Free places to shoot in California?


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Smilin Steve
January 17, 2006, 08:42 PM
Where can I shoot legally other than a range?

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Kevlarman
January 17, 2006, 08:45 PM
Where in Cali are you located?

Smilin Steve
January 17, 2006, 08:52 PM
Orange County

Smilin Steve
January 17, 2006, 08:54 PM
I don't mind a drive either

Mauserguy
January 18, 2006, 01:16 AM
I am in OC as well. I go out to the Palm Springs area all the time. It's a two hour drive, but it is open and legal. Call the Palm Springs BLM field office for details on which canyons are open to the public. They will also outline the boundaries of Joshua Tree National Park. You don't want to stray into the park.
Mauerguy

ArmedBear
January 18, 2006, 01:41 AM
Come on down here to San Diego and we can all shoot. I think I can even beat 2 hours by a little.:)

Black Majik
January 18, 2006, 01:42 AM
Ridgecrest too.

Kevlarman
January 18, 2006, 02:20 AM
Eep.
Rosamond is a lot closer than Ridgecrest. :cool:

merk
January 18, 2006, 10:50 AM
The governors mansion ;)

I kid I kid!

Malone LaVeigh
January 18, 2006, 11:45 AM
It won't help you any, but Spenceville Wildlife Area in Nevada County.

Smilin Steve
January 18, 2006, 03:22 PM
Thanks for all the places, but they are all pretty far. Is there anything closer than Palm Springs (which is an hour and a half drive for me)? I'm not too lazy to make some phone calls, but I don't know who to start with. Thanks again for all the input.

DevLcL
January 18, 2006, 03:28 PM
I live in Norcal and I have the same problem. I really cringe when I see pictures of folks from who-knows-where shooting from their back porch!

I wish I could do that. LOL!

-Dev

BenW
January 18, 2006, 03:58 PM
Try whatever National Forest is closest to you. Websites are somewhat different from Region to Region, but mine for instance, has a section on shooting areas. You shouldn't have to worry about it now, but during fire season, they are often closed.

Creeping Incrementalism
January 18, 2006, 05:14 PM
Find the closest National Forests or BLM land, then check to be sure it's okay to go target shooting. A better board to ask this on is CalGuns.net

In SoCal, I believe some of the Nat'l Forests have restrictions during the summer due to fire danger, so check. Also, you can't shoot in Forest "Wilderness Areas", but those are so remote you usually wouldn't want to shoot there anyway. BLM land is virtually always okay to go shooting in (Mauserguy, are there any BLM areas in the Palm Springs area that aren't legal to target shoot in??). National Forests are marked on every road map I ever saw, while for BLM maps you will need to hunt around. I bought the BLM CA CD-ROM map for about sixty bucks.

You also need to check county ordinances governing shooting. There are also the general state laws, which say things like no shooting within a hundred yards of a road, or structures/camp sites.

ArmedBear
January 18, 2006, 05:14 PM
Thanks for all the places, but they are all pretty far. Is there anything closer than Palm Springs (which is an hour and a half drive for me)? I'm not too lazy to make some phone calls, but I don't know who to start with. Thanks again for all the input.

Where in OC are you?

wallysparx
January 18, 2006, 05:22 PM
i'm so glad to see this has gotten at least 10 posts without having to hear about how horrible our state is, or that the best option is just to move out! hooray for CA.

last i checked there was a proposal to ban shooting in some 40 acre area of blm land in the palm springs area. haven't followed up to see if any action was taken, though. a blm map and calling the local regional blm office is defnitely a good idea.

last i shot out in the middle of nowhere was somewhere north of barstow, can't tell you where exactly because i went along with a friend who knew where he was going and drove. best shooting fun i ever had. we had, among other things, a cardboard standup of captain planet and a couple of discarded mannequins. cleaned up our mangled targets and brass, of course.

i'd love to do it more, but the cost/time restrictions of driving so far lead me to spend the typical shoot at lytle creek.

ArmedBear
January 18, 2006, 05:42 PM
Ah, for the good ol' days when Lytle Creek was free!

Oh well.

California ain't what it used to be, across the board. Once a land of free-spirited creative tinkerers, now it's being overtaken by boring control freaks and moonbats.

Surfing is still fun. Otherwise, I'd just as soon move.:)

And I'm a 39-year-old native of Huntington Beach.

