range paranoia


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Pacsd
December 7, 2012, 03:03 PM
I was at a public range the other day and as I was walking down range to my target I got a wacko thought run through my feeble mind. I'm the only one there. Suppose, just suppose, while down range another vehicle pulls up to where my truck is parked (keys in it), all gear on the ground, gun on the rifle rest on the bench, ect. and they decide to run off with all my stuff and truck. No cell phone signal for over 3/4 mile, no side arm and 100 yards away. Boy, what a delemia that would be. Besides, what good would a hand gun be at over a 100 yards. Hmmmmm.

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jmr40
December 7, 2012, 03:09 PM
That is a possibility where I shoot as well. When I shoot I' usually there at sunup and generally have at least 2 hours by myself. Often longer. It is a pivate club, and only other clup members are there so I don't worry too much.

I've considered taking one of my rifles, possibly an AR down the line when I change targets, but realistically you couldn't legally shoot at someone for stealing your guns and gear.

rottenit
December 7, 2012, 03:10 PM
You could take that thought one step further and they could just pop you.... Thought has crossed my mind in a similar situation.

rbernie
December 7, 2012, 03:14 PM
I was at a public range the other day and as I was walking down range to my target I got a wacko thought run through my feeble mind. I'm the only one there. Suppose, just suppose, while down range another vehicle pulls up to where my truck is parked (keys in it), all gear on the ground, gun on the rifle rest on the bench, ect. and they decide to run off with all my stuff and truck. No cell phone signal for over 3/4 mile, no side arm and 100 yards away. Boy, what a delemia that would be.This happens more than you think.

I don't go to ranges alone unless they're supervised ranges.

Trent
December 7, 2012, 03:17 PM
I worry about this too. Especially when I have an expensive gun sitting on a bench and there's people around I don't know.

I've walked out to the 300 yard line with my Barrett slung and a few 50 BMG rounds in my pocket before. Same with my 300 Win Mag, FS2000 with a mag in my pocket, etc.

To hedge against this somewhat, I've gotten in the habit of writing down the license plates of people I don't know at the range.

Paranoia yes, but gun ranges are one of the easiest places for someone to steal guns at. If a criminal were desperate enough, they might just shoot you to do it; especially if the range (like most outdoor ranges) are in the middle of nowhere.

Trent
December 7, 2012, 03:19 PM
(Just like the easiest place to steal a race motorcycle is at a motorcycle race track; back a few years ago a couple of Ducati's (1098R and 848R) worth a small fortune were stolen right out of the damn paddock on a race weekend.)

JShirley
December 7, 2012, 03:23 PM
Platt and Matix robbed and shot a couple of target shooters.

Don't leave your keys in the vehicle when you're nowhere around!

Trunk Monkey
December 7, 2012, 03:40 PM
Wasn't there a THR member sometime back that was killed at a range for his guns?

45_auto
December 7, 2012, 03:44 PM
This happens more than you think.

Any links to news articles or reports?

I don't think it happens much at all. Kind of the same reason not many cops gt robbed.

Last ones I remember hearing about were the Platt and Matix robbery/killings about 20 years ago.

Trent
December 7, 2012, 04:21 PM
I'd rather have a long arm on a sling with a magazine handy while I'm walking out to check targets, than leave my guns and ammo at my back on the bench. :)

I *have* been shot at once at the range while changing targets - was an idiot who pulled up during a cease fire, and didn't bother looking downrange. He unloaded his little 22 rifle and immediately started shooting at a target that was already out there.

I was standing 2 target stands OVER from the target he was shooting at, with my son (he was 4 or 5 at the time).

I was beyond furious. I was ready to tear someone's head off by the time I got back to the shooting line. By then the RO had him packing up his gear, and 3 of my friends restrained me until he left (never to come back; permanently banned).

While that might be an argument for body armor at the range, it also indicates how exposed you are when you're away from your guns.

oneounceload
December 7, 2012, 04:30 PM
Happened several times here in FL at a range in the US Forest. Now, I understand they have someone there to keep an eye on things

NoirFan
December 7, 2012, 04:33 PM
Why are your keys in your truck?

Cosmoline
December 7, 2012, 04:36 PM
Wasn't there a THR member sometime back that was killed at a range for his guns?

Yes, Rev. McCalla. His killers were brought to justice.

http://www.herald-dispatch.com/news/x2086848656/Jury-finds-Army-deserter-guilty-of-first-degree-robbery-second-degree-murder-in-McCalla-trial

So no it isn't paranoia. Particularly at isolated ad-hoc ranges with no range master. Always a good idea to use a buddy system and be very suspicious of guys wanting to see your firearms.

Never expect this kind of scum to show mercy. These animals murdered a man of the cloth when the most they were in danger of was a sermon on the evils of stealing. They'll kill any of us given a chance. For our firearms or for fun.

And don't be fooled by appearances. These killers were white and likely pretended to be legitimate vets even though both were deserters.

armedandsafe
December 7, 2012, 04:36 PM
Keys on my belt, as is my carry piece. I can hit at 100 yards with it because I practice.

Pops

billy396
December 7, 2012, 04:50 PM
I had an unknown person slip a cheap Star BM 9mm out of my range bag once. I'm just glad he didn't grab the '70 Series Colt Gold Cup that was right next to it. Since then (about 7 years ago), I'm much more aware of exactly where my bag is and who is around me at any range. Also, I NEVER leave the keys in my truck or even leave it unlocked, anyplace, anytime.

smalls
December 7, 2012, 04:54 PM
Use the buddy system. Take turns changing targets.

