Gun Club Design / Re-Organization


John Galt
March 26, 2004, 06:47 PM
One of my best friends got involved in restructuring a gun club that just about went bankrupt. After only a few weeks, they are $1000 / wk in the positive. The club is run down and hadn't had much maint and no improvements in many years.

Anyway, I'd really appreciate any pictures of real nice clubs. There may be just one part of a club you visit that's super nice.
Also, any ideas for special events, etc to lure in new members.
I'm going to be a major instigator of "outreach" programs.

Our nearby population is 5 Million and they only have 250 members at present.
We're going to try and double the membership in short order and completely rebuild the entire 40acre property.

* It has a large club house that serves drinks, has a kitchen, etc. They have RV hookups too.

* It's trap/skeet/olympic only at present.
I'm also going to get a BB-Gun range open immediately and possibly add 22lr to that as well.

** Everything I learn about outreach efforts will be completely documented as to cost, effort & response and all such materials will be added to my website below:

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March 26, 2004, 08:13 PM
First off, where are you? You know that the people on this forum are always on the lookout for a place to shoot.

Secondly, will the club be indoors or outdoors or both?

This is the club where I shoot:

Look for the highlighted numbers for photos.

March 26, 2004, 09:49 PM
Good luck with your project. Rehabilitating an old and abused club / range can be very challenging.

You really should post your clubs information here (location, membership costs, point of contact for further info, etc)

Some random thoughts about club rehab.

1. Have regular "Turkey Shoots". Great money makers and allow non members to see what your facilities look like.

2. Hold an Open House. Have some of the ranges open and consider letting visitors shoot club guns. If you do this there obviously should be very close supervision. You could tie this in with a "Media Day", invite local media members to see what safe and responsible gun owners are like.

3. Sponsor an NRA sanctioned course such as a "Basic Pistol", "Basic Shotgun", etc.

4. If you have not already establised a dialog with your neighbors do so as soon as you can. Invite them to sit down with the club President and other officers to share their concerns about such issues as safety, noise concerns, etc. People living nearby the club can be your best friends or worst enemies.

5. Create a web site for yor club. Totally free if you use something like Geocities.

6. Seriously consider paying someone to regularly cut the grass and empty trash. Many clubs rely on member clean up days and then only 2-3 people show up. This seems to be the same with all clubs I have been a member of.

7. If you do have a member range clean up day. Post sign all over the club well in advance of the actual day so that maybe, just maybe you will get more than 2 or 3 people showing up.

8. Consider having a weekly or monthly member/guest dinner. Something simple like baked chicken, potato salad and vegetables. Costs can be kept to about $7 per person. Not a lot of profits for the club coffers but a fun time can be had.

9. Be or get organised. Many club member lists are outdated and no one keeps good track of memberships in general. This is something many clubs need work with. Also consider getting a handle on all pad locks and property access keys. Many times no one will know who has keys for what.

10. Consider member group purchases for items like lead shot, powder, bullets, etc. Very little profit here for the club but well worth it to the members. Builds up a LOT of goodwill with the membership at large.

Hope that helps some,


March 26, 2004, 10:25 PM
John, Bless your heart. You guy's are looking to do a bunch with 40 acres.
It's going to need to be a shotgun country club with no bb or 22 rf ranges. The R.V.s need to go as well. Coats and Club Ties on the firing line only. A Bullseye pistol range under the indoor olympic pool might work. I would suggest a good chef and valet parking.
I don't enjoy being brutal but that is what it is going to take to make a 40 acre venue run on it's own as a nice club.
Where are you? We might put in a putting green.

March 26, 2004, 10:43 PM
....been there and done that.....maybe I can help.

Our club was in a similar condition...years of neglect had taken a toll. Membership was down around 300, patches on top of patches, weedy scruffy money coming in and little interest to do something about it.

My field of work is marketing, looked like a salvageable club in need of a good business plan. Made a commitment of 5 years (volunteer time) to see it turned around....ended up taking nearly 10.

End result was a membership in the 800's, recipient of the NRA's "President's Club Award". Featured on several network cable TV shows, including several national publications. Totally rebuilt club, money in the bank, Celebrity shooting events, and visited by numerous dignitaries....including Moses and GWB.

The amount of man hours invested was staggering....but the satisfaction of seeing a first rate club....priceless. Be glad to email some photos if you'd like.

