Phoenix,Arizona-Where to shoot?


May 10, 2011, 02:42 PM
Hi, I am from Indiana, Just moved to Phoenix about 8 months ago. I am looking for a good, and not jam packed with people place to shoot.
I have tried Ben Avery, i don't like the atmosphere. I have also been to Usury Mountain Shooting range- I like it but until it is about 120 degrees here it's always packed to brim with shooters and it's too far for me to drive just to see if they have open lanes. :eek:

So my question to yall is Where is a good place to shoot Near phoenix, or near Prescott/Dewey.

I would LOVE a place that was A)free and B) not packed with shooters

Also if a such place exists where can one go for shots that are 500 yards and out. Cause you see on Youtube all these videos of people doing long shots out in the desert, but never tell you where?

so, thanks in advance guys :)

Oh and I have read around the internet it just seems the posts are from 06' or so and the places are now all track homes

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Nom de Forum
May 10, 2011, 03:22 PM
Good Luck! Thirty years ago you could drive just north of 32nd Street and Bell and shoot with the CAP as a backstop, now that is almost the center of town. It is only going to get worse and unfortunately you will find that most people who do know of a convenient place do not want to share it because A) it is free and B) do not want it packed with shooters. Wish I could help you.

May 10, 2011, 03:40 PM
Thanks Nom, and yah very true about the A and B 's =p

May 10, 2011, 07:33 PM
When you say Phoenix, is it really Phoenix or a suburb?

How far are you willing to drive?

May 10, 2011, 08:19 PM
There are a lot of people who shoot at various places along 4-Peaks Rd and the Sycamore Creek area across Hwy 87. There are too many trails and roads to do any long range shooting out there though. If you do decide to shoot out there *please* make sure you're shooting in a safe direction and cleaning up your targets and as many shells as you can. Those places are a mess because of all the inconsiderate shooters that leave their shot up targets and shells. And I had to call 911 on two groups of people this weekend who were shooting across/along trails and roads.

May 10, 2011, 08:29 PM
WOW thanks yardsick, I am very responsible shooter and I do clean up after myself I am going to google earth this and check it out, thanks again

and Ipshooter, I live literally downtown phoenix right on central and I am looking to drive at most an hour, but thats pushing it unless it's a really good spot

Edit: yardstick can you be a little more detailed with the area, like 2 cross roads or an address, like i said i am an Arizona newbie just trying to figure out how far it is and what not.

May 10, 2011, 08:42 PM
Good, outdoor, clean, well maintained public range, but only 300 yards max distance, Casa Grande Elzy Pearson Memorial Range, south of Casa Grande of I-8 about 3-5 miles. I love it, shoot there mornings during the week. That's about 50+ miles straight down I-10 from Phoenix. Did I mention it is unmonitored and totally free?
Shooters Wolrd is said to have an indoor rifle range, never been there, but it's somewhere in Phoenix, and to someone like me who grew up in Tucson, EVERYTHING in the Phoenix area is Phoenix, sorry. :)

May 10, 2011, 09:15 PM
thanks Armoredman, about 65 miles from where i live sadly so i couldn't go to often but I will definitely keep it in mind! thanks

May 10, 2011, 10:40 PM
Lots of places to shoot. Drive out of town, look for a berm and shoot. Basically anything more than 1/4 mile outside of any dwelling is legal to shoot outside of the city. Its not like back home. (Im a hoosier, although I live in AZ i'l always be a Clay County country boy:)) I'll send you a PM, Hoosier only secret spot:

May 11, 2011, 02:50 AM
Google Prescott Sportsmans Club. Range fee is $10. Pistol, rifle and 22 ranges. Overhead shade, never have seen it crowded, benches, I believe they will let you check shotgun pattern, bring your own drinks or snacks, and I think the longest range is 200 yds, (further than I can see). There are at least 8 gun stores within 20 minutes of range. If you want to make a day of it there is ample shopping down around the courthouse for those who don't shoot and good food is available. Send me a PM and I will be glad to add more detail.


May 11, 2011, 11:30 AM
Here is a list of ranges.

Closest to you is
Open to public on weekends. When I was a member a few years back, a member could shoot during the week and it was not crowded. Weekends on the public range are a zoo, but it's pretty empty during the week. I'm not sure the rifle range length as I shot pistol (IPSC and IDPA) there, but it's probably 200 yards.

I won't bore you with what used to be open until the building boom, but I'm told if you drive west out near Tonopah there are spots and some up N.W. beyond Surprise.

