Ugh! Sometimes it pays to pay to go to the range!

breamfisherbreamfisher Senior MemberPosts: 12,553 Senior Member
Rant and Range Report Follows:

Tried today to go to the normal gun range I go to. It's a county range, has stations at 7, 15, 25, 50, and 100 yds. All slow fire, no drawing from the holster, won't allow concealed carry at the range, etc. But it's got on-staff rangemasters, and the cost is $10 for the day, you can come and return for no extra charge. They get a little crowded around hunting season, but all in all a decent place. Well, they're closed due to range renovations which may take a month or so. Idiots shoot out the fencing and partitions, so it has to be rebuilt. Not wanting to pay $15 per hour to shoot I headed off to the national forest gun range in Ocala. Plus I had some .223 loads and .308 loads I wanted to evaluate, and the other ranges are handgun only, 50 ft. maximum. I also had some .45 ACP 200 gr. LSWC bullets I wanted to test.

I get to the range, and it's crowded. Not because it was packed, but because it didn't have a lot of room under the shooting bay. They had 50 ft., 25 yd., 50 yd., and 100 yd. target areas set up from end to end, with 6 handgun and 6 rifle bays. The county range has 6 for each range. Bays were numbered with targets that you had to move around to the appropriate range for you, with numbered spots. No rangemaster, you waited until folks called the range hot or cold.

So I get there and wait for a bay to come open for handgun or rifle. One did but then I had to wait an additional 15 minutes for a "cold range" call so I could hang my target. I got positioned right next to an older gent with a Savage .22-250. When we had a cold range, I went out to the #6 target (my bay) with my target. Mr. rifle shooter was there, trying to figure out how to pull up the target and move it out. I politely pointed out that that was the target for my bay number, and that if he needed one farther out, there were others available at a more appropriate range for his rifle. He mumbled something and went shuffling off. Did I mention that the bays were marked, as were the target stand positions?

We get ready to go hot, call hot, and one guy starts walking down range. I shout out "whoa, whoa, whoa!" and we go cold again. The walker (who is friends with the .22-250 shooter) said he didn't hear a call for a hot range. Then another fellow mentions that he wasn't able to get a target, and they search for a stand for him. Seems a group of "tactical" shooters was shooting .223, 9mm, and .380 at 50 ft. and 50 yds., so they had twice as many targets as needed. They grudgingly gave up a target so the other fellow could shoot. It was pointed out at this time that there were two targets in lane 6, one at 50 ft. (mine) and another at 50 yds. (guess whose?) I said I was shooting pistol at 50 ft., so it must be a rifle shooter at 50 yds., as the targets were new, fresh ones for sighting in a rifle. The gentleman next to me looked on blankly. They guy who was in need of a stand got himself situated, then had to come back to get a target to hang. He didn't run to do that, either. More waiting.

Range went hot and I started shooting the Woodsman Match Target at 50 ft. so I could assess how good I was going to shoot today. Not super, but adequate. Shot 40 rounds of evaluation and warmup. I then tried out the 200 gr. LSWC loads in my Colt and Springfield 1911s. I had loaded them with 6.2 gr. of Universal Clays and had loaded them to two lengths, to see what worked best. My groups were decent, all things considered, about 2" - 2 1/2" at 50 ft., which is what I was shooting with the Woodsman. That let me know that the group size was caused by me, not the ammo. Groups were a little low, so I'll bump up the powder to see if the greater recoil will move them up. Recoil was relatively soft. The slightly longer rounds hung up twice while feeding, so I'll keep with the shorter length and go from there. About halfway through, I had to stop shooting because the .22-250 shooter (shooting at target 6 at 50 yds.) was leaning into my station while the fellow who had walked over the line during the hot range call boresighted the rifle for him. Anyway, they got situated with a 3rd fellow spotting for them from 2 bays over. He had himself and his spotting scope set up right in the middle of the walkway.

I fired off some more .22 ammo at the target, bringing the total going into the target at about 135 (60 .22 LR and 75 .45 ACP.) I didn't retrieve the target because it appeared that the shooting would go on for a while before it was cold, and I also decided not to shoot the rifles due to the crowding over there.

As it got to the end the "tactical" shooters started popping off some rapid fire. Not accurate, but they made a lot of noise! They said that they wished the table for shooting wasn't there so they could have a "good" tactical drill: 30 rapid fire AR rounds, transition to your sidearm, run that dry, pull out you pocket backup and run that dry, then get out the backup piece in the ankle holster. I kind of wished I could have seen that, because by the end of all that exertion they would be very winded. They also were a little clutzy, and grabbing anything out of an ankle holster would have been quite a feet for them. I'm uh, not sure how they'd have done that without a stool.... I also left because I noticed they were sweeping people down on their end with "unloaded" firearm. There was also a guy blazing away with his AR on the rifle range. I wanted to walk up to him, pop him on the back of the head, and say, "You're blowing away all of your ammunition. Mister I Hate Americans gonna make Swiss cheese out of you. Slow down your fire."

