High Ridge, Mo — The Missouri Department of Conservation’s (MDC) Jay Henges Shooting Range has received the enviable 4-star rating from the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF). According to the NSSF announcement, the Jay Henges Range was awarded the rating because the range “introduced new features, and improved on existing conditions, while extending hours and building staff.”
The NSSF went on to commend the range, stating that “the resulting customer service, solid accountability and active communication have raised annual traffic to more than 40,000, making it one of the most visited public shooting ranges in the Midwest.”
The NSSF is the trade association for the firearms industry said Jay Henges Shooting Range Supervisor Jake Hindman. "It’s an honor for them to give us their stamp of approval.”
The NSSF rating was a culmination of a goal Hindman and the Henges staff have worked two years to attain.
“We’ve always been committed to customer service and this was an opportunity to increase our customer service based on the extensive criteria they have,” explained Hindman. “After reviewing the criteria, we noticed some things we could change and worked hard to make improvements.”
Some of the accomplishments that have distinguished the Henges Shooting Range during the past two years include expanding its hours of operation, creating a 15-target 3-D walk through archery range, and increasing educational programs for the public.
Henges also underwent a complete rifle and pistol range renovation giving it state-of-the-art safety features and the capacity to capture and recycle all projectiles fired. It also improved outreach efforts with enhanced Yellow Pages listings and signage along I-44.
“It sets us apart and establishes those bench marks of what a shooter should expect if they come to our facility,” Hindman said of the rating. “We’ve met the criteria of what NSSF believes a shooting range should be.”
Hindman likened the NSSF’s rating to those given to golf courses. Avid golfers seek out the 5-star courses because they know they can expect the best golfing experiences. Hindman believes Henges 4-star rating will likewise appeal to shooters seeking the best shooting opportunities.
The NSSF’s rating is based on a maximum of 5 stars. To attain a 5-star rating, a range must meet additional criteria that include offering a pro shop, sale of firearms and ammunition, and food service. Hindman said that as a tax payer-funded entity, offering these additional luxury amenities was neither appropriate nor essential to the range’s and Conservation Department’s mission of providing a safe range to serve its shooting and hunting customers.
Hindman pointed out that the range does however provide firearms and ammunition at no charge for most of their introductory level programs.
“We received the highest rating we could receive without selling firearms and ammunition,” Hindman said. “We are honored to have received such a rating from the NSSF. It’s something we’ve been working toward for a while.”
The Jay Henges Shooting Range complex provides a safe environment for novice to experienced shooters. The complex includes a 100-yard, baffled, rifle/pistol range with 20 covered booths with target placement at 7, 15, 25, 50, 75 or 100 yards. A nominal fee of $3 per hour per booth is charged, which includes ear and eye protection and paper targets. Additional facilities include 3 trap fields, a shotgun patterning range, a 3-D walk-though archery range and a 4 target static archery range.
The Jay Henges Range is located at 1100 Antire Road, off I-44 in High Ridge, and is currently operating under its winter hours of Wednesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. More information can be obtained by calling the range at (636) 938-9548.