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Posted: 6/14/2021 7:34:06 AM EDT
I will be retiring in Tucson Arizona  

I have lots of guns, so where do you shoot?
My ex co-worker lived in Prescott.
And I was told drive out to the  desert ??.
Shoot on B L.M. land.

Well, a friend in Phoenix told me...
Don't go shoot in the desert. If it's Indian land. They will confiscate all your stuff.

I'm in a pickle ??.  Should I try to sell a bunch of it before leaving Wisconsin  ?

I pretty much hate public ranges,  Unless they are better possibly, than Wisconsin.
Please  advise.
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Link Posted: 6/14/2021 8:19:00 AM EDT
Don’t sell, move it with you to Arizona and I’ll take it off your hands for free.  

In all seriousness, Arizona is pretty gun friendly.  I can’t speak to Tucson specifically as I try to avoid it.  However, your ability to shoot in the desert really depends where you are.  Your friend is right that the reservations aren’t gun friendly, however, most of the reservation land is in the northeast corner of the state (Navajo nation).  Most other reservations are pretty small and not usually an issue.  

Your bigger issue may be getting away from the big city far enough to be able to shoot.  Where I am in Prescott it’s not that hard (5-10 minute drive and I’m good), but Tucson may be harder.

And welcome, AZ has a pretty active HTF.  That being said, people are usually pretty hesitant to post their shooting spots online because if they do, they often get busy, fill up with trash and get shut down.
Link Posted: 6/14/2021 10:49:34 AM EDT
here's my usual reply, it is centered on phoenix but I mention Tucson, it does need a lot of editing since its basically a copy past of several emails I've sent in the past

there is also some National Park land near Tucson that is offlimits I don't think I mention that below.

3 ranges in the Tucson area:
http://www.tucsonrifleclub.org/
https://pimapistolclub.com/
https://tucsontrapandskeet.com/

the first 2, maybe all 3, are clubs, join the club, its much better than public ranges.

Desert shooting is great except for several summer months during fire season, expect over an hour drive, get the maps and know you are on legal land.

shoot good

Poole


Folks often post questions about Shooting in AZ on forums, I often reply, I finally saved my replies so I won't have to retype everything each time. This probably gives more info than you asked for but its easy to copy/paste. latest update in Jan 2021.

Websites:
http://www.arizonashooting.org/ web group
http://www.azshootingzone.com/forums/ web group
https://arizonagunowners.com/ web group
https://www.ar15.com/forums/hometown/Arizona/13/ another web group
http://www.phoenixrodandgun.org/ A club with a range in south phoenix
http://www.rsscaz.com/ A club with a range in east Mesa
https://www.azgfd.com/shooting/basf/ A range with clubs in north phoenix.
all 3 have public ranges and competition ranges and active competition groups
http://arizona-rifleshooting.com/ my website about competition

3 ranges in the Tucson area:
http://www.tucsonrifleclub.org/
https://pimapistolclub.com/
https://tucsontrapandskeet.com/

orgs:
http://www.asrpa.com/ our state association they do: competition, training, education, run a range west of phoenx and civil rights advocacy.
http://www.azcdl.org/ is 100% civil rights

AZ has open carry and constitutional carry. Take the AZ CCW class anyway, its useful info and the permit is your proof of background check so you don't have to go thru NICS when you buy.


There are 4 or 5 nice outdoor shooting ranges in the Phoenix area. See below. (As well as several indoor ranges I don't know much about.)

I've been a member of both PRGC & RSSC for over 20 years, (and have been a volunteer, match director, coach or club officer in those years).

Both RSSC & PRGC are true member-run clubs, both lease their dirt (RSSC from AZGFD, PRGC from PHX city park).

Ben Avery is a AZGFD owned and run facility, landless clubs reserve  the various ranges and run shoots there.

A smaller range, Joe Foss range in Buckeye, an hour west of Phoenix, is run by ASRPA.

All 3 larger ranges have a public range, the 2 clubs offer membership. All 3 have lots of competition style events. Every scheduled competition or practice style event at the 2 clubs and the clubs that use Avery are open to everyone, most by walk-on, some shoots take advanced entry reservations.

Both PRGC and RSSC cost about the same to join. Each has a main range and 6 or 8 specialty ranges. RSSC faces north, PRGC faces south (low winter sun is unpleasant to shoot in) PRGC High Power range is configured properly with 1 pits and 3 firing lines, Rio is backwards, 1 firing line and 2 pits.

RSSC tries to run itself like a business, all members have to leave when the last RO clocks out, even if there are still 3 hours of sunlight remaining. All the specialty ranges (except shotgun) require a lengthy approval process to gain access. On top of that, there is a tedious process to get the after-hours pass that allows weekday shooting till 9.  RSSC has the best sporting clays field in the state, perhaps all the states. But they don't allow carry.

