good places in AZ to shoot IN THE DESERT


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jonjon1885
September 28, 2007, 04:02 AM
ok this is for my follow Arizonians, where is a good desert place to shoot near Tempe? i just moved here about two months ago and i can tell you that ben avery and RSSC are some of the best gun ranges i have ever had the pleasure to shoot at, but now im looking for something a little less official for shooting.


i have a few new friends out here who have just decided they like shooting,(see ben avery/RSSC) but i want to bring them somewhere that more reactive target can be used, please keep in mind i am a former boy scout and an adult leader looking for a new troop (read as bring back more garbages than you brought in) so debris is not an issue i clean up after myself.


give me some good place THR im counting on you to help me swing these fence sitters!

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Outlaws
September 28, 2007, 08:17 AM
There is nothing "near" anything anymore. Just go driving north for an hour and eventually the city will end. 87 is a good choice. When that happens get off the road a ways and if there are no "No Shooting" signs, then you are probably good. If anyone told you there are lots of places to shoot out here in the desert, they are correct. If they told you there are lots of places to shoot out here in the desert a few minutes from the valley, they lied so bad its not even funny.

QUICK_DRAW_McGRAW
September 28, 2007, 11:58 AM
i used to live in west phoenix in avondale. we just took the 10 west towards cali. got off at the miller street exit hanged a right and you in BFE, drive for a little while away from the highway and there is no one arount, you have hills for a back drop to catch any misses.

i used to clay shoot out there as well as hunt dove.

JKimball
September 28, 2007, 12:32 PM
When I lived in Mesa I used to go East on the 60 towards Superstition. Hang a left towards Queen Valley pretty close to the railroad crossing. There's a couple dirt roads that go off to the right into the desert before you get to Queen Valley. The one spot (2nd right) was very popular and a lot of people left their garbage, so they finally posted no shooting allowed there. (I think it was a spillway for the Whitlow Dam.) But you might be able to find a spot if you explore around there. It would take me 30 minutes to get there from Val Vista, so you're probably looking at 45 minutes at least.

Lennyjoe
September 28, 2007, 12:35 PM
Since Tempe is on the east side of Phoenix, I'd take 60 east until you get outside of Gold Canyon. After you pass the highway heading south to Florence there should be plenty of desert out that way before hitting Globe.

Since I'm from Tucson I can't give you specific locations. But, I will re-enforce cleaning up after yourself when your done shooting. Too many people are leaving crap behind that they bring out to shoot and its not only littering the desert but its causing the state to close alot of BLM land to us shooters. I've seen everything from computers to old junk cars all shot to hell and left behind. I recommend constructing some sort of wood target stand or even pvc pipe for your desert shooting. That way you can re-use it time and time again.

Welcome to Arizona.

The Lone Haranguer
September 28, 2007, 12:35 PM
Originally posted by QUICK DRAW McGRAW:
i used to live in west phoenix in avondale. we just took the 10 west towards cali. got off at the miller street exit hanged a right and you in BFE, drive for a little while away from the highway and there is no one arount, you have hills for a back drop to catch any misses.
Even Buckeye now has cookie-cutter tract homes popping up all over the place. It is a little farther to BFE these days. ;)

I usually shoot at Scottsdale Gun Club, but it is of course indoors (things look a lot different out in the sunshine;)) and 25 yards is not much of a challenge for any rifle. While I appreciate Avery's and Rio Salado's reasons for their rules, I would rather shoot for a little more than fifteen minutes at a time with no one ... haranguing me with a bullhorn.

jonjon1885
September 28, 2007, 02:02 PM
thank for the info guys, i've heard of Queen Valley a few times but was never sure where it was. the roads to the potential shooting spots, do they require 4wd, i have a truck but its only 2wd (small old ford ranger)

QUICK_DRAW_McGRAW
September 28, 2007, 05:11 PM
ya its been about 2 years since ive lived there, it was blowing up out west when i was there i can't imagine it now.

Valkman
September 28, 2007, 05:22 PM
I don't know, but I do know an excellent tattoo shop in Tempe and got 2 my last trip down. Didn't do any shooting but wanted to check out Ben Avery.

jonjon1885
September 28, 2007, 06:51 PM
Valkman, now i know this is WAAAAAAY of topic but, i see you live in Art bells home towm. Just wondering, have you every met the guy or even heard of him. BTW he was the creator of Coast to Coast am.

