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Birchwood EPM Members - How busy?

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  • Birchwood EPM Members - How busy?

    I'm considering buying the EPM at Birchwood, but am curious as to how busy it is during closed hours when only members have access. Specifically, I need to do some shooting to prepare samples for my forensic science class. I want to create a number of samples on tshirts stapled to cardboard for muzzle distance analysis (how far the shooter was standing from the victim) in addition to shooting a number of bullets into phone books to provide samples for extraction and comparison to known samples. In order to do this, I would need to have one of the ranges mostly to myself so as to not be a hassle to other shooters with constant moving and rearranging of the targets downrange. In your experience, would it be feasible to expect some degree of solitude in the off hours, or does it stay reasonably busy? This isn't the deciding factor for me - I'll likely become a member anyhow because I'll be doing a lot of shooting over the next year - but if possible, this is something else I'd like to do with my membership. Thoughts?

  • #2
    Good post Brian. I have considered the full membership as well, but have wondered about how busy it is in the off hours.
    I can do the impossible right away. Be patient, miracles take me a bit longer.

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    • #3
      Get out there at dawn in January and you will find it deserted

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      • #4
        I shoot Monday morning's , I can't remember seeing more than a handful of other shooters, if you go regularly its worth the money if You are a once or twice a year shooter it would hard to justify the cash. Its very nice in the summer to be able to go shoot before the general public can get into the range.

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        • #5
          It's usually, not CROWDED, on Mondays, and Tuesdays, when the range is not open to the public, but it depends on the time of year, the time of day, the weather, etc.

          Also, the Cops or some government agency may have taken over an entire range, for practically the entire day, which would put some pressure on the range you're using.

          There are numorous Handgun ranges, and it's often that they're not ALL in use, on those days.

          There's no way to predict with any great certainly, how crowded you will find it.

          My guess, is that for what you're planning, there isn't a better option, unless you know someone with a private range, and other needed facilities.

          If you're gonna shoot through phone books, I suggest using a bench to keep them off the ground. The Range Officer up there doesn't like ricochets.

          Smitty of the North
          Walk Slow, and Drink a Lotta Water.
          Has it ever occurred to you, that Nothing ever occurs to God? Adrien Rodgers.
          You can't out-give God.

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          • #6
            I normally shoot on Friday mornings. If you are there at 7PM it is fairly quiet except for shooters on the handgun ranges. If I'm working up loads I have my chronograph and during normal business hours it is just too much hassle.
            Someday someone may kill you with your own gun, but they should have to beat you to death with it because it is empty.

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            • #7
              i shoot in the mornings before the range opens at 10am for everyone else. i think if you get there early, like 7-8 am and start your project you will be good. if someone pulls up, explain what you're doing and i am sure they would understand and move on.

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              • #8
                Money well spent and you should have no problems with crowds if you go early or even late depending on the day, weather, ect...

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                • #9
                  It is well worth the money for a membership. The new manager's name is Dale. He's a very guy, and I like what he is doing with the range. I have been a member there for two years now and have zero regrets about it. If you explain what you are trying to accomplish for your class to the management you will more than likely have no issues with the staff about what you are trying to do. During the closed times you'll have plenty of space to get it done, though you might have to wait a bit for someone to leave a range. Most people that are members are very nice and easy to approach.

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                  • #10
                    I meant to say that Dale was a very nice guy. Not sure where the 'Nice' went....

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                    • #11
                      Birchwood has maybe 8 or so ranges ranging from 25 to 300 yds.
                      APD shoots there regularly and often, occupying 2 maybe 3 ranges, limiting opportunities to shoot alone on any range, but there have always been open ranges on days I've gone early whether for pistols or rifles. During cold weather, especially early, I've often still had a range alone. They don't shovel the ranges, so consider footwear for deeper snow. On days they're closed, you'll also need your own target frames if shooting targets. Most guys seem to just build one similar to the ones usually available there.

                      Between APD & Alyeska security folks, there are some interesting weaponry going off when they're training.

                      Agree with Smitty about elevating your targets. I believe Birchwood EPM specifies 2 feet off the ground.
                      No habitat, no hunter.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by sthrcave View Post
                        I meant to say that Dale was a very nice guy. Not sure where the 'Nice' went....
                        Seems like a nice guy, but I, as an EPM, am reserving judgement on the direction of his events

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Wildalaska View Post
                          Seems like a nice guy, but I, as an EPM, am reserving judgement on the direction of his events
                          I've shot in a couple of the carbine matches recently. I had a blast. They seemed well organized, and safety was foremost. By summertime there should be full on 3 gun matches twice a month.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by sthrcave View Post
                            I've shot in a couple of the carbine matches recently. I had a blast. They seemed well organized, and safety was foremost. By summertime there should be full on 3 gun matches twice a month.
                            I got interrupted before I could finish (notice no period) , so let me continue

                            He seems like a nice guy, but I, as an EPM am reserving judgement on the direction of his events and how it affects the usage of the range for folks who aren't into these matches. And by nice, I mean polite, however, he comes off as being, well to put it frankly, a Mall Ninja with his tactical pistol prominently displayed and some remarks he made to some participants in one of his classes. Further, I have had more than one EPM report to me (dude everybody who is anybody ends up here at WWG ) that he was "arrogant" to them.

                            Now mind you, I don't go by what folk say about other folks. Some body treats me badly, either in truth or perception, or because Im being a jerk too (like the rude cashier in a store the other day) I don't whine about it forever on the net, or never step foot in the place again, or carry a grudge for the rest of my life, I just go on, I have more important things to do. However, I shoot with folks and know lots of folks who are EPMs out there that may very well get annoyed at him TO THE DETRIMENT of the range as a whole, a place where I get my sole relaxation in life.

                            We shall see I reckon how it goes.

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                            • #15
                              You make very valid points Wild.

                              Both of the competitions I was in were over before normal business hours were over, meaning that EPM's could still shoot on the range the competition occupied after the general public left for the day. I am Just mentioning this FYI. In my post I said that Dale seems like a nice guy because I have had limited interaction with him.

                              Time will tell.

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