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Old September 10, 2012, 04:59 PM   #1
Wyoredman
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Someone with a BIG rifle is blowing my targets up!

Well, this is just a rant post!

An old rancher here in the county has an old gravel pit on his land that is mined out. About 10 months ago, I asked him if he would mind if we set up a range in the pit. He was all for it, we just had to pick up our trash.

A carpenter friend and I built a bench. I then made permanent 100, 200 and 300 yard targets.

It wasn't long before another old fella who shoots at the pit spent a day painting everything. The word got around and people who know the rancher started to ask me if they could use my targets. The rancher had given them permission to shoot but suggested they ask me to use my targets and bench.

I had no problem, so I put up a sign that anyone who had the ranch permission, could use my bench and targets and to please pick up their trash.

Well, I went out yesterday and my 200 yard target was destroyed, the 300 yard target had huge .50 cal holes all over it!

I asked the ranch if anyone had asked to shoot. He said "No".

Not only am I steaming mad about my target, now I am worried that people are trespassing to use a place I made better! I don't what the landowner to shut us down because the "word" has gotten out about the range. Again i don't care if people use it, thats what its for, they just need to ask and not shoot the targets with BIG guns!!

Anyone have a similar problem?
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Old September 10, 2012, 05:18 PM   #2
Jim Watson
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Yes, but the one here was on a club range.
A friend and I got tired of repairing target stands and rehanging gongs because the bums would shoot the stand instead or the target and the hanging chains instead of the hardsteel plates. Not to mention blowing through the plates from ten yards instead of ringing them from a hundred.

It is a form of the Tragedy of the Commons. Resources available to many will be depleted by a few.
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Old September 10, 2012, 05:25 PM   #3
Old Grump
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You will always have that kind on a range. For out club I bought the lumber, donated the posts, dug the holes, built the target frames and made sure there was a plentiful supply of cardboard to mount their targets on. I just finished replacing a shot up cross piece and put a sign on it to not post targets on the wood frame. I got back to the bench, got out my gear and was ready to shoot and there was a target stapled next to the sign saying not to put your target on the wood. The moron is standing right next to me and I stop him before he shoots and ask him why he did that. Well I see you out up new cardboard and I didn't want to shoot it full of holes he says innocently.

Every week for 6 months I rebuilt those target frames till I quit the club. Now they are shooting at old barrels and old pallets propped up with junk 2x4's and I don't care. Somebody always thinks they are better than everybody else and the rules do not apply to them. We are there to service them so they can play unfettered by the restrictions normal people live by.

I sympathize with you but once a range becomes known it becomes public and then it becomes off limits because there is that 3 per center who doesn't have to play by the same rules and will get it shut down for everybody. This is why I now have my own range and while I am generous that generosity comes with a price. I have to be there when they shoot and they have to pick up their trash before they leave and I get to shoot their guns and their ammo. I used to be more relaxed about it but finding gallon jugs and liter bottles shot up and blowing all over my backfield and my mineral blocks put out for the critters getting all shot up took the relaxed right out of the equation.
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Old September 10, 2012, 06:42 PM   #4
sigcurious
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Some people are just too self absorbed to care. At least with private land, the owner can get them for trespassing if it becomes a serious problem.
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Old September 10, 2012, 06:55 PM   #5
1-DAB
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lesson learned: when done, take your targets and their holders home with you. lots of ways to make them portable, including lumber, PVC piping, and welded metal.
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Old September 10, 2012, 07:30 PM   #6
Kilroy08
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As everybody else stated, that's not an uncommon complaint.

A few years back, I made a couple really nice spinning targets out of steel. Nothing fancy just duck and rabbit silhouettes. I would have a ball with my .22 gallery rifle. My buddy, nice guy that he is, had a flash of brilliance and decided to cut loose on them with his Garand. WITH AP BALL!!

You can imagine what happened there. Poor targets were all Swiss cheesed up.

