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Powder Room Shooting Range and Training Center opens in Panama City Beach

Nathan Cobb
The News Herald

PANAMA CITY BEACH — Gun enthusiasts now have a new place to hone their skills on the Beach. 

The Powder Room Shooting Range and Training Center officially opened last week after more than a year of construction. Located near the intersection of Panama City Beach Parkway (Back Beach Road) and Griffin Boulevard, the 17,000-square-foot facility boasts 14 shooting lanes, a guns and ammo shop and training simulator. It was developed by the St. Joe Company.

Gabriel Attalla, a Panama City Beach resident, takes a shot at the Powder Room Shooting Range and Training Center on Monday.

"It's exhilarating to see the finish of this and get it open," said Joe Preston, Powder Room manager. "That attitude seems to be mirrored by the public as well."

More:St. Joe Company begins work on state-of-the-art shooting range

More:Indoor shooting range around corner for PCB

Preston, a retired lieutenant colonel of the Walton County Sheriff's Office, added that the establishment is designed around a "crawl, walk, run mentality," meaning patrons are properly trained and educated before stepping on the range. 

This is done with the help of a shooting simulator, which uses a projector, sensors and fake gun to help guests practice their shot, develop muscle memory and save ammo.

Barry Hatton, training coordinator for the Powder Room Shooting Range and Training Center, uses the facility's shooting simulator on Monday.

"A lot of folks buy a gun and it may or may not be the right gun for them, not only depending on their intended use, but depending on their size (and) depending on their physical stature and capability," Preston said. "When you take that gun ... and you go out and shoot it and don't understand the fundamentals, it can become very frustrating very quick, and it can get very expensive because you go through a lot of ammo until you finally begin to learn." 

More:Panama City Beach slated to welcome its first indoor shooting range in December

Among those at the Powder Room last week was Tyler Deeler, a Panama City Beach resident, who said he was there to browse and check out the Beach's first shooting range. 

The shooting simulator uses a projector, sensors and fake gun to help guests practice their shot, develop muscle memory and save ammo.

The avid shooter, who added that he owns a couple of assault rifles and handguns, said he believed it's good to have a range in PCB to help educate more people about firearms. 

"It's (in) a very non-rural area, so it's not quite as common," Deeler said. 

According to Preston, the range was designed for not only civilians, but also law enforcement and military, who can access a variety of scenarios through the facility's training simulator. 

The Powder Room Shooting Range and Training Center opened Saturday in Panama City Beach after more than a year of construction.

He also said that a few kinks still are being worked out of the business' website, but once it's complete, guests will be able to register to use the range and simulator online.

The simulator is $35 per hour, while the range is $19.99 per hour for one person. A second person can share the lane for an extra $10. The facility is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

"(The Powder Room) is not just something that's geared toward one particular group or segment, it's (has a) very broad appeal to a lot of different folks," Preston said.