Can you believe I live in a red state, and there is no place to shoot?


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Debunk Brady
August 6, 2007, 08:43 PM
I have been searching and searching. I have come to the conclusion that there is no shooting range within a 2 hour driving distance that is free or even moderately priced, and where I can shoot rifle and pistol.

There is a free range about 1.5 hours away, open Sept. through March, rifle only

Another range had a 6 month waiting list and $1200 dues.

Another range wanted about $200, plus 6 hours of work, plus I couldn't shoot for 3 weeks because I had to be voted in, plus a million draconian rules having to do with a "range master," cease fire every 20 minutes, anyone can yell cease fire if they see something dangerous, etc. etc. Seemed like the type of place where if you put a tin can out to shoot at, they'd jump your case.

And on and on....








I remember growing up there was a range 40 minutes from my house. It only went out to 100 yards, but you could show up whenever you wanted between sun up and sun down. You could shoot tin cans or milk jugs. When you wanted to go down range you looked over and said "you ready to go cold?"

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runfrumu
August 6, 2007, 08:45 PM
Join the club. NC has only one state ran range, and it's on the opposite side of the state as me.

Sistema1927
August 6, 2007, 08:55 PM
Debunk Brady,

Maybe if you had listed your state somebody could help you out. Without listing your state your post is just a gripe with no expectation of a resolution.

hrgrisso
August 6, 2007, 08:56 PM
There are people here from all over the country, let us know where you are and we might be able to give you different ideas. Just a thought. Good luck.

Jim Watson
August 6, 2007, 08:58 PM
If you want to shoot garbage, I can't help you. I gave that up a long time ago.

Kilgor
August 6, 2007, 09:07 PM
And a piece of paper shot full of holes is what exactly? I call it garbage.

Where can I get some of those everlasting targets Mr. Wonka?

hrgrisso
August 6, 2007, 09:20 PM
I don't know about FOREVER or ETERNITY but JUST SHOOT ME PRODUCTS comes close.:neener:

Malone LaVeigh
August 6, 2007, 09:26 PM
I don't know why you would expect a correlation between voting for corporate facists with local shooting facilities.

jefnvk
August 6, 2007, 09:36 PM
anyone can yell cease fire if they see something dangerous

Sorry to tell you, that should be a big rule at EVERY range.

TEDDY
August 6, 2007, 09:53 PM
TISK TISK I CAN SHOOT OUT MY FRONT DOOR.sorry I just could not help it.as I came from Mass where theres an indor range within 5 miles.I still belong to one in Mass 35 a yr 24 hr access and all cal up to 45 acp.here state range 16 miles open sat and sun all yr.:confused: :) :)

Peter Gun
August 6, 2007, 10:42 PM
Hear, Hear LaVeigh!!!
I live in the bluest state in the country (as judged by last pres election results) and I can shoot off my deck and carry with no permit.
How do you like them RED apples?

RPCVYemen
August 6, 2007, 10:47 PM
NC has only one state ran range, and it's on the opposite side of the state as me.

I'm from Wake County - we have a really nice facility. I also found a nice county range near Nags Head. One thing that seems to be happening for a number of counties around hear is that when they build a LEO range, they get a local gun club to run it for non-LEOs.

There is also Butner and Sir Walter not too too far away.

Are you in the mountains?

Mike

tnieto2004
August 6, 2007, 11:37 PM
I feel lucky now .. I have a range 5 minutes away (And I live in a decent size city) and get tired of paying the $8 bucks per visit .. I should really count my blessings..

fordfan485
August 6, 2007, 11:40 PM
Sounds to me like you live in Virginia, I know your pain its BS that the state closed all the ranges during the summer months and has done away with the pistol range at chickohominy wma

Debunk Brady
August 7, 2007, 12:05 AM
I live in VA, DC metro area.

Debunk Brady
August 7, 2007, 12:07 AM
Sorry to tell you, that should be a big rule at EVERY range.

