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General Black Powder Discussions => Gun Handling & Security => Topic started by: G Dog on March 08, 2018, 01:33:04 PM

Title: Public Ranges
Post by: G Dog on March 08, 2018, 01:33:04 PM
The last time I visited a public range, about four years ago, I about had a nervous breakdown.  It was unnerving.  Of course there was no range boss but a couple crews of local slack jaw growers were in attendance with new trucks and new .40 Sigs.  They went through a hundred rounds in about ten minutes and when they weren't clearing jams they were rapid firing.  They actually hit their targets a couple of times ... as in twice. Mostly, they just sprayed the hillside. When these guys were trying to clear jams (they had a lot of jams) they would muzzle sweep everybody.  An experienced shooter was there with his young son and forcefully talked to them about how to clear jams and where not to point guns.  They got huffy and left.  Later I found five fresh rounds of .40 they had dropped.  Either they were too lazy to pick them up or didn't even know they had dropped them.  I won’t be around that sort of shit, it could kill a guy - dead as pork. 

I prefer to get far from the madding crowd when at shooting.  The idea is to have fun and not be stressin other people’s bad habits and potentially lethal ignorance.  A well-regulated range with an alert range master is OK but I’d rather be alone or with trusted companions.  There is a lot of BLM land here so it’s easy to get out of the way.

Title: Re: Public Ranges
Post by: Len on March 08, 2018, 01:42:47 PM
Glad you survived. These issues don't seem to happen around BP and CAS sites.
Title: Re: Public Ranges
Post by: G Dog on March 08, 2018, 01:48:14 PM
True.  Those boys are shooters and know how to act.  Some adult supervision doesn't hurt any, either.

This is California though, we have a bit of everything here.
Title: Re: Public Ranges
Post by: Omnivore on March 08, 2018, 03:03:26 PM
I spoke with a guy recently about all this.  We're both long time shooters and have had all too many, similar experiences at shooting ranges.  One suggestion that came up was that no one gets a key to the range without going through an orientation, to see that they're handling guns safely, aren't abusing any range equipment, etc.  When I was president of a local gun club, we had everyone sign a rule sheet.  Of course it's one thing to sign a piece of paper, and quite another to actually behave yourself.  If the range is out in the county, as ours was, then people can, and do, just walk around the gate, go in and wreak havoc.

The other, massive and very common problem, is people leaving junk at a range, whether it be a formal range or any place in the county that happens to be a decent place to shoot.  All the best places to shoot in my general area have been shut down for that reason.  I hate to say it; too many shooters are lousy rotten stinking pigs.  Don’t be that guy.  I always took all my trash and junk out when I left, and some more besides, but that didn’t prevent the nice places from being posted “No Trespassing”.  There was still a “critical mass” of stupidity. Don’t get me wrong; I like blowing up used appliances as much as anyone, the difference being that I’d cart the junk and litter out with me, and pay the fee to take it to the dump.

I can’t help wondering how much of that abuse is intentional, perpetrated by someone who hates gun owners.  Doesn’t matter though; if all the real shooters were careful to leave the place clean when they left, a few saboteurs would be unable to get the place shut down.
Title: Re: Public Ranges
Post by: Bishop Creek on March 08, 2018, 03:31:05 PM
I have to admit, I haven't shot at a range since the 1970s. Like G Dog, I mostly shoot on BLM land out in the boonies. I did have one incident about 10 years ago that made me a bit nervous.

I was out by myself shooting my Remington when a truck drove by me with three men in the front seat. Unusual to see anyone else in that particular spot where I was and they drove to the backside of the 15 foot high natural berm I was using as a backstop and proceeded to fire what sounded like high caliber rifles at the other side of the berm, in my direction! After I heard a couple of bullets buzz by over my head I was out of there as quick as you can imagine. They may have been drinking as one of the passengers appeared to have blood shot eyes as they passed me coming in.
Title: Re: Public Ranges
Post by: mazo kid on March 10, 2018, 02:30:27 PM
When I'm not shooting at my place, we sometimes go to a public range about 45 minutes away. Usually not too many people there during week days. One time there was a dad teaching his young son how to shoot. There was a jam (AR15 type gun) and the kid just spun around before dad could stop him. There were a bunch of us ducking! That was the only time though. There is a dumpster provided (I pick up lots of empty cartridge boxes!) but there is still a bit of trash left on the ground. Yep, some people are just pigs.
Title: Re: Public Ranges
Post by: mike116 on March 10, 2018, 04:48:03 PM
This is what BLM land looks like around here.   I got tired of looking at messes like this and hauling a truck load of other peoples trash home with me so I don't attempt to shoot on public land anymore.   The place was relatively clean when these photos were taken.  Usually there is several old appliances and hundreds of aluminum cans.    The scrap metal scavengers must have been there recently.
(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4778/40025474774_7997be3ca3_b.jpg)   (https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4789/40735631581_3ca6f7ea55_b.jpg)   (https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4794/38925316360_9b87eb6791_b.jpg)
Title: Re: Public Ranges
Post by: Mad Dog Stafford on March 12, 2018, 03:24:03 PM
I know, some people are just bad at shooting trash and don't clean up after them self......

