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Posted: 1/27/2021 9:26:28 PM EDT
Does anyone here commonly use the public ranges located nearby state gamelands? If so, what’re your opinions... worth the trip or filled with weirdos?

Specifically looking at these as options:

CountyLocation
Berks"40°37'49.3""N 75°56'24.6""W"
Chester"40°10'28.9""N 75°47'49.2""W"
Dauphin"40°25'46.8""N 76°50'23.6""W"
Lehigh"40°39'34.2""N 75°40'01.0""W "
Carbon"40°53'21.4""N 75°48'28.3""W"

Basically just looking for an outdoor range/100+ yard rifle range. All the ranges by me either have limited hours due to covid or implemented expensive membership policies
Link Posted: 1/27/2021 11:27:21 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/27/2021 11:29:35 PM EDT by PA452]
I don't know those ones in particular, but years ago I used PGC ranges all the time. Some are nice, some are not.

The big one near State College, Scotia, is the nicest one I've used, but the downside was it wasn't always open. I think it's the only one like that though unless that's changed.

For a year or so when I lived in Maryland I went almost weekly to the range just north of Carlisle. I liked that one. Most people there were decent, minus the old people who would drive in just to steal your brass. They hated me. When I'd see them drive in, I'd warn the whole line about what they were there to do.

The range in Dillsburg was one that sucked. I think it was too close to Philly or something based on the look of the crowd. Drove in there a few times; always saw the crowd and drove right back out.

There's a PGC range in Allegheny County too, near Wexford I think? I went there one time when dating a girl who lived near there. We drove in, it was absolutely packed, so we just left.
Link Posted: 1/28/2021 8:44:01 AM EDT
Thanks. That kind of confirms some of my fears, but I guess I’ll check 1-2 out and see how it goes
Link Posted: 1/28/2021 9:58:32 AM EDT
Unfortunately, definitely don’t want to go to a public range alone!

Being 100 yards down range changing targets while all your guns and ammo is sitting on a table 100 yards away and suddenly people show up is nauseating at best and dangerous at worst!
Link Posted: 1/28/2021 10:14:14 AM EDT
Gave up on the PGC ranges years ago.
They're a total crap shoot as to conditions and "clientele" (for those ranges remaining.... quite a few have been closed down after having Enviro-whackos buy up neighboring real estate and complaining about noise, lead, etc.)
When the PGC started requiring hunting licenses or range permits to use them, it cut down on the clientele nonsense slightly, but didn't eliminate it.
Definitely don't go alone.  There's been plenty of cases of folks getting their gear stolen while changing targets.
Link Posted: 1/28/2021 1:48:29 PM EDT
Good advice. If I go it definitely won’t be alone
Link Posted: 1/28/2021 4:37:31 PM EDT
I've been to the Berks location a few times now. Decent set-up there. Half dozen shooting benches, handicap accessible, 50 and 100 yards. It's kept nicely mowed but the gremlins never clean up their targets or brass/hulls/cases. The local game warden likes to stop by and check permits and number of rounds on your mags. Definitely take a trash bag and someone with you as an extra set of eyes. Only had weird encounter but that's more than enough. No cell service or toilet either so plan accordingly.
Link Posted: 1/29/2021 4:01:19 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By PA452:
I don't know those ones in particular, but years ago I used PGC ranges all the time. Some are nice, some are not.

The big one near State College, Scotia, is the nicest one I've used, but the downside was it wasn't always open. I think it's the only one like that though unless that's changed.

For a year or so when I lived in Maryland I went almost weekly to the range just north of Carlisle. I liked that one. Most people there were decent, minus the old people who would drive in just to steal your brass. They hated me. When I'd see them drive in, I'd warn the whole line about what they were there to do.

The range in Dillsburg was one that sucked. I think it was too close to Philly or something based on the look of the crowd. Drove in there a few times; always saw the crowd and drove right back out.

There's a PGC range in Allegheny County too, near Wexford I think? I went there one time when dating a girl who lived near there. We drove in, it was absolutely packed, so we just left.
View Quote


It sucks, although they’ve made some “improvements” lately. As you said, many times that I’ve been there it’s been packed with a bunch of city dwellers and.. interesting? characters. Use to just go, sight in a deer rifle, and get out ASAP.
Link Posted: 1/30/2021 7:05:12 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/30/2021 7:06:25 PM EDT by GiggleSmith]
I'm close to the one near Dilsburg: Game Land 242.

There was some work done on it recently.  Potholes filled in, Covers on the pistol shooting area, cleaned up totally!
It looks good!
I need to take some pictures soon.

One headache: When I went there last, it to shoot a pistol, not a rifle.
The idjuts replaced a Wooden Frame with a Metal Frame!  How the are we going to put up our targets

Further away from me is Game Lands 230:
It is The Only place I ever met a Game Warden.
Lucky for me I wasn't shooting, just wishing I was.
I have no qualms about shooting pistols at either place.
Rifles.....Depends what is there making noise.


Link Posted: 1/30/2021 8:57:20 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/30/2021 8:57:35 PM EDT by rgaper]
Hard no.  Have been to a number of them and if you can think of it, it has happened.  NDs, gang bangers, someone shooting while you're downrange, WCOs being nazis.
Link Posted: 2/5/2021 2:48:21 AM EDT
I use the one in Pike County (#183) from time to time, usually not too many people and seems decent.
Link Posted: 2/14/2021 9:51:24 AM EDT
if you can, go on weekdays at least.
Link Posted: 2/17/2021 9:52:41 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/17/2021 9:57:18 AM EDT by governmentman]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Trainman:
if you can, go on weekdays at least.
View Quote


This, go when it is slow.

I used to go the the Chester county / French Creek one.

Plenty of times things were fine. Also had some extremely obnoxious fudd encounters, and some severely unsafe idiots (including two guys who wanted to drag some rocks off the hill to shoot since they didn't have any targets).

The PGC guys are often on a power trip, very nosy about your guns and also completely ignorant of what is and isn't legal.

That being said, if I didn't have access to private land to shoot on now, I'd probably still use them. Most of my trips to that range were fine, I just always went with the understanding that there was a small chance I'd be packing up and leaving quickly due to assholes or idiots.
Link Posted: 2/17/2021 3:43:38 PM EDT
I go to a nearby SGL range. It isn't bad but I time it just right. First thing in the morning, maybe middle of the week. But I'm always ready to walk away if it's crowded or there are some individuals that make me nervous.
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