Thursday, January 03, 2008

Gun Club Musings

So I was doing the blog-run yesterday, and Sailorcurt was talking about one of his local gun clubs and his not-so-good experience there. Yearly memberships cost at least $300, and that's just with the basic package which does NOT allow one use of all the ranges! Go read what he had to say for the full rundown. It seems the new owners of the range are looking for a different clientele than just the local average-joe shooters, and I guess that's their prerogative, but why even keep the range open to the public in the first place if they're so heavily courting police and military shooters to the virtual exclusion of the general public? They still let anybody come in who wants to shoot, but with the prices and attitude, why would anyone want to?
But I say all that to say this. That got me thinking about my own local gun club that I belong to, the Golden Triangle Gun Club. They don't have any kind of amenities beyond the ranges themselves and target stands, but for $50 a year plus membership in the NRA I can go shoot anytime I want, and I have my choice of shooting on anything from a 25-yard pistol range to a 600-yard rifle range. I heard they don't allow the .50BMG there, but I'd have to double-check with someone on the board of directors to make sure of that. And as far as tactical training and such, as far as I know the closest thing they have to something like that is the IDPA matches. (And, of course, they have cowboy action shooting and rifle matches too.) But without exception, every single person I've crossed paths with on the firing line there has been courteous and friendly and more than willing to share their knowledge. Just this weekend I was out there and struck up a conversation with someone on the board of directors, as I told him about wanting to get an Evil Black Rifle after the first of the year. (For the record, he said the AR was much better than the M1A, more accurate and much cheaper to shoot.) But every single person I've met on the firing line, from members to directors, has been a shining example of what the American gun culture is really about. And with the price of membership, I'd say I got a bargain and then some. I am a lucky shooter, indeed...