And why in the world would you ever leave your keys in the car?

gym
December 7, 2012, 05:01 PM
Use your camera phone to snap pictures instead of writing down numbers, you can snap the whole lot in a few shots. When my uncle was still alive , they were getting robbed outside of his range in Glen cove LI. He told me when we were leaving, since you have a carry, keep your gun at your side till we get to the car.
Pretty crappy way to live , but that's just how it is now. I would keep a lock with a light on it, or similar hi cap pistil in my range bag for entering and leaving. That's about all you can do, and try to leave in groups of 2 or more when it's dark.
Also if you do think someone is out there, call the sherriff and ask for a drive by, they are happy to do it most times

Quick Shot xMLx
December 7, 2012, 05:02 PM
I've also thought about this but I always go to the outdoor range with at least one friend so it's not really a problem. Make some friends, don't be a loner;)

Geneseo1911
December 7, 2012, 05:07 PM
I have a home range, but even then I'm always carrying something when I'm downrange, as someone could pull off the road road and be at my shooting station pretty fast. I usually don't leave a gun at the bench, although I have with older military rifles. I doubt the majority of criminals could tell .30-40 from 8mm, figure out the safety, and chamber a round before they were under fire from me.

100 yd shots with a centerfire handguns on a man sized target are not that hard. I have a disc blade that measures about 14", and can ring it consistently, even with the P64 and PF9. It is great fun and I recommend everyone practice it, as it will greatly improve your handgun shooting overall.

BLACKHAWKNJ
December 7, 2012, 05:23 PM
It was drummed into my head in my Army days that you do NOT leave a weapon-or any sensitive or expensove gear unattended or unsecured.

esheato
December 7, 2012, 05:24 PM
I used to shoot to 500 yards at a place in northern California. Scumbags frequented the place.

I would always stay in my truck with it packed and go out to set targets...and even go so far as to notify somebody that I was heading down. The 500 yard berm was behind the other berms and I didn't want some pistol guy to start shooting while I was out there.

Then I'd motor back, and set up my table. Never, never did I set up my table then drive out.

Trent
December 7, 2012, 06:30 PM
Yes, Rev. McCalla. His killers were brought to justice.

http://www.herald-dispatch.com/news/x2086848656/Jury-finds-Army-deserter-guilty-of-first-degree-robbery-second-degree-murder-in-McCalla-trial

So no it isn't paranoia. Particularly at isolated ad-hoc ranges with no range master. Always a good idea to use a buddy system and be very suspicious of guys wanting to see your firearms.

Never expect this kind of scum to show mercy. These animals murdered a man of the cloth when the most they were in danger of was a sermon on the evils of stealing. They'll kill any of us given a chance. For our firearms or for fun.

And don't be fooled by appearances. These killers were white and likely pretended to be legitimate vets even though both were deserters.

Dude.. that is horrible.

I'm thinking back to a couple of things that have happened at the range just this year, and now I got a chill up my spine.

I was out there with a friend and we went out to check / replace targets at the 200 yard mark; while out there a motorcycle rolled up. Usually I'm cool about motorcycles but I didn't recognize this guy (it's a small private club) and I had a gut feeling. As we're walking back he gets off the bike and starts looking at what's on the benches.

Anyway we pass the 100 yard mark on the way back, I don't think he's seen us yet, or doesn't seem to care. He goes over to the table where my buddy's AR is sitting on a bipod and picks up a magazine from Mike's "loaded" stack (empties are sitting in another pile).

I pick up my pace and by the 50 yard mark I've got my rifle off it's sling and in my hands, dude is still holding the mag and looking at the AR15.

I yell "YOU LOOKING FOR SOMEONE?" and he looks up to see us come around the 50 yard berm.

Puts the mag down.

We get back and my buddy Mike is upset at this dude who had just been going through his stuff.

Guy shifts around a bit and says "Hey you seen Larry around?"

"No, no Larry here. You a member, I haven't seen you before?"

"No, just looking for Larry. See you later." Turns around, gets on his motorcycle, and rolls off.

He might have been looking for Larry; or might not.

But after reading that story about Rev McCalla man.. my short hairs are all tingly. Never been in a gunfight, don't WANT to be in a gunfight.

Thinking back to the amount of times I've expended ALL of my ammunition at the range and drove off with a bag of empty magazines... I think that's gotta change too.

When it's dark, I'm alone, and locking the gate to the range... in the middle of nowhere.. yeah that's an easy target.

BigN
December 7, 2012, 06:35 PM
Never even crossed my mind but I guess it's possible.

AlexanderA
December 7, 2012, 06:43 PM
This story reminds me of two "rules" I try to follow:

1. Always take a companion while shooting -- to guard each other's stuff, and to help if, heaven forbid, there should be an accident.

2. Never take a companion while shopping for guns -- too much chance that he/she will open his/her mouth and ruin your negotiations, or possibly have the deal misunderstood as a "straw sale." If you know what you're doing, the last thing you need is a second opinion.

Win1892
December 7, 2012, 06:47 PM
I have a private 100/300 yard range on 40 acres in the middle of nowhere. I always wear a 1911A1 with a 10 round mag and a second mag on my hip.
Always.
If it's what I'm shooting I reload it before I walk downrange. If I'm with others, they do the same. While outbound I turn and look back frequently.
Paranoid? Not really. Vigilant is more like it. Situational awareness.
If you manage to sneak up on me, you've done something.

Bottom line is we are all responsible not just for our own safety, but must all safeguard against losing a firearm into a criminals possession.

3twelves
December 7, 2012, 07:30 PM
Had thoughts walking down the range to change targets adding up the cost of the rifle sitting on the bench unsupervised thinking it wouldn't be hard to take me out with my own rifle or walk off with it. Not much I would be able to do with a pistol at 200+ yards.

