Thunderbird Tactical to embark on $5 million expansion in northeast Wichita

An artist’s rendering of what the new Thunderbird Tactical will look like.

UPDATED — Most business people would consider it a pretty big leap to do what Ryan and Jennifer Pennock are about to do.

They’re planning to move their Thunderbird Tactical from a 1,000-square-foot retail space in Delano to a more than 26,000-square-foot store with a shooting range on the east side.

Ryan Pennock is almost nonchalant about it, though.

“This was always our end game,” he says.

The Pennocks opened their store three years ago at 406 N. Seneca. Ryan Pennock says it was a different economic climate for borrowing then.

“We just didn’t have enough capital to do this facility,” he says of what they’re now planning.

“We’re pretty proud of what we’ve been able to do,” Pennock says. “We’re busy, busy, busy,”

The Pennocks aren’t sharing precisely where they’re planning to build just yet, but Ryan Pennock says it’s in northeast Wichita and has easy access to K-96.

“It’s a big difference,” he says of what’s in the works.

The Pennocks have been contracting with an outdoor range for customer training. With the new location, there will be 24 shooting lanes, all of which will be air conditioned and have HEPA filtration.

That’s significant, Pennock says, because the store will particularly cater to professionals, such as workers who want to pop in over their lunch hours for shooting practice.

Along with a high level of service, Pennock says the store will have two classrooms and offer expanded training.

A rendering of what the shooting complex will look like at the new Thunderbird Tactical.

Thunderbird Tactical focuses on defensive, tactical and competitive shooting.

“We’ve established ourselves as the leader when you need those things,” Pennock says.

He expects to close on the deal in late August or early September and open in the new space by early next summer.

Pennock says it’s a more than $5 million project.

“There’s a need for it,” he says.

Pennock says the shooting gallery will be the largest in the state and the second-largest in the Midwest.

“Now we’re not going to be an upstart.”