Where to shoot in Northern California


March 26, 2006, 03:12 PM
I'm about an hour north of San Francisco up the 101. The closest place to get any free world type shooting done (rapid fire, etc.) is about an hour and a half drive away. From there, its another 30 min offroad drive to get to where you actually shoot! To make matters worse they often close the roads for no apparent reason at all and there is nobody to call to find out if they are closed. Sometimes I get up there and I realise I wasted a bunch of time and gas. Everytime I want to go shooting I have to pay close to a hundred bucks between gas, ammo/shooting supplies, and food. If anyone can help me out in looking for a place to go I'd greatly appreciate it. If anyone has private land suitable for shooting I'd gladly pay a fee.

I'm an honest person. I always pick up my brass. I usually go shooting by myself (for lack of shooting buddies) and I would not exploit the land.

Any replies are appreciated, Thanks,

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March 26, 2006, 05:19 PM
Then you aren't too far from Sacramento. There's a very nice outdoor 300-yard rifle, shotgun, and pistol range in Lincoln, CA. It's a private club, but open to the public on weekends. I was a range officer there for several years, very nice group of people.


j grimes
March 26, 2006, 05:32 PM
whats wrong with the beach?

March 26, 2006, 06:02 PM
go to Ukiah, turn right, head north east.

March 26, 2006, 06:30 PM

March 26, 2006, 06:34 PM
If you're north of San Francisco by one hour's travel... Then you aren't too far from Sacramento. There's a very nice outdoor 300-yard rifle, shotgun, and pistol range in Lincoln, CA. It's a private club, but open to the public on weekends. I was a range officer there for several years, very nice group of people.

I live about 3 hours from Sacramento, so thats a no go. But thanks.

whats wrong with the beach?

Nothing, except all the people around??? I don't really know what the laws are regarding shooting on the beach, all I know is theres always someone out there walking their dog or going for a run and they would probably call the cops if I just started shooting. I've always wanted to shoot on the beach but I've always assumed it was taboo. Maybe you could enlighten me?

go to Ukiah, turn right, head north east.

Your talking about Cow Mountain right? Thats about an hour and a half away from me...so it'd be the same as the place I go to now. But thanks.

Seems like I'm 1-2 hours away from everything!

I'm really desperate to get some target practice done. Anyone whos owns a bunch of guns and wasn't able to shoot any of them for about 2 months knows where I'm coming from.


March 26, 2006, 07:43 PM
Try this link. It's pretty good for the SF area.



March 26, 2006, 09:00 PM
Thanks but I'd rather be alone when I shoot. I can't stand shooting ranges...too many rules set in place because of liability issues. I wish people wern't so stupid!!!!

#1. Paper targets only
#2. No rapid fire (your litterally told to count to 3 between each trigger pull.)
#3. No sitting or prone shooting, standing only
#4. No shotguns
#5. Every 10 minutes you have to wait 10 minutes while everyone goes downrange to look at their paper targets.

Oh and of course theres ALWAYS some yahoo sweeping everyone on the range. Sure he gets yelled at... but only after the sweep.

It's almost like an anti-gun shooting range. I have more fun sitting at home picking dirt out of belly button.


Creeping Incrementalism
March 26, 2006, 11:16 PM
DevLcL, I know exactly what you are talking about. Except your range truly sucks--no sitting or prone? :confused:

I too hate ranges. They are good for zeroing and testing how certain ammo performs, basic target practice, and skeet/trap if that's what you're into but that's it. Though if you are a member, I think its easier to do more fun stuff.

People who live in the Bay Area are pretty much screwed when it comes to close off-range shooting. You have to plan at least a full-day trip every time. I'd say your only bet is too keep looking for good spots in the Medocino Nat'l Forest. Let me know if you find any! The closest spot for those of us not in the North Bay is Panoche Hills down 5 and the BLM land and Nat'l Forest land around the Stanislaus National Forest.

A better place to ask this question is http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/forumdisplay.php?f=76. For any gun question regarding Calfornia, Calguns.net is the best place on the Internet to ask them.

