MUSKEGON, MI (March 27, 2019) – Gun guy, Gary Mol, likes to dump a lot of lead. He always has. Sometimes, public shooting ranges merely cramp his style. Other times, they don’t meet his needs at all.
“I was tired of going to ranges and being told what I could shoot and when I could shoot it,” says Mol, founder of American Range Systems. “I wanted something I could put anywhere I wanted that would stop anything I fired into it.”
Mol went to work on his idea about eight years ago. Today, American Range Systems offers a truly impressive line of what Mol calls “the strongest and safest bullet traps ever made.”
“We started with a unit built to stop rifles, because I do a lot of that type of shooting,” recalls Mol, who built that first bullet trap in his garage. “From there, we eventually developed 22 different models—everything from units designed for .22s all the way up to move-and-shoot units that can stop a 30mm cannon round.”
Mol says the last eight years have been a period of continual growth, testing and refinement, honing the product line and establishing the American Range Systems brand. His wife, Beth, is the owner of A.R.S. and is his main business partner. “We have a beautiful product line that covers everything anyone could want,” she says. “These units are 200-percent stronger than the first designs. I sleep well at night. There’s nothing you can do to hurt these products, short of throwing them out of a plane.”
American Range Systems’ growing sales reflect a global market, with customers from nearly 20 countries, ranging from people shooting in their basements to companies that must proof-test rifles and ammunition, law enforcement and military organizations and more.
“These products let you transform any space into a range,” says Mol. “I’ve got a customer in Texas who has one (an American Range Systems bullet trap) on each side of his television screen in his living room. They are also going into a lot of basements, barns and backyards, but we’re also selling them to forensic labs, pawn shops, law-enforcement agencies and gunsmiths.”
Mol’s words have deep implications of freedom for the shooting enthusiast. Why? Because once one considers and complies with any relevant local ordinances or regulations, A.R.S. products make it possible to safely shoot—indoors or outdoors—on one’s own property. That’s a big deal.
For the private user, Mol points out a couple benefits of an A.R.S. bullet trap. “Aside from shooting anything you want wherever you want, you can shoot as close as you want, too, which is great for self-defense pistol drills,” says Mol. “And hunting enthusiasts who like to work up their own wildcat loads can set a unit in their basement or garage near their reloading bench and shoot through a chronograph and do all the range work you could never do at a public range. Public ranges won’t let you set up your Skyscreen and chronograph, and they for sure won’t let you reload cartridges and tweak those cartridges while you’re shooting.”
Some established indoor range target and trap systems can cost upwards of $150,000 per lane. Mol points out that people can own an A.R.S. unit for a fraction of that. “We’re bigger, stronger and cost less money,” he says. “We even have a unit you can place against a wall and shoot .50 BMG armor-piercing rounds into. I’ve been to thousands of indoor ranges and I’m not aware of any that let you bring a .50 inside to shoot.”
Besides the safety benefits of his bullet traps, Mol also sees them as solutions to the problems associated with lead contamination at both public and private outdoors ranges.
“With our bullet traps, we decided to change the way you catch a bullet,” says Mol. “Instead of hitting a deflection plate and having the bullet explode and be caught inside the trap, bullets are just slowed down in our traps. It’s called inelastic collision. Because we are just slowing it down, the bullets are whole; there’s no dust and there’s no fragmentation. So when you open the unit or shoot into it, you’re not looking at an environmental or pollution problem.”
Traps installed inside homes have driven about 60 percent of A.R.S.’s past sales with private customers. Mol says a good safe moving company can help ensure the unit gets properly transported and set up. One factor is the dimensions of the unit and the size of the windows and doors in a building. He said the units don’t weight much more per square foot of floor space than some big refrigerators, gun safes, hot tubs or other appliances.
The most popular A.R.S. Model is the Warrior 858, then the Ranger 280 (for pistols). The numeric designation is simply a reflection of the number of the square inches on the face of the trap. Models that fit through a standard door are popular. In the popular Warrior line, the 858 is just a little bigger than the 540. “The Warrior 540 is the smallest model we make that’ll stop everything,” says Mol. “The crème de la crème would be the Warrior 858 Max model. It is fully armor plated and easily handle .50 cal. full auto. We’ve sold a lot of those to people who need it for shooting .50’s, but we’ve also sold a lot to people who simply want the biggest, baddest trap we make.”
All American Range System products are manufactured in the U.S.A. For more information, visit AmericanRangeSystems.com.