PRGC is much more member-friendly. members can use most (but not all) ranges without a special qual process. PRGC is very friendly for members bringing guests and allows carry.

BASF has about 80 firing points on the public range and 15 or 20 trap/skeet/clays fields and a huge archery area. The facility also has about 15 other ranges reserved by clubs for shoots including 100 firing points to 1000yds on high power, 2 silhouette ranges and about a dozen practical bays.

PRS-style shooting is monthly at a private shooting site called "Cowtown" in the west part of the valley not far from Ben Avery. And a monthly shoot at RSSC.

BLM is opening some formal maintained shooting sites in the west valley desert.

There are some nice outdoor ranges in Tucson, also near Casa Grande, Flagstaff, Payson, Kingman, Yuma and other parts of the state.

As to shooting in the Desert, BLM and National forest permit shooting most of the year. State Trust Land permits hunting but NOT target shooting.  Indian reservations do not permit anything. Check the national forest websites, Tonto NF, the one closest to phoenix, has closed off shooting on hundreds of square miles nearest town due to dirt bike infestation and bans water jugs. Steel and paper are still OK, but plan on an hour drive to find a safe legal place. During hot weather fire seasons all the NFs ban shooting, camp fires and smoking.

Hunting is by drawing for tags to hunt anything larger than a quail or coyote. But lots of public land to hunt on.
https://www.azgfd.com/



Shopping in the Phoenix area:
BassPro in Mesa
Cabela's in northwest valley
2 or 3 Sportsman's Warehouse stores
lots of Local gun Shops.

Hope this helps, welcome to AZ, shoot good!

Poole



more:
The problem with "rural" in AZ is nearly all the land is BLM, national forest, state trust, indian rez. (except for rez, all are open to hunting with an AZ license, BLM and NF are open to target shooting, except for the crowded areas infested with dirtbikes and the entire state during fire season (NOW!), so "rural" is far away or expensive, often both. if not there may not be water. I'm speculating, but I bet there are probably few places in PA where a 50' or 100' well does not produce water, there are fewer places in AZ where a 100' well is deep enough or any well at all is even possible.

"Phoenix", the area, is the city of Phoenix and the 20 or so cities and areas that form its suburbs. Sometimes called the  "Valley of the Sun" (this time'a year its more like the "Surface of the Sun" :) but we like it this way!

There are some rural-ish locations around Phoenix. South: Maricopa, Casa Grande. SE: Apache junction, Florence, NE: Cave Creek/Carefree. North: New River, SW: buckeye & beyond, and NW: beyond sun city out to Wickenburg. All of these put you about 1 to 2 hours from PHX airport.



Link Posted: 6/14/2021 11:10:16 AM EDT
I shoot on my land, but also shoot on BLM land as well. Pima pistol club is legit. Three points range too. The Pima county range is fine if all you are doing is zeroing and punching paper
Link Posted: 6/14/2021 12:18:48 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By billpoole:
Tonto NF, the one closest to phoenix, has closed off shooting on hundreds of square miles nearest town due to dirt bike infestation and bans water jugs.
View Quote


My brain tripped over this sentence ;-)
Link Posted: 6/14/2021 4:43:30 PM EDT
Buy a punch card at the county range.  SERP or Southeast Regional Shooting Park.  This makes it really cheap and they tend to ignore any expiration date.

They also have electronic cards for trap and skeet.
Link Posted: 6/15/2021 5:11:40 AM EDT
Casa Grande range off I-8 and Trekell is not bad, unmonitored and free, so shooters police themselves. No water and one portapotty, though. 80 yard, 300 yard, 100 yard and two 25 yard pistol bays.
Link Posted: 6/15/2021 7:36:07 AM EDT
Excellent information, Gents.

I will see about joining a club when I get here.
And luckily,  a fellow ARF Commer has graciously offered to take my pre. '64 Winchester collection.

What a pal !

I can't wait  

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Link Posted: 6/15/2021 10:53:56 PM EDT
What part of Tucson? I’m in Marana. There is a good public shooting spot out by red rock.
Link Posted: 6/16/2021 7:40:00 AM EDT
Trails West 55+...

G.I.L.F.'s are coming out of the woodwork.

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Link Posted: 6/16/2021 8:30:53 AM EDT
If that’s the place off kolb rd and I10 the county range is the closest. 200 yard max distance both rifle and pistol bays.
Link Posted: 6/16/2021 9:39:07 AM EDT
Yes it's on Kolb Road near the corner.

How far is this range you speak of ?
Is it no rapid fire ?
I am an ARFCOMMER,  after all.
Link Posted: 6/16/2021 10:57:16 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By OTTOSEAR:
Yes it's on Kolb Road near the corner.