March 26, 2006, 11:28 PM
My e-mail address has been banned from Calguns.net..... no matter what e-mail address I try. Explain that one?

March 27, 2006, 12:23 AM
That is because you use Yahoo. I had the same problem and as soon as I changed it to "@SBCGLOBAL.NET" it worked.
Send yourself an e-mail using this.

send to "me@sbcglobal.net" rather than "me@yahoo.com". If you recieve the e-mail you are good to go.

March 27, 2006, 01:35 AM
Actually I'm using hotmail. I tried my Sonic email which is @sonic.net.... still no dice.


Creeping Incrementalism
March 27, 2006, 10:44 AM
Dev, I have no idea about your email problem on Calguns.net. Try emailing Ramon the admin.

March 27, 2006, 07:31 PM
Alright so I made it up to Cow Mountain today, about a 2 hour drive. When I arrived the only people on the range were an older man and his son (I'm guessing) and all was well. They even let me borrow some .22lr because I had forgotten mine like a moonbat. Anyway we were having a good time until a group of kids show up with like 5 SKS's and PGO shotguns. I tried giving them the benefit of the doubt until they started spraying our targets with birdshot :fire: and I wont even get into the sweeping. The older fellow was absolutely LIVID at these kids who were pointing their weapons directly at us (not on purpose, but still...) from time to time. I won' repeat what the man said as it's not suitable for this forum. The range itself was pretty trashed, but the drive up was actually very nice. A little 4x4 action never hurt anyone, and the scenery was spectacular. Overall I had a good time, but I'm not sure I want to spend the money on gas to make it back up any time soon.

The search continues....


March 28, 2006, 08:27 AM
there were some teen drunk drivers .
We have a good spot in Reno, come on out some time

March 28, 2006, 09:48 AM
Try driving to Highway 20 west in Willits. Off of 20 in Jackson State Demonstration forest there are some gravel pits you can shoot in.

March 28, 2006, 12:25 PM
The Lincoln range that Gewehr98 mentioned used to have a problem with allowing any "rapid fire" with any rifle above a .22 caliber. I got tossed from there for firing 2 Galils and 2 AKs because "it makes the nice shooters nervous". Thats what he told us and we weren't even rapid firing. All the rimfire shooters and the guys zeroing in their deer rifles got scared of the assault rifles I had. They all hid by their cars when the range guy told us to leave. Never went back there. I then understood what California's problem was and is today.

Creeping Incrementalism
March 28, 2006, 02:35 PM
The private range I go to in Concord is open to the public all week long (except Wed.). People are always there with "assault weapons", neutered and registered, and no one runs off.

I think that Lincoln place must be a club for hunter/benchrest snobs.

March 28, 2006, 03:55 PM
The Lincoln range that Gewehr98 mentioned used to have a problem with allowing any "rapid fire" with any rifle above a .22 caliber.

I doubt that, seriously. I don't know how many times I had my Bulgarian SLR-95 up there, chewing up 50 and 100 yard targets, as well as my steel swinging owl target at 100 yards. I never caught any flak from the range officers, and I was letting them go pretty quickly. We never had a "X number of shots per second" rule. We did have an "all shots must impact the berm" rule, however, and for a damned good reason.

Rate of fire isn't the big deal at Lincoln. Accuracy of fire is. During your "rapid fire", were each and every one of your shots hitting the targets stapled to the cardboard backers on those wooden frames? Or were the wooden frames getting torn up, with bullets hitting everywhere but your target?

Lincoln's range is built in front of a quarry, which sits behind the 300 meter berm. Residential sprawl is also getting darned close to that range, never mind the pasture immediately to the right side of the range, with cattle grazing there quite often.

As a former range officer there, I'm well aware of what the rules are. I gave a person one warning if they were trying to spray bullets hither and yon, and I saw rounds bouncing off the ground and over that last 300 meter berm towards the quarry or neighborhood back there. There was no second warning.

