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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
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    Exiled in Texas
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    7,509

    Default The Best Shooting Ranges in America

    We would all love to own a piece of land sufficient to accommodate our own shooting, but the practical reality is that no one here has Ted Turnerís resources. (Iím assuming that Jane Fondaís husband isnít on WT.) Even the few who are lucky enough to have their own gravel pit will occasionally long for a 1,000-yard range. Most shooting ranges arenít known outside of their geographic area. And the few names that are familiar to a large number of shooters (Camp Perry, etc.) sometimes arenít actually accessible to recreational shooters. I suspect there are several people here who would actually pack up their house and move, just to be near a truly excellent shooting venue.

    To that end, I would like to start compiling a list of the best shooting ranges in America. This is not intended to be a comprehensive list of shooting ranges. It is not intended to cover every geographic area. I just want to know about the truly top-tier shooting ranges. And the focus here is on the shooting itself; not the clubhouse or the cigar bar.


    Talladega, Alabama
    CMP Talladega Marksmanship Park.

    I have no direct experience with this range (but plan to) and have gleaned all of this information from their website. This place has everything. It was designed to be the ultimate shooting venue. Itís got long rifle ranges with electronically-scored targets at 200, 300, and 600 yards. There are 15 pistol bays and every variation of trap and skeet imaginable. If your wife gets tired, you can leave her on a sofa at the 13,000 square-foot clubhouse.

    This is very much a CMP venue, and the focus is on organized, competitive shooting. Youíll see a lot of Garands and service rifles, as well as padded shooting jackets and weird gloves. No membership is needed. The daily fee is $30. Given the target audience, I suspect the range rules are a bit tighter than average, and Iím not sure that you could get away with tossing a rifle over your back to practice transitions at this range.


    Chugiak, Alaska
    Birchwood Shooting Range

    Just north of Anchorage, this range has you shooting over the Knik Arm of the Cook Ocean Inlet. Itís a members-only range and reflects the usual Alaska high prices. Itís divided into two sides: a rifle-and-pistol side and a shotgun side. On the R&P side of the park, youíve got a dozen bays ranging from 25-300 yards. Machine gun fire is common, but you can often still get a bay all to yourself. The R&P clubhouse is sparse, but has a bathroom and snacks. On the other side of the park, the shotgun clubhouse exudes a more tweedy atmosphere. There is a big, roaring fireplace, decent coffee, and a grill that will serve up hot dogs and hamburgers during events. The classroom is downright plush.

    Iíve stopped my own shooting there on a couple of occasions, just to watch Kim Rhode shoot skeet. And on the R&P side, I once looked to my left and saw that the guy joining me on the range was Bill Kazmaier. (And wouldnít you know, that was the one day that I didnít have a frying pan with me, so I couldnít ask him to roll one up for me.)


    Talkeetna, Alaska
    Upper Susitna Shooters Association

    This place is classic Alaska. There is a 1,000-yard rifle range, and there is usually a four-wheeler left on the range to use for checking paper targets. In addition to paper, there is steel at intervals along the way. There are ten or so separate shooting bays of various distances--25y, 50y, 100y, and 200y. You are welcome to shoot shotguns, but there are no trap/skeet facilities. Itís mostly a rifle and pistol joint. Unless you show up right before hunting season, you can usually get an entire bay to yourself and be as dynamic as you want to be. You donít have to be a member. Show up, hand over a 10-spot, and shoot all day.

    The clubhouse is far from luxurious, but it does boast an indoor toilet. They have a classroom with a dry erase board, some folding tables, and previously-upholstered chairs, which is more than sufficient for any shooting class. If you ask in advance, theyíll make you some bad coffee. But you wonít want to hang around indoors. If there were a competition for the most beautiful shooting range in the world, there is only one other facility (in Switzerland) that could come close. You canít actually see Denali because of the trees, but you have the eastern half of the Talkeetna Range as your backdrop.


    Tulsa, Oklahoma
    Red Castle Gun Range

    600y rifle range, 200y benchrest range, plinking and rimfire ranges, indoor pistol range (and outdoor, too). This is a members-only range. The fees are cheap, but there is a waiting list to be accepted. Iíve never shot at this range, but heard several people rave about it.


    Oak Ridge, Tennessee
    Oak Ridge Sportsman Association

    There is a shortage of 1,000-yard ranges on the east coast, and this is one of them. In addition to traditional trap and skeet, they have a 13-station clays course (and theyíll even loan you an actual golf cart, to complete the experience). There are plenty of rifle and pistol bays, as well as an indoor pistol range and a comfortable classroom. Itís members-only, but a fairly cheap $150/yr.


    Burnet, Texas
    Reveille Peak Ranch Range

    I got to Texas just in time for this place. Prior to 2020, this was a private range, open only to police and military groups. They still have a trashed Blackhawk mounted on a 60í tower to practice fast-roping. There are no trap or skeet facilities. They donít have a clubhouse at all; not even a vending machine. There is a cinder block building with bathrooms that reminded me distinctly of Fort Benning. There are a dozen bays, ranging from 50-100 yards, where you can usually find a spot to shoot alone and shoot/jump/throw however you please. There are no range Nazis here. (Bring your own tourniquet.) There are two rifle ranges with steel, one with plates running roughly 150-700 yards, and the other going from 700-1000 yards. They recently added 1200 and 1400, but I havenít been able to shoot on those yet. (They inexplicably only open that range on Thursdays.) There is also a short (~15y) pistol bay with a literal ton of steel targets.

