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Discussion Starter #1
It wasn't that long ago I was posting about being tired of having of always having to clean up the range.

Today, Thursday, a beautiful morning, not a cloud in the sky, 75 degrees, dead calm, and not one other person sharing the beautiful National Forest range, rifle or pistol. I joyously shot 100 rounds of 22 Hornet reloads without a care in the world. I left before noon.

Two days ago I did the same thing and shared the range for about an hour with a regular who has observed the same thing. We agreed that this is the new normal.

Years past there would be shooters coming and going, not anymore. Minimal accumulated trash and debris is an indication the range is being visited by fewer people.

Old timers, new gun owners, regulars, reloaders, old acquaintances, crazies, even the range slugs, where did they all go?


It's great for me, but I'm concerned that if folks aren't shooting, the whole business in in jeopardy.

:confused:
 

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People are still shooting here.

It’s Thursday.... most people still have to work!

I haven’t shot as much this year though.

Been saving money and stockpiling ammo instead of shooting it. Political climate is scary at the moment.

Another potential reason is....

ITS HUNTING SEASON NOW!!! WOOOHOOO! I’m not shooting at paper much. More at quarry.

Also trying to get into archery! I’m over on forums.bowhunting now!
 

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The Troll Whisperer (Moderator)
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Visiting our local range today, the RO's said the folks are showing up very early in the mornings and by 11 AM the place is pretty deserted - it has warmed up from a low of 88 to 105 deg by then. Mid afternoons still hit 112.


Supposed to be a low in the mid-70's with a high in the high 90's next Thursday, my normal shooting day. Plan to be there early and get a rifle and scoped handgun sighted in before mid morning.
 

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Our club has half a dozen or so ranges on the property. There is a very nice handgun range with steel target frames at 25 and 50 yards. It's like owning your own range. Rarely, is there anybody else there. The range that gets the most use is where people can go plink. No target frames.

Yesterday, we were shooting on the main 100 yard range. The shooter next to us was a serious hunter. He owned not having been on the range in a year and a half. We were on that range until mid afternoon and one other shooter came to that range. The club officers contend that 10% or less of the membership actually use the range regularly. This is sad since there is a two year waiting list for membership.


Addendum: All indications are that the membership is aging. Heavier use happens before hunting season.
 

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I went to do a clean up at our range wed. Over the Labor day weekend by the amount of trash in the cans I'd say it was busy. Our membership is down about 25% from last year. But During the late summer and early fall we can pickup a dozen or so members that use the range just to sight in there hunting rifles and then gone til next season.
 

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Copied from #4
"The club officers contend that 10% or less of the membership actually use the range regularly. This is sad since there is a two year waiting list for membership."


If no one is using the range(s) why restrict membership, or restrict so severely??
Of the next 25 members probably only 3 to 5 of them will use the range, if what youve observes is true. Does the club have a great social calendar?? Why so many 'inactive' members.

Membership restrictions are usually the result of waiting too long for range space/availability.


I bet the board could spend the extra dues $$ without much problem(ala congress).
 

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I belonged to many clubs. But an hour drive each way got tiresome. Then a state shooting range we spent hours picking up trash made shooting less appealing. Some clubs have a pistol range and do not allow a pistol or revolver on the rifle range. If I wanted to shoot 7 yards with a .500 I stay home.
I bought into a stupid home owners association. No shooting or hunting so I traveled far. Then I found everyone shoots and hunts and can go on every property without asking. I built my range to 200 yards with benches and everyone comes to shoot. Then all around there are shots and even from town. One is an air marshal that shoots all the time. I can step out my door and shoot the largest guns so back yard shooting is better. Those that live in a city are hampered and need a place to go.
Cost comes in since many still buy ammo and want to keep a few rounds for hunting. Some of those things are $2 a shot.
 

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It depends

Our gun club has a lot of members and we have Range Safety Officers scheduled for the hours that we are open. Members and guests tend to show up whenever the weather is suitable. The average numbers are consistent with what we have experienced over the last few years. So it depends. All the best...
Gil
 

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My range is as busy as ever. The heat has kept some away though. 102 for the next few days.

I won't be going as I still have some bruised ribs and maybe a skin cancer on my right shoulder. Getting biopsied on the 18th. Maybe the wreck I had a couple of months ago will be a good thing.

Joel
 

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I shared the range with 6 other people today and this is a private range. On the weekends, it is much busier.
 

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My range is as busy as ever. The heat has kept some away though. 102 for the next few days.

I won't be going as I still have some bruised ribs and maybe a skin cancer on my right shoulder. Getting biopsied on the 18th. Maybe the wreck I had a couple of months ago will be a good thing.

Joel

Best wishes for a positive outcome, Sir.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
More on Alone

It wasn't that long ago I was posting about being tired of having of always having to clean up the range.

Today, Thursday, a beautiful morning, not a cloud in the sky, 75 degrees, dead calm, and not one other person sharing the beautiful National Forest range, rifle or pistol. I joyously shot 100 rounds of 22 Hornet reloads without a care in the world. I left before noon.

Two days ago I did the same thing and shared the range for about an hour with a regular who has observed the same thing. We agreed that this is the new normal.

Years past there would be shooters coming and going, not anymore. Minimal accumulated trash and debris is an indication the range is being visited by fewer people.

Old timers, new gun owners, regulars, reloaders, old acquaintances, crazies, even the range slugs, where did they all go?


