BLM for plinking near Portland, OR.?


December 12, 2008, 10:54 AM
I'm yearning to get out and start plinking again. It's been too long, and I don't want to pay range / club fees just to squeeze out a few rounds. I used to belong to The Place To Shoot (an indoor range), but it's just too darned expensive for lane fees. Anyway, I'm planning on buying a .45 ACP soon, and I want to find a safe backdrop on legal BLM land somewhere to test the action and various JHP loads to nail down the most reliable round. Anyway, I'm on the east side of Portland. I've heard there is a "dump" or gravel pit somewhere past Estacada. On the west side, I've heard Timber is the place to go off of Highway 26. I've never tried either. Any clues on where a good spot might be around here, specifically?

I miss having a semi-auto; and, I have an opportunity to pick one up through my job on a preferred vendor buying program. Unfortunately, my old Browning HiPower was stolen some years ago. Anyway, I can get any new Taurus for dirt cheap. I'd rather have a Sig, or Kimber, but I just can't pass up on the cost savings I can enjoy on a Taurus. I've nailed my choice down to the new model 845 (based on the 24/7 OSS military spec pistol, but with a 4" barrel, and exposed hammer, rather than striker-fired). My other plinker is a Ruger GP100 .357 magnum in stainless with 6" barrel.

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December 12, 2008, 10:02 PM
The Place to shoot is where I go for pistols. I paid for a year membership and go on Moday's when the range fee is $10 + ammo.

I don't like Estacada, to many idiots go there.
Browns camp (Tillamook State Forest) has a rockpit to shoot at. It's off Hwy 6 headed towards Tillamook. About an hrs drive from Portland. I only go there when I shoot rifles.

December 13, 2008, 12:32 AM
Thanks for the Highway 6 suggestion. I've driven through there many times. I just need to figure out where Brown's camp is. I don't much relish the thought of being around idiots in Estacada. For some reason, I had a feeling that might be the case. I'd rather be around people who actually practice safe firearms procedures, and common sense, and know what the heck they are doing. If I go on a road trip toward the beach, might as well bring the family, and go all the way to the beach for a day trip and stop off at the camp to squeeze out a few rounds on the way. My wife and daughter could just hang in the truck or wear some ear protection behind me while I'm trying out a new toy. Heck, my wife might even want to try one shot out of my 6-shooter just for giggles. No +P loads for her though!

December 13, 2008, 07:55 AM
I'd rather have a Sig
Check out the Sig P6. They are German police trade-ins and are the same as the Sig P225 (only used and cheaper). They sell online for $269 to $299 (+ shipping and transfer fees)

December 13, 2008, 08:39 AM
I would certainly cry over a stolen Hi-power, symathies. But +1 on the P6 - best deal in guns right now, period.

You can shoot legally on most any BLM and USFS land, unless expressly prohibited, not just areas designated or routinely used for shooting. Besides common-sense rules (safe-backstop, etc.), the only rules are not along or across a road or within several hundred feet of a structure. The rules are very sensible and shooter-friendly. Given the massive amount of BLM and USFS land in the PNW, this makes massive amounts of WA and OR open for shooting. Call your local USFS ranger office and ask them. They are great resources, and usually very helpful people (the occasional college-lefty summer intern aside).

I am in the PNW and this is what I do when out of my home area - never had it fail to find a nice pleasant place to shoot on public land over the last few years. I don't know a specific place around Portland, but try this. You can find your local ranger station by going to and looking up your local districts.

December 13, 2008, 03:14 PM
Thanks for the USFS ranger suggestion. I don't know why I didn't think of that. As for the stolen Hi-power, yeh, I "cried" over that one for a while. That pistol was extremely comfortable to handle in my hands, although I thought, to me, it was under-powered for self-defense purposes. It was a little fussy on what I tried to feed it too. I can't remember which JHP 9mm round I finally settled on for reliable feeding. That was quite a long time ago.

As for the P6, great suggestion; however, I'm not really interested in a 9mm again. Whatever the next semi-auto is that I settle on, it will also be used for concealed carry. That being said, I'm more interested in .45 ACP. I can get a new Taurus PT 845 NIB for about $350 from work, so I'm still leaning in that direction. It's not quite a "compact", but it would be easier to carry than my .357 6-shooter. It is a brand new model, so it doesn't have much for history; but it is mechanically similar to the 24/7 OSS, which I've read mixed reviews on. For the price, I'm willing to give it a try.

December 17, 2008, 05:31 AM
You can shoot legally on most any BLM and USFS land
While that is true it is not easy to find a spot now days that doesn't have someone living close by. The spots there are, are way off the road and most have been gated now which means a healthy hike in the rain and mud.

There used to be shloads of places to go shoot. There used to be shloads of places to go wheeling also.

I used to live in the hills before I moved into Portland, it was nice being able to shoot rifles off the back porch.

December 17, 2008, 09:19 AM
Yeh, a friend of mine used to live on some property in Eagle Creek. It was cool to be able to go into his back yard and blast away. He used to just sit on his porch with a few pistols, and target pesky gophers. Sounds like an arcade game. Anyway, I remember shooting 9mm's, .357 & .44 magnums, and a 12-gauge pump out there. Too bad he doesn't live there anymore. That was a blast. He had a huge yard, and a safe backdrop.

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