Gun for Hire. A firearms facility like no other. My wife and I purposefully made the 1.5 hour pilgrimage to what I’d heard was the best range setting in the state of NJ. It’s unfortunate that Anthony Colandro can’t franchise his vision, because the bar has been set ridiculously high for everyone else. Tucked inconspicuously in the town of Woodland Park, one would never be able to estimate the magnitude and scope of the 2nd Amendment supporter’s dream. We opted not to bring our own firearms, as we planned an entire day of “all things gunpowder”, and thus a later trip in the opposite southern direction to my reloading supplier was in order: although my supplier is an FFL, any other stop we made would result in our fear of an “unreasonable deviation” under NJ law. GFH has their own growing stable of firearms for rent, and I naturally wanted to test some handguns I didn’t already own to eventually add to my collection. Namely, a compact 9mm which I would be able to concealed carry in a free state-thanks of course to my previous partaking in a mobile GFH class obtaining my UT CCW.
First order of business on arrival? Sustenance. To the Rifle Camp Cafe. Pleasantly welcomed with delicious sandwiches at reasonable prices, one doesn’t think twice about the coming and going of other firearms owners physically carrying their firearms into the cafe for a meal. Like it should be. As it happened, Instructor Charlie Padula was getting a quick bite to eat himself, and we spoke about the hot commodity that is his UT CCW class. Charlie was genuinely interested to know the speed at which the free state issued me my carry permit, and we made small talk before he had to get back to business.
After fueling up, we moved on to the welcome desk, where we were pleasantly greeted, and eagerly signed Anthony’s petition for NRA BOD run. Walking about in the brightly lit facility, drinking in the scenes of classroom training centers, recording center for GFH Radio, the range facilities, and a proverbial “wall of guns” and memorabilia related to anything and everything having to do with personal protection.
As expected, Anthony Colandro has a full schedule, his workdays consisting generally of no less than a 14 hour day, and is always on the go. I managed to catch up with him, and even though we’d never met in person, it was as though 2 brothers who had been separated by many miles were reunited for a short time. Some good natured ribbing about making sure that we shoot, and my wife had picked out 3 handguns in 9mm for us to each take a turn shooting. We chose our targets for the day, grabbed our range bags, and headed in. The RSO’s immediately queried our needs for the port, and explained the basics of the port controls. Digital distance monitors allow you to know exactly how far you’re shooting, and a target flip button which allows you to spin your target 180 degrees, as well as convenient thoughtful cubbies for your gear and extra targets are some of the highlights. The RSO’s were understanding of my request to keep my brass, and even made the effort to sweep them up for me as we shot each magazine.
Reluctantly we returned our rentals, and I didn’t even need to chase down Anthony for a celebrity photo op in front of the GFH Radio studio.
The staff is courteous, knowledgable, and friendly, which is a clear indication that working at GFH mostly isn’t “work” at all. The one thing I was struck by is what must be disconcerting to the staff was that constantly pumping through the audio speakers placed throughout: previous episodes of GFH Radio. I suppose the staff needs to be on their toes-not knowing if the Colandro voice they hear in the background is recorded, or the boss turning the corner.
By leaps and bounds, Gun for Hire is THE premier firearms facility in the state. I applaud Anthony for realizing his vision, as well as the entire GFH staff and everyone else (including Anthony’s wife!) who certainly put a metric ton of effort into making this happen.
Sadly, due to my distance, as well as many of life’s other commitments-I am unable to justify a regular membership at GFH. But rest assured that both my wife and I WILL be taking any one of the many training courses offered at GFH. I know that Anthony looks forward to meeting the like minded individuals just as much as we enjoy meeting him. Because Gun for Hire is about so much more than just firearms: it’s about freedom, situational awareness, personal protection, and above all, making sure that anyone and everyone has the necessary knowledge to be prepared for whatever crisis that life might unfortunately throw at us.
I can’t say enough good things about GFH, so I’ll end this review by saying: We will NOT comply!
Mark L – 5 Stars