Maine Military Supply offers, paintball, firing range

Colin Wagner and Tom Gagnon walk by the hemlock castle before a paintball match. The castle is owner Frank Spizuoco’s favorite part of the paintball field. PHOTO BY ALLEN FENNEWALD

Whether it’s with a bang or a splatter, Maine Military Supply has what visitors need for high-caliber fun.

The Bangor area’s combined indoor firing range and paintball course can be found on Main Road in Holden. At the facility, visitors may bring or rent gear to use on the course or range. Paintball, hunting and protection weaponry and accessories are available.

“[My wife and I] came on couples’ night,” John Beyeler said outside the range. “These guys helped us pick out a couple guns to rent. It was a good time. My wife had a blast.”

The more-than-4,000-square-foot, eight-lane firing range opened in 2014. Customers come for target practice, to try out a new gun or to get instruction.

John Beyeler aims a 9-millimeter P226 at the firing range. PHOTO BY ALLEN FENNEWALD

John Beyeler aims a 9-millimeter P226 at the firing range.

There are many guns to choose, from AK-47s to .22 pistols. One of owner Frank Spizuoco’s choice firearms is the blowback-operated bullpup carbine PS90.

“But, you can’t have just one favorite gun. It’s impossible,” he said.

Spizuoco has noticed more women shooting and attending classes since the range opened. In fact, the National Shooting Sports Foundation reported an 85 percent increase in female hunters from 2001 to 2013.

Lauren McGill is among them. At Maine Military Supply, she was on a shooting date with her boyfriend while visiting from Tampa, Fla. The young woman said she shot an AR-15 pretty well. Her boyfriend, Phoenix Fisher, interjected, “She did really well. I didn’t expect her to be that good.”

McGill grinned. That wasn’t her first time. “My grandfather makes his own bullets, so we always go out with the family and shoot.”

Lauren McGill checks the holes on a paper target after shooting an AR-15. PHOTO BY ALLEN FENNEWALD

Lauren McGill checks the holes on a paper target after shooting an AR-15.

Outside the paintball course unfolds. Players trade bullets for colorful nontoxic paint, shot from CO2-powered Tippmann guns. The ammo usually bursts on impact, leaving a splatter on opponents, who are sent out of the game.

Four to 30 people can play on the three-acre wooded course that boasts a two-story hemlock castle, Pontiac sedan and helicopter for added cover. Groups and individuals age 10 and older are welcome.

A Tri-County Tech Center’s law enforcement program holds exercises at Maine Military Supply. The University of Maine football team also has visited. On a recent humid afternoon, half of the IT department from Bangor Savings Bank celebrated their win of the bank’s Impact Award by adding a few coats of paint to their clothes.

“It’s like being inside a video game,” Nick Michaud said. “[Paintball] is an interesting way to build teamwork. It’s definitely better than a day at the office.”

Maine Military Supply

When: Opendaily 9 a.m.-7 p.m., 9 a.m.-5 p.m. on Sundays.

Where: 179 Main Road, Holden

Contact: 989-6783, www.mainemilitary.com, www.facebook.com/MaineMilitarySupplyInc

Playing paintball: $15 field fee, $25 all-day field and rental combo, private parties can reserve by the hour for $60 for half field or $110 for full field.

Shooting range fees: Membership is $150 per year, $15 hourly per person for non-members. Gun rentals $15 per three firearms, ammo not included.

Classes: Free firearm safety introduction, $60 per-hour instruction, $100 basic modern handgun class, $125 defensive shooting class, $100 interstate concealed carry class, $15 Maine hunter safety class.

Allen is an intern for Out & About Magazine and a University of Missouri graduate student, studying investigative and convergence journalism. He was formerly a long-form community beat writer and sports editor/page designer for the Columbia Missourian.