Question about long distance gun ranges

Discussion in 'Rallying Point and Range Discussions' started by Howa 9700, Jul 18, 2021.

  1. Howa 9700

    Howa 9700 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2021
    Messages:
    210
    I'm fortunate that being a property owner in a rural area, I have places to shoot when I want to. With no effort at all, could set targets out to safely shoot out to 800 yards and if I wanted to travel 10 miles.......could do the same at a mile. But that is me.

    But as for gun ranges, I have shot at an indoor range......setup and intended for pistols. Our state fish and game runs outdoor ranges.......nice ones......and are free.....but the one nearest to me tops out at 100 yards.

    For those of you who shoot at longer distances, how are these gun ranges setup? Public or private? What does it cost.......or in other words, how does the range support itself?

    What distances are generally sought after? I have heard of one range about an hour west of me that tops out at 600 yards. Don't know if there is a longer one anywhere.

    If you could shoot at 1000 yards, how far are folks willing to travel to get the opportunity?
     
  2. CapnMac

    CapnMac Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2009
    Messages:
    11,566
    Location:
    DFW (formerly Brazos County), Texas
    The short answer is: "It depends."

    In States with vast amounts of Public Land, you are not likely to get a huge 'draw' for extended-range shooting. Part of that will be linked to the lower population density, too. If there are only 1000 people in a 100 mile radius, it will be tough to drag those folks to near anything.

    For getting people to come to places with long ranges, you need several bays with good separation, as stopping an entire firing line so that one or two can hike down to the 800 or 1000 yard targets and back.

    Generally, from my experience in Texas, the extended-range ranges generally charge a flat rate, either on a per-bay, or per day basis. You need cheap labor (often willing to 'work' for free range time). You need low land costs, too. After that, you need at least ranch-level driving surfaces and parking areas, and some sort of designated firing and target positions.

    Usually, the steep bit is in getting liability insurance for the range.
     
  3. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    29,712
    Location:
    Florence, Alabama
    I have only shot 1000 yards at matches on military reservations. Pay the entry fee, shoot the match.
    I have shot midrange to 600 yards at matches on established clubs. Ditto.
    I did my practice and sight in on a friend's acreage about like yours.

    I know of a couple of places that operate on a "membership" basis for access to rifle ranges.
    Said friend is a "member" at one, gets a discount because he is over 50 miles away, and is a regular at matches on the other. Said friend knows of a location that is mighty near black. He has shot there but I don't know who the regular clientele is, they don't advertise.

    I know of a range to 500 yards not too far away, $20 a visit; by appointment on weekends.

    Not me.
    That is the big hangup for a rifle range of any length. How do you know what you are doing?
    The old fashioned rifle range has pits and you take turns pulling and marking targets.
    Modern ranges have electronic targets with firing line readouts.
    The 500 yard range above will rent or loan you a golf cart to set and check targets.
    If I had stayed in the rifle events, I would have bought a target camera for use at friend's place.
     
  4. CapnMac

    CapnMac Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2009
    Messages:
    11,566
    Location:
    DFW (formerly Brazos County), Texas
    Both of those can be spendy, sadly.
    The latter more than the former--used golf carts can get up to a couple of grand each.

    But, the point is valid. Having such features is how you get people to come pay to use your range.
     
  5. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    29,712
    Location:
    Florence, Alabama
    But the place I shot (pistol) at in Florida only had some plates set up against a berm for the long range rifle plinker. It was up to you to spot your shots.
    The target camera seems the best bet on the South 40.
    My friend depends on a frequently painted gong and an 82mm spotting scope for most of his 200-600 rifle practice. We shot a lot one summer trying to DEPENDABLY spot holes in paper at range. Not much luck.
     
  6. Chuck R.

    Chuck R. Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Messages:
    3,298
    Location:
    Leavenworth, KS
    To my knowledge here in KS there's one range that allows public access by fee and that's SpearPoint Ranch. While they allow access, it's tough to rent on weekends during their match/class season. Our local club goes out to 500. They were doing an annual match out to 1500+ by closing down the entire range and blocking a public road, but I'm pretty sure that match is finished due to member complaints etc. I used to attend a LR match in alliance NE that had pits out to 1000. When I was shooting BP Buffalo matches, most of them were literally held in pastures.

    I have out to 760 yds on my place and I know of a couple other guys that have similar on private land, which might explain why you don't see that many public ranges available for that kind of distance. As some of the other guys pointed out, the sort of terrain that allows for LR shooting also lends it's self to being low density in population.
     
  7. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2007
    Messages:
    14,723
    Location:
    Georgia
    I have a friend who is a hay farmer. He owns property where I could easily set up and take shots well over 1000 yards. I've gone to his place a few times. I can't do it during hay cutting season, but from anytime from October to April is fine. I set up targets and drive to check them.

    I've only been to a range with longish range targets once. This place is about 2 hours from home and my brother and I have made the trip twice. I don't know where you live, but if this place is an option,(or for anyone reading this who lives close enough) I strongly advise calling before going.

    CMP Talladega Marksmanship Park - Civilian Marksmanship Program (thecmp.org)

    They have odd days when the ranges are open. I checked their website before making the drive the last time I went and they were supposed to be open the day we went. But after a 2 hour drive found the 600 yard was closed that day. I could have shot on the 100 yard range, but could do that at home. I just drove 2 hours back home.

    But other than that I'd highly recommend anyone close enough visit. Cost is $30/ day and I think that is reasonable for what it is. I know 600 yards isn't that far, but the range is a modern high tech facility and worth the visit. You don't use paper targets. They are corrugated plastic with a bulls eye printed on it that can take thousands of its before needing to be replaced. They use microphones in each corner of the target stand that records the sound of the bullet passing through the target.

    You have a monitor at each shooting station with a simulated target on the screen. A computer can use the sound from the microphones to calculate exactly where your bullet passed through the target. It will show you exactly where your bullet hit and give you the distance and direction from the bulls eye on the monitor. As you fire multiple shots it also shows your group size. Instead of changing targets you just clear the screen and start over.
     
  8. Rubone

    Rubone Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2020
    Messages:
    328
    Location:
    Beautiful Northern New Mexico
    Whittington center is only about 90 minutes from me if I feel so inclined. Otherwise there is tons of public land around me where I can shoot about any distance I desire.
    https://www.nrawc.org/ranges/
     
  9. AK Hunter

    AK Hunter Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2020
    Messages:
    455
    I'm a member at a club range that I can shoot out to 500yds & we use the old style pits then raise the target up & down on slide mechanisms but it takes two to do that.
     
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice