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Edward R S Canby, SASS#59971

The Joys of a Public Range

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One local club I shoot with is resident on a public range.  Two of a series of berms are developed with cowboy props.  When the club is not holding a match the berms are available for other users such a CCW qualifiers, modern action shooting sports and law enforcement.  Sometimes our props suffer unexcusable damage.  Recently a local law enforcement agency took the roof off of one of our loading tables.  Somehow they could not negotiate a straight 12-foot wide lane behind the table.  Below is the damage.

 

image.png.becec31343574625252fd2f0d165bcc1.png

 

For reference here is an undamaged unloading table.

 

image.png.250aafe46c3b7b3f6dd88cdb792bd961.png

 

I have no idea how long the repair will take.  Governments are involved.  For those who have berms for your exclusive use - keep the gates locked.

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Destroying private/public property is a crime.

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It wasn't malicious.  I expect one local government will just reimburse another for unintentional damage.  

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Did they say why ? ( did you ask them)

Did they admit to it?

If so why did't they put it back the way they found it?

Just curious.

 

I also see why at the one range I shoot at they are steel & welded together.

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They just took the roof down so you wouldn't see the holes they made in it when they accidentally shot it.  :o

 

Just kidding, but I understand.  We had some "people" shoot up a restored covered wagon, and completely perforate another store front, both of which were way, way, out of the safe line of fire.  Inexcusable behavior.

 

I should add that although this is not a public range, it is open to all members of the club, most of which are not cowboy shooters.  We have, after these and other instances, installed security cameras throughout the property.

Edited by Dogmeat Dad, SASS #48563L
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We have security cameras at our. We still get some vandalisum.

                                                                                                                           Largo

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8 minutes ago, largo casey #19191 said:

We have security cameras at our. We still get some vandalisum.

                                                                                                                           Largo

 

Because of the way ours are installed and pointing, we can identify who was on the range and the direction of fire.  We have caught, and appropriately disciplined, several members, some of whom are now ex-members.  Not perfect by any means, but as word spreads, it should help.

 

Sadly, at the end of the day, some people just don't respect other peoples property.  :angry:

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13 hours ago, Edward R S Canby, SASS#59971 said:

It wasn't malicious.  I expect one local government will just reimburse another for unintentional damage.  

 

I'm confused (my normal state lately).  How can purposefully removing a roof from property that doesn't belong to you be "unintentional"?  

 

 

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My choice of words might be confusing.  Perhaps I should have said "accidentally knocked off" instead of removed.  This was not reported to me directly and there is much I don't know so I won't post further on that matter.  I am an officer at another club.  We too get vandalism there.  Somehow owners of 50 bmg rifles (prohibited on that range) like to punch holes in our 4-inch thick hanging steel with AP ammo.  Replacing thick steel targets is very costly. 

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Reminds me of a range in a suburb where the club was forced by the city to allow their police to practice there one day a week.  (No other club members were allowed and we were all warned NOT to do what the police were doing.) Then it was expanded to 2 days per week - and only police allowed.

 

A jogger was running a little over a mile away when he heard "bees" and then one "stung" his leg.  It was a 45 ACP bee.  Of course his insurance insisted that he sue so he did.  He lived in Fort Worth, adjacent to the next city's range.

The Fort Worth police investigated and found that the local police were throwing cans in the air and shooting them with their pistols.

 

They almost closed the range but the range officials met with them and explained their safety rules.

 

The end result is that unsafe shooters were banned from the range - including and the local police.  So we got our range back all week!  :D

 

(That was over 20 years ago and fortunately police everywhere have greatly improved their training.)

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4 hours ago, Edward R S Canby, SASS#59971 said:

Somehow owners of 50 bmg rifles (prohibited on that range) like to punch holes in our 4-inch thick hanging steel with AP ammo.  Replacing thick steel targets is very costly. 

FOUR INCHES THICK?? :blink: I've shot some inch and a half mild steel on my own range with an Armalite AR50 with AP bullets, and it didn't come anywhere close to penetrating it.

 

Several years ago, I was a department manager at Sportsman's Warehouse. One day, the store manager and two of the other department managers asked if they could go out and use my range. I said OK, but told them not to shoot any of my CAS targets with anything but low velocity lead bullets... I later discovered over half of my 40+ targets had been damaged, some with holes completely through. One of my paddle targets has 5/8" paddles, and was completely holed. If that weren't  bad enough, they set up a bunch of beer bottles along the edge of my yard, shot them, and made no attempt to even pick up the broken glass. :blink: NOBODY uses this range now unless I'm available to observe and directly supervise.

