Henges rifle/pistol range closes temporarily for upgrade

High Ridge, Mo. — The rifle/pistol range at the Missouri Department of Conservation's (MDC) Jay Henges Shooting Range will shut down for approximately one week starting Aug. 20 to allow for an upgrade to the bullet trap.

The work is expected to be completed in time to allow rifle and pistol shooting to resume normal operating hours on Aug. 29. It is possible work may be completed in less time. If so, the range will reopen sooner. Shooters wanting the latest status are encouraged to call the Henges Range at (636) 938-9548. This information will also be posted on the range’s homepage at http://mdc.mo.gov/regions/st-louis/jay-henges-shooting-range.

The trap fields, shotgun patterning and archery ranges will remain open during this time.

The new bullet trap was installed as part of an extensive renovation project completed in October 2010. Its design objective was to contain all projectiles on the range, isolate them from the environment, and allow the projectiles to be collected for recycling.

“After a recent inspection,” said Henges Shooting Range Supervisor Jake Hindman, “staff noticed that the throat on the bullet trap was starting to close in certain places.” According to Hindman, Action Target, Inc. (AT), the contractor that installed the bullet trap, was contacted immediately.

AT indicated at high-use ranges such as Henges, repeated fire into the throat of the trap with rifle rounds can eventually cause the metal in the mouth plates to bow. They further indicated they would stand behind their products and replace the affected areas with an upgrade free of charge as warranty service.

“The repair that we are going to do is to replace the current mouth plates with an upgraded, heavy duty design,” said AT Technical Support Specialist Blake Seamons. “We have changed from 3/8-inch steel to 1/2-inch plate. They also have extra supports built in that strengthen the design. We will also add supports that connect the upper mouth to the boom arms.”

According to Seamons, the upgrades are a result of seeing the same thing happen on other ranges that experience very heavy rifle fire. “They have been implemented on these ranges and are also what all current rifle-rated traps that we sell come with,” Seamons said.

The Jay Henges Shooting Range is currently operating on its summer hour schedule, which is 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Thursday through Sunday, and 1p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday. The range is closed Monday and Tuesday. The range will switch to winter hours on Sept. 1, which are Wednesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. 4:30 p.m.

The Jay Henges Shooting Range is located off I-44 at 1100 Antire Road in High Ridge, and is owned and operated by the Missouri Department of Conservation.

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