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Thread: Anchorage Ranges

  1. #1
    Member ripnlip's Avatar
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    Default Anchorage Ranges

    Which shooting range in Anc area do you all use for rifle? I was looking into Birchwood, anyone have any comments? I like to have benches to shoot from. I like the idea of the 300 yard targets. Any others that have out to 300 yards?

    Thanks in advance!!

  2. #2
    Member Alangaq's Avatar
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    Ummm........... for ANCHORAGE ranges there would be THE Anchorage shooting range. 100 yards Max, heated and covered benches. is it perfect?............Ahhh, Nope! Does it work for 90% of what the average shooter needs? Yep! Go on down, read the "rules", follow the "rules", keep your pie hole shut, and follow the "rules", go home and wish for a better shooting range like the rest of us. Then thank your lucky stars that you dont live in Callywack or Newhellork and realize that even though our range isnt perfect, it could be a heck of allot worse or non-existant.

    Birchwood.............Longer ranges up to 300 meters, no heaters, less gaff from the staff, better prices, a great place to shoot. Too bad it takes nearly 40 minutes to get there from Los-Anchorage. I like it...........allot! Almost never go there! I generaly allot myself 4 hours for load development per week. That means that I haul ace down to Bunny Creek, set up the chrono, read the rules, frown at the rules, give the guy behind the counter my most disgruntaled look, fetch up my target stand, staple on my targets, set up my bench, wait for the "cease fire" cart my target down range, wait for the "clear to fire", realize that my chrono is not set right, wait for the "cease fire", re-set my chrono, wait for the "clear to fire", stuff some more Copenhagen in my pie hole and wonder why I am here, do some shooting, pack my crap and go home! I hate it...........not as bad as I hate the dentist, or the IRS, but I still hate it........... would it be worth it for me to drive all the way to Birchwood..........Sadly no. My time, with a wife, two little ones, and one on the way, is worth more to me than the bennifits of Birchwood over Bunny Creek.

    It's an imperfect world.........work with what you got, or as the hot rod guys say, rung what you brung baby!

    “You’ve gotten soft. You’re like one of those police dogs who’s released in to the wild and gets eaten by a deer or something.” Bill McNeal of News Radio

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    Member ripnlip's Avatar
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    Default range

    hahahah, sorry but gotta laf at that last reply. I hate the cease fire crap too. looks like Iwill make the drive to Birchwood.

    Thanks

  4. #4

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    I'm a EPM at Birchwood. I really like this range. I usually shoot Mon or Tue evening when it's closed to everyone but the members. This way I can usually shoot with the range to myself. Even if I am sharing it with a few other guys, no biggie. Everyone I have met there has been super cool, no complaints. Except for the time there wasn't another person on any of the rifles ranges but me and someone had to test their newly braked 375 H&H right beside of me. That bugged me. Otherwise I've met some very nice people out there. Whatever bad gun handling I've seen is solved with some chit chat. I forgot his name, but the guy in the building, mustache dude always smoking a marlboro, is a great guy. Did I mention I really like this range?

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    What is the cost of the EPM now? I had it several years ago but am looking into it again.
    Thanks

  6. #6

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    I go to Rabbit Creek because it is less than 10 minutes away. Birchwood is farther away.

    I have seen numerous unsafe shooters at both ranges. I really don't mind the range officers at Rabbit Creek. I go there enough and I'm polite enough that they know me by sight. They've always been very helpful if I've ever had a problem. They for the most part leave me alone. I've heard some people have had rude contact with some of the staff. I have not. They even seem a little more professional lately. My guess is that the complaints about the range a few months ago may have made a difference in their customer service.

    Honestly, I think some of us big Alaskan tough guys just don't like anyone telling them to follow the rules. I've seen a lot of people get all bent out of shape over being called on obvious safety violations in a very civil tone. I think of them as somewhat dangerous whiners.

    Let's see. If I had to pick a slightly safer range it would be Rabbit Creek. The larger better laid out range would have to be Birchwood.

  7. #7

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    I only go to Birchwood and have a membership there. I have had too many negative experiences at the Rabit Creek range over the last 25 years. I do not intend on going back to Rabit Creek any time soon. The entire experience is much more enjoyable at Birchwood. It is definately worth the drive out to Chugiach.

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    Birchwood is nicer (300 yards and pull your truck right up), Rabbit Creek is more convenient. I like safety rules, since I get all set up with 6 targets on my holder, chrony all ready etc and during cease fires I walk around and bs or drink coffee so my shooting gets worse as the tremors increase.

    Once in a while I'll blast off an UZI or M16 and they are cool about it. I'm not a mag dumper though, I am a burst guy.

  9. #9
    Member shphtr's Avatar
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    Default Range

    Birchwood - EPM - early, late, Mon, Tue - if you are serious about your shooting/reloading (and if you can get the appropriate time off...sometimes a big if)

  10. #10
    Member .338-06's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alangaq View Post
    Go on down, read the "rules", follow the "rules", keep your pie hole shut, and follow the "rules", go home and wish for a better shooting range like the rest of us.
    Alangaq, do the ROs make you read the rules if you have a season pass now? I didn't get one this past year, but when I've had a season pass the ROs never made me read the rules.

    RC season pass=$70 Birchwood EMP "pass"=$175

    Either way, Anchorage still doesn't have an indoor range, while Fairbanks and Juneau does. Why? No one seems to know........

  11. #11

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    Palmer MVS range is indoors...