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1 hour ago, Three Foot Johnson said:

FOUR INCHES THICK?? :blink: I've shot some inch and a half mild steel on my own range with an Armalite AR50 with AP bullets, and it didn't come anywhere close to penetrating it.

 

Several years ago, I was a department manager at Sportsman's Warehouse. One day, the store manager and two of the other department managers asked if they could go out and use my range. I said OK, but told them not to shoot any of my CAS targets with anything but low velocity lead bullets... I later discovered over half of my 40+ targets had been damaged, some with holes completely through. One of my paddle targets has 5/8" paddles, and was completely holed. If that weren't  bad enough, they set up a bunch of beer bottles along the edge of my yard, shot them, and made no attempt to even pick up the broken glass. :blink: NOBODY uses this range now unless I'm available to observe and directly supervise.

3' Johnson:

 

I also have a personal range that we only allow non-jacketed ammo [with a max velocity of 1400 FPS].   

AND I HAVE SIGNS POSTED THAT STATE THAT!

But there was a neighbor kid along with one of my "former friend's" kids use their SKS's on my CAS steel targets.

I welded up 40+ divots and clear-through holes.

NOW ONLY MY FAMILY CAN SHOOT THERE!

Edited by Mustang Gregg
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What gets me about people who get a kick out of shooting holes in other peoples targets is that they would never spend any money on steel of their own. Never fails. 

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Back in the mid-70's, Hank and I were members of a rural shooting club which I shall not name at this point.  Like many such ranges, this one was open to the public, but had one day a week reserved for police only use.  Tuesdays, I believe.

 

Anyway, at the time of this incident, Hank was one of the officers of the organization.  Club vice-president, I think...  and, since he was off work for a while recovering from a fairly serious injury (.45 Colt ball through a leg), he had plenty of time to "hang out" at the range.

 

On one of those "police only" days, Hank was "hanging out" when the group from the Sheriff's Department arrived, having reserved the facility for qualifications and practice.  As they were unloading and setting up, Hank wandered over to kibitz ~ and was promptly invited to leave.  "This area is hereby CLOSED and OFF LIMITS to civilians! Please LEAVE, and DO NOT RETURN!" commanded the lieutenant in charge.

 

Hmph!  Okay, well be that way! Hank thought as he hobbled back to the clubhouse for coffee and continued visiting with a couple other hangers-on.  Shortly, they were serenaded by the melody of pistol fire.  Then rifle fire.  And of course, some shotgun fire.

 

And then came the full automatics.

 

Everyone's eyebrows shot up; Hank grabbed his cane and high-speed hobbled back to the range.

 

What he saw surprised, then stunned, then downright pi$$ed him off.  

 

Just the previous weekend, a work party of club members had replaced the posts and cables from which targets were hung.  Forty-five years later, I don't recall if the new posts were railroad ties or vineyard end posts; but whichever, they were not cheap, were quite stout, and had been a pile of work to install.

 

Well, evidently, some SD nimrod had decided that these posts themselves made ideal target holders - no need to bother at all with clothespins and the target-hanger wires stretched between the posts.  So, in addition to the damage already inflicted by the other small arms, Hank was greeted by the sight of clouds of splinters erupting from the brand-new posts under the assault of multiple M-16's and possibly a Thompson or other sub-gun.

 

The lieutenant spotted Hank, walked up to him and barked "I told YOU that this range is CLOSED!  You WILL leave NOW or there WILL be consequences!"

 

Wrong attitude.

 

Hank returned his glare for a moment, then bellowed - and he had a quite impressive bellow - "CEASE FIRE!!"

 

All firing stopped, and all eyes turned to the belligerent cowboy and their own leader, who had taken a half-step backward at Hank's eruption.

 

The lieutenant started to take a deep breath, undoubtedly in preparation of giving ol' Hank a blast of authority, but was pre-empted by Hank himself when he continued in his own clear, authoritative voice:

 

"Gentlemen!  This is a private range.  As such, you are here at the invitation of the club that operates this range.  That invitation does NOT include destruction, especially intentional destruction, of range property!  Those posts you have just blown to hell were expensive, required a good deal of work to install, and have only been in place TWO DAYS!  

