A new shooting range and gun shop is hitting its mark in Sabraton.

➼ Defense in Depth (DID) says it takes a 360-degree approach to defense—and it means that literally and figuratively. This state-of-the-art shooting range and gun shop caters to everyone: women, beginners, firearms enthusiasts, military, seniors, children, and law enforcement. It does that by emphasizing gun safety training, personal defense training, and skill enhancement through the use of shooting lanes, lessons, and a mind-blowing simulator room where you can experience realistic full-size self-defense scenarios or rid the world of zombies. Did I mention that you can shoot zombies?

When Glenmark had a vacancy in its Sabraton Plaza, owners Mark R. Nesselroad and Mark J. Nesselroad sought to fill the empty building with something that would provide value to the area. During a trip to Florida, the senior Nesselroad stumbled on an ultramodern firearms retail and training facility and quickly felt that there was a need for a similar concept in Morgantown. The Nesselroads partnered with former Centra Bank president and avid big game hunter Doug Leech Jr. and began researching the industry. “The need was not only to fill a future vacant space but also a void in the Morgantown-area community,” says Mark J. Nesselroad. “We wanted to create a multifaceted, safe, comfortable, and exciting facility with expert staff dedicated to educating and informing the community about firearms.”

DID has 16 shooting lanes for handguns or rifles that are outfitted with ballistic panels, a programmable target carrier and retrieval system, sound abatement, and ventilation. If you are a member of DID—memberships start at $40 a month—you get unlimited complimentary range use. It also offers beginner, intermediate, and advanced-level training courses. You can learn about active shooter response, youth firearm safety, precision shooting, and enhanced concealed carry. Training courses range from $50 to $150.

“At DID, someone who has never shot a firearm can learn firearm operation and safety basics in a training room and then become comfortable shooting in a dry-fire simulator with multiple laser-based guns designed to imitate real firearms,” says Nesselroad. “He or she can then progress to laser-based and real firearms in a live-fire simulator, practice with rentable firearms to decide which best fits someone’s needs before purchasing, and graduate to upper-level courses, technique training, safety exercises, and self-paced fun.”

The 180-degree, 33-foot-wide simulator offers more than 800 life-size scenarios for training and entertainment. You are given a realistic laser or a CO2-operated training firearm, and then you step into the shooting zone and a scene unfolds before you—it could be dancing snowmen or a person breaking into your home. The simulator can also be rented—members get a 50 percent discount—and is popular for events like birthday parties, team-building activities, bachelor and bachelorette parties, and business and client meetings.

DID also has an impressive gun store with a wide selection of firearms, ammunition, magazines, sights, optics, knives, pepper spray, Tasers, holsters, and range bags. There is even an on-site gunsmith. The retail shop allows customers to try before they buy.

DID is hitting its target, and the response to its membership packages has far exceeded the owners’ expectations. “We aren’t a typical shooting range,” Nesselroad says. “We place a strong emphasis on learning about firearms, proper shooting techniques, and personal safety. We believe a community educated and informed about firearms and defense is a safer community.”

1389 Earl L. Core Road, 304.554.3363, defenseindepth.pro


written by Nikki Bowman
photographed by Carla Witt Ford

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