    There is no comfortable place here to leave your wife. You occasionally have to stop shooting and wait for the cows to migrate across the range. And at $600/yr for badge-less individuals, it ainít cheapóespecially in light of the amenities. But itís owned by a couple of brothers who just want to shoot guns, and they intentionally priced it a bit high to keep out those who lack commitment. The result is that itís not overcrowded and the other shooters tend to be squared-away.

    So what else have you guys found? What are the ranges that are so amazing that youíve thought about moving to be near them?
    Virtute et Armis

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Prescott
    Posts
    1,208
    BEFORE DIGGING INTO THIS TOO MUCH, I WOULD FIRST TALK ABOUT THE PARAMETERS OF BEING A GOOD RANGE, NAMELY RULES, LENIANCY, RSO'S. THE BEST RANGE LANDWISE, IS STILL A SHIT RANGE IF ITS RAN BY A BUNCH OF ASS HATS

    Do NOT call me an armorer
    Si Vis Pacem Para Bellum
    Now I am become Death, the destroyer of all worlds
    People have asked me if I consider myself a good or bad person. The truth of it is, I don't know or care. I have been called both. I like to think I have saved more lives than I have ended. Either way, I can still sleep at night.
    SEMPER FI

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Beyond The Wall
    Posts
    47,783
    THE ONLY TIME I HAVE ANY USE FOR RANGES IS IF I AM TEACHING A CLASS

    Any other time...I venture to my select places in the back country...close to home yet difficult to reach by anyone not well-equipped. Not everyone has these advantages.
    Gabriel Suarez

    Turning Lambs into Lions Since 1995

    Suarez International USA Headquarters

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Central Mississippi
    Posts
    949
    Quote Originally Posted by LawDog View Post


    Tulsa, Oklahoma
    Red Castle Gun Range

    600y rifle range, 200y benchrest range, plinking and rimfire ranges, indoor pistol range (and outdoor, too). This is a members-only range. The fees are cheap, but there is a waiting list to be accepted. I’ve never shot at this range, but heard several people rave about it.

    Took a couple of classes and used the range often 25 - 35 years ago. At the time I was very impressed with the operation and facilities. Probably the nicest range I'd used up to then. The club was active with a good sized budget for upkeep and active plans for improvements. If momentum kept up it should be a fine place.
    .
    Monte

  5. #5
    Shannon Hogan's Avatar
    Shannon Hogan is offline Suarez International Affiliate - Salt Lake City
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Northern Utah
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    1,200
    Lucked out to recently become a member of the Desert Sportsman's Rifle and Pistol Club in Las Vegas Nevada. Ranges are superb and modern. One of the best civilian ranges I have ever seen. RSO's do not fuck with you. Rarely see them except when they drive by on their 4 wheelers.
    fulminis instar "Like thunderbolts, fast as lightning."
    Hogan Clan motto.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    The Big Northeastern NPE
    Posts
    443
    Believe it or not: F-6 Labs and The Institute For Homeland Security and Training in Hicksville, Long Island.

    I was a member there for a year - it was more of a gun-oriented country club than a range. Nicest indoor facility I've ever been to. $5k per year in membership, plus $7k initiation fee. (I did not pay either after I did them a favor.)

    http://f6-labs.com/

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Western WA
    Posts
    6,490
    Like Gabe, I don’t have a lot of use for ranges outside of class.

    But I will say that the Leupold range in Oregon is excellent. A long range gun can be tuned in somewhere in the back country, but this range makes it a lot more convenient. Sure wish I had access to it regularly.
    Brent Yamamoto
    Suarez International Tier 1 Staff Instructor

    Ready, willing, able. Bring it.

    Instagram: karate_at_1200fps

    Upcoming classes:

    Pistol Groundfighting, Texas

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    611
    Thank you, LawDog. Reveille looks like a bit of a drive for me but still a good option; there are not many choices around ATX.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by LawDog View Post

    Talladega, Alabama
    CMP Talladega Marksmanship Park.

    I have no direct experience with this range (but plan to) and have gleaned all of this information from their website. This place has everything. It was designed to be the ultimate shooting venue. Itís got long rifle ranges with electronically-scored targets at 200, 300, and 600 yards. There are 15 pistol bays and every variation of trap and skeet imaginable. If your wife gets tired, you can leave her on a sofa at the 13,000 square-foot clubhouse.

    This is very much a CMP venue, and the focus is on organized, competitive shooting. Youíll see a lot of Garands and service rifles, as well as padded shooting jackets and weird gloves. No membership is needed. The daily fee is $30. Given the target audience, I suspect the range rules are a bit tighter than average, and Iím not sure that you could get away with tossing a rifle over your back to practice transitions at this range.

    CMP Talladega is awesome. Spent the day there Nov 2019, lucked into it being hunting season and they only charged like $10 for the day. It's strictly great for zeroing your rifles at 100/200/300/600. You have to score in the black at each previous distance before advancing. The great thing is the electronic scoring. You have a display screen next to you, shoot your rounds and see where the hits are on the screen. Fantastic. Here's my group at 600 with my Daniel Defense DDMV7PRO with 3-18X Vortex Scope. Screen shows 3 shots Center to Center 309.4mm (12.18 inches), for me great first time shooting @ 600 yds, 2 MOA.
    20191109_140358.jpg

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Central Texas
    Posts
    1,391
    Thanks Lawdog! Had not heard of the range in Burnet.
    jim
    2 Samuel 22; Psalm 139:21-22

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