Shooter's World has a new store in Peoria with range. Not sure the number of lanes, but 25 yards, and you can shoot rifle if you like. Not exactly sure why you would want to unless it's a function check. Sure can't practice CQB drills.

Scottsdale GC has a store in Peoria, as well and they say they are going to build a 56 lane range with 10 lanes @100 yards.

There is Joe Foss in Buckeye, but that's out there a bit and I think the range is 200 yards.

May 11, 2011, 01:20 PM
wow, thanks for all the responses, will definitely check them out

May 11, 2011, 01:59 PM
there's always the border fence

May 11, 2011, 03:09 PM
While I have never gone out to the desert to shoot, I do like going to the Buckeye Hills Shooting Facility. Depending on where you live, it is a little bit of a drive. Take I-10 west to Highway 85. South for about 10 miles and it is on the right side of the road.

It's $7 to shoot. $5 if you're LE or Military. It's never been even remotely crowded when I've gone. The only drawback is that you're limited to 200 yards.

Other than that, there is a range down at 7th Avenue just south of Dobbins. I've never been there before, but I've been told it's something along the lines of $95.00/year for a membership. Show up and shoot whenever you want, and you can shoot out to 500 yards.

May 11, 2011, 06:22 PM
Try Prescott Sportsmen's Club; nice place, never crowded.

May 11, 2011, 11:30 PM
The desert comes to mind

May 23, 2011, 12:47 PM
Just an FYI/Update - It looks like the USFS is shutting down the Sycamore/Sugarloaf Mtn. area to shooting and campfires. They're building a big barricade at the entrance to that road. According to a Forest Service guy I talked to, the trash has gotten so bad out there that they decided to shut it down to target shooting and fires. It will probably be open to other recreation via permit system similar to the Bulldog Canyon area which went through the same thing several years ago (too much trash from shooters and dumping).

The area was still open this weekend -the barricade didn't go all the way across the road. People were still out there shooting despite a sign on the 87 saying there was Extreme fire danger and "No Target Shooting", "No Fireworks" etc. A Sheriff was out giving $100 tickets for the illiterate. :D

I went out to test a new trigger system at the Rio Salado Range but it was full. I thought I would do a short function test at Sycamore instead. When my wife and I saw the signs we figured we would skip it and just tried to pick up trash instead. We ended up with a pretty full pickup truck load and hardly made a dent. :banghead: It sucks that they're shutting it down like this, but I can understand it. Unfortunately the problem isn't going to go away. It will likely just move somewhere else.

May 23, 2011, 01:27 PM
With the amount of trash being left behind I see a lot of places starting to do that. Atleast pick up the paper and shotgun shells. I wouldnt worry much about brass if its a place a lot of guys go. There will surely be guys like me there within hours to pick that up. Heck I even pick up berdan primed brass to throw in my scrap bucket. However, if you're shooting steel case ammo I'd say pick that up cause it aint getting picked up.

May 23, 2011, 02:43 PM
We were picking up shot up folding tables, microwaves, pallets (both plastic and wood), cardboard, kids toys, bottles, cans, and the list goes on. Like I said, as much as we hauled out of there, you'd never know it with what there is still out there.

May 23, 2011, 03:15 PM
I usually had the privilege of working nights so I was able to go to whatever range I wanted to and always found a spot. I lived on the east side so Rio Salado was like a home away from home to me in the few years previous to my departure for Kansas. Before that I used to frequent both Sycamore Creek and Four Peaks for all kinds of desert fun. Hell, I especially liked it when it got hot and no one would be out there in the middle of the day.

It's pathetic out there and the class of individual that goes out there and shoots isn't the class I prefer to be around. I love the Four Peaks Wilderness area and used to go out there often. Sycamore attracts the absolutely wrong kind of crowd anymore and really wish it wasn't the case. I've done lots of off-roading and four wheeling in both areas but won't go out anymore unless it's early in the morning and in the middle of the week. The last time I went out shooting in the desert I ended up nearly to Superstition. Thanks for helping keep the desert clean. Too bad 99% of the people who go out there anymore don't feel the same responsibility as you do. Hopefully it all gets better by the time I get back.

I wonder how much cleaner it would stay if they required a gate code to get in like they do in Bulldog Canyon? I know irresponsible people still leave the gate open for their irresponsible friends and the land loses out in those cases, but Bulldog Canyon is still remarkably cleaner than either Sycamore or Four Peaks. Of course, you can't target shoot out there.

And one more thing: No good thing comes from Tucson. Go Devils.

