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Bonus: Range Safety & Etiquette Poster Vol. 14 No. 4 Fall 2011

NSSF’s Magazine for Shooting Facilities

BE PREPARED To Have Scouts to Your Range

Your Next Course: Food Service Eye-Protection Update A Task Force to Serve YOU

The Range Report

Summer 2011

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www.nssf.org • www.wheretoshoot.org • www.rangeinfo.org Vol. 14 No. 4 Fall 2011

Features

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Make Food Your Next Course Selling food can serve everyone well. By Tom Carpenter

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Be Prepared Ready yourself to attract and host Boy Scouts. By Michael D. Faw

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Update on Eye Protection Discover some options and innovations in shooting glasses. By Carolee Anita Boyles

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Proactive ESPs Facilities can help ensure their future with thorough environmental planning. By Chub Eastman

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Bonus

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Special Pull-out Poster Range Safety and Etiquette Remove this centerfold poster and prominently display it at your range.

Departments

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Letter from the Editor Don’t let money slip through your fingers By Glenn Sapir

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Sighting In Scoping out news for the shooting range community By Glenn Sapir

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Q&A Your busiest day of the year? By Glenn Duncan and Peggy Long

The Undercover Shooter A long shot in the Northwest

Home on the Range A task force to serve you By Zach Snow

On the cover:

Bonus: Range Safety & Etiquette Poster Vol. 14 No. 4 Fall 2011

NSSF’s Magazine for Shooting Facilities

Boy Scouts are potential short-term, as well as lifelong, customers.

BE PREPARED To Have Scouts to Your Range

Your Next Course: Food Service Eye-Protection Update A Task Force to Serve YOU

The Range Report

Fall11_RangeReport.indd 1

Summer 2011

Photo courtesy of Mike Faw

© 2011 National Shooting Sports Foundation, Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Range ReportSM, SHOT Show® and all other trade names, trademarks and service marks of the National Shooting Sports Foundation appearing in this publication are the sole property of the Foundation and may not be used without the Foundation’s prior express written permission. All other company and product names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.

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The Range Report

Summer Fall 20112011

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Letter from thethe from Editor Editor G l e n n

I

Don’t Let Money Slip Through Your Fingers

f I told you I would give you money— not lend you money, but grant you money—to help your range attract more customers or potential club members, would you be interested? Interested enough to fill out a form and explain how you would use the money to increase participation at your facility? That sounds easy enough, and the truth is somebody could question your sanity or check your pulse if you didn’t take advantage of the offer. For the last three years, the National Shooting Sports Foundation has been making that very offer in the form of Range Partnership Grants. Since the program’s launch in 2008, some $1.17 million has been awarded to 46 ranges. Have you been one of those ranges that has created a proposal and requested funding? This past summer, NSSF announced that it had received 64 proposals requesting $2.8 million for its latest period of grants— an all-time high for the program. From those proposals, 22 were “granted,” for a total of $435,000. When you read numbers like that, don’t you want to get in on the action? And “action” is what these grants are all about. They are not intended for projects such as physical improvements to facilities, but, instead, for the implementation of ideas that will get more people to the firing line. The NSSF Range Grant Program assists qualifying shooting ranges in their efforts to introduce newcomers, reactivate lapsed shooters, encourage active shooters to try another discipline and promote the enjoyment of the shooting sports to people of all ages. The place to learn more about applying for the next round of Range Partnership Grants is www.nssf.org/shooting/grants, at the NSSF website. Here you can obtain the guidelines for the program, which tell who may apply, how much grant funding is available, projects that are eligible—and not eligible—deadlines for completion of projects and how to apply, as well as an explanation of the proposal review-and-selection process. You’ll also read that the source for more information on the program is Melissa A. Schilling, NSSF’s manager of recruitment and retention, whose email address is mschilling@nssf.org and telephone number

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S a p i r

is 203-426-1320. The Range Partnership Grant Program belongs under her guidance, for sure, because this funding can play an important role in the recruitment and retention of shooters. In fact, ranges can profit in a way other than gaining funding from this program. The Range Partnership Grant Program is designed to help fund projects that can become models for others. Case studies are posted at the website reference above, and by examining those cases, ranges can not only get a better understanding of projects that may receive funding, but also discover successful ideas that they may be able to implement at their facility. Two such success stories that Schilling likes to point out involve Wyoming Antelope Club in St. Petersburg, Fla., and Tripoli Triggers in Williamsport, Pa. The Florida facility needed funding to set up an arcade-type resource in a converted semi-trailer to add another fun factor to shooting that would be especially attractive to youth. It received a grant, and on the opening day of the new “shooting gallery,” 94 visitors gave it a try, many of them with their families. Numerous ranges have called to model their efforts after the Wyoming Antelope Club’s. Worsening economic conditions led to increased crime in small rural communities such as Williamsport, Pa. This helped identify a need for appropriate proactive and strategic response addressing public safety. Tripoli Triggers, an indoor range and training facility, believed increasing its offerings of firearms safety and training classes would help address the problem. It received funding through the grant program, and within two months of its launch, 495 people had participated—a goal the facility had hoped to reach in six months. So, have you read enough to take action? It starts with a visit to www.nssf. org/shooting/grants. It’s a visit that will cost you nothing and has potential great returns, including money in your pocket. Don’t participate, and it’s like money slipping RR through your fingers.

www.nssf.org The Range Report, published four times per year by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, is dedicated to serving the needs and to helping meet the challenges of today’s shooting facilities. The Range Report encourages letters, comments, suggestions, questions and tips. Material to be returned should be accompanied by a stamped, self-addressed envelope. The Range Report does not assume responsibility for the loss of unsolicited graphic or written material. Correspondence should be sent to:  The Range Report c/o NSSF 11 Mile Hill Road Newtown, CT 06470-2359 Fax: 203-426-1245 E-mail: rangereport@nssf.org We reserve the right to edit for clarity and space.

Mark Thomas Glenn Sapir Ann Siladi Deb Moran

Managing Director Editor Advertising Director Art Director Advisory Committee

Bill Kempffer, president - chairman of NSSF’s Range Division Deep River Sporting Clays, Inc. Sanford, N.C.  Committee bkempffer@deepriver.net Advisory Don Turner, Turner -president president of NSSF’s Association of Shooting Ranges Shooting park manager LLC Don Turner Consultant, Clark County Shooting North Las Vegas, Nev. Park dmturner@cox.net North Las Vegas, Nev. dmturner@cox.net Robin Ball, owner Robin Shooting Ball, owner Sharp Indoor Range and Gun Shop Sharp Shooting Range and GunRobin@sharpshooting.net Shop Spokane, Wash. Indoor Spokane, Wash. Robin@sharpshooting.net Brian Danielson, sales manager Brian Danielson, sales manager Meggitt Training Systems Meggitt Training Systems brian.danielson@meggitt.com Suwanee, Ga. Suwanee, Ga. brian.danielson@meggitt.com Glenn Glenn Duncan, Duncan, owner owner Duncan’s Duncan’s Outdoor Outdoor Shop, Shop, Inc. Inc. Bay Bay City, City, Mich. Mich.

glenn.duncan@chartermi.net gcduncan@concentric.net

Jon Green, director of education and training    Gun Owners Action League (GOAL) Northborough, Mass. jongreen@goal.org Bill Kempffer, president Holden Kriss, director Deep River Clays, Shooting Inc. Indian RiverSporting County Public Range Sanford, N.C.  bkempffer@deepriver.net Sebastian, Fla. kriss3051@bellsouth.net  HoldenLaws, Kriss,CEO director Barry Indian RiverInc. County Public Shooting Range Openrange Sebastian, Fla. kriss3051@bellsouth.net  Crestwood, Ky.   barry@openrangesports.com BarryMurray, Laws, CEO Phil national sales manager Openrange White Flyer Inc. Crestwood, Ky.   barry@openrangesports.com Houston, Texas Murray826@aol.com Phil Murray, national sales manager Stan Pate, president White Flyer Oregon State Shooting Association Houston, Texas Albany, Ore.   

