles and trajectories. Trap and skeet shooters also remain at the same location while shooting. The sporting clays range operated by Costello has 16 different shooting stations.
"Each station offers a different challenge to the shooter," he said.
Costello said only shotguns may be used at the range. The shotguns used in sporting clays events are double-barrel "Over-and-Under" style and are available at the range. Shooters may bring their own shotguns, he said.
During the off-season, small game hunters can use the range to keep their skills sharp, Costello said. The targets can be sent bounding across the ground like rabbit, pass over head like duck, or low and fast like quail from underfoot, he said.
Costello uses biodegradable targets so as not to litter the woods with ceramic or plastic chips. All empty cartridges are recovered and recycled by ammunition reloaders.
Costello offers a program for beginners which includes the use of an over-and-under shotgun, safety equipment, shooting supplies and the N.R.A. "First Steps Shotgun" course.
For information about the range or firearms instruction, call 261-5865 or 258-3271.
İMorgan Messenger 2001