Personally, if I see something dangerous enough to yell about, I am probably just going to leave.

scout26
August 7, 2007, 01:08 AM
DB, you still haven't told us were you are.

But at my club www.aurorasc.org, we have the "No shooting at garbage" rule. Potential of richocets and then there's the mess to clean up. We also have the "If you see something unsafe, you must call ceasefire" rule. I wouldn't go to a place that DID NOT have that rule. Yep, and our RSO's are there for everyone's safety. If they tell you that your about to be/are being dumb in a no stupid zone, you'd better listen, fastest way to get kicked to curb is to do something unsafe, then argue with the RSO about it. (Saw it a happen once and got to testify at the discpline hearing, member got booted out and deserved it.)

$275 per year, min 10 hrs of volunteer time (5 of that to Building and Grounds). Yes, takes about a month to be voted in. We prefer mature, polite and courteous members, not people who want to come and unsafely shoot up a bunch of trash, leave it laying around for someone else to clean up and are not willing invest a little sweat equity into maintaining/improving the club. Sorry, we're a little old-fashioned in that we take pride of ownership in our facilites/ranges and our 60+ year safety record of no firearm related accidents.

chrisandclauida2
August 7, 2007, 01:17 AM
every public and most private ranges has all these "draconian" rules your talking about. they are there for safety.

without breaks how will you check retrieve and hang targets?

most people make stupid dangerous mistakes. dont think so? film your self next time you shoot. worse yet stand back during a hot segment and watch others shoot. they turn their weapon down the line when the dump and insert mags. the point their weapons muzzle at at the concrete shooting table at about 2 inches with their finger on the trigger and they muzzle sweep everyone.

some of these people have no buisness around deadly tools be it guns or power tools. others have the occasional brain fart and then thank god they are at least following the no finger on the trigger rule.

we all have a lapse every now and then. we are human.

im glad for the draconian rules like staying away from the tables during breaks. there is nothing i hate more than checking or marking targets and hearing the range master yell at some idiot who is fiddling with their weapon while its pointed at me.

nope rules are there for safety and safety goes with guns.

Caimlas
August 7, 2007, 05:08 AM
So what I'm hearing here is that it's somehow reasonable to put restrictive rules and approval processes, high prices, and additional time-consuming obligations on a person who wants to shoot, making it an exclusive sport only for those who can afford to shoot often enough to make the range fees a write-off?

What about people who shoot, at most, a half dozen times a year, and a couple hundred rounds a time? Where are they to shoot? Oh, I guess they can shoot from September through April, right? There are a lot of people who would get into the sport, if only it were for facilities to do so. Shooting isn't (or shouldn't be) something clearly divided between those who spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on it a year and those who only shoot one week before hunting season. Especially in America.

I think private shooting clubs, while nice for those who have the time and money to spend pursuing such things, are a disservice to the firearm community as a whole. Private clubs pop up, and the public ranges become disused and/or shut down as a result, and then the public perception tends towards

We've got public golf ranges, parks, lakes, and rivers throughout the country. So why not open public shooting ranges? (Ranges for LEO-only funded by tax money just rub salt in the wound.)

I'm not saying free-for-all, whoever comes can shoot type ranges; some requirements are reasonable (safety courses, for instance - most state CCW courses should cover such a requirement). But most of these clubs put as many logs in the road to actually shooting guns as the more restrictive state governments do for basic ownership.

Navy87Guy
August 7, 2007, 07:31 AM
have been searching and searching. I have come to the conclusion that there is no shooting range within a 2 hour driving distance that is free or even moderately priced, and where I can shoot rifle and pistol.

There is a free range about 1.5 hours away, open Sept. through March, rifle only

Another range had a 6 month waiting list and $1200 dues.

