Joe Rufiange has a lot in his sights.
At 31, he owns and operates On Target Firearms & Indoor Range, he’s planning an addition and renovation to the 1852 Bridge Street facility, and he and his wife have a 9-week-old son at home.
And then there’s the Toy Drive he’s running for Shriners Hospital for Children. In addition to toys for infants and toddlers, he’s collecting room decorations, children’s books, colored pencils and more. On Target will match every donation, and everyone who donates will be entered into a raffle to win a half-year membership. You can drop off items for the Toy Drive through December 16, 2021.
The Dracut native and lifelong resident was 21 when he got his firearms license.
“I went up to a store in New Hampshire, and I decided it was right up my alley, that this is what I want to do.”
In 2013, at age 23, he opened a retail gun store at Bridgewood Plaza on Bridge Street. Four years later, he built a shooting range up the street a couple hundred yards and moved the retail operation there. Now he’s ready to take the next step.
“There was a need for this in Dracut,” Joe says, adding that On Target is one of only six public ranges with a retail store in the state.
He hopes to have a storage facility built next to the range, as well as the showroom renovated by next summer.
The popularity of firearms, Joe says, is rising up the charts with a bullet, and he wants to increase the caliber of his offerings, with an eye on training and On Target’s state-approved classes.
“It’s widened so much,” Joe says. “We see people anywhere from age 21 to 79 or 80. Every age group, male, female -- it doesn’t matter. It’s the new Friday night bowling.”
A recent Saturday saw a highly popular Smith & Wesson Day, with the firearms manufacturer offering specials, and Joe is planning a Sig Day in early 2022.
So drop off a toy before December 16 and maybe even take some shooting practice while you’re there. You may find you feel right at home on the range.