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South St. Paul Rod & Gun is more than a shooting range
The non-profit South St. Paul Rod & Gun Club is a casual, safe, family-friendly shooting range tucked along the picturesque backwaters of the Mississippi River near the intersection of Interstate 494 and Concord Street.
The club was established in 1935 and is the only year-round, full-service outdoor shooting club in the heart of the Twin Cities. Only a 10-minute drive from downtown St. Paul, the Rod & Gun Club has six trap shooting and three skeet shooting fields, sporting clays and five stand shooting options.
The facility is available for practice, leagues, special member shoots and tournaments. It offers corporate and group outings that provide a unique venue for team building.
There is also a pro shop where you can stock up on shells, earplugs and apparel, plus a bar and grill, banquet room and outdoor pavilion.
The club hosts leagues and seasonal tournaments where competitors test their shooting prowess.
“We have one of the largest kids trap and sporting clays tournaments in the country,” general manager Don Deeb says.
The club is rooted in the local community, holding many fundraisers throughout the year. “This summer we’ll have a Vietnam veterans’ fundraiser shoot, and I think it’s going to be one of the largest yet,” Deeb explains. He adds this veterans’ shoot is not only to benefit Minnesota’s veterans, but military service members nationwide.
“We really like to do fundraisers and help the community. Any time anybody comes here with a charitable fundraiser, we’re more than generous in giving away memberships, shooting ventures, games and food for raffles,” says club member Pearl Carsner Doody.
The club hosts the South St. Paul Lions shoot and an event for the Paralyzed Veterans of America. There is also the YESS4MN Youth Shooting Fair, and many other leagues and events to promote youth development. The club awards four, $2,000 scholarships to local students every year, and has given away more than $100,000 since the program’s inception.
“We have 11 schools that shoot here as part of the Minnesota Clay Target League, with a couple more being added this year,” Deeb says. He explains that more than 500 students come to the club to shoot, adding that the fastest growing team sport in Minnesota high schools is clay target shooting, with some 12,000 kids participating this past year.
Doody notes that women’s shooting is the fastest growing demographic in the gun club world, and South St. Paul Rod & Gun Club hosts women’s shoots, clinics and classes.
“We have more women now than we’ve ever had,” she says. “We have leagues that have teams of all women, which is new for us.”
With more than 800 members, the South St. Paul Rod & Gun Club is also open to the general public. The staff can do federal firearm license transfers, gun rentals, ammunition sales, private or group lessons, National Rifle Association certification classes and gun safety classes. Experienced or first-time shooters are all welcome.
Check out the club’s webpage or Facebook for upcoming events and promotions.