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Posted: 3/9/2002 4:56:39 AM EDT
I just got back from a week in Detroit. What a depressing place. Mile after mile of city/suburb/gas station/deli-lotto-liquior-checkcashing/bar and tons of the usuall chain locations.
I figured since they honor my permit I would take a .45 and find a indoor range to use and keep myself out of the bars. I was sadly shocked at what I found. The first place, I wont name names unless you email me, was a dirty smokey hole in the wall. The attitude wasnt to bad other than we dont give a shit, pay us $8 and hour and shoot. The actual "gun shop" front was pathetic. I saw very few new guns, mostly used crap that looked like the tables at gun shows where the guy drags in his personal collection of used crap.
The second one I found was supposed to be the best one in the area. I was told that by at least a half-dozen people that I asked while trying to find someplace else. What I saw there made me wonder about big cities and gun owners in them. The "shop" was not to bad but really proud of the prices if ya know wut I mean. They were really freaked out about ANYONE handleling weapons anywhere other than standing in a firing lane or standing directly in front of the sales counter with a salesman who was lookin at ya kind of funny. I didnt look at any , just watched the way they treated shoppers. I figured it was because of the high crime rate, not so. They were worried about dumbasses who cant be trusted to unwrap a twinkie much less handle a firearm. While I was putting on my eyes and ears before going into the range I overheard some guy with a rifle case tell the guy behind the counter he wanted to shoot his rifle (they had a 50yd range and did allow some rifles) but this guy wasnt sure what calibre ammo he was needing !?!?!? WTF!! I went into the range and was minding my own business, or trying to when I noticed the goomer in the lane to my right. He caught my attention and asked me if I knew how to load the rifle. Jeezz. He had a .22 that apeared to be very old with a battered old scope but what made my jaw drop was he was trying to load them single shot because he had no mag. I told him he needed the mag and where was it? He kind of whent "Huh, I wondered what went there,," Needless to say he didnt have the mag. The guy rolled his target out about 10 feet and was grouping single shots about 4", read that again 10 feet, 4" groups with a scoped 22.
I saw guys with mini-14's thinking they were rambo, guys shooting high power scoped bolt guns off benches at 25 yds, among other things. I went to this particular place twice and ran out of ammo. I only took about 350 rounds with me. To make an already long story short I saw examples of a total lack of knowledge of proper firearm handeling and just plain stupidity. I cant properly put into words how flabbergasted I was. I never have and never will support gun control BUT what I saw makes me wonder what the awnser is. I know the mandatory training for purchasers is a danger that gun control groups would exploit but some of these people are dangerous. And no, I'm not going to step into them and offer to help out because someone may take exception to my butting in and start some shit. Does anyone here live in a large city and see these things?
Link Posted: 3/9/2002 5:22:14 AM EDT
Don't think your experience is confined to the big cities. I've seen dumb ass behavior in every public range I've ever been on. I used to frequent one place 10 minutes from my house, really a pretty good shop (pricey) and decent 50 ft range (could improve ventilation). I go in and I'm ALWAYS checking out whoever else is on ethe line. There are these 2 guys with a old .22 bolt rifle trying to hit one of those 2x2 expolding targets at about 15 feet. each one of them fires about 10 rounds and the target is still there. I walk over and start talking to them, they ask if I tink I can hit it. I say yeah, but not with the rifle (I think it was actually missing either the front or back sight). I pick up my Buckmark (which I hadn't fired yet) and explode their target on the second shot. They were amazed. I told them to contact the rifle manufacturer and try and get a sight and they just might be able to do the same.

Another time, I'm the only guy on this range about 5 hours away. Guy comes in with a brand new stainless Colt 1911. Sends a massive sillouhette target out to about 25 feet fires a full mag with lots of funmbling around between shots, nothing. Moves it in to about 6 feet fires a couple of shots, nothing. Now I can hear all this fumbling around going on and I'm starting to think rounds are going to end up flying through the lane dividers. I go over to see whats up. Guy says guns sucks. Can't hit anything, won't shoot more than one round at a time. I take a look, and tell him he'd be doing a lot better if he wasn't shooting .40 cal ammo in a .45! Wow, I'm a genius.
Link Posted: 3/9/2002 5:37:29 AM EDT
If ever you start believing that you have seen everything, just stand around a few minutes, especially at a firearms range. A friend was standing next to a young man with a brand new Kimber, second shot explodes the gun. He is using ammo that he has loaded. First time for both, firing and reloading. He was wearing eye protection or he would have had more than his pride and equipment damaged.
Link Posted: 3/9/2002 7:14:48 AM EDT
Ernie,

WOW


I live in Los Angeles and while we do have some of the most stupid gun laws here I can HONESTLY say I haven't seen it that bad here.

I've been to quite a few of the ranges here and most of the gun owners i've seen have handled themselves. Even the newbies know when to ask for help most of the time.

I know there are idiots here but that REALLY takes the cake!