May 23, 2011, 04:54 PM
its illegal to shoot within the city of phoenix. So 32nd street and bell is infact illegal. You might get away with it, but chances are to be 100% legal you have to go outside of Phoenix city limits, which goes all the way up to New River Road now.

May 31, 2011, 03:29 AM
There are open shooting areas near Lake Pleasant west of the lake entrance. I understand there is also areas on the BLM land at Table Mesa, but I haven't been there myself. There has been a lot of talk about closing the shooting at Table Mesa so Google it for the latest info.

May 31, 2011, 08:17 AM
Again, a bit of a drive...but a generally quiet place....

Wickenburg Sportsmans Club...

I do like Ben Avery and Buckeye as well; the new indoor in Peoria is nice. Rio could not pay me to go there.

June 16, 2011, 01:21 AM
What's wrong with Rio Salado?

I went there last time I was home and it seemed decent. The RSO hovered the whole time right behind us but as I've been told I look to be about 16(I'm 21) and I was teaching two new shooters(also young adults) I can't really blame him. I'd be keeping on eye on such a group myself if I was shooting next to them. You'd think he'd leave after he realized I was staying on them about the safety stuff though.

June 29, 2011, 11:18 PM
Go down grand ave a ways. after you pass the 303 start heading into the desert. If you have a 4wd. There's plenty of land out there. Good rabbit and quail hunting too. But I don't want to be too specific. That's half the adventure

Smokey in PHX
July 23, 2011, 08:14 PM
Go to the AZ Game and Fish Site, click on Ben Avery Shooting Facility located under shooting sports. One of the nicest ranges in the US. Probably 30 minutes from where you live.

October 23, 2011, 11:43 PM
We recently went shooting in the 4 peaks wilderness area (near Mesa Arizona), and I was DISGUSTED by the mess people are leaving..... Shells, targets, brass, bottles, cans, diapers, tarps, a dead dog, smashed pumpkins, you name it. EVERYWHERE. Of course it's not all from people target shooting, but a lot of it is. Listen, I'm the FARTHEST thing from a bunny hugger, but this type of stuff makes us all look bad. On top of that, the USFS ends up closing down more and more recreational areas due to the few pathetic losers who can't clean up after themselves. My husband, son, and I will be up there soon to clean up. It's the least we can do to help make sure we still have a place to shoot in years to come. I hope you'll all join me in the fight.

October 24, 2011, 12:07 AM
I recommend Prescott Sportsmens Club off Iron Springs Rd Prescott and Prescott Trap and Skeet Club Hwy 69 Dewey; non-members welcome at both. You can find 'em on the internet.

October 24, 2011, 08:49 AM
Regarding desert shooting, it's actually a lot more important you pick up brass cases than steel cases. Steel rusts. The earth will reclaim it within a few years. Brass doesn't, and only corrodes extremely slowly. Shotgun husks are a must, though. Now, I understand if you genuinely can't find some of your ejected shells. It happens. As long as you make an effort and get as many as you can find (and ideally anyone else's you come across), that's what counts.

For outdoor rifle ranges, there's Ben Avery and Rio Salado Sportsman's Club. Ben Avery's atmosphere changes from month to month as range officers come and go. From the middle of last year to this spring, I avoided there because the range officers were real jerks. You were constantly being harassed. Last time I went, though, it had calmed down and it was a pleasant outing. I had a table next to a couple of Russians who were shooting AK variants. :) Kind of a pity, though, as this was the only time I didn't take any of my Commie guns.

For indoor ranges, there's the Scottsdale Gun Club and a few others. Scottsdale Gun Club's new location, SGC Peoria, will have a 100-yard indoor range once it's completed.

October 25, 2011, 12:32 AM
If the part of your reply regarding shooting in the desert was aimed at my post about trash, thank you. I appreciate your time and thoughts.
While I agree with everything you said, I wanted to further my point by saying that my biggest concern is giving the environmentalists fuel for their raging fire..... People today are not being raised as "good stewards" the way the middle aged and older were raised. It's sad that we need rules/regulations to replace common sense and courtesy.
I believe the earth can reclaim anything we throw at it, and will be none the worse for the wear when we're all dead and gone, but we can make a terrible mess for OURSELVES while we're here.
I would suggest taking a leaf rake, and a few trash bags with you when you go shooting. Do your part to keep things clean. It's not hard, and it will help us all maybe keep our freedoms just a little bit longer. Also, the desert is a beautiful place, and I always bring my camera, but............... not so much with all the trash. I think the off roading/4 wheeler crowd is just as much (if not more) to blame, but - we all need to do what we can. Anyway - thanks. I love this site, and appreciate all the information we get from it.