I always make a box with phone books in it to save all the lead and bullets.

I do pick up most trash out there when I shoot.  ;)
Title: Re: Public Ranges
Post by: TinMan2 on March 12, 2018, 04:14:28 PM
Have to relay something that I experienced a few years ago.  Where I lived in West Virginia I had access to two public ranges.  Both of these ranges are on Wildlife Management Areas (WMA's).  Public hunting land.  I made it a habit to go to the ranges during the week or VERY early before the stupid bunch gets out of bed.  Now these ranges have rules and regulations that the local rangers or PD can write tickets for.  BUT when alone, even when the rule is to ground your firearm and leave all weapons at the butt when checking or changing targets.  Do not do this when alone or when all folks go down range.  Put you gun on safe, leave it loaded and take it with you.  Look up "Beech Fork gun range and preacher".  This guy was an acquaintance of mine and we had shot together before.  I was at the same range the day before he was killed, alone and shooting.  This could have been me.  NEVER EVER leave a gun unattended.
I was at the range I shoot at now Palachucola in Garnet South Carolina.  Another unsupervised range.  I drove up about a month ago and 5-6 guys were 100 meters down range and there were a minimum of 10 AR's and M14's sitting on the butts unattended.  I could have scooped up a 1/2 dozen and been on my way out and they wouldn't have even seen me.  I challenged these guys when they came back from their targets and you would have thought I was the stupid one.  I do not care where you are or what you are doing DO NOT LEAVE A GUN UNATTENDED.  Please, Mike
Title: Re: Public Ranges
Post by: rdstrain49 on March 13, 2018, 07:39:50 AM
Seems to me that if the anti-gun folks want to get serious, all they have to do is visit a public range.  After hearing what some of you have experienced at public ranges, it would be easy to become anti-gun.  Sure glad I have my own ranges.
Title: Re: Public Ranges
Post by: Kaeto on March 13, 2018, 10:27:57 AM
The only outdoor range I shoot at is run by the Mi D.N.R.  It is manned and is very nice. Only paper targets or clays if skeet shooting are allowed and no human shaped targets. It has 10 ft, 50 ft, 100 ft, and 200 ft ranges, A skeet and trap area. Shotgun patterning range, and archery range. The rifle and pistol ranges have covered shooting points. and the newest addition is indoor toilets.

It's called the Sharonville shooting range.
Here's some pics

https://www.google.com/maps/uv?hl=en&pb=!1s0x883cdb7894b76dfd:0x52b2d07da11bad6b!2m22!2m2!1i80!2i80!3m1!2i20!16m16!1b1!2m2!1m1!1e1!2m2!1m1!1e3!2m2!1m1!1e5!2m2!1m1!1e4!2m2!1m1!1e6!3m1!7e115!4shttp://www.michigan.gov/dnr/0,4570,7-153-10363_56074-274040--,00.html!5ssharon+hollow+gun+range+-+Google+Search&imagekey=!1e1!2shttp://www.michigan.gov/images/dnr/Sharonville_Shooting_Range_17_379934_7.jpg&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwib_NzC2-nZAhULr4MKHYO0DnoQoioIqwEwCg
Title: Re: Public Ranges
Post by: Hawg on March 13, 2018, 11:30:39 AM
I'm glad I shoot on my own property. No idiots other than me. Nobody to criticize my safety habits or lack thereof and if I don't want to pick anything up I don't have to. (k-
Title: Re: Public Ranges
Post by: G Dog on March 13, 2018, 07:42:21 PM
The only outdoor range I shoot at is run by the Mi D.N.R.  It's called the Sharonville shooting range.

Hi Kaeto -      That looks like the country club of ranges.  A public facility like that would never happen in California.  This state authorizes expenditures only in opposition to shooting sports and would never budget expenditure to actually further the activity.  Sacramento hates all gun enthusiasts and anyone slightly to the right of Mao Zedong, so only via the private sector would we ever have a place like Sharonville Shooting Facility.  Michigan did good.