I'll go back again, but early. Hopefully before it gets too crowded. Mostly, I'm waiting until the county range opens back up.

On the other hand, I now have a working .45 ACP lead bullet load thanks to Buford, Teach, and CPJ. The Tennessee Toilet Bowl Lube worked great, no leading at all.
Overkill is underrated.


  • JerryBobCoJerryBobCo Senior Member Posts: 6,003 Senior Member
    Hey, as long as you enjoyed yourself...

    Too bad about your day at the range. Hopefully, you regular range will be open before too much longer.

    Gun control laws make about as much sense as taking ex-lax to cure a cough.
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 13,541 Senior Member


    Anyway...I hate days like that at my range...Saturdays and Sundays seem to be the worst. Expecially when Tommy Tactical shows up with his girlfriend and his AK/AR/? and sets out to impress her with his tactical prowess....I pretty much confine my shooting to mornings (sun at your back) during the week and try to be gone before the working stiffs get off (sun in your eyes) and come out to pop off a few rounds...
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • AiredaleAiredale Banned Posts: 624 Senior Member
    I feel your pain, Breamie.

    Sometimes (with justification) range officers get too impressed with their authority, but from your account, they're needed at that range.
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 9,670 Senior Member
    I try to arrive at my range just as it gets light enough to see. I'll have it to myself except for the occasional old fart (like me) that wants some 'quiet time' with his rifles. By 9:00AM on weekends, the newbs and tactical cats swarm the place.

    Fortunately, the company I work for has some land suitable for a 300 yard range, and some of us have put up crude target stands and a bench. I can have it all to myself, usually, except just before hunting season.
  • beartrackerbeartracker Senior Member Posts: 3,116 Senior Member
    WOW!!! You truly are a man of patients to endure that. I think I would have got up and left earlier than you did. Great story, I found myself right there at the range with you and I think by the time I finished reading your short story, I was truly aggravated at the guy next to you shooting the 22-250 as you were. Well, what a day, I know you will be glad when the country ranges opens back up.
  • cpjcpj Senior Member Posts: 36,687 Senior Member
    That lube left your gun pretty dirty, no? But who is cares right? Its cheap shooting.
    "I'm here for the guns, hunting, and skirt wearing men."
  • Big ChiefBig Chief Senior Member Posts: 30,141 Senior Member
    I'm glad I normally shoot on post, a pain at times (guns must be registered on post), but range-masters are always there and violators will be warned and then tossed off immediately if they don't comply.. They run the range for the military during the week and the same safety and range rules apply.

    I've used public ranges like WMAs near Fort Stewart GA before and usually most folks policed themselves up pretty well, but a few times some real jerk-wads would make me downright nervous with their bad safety practices.
    It's only true if it's on this forum where opinions are facts and facts are opinions
    Words of wisdom from Big Chief: Flush twice, it's a long way to the Mess Hall
    I'd rather have my sister work in a whorehouse than own another Taurus!
  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 22,626 Senior Member
    Funny story; too bad people are careless or think it is all about them.

    I went to shoot today, a 6 oz can of expired V-8. Hit it the first shot and had to leave.
    My new Signature
  • Big ChiefBig Chief Senior Member Posts: 30,141 Senior Member
    NN wrote: »
    Funny story; too bad people are careless or think it is all about them.

    I went to shoot today, a 6 oz can of expired V-8. Hit it the first shot and had to leave.

    So it was running on a V-4 and not a V-8, until you shot it....:tooth:
    It's only true if it's on this forum where opinions are facts and facts are opinions
    Words of wisdom from Big Chief: Flush twice, it's a long way to the Mess Hall
    I'd rather have my sister work in a whorehouse than own another Taurus!
  • Wambli SkaWambli Ska Moderator Posts: 25,062 Senior Member
    Why don't you join the club I took you to in Palm Coast? Every thime I went I had the place to myself and you can do ANYTHING you want?
    "Attack rapidly, ruthlessly, viciously, without rest, however tired and hungry you may be, the enemy will be more tired, more hungry. Keep punching." General George S. Patton
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 12,553 Senior Member
    It takes over an hour to get there, and at best I can get there once a month. Kinda hard to justify the expense.
    Overkill is underrated.
  • DoctorWhoDoctorWho Senior Member Posts: 9,481 Senior Member
    Airedale wrote: »
    I feel your pain, Breamie.

    Sometimes (with justification) range officers get too impressed with their authority, but from your account, they're needed at that range.

    Actually, when I was a Range Officer, I could see the difference between those people that needed little supervision, and those that did, and the ones that were downright dangerous, and would destroy the target holders and the motorized target trams.......

    I suppose someone that never served as a Range Officer might feel that way, I did not impose Myself unless it was to intervene in a dangerous situation........