October 25, 2011, 12:53 AM
From OP:
Hi, I am from Indiana, Just moved to Phoenix about 8 months ago. I am looking for a good, and not jam packed with people place to shoot.I was about to jump to recommend Ben Avery Shooting Facility, but you mentioned you've been there and didn't like the atmosphere. Not sure exactly what you mean by that. What did you dislike about it?

It's $7 to get in and you can shoot as long as you want. I haven't been to many other ranges in the valley, but I always thought the price is really fair. It's really clean, and I've never seen it more than half-full.

They've got lanes from 100 yards on down, and you can set the targets at 10, 15, 25, 50, 100 yards, and so on. It's about ten minutes from my home, and I love the place. Employees are polite and professional, and strict about the safety rules; and with one exception, all the other shooters I've ever met there were very friendly. The one exception I referenced was when I saw a small group of shooters a couple lanes away from mine - looked like three friends - out there shooting their handguns sideways (read: "thug" style), and just gave me a weird vibe, but they left about 15 minutes after I got there. And like I said, I've been a handful of different times now, and that was the only time I ever saw anyone who seemed on the "unsavory side" at Ben Avery.

Personally, I'm not a big fan of target shooting in the desert here. You can definitely get away with it, but I'm yet to find a spot where it's actually legal, and that's including several lawful public-land hunting areas.

October 30, 2011, 01:29 AM
I'm from Tucson and generally go out and shoot in the desert. Out here it's legal, few simple rules you have to follow but other then that it's basically setting up your own range and being a safe as possible.

From my couple experiences at Ben Avery, the staff is mean and un-friendly (@ssholes/****** bags is a better term). There have to be better established ranges up there that people listed here.

Not worth the drive but Casa Grade has a really nice public and free range that you are allowed to plink stuff at. Not sure how big it is thought

October 30, 2011, 02:54 PM
Personally, I'm not a big fan of target shooting in the desert here. You can definitely get away with it, but I'm yet to find a spot where it's actually legal, and that's including several lawful public-land hunting areas.


I haven't looked at the actual regs in a while, but I believe as long as you are:

On private property with permission


On public land (not Indian) not specifically posted no shooting/hunting


Not shooting within 1/4 mile of a building, occupied or not,

Not shooting from or across a road,

Not within city limits/incorporated areas, and

Not creating a dangerous situation/nuisance

You should be free to target shoot here in AZ. Of course don't take potshots at cacti (though that has a way of invoking a Darwin Award at times... problem solved) and do pick up after yourself, you should be good.

If you have information to the contrary, I'd like to hear it.


October 30, 2011, 03:36 PM
If you have information to the contrary, I'd like to hear it.
I don't. :)

Like I said, I just hadn't found public land where it wasn't posted. Then again, I'm not trying to find any lol.

October 30, 2011, 10:56 PM
Shooting on public land is indeed legal. You just have to make sure it's none of the conditions Nullcone listed.

Regarding roads, the law specifically states "maintained roads". In other words, if you find an unmarked, unmaintained, clearly unofficial dirt track in the desert (and believe me, they exist), that is not legally considered a road. That doesn't mean you should shoot across or down it (that would still be reckless), but you're not restricted from shooting NEAR it or FROM it (valuable to know during hunting season). Standard gun safety rules apply. Be sure of your target and what's behind it, and keep some basic situational awareness.

November 1, 2011, 03:37 PM
I just would like to pop in again and say I moved up the Prescott valley/Dewey area and now can shoot freely. I am only a short drive from the BLM land. IT'S AWESOME =)

and On the Ben Avery note, I didn't like it because I wasn't a fan of the range officers, also it seemed to be very crowded on the weekends even on Mondays. I even tried the Usury mountain shooting range, loved it, but it was VERY crowded .

November 2, 2011, 12:54 AM
Brock, the range officers change from time to time. Give it another chance. I've been there when they're real buttholes, and I've been there when it's pleasant and laid back. The current crop seems good.

November 2, 2011, 07:15 PM
I used to shoot at Ben Avery in the early 70's when I lived in Phx. Frequented Bond's Gun Shop at 24th St & Indian School. Bought my first handgun there in 1972, an S&W 28.

Sheesh I thought the area of the range would be built up by now. Seemed like a long way from town back 40 years ago. Had a run in with a RO but he probably isn't there anymore. Someday I hope to get back there and visit.

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