Shooting Range Open House A Well-Aimed Success

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A Payson Police SWAT team demonstration that included the explosion of a diversionary device -- sometimes called "Flash-Bang" -- alongside rapid-fire bursts from a fully automatic rifle were among the highlights of the Tonto Rim Sports Club 2007 Open House and Outdoor Expo.

The event, which drew 200-plus visitors May 6 to Jim Jones Shooting Range, south of Payson, included a myriad of other activities, such as recreational shooting in archery, cowboy, tactical, black powder, small and large bore and silhouette target.

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Tonto Rim Sports Club member Hank Marquardt, wearing his buckskins, shows a spectator how to safely fire a black powder muzzleloader.

Following the demonstration, visitors were allowed to practice firing .22 rifles.

Public Relations Officer Charlie Thompson called the open house a complete success.

"We signed up 33 new members and a lot of families attended," he said. "We are already planning for next year and will have even more vendors."

The vendors were on hand, as they will be next year, to answer questions about hunting and archery products and services.

Also participating were the Payson Fire Department and the Gila County Sheriff's Office Search and Rescue team.

The Tonto Rim Sports Club was founded in 1979, with the purpose of encouraging organized and safe shooting among Rim Country sportsman.

Members are taught safe handling and proper care of firearms and have the opportunity to improve their marksmanship on the range named in honor of late Gila County Supervisor Jim Jones, who helped secure the permit and design the facility.

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