Murray826@aol.com onekmeters@msn.com

Tim Pitzer, presidentrange program manager Doug VanderWoude, Oregon State Shooting Association AcuSport Corporation Albany, Ore.    Ohio    timpitzer@comcast.net Bellefontaine, dvanderwoude@AcuSport.com The Range Report

Fall 2011


Sighting In

Scoping out news for the shooting range community

By Glenn Sapir, Editor

NSSF Releases Report on MSR Owners If your facility accommodates the use of modern sporting rifles (MSRs), those rifles based on the AR-platform, then you will likely be interested in the survey conducted on behalf of NSSF by Sports Marketing Surveys. If you have the capability to accommodate them but currently don’t or aren’t making a special effort to attract users of MSRs, you

may wish to rethink your policy. “The ‘NSSF Modern Sporting Rifle (MSR) Comprehensive Consumer Report’s’ findings give NSSF a baseline for future research into the ownership and use of these popular sporting firearms,” said Jim Curcuruto, NSSF’s director of industry research and analysis. “Our goal was to learn more about this category, and we certainly did.” Among the findings were: • Recreational target shooting (8.9 out of 10) was the No. 1-rated reason for owning a MSR in terms of importance. Home defense was next (7.7/10),

followed by collecting (6.28/10) and varmint hunting (6.23/10). • 95 percent of owners said they have used their MSRs in the last 12 months, and 29 percent of owners shoot their MSRs more than once per month. • 25 percent of owners shot more than 1,000 rounds out of their MSR in the last 12 months.

• 60 percent of MSR owners that responded to the study own multiple MSRs, with the average owned being 2.6. • 30 percent of all MSR owners purchased their first rifle in 2009 or 2010. • 51 percent of MSR owners have a shooting-range membership. • 84 percent of MSR owners have at least 1 accessory on their rifle, and they spend an average of $436 on after-market accessories and customization. To read more about this study, visit the Newsroom at www.nssf.org and read the May 16, 2011, press release on this study. The complete report and a description of the methodology used are available at www.nssf.org/MSR/facts.cfm.

Customized Market Reports Available NSSF Customized Market Reports are local-market reports prepared by NSSF Research on specific, customdefined trade areas. The information in these reports aids the purchaser in understanding the current and potential local market, as related to this industry. In fact, this service provided by the National Shooting Sports Foundation was the topic of an article in the June/ July edition of SHOT Business magazine. In that article, Brad Sisson, the range director for the planned facility, The Range at Lake Norman, in Cornelius, N.C., stated, “When we began the journey in January 2010 of providing the Charlotte market with its first state-ofthe-art firearms facility, we were in need The Range Report

Summer Fall 20112011

of a report providing demographics of the market to create a fundable business plan. The Customized Market Report was more than we had expected! The CMR provided us not only with competitive information, but also with a true demographics report, which was crucial to our receiving a bank and an SBA loan in spring 2010, when banks were very hesitant to make any commercial loans. Adds Jim Curcuruto, NSSF director of industry research and analysis, “Not only are these a great resource for those looking to open or expand their business, but CMRs are also well received by existing business owners that want to better understand their current market conditions during these economic times.

Display This Poster at Your Facility Safety at the range, obviously, is in everybody’s best interests. For people new to a range environment, however, what to do and not do is unclear, and that can be not only intimidating, but can also endanger themselves and others. NSSF, with the assistance of Advisory Committee member Barry Laws, C.E.O. of Openrange, in Crestwood, Ky., has created a video, “Introduction to Range Safety and Etiquette,” which clearly explains and illustrates the safety rules at a range. The video is accessible from the NSSF website, www.nssf.org, as well as at NSSF’s YouTube channel. We ask that you please remove the poster from the center of this magazine and prominently display it at your range.

To learn more about Customized Market Reports and how you can commission one, contact Dianne Vrablic, NSSF research coordinator, at dvrablic@ nssf.org, telephone 203-426-1320. The custom report, which costs non-NSSF members $500, is available to NSSF RR members for $250. 5


Q&A Your questions answered

Glenn Duncan

Peggy Long

Owner Duncan’s Outdoor Shop

General Manager Orvis Sandanona

Bay City, Mich.

Millbrook, N.Y.

Your Busiest Day of the Year? Q. On what day do you receive the most traffic—and why? A. Glenn Duncan, owner, Duncan’s Outdoor Shop The day with the most traffic at our store and range has nothing to do with a special promotion or cut-rate sale. It has everything to do with the calendar and the opening of the deer season. The busiest day for us is always the Monday before the deer season, which in Michigan opens on Nov. 14. Most nights our facility closes at 6 p.m., but on Mondays and Wednesdays, we stay open until 9, so more people can come in after work, and they know that as long as they come in the door before closing, we’ll service their needs. People wait until the last minute; that’s human nature, it seems. And when they do come in, it is to buy, sight in and/or have repairs made. We sell and install tons of scopes that day, along with all kinds of other gear. We sell a lot of ammunition to hunters who either have already sighted in their guns and used up more rounds than they antici-

In Q & A, The Range Report invites NSSF’s Association of Shooting Ranges advisory committee members past and present, and others with special expertise, to provide their answers to questions of interest to our readers. If you have a question you’d like to see addressed, submit it to rangereport@nssf.org. If you would like to comment on the answers given in this edition’s Q&A, or if you have related follow-up questions for this expert, please share your thoughts at the same e-mail address. 6

pated, or to hunters who are about to sight in, and they need ammo to accomplish that and then to hunt. If they’ve already sighted in their guns, these folks may have discovered something that required repair, or they simply may have put something off or forgotten about a need, so our gunsmithing shop is flooded with lastminute requests. Our indoor range features two 50-yard ranges, one 100-yard range and one 200-yard range, so they can sight in right here. We average 160 people sighting in their firearms the Monday before the season opener! We don’t really need to run any specials, but we do air radio and television commercials in October and November, just to remind people that we’re here. The upcoming deer season takes care of the rest.

A. Peggy Long, General Manager, Orvis Sandanona What’s our busiest day of the year? Actually, we have two days that qualify as “very busy.” The Saturday after Thanksgiving—where our clubhouse/store is busting at the seams—is an extremely busy day for us, but the day that we get the most traffic is our Annual Family Game Fair and Orvis Cup Weekend in September. This year our Game Fair was held Saturday, Sept. 17, and Sunday, Sept. 18, and we were ready to accommodate approximately 3,000 spectators, visitors and shooters combined. It is a very traditional outdoor sporting game fair, featuring activities such as hunting-dog and dog-obedience training, fly casting, fly tying, game cooking, birds of prey demonstrations, decoy setting, duck calling, sporting art displays and more. We also have craftsmen at work, including gunsmiths,

engravers, and pencil artists doing sporting dog portraits. Our gourmet food concession is second to none. And, of course, we have the shooting sports. We have a “First Shots” station sponsored by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, where you can try shooting for the first time for free. As matter of fact, all the above is free and open to the public. We have ongoing shooting side events, including sporting clays, 5-Stand, modern skeet and flurry. We also have a special Long Target station set up just for fun, and some of the proceeds are donated to Trout Unlimited. Every time you shoot a round at the Long Target, you earn a raffle ticket toward one of the Caesar Guerini guns we give away. Our Main Event Orvis Cup fun competition is held Sunday morning at 9:30 a.m. sharp. At this event in 2011, we gave away two Caesar Guerini shotguns. One was drawn from the “high over all” and “first in each class” shooters. The other winner was drawn from all other Orvis Cup participants. So it did not matter what score you shot; you had a chance to win one of the two guns. With partners like Barbour, Caesar Guerini Guns, Purina, Ducks Unlimited, French Creek Labradors, NSSF, Garden & Gun Magazine, Davidoff Cigars and the Scotch Malt Whiskey Society, we had every right to expect a very successful event this year. It is a great fall day outdoors in the beautiful country side of Millbrook, N.Y., where the entire family can enjoy the sporting lifestyle. On any other day we are open to the public for shooting lessons, sporting clays, fly-casting lessons, guided fishing, corporate outings and much more. For more information please visit our website RR at www.orvis.com/sandanona. The Range Report

