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Thread: Indoor Range in Anchorage

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    Default Indoor Range in Anchorage

    Is there any indoor ranges in the Los Anchorage area?

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    Nope, not one open to the public.

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    Member TruBluTex's Avatar
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    There is one that is pistol only in Palmer but none for rifle in the Valley. Never understood why there isn't one either in Anchorage or the Valley with the large amount of hunters in the area. I'd reckon whoever builds one would get a lot of business, especially during the winter months. Used to go to one back in Oak Hill, Texas and that place was always full of people year 'round.
    America...land of the free, home of the brave and infiltrated by the blind & naive.

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    Member .338-06's Avatar
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    Let's see....there are at least 4 indoor pistol ranges in Anchorage built with our tax money, but taxpayers can't use them. Bad taxpayer! You want what?! You want to use ranges that you paid to build? No! Bad tax payer!

  5. #5

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    There used to be an indoor range in town called The Firing Line but they closed years ago. I shot in there a couple of times any always thought they did a poor job of upkeep...lead everywhere, poor lighting, inadequate ventilation, etc. It's expensive to maintain an indoor range...start up costs would be significant initially and a lot of the profits would go into keeping the range clean and safe to shoot in. Air filters have to be changed out regularly, target retrevial systems repaired, and all that lead and firing residue has to be cleaned up and disposed of properly which is really a job for hazmat experts. A steel bullet trap type backstop will show wear after time and some panels will eventually need replacing...also a job for experts or a manufacturer's rep. Then there's the liability insurance and normal business operating costs, maintaining an inventory of shooting supplies, ammo, targets, etc....if you keep guns to rent you would need some type of security system or at least a safe. It's a huge investment even before the first shooter steps in to rent a lane. I think it's a big gamble as a business up here since you'd be depending mostly on the winter traffic to carry you through the summer when you have the outdoor ranges and other activities to compete with...still with pistol leagues or matches in the evenings, it might sustain itself.

    As for the tax payer built ranges, I'm only familiar with the indoor range at Elmendorf which used to allow civilian shooting clubs to use the range afterhours, but for many of the reasons I mentioned above, that was discontinued. I was active duty and working there as an instrutor at the time. We were not allowed to charge for the use of the range, but we absorbed 100% of the costs of maintanance and repair incurred from off duty use in addition to the costs of training military personnel every day. When the backstop eventually had to be replaced at a cost of $250,000, and our ability to conduct training was impacted, that was pretty much it as far as civilian use of the range was concerned.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TruBluTex View Post
    Used to go to one back in Oak Hill, Texas and that place was always full of people year 'round.
    Sorry to get off topic but I was just there last week. The name changed to Reds but they still run a great range in Oak Hill and a newer improved one on the north side of town.

    I first shot there in 1975 after moving from Anchorage. I always loved that 100 yard indoor range. Rain or shine it was always a great place to shoot. Anchorage could really use a range like that.

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    Member .338-06's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gunblade View Post
    As for the tax payer built ranges, I'm only familiar with the indoor range at Elmendorf which used to allow civilian shooting clubs to use the range afterhours, but for many of the reasons I mentioned above, that was discontinued. I was active duty and working there as an instrutor at the time. We were not allowed to charge for the use of the range, but we absorbed 100% of the costs of maintanance and repair incurred from off duty use in addition to the costs of training military personnel every day. When the backstop eventually had to be replaced at a cost of $250,000, and our ability to conduct training was impacted, that was pretty much it as far as civilian use of the range was concerned.
    I never shot at the Elmendorf range, but my understanding was that it was .22 only-which your post seems to indicate was wrong. As to "we absorbed 100% of the costs..." does the Air Force have a source of revenue other than tax payers?

    As to the other government only indoor ranges, I understand the FBI has one downtown, the Troopers have one out by the Airport and APD has one at their training center, which, according to a conversation with Dick Tranni, was supposed to have been designed to be usable by the public, but according to AKMud, is anything but!

    I used to shoot at the Firing Line and agree with everything you said about it, but I had to give up Bullseye shooting when it closed down. I couldn't afford the time it took to drive 80 miles round trip to practice.