John Galt
March 27, 2004, 08:04 PM
I just got back from a Benelli / TomKnapp trick shooting demonstration. It was a lot of fun. It appeared to only have about 150 people show up. Yet, the GoodGuys car show in Pleasanton had the entire 3 lane freeway shut down with people wanting to attend. I think that the main problem with the club is advertising. I'm going to rectify that as soon as the place gets just a little more cleaned up. Maybe 30 days from now.


-Rembrandt: That's what I want. Email me anything you can think of, I've got unlimited email space & appreciate all.

-Fly320s: Martinez, Calif. They have everything shotgun available. They seem real friendly. Wednesday, Sat, Sun. Open evenings with lights.

-Rob62: Great ideas.
1) What's a Turkey Shoot.
2) We should have club guns very soon. They already offer free lessons. I'm going to have them place a news ad asking people to show up for minimal fee and free lessons. It will be written to be very reassuring and welcoming to new shooters. I'll try and get that running once a month. I'm all about "outreach".
3) They do the basic shotgun, etc. But, I'm going to try to grow that a lot.
4) Luckilly, there are no neighbors. Swampy fields, dump, oil refineries. I will make them to "make the rounds" though very soon just for good measure.
5) I'm in charge of that. We will also start sending emails too. It will have a LOT of info and communication with public and members.
6) Done.
7,8,9) I'm going to push for greatly improved member communication.
10) I'm quite certain they do that, but will check into it further. Another good item for the web site , email & newsletter.
* Thanks much Rob.

I'm going to push for buying club BB guns from the NRA and advertise to the general public for free training / range time. What they will covertly be getting will be safety training, gun range training & experience, target shooting pointers, a propaganda pamphlet. I've been trying to do this for months and finally found a place to do it! The kids and Dads will also see the people shooting trap and such and might get enthused to that as well. Long term, I hope to add 22lr to this program if we can setup a good enough range for safety concerns.

March 27, 2004, 08:41 PM

A turkey shoot is basically a contest of accuracy and or luck. Turkey shoots can be conducted with just about any type of firearm but in my neck of the woods are mainly done with shotguns. Usually Turkey shoots are shot with shotguns.

Contestants bring their own guns and are provided shells by the club. Most clubs use the most inexpensive shells available like Federal Bulk Pack 12ga, 2.75” shells with size 7.5 or 8 shot. Contestants then line up and shoot 1 shell each at a paper target that is about 25 yards away. Ranges vary slightly by individual clubs. But almost all I’ve shot where at 25 yards. The winner is the person who has a pellet hole closest to dead center of the target. For this reason the target needs to have a very fine cross hair at the center so that a judge can more readily identify pellets that are close. A magnifying glass and very good ruler are certainly needed. The judges decision is final in most cases.

These events are called “Turkey Shoots” as most of the time Turkeys, the frozen type not live, are given away to the winner. Other prizes can include ham’s or other neat stuff.

Range set up is usually about 10-12 shooting positions / targets. So the odds of winning are 1:10/12 just for showing up and trying. Costs are normally about $3 per shell or target shot. With 12 targets at $3 per that’s $36 for one round. Considering the costs of Turkeys or whatever the prize is you can see how fast potential profits for your club can add up.

I'd still like to know where your club is?


March 27, 2004, 11:27 PM
....John, you have mail....

March 28, 2004, 02:37 AM
John Galt,
Don't get the BB-guns from the NRA. Go directly to Daisy or Crosman. The have a very strong posture on teaching the young-uns and you will get everything you need for about $.40 on the dollar or so.

March 28, 2004, 08:47 PM
Rembrandt , I'd like to see your pics and also hear how you've been doing . Rather miss yer ugly mug .

Good to find you here and a few others . SxS

March 28, 2004, 09:57 PM
Too many times gun clubs fail to see the big picture...for instance our club was made up primarily of guys wanting a place to shoot. Guess where they all went to relieve themselves?.....find a tree and the problem taken care of. It wasn't until we added 1/2 dozen chemical toilets to the facilities that women began coming to the facility. Once the women started coming they brought the kids. Soon the club took on a family atmosphere.

It's been said youth are the future of the shooting sports....nothing that kids love better than shooting and archery. We began working with various scouting groups to host such events. Each year we have 600+ kids come out for a day of shooting sports and other activities.

I had the privilege to work with a young girl at our shotgun range a few years ago, first time shooter. She had some real instinctive talent....funny how things develope, today she is on the US Olympic shooting team, winner of numerous shooting titles around the world. One never knows what a few positive moments with a youngster can do.

SXSman, you have mail....

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