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  • Private Range in SC?

    Was all excited for Birchwood to open back up after the COVOD shutdown..then today, saw they are becoming members-only and jacking prices up north of $300/year, I about fainted.

    I am curious if anyone has ever looked into buying land to do their own private range? I was thinking perhaps somewhere north Palmer?

    For $375 a year it seems a few guys could go in together, rent a bobcat and build their own range somewhere...
    Nurse by night, Alaska adventurer by day!

  • #2
    While getting some land to set up your own range sounds like a good idea, there currently a move within the Assembly to restrict ranges. This started last year and it was getting ugly with a lot of people against the idea. However the Borough Assembly seems intent on not listening to the people. There lots of things to think about is you are lucky enough to find the right property.
    Good luck!!!!

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    • #3
      I read those proposed rules...VERY restrictive to say the least. The only time I went (as part of the crowd) to a protest of anything; wish I'd worn 3X the clothes. I viewed it as a private (but open to the public or taking $) range shut down at first and then ALL ranges in the future. I've spoken with some people who have said the rules are pretty close to NRA guidelines...don't know.

      At least 2 private shooting ideas have been floated on this site and failed. A long discussion about an indoor range in ANC...lots of talk and support but suddenly all talk died. Some small talk (pipe dream?) about taking over the old FM building in Palmer for an indoor range.

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      • #4
        Interesting........I think everyone here has at least one shooting range. I have five, but two are kind'a over grown with weeds. On a somewhat related (at least in my opinion) issue is the continued restricting of hunting use on public lands. Especially towards locals having first priority. Seems like finding some land in one's personal preference area for long term family hunting would be prudent.
        "Life Is Either a Daring Adventure or Nothing" - Helen Keller

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        • #5
          Originally posted by akhunter3 View Post
          Was all excited for Birchwood to open back up after the COVOD shutdown..then today, saw they are becoming members-only and jacking prices up north of $300/year, I about fainted.

          I am curious if anyone has ever looked into buying land to do their own private range? I was thinking perhaps somewhere north Palmer?

          For $375 a year it seems a few guys could go in together, rent a bobcat and build their own range somewhere...
          I wonder if their insurance got jacked up?

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          • #6
            I wondered about their insurance also, but I suspect it might have more to do with their paid staff. I have not been to this range in over 35 years, but have heard lots of comments from others. Either way, it will be interesting to see where this goes and how long they stay open!

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            • #7
              Take a pleasant, relaxing drive and head to the Upper Susitna Range. There you will find friendly, kind and knowledgeable folks willing to let you be you as long as it's safe. Come north to Talkeetna and get your shoot on!

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              • #8
                I remember when the (Private) "Rabbit Creek Range" was $15.00 per year......total cost. And it was open 24 hours a day. But that was 50 years ago, and there was a dirt road to get there, as there was no "New" Seward Hwy.
                "Life Is Either a Daring Adventure or Nothing" - Helen Keller

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                • #9
                  How is Upper Susitna about shorter-range shooting? I always thought it was largely long-range stuff. Have been working on 2-gun/transition shooting in addition to the usual pistol and hunting rifle practice
                  Nurse by night, Alaska adventurer by day!

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by akhunter3 View Post
                    How is Upper Susitna about shorter-range shooting? I always thought it was largely long-range stuff. Have been working on 2-gun/transition shooting in addition to the usual pistol and hunting rifle practice
                    How close? It's been a couple months since I read the SOP, IIRC as long as it can be done in a safe manner (Prior approval from RSO on duty), do it. Close contact drill? Sure, as long as it's safe and doesn't interfere with anyone else's use of the range. Steel? Yup. If you bring your own it needs to be verified for an angle of deflection that is safe. Range steel? Use it as long as you put it back where you got it. No centerfire rifle or magnum handguns or shotguns unless slugs or buckshot (4 shot and smaller tear all hell outta target frames) on 25 yd range, no shooting range steel on 25 or 50 with centerfire rifle or magnum handgun. 25/50/100/200 ranges. 200 has 2 sides. 1 is yds, the other is meters. Treat it as 1 range. The 1000 yd goes from 300 to 1000. Range steel is on most if not all major distances. Bottom line is be safe and courteous.