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    Member Alangaq's Avatar
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    Well........... ever since I got scolded for not reading them once, a couple years back, I have been a good little boy, stared at them diligently for a minute or two giving the impression that I am reading, when in all actuality I am wondering if I will be able to find a target stand that isnt shot to pieces and trying to remember if I put a fresh battery in the chrono and remembered to bring my staple gun................... I guess it wouldn’t kill me to actually READ the rules once in a while! After all, it's complacency that will get you every time.

    Don’t get me wrong. I actually like both ranges and will continue to use them as often as time permits. I just miss the “good old days” when you could pull off the road at some gravel pit and kind of do your own thing. Sadly those days are over, and all because of the bad apples that wouldn’t pick up their mess.

    Such is life………
    “You’ve gotten soft. You’re like one of those police dogs who’s released in to the wild and gets eaten by a deer or something.” Bill McNeal of News Radio

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by .338-06 View Post
    Alangaq, do the ROs make you read the rules if you have a season pass now? I didn't get one this past year, but when I've had a season pass the ROs never made me read the rules.

    I have a season pass and they don't make me read the rules.

  14. #14
    Moderator Adison's Avatar
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    Default Indoor range

    Either way, Anchorage still doesn't have an indoor range, while Fairbanks and Juneau does. Why? No one seems to know........[/quote]

    What would you want in an indoor range in Anchorage? How much would you be willing to pay for the use of a good, well maintained range? I've been looking at range plans for about a year now, maybe someday it will happen.
    Adison

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    Member .338-06's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adison View Post
    What would you want in an indoor range in Anchorage? How much would you be willing to pay for the use of a good, well maintained range? I've been looking at range plans for about a year now, maybe someday it will happen.
    Adison
    About 10-12 years ago I competed in Bullseye shooting and I practiced at the Firing Line. I paid about $200 a year for their top membership (I think that was the cost, alot's happened in the last 10 years!). It wasn't as nice as the Palmer range, nor as inexpensive, but it wasn't an 80 mile round trip to go practice either. I mostly shot on my lunch hour during the week and avoided the place on weekends.

    What would I like? 25 meters, good lighting, the filters changed regularly and fairly generous hours of operation, like 11am-10pm.

    I'd easily go $200-$250 for a year.

    A good "Pro" shop would be nice. I've been to ranges where you could rent every pistol they sold. It's really, really great to be able to see how a gun shoots before you buy it!
    Training, from beginning on up to instructor. A resident gunsmith would be nice. Shooting leagues and such would be nice too.

    If it happens, I'll be there to shoot at it.

    Did you know that you can't shoot buckshot at Rabbit Creek now? The poor birdies might eat the lead shot, but you can still shoot lead .22 and cast bullets. Go figure.

  16. #16

    Default Guaranteeing Range Time

    Quote Originally Posted by .338-06 View Post

    What would I like? 25 meters, good lighting, the filters changed regularly and fairly generous hours of operation, like 11am-10pm.

    I'd easily go $200-$250 for a year.
    If a membership cost you $200-250 a year, I imagine you'd want some guarantee that you will get a decent amount of range time. I mean, an indoor range would get rather busy, and not everyone is going to want to buy a membership-they'll want to pay a daily fee. So what kind of ideas do you have as far as protecting the range time of paying members?

  17. #17
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    Default Indoor Range in Anchorage? YES!

    Addison, 338, Mike,

    You want to know what happened to Anchorage's indoor range? Ask Alan Choy. He owned and operated ran the Firing Line (just south of Dimond Mall) and It was a very pleasant place to shoot. The distance was only 25 yards and the backstop limited you to 44 Mag or less (454 Casull, maybe, but no full-power rifle rounds)

    If you had a membership, you could make a reservation. Walk-in shooters were first-come, first -served. Motorized target holders meant no waiting for "cease-fires".

    Great place to shoot, good management, good business plan (as nearly as I could tell). More, you will have to ask Alan, but I am sure he would share if someone wanted to re-open the shop.

    Good Luck,
    Lost Sheep

  18. #18
    Member .338-06's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike R View Post
    If a membership cost you $200-250 a year, I imagine you'd want some guarantee that you will get a decent amount of range time. I mean, an indoor range would get rather busy, and not everyone is going to want to buy a membership-they'll want to pay a daily fee. So what kind of ideas do you have as far as protecting the range time of paying members?
    When I was shooting at the Firing Line this was never a concern for me. I usually practiced on my lunch hour or in the evenings during the week. I don't think I ever shot there on a weekend. Of course, that was 10+ years ago before I was married and had kids. I think that toward the end of the Firing Line's operation a member was bumped to the head of the line of those waiting for a lane.

    I think that having a lane or two kept open for members only might work, but I havn't really thought about it.

  19. #19

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    I remember the Firing Line as being not very well maintained IMO...lead dust everywhere, inadequate ventilation, poor lighting, etc. They had a big section of the front counter area devoted to just air guns and it seemed like they weren't putting much into the upkeep of the range. I worked at the Elmendorf indoor firing range as an instructor from 1994-2002 when I was in the Air Force and could shoot in there whenever I wanted so I only used the Firing Line a couple of times, but I wasn't very impressed nor surprised when they folded, although I don't know exactly why they closed. I haven't been to the Mat Su sportsman's indoor range in a long time, so can't comment on how that facility is maintained...it's the only indoor range available to the public unfortunately. I've used Birchwood for many years and prefer it if not for the drive...I live in South Anchorage now and Rabbit Creek is much closer so I'll go there. Wish someone with a lot of cash would invest in a nice indoor range facility in Anchorage and spend the money to keep it up. I think it would turn a profit eventually but the start up would be pretty significant.

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