Rusher
January 18, 2006, 06:44 PM
There used to be a place outside of riverside.....near the the city of parris skydiving airport......as i remember you go past the airport then take the 1st turn off of the main road that runs along the riverbed and follow it out about mile and you'll see all of the shooting spots. Now mind you this was a few years ago that i was out there.

Mauserguy
January 19, 2006, 03:31 AM
Yes, I have been told by one BLM ranger that there are BLM lands in the Palm Springs area that are off limits. I believe that they are neat the utility yards. You can shoot on top of the aqueduct, for example, but not near the nature preserve. I go out to 1000 Palms Canyon a lot. I will probably be out there this weekend. Maybe I will get shaken down by a ranger, again. Ugh...
Mauserguy

Bwana John
January 19, 2006, 09:51 AM
Also, you can't shoot in Forest "Wilderness Areas",
Remember, while you can not target shoot in National Forest Wilderness Areas, you CAN discharge a firearm to legally take game animals. It is legal to hunt, but no random shooting.

I think the closest place to shoot would be over the Cajon Pass, and out past Kramer Junction. I like the El Paso Mountains.

I also think Los Padres and San Bernadino N.F. have special shooting restrictions compaired to other National Forests.

BenW
January 19, 2006, 10:22 AM
I also think Los Padres and San Bernadino N.F. have special shooting restrictions compaired to other National Forests.
For Los Padres at least, where I do my shooting, the only real restriction in most of the designated areas is a fire restriction, usually prohibiting shooting from around Aug-Nov, depending on conditions.

I'm actually surprised they are so "pro-shooting" here, especially if you see the garbage dump-like appearance of some of the areas. I get so disgusted that I always haul a couple of hefty bags of garbage out with me when I go, just to try and make a little dent in the mess (but my hatred of slobs is anothert topic).

Punkermonkey
January 19, 2006, 02:25 PM
I usually shoot at Prado Olympic park. Good outdoor range. Runs about $12 for the pistol range all day. First and third Saturdays are IDPA, second and fourth Sundays are IPSIC. Other than that they are open to the public the rest of the time. they also have a nice trap/skeet range as well.

http://www.prado-idpa.com/

spaceCADETzoom
January 19, 2006, 03:00 PM
I'm not a fan of PRado. They're litterally a couple miles from me. But I hate going there. and 12 bucks you say? TRY $15. That;s what they charged me. i paid 30 for me and my dad and we only shot for like an hour, just a couple weeks ago.

I asked if there were any military discounts. None. most places give me one. I asked about membership. I forget the ridiculous price. But i asked if it was at all transdferrable because I'm not gonna be in the state for a full year (again, I'm in the Army)...can I transfer it to my dad when i leave. THey said no. Not to mention you still pay like $10 even WITH membership.

A big thumbs down to prado. they're not impolite or anything. im just not a fan of thier ridiculously high prices and inabilty to be complete bureaucrats to accomodating military who aren't goiing to be in the state for a full year. Every single range i talked to about this offer both a discount and/or some way of transferring membership over to my dad. I would have been able to live with all that...but the prices are still unreasonable.

dasmi
January 19, 2006, 03:09 PM
Come on down here to San Diego and we can all shoot. I think I can even beat 2 hours by a little.:)
+1
ArmedBear, check your PM.

50 Shooter
January 19, 2006, 07:28 PM
The best place by far in SoCal is the desert, well worth the drive.

Black Majik
January 19, 2006, 09:42 PM
Shawn that looks like so much fun!

Kevlarman
January 19, 2006, 11:59 PM
You know I passed by a group of 50 shooters a few months ago in Rosamond.
I wonder if that was them.

aguyindallas
January 20, 2006, 12:18 AM
Call Craig Kastl at Condor Guns in Desert Hot Springs. He is out kinda west of town and when I lived in the area, we used to go about 3 miles north of him to a canyon. We would drive about 1/4 mile into the canyon and just open it up.

Good times, and he is good people

Condor Gun Shop
Craig Kastl
64895 Pearson (or Pierson) Blvd
Desert Hot Springs, Ca 92240
760-329-6608

Tell him Steve from Texas sent ya...he will get a chuckle.

demo40
January 20, 2006, 12:54 AM
can anyone shed any light in the areas of the central valley , I finally have some time and dont really know where to go now days , mostly small cal rifle , large cal pistol and once and awhile the beast (50 bmg ) I would be happier outside than inside a range . any ideas would be appreciated .

