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Co-op Shooting Range?

Discussion in 'General Firearm Discussion' started by jt1, Dec 18, 2009.

  1. jt1

    jt1 pnw New Member

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    I have been thinking about this for a few days and thought I'd throw it out for feedback...This is directed at the folks living in the Portland/Vancouver area, but can be applied to any area.

    With the ever increasing restrictions on shooting on public lands and what I preceve as a lack of really good public/private ranges in this area I was considering the possibility of forming a nonprofit co-op shooting range to be run by and for the membership.

    While I have little knowledge of the legal/financial aspects of such an undertaking I'm sure some one here does, and as the membership of this forum seems to be growing there might be sufficent support and resources to establish a centrally located range for the Portland/Vancouver area.

    I envision a shooting range that can be continually maintained and upgraded by reinvesting whatever funds are generated by user fees, membership dues or whatever the financial model is to provide a facility that meets the desires of the members.

    I think that many folks, including myself, would be willing to volunteer in whatever capacity is needed to operate and maintain the range and all funds would be free to reinvest after expenses.

    I know it is not as simple as it sounds and is a long term project...just looking for your thoughts.

    jt
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2009
  2. zul

    zul PDX Member

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    I'd be willing to pitch in a few bucks and man-hours if the result was a fun, safe shooting range.
     
  3. RAWII

    RAWII Salem, Or. Member

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    I think it is a great idea. I would be willing to be part of something in the Salem Area if there is any interest in this area.
     
  4. jmh119

    jmh119 Hillsboro, Oregon Member

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    an excellent idea and one i would be interested in supporting.
     
  5. yskippy

    yskippy Tigard Life Member Lifetime Supporter

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    I think it would be interesting to look into an Indoor range where you could shoot a wide variety of weapons/calibers (on a range), and set up various scenarios (like shoot houses) so local LEOs would be interested and supportive. There are A LOT of empty commercial buildings that could probably be picked up pretty cheap right now...I know the old CompUSA building in Tigard has been sitting empty for a long time...the space is huge and could accommodate a pretty nice target range...and set-up for various indoor shooting scenarios...also, there would be space for a good commercial gun dealer to sell weapons, ammo and other supplies...I'm sure there are many other sights like this in the Portland area....like all the old GI Joes stores...just my .02
     
  6. zul

    zul PDX Member

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    That's a great idea. There used to be an indoor range just a couple blocks from the old compusa, but it has been gone for a number of years. You could put a pretty mighty range in that building!!
     
  7. jt1

    jt1 pnw New Member

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    A large indoor range is certainly desirable but I am thinking that a facility that affords both large indoor area and long range outdoor potential should really be the goal...it would be interesting to hear from folks who could provide some insight to the feasibility of such an endeavor and what it would entail.

    jt
     
  8. elsie

    elsie Way over there on the left Well-Known Member

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    It sounds a lot like Tri County http://www.tcgc.org/. I can't find any governing documents online and I'm not sure where my old copy is so I can't really say how they are set up. Probably as a not-for-profit with control given to the governing board. Take a look at their About TCGC link for an interesting history of the club.

    It does seem that the area could probably support another large range with similar facilities, perhaps more focused toward the "casual" shooter who isn't involved in regular organized events as well as the public (ie non-members). One bit of advice on the latter; if you have ranges open to the public, make sure each one has a range officer assigned to maintain safety.

    It's an good idea and I'd be interested.

    elsie
     
  9. ORBrit

    ORBrit Eugene Member

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    There's a lot to consider for this type of venture.
    First, land acquisition and zoning. Local restrictions will dictate where this can be situated and for safety concerns the bullet fall zone would have to be completely clear for several miles beyond the end of the range (for an outdoor range)
    For a decent outdoor range, you'll probably need at least 50-100 acres, to allow for long range shooting, skeet, and various ranges inbetween.