Try the Quantico Shooting Club (www.quanticoshootingclub.com). Dues are $80 for a year. They are open weekends (when they get volunteers to act as RO's). Rifle ranges out to 2000 yds, lots of shotgun, usually pistol. They are required to maintain 2/3 of their membership as active duty military, but last I heard that had Associate Memberships (i.e., non-millitary) available.

If you think you're going to find free, open areas to shoot in Metro DC then you really will be disappointed. There just isn't space for open ranges. Rifle is problematic - NRA, Blue Ridge Arsenal and Quantico are about the only choices. NRA range is in Fairfax - annual memberships are reasonable.

If you want to shoot off your front porch, move to Roanoake. You aren't going to find anything close to that in NOVA.

Jim

Debunk Brady
August 7, 2007, 10:45 AM
DB, you still haven't told us were you are.

But at my club www.aurorasc.org, we have the "No shooting at garbage" rule. Potential of richocets and then there's the mess to clean up. We also have the "If you see something unsafe, you must call ceasefire" rule. I wouldn't go to a place that DID NOT have that rule. Yep, and our RSO's are there for everyone's safety. If they tell you that your about to be/are being dumb in a no stupid zone, you'd better listen, fastest way to get kicked to curb is to do something unsafe, then argue with the RSO about it. (Saw it a happen once and got to testify at the discpline hearing, member got booted out and deserved it.)

$275 per year, min 10 hrs of volunteer time (5 of that to Building and Grounds). Yes, takes about a month to be voted in. We prefer mature, polite and courteous members, not people who want to come and unsafely shoot up a bunch of trash, leave it laying around for someone else to clean up and are not willing invest a little sweat equity into maintaining/improving the club. Sorry, we're a little old-fashioned in that we take pride of ownership in our facilites/ranges and our 60+ year safety record of no firearm related accidents.



You talk too much and don't listen.

1. Yes, I did say where I was.

2. The day even a subsonic 22 richocets off a 12 oz. tin can, milk jug, or cardboard box is the day pigs fly.

3. I always clean up behind myself, and usually behind others as well, but thanks for assuming the worst.


You are free to conduct yourself and your range however you want. Don't tell me I am being unsafe because I think shooting exclusively at paper targets is boring; it seems that most shooters would agree with me, seeing as almost all private ranges have skeet, trap, and/or steel plates. Paper targets have their place, but it isn't to the exclusion of everything else. If itís a matter of cleanliness, thatís one thing, but donít accuse me of being unsafe.

Moreover, if you had considered what I posted rather than jumping to judgment, you might have gleaned that I was turned off by the entire atmosphere of the place, that shooting tin cans was not the major issue, but rather evidence of a larger issue. I donít need some volunteer that I donít know flipping green and red lights on and off, giving me step by step instructions on how to clear my weapon, telling me that we must go cold on twenty minute intervals and only on those intervals, and telling me I can only have one gun on a bench at a time. If I bring three rifles that can easily fit on a single bench, I prefer to keep them where I can see them, rather than put two on a rack behind me while I turn my back and fire the third. If you are concerned with safety, why donít you take five steps in my direction and visually confirm that the actions are open rather than passing a regulation?

Further, your demeanor strengthens my initial judgment. You are not the type of person I want to be around while shooting. Your description of how you ďgot to testifyĒ at a disciplinary hearing is disturbing. If I witnessed something egregious enough to warrant a hearing, there would be no joy in it for me. Yet you seem delighted at the prospect of feeling important. Your extreme quickness to judge and your disinterest in understanding what is clearly written are also problematic.

Congrats on your 60+ year safety record. That puts you on par with every other range I have ever visited.

geekWithA.45
August 7, 2007, 10:52 AM
DB, you're dancing on the line.

Review the Forum rules (http://www.thehighroad.org/code-of-conduct.html), especially those concerning civility and personal attacks before posting again.

ozwyn
August 7, 2007, 10:58 AM
There is a shooting range at the NRA HQ which is pretty darn nice for year round range time.

the rates are not too bad, like 10-20 bucks an hour, or a yearly unlimited for 250ish last time i checked. No special rules or clean up.