That wooden sign - Dept. of Natural Recources could use a spell check, though.  Other than that detail the place looks near perfect.
Title: Re: Public Ranges
Post by: Kaeto on March 13, 2018, 08:08:20 PM
And it's paid for exclusively through Hunting License Fees.  No tax dollars are spent on it.
Title: Re: Public Ranges
Post by: LonesomePigeon on May 21, 2018, 11:03:28 PM
G Dog, there is an outstanding public range in San Luis Obispo, California. Staffed, covered, bathrooms, a rifle/pistol with steel and/or paper from 7 yards out to 750 yards. A skeet/trap range, an archery range, special muzzle loader range, cowboy action range and long range rifle which I believe goes out to 1,500 yards. http://slosa.org/

I'm not sure if this is true but what I heard was the land used to be privately owned and the owner gave the land to the state on the condition that they would maintain it as a shooting range forever. On Tuesdays and Wednesdays when the range is closed California Fish & Wildlife does environmental studies out there.
Title: Re: Public Ranges
Post by: valforgettaboutit on May 23, 2018, 11:09:15 AM
My old "free-to-use" public range in VA was put there by the Park Service. I've had good and bad experiences there but mostly good, nothing to keep me from going back. They did have a trash problem there but locals formed a "friends of the range" type group and cleaned up and freshened up the area about once a month, I used to donate to them as a thanks.

Worst I've seen are the morons throwing clay pigeons at an area where the berm isn't nearly high enough for that, but after reminding them that VA State Police use the range regularly they put it away. It's usually just some nice people sighting in rifles or doing some plinking.
Title: Re: Public Ranges
Post by: Omnivore on May 23, 2018, 12:02:11 PM
Quote
Worst I've seen are the morons throwing clay pigeons at an area where the berm isn't nearly high enough for that.

I know of two different trap ranges in WA State where you're shooting directly toward town, which is just a few hundred yards away, with no berms.  The rule is #6 or smaller shot, which has a very short range.  It's just not a problem.  Skipping rifle bullets off the ground in front of a berm is the real danger, or doing the Hollywood pistol handling, where you point your pistol straight up into the air and then bring it down onto the target while cocked.  If you're doing that, and I know many of you are, then you'd best re-think it.  It serves no useful purpose and is utterly stupid and dangerous.  If you think about the required sight picture, bringing the pistol UP onto the target would make more sense, but what is taught by the good instructor is to stab the pistol straight out in front of you, pointed onto the target as soon as practicable.

"Doubling" with a semi-auto is another danger.  That happens when you've developed a habit of pre-tensioning the trigger between shots.  When the rifle or pistol is in recoil it is often pointed up over the berm, and if you pre-tension the trigger just a little too hard, an unintended (negligent) shot goes over the berm and into the wild blue.  Same can happen with a heavy-recoiling double action revolver if the shooter isn't handling it right-- as the gun comes up in recoil, the trigger finger has reflexively come off of it, allowing reset, and the further upward motion of the gun forces the trigger into the trigger finger, firing the gun in high recoil.  People have even shot themselves in the head doing that.  So when handing a hard-kicking DA revolver to a newbie, never have two adjacent chambers loaded.  I suppose a similar problem could occur with a semi-auto.

Then there is the dropped gun, which is far more likely to fire when you try to catch it, than it is if you just let it fall.  Actually there are more ways to negligently fire a gun than one can imagine.

The "cook-off" is another good one.  That's when you've mag-dumped multiple times and over-heated your semi-auto barrel, then you decided you need to go and reset targets, so you leave your smoking-hot rifle on the bench, pointed down range with a round in the chamber.  While you're down range doing whatever you're doing, that round you left in the chamber cooks off, shooting at you with no one at the controls.  That's why a lot of machine-guns fire from an open bolt.
Title: Re: Public Ranges
Post by: Len on May 23, 2018, 12:37:20 PM
Quoting Omnivore:
".... or doing the Hollywood pistol handling, where you point your pistol straight up into the air and then bring it down onto the target while cocked ......"

According to the laws of physics, a bullet fired into the air will come back down at approx the same velocity as fired (minus some drag)
Title: Re: Public Ranges
Post by: G Dog on May 23, 2018, 07:26:50 PM
Quoting Omnivore:
According to the laws of physics, a bullet fired into the air will come back down at approx the same velocity as fired (minus some drag)

Galileo got somewhat differing results in his experiments dropping balls over at the Leaning Tower of  (pepperoni) Pizza .   


///     ///     ///

I'm not much for ranges but I have occasionally used this one in Lake County, CA.  Weekday early mornings are a good time to hit it cause no one else is there. It's in the nature of the proverbial clean-well-lighted-place but definitely no substitute for being out on one's own in the boonies.  I have some property on that mountain in the background which is as good an excuse as any to drive over to the area. I prefer to hike into the trees to a couple of clearings of which I know.  There are even some chest high flat rocks for 'bench shooting', if that happens to be on the agenda. 