Fall 2011


Modern Sporting Rifle National Shooting Sports Foundation®

The Tools and Times May Change... Today’s modern sporting rifles (MSR) are just another step in the evolution of the tools hunters and target shooters use to enjoy our sports. These rifles may not look like granddad’s, but some of your tools probably don’t look much like his either. Packed with hunt-specific features and

chambered in popular hunting calibers, modern sporting rifles are an excellent choice for a wide variety of hunting from varmint to big game. Outstanding accuracy, ergonomic features and light recoil have made the modern sporting rifle the rifle of choice for both veteran and novice shooters at rifle clubs across the country, at the national matches held each summer at Camp Perry, and in the exciting, challenging, and highly-evolved sport of 3-gun competition.

They may not look like grandpa’s old rifle, but, then again, neither does your drill.

...But the Purpose Remains the Same.

Scan this QR code with your Smartphone for more information on the modern sporting rifle

Learn more about the modern sporting rifle at www.nssf.org/msr


Make Food Your Next Course Selling food can serve everyone well By Tom Carpenter

T

he idea of combining a shooting range with an eating establishment makes sense on many levels. People have to eat. Why not generate that revenue instead of letting it go down the street? If your range is isolated, food is a particularly attractive service for shooters. Either way, a restaurant, cafe or snack bar can boost profits. Furthermore, providing a place where customers can sit down and rest while eating a snack or meal keeps them around for more shooting afterward. Your range becomes a complete destination. Of course, opening an eating establishment is easier said than done. Some ranges have done it successfully, however, and their examples provide important ideas and guidelines for other ranges that are considering adding food to their offerings. Miles Hall, founder and owner of H&H Shooting Sports Complex in Oklahoma City, Okla., took the food plunge and found success. Another range with food in its offerings is Arizona Shooter’s World in Peoria, Ariz., managed by Don Gallardo. Let their experiences and insights guide your foray into food service at your range. The idea stage How did the idea to combine food and shooting happen? “We began to look at our shooting range as a place for entertainment,” said 8

Hall. “When you think that way, your business goes in new directions. And entertainment usually includes food. “We started by looking for places to park soda and candy machines,” Hall reflected, “but the concept grew from there. We were lucky: We had a chef who liked to shoot here. With his help, we started small, but then it took off.” For Arizona Shooters World, the idea for serving food came early in the

facility’s young history. “At Arizona Shooters World, we started back in early summer,” said Gallardo. “We were just opening this location, and we knew it would be busy, with waits for lanes. People would need something to do. Why not someplace to eat? It’s also great for people taking classes – they can have a meal or break right on site instead of having to drive someThe Range Report

Fall 2011


Real-Life Scenario No-Risk Test

Here’s a way to see if food service might work at your range: Contract with a trusted food vendor to come in and set up a food cart or snack bar and operate it. Negotiate an arrangement for a percentage of the sales, so you both win. Perhaps you’ll like this no-risk, no-investment approach and continue the relationship.

presentation is smaller, but makes customers happy. “I would call it a small cafe,” said Gallardo. “We have items like cookies, bottled drinks, fountain drinks, coffee, chips and snacks, hot dogs, brats and fruit smoothies. We keep things simple and basic, but good.”

Bull’s-eye!

“Our most popular item is our famous grilled onion burger,” said Miles Hall, owner of H&H Shooting Sports Complex, in Oklahoma City, Okla.. “It features grilled onions on top of a big burger. And folks love our fries and onion rings.” Remember, all ingredients are fresh, never frozen. No wonder the 4U Cafe’s food “hits the mark” for shooters.

where and come back.” Beginnings The H&H eatery started small in 1999, with a snack-bar area, grill and limited menu. “In less than three years, we went to phase two, with a larger area,” said Hall. The most recent expansion to the eating area was in March of this year, The Range Report

Fall 2011

to the full-service 4U Cafe. “The floor plan is open,” he continued. “You can see right back to where the cooks are preparing the food. We use only fresh meat, potatoes and onions. Nothing is frozen.” The H&H commitment to excellent food is important. Laughed Hall, “Now we get some people who come here just to eat!” The current Shooters World

Challenges Like starting any business, food service has its own set of challenges. “The most important concept is to do it right,” said Hall. “Don’t cut corners with equipment or fixtures. Go beyond the minimum and get the recommended equipment. Commit to quality. You’re dealing with issues of health.” Just as you keep your range safe, so must you need to keep food safe. “You can save money by buying good used equipment,” Hall advised. “We bought ‘used’ equipment, but it was clean and up to code—like new, and saved us a lot of money.” Hall said many good used-restaurant-equipment companies with which you could do business are out there. “We already had an experienced chef,” Hall said. “That helped in the setup process. He knew what we needed to do.” Gallardo echoed that sentiment. “We got help starting up,” he said. “You don’t need to do it alone.” Bottom line? Get help from someone who has been through this. “It’s not hard to get set up as a restaurant with the basics – cooking areas, sinks, refrigerators and freez9


Customers come to the 4U Cafe to see go back to do some more shooting or the people as much as to eat the food.” perhaps more shopping.” Hall strongly advises getting The Shooters World cafe has taken help from people who know the food a simpler approach. service industry. Setting up a menu “It’s been working for us,” said and training cooks, counter personnel Gallardo. “I would recommend it as and wait staff takes a knowledgeable a good way to start. Keep everything professional. main line and simple, see how it goes “Staffing and really listen to the customers – Good food, good service and the is your biggest what they like and don’t like, what else concern,” Hall they want. Listening is key to ongoing positive word of mouth they combine added. “A restausuccess.” to generate comprise your best rant operates on Good food, good service and the people. We positive word of mouth they combine marketing. People will try anything good have a good core to generate comprise your best marketing. People will try anything once. here, but you have once. Give them a great meal and also keep that Give them a great meal and service, service, and they will spread the to important support and they will spread the word and staff productive and come back again. word and come back again. happy. Those positions tend to be transitory.” Conclusion You may have never thought about Regulations Food service is a highly regulated Marketing food service as part of your shooting industry. The saying, “If you build it, they range’s offerings. The different eating “We got great support from our experiences created at H&H and will come,” certainly applies here. state health department,” said Hall. The key is getting them to come back. Shooter’s World, however, prove that “It wanted us to succeed, but any such Both ranges have their own approach. food can indeed become an additional “We run specials every week,” department’s priority is that you to do customer service at your range … and RR it right, and with food safety always a profit center as well. said Hall of the 4U Cafe. “Things in mind. Our state’s department was like meat loaf, French dip, Tex great to work with. It was not hard to Mex. The specials work. They exceed the basic health requirements.” attract customers.” Halls best advice? Specials also let you add variety “Make the health department to a small base menu of sandwiches and burgers. your ally. You can’t do it without them, so you might as well get their Another great idea: Combinahelp and support.” tion passes for shooting and lunch. Gallardo has similar feelings. “That’s a great approach,” said “The health department is your Hall. “It keeps people in the buildfriend,” he said. “Everything went so ing, and spending money there. smoothly with them. It’s the easiest They shoot, eat, feel good, then part of the process.” Added Hall proudly, “To this day, Customers Must Wash we have yet to have a code violation or write-up.” Their Hands Whenever someone is going to eat Staff after shooting, he or she must thor “Equipment and food are imporoughly wash their hands, and a range tant to food service, but good, quality is responsible for having prominent people are the key to everything,” signage to deliver that message. You emphasized Gallardo. may request a poster, the concept Hall agreed. for which originally appeared in the “The people creating and serving Fall 2005 Range Report. In fact a set the food make the difference,” Hall of five different posters for ranges are said. “You need good food, but you offered free to NSSF members as catalog item #7040. Nonmembers may purchase also need an inviting, friendly and fun the set for $15. Visit the Publications Catalog in the Range Resources section of atmosphere. Good people–from cooks www.nssf.org. to service personnel–make that work. ers,” said Hall. “Putting in the vents and venting is probably the hardest part. You need to have sinks, good water and a sewer.” At Shooters World, with a smaller and simpler food counter, setup was not as involved.