Plan2Live
December 7, 2012, 07:31 PM
How about a slightly different angle. I'm a volunteer RSO at a public range. The RSO's are allowed to open carry while on duty. It's always in the back of my mind that if someone goes rogue the RSO is a likely target, espcially if it's during a cease fire. Am I paranoid?

22-rimfire
December 7, 2012, 07:39 PM
My rule #1... NEVER EVER leave keys in the car even if you are only stepping out for a minute like running into the post office to drop off a letter.
Rule #2: Lock that car if there is anything inside it that you don't want to loose.

There is no practical way to "protect" your stuff at a public range if you are shooting alone. You walk up to a target and someone could walk away with whatever you left at your shooting spot. Do the best you can and be a little paranoid.

scaatylobo
December 7, 2012, 07:45 PM
Always been on my mind IF the range appears empty except for myself.

I always keep a check on my '6' as I go down range.

And I do not go alone if its to the 100 + yard range unless all guns are secured as well as ammo.

And I will still be armed with a CCW,not that I would ever want to see how I faired against a rifle at 100 + yards.

And I was an LEO during the infamous Miami shootout and yes,I knew where they had gotten a few of their guns.

tacxted
December 7, 2012, 07:46 PM
Ive never thought about this topic. I have a story to share about it though.

Two days ago I was at a gravel pit where alot of people like to target shoot. I was testing loads that I made for my 9mm. Im new to reloading so I was focused on all of the information I was reading from my targets, then I heard, BANG , BANG! Two guys had driven into the pit and set up on a ridge shooting clay birds. They were in a safe direction and so was I. What suprised me is that I didnt know they were there untill I heard the gun shots!

dcarch
December 7, 2012, 07:49 PM
Originally Posted by Cosmoline
Yes, Rev. McCalla. His killers were brought to justice.

http://www.herald-dispatch.com/news/...-McCalla-trial

So no it isn't paranoia. Particularly at isolated ad-hoc ranges with no range master. Always a good idea to use a buddy system and be very suspicious of guys wanting to see your firearms.

Never expect this kind of scum to show mercy. These animals murdered a man of the cloth when the most they were in danger of was a sermon on the evils of stealing. They'll kill any of us given a chance. For our firearms or for fun.

And don't be fooled by appearances. These killers were white and likely pretended to be legitimate vets even though both were deserters.
^That's awful. Very sorry for this family's loss. Yes, I have been paranoid at the range before. I had a very bad incident with a bump firing drunk at the range about two years back, and never have really had my faith in public ranges restored since. That's why I now shoot at a private range in the back of a corn field. Very secluded, and you can see anyone who approaches from a long way off.

22-rimfire
December 7, 2012, 07:59 PM
I only take one firearm at a time to my shooting station at a public range. It is tempting to carry a whole bag full of handguns if you plan on shooting them. Theoretically you could loose thousands of dollars when you walk up to check or change a target. You could also loose your life from one of your own firearms.

There is something to be said for shooting handguns at 100 yd targets.

Tinpig
December 7, 2012, 08:03 PM
I like to shoot alone at my rifle range.

It's in a remote area and behind a locked gate but I'm always aware that someone who doesn't belong there could walk in or show up on an ATV or dirt bike.

I always carry a pistol anyway, and if I'm alone at the range, I carry the rifle I'm shooting on a sling when I go downrange, with a mag or two in my pocket. As someone else said, it's an Army habit. Anything I'm not using stays locked in the truck.

Obviously if other members are there, it's actions open and step away from the bench during a ceasefire.

I'm not paranoid, just cautious, and increasingly distrustful of my fellow man. :(

Tinpig

rduckwor
December 7, 2012, 08:30 PM
Lock your truck, always put your target up first before unloading. ALWAYS wear a side arm to the rifle range.

Problem solved. I believe I could discourage thieves even at 100 yds with my 1911.

RMD

JohnB
December 7, 2012, 08:43 PM
Use the buddy system. Take turns changing targets.

And why in the world would you ever leave your keys in the car?
That pretty much covers it.

taraquian
December 7, 2012, 08:49 PM
You most definately need to be cautious and aware if you are alone at the range. I posted earlier this year about going to get my targets and turning around with them only to see a grubby fellow with my brand new 1911 in his hand :what:

Now I keep all my guns in the trunk of the car,laid out so I can get whatever I want/need in or out easily, I also carry my 1911 or my CZ on me the whole time and remove my ear protection (if there is no one shooting) as that was how I didn't hear my mystery guest approaching. I try to take someone with me but I shoot every weekend when the weather is nice and my shooting partners are only available 2 weekends a month.

Be safe out there

bobinoregon
December 7, 2012, 08:51 PM
When I used to go to a private club range years ago by myself, I never left a gun in the rack, it either went back in the locked pickup or down range with me. When you are a couple hundred yards away or better and somebody wants it, that gun is gone.

KTXdm9
December 7, 2012, 09:30 PM
Platt and Matix robbed and shot a couple of target shooters.

Don't leave your keys in the vehicle when you're nowhere around!
I second that.

sgtstryker
December 7, 2012, 09:58 PM
The last gun club I was about 40 miles away. We had pistol, rifle and skeet ranges,but, it was very close to US 75, with access. The rules stated to close and lock the gate on entering and leaving, but there always seemed to be those that would not follow this rule. Anything can happen, I would always carry my carbine downrange. Where I shoot now is much the same only there are LE living on the property. On a side note, the other range was closed by the FAA after we cleared some property to build a 3-D archery shoot. An official could see the skeet tower from a runway, were too close to the airport..