Needless to say several ungentlemanly words were shouted his way. This is why we can't have nice things.
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Old September 10, 2012, 07:53 PM   #7
mySig229
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Get a game camera and post pictures of the D bag on the range. Plus show the rancher if he knows the culprit
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Old September 10, 2012, 09:04 PM   #8
buck460XVR
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Quote:
The word got around and people who know the rancher started to ask me if they could use my targets. The rancher had given them permission to shoot but suggested they ask me to use my targets and bench.

I had no problem, so I put up a sign that anyone who had the ranch permission, could use my bench and targets and to please pick up their trash.

Well, I went out yesterday and my 200 yard target was destroyed, the 300 yard target had huge .50 cal holes all over it!
If the folks picked up their trash behind them, it seems as if they followed all the rules. Over the years I have built tons of stationary targets. None of them are permanent because shooting them tends to destroy them. The bigger the gun, the faster they go downhill. Even when the frame is made of 4X4s, only a coupla errant shots on the perimeter and they're done. Bowlin' pins and and chunks of 6X6s hangin' from chains last forever when shot with .22s and even .357s. Start shooting them with .44s and they go fast. Shoot 'em with the .460 or ought-sixes and they don't last a day. I too work at the local range every year puttin' in new posts before the masses come to sight in their deer rifles. They last for about a year.......nature of the beast. People don't destroy them on purpose, but even Railroad Ties cannot absorb thousands of rounds without gettin' eaten up.

I suggest that you just take your targets with you if you do not want them destroyed. You best take the bench too, cause once the targets are gone the other folks will need something to shoot at. Generally with nuttin' else to shoot at, the bench is the first thing they go for. Either that or get the names of all of those with permission to shoot there and ask for donations of money/time/effort to help with the targets. Odds are those that destroyed you targets did not destroy them intentionally, but if they had permission to shoot there and you had a sign sayin' it was okay to shoot them, I can't see where they did anything to deserve the rant. Nobody told them they couldn't use big guns. If it was trespassers, I would not leave anything there until that issue is resolved.
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Old September 10, 2012, 09:33 PM   #9
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A local range here has 4 targets. One at 25 yards and 3 at 100 yards. They are made out of steel frames and they use a sheet of OSB. Well, they replace the OSB about once a year. Doesn't take long for them to be destroyed. I don't know how many times I've seen people unload shotguns at the 25 yard one. I try to shoot respectfully. I almost always just bring my own targets so the OSB will last longer.
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Old September 11, 2012, 04:57 AM   #10
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Sure blame the 50BMG guys..ban them. Are you sure it was not slugs from a shotgun. Did you find 50BMG cases? Maybe it was a BP rifle?
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Old September 11, 2012, 08:11 AM   #11
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We just have to put up with idiots, we have them in all aspects in life.

When have a rather large ex-gravel pit on BLM about 2 miles from my house and 8 miles from town.

Great place for long range shooting, we can get 2000 yard easy, but you can go much further.

Most people who use it build portable steel targets as you can drive out to set up your gongs.

How ever some people started shooting bottles, even seen an old TV some one left after using it as a target.

Like I said, you're always going to have idiots. Not much we can do about it but we don't want to loose the ability to shoot here.

When I shoot there I take a rubber garbage can and throw it in the truck. Part of my long range shooting program consist of policing up glass, cans or any other trash left by others.

I don't like picking up after others, but I don't like to risk loosing our abilities to loose this long range land either.

I can get up to 400 yards in my own range, its a little better because I have total control of who shoots and what they shoot here.

But on BLM all we can to is watch our shooting habits and pick up after others.

Its not right, but its the way it is.
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Old September 11, 2012, 08:41 AM   #12
Wyoredman
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Master, Yea, it was a .50 BMG. The targets are steel T posts with 5/8" OSB hung from them with hose clamps. The T posts were shot in half!

Anyway, I went out last night and fixed everything up. Everyone is picking up trash and brass, so the place looks pretty good. I used a Sharpie and wrote a sign on the bench asking for the big gun shooters to bring their own targets.
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Old September 11, 2012, 11:20 AM   #13
Stressfire
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Have not had that issue yet, I bring my own targets to my range and take them with me when I leave.