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The Range Report

Fall 2011


NO BELLS. NO WHISTLES. JUST PERFECTION. THANK YOU AMERICA FOR 25 YEARS OF SUCCESS.

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Fall 2011

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Be Prepared If you are ready to attract and host Boy Scouts, you are well on your way to building a new base of possible lifelong customers By Michael D. Faw

12

The Range Report

Fall 2011


T

hough several programs attract youth to the shooting sports, none has possibly as strong a pull—with such willing participants—as the Boy Scouts of America. In-the-know gun ranges across America open their doors to Scout troops and their events, to the benefit of both the shooting facility and the Scouts. Why shouldn’t your facility become one of these ranges? One such shooting venue is Highland Hideaway Hunting near Riverside, Iowa. This sporting clays facility and hunting preserve offers many opportunities to local Boy Scouts. “We look forward to working with the local Scouts, and we always welcome more Scouts to come out and use our facilities,” said Ryan Giannini, the manager at Highland. “In an effort to give something back, we host an annual fundraising sporting clays event for the local Scout district.” Scouts shoot at the fundraiser, and many come back with their friends and parents to shoot at other times. Some have returned for hunter education courses. Of course, you could find other ways to accommodate the needs of Scouts, making your facility their place to go shooting. You can provide the counselor, for example, who can help them earn merit badges in related areas. Furthermore, Scouts everywhere are on the lookout for public service opportunities. Shooting ranges can be the benefactor of these service projects and requirements. These projects can include building backstops, mowing and landscaping, and repairing shooting benches. Of course, Scouts also are active shooters. It should already be evident that the Scouts and your shooting facility may be able to enter into a very mutually beneficial relationship. Learning and earning with a firearm The Boy Scouts of America’s well-known merit badge program offers rifle and shotgun shooting merit badges that Scouts earn by completing a test of their knowledge and demonstrating proficiency with a firearm. The Range Report

Fall 2011

NSSF and the Scouts The National Shooting Sports Foundation has had a long and proud history working with the Boy Scouts of America to promote shooting among these youths. The Scholastic Clay Target Program, founded by NSSF, to build a sense of team work and sportsmanship, while introducing young people to trap, skeet and sporting clays, inspired many Scouting groups to form squads and participate. The Junior USA Shooting Patch program distributed literally millions of patches to Scouts who demonstrated a basic proficiency with BB guns, .22 rifles and shotguns. NSSF has been an active participant in Boy Scout Jamborees, and never was that more evident than in 2010 at the celebration of the 100th such event. There, NSSF sponsored and ran Camp Thunder, where more than 700 Scouts per day were introduced to “Scouting Clays,” a 5-Stand variation that has been presented to Councils nationwide. In addition, a sporter rifle event also debuted at the Jamboree. More than 186,000 times Scouts stepped to the firing line at the various shooting venues of the Jamboree, firing a total of 1,109,368 rounds. For the fifth consecutive year, in 2011 NSSF has made a $100,000 investment in Scouts’ participation through Shooting Sports grants. In addition, in 2011, NSSF has set aside $100,000 for challenge grants, allowing a BSA Council to apply for a grant of up to $2,000, for which the council must provide matching support. Councils must use awarded funds toward the purchase of equipment and supplies for their shooting sports activities from an NSSF member retailer, a list of which is available at www.nssf.org/retailers/find. Applicants may view NSSF BSA Council Challenge Grant guidelines and application procedures at www.nssf.org/ bsagrant. For information, contact Melissa Schilling at NSSF at mschilling@nssf.org. – Glenn Sapir

The requirements in both merit badges cover: describing how a firearm operates; explaining knowledge of firearms laws; and elaborating on opportunities to be an active participant in the shooting sports. The rifle shooting merit badge requires Scouts to demonstrate shooting positions, such as prone or kneeling. Each Scout uses a .22 rifle from a bench to shoot a target at 50 feet. The three-shot group must be able to be covered with a quarter. Scouts go beyond the requirements. “We offer a three-day NRA Basic Rifle course in April of each year that consists of eight hours of classroom and nine hours of shooting,” said Bob McLear with Aurora Sportsman’s Club in Waterman, Ill. “Boy Scouts working on their Rifle Shooting Merit Badge will complete all requirements for the Merit Badge as part of this course.” This range also offers youth a basic introductory firearms course, and about 30 Scouts, many from nearby BSA Troop 83, participate in this nonmerit badge program each month. Scouts can also complete the requirements to earn a second

shooting-related merit badge—with a shotgun. In this program, each Scout must shoot a shotgun at clay targets that can be hand tossed or cast by a mechanical thrower. They can use any gauge not exceeding 12, and Scouts on a trap range must use stations 3 and 7 for various tasks involving standard clay targets. Scouts can use a muzzleloading shotgun to complete the requirements. To earn these merit badges, Scouts will need a place to shoot. Though some Scout camps have ranges, many do not. Any scout wishing to complete these merit badges will be seeking a place to shoot, and that spells opportunity for your range. In addition to regular-aged Boy Scouts, older Scouts, age 16 and above, in the Venturing program are also encouraged to participate in the shooting sports. This class of Scouts can shoot pistols, and numerous ranges—including the Aurora Sportsman’s Club—have hosted events for or worked with Scouts in the Venturing program. Younger Scouts (Cubs and (continued on page 16) 13


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The Range Report

Fall 2011

National Shooting Sports Foundation®

when you see a problem!

“Cease Fire”

you CAN and SHOULD call


The Range Report

Fall 2011

www.nssf.org/ranges

9/11

Scan this QR code with your Smartphone to go directly to the video

Watch an “Introduction to Range Safety and Etiquette” on NSSF’s YouTube Channel

GMP 500 Item #7046

15


Webelos, ages 9 to 11) are only permitted to shoot BB guns under adult supervision. All of the Scouting merit badge programs seek counselors who are experts in the subject matter. “We have six counselors in the area who help with merit badges on a nearly year-round basis,” said McLear. Scouts earning a merit badge use a detailed pamphlet that explains the requirements and the particular skills that must be learned. Counselors can use the booklet to administer the tests. BSA Troops also seek other opportunities to shoot. The Pony Express Council, in the St. Louis, Mo., area, produced a 58-page guide on holding a safe and successful BB gun range event for young Scouts. “Our requirements indicate that Scouts and instructors be at a twoto-one ratio at all times,” reported Scouting Director Alan Franks. “A basic requirement is that instructors be NRA certified. You will also be required to follow the Scouting program guidelines.” Like others, this BSA council is very active in the shooting sports, and its Scouts seek places to shoot. Facilities across the country have accommodated such Scouts seeking a welcoming shooting range. “While some of our Scout camps have ranges or a place to shoot, we still have several Troops that go to private and commercial ranges to complete the merit badges or just to shoot,” said Bob Boatman of the Capital Area Council District, located in Austin, Texas. In other parts of the country, ranges have met that need. For example, the River City Rifle and Pistol Club near Mason City, Iowa, and Anthony Arms and Accessories in West Mifflin, Pa., are businesses that have developed opportunities to work with Boy Scouts. Working with Scouts Scouting operates within a very structured environment (much like a military unit with ranks and squads), centered around learning and developing skill sets. Often, the entire Troop might participate in a shooting 16