    If we want to open up another can of worms, we can ask why Fairbanks and Juneau have state built public indoor ranges when Anchorage, which has twice the population of both of them together, does not.

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    Member greythorn3's Avatar
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    I believe the only open indoor range in anchorage anymore is still the northway mall.
    Semper Fi!

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by greythorn3 View Post
    I believe the only open indoor range in anchorage anymore is still the northway mall.
    Ahhh...that's a good one.


    "I never shot at the Elmendorf range, but my understanding was that it was .22 only-which your post seems to indicate was wrong. As to "we absorbed 100% of the costs..." does the Air Force have a source of revenue other than tax payers?"

    The old range was .22 and non-magnum handgun only...they shot M16s with .22 adapters and .38/9mm in there in the wintertime and went to the old outdoor range in the warmer months, switching to 5.56 in the rifles. The new range was built in 1993 and all the old facilities were torn down...I got up here in '94 about a year after the new range was opened. The new range would accomodate 5.56 so we did all our training indoors except for the heavy weapons (machineguns, grenade launchers, etc) which was done at Ft. Rich. It wasn't a matter of collecting revenue from the off duty shooters...it was more an effort to prolong the expected service life of the range. We had a contractor that did the lead abatement and clean up and we had the manufacturer (Caswell) come up every two months to repair the target system...that was costly enough but when the backstop plates started warping and we had to replace the whole thing, the higher ups canned the off duty shooting and the priority became military training only. The new backstop (Action Target) was much better...I fired a Barrett .50 cal in there to test the new plates and it barely made a mark. I sure miss working there sometimes.

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    Member TruBluTex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marshall View Post
    Sorry to get off topic but I was just there last week. The name changed to Reds but they still run a great range in Oak Hill and a newer improved one on the north side of town.

    I first shot there in 1975 after moving from Anchorage. I always loved that 100 yard indoor range. Rain or shine it was always a great place to shoot. Anchorage could really use a range like that.
    I was in Oak Hill last week visiting folks and brought home some venison after bringin' down a nice spike in Brady. I've always known that range as being "Red's" when I started shooting there back in the early 80's. Superb range and great staff!
    America...land of the free, home of the brave and infiltrated by the blind & naive.

    Psalms 109:8

  11. #11

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    DOD Directive 1025.1 allows range use by taxpayers. We do get to use Fort Rich as part of the CMP club.

    We Shot in the old range at Elmendorf, got kicked out.
    That was the Anchorage Rifle and Pistol Club.
    Wayne Anthony Ross got a letter from VP G Bush, telling AF to lets us shoot.
    We shot again in the new range for a while. We did for a long while and got kicked out again on the last round of kick outs. I heard some rumbllings about hitting the carriers, which was BS, as we monitored that crap closely.

    I shot the range last winter with my Navy hat on, qualifying sailors. Same hat at the cop range on Raspberry and the Airport. Those are nice ranges.

    Go to Palmer to be indoors. Mondary eves is 22 only. Pistol match on 24 Jan.

  12. #12

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    Yes...I remember seeing a copy of that letter from VP Bush. The carriers did get shot but they got shot by everyone, even with careful monitoring. DOD 1025.1 says...

    4.3. The Secretaries of the Military Departments shall encourage the extension of the privileges of rifle and pistol ranges under their cognizance to recognized local police organizations, local rifle and pistol clubs, schools, colleges, and other local responsible civic organizations, provided that such use will not interfere with military
    training and will be subject to local command and range regulations.

    That directive was written in Jan 1984 and referenced the old Directorate of Civilian Markmanship (DCM) program which was disolved under Clinton and is now known as the CMP. That essentially gave the local commander the authority to allow civilian use or not.


  13. #13

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    Yes.

    Go to MVS Palmer to shoot indoors

    But: We shot the Art Boyles Barber shop Dakota Small bore postal league there w/ 22lr and we brought our own sticks to hold the four A19 targets.
    No carriers were in imminent danger from the marksman in that group.

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