18 April, 2011

A tale of two ranges

Today, I was inspired to make a trip to the range with my shootin' buddy B.  I texted him at about 8 am or so and asked if he wanted to go later.  I almost immediately received a reply back, that sure he was game.

We took off for the closer of two unsupervised ranges we frequent.  While driving through the conservation area, we see a sheriff deputy in front of us.  Something started noggling in the back of my mind.  Sure enough, he was headed for the shooting range, and pulled in right ahead of us.  Buddy B and I walk down the incline and start to set up at the 100 yard table as that was the only one open.  We had brought a target stand to use.   That's when the sheriff's deputy brought us over for his say on the matter of targets.  It seems the local conservation agent was quite unimpressed with how people were treating this particular range. Trash was being left about, unapproved target stands that had been abandoned were rotting away, and empty shotgun hulls were littered about the place.  The deputy explained how the range was on the verge of being shut down due to people using non approved targets, this included my portable piece of corrugated plastic on a wire frame.  Rather than risk getting a ticket, with my non approved target stand, we opted to leave.

In talking to the deputy, he stated the reason for no unapproved target stands was the fear of a riccochet.  I know for a fact that at the closest to me supervised range, the rifle side targets can be set as close as 25 yards, with the intervening 75 yards nothing but open space, and yet somehow riccochets aren't happening with such a great frequency that the range is in danger of being shut down. Sure, I can see this if some ignorant individual is shooting at bowling balls.  But steel plates, bowling pins, and pie tins are routinely used as targets.  My corrugated plastic surely presents an astronomically low probability of causing a riccochet? I think not. 

Range number two is where we ended up.   No litter, someone had policed up a good portion of the brass, and we set up my portable target stand.  I saw a number of others as well, and when folks were finished they removed their debris and left.   When it was all said and done, I had a great time, and left my shooting area neater than when I found it. 

Other than the matter of an unanticipated change of venue, buddy B and I had a really good time. The weather was beautiful and the company was superb.

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