Trent
December 7, 2012, 10:18 PM
On a side note, the other range was closed by the FAA after we cleared some property to build a 3-D archery shoot. An official could see the skeet tower from a runway, were too close to the airport..

What, they think you were going to take down an aircraft with a shotgun?

Don't they understand physics?

Reefinmike
December 7, 2012, 10:49 PM
What, they think you were going to take down an aircraft with a shotgun?

Don't they understand physics?
I used to do trap shooting here!

http://goo.gl/maps/zc1lH

I was 14 or so at the time and never thought of it, but then I drove by it on my way to a gun store recently and was like WOAH, I was shooting at an airport! however it does appear the place is no longer operational. it looks as if the airports runways were expanded. no way they'd allow shooting that close to a runway

Warp
December 7, 2012, 11:10 PM
According to most posters in the body armour thread, if you worry about getting shot at the range, you should never go there to begin with. You need a new range.

Here it is: Might as well read it if you haven't, it goes in a pretty similar direction. Well, in that thread people base it on being accidentally shot...I think this thread would be even less likely (shot intentionally)

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=688189

smalls
December 7, 2012, 11:11 PM
Don't they understand physics?

Believe me, the FAA is almost as stupid as the ATF.

They may have a fear of shot getting into engines, though. Which WILL destroy the compressor.

Idk how far the range was from the runway, though.

Trent
December 7, 2012, 11:34 PM
Believe me, the FAA is almost as stupid as the ATF.

They may have a fear of shot getting into engines, though. Which WILL destroy the compressor.

Idk how far the range was from the runway, though.

You made me think of "the golden BB"...

.... and now I have to go watch Air America again. :)

coloradokevin
December 7, 2012, 11:48 PM
This kind of stuff has definitely happened before, as you mentioned. When at ranges where I consider the threat of such action to be a possibility (national forest, unsupervised public ranges, etc) I'll typically leave a shooting buddy at the firing line, or take a gun down-range with me.

I used to shoot at a now-defunct public range near Colorado Springs, and often shot there alone. More than one time I found that unsavory individuals were showing up there during my visits, including a car load of dressed out gang members during one trip. As such, I started slinging my AR-15 when I went downrange to change targets. Doing so prevented it from being stolen, and also gave me a very viable means of defense if someone decided to rob me at that location.

Anyway, you aren't being paranoid by worrying about this stuff, and I think it is smart to consider the possibility that this is a risk in some areas. I don't worry about it at my primary range these days, since I shoot at a private members-only club, where the firing line is located about 1/2 a mile down a road behind a locked gate.

Onward Allusion
December 8, 2012, 12:05 AM
I usually go to the range when it's quiet, and I'm usually the only one out. Believe me, it's not paranoia. Where else can a criminal find a stash of guns just sitting there with loaded mags and its owner 100 yards or more down range? If I were a BG in need of a firearm or two, I would stake out a quiet public range or even a private club with woods near the shooting station.

Fortunately, I'm a pistol shooter so my targets aren't far downrange at all. That and I have a full size loaded pistol strapped on. I just started on longer distance rifle and I think I'll be walking down to the targets with my rifle or at the very least the bolt.

DurangoKid
December 8, 2012, 12:42 AM
Back in the late 1970s I had 2 friends murdered for their firearms. They were changing targets on a isolated shooting range in the Big Horn Basin in Wyoming. A stranger picked up one of their rifles from a bench and shot both of them. He was later caught selling their guns and etc. I always change targets with a 1911 on my belt.

BBDartCA
December 8, 2012, 01:13 AM
From a practical standpoint, would a thief want to try to steal a gun or something else at a range when there is probably a very good chance somebody armed is probably not too far off? Thieves like convenience and getting into a shoot out can ruin a day.

David White
December 8, 2012, 01:43 AM
I don't know what kind of ranges you have in your state but at mine, my guns are with me at all times.
I always carry two guns to the range. The one I plan to shoot and the other one concealed, in case of a close encounter of the wrong kind.
My range is in the middle of now where and has no range officer or authority figure of any kind.
My guns never leave my hands while I'm there.

Ignition Override
December 8, 2012, 01:52 AM
Do you guys remember reading about a firefight at a rifle range parking lot? Maybe within the last few years.

I can't remember whether a regular break-up or possible divorce was in the works, but I remember that one or two people were seriously injured or died.
My impression is that it was in the Florida Panhandle, possibly Ft. Walton Beach or Pensacola.

The-Reaver
December 8, 2012, 04:51 AM
Used to have to link up with friends to go to the range for that reason.

Now, I go to private range.

No friends needed.
Peace, quite & gunfire. ;-)

evan price
December 8, 2012, 06:31 AM
If I'm shooting at a public range and some joker starts trying to take pictures of my car, my gear, or me- there's going to be a problem.

Some of you guys need to relax a little bit. Not everyone is out to get you.

bannockburn
December 8, 2012, 06:45 AM
When shooting at an outdoor range I always went with a friend of mine. After the initial set-up of targets, we would take turns replacing them, that way our gear was never left unattended and you most definitely had someone watching your back.

JohnKSa
December 8, 2012, 06:48 AM
If I'm shooting at a public range and some joker starts trying to take pictures of my car, my gear, or me- there's going to be a problem.Coupla things...

1. If you're shooting at a public range, the odds are extremely good that the range has video monitoring, so you, your car and your gear have probably always been photographed every time you shoot.

2. If you're in public, there is no right to not be photographed. You can ask them to stop, and if they're polite, they should do so, but they have no legal responsibility to comply. If you make it into a problem, you're going to be the one in trouble if it escalates.

http://photorights.org/faq/is-it-legal-to-take-photos-of-people-without-askingSome of you guys need to relax a little bit. Not everyone is out to get you.This from a guy who threatens to make problems if someone photographs him in public? If that's not the pot calling the kettle black, I don't know what is. :DBesides, what good would a hand gun be at over a 100 yards.Pretty good use, if you practice at those ranges.

