Oahu shooters back at the Koko Head range

Published On: Jan 30 2014 06:18:32 PM HST   Updated On: Jan 30 2014 07:30:57 PM HST

Oahu shooters have their playground back.   After being closed for remediation and renovations, the Koko Head Shooting Complex is back open.

Click here to watch Paula Akana's story.

Shots being fired is music to the ears of the shooters at Koko Head.  Guns are firing during another busy day at the range.

It reopened Saturday after being closed for more than six weeks.

Retiree Paul Culpepper comes to the range to shoot five days a week.

"What did you do when they shut down?" asked Paul Akana.  "I reloaded.  So I was busy reloading.  Got more yard work and did some housework.  Kept myself busy," said Culpepper.

The city closed the range on Dec. 7 for renovations stemming from reports of stray bullets in surrounding areas.

"There were three cases.  One by the Hawaii Kai golf course.  They don't know if it came from here, but it is a possibility.  But, that started the whole thing rolling," said Koko Head Range Master Mike Muramoto.

Crews made three big improvements to the rifle range.  They added a green and white eyebrow just in front of the shooters.

"What it helps is reminds people with rifles to aim lower so that they don't shoot up in the air," said Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell.

The mayor visited the range on Thursday talking with shooters.  He pointed out the white sand brought in to re-pad the shooting area was brought in from Kaelepulu Stream.  That sand area and the built-up berm is designed to absorb bullets better and to prevent any ricochets.

"It's better than what it was before.  It had ruts in it and the berm was more or less like this now," said Culpepper.  "It's like this so when you hit, you hit here and slide off."

Close to 30,000 shooters use this rifle range each year.  It's the only public rifle range on the island.

"For the 975,000 local folks to learn about shooting and learn gun safety," said Caldwell.  "This is the only alternative they have an we want to make sure we're providing the best alternative.  The safest place to shoot not only for shooters but for the surrounding community."

"To me, it's my playground," said Culpepper.

The remediation and renovation work cost the city a little over $94,000.  It's more than just rifles at this complex.  There's a pistol range, skeet and trap and even an archery range.


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