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Posted: 2/28/2006 5:21:17 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/28/2006 5:29:10 PM EDT by pimpforalivin]
I've been looking around on the NRA site for NY ranges, and really only came up with Blue Mt. Sportsman's Center as a nearby public range. Anyone know of any others? It seems the majority are private ranges at the moment...just trying to get a list of possibilities, but will eventually try to join a club in the area.

I'm in the Newburgh area, and wouldn't mind driving an hour or two for a good range.

EDIT: forgot to mention it'd be a rifle range I'm looking for
Link Posted: 2/28/2006 7:21:16 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/28/2006 7:24:11 PM EDT by whisky19]
If you're in Newburgh the closest range other than Blue Mtn might be Wooster Mtn in Danbury, CT. Straight shot out on 84 East. Never been there but I hear that it's pretty good. You might try asking on the CT board.

Actually, come to think of it, you could try the Davis indoor range in Goshen or Florida. That would be 84 East to the quickway, then south. Don't have the exact address. They are expensive for rifles....$22/hr!

No other rifle ranges close by that I can think of...public ones at least.

Just saw you are willing to drive 2 hrs. There is another range in CT that I have heard about called High Rock. That one is supposed to be very EBR friendly. It's somewhere near Waterbury I think. I know JBravo223 has been there.



Whisky19
Link Posted: 3/1/2006 2:35:45 AM EDT
If you are looking for a place to shoot nearby the Walden Sportsmans Club (on Rte. 52 between Walden and Pine Bush) is having a membership drive at the moment. Dues are very reasonable at $100 per year (initiation fee is $150 when you join). They offer wobble trap, walk up archery course and a 150 yard range with indoor firing positions. If interested IM or email me and I will fill you in.
Link Posted: 3/1/2006 2:56:41 AM EDT
I find Blue Mountain to be terrible. Don't waste your time there. Unless you plan on sighting in a bolt action rifle with a scope (loading 1 bullet at a time), you probably won't have a good time. They're very strict.

Their skeet/trap range is a mess too. Badly marked stations, only a couple good pullers, they don't keep score most of the time and you have to clean up your own shells.

And the pistol range has been closed for a *long* time. Its supposed to reopen but I haven't gone back. Not worth it.

Just my 2 cents.
Link Posted: 3/1/2006 4:57:10 AM EDT

Originally Posted By whisky19:
If you're in Newburgh the closest range other than Blue Mtn might be Wooster Mtn in Danbury, CT. Straight shot out on 84 East. Never been there but I hear that it's pretty good. You might try asking on the CT board.

Actually, come to think of it, you could try the Davis indoor range in Goshen or Florida. That would be 84 East to the quickway, then south. Don't have the exact address. They are expensive for rifles....$22/hr!

No other rifle ranges close by that I can think of...public ones at least.

Just saw you are willing to drive 2 hrs. There is another range in CT that I have heard about called High Rock. That one is supposed to be very EBR friendly. It's somewhere near Waterbury I think. I know JBravo223 has been there.

Whisky19hr


Hmm...didn't even think of CT. Although I'll have to leave the AK at home since, after some research, CT doesn't like 7.62x39mm
Link Posted: 3/1/2006 6:02:05 AM EDT
Busman, IM sent. I'm interested in your club.
Link Posted: 3/1/2006 8:04:27 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/1/2006 9:11:14 AM EDT by rkbar15]
Looks like a great club. I wish it was closer to me though.

Walden Sportsmen's Club
Link Posted: 3/1/2006 10:14:35 AM EDT
Thanks for the link! If anyone has any questions regarding the Club I will be happy to answer them.

IM reply sent to Maddog_Enigma.
Link Posted: 3/1/2006 10:24:54 AM EDT
Bushman:

How far is it from the Tappan Zee Bridge?

How far is it from the Newburgh-Beacon Bridge?
Link Posted: 3/1/2006 10:35:14 AM EDT
We're also accepting members at my club, The New Paltz Rod & Gun Club, obviously, in New Paltz. 100 yard outdoor rifle, 25 yard semi-indoor pistol/smallbore, 3 trap fields. Please feel free to contact me with any questions.

Bushman, I've also added a link to your club from our links section. I've tried to find all the local club websites, but hadn't come across yours yet.

Mike
Link Posted: 3/1/2006 11:36:01 AM EDT

Originally Posted By rkbar15:
Bushman:

How far is it from the Tappan Zee Bridge?

How far is it from the Newburgh-Beacon Bridge?



Depending on route and traffic conditions it is about an hour from the TZ and about 20 minutes from the Newburgh Beacon.

I have shot at the New Paltz club in the past - they are a good bunch too
Link Posted: 3/2/2006 6:14:47 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/2/2006 6:15:28 AM EDT by ml2150]
I'm a complete noob at stuff like this. If the questions and or answers are too sensitive for response on forum, a PM would be appreciated.