As an indoor range you'll only be shooting paper, but it is well lit and well ventilated.

Legionnaire
August 7, 2007, 11:03 AM
DB, the NRA has a great range at their HQ. 50 yards, but able to handle high-powered rifles. Check it out at http://www.nrahq.org/shootingrange/nrahqrange/.

Debunk Brady
August 7, 2007, 11:11 AM
Thanks all for the help. I am planning on going to the NRA range for pistol, and I will look into Quantico membership. thanks again.

FieroCDSP
August 7, 2007, 11:20 AM
DB, I know how you feel about the non-paper targets. Sometimes you just want to go out and watch a can go flying away, or a watter bottle explode. The problem is, at most ranges, even private ones, there is always someone who pushes or breaks the rules, leaving someone else to clean up the mess. Example: The outdoor range I'm a member to has a no rapid fire rule on the 50+ yard ranges. They also only allow paper targets on their target stands. No intermediate target distances. This is to keep people from trashing up the place with litter, and keep from digging holes in the turf. Sure it's restrictive, but it keeps teh riff-raff out for the most part. I do often end up cleaning up the brass from someone else, but I reload, so no harm there. THe least they could do is pick it up and leave it in a box for me.

Basicly, in order to have a range that you could do what you want on, you have to buy ten acres in the country.Even then, my friend's land has been surrounded recently by housing that the farmers have been selling their land to. We've had to curtail shooting there because someone put a house downrange. :rolleyes:
I can understand your issue with the pricing. at $1200 bucks and a vote-in. For 1200, I could get two guns and a lot of ammo. I wouldn't have any place to shoot them ,but I'd have them. :D

ozwyn
August 7, 2007, 11:25 AM
I should also mention that the other shooters at the NRA range tend to be pretty nice and fairly social. Had some real good experiences with total strangers there.

brashboy
August 7, 2007, 12:19 PM
I agree with Caimlas. We need more public ranges. Casual shooters who pop a 100 or two rounds a year are not going to pay membership fees or go through a joining hassle. More people would get into the game if there were good, cheap places to shoot. Here in Gainesville area, we have a range that requires annual membership and NRA membership, but we also have a commercial range in Micanopy that is just pay and shoot, very nice. Both setups are good, in fact, but people need a choice. Is it possible that no place to shoot just encourages people to drive further out in the country and find one, hmmm?

Liability, both for firearms-related incidents and lead-poisoning incidents, is too high for many state and local governments to get behind.

Private clubs are nice, and people can organize themselves as they please, with such rules as they please. None of the rules imposed, noted above, are unreasonable. If you don't like a club's rules, you can vote with your feet. I don't want to be bothered with all that, because I'm an occasional shooter, but if I had the time to shoot more I would join one and do clean-up and RO duty, since it's part of the gig.

RPCVYemen
August 7, 2007, 01:15 PM
We've got public golf ranges, parks, lakes, and rivers throughout the country. So why not open public shooting ranges? (Ranges for LEO-only funded by tax money just rub salt in the wound.)

Where I live, we have (at least) 3 options:


Cheap club with work obligations.
More expensive club w/o work obligations.
County LEO range w/restricted hours for non-Leo use.


I think it might be worthwhile for you to look at it from the point of view of someone trying to run a safe range. It may appear that a range is jsut a big empty field with a few berms and not many expenses, but I don't think that's a reality.

It might be nice if a lot of folks worked for free to maintain a range for you to show up and shoot your cans whenever you want to, but I don't know many ranges that work that way. I grew on an Izaak Walton League range 40-50 years ago, and although it was informal, there were work days. To tell the the truth, I enjoyed going on those work days with my dad.

Ranges are expensive to run. You pay with sweat, pay with cash, or pay with taxes.