At 100 yards, a reasonably accurate handgun with a decent shooter behind the trigger should be able to account for several hits on a human sized targets per magazine/cylinder.

Of course, it gets much harder to be effective as the range stretches, but I'll wager that even at ranges beyond 200 yards, lobbing lead in their direction will get their attention in a big way.

youngda9
December 8, 2012, 08:00 AM
You should always be packing a firearm...that is your problem. It has nothing to do with the range.

Guvnor
December 8, 2012, 08:23 AM
Alot of states have those public ranges run by the state's fish and game commission. I've been to a few over the years but stop going because they freak me out. It's nice shooting for free, but there is no supervision or enforcement at this type of places (other than the occasional CO driving by). I have seen my fair share of idiotic behavior at these ranges...like people walking from their cars across the parking lot with loaded guns already in their hands, rapid fire and other assorted horseplay, and morons with no muzzle awareness who obviously have had insufficient gun safety training.

Taking all that into account, plus the risk of getting robbed as described by the OP, I avoid these type of ranges like the plague now. The ranges I frequent now have overzealous range safety officers, and i like it that way. I gladly pay the range fee for this service. Not going to put my life in some stranger's hands. Just not worth it.

kimbershot
December 8, 2012, 08:44 AM
my "public" range is about 40miles from the house and about 3 miles down a service road in a wildlife management area-the boonies. been there 2x and by myself. had a couple of people and families show up both times. my car is parked close enough to secure any guns while i walk downrange and i always open carry my 45. i don't think i am being paranoid--just prepared.

gym
December 8, 2012, 12:52 PM
As john mentionrd we get photographed hudreds of times per day, but you would never know, these new phone cameras just look like you are making a call, and can bang out a 10 shot burst in 2 seconds while looking like making a call..They also need almost no light. but having a glock 17b long barrell 9mm with a laser would solve most problems, as it could easily reach out to 100 yards, pluds all they see is the green laser, not the weapon. Any long barrelled " 6 inch or more revolver" would also be adequate, a 44 blackhawk, or a 357 Tracker with 6 inch or better barrels, would easily do the job, or whatever you have is better than a sharp stick.I just got an extension for my shotgun, which is an 18 1/2 inh Benelli with 7 +1, I run slugs and buck in it alternatelly for such a situation.
But a quick call to the local police works best, it's their pleasure to accomidate you and possiblly catch a gun theif, "or worse"
They just employed something called "shot spot" here near me, if a gun is fired, they can pinpoint where the sound came from, it's being tested in FL now, I don't know what the range is but they made a big deal on the news about it.

coloradokevin
December 8, 2012, 01:16 PM
Whether someone considers this concern to be prudence or paranoia probably has a lot to do with where they typically shoot. At the gun club I belong to, I don't worry about my guns on the bench when the gate is locked behind me, even if I'm changing targets at 600 yards (I could get back to the bench before a non-member thief could walk from the gate to the bench himself). But, the story is different on some of the public/wildlife management ranges I've been to over the years.

Some of the places I've felt most vulnerable are at the undeveloped/informal shooting areas that have been used for years on the national forest areas near major cities. I live near Denver, and there used to be quite a few of these spots within an hour drive of my house (there are far less today, thanks to morons who abused the privilege, but still some). These areas often involved little more than an open gravel pit, or field with a hill at the end to use as a backstop. These areas aren't supervised, are often quite secluded, and yet still frequently visited by shooters, brass scroungers, and unsavory types. One such area that is fairly close to my home recently had boulders covered in gang graffiti that I could identify as belonging to an east-Denver area gang. Think someone might be able to have problems there, if they were to leave their firearms/ammo unattended while going down range? I do.

Another range I used to shoot at was the Rampart Range shooting area near Colorado Springs. I believe this area was finally shuttered forever after some dimwit shot his friend there a few years ago. Anyway, this was a formal public shooting range, with absolutely no public supervision. The range was well-used and abused during its time there, and its close proximity to Colorado Springs seemed to attract the criminal element on occasion. I personally saw dressed-out gang members there on at least three occasions, and I was alone at the range near sunset during two of those incidents. One time the subjects kept to themselves and acted reasonably safe on the line, though obviously "gangsta". The other time the subjects were drinking and handling their firearms in an unsafe manner.

At a range that is sometimes frequented by active gang members, is someone really paranoid if they keep their AR-15 slung over the shoulder while heading downrange? I don't think so.


(EDITED TO ADD: It does look like that one range I used to use is gone: http://www.gazette.com/articles/range-58832-shooting-forest.html)

Nanook
December 8, 2012, 01:35 PM
I've thought of these things too. I do most of my shooting at a members only range with an electronic gate. There is usually a range officer on hand, too.

I've never heard of anything happening at this range, but in today's world one can't be too sure. So to be safe, when shooting alone, before I go downrange to pull my targets, I put the guns and gear in the truck and lock it.

Then I walk down during the cease fire and pull down my targets and backers. I do the reverse when just getting there. First thing I do is put up the targets, before taking any guns out. I feel safer that way.

It may be a little paranoid, but I do live in IL. Parts of this state are free range zones for criminals. And of course, being IL, if I were to carry a loaded gun while going downrange I'd be violating the law and range rules.

evan price
December 8, 2012, 02:46 PM
Johnksa, our range has a strict no pictures policy. Its one of the terms you agree to in order to use the range. Like I said...some joker starts snapping pix there WILL be problems. We don't have gravel pits or desert out here to shoot...its all someone's land.