 

"As club vice-president, I am the ranking officer of this range present.  As such, I am hereby advising you that as of this moment your range privileges are SUSPENDED!  Lieutenant, please pack up your equipment and men and vacate immediately!"

 

Said lieutenant was not happy; in fact, he was kinda shocked, and was not able to meet Hank's glower.  The group packed up and left. 

 

A letter was sent to the Sheriff describing the incident; we had no idea how that meshed with the lieutenant's own report, but the Sheriff did issue a personal apology, and sent in a work party (miscreant deputies?) to replace the posts.  Range privileges were re-instated, and no officer ever, ever again, shot anything other than properly mounted targets.  ;)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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10 hours ago, Edward R S Canby, SASS#59971 said:

My choice of words might be confusing.  Perhaps I should have said "accidentally knocked off" instead of removed.  This was not reported to me directly and there is much I don't know so I won't post further on that matter.  I am an officer at another club.  We too get vandalism there.  Somehow owners of 50 bmg rifles (prohibited on that range) like to punch holes in our 4-inch thick hanging steel with AP ammo.  Replacing thick steel targets is very costly. 

Seems to me that if they can afford a .50BMG and the ammo to feed it there should not be a problem for them to pony up some dough to replace the damaged steel ASAP. :angry: :angry: :angry:

Can’t be that many irresponsible idiots that shoot that kind of firepower without somebody noticing. 

Regards

 

:FlagAm: :FlagAm: :FlagAm:

 

Gateway Kid

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Kind of sounds like all the facts are not known. Still, it will be interesting the hear the full story and how it gets resolved.

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1 hour ago, Gateway Kid SASS# 70038 Life said:

Can’t be that many irresponsible idiots that shoot that kind of firepower without somebody noticing. 

 

You would be VERY surprised at how often this happens.   Even Founders Ranch has trespassers who enter the range after hours and shoot through cowboy steel with magnum rifles and armor piercing rounds.  And shooters during supervised range hours can find themselves alone or just with a "silent" buddy - and then they whip out high performance ammo.

 

Good luck, GJ

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16 hours ago, Dogmeat Dad, SASS #48563L said:

They just took the roof down so you wouldn't see the holes they made in it when they accidentally shot it.

How in the hey do you put rounds through the roof?  Do not want to shoot with these people.

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On 10/10/2020 at 6:43 AM, Dogmeat Dad, SASS #48563L said:

They just took the roof down so you wouldn't see the holes they made in it when they accidentally shot it.  :o

 

Just kidding, but I understand.   

 

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Holes in the roof from half trained or careless LEO's?

I believe it and I saw it happen at a range.

Three shot bursts from an MP-5 through the galvanized roof over the firing line on "LEO Only Day", twice the same day by different officers and using different MP-5's

I was around on several other happenings that raised the hair on the back of my neck and caused the Tactical Training sergeant to invent a whole new vocabulary, including some blood-letting by/to a long time officer, who ignored instructions and got careless. (Only harmed himself) 

 

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Issues with ranges are not new. This is an oldy, but goody from the Rockville IWLA Chapter History:

 

From the minutes of the November 1974 general meeting: “Chapter President John Andervont asked how the archery range burned down. The best available evidence is that a MK79 practice grenade ended up in the target area and the only way it could get there without a pin was to have been thrown or fired. The Montgomery County Detention Police had been authorized to use the ranges that day. Estimated damage is in excess of $3,000. The State of Maryland, according to the Lieutenant in charge, will pay.”

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18 hours ago, Garrison Joe, SASS #60708 said:

 

You would be VERY surprised at how often this happens.   Even Founders Ranch has trespassers who enter the range after hours and shoot through cowboy steel with magnum rifles and armor piercing rounds.  And shooters during supervised range hours can find themselves alone or just with a "silent" buddy - and then they whip out high performance ammo.

 

Good luck, GJ

How are things GJ?

As I said “irresponsible idiots “. 
Have seen it here as well and the actions of the jerks led to our asking another shooting group to move on when they declined to replace the steel they ruined. Worst part was they acted as if we were persecuting them instead of correcting the behavior of their bad apples. There was no doubt as to the identity of the idiots, it just took a while to convince our group it was not in our interests to put up with these behaviors. 
Regards

 

:FlagAm: :FlagAm: :FlagAm:

 

Gateway Kid

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Common sense was once common, but was never universal.