How far is this range you speak of ?
Is it no rapid fire ?
I am an ARFCOMMER,  after all.
View Quote


I don’t think there’s a restriction on ROF.

SERP

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Link Posted: 6/16/2021 10:34:13 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/16/2021 10:40:31 PM EDT by Rev_FNG]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By OTTOSEAR:
Yes it's on Kolb Road near the corner.

How far is this range you speak of ?
Is it no rapid fire ?
I am an ARFCOMMER,  after all.
View Quote



Welcome.

SERP is just down the road from you, about 10 minutes.

Also, The Marksman Institute off of 29th street,  indoor pistol range.  Kinda $$

Redington has some area's, but from what I hear they are being cracked down due to trash and assholes
Link Posted: 6/17/2021 12:34:04 AM EDT
There is BLM not far from Tucson with plenty of places to shoot.
Link Posted: 6/17/2021 5:46:41 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/17/2021 5:50:26 AM EDT by azmp5]
No offense OP, but if I was going to retire, it would be Prescott/Sedona (ie northern AZ).  Last place id go is Tucson. Well, Yuma..then tucson. More so cause atleast up north you can escape the heat..
Link Posted: 6/17/2021 6:04:39 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By azmp5:
No offense OP, but if I was going to retire, it would be Prescott/Sedona (ie northern AZ).  Last place id go is Tucson. Well, Yuma..then tucson. More so cause atleast up north you can escape the heat..
View Quote



My kids are in the Air Force, their house is 8 minutes away .
That, and my retirement age is why we are moving.

Tucson is surprisingly nice compared to Minot, North Dakota.
That was their last duty station.

I would go North if I could, because I grew up around snow.
BUT, Mount Lemmon is a very short drive.
And I've already visited the Ski Hill.

Thank you all for the information.
Link Posted: 6/17/2021 10:33:07 AM EDT
Don’t let them give you shit about Tucson. Tucson is a great place to live. Welcome to the neighborhood.
Link Posted: 6/17/2021 10:56:37 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By kevinjs1:
Don't let them give you shit about Tucson. Tucson is a great place to live. Welcome to the neighborhood.
View Quote

Yeah OP, as the casino signs say up here around the valley (I'm in Chandler)- "You Do You".
Link Posted: 6/18/2021 4:14:04 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/18/2021 4:25:58 AM EDT by OTTOSEAR]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By kevinjs1:
Don’t let them give you shit about Tucson. Tucson is a great place to live. Welcome to the neighborhood.
View Quote



Excellent.  My '21 JL Wrangler,  has a manual transmission.
And a limited slip rear diff.
I see by your Avatar,  we may have something in common.
I got an Arizona trail book at Desert Rat.

Perhaps you know of neat 4X4 areas ?

I also have a MINT, MX-5 Grand Touring.  Only 24 K miles.
So the mountain roads should be a hoot.

Attachment Attached File
Link Posted: 6/18/2021 12:48:49 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By OTTOSEAR:



Excellent.  My '21 JL Wrangler,  has a manual transmission.
And a limited slip rear diff.
I see by your Avatar,  we may have something in common.
I got an Arizona trail book at Desert Rat.

Perhaps you know of neat 4X4 areas ?

I also have a MINT, MX-5 Grand Touring.  Only 24 K miles.
So the mountain roads should be a hoot.

/media/mediaFiles/sharedAlbum/The_Rock_Applause-169.gif
View Quote


Did you say 4 Wheeling and trail dusting?  I know a little something about that.  Although I travel throughout the state, I am mostly in the Sierra Vista area.

But here is a list of trails

Backway to Mt Lemmon
Rice Peak
Charouleau Gap
Chimney Rock
Gunsight Pass
Gardner Canyon
Bull Springs
Patagonia Mountains
Temporal Gulch
Jackson Cabin
Tucson Wash
Smelter wash
Putnam Wash
Holy Joe Rim
Chivo Lower Loop
Melendrez Pass
Arizona Backcountry Discovery Route
Dirt roads in the Huachuca mountains
Dirt roads in the Dragoon mountains
Dirt roads in the Chiricahua mountains

There are also lots of trails in the Sedona, Flagstaff, Kingman, KOFA mountains.  I have lived in Arizona for decades and have not hit them all.

You can also have a lot fun, see a lot of beautiful country just driving on the many forest roads and dirt roads throughout the state.

Good source: Arizona Trails

I did not list the trails by difficulty.  Many trails in Arizona will apply Arizona pinstriping.

Link Posted: 6/18/2021 12:52:17 PM EDT
I forgot the include Fun Treks, which if you bought the Charles A Wells Arizona Trails book, this site compliments it well.

