Ignoring all politics about gun control, shooting guns can be an incredibly entertaining and satisfying hobby. One of the best ways to get rid of stress that I know of is to take a trip down to the range and put some holes in paper. Shooting is a hobby that calms one down and forces them to focus. I find it rather difficult to worry about day-to-day issues while on the range.
One of the best places to go shooting in the area is West Coast Armory. With two locations, one on SE 32nd less than a mile from Bellevue College and another in Issaquah, West Coast Armory is conveniently located for BC students and residents of the Eastside.
WCA is state of the art, and one of the largest indoor ranges with five stars from the National Shooting Sports Foundation. The ranges have a ventilation system to keep the air clear, motorized target holders and AR500 bulletproof steel partitions between the shooting bays.
West Coast Armory is a gun club, so those wishing to go shooting need to sign up for membership which ranges from extremely reasonable at $25 a year for basic membership to several hundred dollars a year for the higher tiers of membership. Paying the premium prices gives shooters access to the rifle range and free gun rentals.
The staff is incredibly professional, knowledgeable and friendly, happy to teach new shooters all they need to know about gun safety. The last couple times I’ve been there, I saw staff spending a great deal of time talking to new shooters, explaining how different guns work and teaching people anything at all they need to know or are curious about.
The biggest restriction on shooting is age, visitors must be 18 to shoot rifles and 21 to shoot handguns.
The process is quick and easy to get signed up, new visitors are required to read over and sign a waiver and description of rules. Eye protection and ear protection can be rented for extremely cheap, so those wishing to try out the range can do so with little to no preparation on their part.
Those who are not U.S. citizens or have green cards are also able to shoot after participating in a formal competition called the International Challenge. This bypasses the general regulation preventing non-citizens from possessing firearms in the U.S.
I always love going to WCA to go shooting, the culture of safety and professionalism is very comforting to be around. Every employee is focused on safety first and foremost, and all visitors are held to exacting standards of conduct.
For experienced shooters or those wishing to try something new, West Coast Armory is definitely the best location to go shooting in the greater Seattle area. I can’t recommend the range or the staff enough.