WRT to county facilities: At least around here, the way that county ranges are open to the public is that some local club administers the range for non-LEO uses. The obvious issue here is that counties have deep pockets, so they need to be paranoid about safety.

Evil

RPCVYemen
August 7, 2007, 01:31 PM
I donít need some volunteer that I donít know flipping green and red lights on and off, giving me step by step instructions on how to clear my weapon, telling me that we must go cold on twenty minute intervals and only on those intervals, and telling me I can only have one gun on a bench at a time. If I bring three rifles that can easily fit on a single bench, I prefer to keep them where I can see them, rather than put two on a rack behind me while I turn my back and fire the third. If you are concerned with safety, why donít you take five steps in my direction and visually confirm that the actions are open rather than passing a regulation?

Wow! I had missed this part.

They do almost all of that at the county range I shoot at, and it doesn't' even bother me a little bit! I also shoot at a much less formal range in Eastern NC where they don't have all the equipment, and we more or less run the line ourselves. And that doesn't even bother me a little bit.

Why does any of that bother you?

The stuff you talk about is pretty much just formalization of the same safety practices that I learned half a century ago at a very informal range.

Going cold every 20 minutes or so seems like a pretty reasonable practice at a shared range.

I personally like the red/green lights - when I have earplugs and muffs on, I like being able to verify that the range is hot or cold visually.

Sounds like it's an authority issue, not a range issue. :)

Mike

mpmarty
August 7, 2007, 01:38 PM
Well, here we go...

I'm a range officer at our local club. Let me tell you a little bit about the club first, then I'll go into rant mode so you can quit reading there.

We have 100 acres bordering a major river. We have Skeet, Trap, Sporting Clays, 100, 200 yard rifle with twenty covered firing positions and concrete and steel shooting benches that can be moved away for position matches. We have a heated office at the rifle range. We have duck ponds on the river for duck and goose hunting in season. We have private access to the river along our 100 acre property line and the Steelhead and Salmon fishing is great. We have six pistol ranges outdoors and a 25 yard indoor pistol range with club house and full kitchen and dining room. We have a very large picnic area with parking for campers, several covered dining areas with tables. We host state IPSC matches, PITA registered shoots, cowboy action and IDPA, NRA highpower matches, benchrest matches, and a host of other shooting related activities including free sighting in days for the non member public prior to and during deer season.

Our dues are $72.00 a year for the whole family.

BEGIN RANT

I've been an RO here for nearly twenty-five years and in that time we have had to install key card access and one way spike strips at our entrances due to non members coming in and trashing our facilities. Shot cans and milk jugs? I don't think so, not here. We have over seven hundred members and our shoots including the annual Glock matches draw hundreds of shooters. We pride ourselves on being polite, courteous to all and absolutely non tolerant of fools with guns. I can shoot from my front or back doors and own over forty acres with BLM land on two sides of my property but I still go to the club for most of my shooting as there are always new shooters to meet and new guns to try.:)

wdlsguy
August 7, 2007, 01:43 PM
I was able to dredge this out of Google's cache of packing.org:

Gun Ranges in Virginia (http://64.233.167.104/search?q=cache:JvAtq0EuzvIJ:www.packing.org/range/virginia/+http://www.packing.org/range/virginia&hl=en&gl=us&strip=1)

Debunk Brady
August 7, 2007, 01:53 PM
I really didn't start this thread to discuss the merit of shooting tin cans.

JohnBT
August 7, 2007, 02:07 PM
It's amazing there's any place left to shoot at all within 2 hours of D.C. John


IWLA

The Arlington-Fairfax Chapter


Address: 14708 Mount Olive Road, Centreville



Directions: From I-495 (Capital Beltway) take I-66 west. Take Exit 53A onto Route 28 southbound. Take Route 28 south to Compton Road. Turn right at the traffic light onto Compton Road. Follow Compton Road to the intersection with Mount Olive Road. Turn right onto Mount Olive Road. After approximately one-tenth of a mile turn left into the entrance of the Arlington-Fairfax Chapter.