1. What is the purpose of the "initiation" fee? Is this to offset cost? Why not just charge ONE FEE? How long does it take to check someone's NRA membership, go over the rules, etc? 15 minutes? Scottsdale in AZ has it down to about 7 minutes, which includes watching the video.
2. Why is there a requirement to serve "X" many hours in addition to membership fees. Is that to offset operating costs, or is that a remnant of how Lodges were structured?
3. What's up with the meetings? I consider my very loose housing association where I live to me of far greater impact on me than a range, and we can get by with an annual meeting, quaterly meetings for the board of directors, a website with login, and email blasts if stuff pops up.

I understand the need to stay pro-active with our 2nd Amendment / gun rights, but I find so many of these places a something of a turn off. My (puny! ) 50ft range in Mt. Vernon, NY charges somewhere like $140-180/yr, you get a "wave" card, you clean up after yourself, etc etc.

Now I live in Dutchess, smack dab between Walden (28 miles, 34 min) and Wooster Mtn (31 miles, 35 min).

Yes, I know that one obvious answer is to FIND SOMEWHERE ELSE, but there are like minded folk like myself who just want a place to shoot, accessible, clean, cost not necessarily a great big factor, without feeling like we've joined some sect or the other.

If we want to get more people shooting, we have to make our ranges accessible, "friendly", and definately contemporary / 22nd century. A lot of folk just want to see/hear the rules, be shown where the restrooms are (!), know how to contact range personnel in case of a snafu, etc etc.

Having said all of that mouthful, I am a NRA member, and an NRA instructor in Pistol, Rifle, Shotgun, PPH and Home Firearm Safety as well as RSO.


/ml/Drew
Link Posted: 3/2/2006 7:20:22 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/2/2006 7:59:58 AM EDT by maddog_enigma]
ml2150 my brother you hit the nail on the head with that post.

I've been shopping around for a place to shoot rifles and turned off by all the same aspects you describe. There are three clubs within 15 minutes of my house are on the order of $500 to join plus yearly dues, plus work hours and you're expected to go to meetings, sell raffle tickets, etc.

I need a place to go a few times a year and be done with it. My work schedule (and family obligations) prevent me from attending regular meetings etc. I'm also unsure of the reason for "work hours" at the clubs.

Even the club bushman is having a drive at would require an orientation and another meeting, neither of which I could attend due to work. And each visit there requires an hour of travel time to and from, which isn't bad until you realize they want 20 work hours out of you also. I just want a place to shoot a few times a year!

I had a good lead on a place that seemed to fit the bill for me but that seems to have fallen through (celticfozzie are you still out there?)

I'm still searching. Can anyone here put together a group purchase of a little land or something?

Link Posted: 3/2/2006 8:29:52 AM EDT
The bottom line is that it takes time and/or money to run a club. You have to maintain the facilities, pay the taxes and insurance, etc. If the club members don't do the work to maintan the facilities then you have to pay someone to do it thereby requiring an increase in the dues. Unfortunately you cannot have it both ways with cheap dues and no work hours. If someone wants to do no work hours at the Walden club you would be assessed $200 (bringing the total dues to $300 per year). Still a pretty good deal when you consider what commercial ranges charge per hour.
Link Posted: 3/2/2006 8:35:49 AM EDT
Bushy, I understand that totally, and to a certain extent would have no problem with it. $300 / yr sounds fair to have a place to shoot whenever I felt like it.

But what about our other concerns, the meetings and whatever else? Time is money too!
Link Posted: 3/2/2006 8:41:13 AM EDT
These private gun clubs are extremely selective in approving new members. They purposely make it difficult to join in order to get dedicated members who want to improve and support the club.
Link Posted: 3/2/2006 8:44:21 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/2/2006 8:45:54 AM EDT by maddog_enigma]

Originally Posted By rkbar15:
These private gun clubs are extremely selective in approving new members. They purposely make it difficult to join in order to get dedicated members who want to improve and support the club.



I can't believe nobody is willing to take a few bucks and be done with it, though!
Link Posted: 3/2/2006 9:52:11 AM EDT
The high initiation fees are also designed to keep a certain undesirable element from applying for membership too.
Link Posted: 3/2/2006 10:34:37 AM EDT

Originally Posted By rkbar15:
These private gun clubs are extremely selective in approving new members. They purposely make it difficult to join in order to get dedicated members who want to improve and support the club.



It's not working. In all honesty name five clubs / ranges that has seen tremendous improvement in the past 2-4 years that uses this approach. In addition, creating artifical barriers to joining hurts on two fronts - 1. Revenue & 2. Creating a wider pool of shooters and hopefully, 2nd A supporters.
That degree of "selectivity" is one of the reasons why enrollment is so low. I refuse to join any range that requires any type of initiation. We're not in the 1960's anymore.

I've been a guest at a few clubs with this mindset. In comparison to any generic fitness club, these places leave smuch to be desired.