It's great for me, but I'm concerned that if folks aren't shooting, the whole business in in jeopardy.

:confused:

I've been shooting at this range for 20 years. Before retiring I worked out of my home so I was able to shoot at various times during the weekday, rarely late in the afternoon.

Outside hunting season and cold weather, there was always a steady stream of weekday shooters, folks who are retired, self-employed, unemployed, playing hooky, on college break, nightshift etc. I always had to pick up lots of range trash especially after the weekend.

It dawned on me the other day that I had seen only two AR shooters all year and very few young people. The range isn't the trash pile it used to be especially after the weekend, so traffic is down all week.

There is nothing extreme or unusual about the weather that would account for the change. I pick the best times to go which would likely concentrate shooters yet they are not there.

My guess range activity is down somewhere between 25% to 50%. Looking back, things were changing last year.

Although seemingly unrelated, for the first time I'm aware of, manufacturers are giving 20% - 25% rebates on primers. Of course I've taken advantage of this, but it would not be happening if demand was high. Perhaps this is confirmation of what I'm seeing at the range.
 

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I went to our local county run public range yesterday, like I do every week. It wasn't crowded maybe 6 shooters on the rifle side and few more on the pistol side. All regulars. There was others coming and going so it wasn't to bad. That will change come November through April, this being Florida we see a lot of snow birds they will clog up the works as they do each year. So it will be get there early or wait.
 

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If no one is using the range(s) why restrict membership, or restrict so severely??


There are 1500 or so members at last report. The club is run very conservatively. The officers are working on long standing problems with membership numbers. What basically happens is the shooting world is blessed with talkers who do not burn much powder. I'm a happy camper there. Opening the range would be chaotic.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Shooting is Expensive

Last week I shot 200 rounds of 22 Hornet reloads that I had put together last year form stockpiled components. I enjoyed immensely and will probably get to the range again this week and do it again taking advantage of sun, clam winds and comfortable morning temperatures.

Out of curiosity I checked the cost of mail ordering ammo for comparison. US manufacturers were at least $0.70 a round. I would have run thru $140 in ammo!

I shoot rifle at least 50 rounds once a week and frequently twice in calibers that are more expensive. I suspect that I would be spending more than $300 a month if I had to by ammo even at online prices.

Dedicated reloading and planning reduces my costs by 70%. Otherwise I could not sustain that level of shooting, perhaps twice a month at most. For non-reloaders that might be only once every other month. If you have a hunting budget, your shooting budget would be stretched even thinner.

I would conclude that many people simply can no longer afford to shoot more than a few times a year outside of hunting season. That doesn't explain the absence of AR blasters who have access to very cheap Russian steel cased ammo.


Whether its cost of shooting, cost of living, time, changing demographics, alternative recreation, priorities, etc., a great range which was generally busy during the week in now generally vacant.
 

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Going to the Range

Dinosaur?: I make to the range at the minimum twice a week. Once it's for an informal handgun match. The other is for mainly shooting rimfire rifles. Also I do one or two blackpowder matches monthly. As with some shooters, reloading and bullet casting is a major portion of my hobby.

Being retired allows me time to do this much shooting. Also, my major investments in reloading gear has already been made. I have several wildcat caliber rifles. For other rifles, some of the store bought rounds run $5.00 each.

On one of the ranges here fired steel cases are used for gravel. My feeling is that shooters preferences have changed. I do not own a black rifle.

Also, I have noticed that the average age in matches and meeting have been getting older. I have friends my age who have stopped shooting. Finally, the electronic games are more attractive to many than actually pulling a trigger.
 

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The Troll Whisperer (Moderator)
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Ditto, William -


Retired in 2000 and then worked as RSO at the local range until 2015. Now, it's shooting at the range (also BSing) weekly and then reloading what was shot. Have acquired a full gun room of equipment over the years plus a healthy stock of reloading components. This is my basic hobby in my later years and keeps me off the streets. Enjoy reading and joining the discussions on the shooting of firearms and loading for them. This board is the main reason for having a computer. To the many friends here, thanks for your input.
 

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There is a new public range about 30 miles south which is busy on weekends and more so closer to hunting season. We also have a commercial indoor range nearby which seems to have a steady flow of traffic.
I still prefer going to a spot out in the grasslands that offers distances to 500 yards. Once in a great while I'll see someone else out there but I usually go early mornings on week days.
 

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If no one is using the range(s) why restrict membership, or restrict so severely??


There are 1500 or so members at last report. The club is run very conservatively. The officers are working on long standing problems with membership numbers. What basically happens is the shooting world is blessed with talkers who do not burn much powder. I'm a happy camper there. Opening the range would be chaotic.
I think if I were king... I would come up with some scheme that opened the range to almost anyone on a $$/day or $$/hr basis with the caveat that members had line-jump priority... IOW If there was a waiting line then a member could come and be served next no matter how many non-members are waiting... or even boot a non-member that has been shooting for 1 hr or more... yada yada. That would generate cash for the club, some would end up joining and it would protect the members interest when it counts...
 

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Private Clubs and safety

My main experience is with the private club. This time I have been there for over twenty years. Our club is a safe place to shoot.

Unsupervised open ranges have been tried here sponsored by the state wildlife agency. It was dangerous to the point that strict rules were put into place with appointments necessary to get onto the range.

Have you ever had to speak to a young guy with a gun and a girlfriend along about gun safety and how to behave on a range?
 
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