Bump-firing, and firing from the hip were also not allowed. Shooting at the cows next door was not allowed. Shooting while being ????-faced drunk was not allowed. Shooting at the flock of wild turkeys which decided to walk across the range was not allowed. Handling firearms while people were downrange inspecting their targets was not allowed. And yet, people still attempted to do so (the club had to pay the farmer for the dead cow) and bitched about what kind of ???????s the club and range officers were when they were told they couldn't. Remember, you aren't the one paying the liability insurance on a firing range.

Rapid, controlled aimed fire was just fine with myself and the other range officers. It was always a safety thing that caused folks to get the range officer's attention. Sometime when you're out at Dillman Range, go ahead and look UP from the benches. See those pinhole spots of light in the roof? Guess how they got there, I'll give you a hint, it wasn't controlled, aimed fire...

I think that Lincoln place must be a club for hunter/benchrest snobs.

And that's total BS. Have you actually been there to shoot? Lincoln's members and public patrons are some of the nicest, most widely varied cross section of gun owners there are. Lincoln is also a very SAFE range, and in the name of safety, of course the club officers and range team aren't going to allow indiscriminate bullet hosing - there's no better way for a rifle range to get shut down by the local community. But that's a far cry from just plain banning rapid fire. Assuming folks know the difference, that it. :scrutiny:

March 28, 2006, 05:34 PM
Gewehr98, we were NOT "rapid firing". We were shooting at 100 yard paper targets in slow controlled aimed fire, from the shoulder not "bump firing" or hip shooting. Just the presence of the "Assault rifles" upset the people there that they complained to the range guy and he asked us to leave. He was an older guy and always carried a Garand at sling arms as he patroled the Firing Line.
This was in the mid-late 80s and trust me, it happened. We did get a refund on our range fee for the day. We were also hitting the targets and berm, not anywhere close to wild, uncontrolled fire. We weren't shooting at cows, not at target frames, just at the targets like we were supposed to do. Rate of fire wasn't our issue, just the Galils and AKs we were shooting upset everyone. I've been going to firing ranges for 40 years, trust me, I know range rules and etiquette,

March 28, 2006, 07:16 PM
I was range officer there from 1992-1999. By the time I arrived, range officers most assuredly weren't allowed to carry M1 Garands around at sling arms harassing patrons, nor for that matter were they allowed to carry handguns concealed or exposed. (Doesn't mean I didn't have a Caspian Officer's ACP IWB discretely under my jacket, but range rules said "No".) Steve, Marty, Dennis, Leonard, Jeff, myself, and several other range officers knew that if it was going to be a successful range, it had to be safe, yet be a pleasant experience for the shooters and their return business. Vacaville had the unsupervised Vassar Lake range just up the road, where one took one's life in one's own hands. That was the bottom of the barrel in our eyes. We tried honestly to be a better range.

That didn't mean the occasional blue-hair didn't let fly with some bad words about "Kalashnikovs giving gun owners a bad name" every now and then, but when I was RO, they were told in no uncertain terms that if they couldn't say anything nice, not to say anything at all. The gate was right there, if they persisted in denigrating other shooters they were more than welcome to leave. Luckily, the one who was most vocal managed to take his opinion with him as he died in his sleep. Regardless, there's one or more of that type in every crowd. :(

March 28, 2006, 07:32 PM
There's a place called the circle-s in Petaluma I recall. Sounds close to what you are saying. Is this what you are talking about Cow mountain?

March 29, 2006, 12:01 AM
Circle S Ranch is the range that I mentioned before. It's only about 15 min to the south of my location. Thats the one with all the silly rules I mentioned... Circle S is about 20 yards from a paved road.

Cow Mountain is a completely seperate place, about 2 hours to the north of my location. It takes a 15 min off-road drive to get to the range at Cow Mountain.


March 29, 2006, 03:09 AM
Thats the one with all the silly rules I mentioned...

Interesting. I have been there before and do not recall a tight leash. It might be if there are a lot of people and of course the RM. I was unloading 30 round clips as fast as I could pull the trigger... but it might have changed.

March 29, 2006, 03:24 AM
I'm relatively new to firearms, (a few years into it) so it very well may have been different at one time. The last time I visited the range I was by myself. The range master was strict as ever.


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