At the Hillsdale College Shooting Sports Center, stu­dents armed with shotguns can now shoot in the basement of the Acusport Lodge. But instead of bullets, these shotguns fire lasers.
The nearly com­pleted AcuSport Lodge now fea­tures an advanced firearms training program called DryFire. With DryFire, stu­dents load “blank” shells into their laser­equipped weapons, which are synced to a sta­tionary target and com­puter.

“The system then dis­plays your shot placement as a graphic on an overhead monitor after each shot,” Range­master Bart Spieth said. “The DryFire system is nice because shooters use real guns, and com­pet­itive shooters can cal­i­brate the system right to their custom fit guns.”
This instan­ta­neous feedback allows shooters to improve without the expen­diture of ammu­nition. Cur­rently, the DryFire system sits in a classroom in the AcuSport Lodge’s basement.

“The new AcuSport Lodge is com­plete on the upper level, and there is more that will be fin­ished on the lower level at a later date,” Spieth said.
Chief Admin­is­trative Officer Rich Péwé said the AcuSport Lodge is roughly 13,000 square feet and will even­tually contain a com­plete classroom for instruction of large classes. The lodge will also contain a gun­smith and gunsafe, so the college can store and work on the firearms at the same place.

“It will cost about $250,000 to finish out the lower level. That money has already been donated,” Péwé said.
The AcuSport Lodge was con­structed on about 100 acres of property that the college pur­chased in 2009. The range also cur­rently fea­tures five stand, skeet, and trap shooting, along with a tem­porary pistol and rifle range. There are several other facil­ities planned including an Olympic Bunker, a sporting clays course, an archery range, and a com­bi­nation pistol and rifle range. “The Olympic Bunker project has pri­ority as of now. We are looking to finish it by this coming fall,” Péwé said.

The project is being funded by a half­million­dollar gift the college received specif­i­cally for the Olympic Bunker Trap range. The presence of an Olympic course would poten­tially attract more donors and com­pe­tition shooters.
“There are not many Olympic Bunker Trap courses in the Midwest. We’d be one of the few,” Péwé said.

The com­pletion of the course would also give shooters the ability to perfect their skills within every dis­ci­pline of shotgun.
In addition to the Olympic bunker, the college also plans to create a sporting clays course. “It’s like golf, but with shotguns,” Péwé said

In sporting clays, con­tes­tants use golf carts to travel to dif­ferent sta­tions where target clays are shot at a variety of tra­jec­tories and dis­tances. The sport is meant to sim­ulate the engagement of live, unpre­dictable game. So far, the college has $175,000 of the required $300,00 to com­plete the course.

“We don’t want to begin con­struction on any­thing until we have the money for that project,” Péwé said.
An archery range is also under con­struction, which will also double as an airgun range.
“The con­struction of the archery range will open the door for a club team,” Péwé said. A donor has sup­plied nearly $100,000 to com­plete the archery field.

A per­manent pistol and rifle range, a 100­meter stretch of land walled in by con­crete struc­tures, is still pending funding. The cost is about $1.l million.
To raise funds for the main­te­nance of the range, the college will charge range fees for stu­dents who use the facil­ities. Firearms classes will also have a range fee attached to the overall course cost. In addition to this, the college may attempt to organize leagues within the local area. Shooters would be able to form teams, pay their fees, and then compete against each other throughout the year.