Tripoli’s Triggers making better shots

After 40 years of shooting competitively, Frank Tripoli decided to pull the trigger on a lifelong dream and started his own gun shop.

Tripoli’s Triggers Inc., 531 Washington Boulevard, was created in 1999 and specialized in selling semiautomatic pistols, revolvers and hunting rifles.

One of the most popular handguns Tripoli has sold over the years have been Glock handguns, but the store has recently upgraded their inventory to include Kimber, H&K, Sig Sauer, Smith and Wesson, Taurus, Savage Arms, Remington and Wincester.

Though not much of what’s hanging in the front of the store has changed, Tripoli’s has since added an award winning eight lane indoor shooting range that mirrors those used by the FBI and the Air Force Academy.

Tripoli said having an indoor range in the gun shop was something he’s always wanted to do and in 2005, he joined with other organizations in the county to create The Firearms Training and Educational Center.

The center is the only lead free non-toxic range in Pennsylvania that’s open to the public and was named Shot Business’ Range of the Year in 2007, Tripoli said.

At the range, shooters have access to everything they need to become better shots.

They can control the distance of the target, turn it sideways and even have it move toward them as they practice accuracy on a target that’s moving toward them, Tripoli said.

“Shooting is like bowling, tennis or golf,” Tripoli said explaining the need for firearms training. “You have to learn the fundamentals. If you bowl once a week you aren’t going to be as good as you would if you do it everyday. Shooting is the same.”

Tripoli offers five levels of courses varying in experience and difficulty.

He takes two people at a time to ensure that they get one-on-one training, he said.

In the first level, he teaches students how to stand, how to properly hold the firearm, how to find a site picture and aspects of trigger control.

“Trigger control is the most important aspect of shooting,” he said. “It’s 95 percent of the accuracy of shooting a gun.”

The last stage, level five, gives shooters a slice of a real life scenario in where a different target is placed in each lane and a shooter only has a small and crucial window of time to decide whether or not to yank the trigger before the lights revealing the different images shut off.

The exercise is used by the FBI and gives shooters experience in decisive decision making, Tripoli said.

Level one of the training is even included as one of Pennsylvania College of Technology’s Workforce Development and Continuing Education courses.

In 2006, the National Association of Shooting Ranges awarded Tripoli’s Triggers Firearms Training and Educational Center five stars one of only 13 to receive the honor at the time. It is one of 70 now, he said.

The praise is well deserved, but the real reward for Tripoli is what he receives from the people that come to shoot.

“I’ve enjoyed the majority of the people that come in, because I learn from them,” he said. “A lot of the classes are a combination of what I know and what I’ve learned from being with them one-on-one.”