 

For all have sinned and fallen short of God's standard.

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I didn't intend to start a thread flaming law enforcement.  They have been responsible users on the ranges I've been on.  However, officers do dislike our cold range rules.  The props and buildings in the berm pictured at the start of this thread lacked any bullets holes.  The damage to the loading  bench showed came from a vehicle.  There were no bullet holes in the crumpled metal roof.  I find casual shooters are the biggest problem.  They show up without targets and are quick to put a shooting bench or a plastic barrel to use.

Edited by Edward R S Canby, SASS#59971
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it seems those with the biggest bore diameter , largest ammo budget and least regard for other shooters always think they are  entitled to do the most damage to what does not belong to them -

 

i work on a privately owned range that is open to the public , our members always respect things , not so the public , not the tin foil hat folks so much , its the wealthy types who flaunt their expensive items and reserves of ammo - not impressed 

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On October 10, 2020 at 4:45 PM, Mustang Gregg said:

3' Johnson:

 

I also have a personal range that we only allow non-jacketed ammo [with a max velocity of 1400 FPS].   

AND I HAVE SIGNS POSTED THAT STATE THAT!

But there was a neighbor kid along with one of my "former friend's" kids use their SKS's on my CAS steel targets.

I welded up 40+ divots and clear-through holes.

NOW ONLY MY FAMILY CAN SHOOT THERE!

I DID allow coworkers to use my little shooting bay during their lunch hour.  First time no problems.  Second time they left a few cans they evidently used as targets.  The third time they didn't ask if they could and then left the electronics they had brought from work and shot into pieces scattered all over.  I had a brief talk with them about how their range privileges were over.

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When it absolutely needs to be destroyed fast, call the police.  When it needs to go even quicker, call the firemen.....  I can say that because I saw many of my officers destroy too many inanimate objects and fixtures.

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CAS is just one shooting discipline of our main club.  We have our own dedicated range with 10 stages - 7 of which have false fronts which make it a nice little cowboy town.  Not far from the club is a state police barracks.  The club always allowed members and the police to practice on our bays which usually was not an issue.  However,  eventually problems began with them salvaging around to find things to hang their targets on.  This resulted in the destruction of some sectional prop walls.  They would tear down their targets, but rather than take their trash with them, we would find it stuffed behind props or in and around the false fronts.  Once they climbed up on the picnic tables under our pavilion and took down lumber that was stored on the rafters and completely decimated it.  The damage was reported to the main club who then built a separate pistol range for use by the membership and the police.  It has solved the problem.  We still get the random damage by some irresponsible person that stands outside the pits and riddles a false front for their stupid enjoyment but it is rare these days.  We try to keep up a good relationship with the police due to our rural location.  They do stop in from time to time to say hello and check up on us - especially since we had a break in and random robbery of some oversized steel targets and, of all things, a bathtub.  The guys didn't miss the tub though.  It was a bear to move, and with the advancing age of competitors, shooting from in the tub was no longer enjoyed. 
We keep things locked up and accounted for these days. Signage stating cameras are on site seemed to have helped too. 

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On 10/11/2020 at 9:25 AM, Church Key, SASS # 33713 said:

Issues with ranges are not new. This is an oldy, but goody from the Rockville IWLA Chapter History:

 

 

I shot at that range in the 80's, when the area around it was developing rapidly.  Eventually, some yuppies house got perforated and the club installed huge cement culverts on the rifle range so you could not physically elevate the rifle enough to go over the backstop.  Lighting off a .300 Win Mag in a pipe is quite the experience.

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We had some people sneaking in after hours at one of our local ranges.  Shooting CAS targets, making a mess.  The range installed cameras.  It wasn't to long before we got a nice video of local high schoolers (one the son of a member) breaking into the range, shooting our targets, drinking booze, shooting the bottles, sweeping each other with loaded guns.  It's amazing how stupid some boys can be in their teens, and in some cases into adulthood.

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12 hours ago, Captain Bill Burt said:

 

It's amazing how stupid some boys can be in their teens, and in some cases into adulthood.

 

Why did you look at me when you said that?

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