Telephone Numbers

Chapter Field House 703-631-4495

Rifle-Pistol Range 703-631-4496

Skeet & Trap Range 703-631-4497

Field Archery Range 703-631-4498

Tin Gizel
August 7, 2007, 02:50 PM
I moved out of NOVA because I don't consider it part of the Red State. It's NOVA and the liberals that will eventually turn the great commonwealth into a people's republic.

There are plenty of places to shoot throughout the state. There are more places in NOVA then i'd think there'd be. Look how densly populated the area is? Any free land left is being bought up by developers for more houses. If you wanna walk out your front door and shoot tin cans, move into the real virginia.

I only moved 40 miles out of the area and it's clearly a whole different world. Like the old days, when I walk my dog at night, I say hello to my neighbors, STS with some and feel welcomed. Not like in NOVA where you couldn't get a neighbor to talk to you for any number of reasons.....

glummer
August 7, 2007, 03:28 PM
mpmarty
Our dues are $72.00 a year for the whole family.
How on Earth can you do all that for such low fees????

Bazooka Joe71
August 7, 2007, 04:08 PM
Post's like this really make me appreciate my range.

~$70.00 a year, its mainly a skeet range, so there are tons of shotgun scenario's and most of the members just use these and the huge stripper pits for fishing...There is only one handgun range and one rifle range, but no one is ever there...No RO's telling me what I can and cannot shoot.

Everything under the sun has been shot up there, and the only reason I know this is from looking in the trashcan where its been properly disposed of, not left out on the range.

0 RO's, 0 accidents.;)

ftierson
August 7, 2007, 04:16 PM
By the way, DB, scout26 was just trying to point out that, had you included info about being in VA in your first post, members here could have been more helpful in suggesting places to shoot...

Saying something about it after several posts (and being prompted) is easy for readers to miss when there are a relatively large number of longer posts to wade through...

For what it's worth...

Forrest

Kilgor
August 7, 2007, 04:32 PM
$72 x 700+ members = >$50,000 per year

Once the facilities are built (donation???) they could be maintained for that, especially with free labor work days.

scurtis_34471
August 8, 2007, 01:17 AM
I think private shooting clubs, while nice for those who have the time and money to spend pursuing such things, are a disservice to the firearm community as a whole. Private clubs pop up, and the public ranges become disused and/or shut down as a result, and then the public perception tends towards

I am the secretary for a private club and there are some things you need to take into consideration before you blast private clubs.

1. Not all public ranges are safe places to shoot. The one near where I live is unsupervised and a lot of stupid stuff goes on out there. Two people have been killed in the last five or six years based on pure stupidity.

2. The only other ranges in the area are indoor ranges that charge $15/hour.

3. My club has a 50 yard outdoor pistol range with excellent facilities that are clean and well maintained. We have mandatory range officer training for all members and strict safety policies that keep the range safe. There are 27 positions on the firing line, but seldom more than a few people shooting. Half the time I go, its just me and whoever I brough with me. I can go shooting any time I want from 9am to half and hour before sunset Monday through Saturday and from 1pm on Sunday all year round. We only charge $100/year for the primary member and $20 each for additional family members. We do not require referals, just an NRA membership and the required 3-hour safety class. Members can bring a guest for $10.

How is that elitist? How is that unaffordable? Even if you only shoot half a dozen times a year, it works out to just $16.67/day. I'd much rather pay $140/year for my family to shoot than take them to a public range where one bonehead shot himself to death by trying to spin a cocked single action revolver on his finger.

JR719
August 8, 2007, 03:22 AM
It is sad to see there are most large urban areas without a range. My father had been going to a nice range for years. Due to all the new homes in the area, the range was shut down. A 10 minute drive has turned into over an hour for a decent range, and a much larger membership fee.