Anyway, too many amateur trigger fingers in proximity makes me itch and hearing fire causes me to what to return it, which of course in that context would never do at all. 


Title: Re: Public Ranges
Post by: Omnivore on May 24, 2018, 12:18:18 AM
Quote
According to the laws of physics, a bullet fired into the air will come back down at approx the same velocity as fired (minus some drag)

True, but going from straight up to level, you're sweeping through approximately ninety degrees, is the point, and much of that ninety degree sweep is pointing in bad places, often with the gun cocked and the finger on the trigger.  I've seen several people do that.
Title: Re: Public Ranges
Post by: valforgettaboutit on May 24, 2018, 11:29:37 AM
Quote
Worst I've seen are the morons throwing clay pigeons at an area where the berm isn't nearly high enough for that.

I know of two different trap ranges in WA State where you're shooting directly toward town, which is just a few hundred yards away, with no berms.  The rule is #6 or smaller shot, which has a very short range.

If everyone was using #6 or smaller you're right it wouldn't be an issue, but since there's no RO or supervisor most of the time at the range, the Park Service banned skeet and trap shooting there. They have a range about 30 min away that has an Range Officer manned trap station.

As for verticle shot velocity I found an interesting read https://forensicoutreach.com/library/the-falling-bullet-myths-legends-and-terminal-velocity/ (https://forensicoutreach.com/library/the-falling-bullet-myths-legends-and-terminal-velocity/) . Basically a perfectly verticle shot will lose velocity on the return trip due to drag and tumbling and will impact with a lot less force; however if its angled just enough for the bullet to make an arc, it will travel farther and retain much more velocity for it's eventual impact.

Neat stuff.
Title: Re: Public Ranges
Post by: Cross Plains Drifter on June 04, 2018, 12:53:15 AM
Private, unsupervised range here........4 different covered multi-station ranges, IDPA range, & several old style "bay ranges" for "getting away from it all"

membership is reasonable, and the electronic gate & camera system keep out non members/guests.....and may not enforce good behavior, but sure seems to help people remember to be safe.

our sign says plainly that gross safety violations will be reported to the Sheriffs Dept.
Title: Re: Public Ranges
Post by: drobs on June 04, 2018, 07:11:16 AM
I mostly shoot on my own backyard range. However, once I'm back in the US permanently, I'd like join a couple shooting clubs just for the competition. 

Missouri Department of Conservation has some decent free unstaffed shooting ranges.
https://nature.mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/find/places/mdc-ranges
Title: Re: Public Ranges
Post by: Cross Plains Drifter on June 17, 2018, 10:19:13 PM
went out Saturday morning and had the range to myself for 4 solid hours because although I went early, it was already hot & humid by 7:am.

by the time I left it was so unbearably hot that I could hardly breathe......sweat dripping from my brow and my shirt soaked.

good thing I wore my kilt or i'd have been REALLY uncomfortable...:D
Title: Re: Public Ranges
Post by: Capnball on July 15, 2018, 06:27:02 AM
Len, you are way off re: Laws of Physics! Valforgettaboutit has a good understanding of what actually happens. My former career in aviation taught me about stuff leaving Earth and stuff that returns rapidly with loss of power, and the speed is way reduced comparatively speaking. No offence, but incorrect information needs to be refuted. I think you might be thinking "for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction". That is not the theory that governs items falling back to Earth. It is the force of Gravity 29.92 Mbm that controls the decent.
Title: Re: Public Ranges
Post by: Len on July 15, 2018, 06:58:48 AM
An item in free fall will reach about 200 kilometers an hour before the gravity will be balanced by the drag. That speed is about the speed of a BP ball.
Title: Re: Public Ranges
Post by: G Dog on July 15, 2018, 04:52:03 PM
200 kilometers per hour is only 182 feet/sec.

At 850 ft/sec (a fairly standard muzzle velocity for our guns) the ball would be going 933 kilometers per hour.

I use this handy calculator for conversions:

https://www.calculateme.com/Speed/


If the Battle of Waterloo had come a few years earlier we could have skipped the whole metric thing and just used good ol' standard 'Merican measures (like the Lord intended).

A little joke here:  Uncle Sam (a gentleman not necessarily noted for his humility) once said "there are two types of countries in this world -  those that use the metric system and those that have been to the moon."    ;) 

Len, I'm just funnin' at a little here, that's all.    (T^




Title: Re: Public Ranges
Post by: Len on July 17, 2018, 03:36:04 AM
Thanks for the laugh! You got a point