Thursday, April 14, 2011

Range Availability - Pretty Good Actually

Matthew over at Straight Forward in a Crooked World has a good post about range availability, the problems that some ranges make for gunnies, and how sometimes we're our own worst enemies.

As for myself, I'm extremely lucky when it comes to places to shoot.  Within an easy drive of home, I have two outdoor and two indoor ranges that I frequent.

First of course, is KCR.  Going out to Knob Creek is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're gonna see.  The staff out there is knowledgeable, friendly, and motivated to separate you from as much of your money as they can by offering a broad range of products that go bang and the things that support them.  The only quibble with KCR is that due to its popularity and the fact that it's $10 for the whole day on the range, if you don't get there early, you will probably have to wait for a lane.  Conversely, one of the things I like about KCR is that since it's $10 for the whole day, you can take time to get your zero right, or to shoot a lot more in one range session without watching the clock.  I will usually be leisurely about shooting unless I see people sitting on the bleachers waiting for a turn on the line.  KCR hosts several shooting classes throughout the year, and has hosted Appleseed shoots.

The other outdoor range I have is a bare bones, known distance range in a state park.  I use this range when I'm zero-ing in a rifle or training Girlie Bear, or if I'm just going to go plinking with the .22.  It's not too terribly crowded except for just before hunting season, and the setting couldn't be prettier.  This range doesn't have a range safety, so you're on your own to make sure no-one is doing something stupid.  For safety purposes, a lever on the side of the firing positions pulls down a thick steel plate over the firing ports so you can go down range for a few minutes without worrying that some bozo is going to pop off a few rounds while you're changing your target.  It's also free of charge to use.

For indoor ranges, I also have an embarrassment of riches.  Open Range Sports is the newest range in our area, and is a great place to go shoot if you can afford the rather steep range fees.  However, if you consider how nice the range is, the excellent staff, and the nerdgasmic target controls that are available on every lane, it's a bargain.  If you learn how to use them, you can program your target holder to go side on, then randomly turn the target towards you at different intervals and distances.  Advanced settings allow you to do a "Shoot, Don't Shoot" scenario where you tape a bad guy target to one side, and a good guy target to another, and have to deduct points for shooting the good guy target when it flashes at you for a few seconds.  The most devilish one of these is made up of two posters that are identical except for the badge one of the figures is holding up.  The staff at Open Range is friendly and helpful, and is always ready to answer a question.  My one quibble with this range is that they don't allow ammunition that use non-reloadable cases, such as Wolf or Tulammo.  They make a bit of money by gathering the brass up and reselling it, so I can see their point.  Classes in CCW and basic pistol marksmanship are available on a regular basis, and are usually taught by the range owner himself.

The other indoor range that I use is Bluegrass Indoor Range.  This establishment does a great job of providing a place to shoot at a reasonable price.  Since it's not as pricey as other places, you can shoot a bit longer within your budget.  But, you don't get a lot of the add-on stuff you get at Open Range.  Another plus for this range is that it's located much closer to most of Louisville than Open Range, which is located in one of the distand suburbs of Louisville. The staff is extremely friendly and knowledgeable.  Again, CCW classes and such are available from the staff.

There are also various shooting clubs around Louisville, which seem to cater more towards trap and skeet shooters as opposed to pistol or long-range rifle shooting.  When the time comes for me to learn how to do something productive with the Mossberg, I will definitely be looking to these clubs for training and practice.

So I guess I don't have much to complain about when it comes to having a place to go shooting.  It could definitely be much worse.

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