program, and the group might need a place to hold a meeting, in addition to a facility at which to shoot. “I’d say 350 to 400 scouts a year get shooting opportunities at the Aurora Sportsmen’s Club,” reported McLear. “We also offer private shoots, and on average about four Troops—at least another 100 Scouts—come to our range for these events.” This club will usually sign up 10 to 15 new families a year because of the experience and hospitality extended by club members. If you and your staff are knowledgeable with firearms, can communicate the details to young shooters and want to encourage participation by beginning shooters, volunteer to be a counselor in the merit badge program. You can possibly find a Scout troop near you by asking local churches or civic clubs, or by contacting a regional Scout office. Scouts also learn communityservice principles, and you never know when a Scout in your program today could be a future local councilman or even a U.S. president--Gerald Ford, for example, was a Boy Scout— who makes important decisions affecting the operation of your gun range. Scouting can also be credited with introducing firearms and shooting to kids from families that do not participate in the shooting sports. Many

Scout camps, facilities or troops across the nation also host Trailblazer events. The one-day events are organized by local Scout Troops under a partnership with the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance. Often the events are held at local public ranges or at private clubs. All youth coming to this program—and their parent or adult supervisors— have opportunities to shoot BB guns and learn about firearms safety. To date more than one million youngsters have participated in this program, and the program is growing each year. You should recognize them as future customers. Learn more at www.trailblazeradventure.org. In a final show of Scouting’s commitment to fostering Scout participation in the shooting sports, the BSA National Scouting Museum in Irvine, Texas, has a shooting range. Okay, it’s a laser range, but the guns feel real and the shooters get excited. The NSSF also is offering challenge grants with $100,000 available to BSA councils across America to develop more shooting programs. These grants will be used to strengthen and increase Scouts participation in the shooting sports (see sidebar). What does all of this mean? It means that if you follow the Scouts motto of “Be prepared,” you can bring more shooters—perhaps lifetime customers and members—to your RR door step. The Range Report

Fall 2011


The Range Report

Fall 2011

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Options & Innovations particular about their eyewear, said Joseph Smith, director of sporting goods for Radians. “The first thing shooters are looking for in eye protection is stylish eyewear,” he said. “They also want something with good protection, but that’s second to appearance.” When it comes to style, he said, many options are available. “Just as an example, we have glasses with adjustable temples with ratcheting for both length and angle,” Smith said. “We also offer quite a few colors and many styles. There are a lot of options so range owners can offer customers a wide variety of choices.”

Update on Eye Protection By Carolee Anita Boyles

O

ne of the first times Miles and Jayne Hall, owners of H&H Gun Range in Oklahoma City, Okla., ever went to a shooting range, Jane got hit by a ricocheting bullet fragment. Fortunately she wasn’t seriously injured, but the incident made both of them very aware of safety issues when they opened their own range in 1981. “Wearing eye protection is just a smart thing to do,” Miles Hall said. “It just makes sense. You need to protect yourself from anything that could be a potential problem,

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especially on a shooting range, and safety glasses are part of that. Your eyes are precious; you only have two of them. Let’s make sure you keep them intact.” Although some ranges rent eye protection to their customers, the Halls provide it at no charge. “Eye and hearing protection are mandatory on our range,” Hall said. “We provide both at no extra charge to anyone who comes in and doesn’t have their own.” What shooters want Most shooters tend to be

Safety for sale Whether for rent or for sale, you should have glasses with polycarbonate lenses that are ANSI approved, and an additional recommendation is that they be scratch resistant. Most of the time, those you have for rent or just for customers to use are going to be basic polycarbonate glasses without any special features. One thing to keep in mind, however, is that not all polycarbonate lenses are created equal; there are different grades of polycarbonate, and what your customers need for shooting is of a specific type. “Shooting-specific eyewear has what’s called an ANSI Z87+ rating,” said Johnny Lay, marketing director for X.P.O. Eyewear. “It’s a safety rating that protects your eyes from ballistics. If you wear a lens with that rating, it should protect your eyes from any debris that hits the lens.” Lay says that typical polycarbonate lenses are about 1.5 to 1.7 millimeters in thickness; lenses with an ANSI Z87+ rating are 2 to 2.2 millimeters in thickness. “You can get lenses that meet that standard and are scratch resistant,” Smith said. “You also can get them with UV protection for use outdoors.” The Range Report

Fall 2011


Most privately owned ranges have both eye and ear protection available for rent or for free use by customers. (Public ranges also will require you to have safety equipment, but may or may not have anything available for you to rent.) “When customers check in, you want eye protection to be readily available,” Smith said. “Most ranges have eye protection available for shooters who don’t come in regularly, because serious shooters have their own.” In California, though, the rules are different. Hall said ranges in California are no longer allowed to loan or rent reusable protective gear there; by state law, customers must purchase both. “The state got concerned about some health issues that really are not a problem,” he said. “However, they decided to ban reusable safety gear on ranges even though the actual incidence of any health issues is negligible, and now they make customers spend the money to buy their own protection.” Whether you loan, rent or sell eye protection, the objective is the same: for both your customers’ protection and your own protection against liability issues and concerns, the use of safety equipment should be mandatory on your range. It doesn’t matter whether you have an indoor range or an outdoor range, or you use clay, paper or steel targets, your customers must wear eye and hearing protection on your range. Casual or serious With all of that said, some of your shooters—particularly your “casual” shooters—won’t want or need anything more than just clear polycarbonate safety glasses. “These generally are pricepoint glasses and are very basic,” Smith said. “If you have an indoor range, obviously clear is what you want to have most readily available. Another thing we’ve found that’s really popular right now is the ‘ice’ lens, which is an indoor/outdoor lens. It’s slightly mirrored and The Range Report

Fall 2011

Here’s a quick look at some of the most popular colors and coatings: Polarized

This isn’t a color, but is a coating on the lens that reduces reflections and glare. It’s long been popular with boaters and anglers because it lets you see down into the water instead of just seeing the glare that’s on the surface, but it has much broader application than just water sports.

Photochromatic or photochromic

Again, this isn’t a color but is a lens treatment that may be a coating or may be imbedded in the lens and allows the lens to respond to light conditions. Under overcast conditions it lightens, and under bright conditions it darkens. So your vision is never impaired but is always protected.

Clear

Allows maximum visible light transmission; primarily used for indoor applications.

Light Smoke

Worn outdoors to reduce glare when the shooter is in a shaded area but the target is in direct sunlight.

Smoke

Provides maximum glare reduction on bright, sunny days; shows natural color and flattens light to maintain normal depth perception.

Amber

Ideal for low light environments in which contrast is low; highlights and defines by blocking out much of the blue light.

Light blue

Serves the same purpose as smoke lenses, yet allows more visible light through the lens for indoor/outdoor applications.

Vermilion

Enhances contrast and target sighting.

Orange

Filters out blue and green light, reduces eye fatigue, improves visual acuity and provides good visual contrast of whatever you’re viewing. Orange is good for target shooting.

Yellow

Like orange, yellow provides good visual contrast; another good color for target shooters.

Copper

A third color that provides good visual contrast for target shooters; copper also is called a “driver” tint because it’s useful on the road.

Rose

This color is great when there’s snow on the ground because it provides good perspective and excellent image definition. Polarized glasses with a rose tint, offer the best of both worlds.

