Fusion Gun Range Part I

Posted: August 15, 2013 in Product Reviews, Vendor Reviews
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This is the first post in a multi-part review of Fusion Gun Range in Forney, TX.  I came across Fusion at the Mesquite Gun Show earlier this year and took advantage of their show-only offer of half off a one-year membership.  Now, Forney is quite a drive from Carrollton and I would not normally be interested in any outdoor range in that area unless Angelina Jolie and Kate Beckinsale were the full-time RSO’s.  My parents, however, live about 20 minutes from the range and I’m visiting them several times a month to help with my stepfather’s health issues.  Might as well get some decent practice in while I’m there 🙂

I was told the range was in a very early state of development.  As it happens, the entire property is being developed in roughly three stages. Fusion is currently working on getting the first phase to a reasonable stopping point.  So, I will do at least three total reviews and this post covers my impressions of the current state of the phase-I development.

The range is located at approximately the intersection of I-20 and FM 740, adjacent to Cousins Paintball range.  In fact, you enter at Cousins and drive around the periphery of that facility (follow the signs to ‘gun range’).  When the road forks, you want to go left, and then make the final left turn before the road ends.  It was a bit confusing on my very first visit, but the signage is better now.

The range has both per-use and membership fee structures.  Qualification is required before the range may be used to ensure that all shooters have a reasonable level of firearms safety understanding.  A Texas CHL, for example, is a suitable pre-requisite for membership.  Fusion allows rapid-fire, drawing from holster, shooting on the move, and pretty much any other form of realistic training, so solid firearms skills and safety understanding are paramount.   And, speaking of safety, a 180-degree rule is always in effect and in the case of multiple shooters at different distances, you must take turns shooting and shooters in front must move behind the person(s) shooting at a longer distance before that person(s) loads.

Range use is currently by appointment only to ensure no interference with classes and that a qualified RSO is on site at all times.  So far, I’ve had pretty decent success at arranging Saturday sessions, usually around noon after a class completes.

Everyone has different expectations from an outdoor range.  Some people perfer a more country-club like setup with a lot of fixed structures.  I personally gravitate towards a more minimalist, fluid setup where a very wide variety of scenarios can be practiced at every session.  That means little or no permanent structure.  For example, I really enjoyed pistol training with Scott Caylor at his father’s property last summer.  The only fixed structures were an open area with a metal cover for shade and a horseshoe-shaped berm.  The practice area had three steel targets of varying size and each could be moved.  That setup made it possible to construct a very wide variety of practice scenarios at distances up to about 40 yards.

I like Fusion’s setup which is minimalist in construction and all equipment can be moved to allow a wide variety of practice scenarios at an equally wide variety of distances.  Target stands are provided or you may bring outdoor targets.  I often setup an orange gong or one of the cube/sphere self-healing targets on the berm.  At my last session, a representative of Ghost Targets setup some of  their targets.  Ghost Targets are allowed and a couple of the Fusion guys were even testing the exploding targets.  So, the range promotes a very wide-open environment as long as all participants focus on the three things of greatest importance, namely safety, safety, and safety.

Here are some photos of the current phase-I setup.

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This shows the two-person rifle stand and one of the tents (a pistol lesson was in progress when I took these photos).

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Another rifle stand and a tent.  Shade is good.

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The blue items are drums with wooden tops attached to place range items on.  It’s pretty easy to move the drums, so you can setup a pistol practice station at a very wide variety of distances.  The orange barriers can be moved and allow simulation of shooting through a window area or around the side of a building.  The (dark) target stands may be moved (bring your own tacks or staple-gun to setup your paper targets).

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The berm is much taller than it appears in these photos and will be increased in height another 8 feet from what I’ve been told.  There is nothing behind it for over two miles.  The pistol training session was still in progress and I did not want to be a distraction, so I stood pretty far away for the photos.

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The 200-year old tree is the feature attraction of the range area.  With the shade and a decent breeze, I’ve had no issues with practicing in the noon to 2PM time frame in the dead of summer (bring your own water, though).

At this time, you can practice rifle or pistol up to about 100 yards.  Rifle range will expand in the future.  I won’t comment on other future developments since I’d prefer that Fusion articulate their plans through their own representatives.  Fusion Gun Range has been at Mesquite and Big Town, so there is a good chance you might catch them at an upcoming gun show or you may contact them via their web site for more information.  I’ve really enjoyed my interactions with both the Fusion instructors and other members.  Perhaps I’ll see you out there some time.

– Diligencia, Vis, Celeritas

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