What do you look for in a good gunclub...

This is a discussion on What do you look for in a good gunclub... within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Ok let me preface this a little... I have decided to take back up shooting on a regular basis. Rather I should say, serious shooting. ...

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Thread: What do you look for in a good gunclub...

  1. #1
    Distinguished Member Array SonofASniper's Avatar
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    What do you look for in a good gunclub...

    Ok let me preface this a little...

    I have decided to take back up shooting on a regular basis. Rather I should say, serious shooting. Spending good range time, controlled atmosphere, etc. etc.

    I have gone away from that for a few years now due to limited finances with starting a business, starting a family, limited ammo supply not being part of the Sherrif's Dept., no more access to the county range (which is 150 miles away from me now), and no more access to the local gunclub my father belongs too (for the same distance reason).

    I basically have found myself drifting into the downward spiral of going out into the woods once in a while and firing a few shots which just has not been satisfying. I never really cared for gun clubs before when I had access to the county range. Why deal with a Mall Ninja Range Officer dressed in black fatigues, sporting a utility belt with more gadgets than batman, 100lbs overweight and just "retired from the seals last year", showing off his latest clover leaf bullseye he shot with his 20x Scoped 10/22 last week at 10 meters, misquoting range rules, and threatening to 86 someone for firing more than 1 round every 10 seconds when I had access to a 25 acre range oftentimes all by myself. Right? (don't mean to insult those here who are Range Officers, but I am sure most of us have dealt with a few who are questionable)

    Anyways, my wife and I discussed it this last week and have finnally decided that we want to take the plunge and get into a good club, setup for reloading, and look into maybe participating in some competitions. I used to shoot trap a lot, and I would love to maybe look into some multigun competitions. My wife never grew up with guns (her mom tried to teach her that guns were scary and evil), and she would love to have the opertunity to have a place to shoot regularly. Plus there is always our daughter getting involved and "Jr." who is due later this year.

    So now after doing some research on some clubs I have narrowed down to these three clubs:

    http://www.fourcornersrodandgun.com/ by far this is the closest one for us, but I am not feeling too excited about the facilities they offer.

    http://www.tcgc.org/ the farthest drive for us which would limit our use. Good facilities, I have not always been too hot about some of the Range Officers (mall ninjas) there.

    http://www.arpc.info/ this is looking like the top candidate, even though it is about a 40 minute drive. It is about middle distance vs. the farthest and closest one.

    I am going to see if I can schedule a tour of the facilities before making a final decision. My opinion is that I would like to "interview" them just as much as they want to interview me for membership consideration.

    I would like anyone's opinion. This is new ground for me, and your insights and what you look for in a gunclub would be very helpful to me.

    Thanks,

    SOS
    I will support gun control when you can guarantee all guns are removed from this planet. That includes military and law enforcement. When you can accomplish that, then I will be the last person to lay down my gun. Then I will carry the weapon that replaces the gun.

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  3. #2
    Member Array cpmiv's Avatar
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    Not in your area so I can't help with any specific ranges, but just in case those don't pan out you can check this site to see if there are any others that you perhaps missed.

    http://www.wheretoshoot.org/

    The club I belong to in PA is mostly a hunters club. The pistol range is nice and all ranges are well maintained but there is one "funny" rule on the rifle range: Only one round in a weapon at a time. I can understand they don't want the "mall ninja's" showing up with 100 round mags and running their trigger fingers as fast as possible but it just irks me as there is no middle ground and Uncle Sam taught me to zero a rifle with three shot groups. So I've been in search of another range myself.

    Long and short. Check the range rules for anything out of the ordinary

    Good luck
    There are over 550 million firearms in worldwide circulation. That's one firearm for every twelve people on the planet. The only question is: How do we arm the other 11? (Yuri Orlov [Nicolas Cage] Lord of War)

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    Array P95Carry's Avatar
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    My opinion is that I would like to "interview" them just as much as they want to interview me for membership consideration.
    I would agree there ..... and my main points I'd personally look for ....

    1) - Safety record and range safety management aspects.

    2) - Cost of course ... is annual fee going to be acceptable for what you see as intended use and frequency.

    3) - Speak to other members if possible and ''probe'' for overall atmosphere - any major ''politics'' at the top? Other members also of course can give you a ''feel'' for whether the place is cliquey or friendly to all.

    4) - Naturally too - does the range have what you need? Ergo - are the distances adequate for your needs .... are firing points adequately appointed.?

    5) - Access? When can you go to use facilities? Put another way - are the schedules (re comp's maybe) going to interfere with when you may want to go.

    6) - Do they insist on anything like buying club ammo, targets etc.

    7) - Oh yes and - range rules? Are they acceptable for your required disciplines etc. Too restrictive? Too lax even?

    There is quite a lot to consider but I think safety and a ''friendly feel'' are two major aspects - as long as it is affordable. I have probably left out some stuff but think these factors are worth consideration anyways.
    Chris - P95
    NRA Certified Instructor & NRA Life Member.

    "To own a gun and assume that you are armed
    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."


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  5. #4
    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Zero tolerance on questions of safety: be safe or be gone. Yet, tolerance to assist folks who choose to learn to be safe, by putting range masters and folks in-the-know together with those who don't (yet), offering training seminars, etc. In short, if the place is a death trap, it's simply not worth any price.

    A range of options for different styles of shooting, such as steel target, the action range, shotgun/clays, short- and long-range rifle.

    Enough of a membership base and dues high enough to support a clean, safe and improving environment. Doesn't need to be wealthy, but it does need to be reasonably run.

    Found one in my area.
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
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  6. #5
    Distinguished Member Array SonofASniper's Avatar
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    Thanks for the great advice. A couple of things that didn't occur to me were to ask directly about their safety record, interviewing other members, and actually questioning if the dues were adequate enough to maintain a good quality club.

    Overall, you guys affirmed I was thinking on the right track. I will be calling my top choice this week and see about scheduling a tour.

    Thanks.
    I will support gun control when you can guarantee all guns are removed from this planet. That includes military and law enforcement. When you can accomplish that, then I will be the last person to lay down my gun. Then I will carry the weapon that replaces the gun.

  7. #6
    Senior Member Array rfurtkamp's Avatar
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    I look for NFA-friendliness.

    If they allow NFA stuff, they're not fogeys with a stick up their butt generally.
    Driver carries less than $45 worth of remorse.

  8. #7
    Ex Member Array azchevy's Avatar
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    Most of the gun clubs out here are either brass nazi's or full of militia wannabees who want to gab your ear off about their many exploits with firearms and their fantasy military world. I just go out in the desert with friends.

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