Arkansas Paul
December 8, 2012, 04:40 PM
I shoot at a private club. We're required to lock ourselves in every time so if someone comes up, you know they have a key and are supposed to be there.
I still don't leave my keys in my truck. It's a cold range meaning you can't have a loaded weapon unless you're about to fire it, but I admit that my Sig is usually holstered and loaded.

Sav .250
December 8, 2012, 04:51 PM
Unless you drive a Ford F-150,4-door....................you have nothing to worry about.

22-rimfire
December 8, 2012, 04:54 PM
Evan, that would not deter me from taking pictures if I felt it important to my safety and perhaps nabbing a thief. Most of the discussions here are where there is a real concern are on public ranges that are often fairly secluded not the public range that is well attended.

If you were at a public range, you could stomp your feet all you want to, but I would still take the pictures. I would probably take a special picture of you if you hassled me.

I will tell you that I have never taken pictures and thought it a pretty reasonable idea. Nothing like having a potential list of suspects ready for law enforcement if my property was stolen.

Tinpig
December 8, 2012, 06:01 PM
Not everyone is out to get you.

True, but it only takes one. That's why most of us carry a pistol even though we know the chances of ever having to use it are very small.

Tinpig

rugerdude
December 8, 2012, 07:16 PM
Man, reading this thread makes me wonder. To be completely honest I had never given it a second thought when I go 200 yards downrange with my AR/Galil/Sig 556 and assorted pistols are on the line.

However, I only go to the range when it's a weekday morning and am usually alone. The only people that I have ever seen there are middle-aged or older so I suppose I've just never felt threatened.

My range does have a police range attached to it, so that might make people think twice about doing anything crazy, but like almost all outdoor ranges, there's very little cell reception and police response time would be lengthy at best.

I generally carry a Glock or 1911 on my hip because it's what I'm shooting, now I may just make sure I keep one mag loaded and with me.

22-rimfire
December 8, 2012, 07:39 PM
I had never given it a second thought when I go 200 yards downrange with my AR/Galil/Sig 556 and assorted pistols are on the line.

I didn't either until some people arrived that I didn't see while I was walking up to my targets. It occurred to me at that point that I was very exposed to something happening and I had no way to affect any real defense as I seldom carried a gun down range and had a whole assortment of guns probably $3-4,000 just lying there for anyone to pick up and skoot out of there with.

The range is out in the woods. I had no problem with them, and we talked a bit. But it made me aware that my interests weren't well protected. Now I only bring one gun out to shoot and return it to my vehicle when I am ready for another. If there are people there, I usually have not problem leaving my guns.... but it only takes once as was mentioned above.

I really enjoy chatting and shooting at this public range casually which is part of the reason I go back when I am a member of a club within 20 minutes of my house. Going to the public range also gives me an excuse to visit at least one gun shop along the way and see what's new. The secret is out... the gun shop. :)

Trent
December 8, 2012, 07:44 PM
M
My range does have a police range attached to it, so that might make people think twice about doing anything crazy, but like almost all outdoor ranges, there's very little cell reception and police response time would be lengthy at best.


Right, because no one has ever stolen from the police before either. :neener:

10 seconds on google;

AR-15 stolen from marked cruiser.
http://www.koat.com/news/new-mexico/albuquerque/AR-15-stolen-from-marked-police-car/-/9153728/17478892/-/kttw00z/-/index.html

Several guns stolen from police vehicle
http://www2.wspa.com/news/2012/sep/17/6/guns-stolen-greenwood-police-vehicle-ar-4566325/

Officer's firearm stolen from police vehicle
http://azstarnet.com/news/local/crime/officer-s-loaded-gun-stolen-from-patrol-car/article_a445a8e5-e36d-5820-8e2a-853ea9217534.html

On to the RELEVANT subject

5 days ago, man robbed, another shot, leaving shooting range:
http://santacruz.patch.com/articles/men-robbed-one-shot-leaving-gun-range-6c4224fc

Shooting range robbed, guns stolen
http://www.foxnews.com/us/2010/08/16/california-couple-suspected-shooting-range-robbery-arrested-wild-police-chase/

Gun range robbed, 33 firearms stolen
http://www.nwitimes.com/news/local/lake/hammond/atf-deb-s-gun-range-in-hammond-robbed-of-firearms/article_34412edf-2e03-59da-a59d-6cd8b42fd79b.html

"Rare" Shooting range robbery caught on video (not so "rare", is it?)
http://www.upnorthlive.com/news/story.aspx?id=755120

TWO MEN followed home from shooting range, robbed of their firearms
http://www.wftv.com/news/10963235/detail.html

Man robbed of cash and guns after leaving shooting range
http://articles.philly.com/2011-12-29/news/30569151_1_knife-wielding-man-guns-shooting-range

This was just a few minutes of searching.. I never made it past page #1 on two separate searches. There's a LOT of robberies out there at or after going to a gun range.

The ones where the person(s) are followed home are particularly frightening.

Warp
December 8, 2012, 07:50 PM
Right, because no one has ever stolen from the police before either. :neener:


Of course it happens...but most criminals, most of the time, will not choose to commit crimes at or adjacent to a police shooting range.

welldoya
December 8, 2012, 08:10 PM
"Do you guys remember reading about a firefight at a rifle range parking lot? Maybe within the last few years."

Yes, it happened in Crestview, FL (in the panhandle) about 2 or 3 years ago.
I can't remember why, but two officers went to the range to either talk with or arrest a guy and, if I remember correctly, he shot and killed both of the officers. They approached him in the parking lot as he was leaving.

medalguy
December 8, 2012, 08:18 PM
most criminals, most of the time, will not choose to commit crimes at or adjacent to a police shooting range

True, but as already said, it only takes one.