50 Shooter
January 20, 2006, 01:59 AM
Hey Kevlarman,
Was it last Oct.?;)

Black Majik,
What ya doin' in May?

thorn726
January 20, 2006, 12:13 PM
the nationa lforest websites give pretty good info, as others have said, one of the best options. its pretty simple. national forest, 150 yards (feet? look on the site for clarification) from any road, water , structure. shoot away from road,
conventional targets only. i think that means no glass bottles. it does not specify paper targets though.

otherwise rules vary county to city... since any county under 200 000 allows open carry, those counties also allow shooting generally anywhere that falls witihn the distance guidelines.

Kevlarman
January 20, 2006, 03:15 PM
Hey Kevlarman,
Was it last Oct.?


It could've been; I don't recall exactly.
I just know that it was a bit more north than where most of the people go shooting. One time I saw a whole troop of Boy Scouts practicing with .22s.

50 Shooter
January 20, 2006, 04:35 PM
Ooops, just read it again. Nah, it wasn't us, haven't shot over by Rosamond in a long time. Did go shooting out there before when Mauserlady use to live out here in Lancaster.

Creeping Incrementalism
January 20, 2006, 05:02 PM
What I heard is that you can't shoot on the MWD land (aqueduct). However, I read the county ordiance (someone posted a link on CalGuns.net) and I didn't see any language excluding it, because it is publicly owned land, and there are no signs saying "no shooting", nor anything on their website, and an inquiry I made to them was not returned. So these is nothing written down saying you can't shoot there. However, some deputies believe the public isn't allowed to shoot there. So you might get hassled anyway.

So you have gone shooting on the BLM land around the 1000 Palms area? I checked and the preserve is not BLM land, but the land surrounding it is. From the BLM map I have, and from the times I've driven down the paved road, it seemed rather ifffy--I'd rather head someplace more remote, because I don't want to be hassled by law enforcement even if I'm 100% legal.

What happened when the ranger "shook you down"?

Yes, I have been told by one BLM ranger that there are BLM lands in the Palm Springs area that are off limits. I believe that they are neat the utility yards. You can shoot on top of the aqueduct, for example, but not near the nature preserve. I go out to 1000 Palms Canyon a lot. I will probably be out there this weekend. Maybe I will get shaken down by a ranger, again. Ugh...
Mauserguy

Creeping Incrementalism
January 20, 2006, 05:10 PM
can anyone shed any light in the areas of the central valley , I finally have some time and dont really know where to go now days , mostly small cal rifle , large cal pistol and once and awhile the beast (50 bmg ) I would be happier outside than inside a range . any ideas would be appreciated .

The Central Valley is pretty much a big basin surrounded by mountains, most of which is National Forest land. So just pick the closest Nat'l Forest, right?

Also, you can't shoot in Forest "Wilderness Areas",

Remember, while you can not target shoot in National Forest Wilderness Areas, you CAN discharge a firearm to legally take game animals. It is legal to hunt, but no random shooting

You may be right. Since I don't hunt but do target shoot, I just remember them as being off-limits to me.

Bwana John
January 21, 2006, 01:59 AM
What I heard is that you can't shoot on the MWD land (aqueduct).
I used to hunt ducks and geese all the time on the upper part of the LADWP aquaduct in the Owens Valley, and I think you still can, but its been a while and things change.

campbellcj
January 21, 2006, 03:41 AM
Eep.
Rosamond is a lot closer than Ridgecrest. :cool:

I'm in Rosamond fairly often (Willow Springs race track; my other hobby). Where exactly is the shooting area near there? :confused:

I've heard of it, but as of yet have not tried to find it. I'm getting a little tired of the local small indoor range routine and also have (and hopefully will soon have more) firearms that cannot be reasonably exercised indoors.

Kevlarman
January 21, 2006, 04:45 AM
Allow me to post an image, courtesy of Google Maps:

http://thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=34314&stc=1&d=1137836664

The stars on the map are where the majority of the people shoot. There are big hills to the west of these locations, providing the perfect backstop.

campbellcj
January 21, 2006, 03:01 PM
Allow me to post an image, courtesy of Google Maps:

The stars on the map are where the majority of the people shoot. There are big hills to the west of these locations, providing the perfect backstop.

Awesome, thanks!

Combat-wombat
January 21, 2006, 05:06 PM
Although it's a bit out of your range, I think I'll post this for other readers... I enjoy shooting in the Carrizo Plain/California Valley area. It's sort of in central CA, a bit east of Bakersfield. While you can't shoot in the actual national monument portion of it, there is a vast expanse of land with large hill ranges on either side. There's hardly anyone there, but it's an extremely beautiful landscape, especially in spring.

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