Beretta guns now have a presence at the Clark County Shooting Complex, and officials are banking on the famous Italian firearms to help boost the range’s profile and attract more tourists.
The firearms became available at the county-run facility this week, drawing a steady stream of enthusiasts on Friday.
One of the complex’s busiest days of the year is the Friday after Thanksgiving, when visitors and families off for the holiday weekend make the post-Turkey Day trek for target practice.
The shooting complex is stocked with about 45 Beretta firearms, which are available for rent, but not for sale. They include a mix of shotguns, handguns and rifles.
Brian Cirricione, 31, of Las Vegas was visiting the complex Friday to shoot at sporting clays with Beretta shotguns.
“They’re great guns,” he said. “They shoot very well.”
“They’re pretty smooth,” he said of the 12-gauge shotguns his group of four sportsmen used.
Part of that smoothness comes because Beretta firearms are tailored for veteran enthusiasts and for the newbies. Vents reduce the pressure from gas that builds up when the shotguns are fired, keeping the recoil at a minimum, a plus for beginners unaccustomed to a sharp kickback.
Cirricione’s brother, Mike Cirricione, 31, was visiting from Simi Valley, Calif., for the holiday weekend. He described himself as a beginner, adding that the guns are easy to use and learn.
“The kickback doesn’t seem too bad,” he said.
Their friend echoed praises of the firearms.
“It’s a great shotgun,” said Michael Haupt, 24, of Las Vegas, a friend of Cirricione’s. “It has a lot less recoil than a semi-automatic shotgun.”
Having Beretta firearms adds one more draw for tourists looking for attractions beyond the Strip.
“Now we have something that they might want to come out and try,” said Steve Carmichael, program administrator at the complex. “They recognize the Beretta name.”
The shooting complex, located on 2,880 acres 5 miles north of the 215 Beltway on North Decatur Boulevard, has an archery center, sporting clays at 30 stations, a shotgun center with trap and skeet, and a rifle-pistol center.
The world-class facility opened in 2009 when county officials hoped it would financially break even and attract locals and tourist traffic. Efforts to boost visitors to the complex increased this year with more marketing and the Beretta sponsorship.
Under the agreement, Beretta provides the firearms free of charge to the county complex in exchange for being the official sponsor of the complex’s rental operations and pro shop. And Beretta will replace or repair the firearms as needed over the next five years.
Beretta firearms are sold by dealers throughout the Las Vegas Valley.
The diversity of the complex’s ranges for handguns, shotguns and rifles is a good match for Beretta, Carmichael said.
“We’re not just about shotguns,” Carmichael said. “We’re not just about rifles.”
Beretta’s roots date to 1526, when Mastro Bartolomeo Beretta sold 185 barrels to the Arsenal of Venice, according to the company’s website.
Beretta U.S.A. earlier this year announced plans to move its manufacturing facilities from Maryland to Gallatin, Tenn., after more stringent gun control laws were enacted in Maryland.
The Clark County Shooting Complex’s winter hours through Feb. 28 are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursdays through Sundays, and 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Wednesdays. It is closed Mondays and Tuesdays, with the exception of special events.
For more information on the range, call 702-455-2000 or visit clarkcountynv.gov/shootingcomplex.
Contact Ben Botkin at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-405-9781. Find him on Twitter: @BenBotkin1.
When to Go
The Clark County Shooting Complex’s winter hours through Feb. 28 are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursdays through Sundays, and 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Wednesdays. It is closed Mondays and Tuesdays, with the exception of special events. To find out more, call 702-455-2000 and visit clarkcountynv.gov/shootingcomplex.