Personally, where I shoot is open BLM land, and there's usually no one within several miles that I can tell. It would be difficult to sneak up on me, but someone could easily drive up in a car or truck while I'm downrange, so I always carry a 1911 or M9 with me with at least one full mag on me, at all times.

While I might or might not actually be able to hit someone at 100+ yards engaged in stealing my guns or endangering me, I'll wager that a few rounds impacting close to them would give them second thoughts about trying to steal anything or shoot at me. Also points up the need for a little more long-range practice with my carry guns.

Grimshaw
December 8, 2012, 08:28 PM
Lock your truck enough said

22-rimfire
December 8, 2012, 08:31 PM
The practice will help give you confidence if something ever happened and you had to shoot (to protect yourself).

Onward Allusion
December 8, 2012, 09:16 PM
BBDartCA
From a practical standpoint, would a thief want to try to steal a gun or something else at a range when there is probably a very good chance somebody armed is probably not too far off? Thieves like convenience and getting into a shoot out can ruin a day.

Not necessary to have a shootout.

At our club where gates are locked behind us (usually), it would be difficult to get away with a grab and run or some other nefarious method of stealing someone's rifles - even at the 200 yard range. At a public range or a club that doesn't have a locked gate, it would be pretty easy, I'd say. One just has to be patient and visit during quiet times when the lone guy is changing targets at 200 or even 100 yards.

Heck, I have even thought about it when at the archery range. 50 yards is a good distance to cover, especially when you're walking down looking at your target. A well configured quality bow can easily run $1,000 and up - as much as most guns, if not a little more. When it is complete dead at the archery range, I have seriously thought about taking mine downrange with me.

Think about it, what the heck is a person gonna do? Shoot the guy *running away* with your bow or gun as he is jumping into an awaiting car? I guess it's just good that most criminals don't think to steal expensive bows or guns from the range 'cause it would take a little work.

BigBoreFan
December 9, 2012, 12:13 AM
I can attest that I've had a few incidents at federal forest ranges in SC and after the first one I carried a .357 that I could hit targets at distance as a result. Incident number one was some good ole boys that drove up in a hurry after we went down range to check targets and they made a dash towards some high dollar stuff on the bench. Being fit at the time we ran back and met them before they got to the bench. Number two I was by my self and someone was shooting at the target next to me as I was putting up new targets. Since I've moved back north there hasn't been a problem. Membership fees seem to keep out the riff raff.

Trent
December 9, 2012, 12:15 PM
This has me wondering.

If you are down range, and a person picks up your guns to steal them, are you legally allowed to open fire? Or do you have to wait for them to shoot at you first?

There's a difference between an idiot checking out your gun without asking because he's curious, a thief who just wants a clean getaway with your piece, and a killer who will shoot you in the head for your piece.

Very little warning if it escalates from #1, to #2, to #3.

So at what point do you send lead flying their direction?

22-rimfire
December 9, 2012, 12:22 PM
Trent, that's the $50 question. Follow your heart and apply good common sense with an ear to legalities.

claiborne
December 9, 2012, 12:57 PM
here in southern Arizona, the desert is full of drug smuggler activity. The range I go shoot at on BLM land is no exception. I always take my mini van and set my table up next to it. When I go down range to mess with targets, I always lock all my stuff in the van except the table and sandbags and I always take my AR carbine down range with me. I like to think I am being realistic, not paranoid.

Serenity
December 9, 2012, 05:15 PM
Private range; locked gate. No RO. Motion activated cameras. I do go there alone, and shoot at handgun range. I take my ear protection off while resetting; gravel will give away anyone driving in or walking up close. If someone wanted to come in across the fields on foot and cause trouble, they could. They would be photographed and probably caught but wouldn't do me a lot of good after the fact. I guess I should probably go back to dragging someone with me.

-v-
December 9, 2012, 05:38 PM
Range I shoot at is a private range managed by the local Police department, all said though, I always keep a loaded sidearm on me. It just seems prudent, and I notice most everyone there does the same thing. The range itself is close enough to a road that someone would not have trouble walking up the short gated drive.

parsimonious_instead
December 9, 2012, 08:47 PM
I've seen threads similar to this one. I've read more than one account of people taking turns on "overwatch" during a group shooting session, if the land they're using is an unsupervised shooting area.
I'm fortunate that I'm frequently the only shooter at my range (flexible work schedule), but there's always a range manager in his office.
Very few people even know there is a range there, and getting to where you could steal from, harm or threaten someone shooting would mean either descending from a steep cliff, or driving up an access road, and escaping the attention of the manager.
I feel quite safe there, but I do occasionally pause while shooting and just take a look around to keep my situational awareness up...

Mr.510
December 9, 2012, 10:28 PM
I travel a lot in very remote places with my 4x4, including places to shoot that are 20+ miles from the nearest tarmac road. I am always armed and my truck is always locked with the alarm set if I'm beyond effective handgun range from it. The keys are never in the ignition if my butt's not in the driver's seat. I go many places where my chances of survival should I be separated from my truck/gear are pretty grim due to a spinal injury. (There's no way I could walk even ten miles out of the woods, I'd be paralyzed after five.) As such I take the protection of my vehicle and gear very seriously and hope that if the 'worst case scenario' happens a jury of my peers will understand.