Link Posted: 6/18/2021 1:51:44 PM EDT
Trails, Guns and G.I.L.F.'s.

I will find something to do 😁
Link Posted: 6/18/2021 6:28:17 PM EDT
Head North on Kolb to Tanque Verde, then follow Tanque Verde East into Reddington Pass.  Plenty of spots to shoot up there.  Red Rock has some places but Reddington will be much closer.
Link Posted: 6/18/2021 7:03:01 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By mmsSierra:


Did you say 4 Wheeling and trail dusting?  I know a little something about that.  Although I travel throughout the state, I am mostly in the Sierra Vista area.

But here is a list of trails

Backway to Mt Lemmon
Rice Peak
Charouleau Gap
Chimney Rock
Gunsight Pass
Gardner Canyon
Bull Springs
Patagonia Mountains
Temporal Gulch
Jackson Cabin
Tucson Wash
Smelter wash
Putnam Wash
Holy Joe Rim
Chivo Lower Loop
Melendrez Pass
Arizona Backcountry Discovery Route
Dirt roads in the Huachuca mountains
Dirt roads in the Dragoon mountains
Dirt roads in the Chiricahua mountains

There are also lots of trails in the Sedona, Flagstaff, Kingman, KOFA mountains.  I have lived in Arizona for decades and have not hit them all.

You can also have a lot fun, see a lot of beautiful country just driving on the many forest roads and dirt roads throughout the state.

Good source: Arizona Trails

I did not list the trails by difficulty.  Many trails in Arizona will apply Arizona pinstriping.

View Quote


FYI,  Gunsight Pass.... Rosemont mine shut it down with gates.

Although, I am willing to learn the "ways" around it.
Link Posted: 6/18/2021 9:40:34 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Rev_FNG:


FYI,  Gunsight Pass.... Rosemont mine shut it down with gates.

View Quote


Bummer!
Link Posted: 6/18/2021 11:22:25 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Corporal_Chaos:
Head North on Kolb to Tanque Verde, then follow Tanque Verde East into Reddington Pass.  Plenty of spots to shoot up there.  Red Rock has some places but Reddington will be much closer.
View Quote



Perfect  ! I like to relax when I shoot.  And I use suppressed guns almost exclusively.
When you are at a public range,  cans are pointless.
My .22 goes, Pfffft Pffft Pfft.
The cat next to me has a 500 magnum.

Ear pro...

Or Else
Link Posted: 6/19/2021 1:15:57 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/19/2021 1:18:11 AM EDT by Howlin_Mad]
The County range (SERP) by the fairgrounds is a very nice facility, I go there when I need to do some 200 yard sighting in.  

Nice concrete benches in the shade, and the RO's are pretty decent.

No restrictions on rate of fire, but no full auto allowed, which I understand, but once I was there and some yahoo was doing mag dumps on the 50 yard range with a FAL, and I got yelled at when my Lage M11-15 doubled.
Link Posted: 6/19/2021 1:45:05 PM EDT
Make sure that you get acclimated first before getting adventurous, here is not Wisconsin. Just the opposite with the weather
Link Posted: 6/20/2021 1:28:54 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/20/2021 1:30:57 AM EDT by threefeathers]
If you don't have trouble with the military then you can goto a nice range at Sierra Vista.  I've sponsored Mas Ayoob for classes there in the near past.  This is a civilian range 12 miles East of Sierra Vista.  

Ft. Huachuca opens the KD range once in a while and Range 3 nearly every weekend.  You have to have your firearms unloaded and locked up until you are ready to fire.  You must go to MWR, however you will have to have proper I D.  Veterans  will know how to do this.  Non Vets, I would call MWR and ask.
Link Posted: 6/29/2021 12:51:58 PM EDT
Thank you all for the information.

On a related note, they allow golf carts and UTV's.on our 55+
I am thinking about a Polaris Ranger 500.
Do they overheat in the Tucson heat ?
Link Posted: 6/29/2021 2:57:51 PM EDT
I have ridden Polaris RZRs in the desert and up north in full summer and they get hot as hell but I’ve never had it overheat.
Link Posted: 6/29/2021 10:07:01 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By kevinjs1:
I have ridden Polaris RZRs in the desert and up north in full summer and they get hot as hell but I’ve never had it overheat.
View Quote


Excellent, I raced snowmobiles in my younger days. 10 below zero, would heat the free air engines REALLY hot.
I raced Arctic Cats. Polaris was made from the same founder.

His name is Edgar, and I once sold him a raffle ticket from my snowmobile club.
Good info on the resiliency of the Polaris.

Now for some Up North humor. You know how they came up with the name Polaris ?

P ull
O ff
L ake
A nd
R epair
I n
S pring

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