Mirror

Available in a number of colors; may be dark or light; may be gradient with dark at the top and light at the bottom. Good for outdoors where very bright sunlight and glare cause eye strain and fatigue.

tinted so that even in an indoor environment, where you have the bright lights above the range, it cuts down on glare.” More serious shooters will have more serious gear in mind. “Not only are glasses good

for protection, but they also can enhance performance,” Smith said. “If it’s a low-light day, the shooter can wear an amber lens. If he’s shooting sporting clays, he’ll want orange or vermilion.” Many companies are getting 19


into “combo kits” for serious shooters as well. “We have glasses with multiple lenses that shooters can switch, depending on what they’re shooting and what the day is like,” Smith said. “It’s to the range’s advantage to have these kinds of kits available to sell.” Don’t overlook range programs that manufacturers may have and of which you can take advantage. “For instance, with our range program, a range can buy price-point glasses in bulk,” Smith said. “The ranges that are most successful also have a retail assortment of whatever the best sellers are for their particular range, whether they’re indoor/ outdoor glasses, multi-lens kits or whatever works best for them.” Colors and coatings With the multitude of colors and

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coatings available—and there are dozens of them—you may have trouble selecting what you want to carry. One thing to note is that there’s no difference in the manufacturing cost of the various lens colors. Ask and you shall have Eyewear companies can provide you with color charts for lenses

so you can advise your shooters on the best color for the situation, and rent—or sell—whichever they desire. A number of eyewear companies also have range programs through which you can get discounts, glasses imprinted with your range name, and other benefits that will help drive dollars to your RR bottom line.

Some Sources of Eye-Protection Products Browning Eyewear 201 Corporate Court P. O. Box 828 Senatobia, MS 38668 662-301-4735 www.browningeyewear.com Howard Leight 900 Douglas Pike Smithfield, RI 02917 800-682-0833 www.howardleightshootingsports.com

Pyramex Safety Products 281 Moore Lane Collierville, TN 38017 901-861-6100 www.pyramexsafety.com Radians 7580 Bartlett Corp. Drive Bartlett, TN 38133 901-388-7776 www.radians.com

Oakley, Inc One Icon Foothill Ranch, CA 92610 800-525-4334 www.oakley.com

Serengeti Eyewear Bushnell Corporation 9200 Cody Overland Park, KS 66214 913-752-3400 www.serengeti-eyewear.com

Peltor 3M Center Building 0235-02-W-70 St. Paul, MN 55144 www.peltormilitary.com

XPO Eyewear 10823 Bell Court Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730 888-333-8667 www.coppermax.com

The Range Report

Fall 2011


Your First Shot at New Shooters An introduction to shooting

F

inding new customers is always a challenge. If there ever was a sure shot at new business, this is it. Best of all, ranges that held seminars found a significant increase in range activity, traffic and profits! Shooting range-hosted and -managed seminars are free to participants, easy to run by even small ranges and, best of all, low cost to facilities. We have already done most of the work for you as an NSSF member and actually help fund advertising for your seminar, provide loaner equipment, ammunition, targets and safety literature. First Shots is a short, hands-on introduction to firearms covering safety, responsible ownership and shooting fundamentals. Why is the program so successful? First Shots provides a system for bringing target shooting to the general public in one complete package that makes it simple for nonshooters to: 1) Gain awareness of target shooting. 2) Build interest in learning more about target shooting. 3) Evaluate and try target shooting before investment.

Here’s what range owners have to say: “We started to do First Shots almost a year ago and continue to run one class a month. We do this for two reasons, one is to get more shooters involved in the shooting sport and the second being a great way for us to give back to the community. We have seen participants who have gone on to take almost every class we offer on personal protection and continue to want to learn more about shooting. We will continue to participate in the First Shots program and look forward to the new classes that they are working on.” Harry Misener, Special Events Coordinator, Shooter’s World

4) Access continued opportunities to participate. The program’s elements of cooperative funding for advertising, a simple agenda, short time frames, limited trials and safe environment all result in an increase of new shooters and new customers to your range.

Many have seen remarkable results. To learn more go to www.nssf.org/firstshots or contact Tisma Juett (tjuett@nssf.org) or call 203426-1320. Taking that first shot is always the toughest and the most memorable.

Scan this QR code with your Smartphone for more information on First Shots

WWW.NSSF.ORG/FIRSTSHOTS

The Range Report

Fall 2011

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Proactive ESPs Clubs put their future in their own hands by thorough environmental planning By Chub Eastman

I

used by its facility, the state organizan today’s world any shooting faciland how you operate your facility ity that does not recognize the need tion is there to support and assist with while addressing any environmental to be proactive with environmental its implementation. concerns. concerns is potentially jeopardizing An Environmental Stewardship   Coming up with solutions to these its future. For either a members-only Plan (ESP) represents a written plan concerns to prevent them from creatgun club or a shooting range open to or “roadmap” for planning, impleing problems in the future is the key to the public on private or public land, a menting and monitoring the progress your ESP. To accomplish this, an ESP growing concern about environmental of environmental improvements at needs to be living, working document issues such as noise and that keeps a close eye on lead contamination could activities occurring at An Environmental Stewardship Plan the create a serious problem. your facility. Therefore, (ESP) represents a written plan or Operators must be proactive updating them on a reguin managing the environbasis is crucial. What “roadmap” for planning, implementing lar mental impact of their is a regular basis? This range. depends on how active the and monitoring the progress of Seven years ago the gun range is and is determined environmental improvements at clubs and shooting organiwhen creating your ESP. zations in Oregon realized For example, when you shooting ranges. this potential situation and, make changes to the facilwith the help of the National Shootshooting ranges. An ESP is similar to ity, or you expand on the shooting activities offered, you need to update ing Sports Foundation, embraced the an ISO 9000, with the exception that and incorporate this into your ESP.    Environmental Stewardship Plan ESPs are site specific to each shooting and became proactive in addressing range. By developing and implement  NSSF’s Range Action Specialists issues in question before they became ing an ESP, you will document your can play a key role in assisting NSSF a problem. Even though it is the commitment to the environment range members in developing ESPs responsibility of each individual club and community.  The goal of an ESP to protect and preserve ranges from or organization to adopt the Environis to implement a quality managefuture environmental threats. For mental Stewardship Plan for the land ment program that defines who, what more information on the NSSF Range

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Fall 2011


Action Specialists, read “Home on the Range,” on page 22 and then visit www.nssf.org/ranges. To date the Oregon Association of Shooting Ranges (OASR) has 24 member clubs, of which 12 already have an Environmental Stewardship Plan in place, and others are in the process of developing one. At the scheduled meetings of OASR the advantages, problems and issues with adopting the Environmental Stewardship Plan are addressed. The input and assistance from the different member clubs make the adoption of the plan very doable for the other clubs. Tri-County Gun Club is large, with 4,400 active members. Furthermore, more than 3,500 law enforcement and government officers use the club’s facilities for training. Tri-County is located in the Portland, Ore., area between the bedroom communities of Sherwood and Tualatin. The city boundaries for each community stop at the fence line of Tri-County Gun Club. The board of directors had enough foresight to envision the future growth of each municipality creating problems for the club. “We worked with each city and explained how we are being proactive with environmental concerns and how interested the club was in developing and maintaining a good relationship with the community,” said George Pitts, public relations officer for the club. “I make it a point to attend the local Chamber of Commerce meetings to reinforce our commitment to good public relations.” The Albany Rifle & Pistol Club is another good example of how the implementation of the Environmental Stewardship Plan has been effective in deflecting problems that have arisen concerning its land use. “When concerned citizens or government agencies are informed we have a proactive Environmental Stewardship Plan in place and are periodically testing the soil in front of our impact berms for lead mobility, problems or questions that arise seem to go away,” said Mike McCarter, on-site manager of the club, Tim Pitzer is an active member of OASR’s board and has been involved The Range Report