When shooting, regardless of location, I always concealed carry a backup handgun that I'm not shooting that day so that I always have a loaded gun on my person. If I'm shooting someplace remote by myself (doesn't happen much, but once in a while) I sling my folded Saiga .308 on my back when going downrange. I never leave a loaded gun on a bench or table when going downrange and if I'm going more than about 50 feet all the magazines go into a range bag to slow down the bad guy(s). Of course I keep a close eye and ear on what's happening to my stuff while I'm away from it.

justice06rr
December 10, 2012, 05:05 AM
To the OP's original question: Lock your doors and keep your car keys on you. If you have a pistol, make sure it is on you when you walk downrange (if its allowed or you are alone).

evan price
December 11, 2012, 05:26 AM
@ 22rimfire:

If you started taking pictures without permission you would be escorted from the property and served a trespass warning. The owner made that point crystal clear about two years ago.

The backstory as I heard it was that first, a group of regulars were using legal Title II weapons and some people were taking pictures. Those pictures were later found on an anti-gun group's web site as showing anti-government militia members training with illegal machine guns at a white-supremacist training camp.

During the time he was researching this, he googled the name of the range and discovered videos of people demonstrating nuclear-levels of stupidity in gun handling and safety violations. By banning the direct-to-Youtube video idiots he's eliminated a lot of the stupid. And as a side benefit he's seen less damage to range equipment. Go figure.

If you want to take some pix of your kid's first AR session that's fine, with permission.
Randomly pulling out a camera and taking shots of stuff that is not yours will get you escorted off the property immediately, no refunds.

If you don't like that, there's other places to shoot.

Ragnar Danneskjold
December 11, 2012, 07:40 AM
Even when you're at the range, never be out of ammo. If you're shooting practice ball ammo, take your carry mag out, shoot, then put the carry mag back in immediately when you're done. If you're at a unsupervised range or a supervised range that lets you, keep a loaded gun on you at all times. When I'm out on state land shooting, I never leave my weapons unloaded. If I shoot a couple mags though the pistol and the AR15, I'll put a fresh mag in each and carry them downrange to check targets. Being separated from your weapons and having an unloaded weapon are equally unwise.

gamestalker
December 11, 2012, 04:12 PM
That thought has crossed my mind more than once. But a bigger concern of mine that actually happened to me was, when myself and a couple other shooter's at the unsupervised range informed the one and only guy still at the benches, that we were going down range to change targets. The guy clearly acknowleged us letting him know we were going down range, but after we had began to walk the 200 yds. back, he started shooting at his target. Talk about 3 guys hitting the dirst fast! I was wearing my sidearm and one of the guys suggested I fire a couple rounds off into the air to remind him we are still down range, considering he continued shooting for a good 5 minutes before realizing we were yelling at him and waving our hat in the air. But I didn't, and because that would be just as bad in my opinion and could have erupted into a fr worse situation. But when we got back up there we absolutely reamed him. He ended up packing up his stuff and leaving, and in a hurry too.

As a result, I don't shoot at unsupervised public ranges any more. Now I just pack up my portable bench and find an issolated spot to do my shooting. Too many morons out there that don't acknowlegde or care about range safety rules clearly posted at the entry gate.

GS

Friendly, Don't Fire!
December 11, 2012, 04:50 PM
That thought has crossed my mind, mainly when I am there alone and it is early morning, before most people would bother to be there. I enjoy having the range to myself, as I don't like people who talk my ear off, try to tell me things I already know and basically want to just chat small-talk for as much time as I will sit there not shooting and just listening to them. When I go to shoot, I want to shoot, when at the range, I am working on loads, concentrating on a number of things. I don't need people interrupting me as I am trying to chrony my loads and see which loads are the most accurate.

Many times, when the rifle is unloaded on the rest and I'm 100 or 200 yards out at the target, I make it a habit to frequently look back at the benches, just to make sure I'm not about to get a bullet in my back.

The way things are today it is much different than when I started going regularly to the range around 1980. I also carry most of the time now, whereas back then, I might have had a gun on my hip or not. The way the world is getting and has gotten, I have a gun in my pocket most of the time.

I wouldn't hesitate one bit to throw my AR over my shoulder and carry that down-range with me when I'm there alone, besides, I might see a good shot at a coyote.

JohnKSa
December 11, 2012, 10:45 PM
If you started taking pictures without permission you would be escorted from the property and served a trespass warning. The owner made that point crystal clear about two years ago.It's one thing to be on private property where photography is forbidden. In that case, it would certainly be kosher to ask the person to stop and/or leave.

Your initial statement said nothing about any particular range or its specific rules. It was a very general statement.If I'm shooting at a public range and some joker starts trying to take pictures of my car, my gear, or me- there's going to be a problem.And the answer is still the same. If you are at "a public range" you have no right to create a problem if someone starts photographing you.

If you are at a a specific shooting range that has rules against photography, that's another story entirely. However, even in that case, it should be the owner/operator enforcing the rules, and not you, unless he has asked/appointed you to act as his agent in such manners.

Warp
December 11, 2012, 11:19 PM
It's one thing to be on private property where photography is forbidden. In that case, it would certainly be kosher to ask the person to stop and/or leave.

Your initial statement said nothing about any particular range or its specific rules. It was a very general statement.And the answer is still the same. If you are at "a public range" you have no right to create a problem if someone starts photographing you.

If you are at a a specific shooting range that has rules against photography, that's another story entirely. However, even in that case, it should be the owner/operator enforcing the rules, and not you, unless he has asked/appointed you to act as his agent in such manners.

Good post

Ragnar Danneskjold
December 12, 2012, 07:21 AM
If I'm shooting at a public range and some joker starts trying to take pictures of my car, my gear, or me- there's going to be a problem.

I for one am curious as to what he means by "a problem". Politely asking my to stop? Shouting? Shoving me? Taking the camera?

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