Plinking in NOVA


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Franco2shoot
October 26, 2006, 01:00 PM
This is kind of a regional area question, but there are so many folks that read THR I cannot think of a better place to ask the question.

Living in Northern Virgina (NOVA) there is so much humanity crammed into a relatively small area that shooting areas are few and far between, especially when it comes to Blackpowder. I have only found one indoor range that allows BP, and even then when I touch off a cylinder it takes a while for the cloud to disperse. Typically, I take my sons out to Clark Brothers, which is about a 40 minute drive(Gainsville/Warrenton) and then we can set up paper and shoot at their outdoor range. Its ok for a Saturday afternoon outing, but I am looking for some place where we can plink at an old tin can the way I did with my Dad when I was growing up.

I heard from a hunter that I could go out rt 66 to the Markham exit then go north to the Thompson WMA and walk into the park. Looking up the rules for Thompson WMA, there do not seem to be any rules, but it seems to be tailored towards serious hunters, not that I would be averse to purchasing a hunting license and shooting at some squirells. Another guy mentioned that I might be able to plink in the Jefferson National Park. I'm still looking for this park's location.

Any shooters from my region on the board that can set me straight with regards to WMA rules, or outdoor shooting area's less than an hour's drive from the Capitol?

Thanks
KKKKFL

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motorcycle_dan
October 26, 2006, 04:01 PM
No place to shoot. Yep, bad ju ju. I live in a fairly rural area. Been here for going on 8 years now. Took a while but I managed to find several places to shoot. Some conservation club, a private pistol range, an indoor pay range.

The conservation club has a 140yd range and I used it more than enough to justify the anual membership.

You were asking for advice, I'd say get in the phone book, Look up gun shops and make it a point to visit every stink'n one within an hour of home. Talk to them. Ask about hunt clubs or outdoor ranges where you could sign up to become members.

Another option is get with the Scouts. Almost every Scout Council has access to one type of range or another. They are always looking for concerned responsible parents that are willing to volunteer as well.

The Department of natural resources is another source, find a park ranger somewhere and ask. Local police might have a range they use as well.

Being retired Military I'm pretty good at root'n out a place to shoot. You get transferred regular and these are pretty high on the "need to find" list at a new station.
Sorry no specific help for NoVA

countertop
October 26, 2006, 04:49 PM
Where in NOVA are you?

Please don't plink in Thompson. Not sure if its illegal, but its way too crowded and will bring bad attention to the sport. As far as WMA's - there is a range (or was one) at CF Phelps

If you drive out a bit further, there is a great range in the National Forest near Harrisonburg on the WV border.

There are also some private outdoor ranges - one in Fredericksburg thats very BP friendly as well as the Izaac Walton club in Centerville and the Fairfax Rod and Gun club

Franco2shoot
October 27, 2006, 09:54 AM
Thanks for that feed back Countertop... I was leary about Thompsons even though the guy I spoke with is an avid Deer hunter, with most his excrusions to PA. I think its close to his house, and he probably only fires three or four shots to sight in his rifle.

The other WMA you cite has very specific rules posted, and sounds like an imitation of Clark Bros. range. While doing some Gvmt support 2 years ago down near Hampton Roads, a guy told me that the WMA near the upper James river was less regulated and allowed plinking, so I guess it varies WRT the WMA's. National parks are about the only other option and the one you list in WV isn't all that far away, going south along 81 I think there is another NP but these are all several hour drives. Fredricksburg is about 45 minutes from me to the south, and there is a good bit of wilderness around Quantico, so I guess I will have to keep looking.


Thanks again for the feedback.

KKKKFL

Ohen Cepel
October 27, 2006, 10:01 AM
I know there's and Isaak Walton in Leesburg. Nice facility and well worth the cost! Brother used to belong there.

However, even that isn't going to be like shooting cans in your back yard. You need to move to have that "luxury".

Franco2shoot
October 27, 2006, 11:40 AM
Both Isaac Walton and rod and gun club are non-plink shooting and the waiting list is pretty long... I had thought that the WMA's was gonna be the answer, but here's a post of their regulations, and you'll notice they don't even include handguns, so I could be SOL from the git go... National parks, now that's a different story.. I don't know what their regulations are. Here's the CP WMA regulations note #5:
1. THE RANGE IS OPEN FOR PUBLIC USE TUESDAY – SUNDAY FROM SEPTEMBER 1 UNTIL MARCH 31. THE RANGE IS CLOSED ON MONDAYS.
2. HOURS OF OPERATION: SEPTEMBER TUESDAY – SATURDAY 9AM TO 6:30PM SUNDAY 1PM TO 6:30PM OCTOBER – JANUARY TUESDAY – SATURDAY 9AM TO 4:30PM SUNDAY 1PM TO 4:30PM FEBRUARY – MARCH TUESDAY – SATURDAY 9AM TO 5:30PM SUNDAY 1PM TO 5:30PM
3. SHOOTERS MUST WEAR EYE AND EAR PROTECTION.
4. SHOOT ONLY FROM DESIGNATED SHOOTING STATIONS.

5. ONLY RIFLES, MUZZLELOADING RIFLES OR SHOTGUNS SHOOTING AT
STATIONARY TARGETS ARE ALLOWED.

6. THE USE OF FULLY AUTOMATIC FIREARMS, TRACERS, INCENDIARY AMMO OR ARMOR PIERCING AMMUNITION IS PROHIBITED.
7. ALL FIREARMS MUST REMAIN UNLOADED WITH ACTIONS OPEN UNTIL SHOOTER IS SEATED AT FIRING POSITION. LOADED FIREARMS MUST REMAIN POINTED DOWN RANGE. MUZZLE SHOULD ALWAYS BE POINTED IN A SAFE DIRECTION.
8. BEFORE GOING DOWN RANGE, BE SURE THAT EVERYONE HAS STOPPED SHOOTING. CALL OUT LOUDLY, “IS IT SAFE TO GO DOWN RANGE?”
9. THE HANDLING OF ANY FIREARMS IS PROHIBITED WHILE ANYONE IS BEYOND THE FIRING LINE.
10. ALL TARGETS MUST BE ATTACHED TO TARGET FRAMES AT DESIGNATED LOCATIONS. SHOOTING OF TARGET SUPPORTS OR POSTS IS PROHIBITED.
11. USE PAPER TARGETS ONLY. THE USE OF UNAUTHORIZED TARGET MATERIALS, SUCH AS CANS OR BOTTLES, IS PROHIBITED.
12. SHOOTERS ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR CLEANING UP ALL BRASS, SHELLS AND TARGET MATERIALS. KEEP THE RANGE CLEAN AND SAFE BY TAKING YOUR TRASH HOME.
13. ORGANIZED COMPETITIVE SHOOTING IS PROHIBITED.
14. ALCOHOL, NARCOTIC DRUGS OR ANY OTHER INTOXICANTS ARE STRICTLY PROHIBITED.
15. PLEASE RESTRICT SHOOTING TIME TO ONE HOUR WHEN OTHERS ARE WAITING.
16. THIS AREA IS SUBJECT TO SURVEILLANCE BY CAMERA AND PLAIN CLOTHES PERSONNEL.
17. REPORT VIOLATIONS OF ANY RANGE RULES TO 1-800-237-5712.
18. IN CASE OF AN EMERGENCY, CONTACT THE FAUQUIER COUNTY SHERIFF DEPARTMENT AT 540-347 -3300.
19. THE DEPARTMENT RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY RULES AND CLOSE THE RANGE TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC FOR HUNTER EDUCATION LIVE FIRE ACTIVITIES OR SPECIAL EVENTS.

KKKKFL

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