Summer Fall 20112011

in helping the individual shooting venues across the state implement an Environmental Stewardship Plan. He knows from experience the value of an ESP. “Once we organized the shooting facilities in Oregon and dedicated our proactive efforts to the environmental concerns of the Department of Environmental Quality, other government agencies and the nonshooting public, problems were addressed before they became a bigger problem. With the experience we have had and with the assistance of the NSSF, putting the Environment Stewardship Plan in place for individual gun clubs and shooting facilities has become a lot easier. “It is to the point where there is no excuse for a club not to have its Environmental Stewardship Plan in place if it is at all concerned about its future,” Pitzer concluded. The Environmental Stewardship Plan that the NSSF encourages shooting ranges to adopt is offered in conjunction with the Conservation Stewardship Program developed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Resources Conservation. This sounds like the ESP has been sprung in a minefield of bureaucracy, but with the help and assistance available through the NSSF and a state organization like OASR, an Environmental Stewardship Plan can be put in place very easily. OASR receives from each individual member of each club a fee of $2, which serves as its financial base. The $2 assessment is usually included in the annual membership dues collected by each participating club, and the funds are used primarily for legal expenses incurred by an individual club. Over the years there have been two cases where this legal fund was used. Both cases ended up in favor of the involved clubs. Had the individual clubs been required to foot the otherwise prohibitive cost of its legal fees, the outcome would have probably been different. Being proactive in its environmental concerns for the land and in the community where each club is located is certainly perceived positively by

ESP at Heart of Pennsylvania Settlement In late July the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) signed a lease with the Philipsburg Rod & Gun Club for resumption of trap shooting at Black Moshannon State Park after a five-year stoppage—and adoption of an Environmental Stewardship Plan played an important role in the new agreement. Concerns expressed over elevated levels of lead shot deposited through the years on sections of the 23-acre shooting range leased from the park had led to the closure. “All parties involved—club officers, shooters, elected officials and our Bureau of State Parks— must be commended for staying a course that will see resumption of a historic activity while providing environmental safeguards for the park’s future,” said DCNR Secretary Richard J. Allan. Among the terms of the lease agreement, which extends to 2021, is the provision that the club will be operating under an Environmental Stewardship Plan and will implement best-management practices at the range consistent with recommendations by state and federal environmental agencies. The National Shooting Sports Foundation worked closely with the federal Environmental Protection Agency in development of EPA’s best practices for managing lead at ranges.

government agencies with which a shooting facility must deal, and an ESP puts to rest potential concerns of an uninformed public. It is a win-win for everyone involved, and if you have not yet adopted an ESP, now is the time RR for you to become a winner, too. 23


undercover shooter A Long Shot in the Northwest The West has far horizons, but rifle ranges with real distance are scarce.

L

ong shooting makes little sense on a hunt. You shoot better up close. Lethal hits not only define success; they’re humane. Hunters who boast of long shots might well be consoled for not getting closer. That said, hitting at distance is fun. A perfect score on paper at 600 yards, or the hollow pop of a gong seconds after you open the bolt, affirms you as a rifleman. Alas, ranges for such play require cattle-ranch acreage. In the shadow of the Cascades, I can shoot 1,000 yards just minutes from my house. There’s no pit, though, and no framed target for a pal to safely pull and mark. And landing a bullet somewhere on a plate the size of a manhole cover is hardly instructive. I looked, recently, for better options – and found two an hour’s drive apart near Portland, Ore.

Range A

Members-only club does offer opportunities to the public “We have the only 1,000-yard range this side of the state,” said Kevin. My ears perked up. “Our club has produced fine longrange shooters too – three of the four on the Savage F-Class team that won an international title,” he added. F-Class competition, at 800, 900 and 1,000 yards, is luring lay shooters to shoot long. I had been to this park-like range before F-Class became a draw. It was time to revisit. “Short ranges” for high-power events means 200, 300 and 600 yards. “Long ranges” start at 800. As is common elsewhere, extended yardages can be used only during a 24

match or when short ranges are closed. The pits serve all. A current schedule showed Thursday was “long range day.” From 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., shooters flail away at 800 to 1,000 yards; from 1 p.m. to sunset, they fire at 300 to 600. “That schedule flip-flops every week; next Thursday it’s short first, then long,” Kevin said. He added that a relatively small membership is a club asset. “We number just over 1,000, so you won’t be crowded here. Some days, you’re the only one.” Match days do fill the line, and there are lots of matches, including an Oregon Sniper Challenge and a “Palma Plus 20” (Palma match plus 20 shots at 1,000 with any rifle, any sights). There’s a Hunter’s Sight-In series four weekends during fall, to which nonmembers are welcome. The Civilian Marksmanship Program lives here too; shooters fire M1 Garand and modern sporting rifles (MSRs) on the National Match course. “Nonmembers are ordinarily limited to scheduled matches,” said Kevin. “But they can visit as member guests.” A member may host up to four guests per visit. Generous hours (8 a.m. to sunset weekdays, 9 a.m. to sunset weekends, with necessary exceptions for range maintenance) make the $5 guest fee a bargain. Membership is the unavoidable next step: $150 per year in dues, after a $100 initiation fee. Miscellaneous fees hike total first-year cost to $330. Family packages encourage youth and spouses. A key-card gets you in the gate. Eight hours of volunteer labor annually are expected of every regular member. Volunteers can become Range Safety Officers. Some privileges accrue.

Range B

Six-hundred yards is max here I’m glad I keep ear protection in the cab of my pickup because I needed it before leaving my vehicle due to the noise level from several active semi-automatic rifles. Unlike the other facility, this range was created with tactical and self-protection training in mind. I was a bit intimidated by the setting initially, but the newly constructed clubhouse provided comfort until I could get my bearings. Staff was quick to greet and offer assistance when I explained it was my first time. My greeter had to excuse himself to remind guys that “bump shooting” was not allowed, leaving me unattended with a cache of unlocked semi-auto handguns and rifles, not to mention the cash register. His level of trust was reassuring. After reading a two-page list of range rules, filling out a registration form and then signing a waiver I was told I could find target stands in the rusted boxcar next to the rifle range and that I should help myself. I found a stand with the least amount of damage, waited for a cease fire and used debris on the range to wedge it into place at 50 yards. The rifle range also offers longer distances, but shooters are urged to stay on the same line. Concentrating on precision shot placement from my scoped .308 was out of the question, but it was entertaining watching some of the others rapidly rattle off rounds. So, instead, I practiced quick three-shot groups and left satisfied I found a place where I could have a good time burning a lot of ammo. The Range Report

Fall 2011


undercover shooter scorecard Each category is rated on a scale of 1-5 with 5 being the highest score. Editor’s note: The Undercover Shooter is an experienced recreational shooter but is not trained in technical aspects of range design and operation.

Range A Customer Satisfaction Rating

Range B Customer Satisfaction Rating

Signage/Visibility.............................................................5

Signage/Visibility.............................................................. 5

• Long-range shooting requires space, and this range is predictably rural. That said, it’s easy to reach from the 205 freeway and state routes just outside the Portland metro area.

Layout/Setting.................................................................5

• This range was established more than 60 years ago; the Portland metro area has grown to meet it. It is very close and easy to reach for Portlanders, and well-signed.

Layout/Setting.................................................................. 5

• Treed surroundings and intelligent layout make this an appealing facility.

• Topographic relief and timber have been used to good effect to make this range safe and appealing to the eye. Its size (230 acres) allows for long shooting and separation of venues.

Retail Product Availability..............................................NA

Retail Product Availability............................................. NA

• Unlike shotgunners, long-range riflemen do not buy ammunition on site.

Rental Availability.........................................................NA

• Unlike shotgunners, long-range riflemen do not buy ammunition on site.