It may be bad here (re: gun laws) but not that bad!
Link Posted: 3/9/2002 7:39:58 AM EDT
The scenarios you guys are describing are really sad. It's too bad those people don't have a buddy to teach them. I have brought tons of friends shooting for the first time, if I wasn't there I'm sure they would have done lots of stupid things. If you have a friend who shows some interest in shooting, bring them along with you and teach them the basics about the equipment and safe handling of weapons. I was lucky enough to have my dad and his buddies teach me. Some people never had that experience...
Link Posted: 3/9/2002 7:49:46 AM EDT
Is the first place you were talkng about Alex's (formerly Irv's)? That was cool when the brothers (they are black, but in this case I mean actual brothers) first started changing over to a better store. Before that it really sucked bad.
You should have tried the firing line out in westland (wasteland) in the white suburbs, nice and new. (westland was formerly nankin township and farmland, and the whites moved out the they agreed to name the newly created city after a shopping mall ("Westland", to go along with north east and south land) if they would put the mall there.
Link Posted: 3/9/2002 10:59:28 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Happyshooter:
Is the first place you were talkng about Alex's (formerly Irv's)? That was cool when the brothers (they are black, but in this case I mean actual brothers) first started changing over to a better store. Before that it really sucked bad.
You should have tried the firing line out in westland (wasteland) in the white suburbs, nice and new. (westland was formerly nankin township and farmland, and the whites moved out the they agreed to name the newly created city after a shopping mall ("Westland", to go along with north east and south land) if they would put the mall there.


Nope. Lets just say I stayed in the Sterling Heights area and both ranges were between east of I 75 and north of 696. IF you know of someplace better within an 45 minute drive drop a line.
Link Posted: 3/9/2002 11:45:06 AM EDT
I hate ranges especially indoor put me out in the sticks and blast some cans now thats fun!
Link Posted: 3/9/2002 5:05:06 PM EDT
Ernie, I know exactly what you are saying. The first place you went to in Sterling Heights on Stevenson, is scary. I signed up for their indoor pistol league, never having shot there. I showed up for exactly ten minutes. People cleaning loaded guns-the range officer. The other place you mention is on Woodward in Royal Oak. The had a shooting incident there a couple years ago. I dont remember the details but ever since every gun shop in the area is skittish about handling. I echo your sentiments on the training. One more thing for antis to grab onto but sorely needed. The only place to shoot in the Detroit area that I know of where people are relatively safe is Detroit Sportsman Congress in Utica. The shooting situation is so bad in the area, I moved an hour north of the burbs to own enough land to shoot at home.
Link Posted: 3/10/2002 12:57:46 PM EDT

Originally Posted By GreenLocust:
Ernie, I know exactly what you are saying. The first place you went to in Sterling Heights on Stevenson, is scary. I signed up for their indoor pistol league, never having shot there. I showed up for exactly ten minutes. People cleaning loaded guns-the range officer. The other place you mention is on Woodward in Royal Oak. The had a shooting incident there a couple years ago. I dont remember the details but ever since every gun shop in the area is skittish about handling. I echo your sentiments on the training. One more thing for antis to grab onto but sorely needed. The only place to shoot in the Detroit area that I know of where people are relatively safe is Detroit Sportsman Congress in Utica. The shooting situation is so bad in the area, I moved an hour north of the burbs to own enough land to shoot at home.


Actually it was neither of those places. The first one was named Peters, and the second one was called Double Action Shooting.
I heard the Sportsmans Congress mentioned but only as a private club, open to the public on match days.
Im sure that this problem exists nation wide in heavily populated areas and I take it for granted having grown up with a .22 in my hands running thru the woods all day long without seeing a soul declaring war on spatsies and such.
Link Posted: 3/10/2002 1:46:58 PM EDT
heh.. too bad i got to this late - after reading the original post i thought it was talking about peter's and double action.

peter's is smokey, and a little dingy. but it is cheap enough, and you can shoot however you like there. unlike double action, where the range sentries are real uptight. if you step back from the lane dividers without an open bolt, they freak. but it's the only place i know of around detroit where i can shoot 12 gauge slugs indoors.

how is it in portland, anybody? thinking about moving there.
Link Posted: 3/10/2002 2:04:16 PM EDT

Originally Posted By elvez:
heh.. too bad i got to this late - after reading the original post i thought it was talking about peter's and double action.

peter's is smokey, and a little dingy. but it is cheap enough, and you can shoot however you like there. unlike double action, where the range sentries are real uptight.



I guessed Peters too as soon as I read it. I've been there myself, since it's the closest indoor range to me. True, it is kind of junky, but they're pretty laid back. Scary part is, if you can recall, all the bullet holes in the ceilings, and even in the lane dividers.

