View Full Version : Private range membership

August 30, 1999, 11:04 PM
We keep hearing all of the complaining about 'no place to shoot'. How many of the private clubs do you know that are filled up to max membership? We are chartered for 150 members and usually have somewhat over a 100. Nobody is really beating down our doors. (although a lot of people used to duck under our fence until we got a member to live on the property, BG.) I wonder if shooting is losing some popularity with all of the development, regulations, etc.. Jim
PS: there have been several clubs closed down in our area due to lost leases and some of our members were active in these other clubs, most holding memberships in our club concurrent with the other ones. Maybe our high $40 per year dues and $100 initiation fee for a club owned 40 acre range is too steep? (another BG).

August 31, 1999, 09:52 AM
I think the problem lies in the perceived expense of shooting.
Guns are expensive, ammo is expensive and having a place to shoot is becoming more expensive all the time.
I am one of those people who have "nowhere" to shoot. The closest range is well over an hour away and includes a trip through an unpleasant part of town. Between their business hours and my personal schedule, the periods I can go usually don't allow for an optimum experience. I'm lucky if I can get there once a month.
Nevertheless, I maintain my membership even though I often don't feel like I'm getting my money's worth. The alternative is truly not having anywhere to go.
To be truthful, I would happily pay twice as much to have a better range closer to home. But I'm someone who has come to terms with the expense of my pastime, I suspect many others have not.

George Hill
August 31, 1999, 05:21 PM
Expense is an issue - Many of the clubs I have been to had pretty high rates.
I prefer shooting out side. I enjoy nature and would prefer to keep the nature free of charge...
As pointed out - I have already payed a lot already.

"We learn from history that we learn nothing from history."

-- George Bernard Shaw

The Critic formerly known as Kodiac

August 31, 1999, 05:31 PM
I don't begrudge the owner/manager of my range one dime. It's *his* property, and he can charge what he likes (which is actually very reasonable: trap is $2.50/string, cartridge is $7.50/day, membership is $40/yr individual, $60/yr family). It's a 45-minute drive from the Springs, but that drive is through some spectacular scenery.

Besides, Howard is just a hell of a good guy. I'd rather spend the money at his place and hang out with the old curmudgeons than go to some pretty, shiny indoor range with a barking Range Nazi.

"Taking a long view of history, we may say that
anyone who lays down his arms deserves whatever he gets."
--Jeff Cooper

September 2, 1999, 12:42 AM
our range fee is $75 a year. it is membership only. limited to 1000. and yet membership is not full. rd trip is 50 miles from my house but worth every $ of it. and even in winter weather permitting i try to shoot at least once a week if not more. now that i am getting into reloading who know's

September 2, 1999, 09:46 AM
A range open to the public, that sells memberships is what I have access to.

Annual membership fee: $75 (optional)
Lane fee: $10/hr without membership
$5/hr with membership
Must use range provided targets, which are only .25 --> 1.00 each.

This range is 100 miles round trip from my house. I shoot there at least once a week.

I grew up on a farm, so the whole idea of having to get permission to shoot, let alone pay for it was foreign to me.

Guess what?!? I got over it!!! The alternative is to not have anyplace to go.
I'd happily pay double or more to still have a place to shoot.



September 2, 1999, 11:22 AM
Our range is under a federation of gun clubs. You must be a member of one of the clubs. Mine has dues of $25 per year plus you must take a firearms safety course before you join; another $50. Range fees are $60 a year and that includes all facilities: a 50 yard pistol range; a 100 range; a 200 yard range; and a trap range. The trap range is open to the public on Wednesdays and Sundays at a cost of $4 for 20 clays.

September 2, 1999, 01:18 PM
Am in southern CA, where all open air ranges are gone. Finally found one in San Diego county. Rates are high - $100 first year indiv. membership, plus $15 for associate (spouse, son, etc.). After that, it's $65/yr indiv. plus the $15 associate.

Like most of you, I prefer open air ranges, so am willing to pay the price. This place has 6 or 7 different ranges (.22 only, long-range rifle, trap, falling plates, etc.) on the property, so I'm very happy about that. Also like the fact that they require NRA membership for you to join. The real downside for me is distance (87 miles one way), but when it's the only game in town, you just suck up and do it.

Oops, also need to answer the basic question. This club has 600 member limit. This was reached in August, right after I joined. Come early January first come, first served for renewal, until 600 limit is reached.

Regards - AZFred

[This message has been edited by Fred (edited September 02, 1999).]

George Hill
September 2, 1999, 05:32 PM
A good range can be worth it. Especially if your doing some formal shooting or if your teaching.

If your teaching a class - then it is not optional... You want a good range with a helpfull staff. That can be worth it's weight in gold.

But personally - just me shooting... I like to be away from everything where I can only hear the sound of my boots on the ground and can only smell wildlife. Or a Hawk a couple miles away...

"The rage is relentless... We need a movement with a quickness.
You are a witness of change and to counteract - We gotta take the power back!"

The Critic formerly known as Kodiac

September 2, 1999, 06:26 PM

I'll add to your last post. I go to the club I just joined pretty much for the reason you noted (bringing wife or son and teaching something new, etc). Other than that, I'll usually head into the desert to an area where it is legal to shoot. It's free, but only if you don't count the gas needed to travel 210 miles round trip! :) :) Unfortunately, there is nothing closer for me.

Regards - AZFred

George Hill
September 2, 1999, 08:05 PM
There is one club I would join in a heart beat - The Rivana Rifle and Pistol Club in Charoletsville, VA - about an hour and a half west of Richmond.
Nice set up. Nice People.

A nice fellow there let me shoot trap with his 8,000 dollar over-under. Pretty nice gun... But I did just as good with my folding stock Moss 590!
- go figure...

"The rage is relentless... We need a movement with a quickness.
You are a witness of change and to counteract - We gotta take the power back!"

The Critic formerly known as Kodiac

September 3, 1999, 10:08 PM
Believe it or not, the range I use is owned by the government! Shelby County Sport Shooting Range is part of the county parks department and the staff are all Park Rangers. It's a great place to shoot. Trap is $2.50 per round, rifle and handgun is $6.00 per day and that includes all the targets you want.
There is a core group of us "regulars" that go out quite often and spend as much time jawin' as shootin'.
Being a public range has it's good and bad points.
On the bad side, you always have to watch out for idiots. You know the type. Sloppy gun handling, don't want to follow the rules or just don't know what they're doing. Got to brag on the staff here, they watch folks they don't know like a hawk and there has never been a serious accident. The idiots don't last long here as the Rangemaster has a very low tolerance for stupid.
On the good side, we get lots of new shooters and both the staff and the "regulars" take great pleasure in helping them learn right and enjoy their new hobby.
There is a large private range in the area, but I don't belong because the membership is expensive and they have unsupervised ranges.