I have a range about 10 minutes from me. Rifle and pistol out to 3 or 500 yards, can't remember. Have a nice skeet/trap range about 3 miles away. Both are very affordable. Rifle range has a crazy membership vote to let one be a member, but is only something around 40 dollars a year.

I still drive 20 minutes away to the range. Yes, I have to stop by the department and get a key, but it's free and I can go whenever I want (unless there is a class being conducted).

As far as the range fees. I would imagine the range's are required to carry some type of insurance. I would also think it is not cheap, I don't know, just seems like the sign of the times. I would also think some ranges get into legal battles to stay open. Like the range my father was once a member.

DB, I wish you well in your search for a range. Hope you can find a good one fairly close.

yhtomit
August 8, 2007, 10:48 AM
Debunk Brady:

The nearest convenient range to me is about 30 minutes away; it's a tax-funded, low-frills one north of Dickinson, PA. The rules there require paper targets only, as well as what I consider usual safety rules (barrels downrange at all times, etc). There's actually two ranges; one is for rifle, one for handgun (separate driveways which require perhaps a quarter mile of driving).

No fancy light system, no range officer (the rules say one should be assigned from the shooters on hand, but in reality, consensus dominates, and I've never seen it be a problem). There are timbered frames set up with fabric backs on which targets can be taped or tacked.

In general, it's a pleasant place to shoot, but it's easy to see reasons why ranges institute the rules you're calling draconian: it only takes a little malice or carelessness to turn off whoever it is that's running a range (state-run or private) and get the place closed down.

I've seen the occasional bad safety practice (cavalier barrel sweeps from Beavis-and-Butthead, casual walking downrange from shooters who haven't bothered to stop the people who had been actively firing), as well as a lot of outright vandalism (destruction of the target stands -- mostly by shotgun).

I would also like to be able to shoot non-paper targets (plenty of people obviously *do* already; I'd rather keep on good terms with the game warden, and help keep the place open), but it's an easy tradeoff between paper-only and nothing. I understand your distaste for the people I'll call "policy wonks" (people who seem to be into rules for the pleasure of controlling other people's behavior, or just as a hobby), but a) in any private group, the consenting adults get to use their freedom of association to decide just how much control is appropriate for their voluntary gathering and b) in a litigious / messy world, rules like "paper targets only" and "range goes cold every 20 minutes" are useful -- to start with, they are what allow (in conjunction with other rules, fences, insurance, etc) some ranges to exist at all.

State-run (thus taxpayer-owned) ranges have a greater obligation IMO to avoid *arbitrary* rules, but there are many points on which reasonable people can disagree. One rule I dislike (and which is clearly often disregarded, based on the brass I find) is that one may only shoot from behind the shooting bench, even if there are NO other shooters there. I can see the reasoning (some, at any rate) for the rule, though.

Hope you find a good place -- but I think you'll find it hard to locate one without some set of range rules formalized beyond your liking. I know if I were starting a range (ha! daydream!), I'd probably institute a similar system, at the very least as a baseline from which shooters could depart by common agreement. (Ever seen shooters who insist on going downrange after every cylinder in a 5-shot revolver to check their target? Or ones who insist on shooting all 500 rounds of .22 before allowing the range to go cold for a needed target fix? A 20-minute baseline seems like a decent idea, IMO.)

timothy

scout26
August 8, 2007, 02:27 PM
DB, Sorry I missed your post with your location. I might have been putting mine together at the same time you posted the one with your location or I might have just missed it completely. Mea Culpa.

But just to give you some more info, so that you don't think I'm a range Nazi, here's a satelite pic of my club.

http://maps.yahoo.com/#mvt=s&trf=0&lon=-88.433805&lat=41.781009&mag=3

The club is the "S" in the middle of the wooded area in the pic.
The baffled 25, 50 and 100 yard rifle/pistol range is top of the "S" and we shoot from west to the east. The club house is the middle of the "S" and the Trap/Skeet field are the bottom of the "S" with the impact area to the south. We also have archery targets all over in the woods and a "Walk in the Woods" Sporting Clays course to the east of the Trap/skeet fields. (Impact area also to the south.)