Nowadays I just head out to my stepfather's place in Fenton and shoot in his backyard. No neighbors on one side and shooters on the other. I want to buy the lot next door... just to be able to sit on my porch and shoot.
Link Posted: 3/10/2002 2:23:19 PM EDT
Peters Is the closest a cheapest place to me also. I am a member at DSC but rarley shoot pistols there. Whenever your at Peters you really have to watch who is shooting it is pretty scarry sometimes. It is nice though that you can practice drawing from concealment there though. AS for the used Crap they sell there????? I was just there Saturday it looked like they had about 6 used pistols the rest were new. Now that Junk they have on the walls is probably what your talking about though. :-)
Link Posted: 3/10/2002 4:13:03 PM EDT
I was a certifed instructor here in Michigan for years. and an FFL. With all the new laws each city is imposing and the changing atitudes of the general population on firearms I've given up on helping people unless there someone I know. And I bought property up state to be able to shoot safely. I've had people at the local ranges with a range officer on site point loaded firearms at me and others. Discharge a weapon with people down range changing their targets. Or not even know what caliber their weapon was while trying to load it with the wrong ammo. Had a guy at the outdoor range ask me to look at his Remington 700. His best group at 100yards was 2 feet. He was shooting 243 ammo in a 308. I can't wait to completely retire and move back to Flordia.
Link Posted: 3/10/2002 4:40:03 PM EDT
I really don't see what's so shocking about your experience. 1. Your in Detroit 2. Most people at gun ranges are casual shooters, not hardcore gun geeks.

I've seen far worse than what you described.

"I live in Los Angeles and while we do have some of the most stupid gun laws here I can HONESTLY say I haven't seen it that bad here."

I have.
Link Posted: 3/10/2002 5:05:55 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Dungus:
I really don't see what's so shocking about your experience. 1. Your in Detroit 2. Most people at gun ranges are casual shooters, not hardcore gun geeks.

I've seen far worse than what you described.

"I live in Los Angeles and while we do have some of the most stupid gun laws here I can HONESTLY say I haven't seen it that bad here."

I have.



Actually the ranges are in Warren and Madison Heights. Although close to Detroit Beleive me they are very different.
Link Posted: 3/10/2002 5:20:57 PM EDT

It's too bad those people don't have a buddy to teach them.

I think that's the real problem. For those of us who grew-up with guns, were in the military, or had a good friend that showed us what to do, we seem to take the knowledge for granted. I didn't know anyone that was still into shooting when about a year ago I went to my first indoor range. It was the first time I had been shooting since I got out of the Army, almost 50 years ago. I did a lot of reading before going, and I still fumbled through things. Shooting that time would have been much more pleasant if I had a friend with me that went shooting often.

Also, at least those people go shooting and are probably pro-gun. A relative of a good friend teaches at the state police academy. He says that for most of the new recruits he teaches, it's the first time they've fired a gun, and many never learn (or at least don't practise it) safe gun handling at the range. If people who carry a gun for a living don't practise safe handling, why would you expect more from the people at an indoor range in Detroit, or anywhere else?z
Link Posted: 3/10/2002 6:13:18 PM EDT
This situation is unfortunately not uncommon in the more urbanized area. My Dad built a .22 range in our basement when I was a kid, but to go to a real range was about a 45 minute drive, we went there on the weekends. Most city folk just don't shoot and when they get a yearning to try they either pull out Grandpa's antique .22 or shotgun, or spend a pile of money on a race gun and head out to the range with too much ego to ask for help. Shooting and safe gun handling is not an instinctive act. Much like playing an instrument it is learned and improved through practice. Some people have a better instinct for it than others but everyone has to learn at some time. For this reason alone I would not oppose some sort of proficiency and safety test for those who wish to carry concealed. Seems only fair since we require this for those who want to hunt.

I used to train rookie police cadets in firearms safety in an urban setting. Many of these folks did not know which end of the bullet was supposed to point to the front and which way the magazine fit into the pistol. By the end of the course of training they could all pass the combat course. This is not their fault, its just something they were never exposed to and the best course of action was to start at the beginnning and presume they knew nothing. A review for some, and critical lifesaving information for others, but everyone learned.
Link Posted: 3/10/2002 6:25:29 PM EDT
yeah Huero, i have noticed some holes in the ceiling and elsewhere. i remember about 2 months ago i noticed on the floor next to me what appeared to be an expanded JHP round. that made me think a little.
Link Posted: 3/10/2002 6:27:02 PM EDT
I know how you feel, when people with less than adequate brains show up. At the public range where I shoot there is an excellent core of shooters there, everyone is professional and knows that their hobby can be deadly is abused.

I was shooting the other morning when a man and woman (about 30 years old) arrived and they were laughing, talking loud and every time he would shoot at the target, he would turn to her and scream "there goes his head, or eyeball" and etc. The range officer was getting nervous and so was I. Knowing the range officer, I stepped back from the line and waited until these goof balls left. He told me that they visit often and carry on like this each time. It is this kind of idiots that give us smart gun owners a bad name.

77Bronc
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