Outlaws
September 28, 2007, 07:45 PM
lol....Pahrump has more than one claim to fame? ;)

Kor
October 1, 2007, 12:08 AM
I would suggest you take your friends down to Casa Grande - they have a municipal shooting range that, last I knew, was completely free to the public. The firing line is covered, with at least a dozen shooting benches - however, restroom facilities are limited to the nearest bush. :o No range officers, cease-fires are by mutual consent of everyone on the firing line, people pack in lots of "reactive targets"(i.e. cans, bottles, fruit & veggies), but you better pack your stuff out when you leave. It's really a lot like unsupervised shooting in the boonies, but with overhead shade and benches already in place.

IIRC you take I-10 south/east through Casa Grande, get onto I-8 heading west towards San Diego, but I forget which exit you get off from I-8 - mebbe you could Google the range's address and then MapQuest it... :o

The Lone Haranguer
October 1, 2007, 12:20 AM
Cookies, crackers and fruit are fun to shoot. :) The fruit pulp will biodegrade and birds will come along and eat the crumbs or seeds. I've been out here two and a half years and have never done any plain old plinking. :(

jonjon1885
October 1, 2007, 02:53 AM
well heres the report. lots of fun :) but no shooting :(. we ended up going out to Tonto forest out near the Roosevelt dam, very scary dirt road. we found a few places that looked like would be fun to shoot at but ere not sure if it were allowed or not no signs either way, no to mention that apparently now you have to get a pass to use the outdoors in Arizona ??? (guess the peoples republik of chin...er California, are moving in too). any how for next week we are going to do a weekend camp/shoot trip down near Tucson, and KOR we might very well try out the casa gande place sounds perfect, do you know if tanerite is allowed or would the police just north frown on that?

also ... wow there is A LOT of rez land out here damn, almost got arrested on gila land, did not know it was but the tribe cop saw us starting to unpack and quickly let us know very stenly that we should not be doing that there and told us to leave and that since he was having a good day that he would just let us go and not arrest us or take our guns. wow close call there.

Valkman
October 1, 2007, 03:05 AM
I didn't know Art Bell lived here! There is a guy that walks around town with 2 six-guns and a copy of Constitution, maybe that's him. :)

Sorry, gotta go - seems Heidi Fleiss wants me to work at her new all male bordello for women. :D

Lennyjoe
October 1, 2007, 12:14 PM
Yea, you gotta stay away from the Indian Reservations.

The road heading south from the Dam is pretty fun. It goes all the way from the damn to Canyon lake and back into Apache Junction. I would suggest you do not shoot off of that road. Busy road with alot of recreation around that area. Go East off of 60 would be your best bet.

JKimball
October 1, 2007, 06:38 PM
thank for the info guys, i've heard of Queen Valley a few times but was never sure where it was. the roads to the potential shooting spots, do they require 4wd, i have a truck but its only 2wd (small old ford ranger)

No 4wd required. Just dirt roads. I saw a jetta lose an oil pan out there once, but take it easy and you'll be fine in your truck. (Assuming you haven't slammed it.)

AZ Jeff
October 1, 2007, 07:45 PM
I ride my ATV all over the place in the NF near Phoenix (and elsewhere in AZ), and I can tell you that shooting "near" the PHX area is problematic nowadays.

Most of the relatively close part of the Tonto NF requires a "day pass", as you discovered. WHY, you ask? Mostly because irresponsible shooters and off-road vehicle users have trashed VAST portions of the readily accessible sections of the forest, and the Forest Service is trying to use those fees to repair the damage.

The Queen Valley area is a pretty good area for shooting (and ATV riding), but be forewarned--it is part of the Tonto NF, and at some times of the year, it is closed for shooting due to dry fire conditions. If you DO shoot out there, please pack out MORE trash than what's just yours, as it helps everyone's reputation.

I would encourage you, if you want to shoot a lot, to join a club. It's less hassle than trying to find a safe, clean place to shoot that won't give you a bad rap like the "slob shooters" already have.

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