Rental Availability.......................................................... NA • Long-range riflemen typically bring all their own gear.

• Long-range riflemen typically bring all their own gear.

Staff Friendliness.............................................................. 4

Staff Friendliness.............................................................5

• Though range representatives proved a bit difficult to reach from website information, they were cordial and invited me to shoot and to phone with further questions.

• I spoke with several range officers/administrators. All were exceptionally engaging and helpful. They invited me to shoot again on the range and to phone with further questions.

Safety............................................................................... 4

Safety..............................................................................5

• Safe range practices are enforced. Overhead baffles ensure against bullet travel beyond the long-range butts. Member guests may shoot only with member oversight.

• Safe range practices are enforced; however, the rules are not onerous.

Programs/Membership...................................................... 3

Programs/Membership.....................................................4 • A “long-range day” is slated every week for practice, and highpower matches, including F-Class events, occur regularly throughout the shooting season. Membership is open; nonmembers may visit as guests of members. Family packages encourage youth. Members pay annual dues of $150, plus a $100 initiation fee, and contribute eight hours of volunteer labor.

Cleanliness......................................................................4 • Regular service days and a relatively small but committed membership keep this range clean and well maintained.

Comments/Impressions • Special matches like the “Palma Plus 20” and “Oregon Sniper” encourage long-range practice and draw new shooters. National Match and Civilian Marksmanship Program events make this club worth the dues for area rifle enthusiasts.

• A wide variety of shooting programs (classes and matches) for shotgun, rifle and handgun distinguish this range. There is no 1,000-yard course, and practice at 600 is limited to one evening weekly. Dues of $120 a year, plus a $175 initiation fee, entitle members to use of a 24-hour indoor rimfire range seven days a week, and dawn-to-dusk shooting on centerfire ranges.

Cleanliness....................................................................... 4 • Indoor and outdoor ranges are diligently serviced and well maintained. Active building, with timber-cutting and mining to help underwrite range improvements, can give parts of this range an “under construction” look. All venues, however, are clean and shielded from undue disturbance.

Comments/Impressions • This range has programs and facilities for shooters of all interests, and lies within a few minutes’ drive of thousands of shooters, abutting the largest city between Seattle and San Francisco. It offers special-interest rifle events, such as Scheutzen, Metallic Silhouette and Vintage Rifle. It does not feature the distances for F-Class and other extreme-range shooting.

Preferred Range The Undercover Shooter’s experiences and observations led to his endorsement of both ranges, but if a shooter wants to reach out to 1,000 yards, the choice is Range A: Douglas Ridge Rifle Club, 27787 Hwy. 224, Eagle Creek, OR 97022 503-637-3131 • www.douglasridge.org • halofit@aol.com All reports, comments, impressions, opinions or advice expressed in the Undercover Shooter column are solely those of independent, recreational shooting range consumers and do not necessarily represent those of the National Shooting Sports Foundation or its affiliates. Neither the NSSF nor its affiliates make any warranty or assume any liability with respect to the accuracy or reliability of any information provided by Undercover Shooter contributors. Readers are encouraged to and should perform their own investigation of the information provided herein. The Range Report

Fall 2011

25


Home on the Range Views from NSSF staffers and guest contributors

A Task Force to Serve You NSSF’s Range Action Specialists—experts all—can help individual ranges be better

By Zach Snow

Manager, Shooting Promotions

Zach Snow is the manager of shooting promotions for the National Shooting Sports Foundation. His responsibilities include servicing the needs of range members of NSSF, who comprise NSSF’s Association of Shooting Ranges.

By Zach Snow

T

he message should come as no surprise. You’ve read it in The Range Report, including articles in this issue, and you’ve heard it before: Some shooting ranges need to become more educated and proactive in their management practices. To encourage ranges to take the initiative, the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) recently launched a new service to assist NSSF shooting range members. NSSF’s Range Action Specialists are here to assist the range community in many ways. The primary goal is to engage shooting ranges to become more proactive. Now, is the time to take action. Identify areas where your range can or needs to improve its management practices. How the team can help Increased operating costs, new environmental regulations, land encroachment, neighborhood complaints and growing litigation concerns are making it ever more difficult for shooting ranges to stay open. Although many ranges attempt to solve these problems on their own, or avoid them by sticking their head in the sand, proceeding with the support and guidance of others is a much easier and effective approach. In many cases, NSSF’s Range Action Specialists can provide you with the professional help needed to resolve the challenges your shooting range faces. So, how can the NSSF’s Range Action Specialists help your range? They can assist you with your existing challenges. They can help your shooting range become more proactive with sitespecific Best Management Practices that include developing Environmental Stewardship Plans, improving your 26

policies and procedures to ensure safe practices occur on the range at all times and strengthening community-relations and shooter-recruitment efforts. All of these proactive measures can help ensure that your facility will be here for generations to come. The Range Action Specialists can also provide professional guidance to individuals in the process of range development. They can help individuals who are looking for guidance when it comes to mapping out the business plan to determine whether their dream of opening a shooting range and retail store is a wise decision. To sum it up, the NSSF and its Range Action Specialists are here to help promote, protect and preserve recreational and competitive shooting by giving facility operators and club members tools for success to create safer, more enjoyable, more profitable and more environmentally compliant ranges. Impressive group of experts Companies and consultants currently serving on the NSSF’s Range Action Specialists represent decades of experience and high levels of expertise. They include: Scott Kranz, AMEC Earth and Environmental; Richard Peddicord, Environmental Range Protection; Don Turner, Don Turner LLC; Ed Santos, Tactical Services Group; and Ken Lewis, National Protective Services. These professionals can help assess your range to identify potential areas of concern and develop environmental stewardship plans that show regulators and the community that your facility is managing the land in a responsible manner. These are all key tools for building strong community relations.

To engage ranges to take action toward improving their management practices, the NSSF will provide financial assistance for the services performed by the Range Action Specialist. This is a new service offered to NSSF members. NSSF will cover the travel expenses along with a percentage of the fee applied toward the assigned task. We recognize that costs can deter clubs from taking the proactive steps necessary to implement an Environmental Stewardship Plan. We hope that this type of financial support will help to jumpstart ranges’ efforts to become educated and proactive with their entire approach to shooting range management. We also want to make sure that those individuals researching the idea of opening a range and retail store are heading in the right direction. Learn more To find out more about the service go to www.nssf.org/ranges or contact me, Zach Snow, email zsnow@nssf. org, telephone 203-426-1320 ext 224. Remember, this is a special benefit provided exclusively to National Shooting Sports Foundation members. If your facility is not a member of NSSF, you are not only missing out on a multitude of benefits, but you are depriving the hunting and shooting sports trade association of the benefit of your support. Every member represents a concrete block, and every block makes any foundation, and especially this Foundation, stronger. Give your support to NSSF by visiting www.nssf.org and clicking on Industry and then Membership to learn of member benefits and how to join RR NSSF. The Range Report

Fall 2011


Together, Our Voice Is Strong National Shooting Sports Foundation®

F

or over 50 years, our mission has never wavered. Promote, protect and preserve our hunting and shooting sports. We are the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the trade association of the firearms, ammunition and shooting industry. Whether it is in the field, on the range, in Washington, D.C. or 50 state capitals, we stand proudly as your voice.

H

elp us make your voice louder and stronger where it counts. Now more than ever, it’s time to become a NSSF member. To join contact Bettyjane Swann at (203) 426-1320 or bswann@nssf.org.

The future of your business depends on it.

Scan this QR code with your Smartphone for more information on NSSF membership

www.nssfmembership.com The Range Report

Summer 2011 Spring 2011

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The TheRange RangeReport Report Summer Winter Spring 2011


The Range Report -- Fall 2011  

The National Shooting Sports Foundation's magazine for shooting facilities.

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