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Anyone in Bellingham? Custer Gun Club? Plantation Rifle Club? Shooting Pits?

Discussion in 'General Firearm Discussion' started by 4Freedom, Apr 23, 2012.

  1. 4Freedom

    4Freedom Boise, Idaho Well-Known Member

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    Hey, I may have the chance to go to Bellingham, Washington and I am wondering if there is any NWFA people here from the area. Is anyone a member of Custer Gun Glub or the Plantation Rifle Club? I am looking for a club where I can do free-style/tactical/draw pistol and (if I can) rifle shooting. I am hearing Custer may have this possibility. Does anyone know any good areas to shoot in the area, like gravel pits, etc? SOmebody mentioned near Baker Lake, there may be areas. It seems Olympia offers a lot more rural shooting options then Bellingham, but I really like the beauty of the Bellingham area.

    Here's another funny question: realistically, how hard is it to get a permit so you can bring guns to Canada to go shooting up there or to carry in the (non National Park) wilderness areas. I talked to someone who lives near border and said because they were a CHL holder in WA that they had their car stripped searched and were questions for over an hour by the border patrol. This seems to be heresy and I wonder how accurate the story is? I also wonder what business Canadian gov't has knowing about American gun owners. Seems like an infringement of our rights. Anyway, that is another topic, I was just curious.

    I'd mainly like to know from other perspectives of shooters/gun hobbyists in the area, there take on living in Bellingham and the shooting options available. Does anyone know how well the covered shooting areas work at the Custer and Plantation clubs? I do know Bellingham has a lot of rain. I was a member of Tri County Gun Club in Portland which really sucked for shooting in the rain, because the pistol bays were uncovered and the rifle ranges didn't have the best cover depending on the direction of the rain/wind. Basically, I could never shoot pistols in the rain, unless it was long range 25yd pistol shooting, which I don't do anyway.

    Thanks.
     
  2. bmw2

    bmw2 Mount Vernon, Wa Active Member

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    I'm a member at Custer and have shot at Plantation quite a few times. Frankly, Plantation sucks. The range itself isn't that bad but the days and hours it's open are limited and vary depending on the time of year.

    As far as Custer goes, it's a fantastic range. We have 50, 100 and 200 yard rifle, the dedicated pistol bays are 7 and 15 yards and there are two large open bays that you can shoot anywhere from 0 to 60 yards. There isn't any drawing from holster or rapid fire allowed on the front firing line but there is a rear area to the club where shooting events are held and it is allowed there. You have to be a member who competes and have one of the event coordinators sign off for access back there though. There are events almost every weekend too, so there is a lot of fun to be had. I shoot Cowboy, Concealed Carry and the occasional Speed Steel matches. Oh and there section of the rifle range where you can actually set up steel spinners for rimfire or pistol use. It has a steel "roof" to prevent ricochets going over the berm but no center fire rifle.

    The best part of Custer is the availability. 10:00a.m. till dusk every day, even holidays. The shooters are also in charge of the firing line, so you call your own cease fires, rather than wait for the RO. The RO's are always watching though and are great guys.

    I don't know of any outdoor places near Mt. Baker that haven't been closed to shooting. There aren't a lot of options in Whatcom County but there are a few left in Skagit County, which is where I'm living now. Custer is actually about a 45 minute drive for me but it's still worth it.

    If your in the area and want to check out Custer, send me a PM, I'd be more than happy to take you up there and do some shooting. I'm there almost every Sunday.
     
  3. bmw2

    bmw2 Mount Vernon, Wa Active Member

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    Oh and about Canada. Don't bother, unless your hunting, it ain't gonna happen. The CAS shooters I know who go to the Canadian matches, usually just borrow guns from Canadian shooters, too much of a hassle otherwise.
     
  4. MarkAd

    MarkAd Port Orchard Well-Known Member

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    BMW is wrong about Canada. However it is very difficult to take guns into Canuck land. Paperwork is a nightmare and only takes several months.
     
  5. bmw2

    bmw2 Mount Vernon, Wa Active Member

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    OK so technically it can happen:p
     
  6. 4Freedom

    4Freedom Boise, Idaho Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the great information, it has been helpful. It sounds like Custer is the best bet as far as shooting clubs in the area. BMW, from what I read in your post you are saying there is a certain part of the range where you can practice draw-shoot, but you have to be registered for competitions? I guess I was hoping that I could find a range where I could do draw-shoot without restrictions, but I can live with the restrictions if it is a good range. I certainly would love to compete, I just don't know how much time I have or money for the ammo for competitions. My skills are bit rusty, so competitions, might just be money down the drain for now. Well, I know I need to force myself to get out more. It sounds like Custer has all types of options and isn't too far from Bellingham.

    Thanks for offering to help show me the range, BMW. I will certainly give you a PM when I make my way over there. It is still a bit up in the air if I am going to move to Washington right now. I am attempting to rent a place for the Summer, I will see how it pans out. If I don't move there during the Summer, it will be during the Fall, either to Bellingham or Sea-Tac. Either way, I would like to see the range and meet others there to go shooting with.


    Thanks for the info as well Mark.. I am in no rush to get a Canadian gun permit, so the waiting game is ok, as long as its possible. I would like to go hiking in the mountains in British Columbia, but I won't go unarmed in grizzly country. Also, it would be nice to go shooting in another country.. If I am living up there, I figure why not get whatever permits I can get? I am still wondering about the car-search phenomenon I was told about for WA CHL holders. I'm wondering if the person who told me this was serious or exaggerating their situation.
     
  7. hermannr

    hermannr Okanogan Highlands Well-Known Member

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    4Freedom..yes, you MAY be able to take your handguns into Canada....after a very long and ardous process...but you really have to jump the hoops in the proper order. Also, remember, there are a lot of handguns that are totally legal here in the US that are totally PROHIBITED to anyone in Canada. (even collectors)

    If you are going to a registered compition, and already have your PAL, it is easier. You might want to read this: A Practical Guide to Canada's Gun Laws for Americans

    BTW: the car search was NOT because the guy had a CPL...I have a CPL and I go regularly (once every month or two) to Canada...never been a problem. I have had less problem going INTO Canada, then I have had coming back into the US, and I have been going across that border for 65 years.
     
  8. BadMotel

    BadMotel Bellingham Active Member

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    I don't do range shooting in Bellingham. Since I don't do anything competitive, I just shoot at quarrys, and a few buddies with the acerage to shoot out back.

    Best quarry is a little out of the way, but if you find it it's a great place to go. You can PM me if you want directions, but if you're just passing through the ranges might be the best route.
     
  9. 4Freedom

    4Freedom Boise, Idaho Well-Known Member

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    Thanks BadMotel for being able to share with me about the shooting areas. I will send you a PM when I get to the area. When I relocate, I certainly would love to know all the areas there are to shoot around there. Obviously, since I would like to practice draw-shoot and other types of free-style shooting with my AR, it be nice to find some places out in the open, where I am not bound by the rules. However, for normal bench shooting, Custer, maybe even PLantation sounds like it would work.

    One thing I don't get about PLantation is they say you are not allowed to get your targets. How are you suppose to be able to monitor your groups if you cannot examine your targets, especially if you are shooting out plus 200+ yards. That is one big thing that confuses me about PLantation. I am assuming Plantation doesn't allow holster draw/shoot, except for competitions as well? Are their hours posted or is it hit or miss when they are open, depending on what events are going on?