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                    • #11
                      Yes $375 a year is spendy.<br/>But It's going to cost you a lot more than $375 a year to set up your own range if you don't already own appropriate land.<br/>It's not just having enough land for the range itself but enough surrounding land for ricochet and overshot potential.<br/>Gravel berms will have to be built for backstops etc.<br/>And it has to be zoned for a gun range.<br/>With 10 guys your $375 each is enough for a down payment on some land but not much more.<br/>Who knows on the insurance cost that you would want to have to protect yourself and other members.<br/>I'm sure if it were cost effective there would be a few more ranges around.<br/>A friend of my dad's has a nice small private range he built for his dad that we used once.<br/>Then some guests(not sure they were invited) shot up the lights he had added above the targets for evening/night shooting and people left some trash behind as well.<br/>So he got real restrictive on who he let shoot there.<br/>I joined the Snowshoe gun club here on the peninsula and never looked back.<br/>It's $150 a year but that's for unlimited access to a real nice range.<br/>I think there's about 750- 800 members of the Snowshoe and I'm unaware of any paid staff.<br/>Though there are quite a few other expenses for a nice year round gun range.<br/><br/>Sent from my S41 using Tapatalk<br/><br/>
                      "The closer I get to nature the farther I am from idiots"

                      "Fishing and Hunting are only an addiction if you're trying to quit"

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by tracen8r View Post

                        How close? It's been a couple months since I read the SOP, IIRC as long as it can be done in a safe manner (Prior approval from RSO on duty), do it. Close contact drill? Sure, as long as it's safe and doesn't interfere with anyone else's use of the range. Steel? Yup. If you bring your own it needs to be verified for an angle of deflection that is safe. Range steel? Use it as long as you put it back where you got it. No centerfire rifle or magnum handguns or shotguns unless slugs or buckshot (4 shot and smaller tear all hell outta target frames) on 25 yd range, no shooting range steel on 25 or 50 with centerfire rifle or magnum handgun. 25/50/100/200 ranges. 200 has 2 sides. 1 is yds, the other is meters. Treat it as 1 range. The 1000 yd goes from 300 to 1000. Range steel is on most if not all major distances. Bottom line is be safe and courteous.

                        Essentially close contact and offset drills. Nothing closer than maybe 5 yards at the closest. I’ll have to go check out Upper Susitna, sounds like it would be worth checking out! They have a lot more variety than I realized.
                        Nurse by night, Alaska adventurer by day!

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                        • #13
                          I'm short on information of ALL the shooting styles in use today. When you say short range for 2gun are you wanting to shoot rifles and handguns at paper or steel? I think you'd need (and range requires!) some distance to shoot steel. If you're shooting paper you can shoot pretty close, but if it includes rifle you will need to be on 100 (closed for repairs last time I was there) or 200 range. You can move the target holders at whatever range you want to shoot.

                          I think the rules are posted on USSA's site. If you have any questions you can talk it over with the RSO on duty and walk through what you want to do. General idea is if it's safe and doesn't damage the range it will be OK, but every RSO has a different comfort level.

                          Edit: the rule summary off the web says for metal targets the min. distance is 10 yards for handguns and 50 yards for rifles. Do you plan on shooting your own steel?
                          Last edited by LeonardC; 06-02-2020, 12:13.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by LeonardC View Post
                            I'm short on information of ALL the shooting styles in use today. When you say short range for 2gun are you wanting to shoot rifles and handguns at paper or steel? I think you'd need (and range requires!) some distance to shoot steel. If you're shooting paper you can shoot pretty close, but if it includes rifle you will need to be on 100 (closed for repairs last time I was there) or 200 range. You can move the target holders at whatever range you want to shoot.

                            I think the rules are posted on USSA's site. If you have any questions you can talk it over with the RSO on duty and walk through what you want to do. General idea is if it's safe and doesn't damage the range it will be OK, but every RSO has a different comfort level.

                            Edit: the rule summary off the web says for metal targets the min. distance is 10 yards for handguns and 50 yards for rifles. Do you plan on shooting your own steel?

                            Just paper, especially up close. Mainly just 1-Reload-1 and transition rifle to pistol and vice versa.
                            I gave their website a peruse and looked at the rules last night. They seem very reasonable and more focused on safety than they are limiting what one does. Think I will take a drive up there in the next couple of weeks and try them out.
                            Nurse by night, Alaska adventurer by day!

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                            • #15
                              I wondered about their insurance also, but I suspect it might have more to do with their paid staff. I have not been to this range in over 35 years, but have heard lots of comments from others. Either way, it will be interesting to see where this goes and how long they stay open!
                              In such places it's almost all about paid staff, no matter of your insurance papers. By the way, if you're interested in really fair quotes, as well as smart and friendly insurance agents, I can recommend this ( link: https://www.general.com/ ), agency called General, cause I've signed my papers with them two years ago, and I'm completely satisfied.
                              Last edited by joe8wm; 4 weeks ago.

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