    With Me it was not a question of My Authority, it was to protect folks from those few dangerous people completely oblivious to the rules of firearms safety, then I acted swiftly and courteously.
    "There is some evil in all of us, Doctor, even you, the Valeyard is an amalgamation of the darker sides of your nature, somewhere between your twelfth and final incarnation, and I may say, you do not improve with age. Founding member of the G&A forum since 1996
  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 22,626 Senior Member
    9 Sillymeters are good fer shootin Skeeters
    I used to try and shoot dragonflys with one, but, they were too fast.
    My new Signature
  • bruchibruchi Senior Member Posts: 2,582 Senior Member
    On ranges here in Puerto Rico, all of them, you pay a yearly fee, this is mostly I suppose because to have a target shooting permit you must be a member of a range, cost is around $80 per year and that will allow you to shoot every day it is open for as long as you desire. If you want to try a different one as long as you are a guest of a member of that range you pay a fee of $10 for the day. There is no such thing here where you pay for the hour!

    We go on Saturdays to the "high power" section on an outdoor range, it is meant as a rifle only range but it has never been so, everyone shoots handguns there as well providing it is not crowded which is the norm, last Saturday it was just my brother and I, kind of boring as there is a nice group of folks there on weekends which are a pleasure to hang around with.

    They have 12 bays so we try to set targets at 25, 50 and 100 yards from the get go so then we can just shoot, I have to set my brother's and mine and it takes me a bit to do the walking so I rather hustle and do it once as fast as I can to then take as little of the time of the others, never been an issue, most often they help, by now we are all known to each other so it works out fine, often I set my own metal targets and I invite them to use them.

    Couple of weeks ago I had set a target at 100 yards to check the zero on a 223 AR, I use a red dot with a QD mount that is supposed to hold zero but it does no harm to check this every once in while, I also set a number of targets at varied distances for my brother and I to use but still half of the range was available.

    For the 100 yard target I set a sheet of virgin cardboard big enough for a B-25 target on my own frame as the ones at that range are few and in very bad shape, I pasted there a number of 5.5" bullseyes that splatter when hit, it took no time to see the zero on the 223 was still there so I put that rifle away leaving a bunch of clean bullseyes there figuring I will use them latter with the 22LR AR after shooting with it at metal targets I had set from 25 yards to 50.

    While I am shooting I realize that a guy next to me had gotten there, loaded his rifle and was shooting before the range went cold, I stop shooting and I ask him what he is shooting at and you guessed right, he saw a cardboard full of clean targets out there so he figured he save himself the trouble and expense of setting up his own.

    It was clearly that trying to get this person to follow any conversation where a path of sense was part of was going to be a huge waste of time and energy, he was at least a safe shooter but pretty much clueless regarding everything else, we are talking here about stickers that cost about 50 cents so I went back to shooting and ignored him.

    When the range got cold I retrieved my 100 yard target and frame, put that away but I gave this guy my bullseyes he shot up for his safekeeping, pointed at where the beat up frames and cardboard was and invited him to now set his own target, this was not a kid, guy was a well dressed guy in his fifties.

    The guy still was clueless, not a word on his part, not a basic thank you, not even a nod, he just moved to where there was a target already set that someone had left up, this one set at around 15 yards, by the way, guy was shooting a Garand...
    If this post is non welcomed, I can always give you a recipe for making "tostones".
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 20,704 Senior Member
    Even though it only goes to 200 yards we are blessed to have what we have here. The city lets us shoot here and we keep it up. That's the agreement. All the LEOs in the county use it for qualifying and practice. They are glad they have us to do the maintenance and we're glad to have a range. I have had very few problems there in the nearly 30 years we've had this arrangement. There are no real jerks here because most everybody knows you can get booted out for violations. The only problem we've had is with the last police chief we had some cops take the key and either lose it or lock it in their patrol car all weekend. That actually happened not too long ago. And the chief never did anything to them. We have a new chief now, so maybe we'll see some improvement. But overall it's a great range.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • robert38-55robert38-55 Senior Member Posts: 3,621 Senior Member
    All in All we have a pretty good public gun range here in Las Cruces too!!!!
    "It is what it is":usa:
  • shootershooter Senior Member Posts: 1,186 Senior Member
    Stories like this make me realize how truly fortunate I am to have my own range in the yard. Several of my friends stop by on occasion to check out a new gun or sight it in. The falling plate rack that I have at 50 yards is quite entertaining for folks with their rimfire and centerfire handguns with cast bullet loads. 150 ft. of parachute cord is used to reset the plates.
    There's no such thing as having too much ammo, unless you're on fire or trying to swim!
  • DrifterDrifter New Member Posts: 22 New Member
    It does "pay" to get out there early and leave before the loons show up.

    Ocala National Forest range at sunrise.

  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 12,553 Senior Member
    That's my plan for the next time I go shoot.
    Overkill is underrated.

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