About three-four years ago everything that wasn't wooded area around us was farmer's fields. But if you notice there are now houses within 1/2 mile of our rifle/pistol range and also within about 500 yards of our trap and skeet fields.

Yeah, there may not be a richocet from a tin can, but what about that round that hits long/short and skips over the berm and through Suzy Suburbanite's sliding glass door or back window ??? Can you say GAME OVER. And G_d forbid we if should accidently hit some toddler playing in his back yard. Yeah, the "No shooting junk" rule now makes sense.

Range ceasefires are roughly every 30 minutes, but are done by consensus of everyone on the range. I was there a couple of weeks ago with my muzzleloader. The only other guy there was also shooting muzzleloaders and we went about 95 minutes before calling a ceasefire to change targets. The RSO was there BSing with us (no one else on the any of the other ranges) and didn't insist that we take a break every 30 mintues. I know shocking !!!

There are a couple of places around here with indoor ranges. They cost anywhere from $8/hr - $20/day and only allow handguns and rimfire rifles. If you want to shoot garbage, there's Buffalo Range out by Ottawa. Been there, can be scary with all the bad gun handling, getting swept, and other violations of the Four Rules.

Now about the guy who got kicked out. I'm there with my daughter and two of her friends who had never shot before. We had done some hand-thrown trap and a round of skeet and moved over to the 25 yard range to blast some balloons, clays and paper targets (all are allowed, balloons and paper targets affixed to the target frames, clays underneath the frames) with a Marlin 60 in .22LR. We're down range (along with several other people who are changing/hanging targets) stapling balloons to the target frame when this guy starts operating the bolt on one of his guns. Nothing sounds worse then hearing a bolt being slammed home when you're down range. He's behind the firing line and not pointing down range. Sorry, the rule is "No handling firearms or ammo during a ceasefire." RSO politely tells him to put the firearm down and reminds him of the rule. Guy gets arguementative and says "I'm behind the line and not pointing down range." RSO still being nice, says "Look there's kids and people down range, don't touch the guns." If the guy would have said "Ooops, sorry I forgot" or something like that, then NBD, everyone relearns an important lesson, but no, this guy thinks the rule doesn't apply to him and continues to argue with the RSO. Before the situation gets worse the RSO gets his info from his badge and tells him to leave.

About a week later is the hearing before the board. Yeah, can you believe the jerk gets "due process" in a hearing with testimony, witnesses and everything. I mean they even asked him if he was taking/not taking any medicine that day that could have caused him to behave that way. It looked like they were looking for any excuse or reason not to kick him out. Can you believe it ??? [/sarcasm] The sad fact was even at his hearing, the guy didn't think he had done anything wrong. I bet that if he would have said, "Yep, I'm sorry, I was a jerk that day." he'd still be a member. But he just didn't get it.

That said, the people at my club are some of the nicest I've ever met. I would have no problem leaving my keys and wallet laying on the hood of my car knowing that they wouldn't be touched. I've shot other members .50BMG Barret's, Kreighoff's, Perazzi's, and a bunch of other high dollar guns (after asking or more often being offered).

All of our education programs are free and open to the public, if the class is long enough we also throw in a free meal.

Most of our shooting events are open to the public (and generally only cost slightly more for non-members, a round of trap or skeet is $4.25 for non-members, $3.25 for members) as that's our way to grow the shooting sports and also recruit new members.

And our members are not all Doctors and Lawyers, we have the usual retired guys, nurses, cops, firemen, mechanics, teachers, machinists, managers, and about everything in betweeen.

If you're ever in the Chicago area DB, I'd like to take you out there as my guest. We can shoot whatever you'd like, with ammo and Lunch/Dinner on is me.

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