    An indoor range faces similar challenges for zoning. Important factors there will obviously be investment in approved bullet trap devices. Gets expensive if you're making a shoot house where you're not just firing in one direction all the time.
    HVAC is critical in indoor ranges for lead removal, then there's the standard lanes moving targets, etc.

    Legally, you'd have to have some kind of "bulletproof" disclaimer that would cover your bases in case of accident or death.
    Coming up with rules and restrictions and enforcing them is difficult without paid staff.
    What if some idiot decides to bring his .50 cal down to the 25 yard pistol range and puts a hole through the wall and kills some innocent passer by.

    If you're going to run it with members and have no paid staff you need to figure out qualifications and other details to make sure that it's fair for those working vs. those who just want to pay to shoot.

    Getting this off the ground is the hard thing - Can enough money be raised to buy the land and build the range - even with 5000 members you're probably looking at at least $500 to $1000 initial investment per member and that could be a gross underestimation.

    I think that to make this type of venture feasible, it would take multiple income streams from the land - more than just a range. If a security/safety training establishment could set up there and pay rent that would help.

    Just brain storming and getting the thought process going.
     
  10. RVNvet

    RVNvet Beaverton Member

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    As mentioned in another post, Tri-County Gun Club pretty much covers all the bases, including range officers at all times, large clubhouse, covered stations on all ranges with warming stoves, volunteers groups, organized matches, NRA affiliated, about 15 minutes from downtown Portland, etc. etc. I joined a little over a year ago, and spend many an hour there. Here's some info from the web site...

    *****************************************​

    Tri-County Gun Club has 230 acres of shooting ranges, clubhouses and wildlife preserve. We offer something for everyone.

    * Outdoor pistol range: 25 and 50 yards; 25 covered stands
    * General purpose range: 50 and 100 yards; 30 covered stands
    * .22 rimfire rifle: 50 and 100 yards; 19 covered stands
    * Indoor range: .22 at 50 feet and air-gun at 10 meters
    * 4 lighted trap fields
    * 2 lighted skeet fields
    * Sporting clays course
    * Action pistol range (IPSC certification required for unsupervised use)
    * IPSC certification classes
    * IPSC competitions
    * Practical rifle matches
    * Tactical shooting matches
    * PPC matches
    * Silhouette matches
    * Speed shooting matches
    * Bench rest matches
    * Black powder: 30 covered stands
    * Cowboy action matches
    * Hunter's education

    All of our ranges are available to members for practice during normal hours, unless there is a competition being held on that range that day. Hours for outdoor rifle and pistol ranges are 8:00 AM to sunset. Hours for the supervised and lighted shotgun field activity are 6:30PM - 10:00PM Tuesday and Thursday evenings and 11:00AM - 4:00PM Sundays. The indoor .22 and air-gun range is open 24/7.

    *******************************************************​
    More info at...http://www.tcgc.org/index.htm

    Max
     
  11. BooKilla

    BooKilla Portland, OR Member

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    What's wrong with Johnson Creek GC? Now don't get me wrong....I don't want any of you to become members because then it will get crowded (which it rarely is), but seriously though. $10 a month....clean, quiet, close, secure place to shoot. How can you go wrong?






    Two rhetorical questions in one paragraph. YEAH!
     
  12. yskippy

    yskippy Tigard Life Member Lifetime Supporter

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    RVNVET- I 100% agree with you that TCGC is a FANTASTIC outdoor facility....that's why I'm a member. IMHO - I think the greater Portland area could use a great indoor range, only because our weather is not so nice this time of year. The rains we've been having the last week or so are not what I would call good shooting weather. And as nice as TCGC is, it would be nice to have a retail establishement/range combination so folks could actually "try before they buy". Allthe current indoor ranges in the area are restricted to handgun calibers and/or 22 rimfire...and I don't know any gun dealer with an indoor facility. As I said in my previous post...I think now would be a good time for some enterprising folks to look into securring an old commercial space and transforming it...something fairly centrally located.