Not everyone is so considerate, there is almost always some manner of trash left by the backstop: old cardboard, lawn jockeys and "my size" action figures that someone decided to blow apart, et cetera.

I am not even able to bring guests with me to my range because some fool was bringing 10-15 people with him as "guests" - i.e. gun party
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Old September 11, 2012, 12:51 PM   #14
taz1
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I have a single steel post to identify the different distances then i drop BIG chunks of tree that I don't want to split for wood (3 foot diameter beech blow downs) it takes a looong time to eat them up. I also put out a ton of elect me signs that the dips put along my feilds without permission
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Old September 11, 2012, 04:01 PM   #15
Wyoredman
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taz1- I like the sign idea! I'm gonna ask the local polys that are running if I can collect their signs in November! HaHa - Thanks!
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Old September 11, 2012, 04:35 PM   #16
DaleA
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The lowest common denominator factor sometimes makes me just despair.

I guess we just have to put up with them and remember 90% (or maybe even 99%) of people just aren't like that at all.
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Old September 11, 2012, 04:51 PM   #17
farmerboy
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It's cases like this that I know deal with letting hunters hunt or buddies hunt or target practice or something. Friends, acquaintances or paid hunters. You have problems everytime or will so it's just easier to say no. It's not worth the headaches and there are a very few that would never screw up but they are the ones that it hurts when you say enough is enough.
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Old September 11, 2012, 05:07 PM   #18
jc98ss
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Op, you made a safe place to shoot and people used the range.....don't be mad, your targets could only absorb SO many bullets before they were damaged......just expect to do a little maintenance every now and then......i'm glad to read you rebuilt the 200yd target and repaired the 300......i say pat yourself on the back knowing that you've helped provide a safe place for yourself and others to shoot.....it's not hard to see you've done a good thing.
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Old September 11, 2012, 05:29 PM   #19
Wyoredman
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Thanks, Jc. I guess you are right!
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Old September 11, 2012, 06:36 PM   #20
farmerboy
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To me it sounds like you made a great place for you to shoot. Only problem is everybody and their brother are now taking advantage. Not a bad thing if they help in the duties and keep it clean, are safe etc, etc.. You did great it sounds just hope no ya-hoos make it come to an end. Hopefully the land owner will see who is trustworthy. But sometimes they don't know and end it for everyone. :-(
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Old September 11, 2012, 06:47 PM   #21
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Hey. Look at the bright side. At least they didn't dump an old sofa, and a refridgerator in the middle of the range.

Yet.
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Old September 11, 2012, 06:50 PM   #22
sigcurious
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CajunBass you must have been shooting in my neck of the woods...err I mean desert.
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Old September 11, 2012, 06:59 PM   #23
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Quote:
It is a form of the Tragedy of the Commons. Resources available to many will be depleted by a few.
True. Surprising how many people figure that someone else will just fix the mess they make.
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Old September 11, 2012, 08:09 PM   #24
oldmanFCSA
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Today, 08:41 AM #12
Wyoredman
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Join Date: September 6, 2011
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 655 Master, Yea, it was a .50 BMG. The targets are steel T posts with 5/8" OSB hung from them with hose clamps. The T posts were shot in half!


===========================================
I've shot 7mm RM at a target at 300+yards, missed the target, and cut a T-post in two with a 150 grain Ballistic Tip. This was on my own farm and my own fence to fix. Please don't blame the 50BMG's unless you have substantial proof. But I am willing to admit, there are Bad Apples out there no matter what the caliber.

Set up a game camera off to side of benches, or in a manner to collect car license numbers.
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Old September 11, 2012, 11:30 PM   #25
TheSILENTtype
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just lay your targets down when you leave - real sportsmen & enthusiasts will pick them up to use them... and gentlemen will lay them as they found them when they are finished... however, the punk with the .50 will be far too tired from carrying his rifle in to lift the targets... and likely you will be able to identify his future presence by 6foot thick trees being shot down.
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