A better approach would be to take a look at what the magic number (members, guests, actual $$$) is needed to keep the club economically viable, and (no pun here), shoot for that number. Gun clubs / ranges need to be run more like a BUSINESS and less like a lodge. I shudder when I think that these clubs and ranges are 2nd in line (behind the NRA and likewise organizations) responsible for attracting new shooters.

It is universally acknowledged that our "cause" is stagnated, if not doomed unless we can recruit new shooters - especially women and kids, and keep them interested in shooting. Outside of Coyne Park in Yonkers, and the public range at Nassau County, I cannot think of any other range in NY where I would take my wife, and she would be comfortable. In all fairness, I haven't been to a whole slew of ranges, but the 6 or so that I've been to in NY were a little grungy.

The fact that these places are requesting members serve so many hours is an indication that their business plans are awry and in need of re-eingineering. I will also concede that NYS guns laws make it particularly repressive for ranges to operate. As the non CCW NY resident is unable to shoot a handgun, and the ranges are unable to rent handguns, a significant portion of the "revenue stream" is unavailable to ranges.

I travel (reluctantly!) extensively. NY indoor ranges cannot compare to ranges I have seen in most places where gun laws are more ... normal. Easily 6/10 of the places I've been have a range, gunsmith, rentals & gunshop. One or two more have training areas etc.

It is my opinion that our Pro 2nd A organizations should direct more energies at changing the laws that we have - even if it means other things are more restrictive. It would be better for ALL OF US, if licensing was done at the state level (NYC is another beast), and we gained unrestricted carry, the right for non licensee's to shoot under supervision / at a range with out a permit...and in the process give up the "good until revoked" status.

That will never happen. The majority of NY gun owners are myopic, and while many may be astute business persons otherwise, allow themselves to be served their asses on platters,

There is strength in numbers, and support thru education. Ranges should make the point of entry so low that they have to turn back people. Not the other way around.

rant off.

/ml/Drew
Link Posted: 3/2/2006 10:38:00 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/2/2006 10:39:05 AM EDT by ml2150]

Originally Posted By rkbar15:
The high initiation fees are also designed to keep a certain undesirable element from applying for membership too.



Like who? Klansmen? Negroes? Illegal aliens? People who may have terrorist intent against the USA? Gun grabbing folk? Cuz "undesirables" can have money, and lot's of it too. The only people that really *don't* have money are POOR PEOPLE.

In NY you need a permit to shoot a handgun, and you need to pass a background check to buy a rifle from a FFL. If someone wants to join your club to shoot pistol, check the permit.

If they want to shoot rifle, run a background check on them during the registration process.

If you want to him me a PM, or respond here, I'd appreciate it. I can't connect the dots.

/ml/Drew

Link Posted: 3/2/2006 10:50:28 AM EDT
I can't speak for other clubs, but we charge $100 a year dues, and $100 initiation, we also require 20 work hours or $10 per hour not worked, but meetings count for an hour.

Considering you get access to a rifle range, a pistol range, trap fields, archery field, and the Wallkill river, I consider that a huge bargain.

There is a ton of expense with running a club, you have thousands of dollars in taxes, you have insurance, utility bills, it adds up very quickly. There is also a ton of work to do, mowing, plowing, painting, maintenance of range equipment, the list goes on.

As far as meetings go, you have to remember that most local gun clubs aren't just a range. They are social club. Maybe that's not what you want, but part of what makes it a club is the community that develops between the members. Sure, we have people that never come to meetings, never do their work hours, and all we get is a check from them every year. That's fine to some extent, but if too many of your members are like that, your dues will either go through the roof or your club will die. The community is what makes people care about the club and do the work to keep it maintained and alive. You don't have a paid staff like you would at a commercial range, you have to count on club members to do the work, and run the programs.

As far as "purposely making it dificult to join", that's just not true. If you show up at a club meeting of ours, are an NRA member, meet the residency requirements, and write us a check, you'll be able to join. We welcome new members at every meeting.

Ok, I'm just ranting now, so I'll stop.

Mike

Link Posted: 3/2/2006 11:05:45 AM EDT
These private clubs usually own or have access to private hunting/fishing areas in upstate NY. They screen potential new members very carefully for the specific type of member they want. Some of them require a sponsorship from a current member before they even allow you to apply for membership. In addition you usually have to serve a one year probation period before they vote on whether to accept you as a full member.

They are no different then many private golf clubs and other private organizations. Some of them have waiting lists as well. Their attitude is if you don't like it go join another club or start your own.
Link Posted: 3/2/2006 11:06:54 AM EDT

Originally Posted By mchasal:
I can't speak for other clubs, but we charge $100 a year dues, and $100 initiation, we also require 20 work hours or $10 per hour not worked, but meetings count for an hour.

Considering you get access to a rifle range, a pistol range, trap fields, archery field, and the Wallkill river, I consider that a huge bargain.

There is a ton of expense with running a club, you have thousands of dollars in taxes, you have insurance, utility bills, it adds up very quickly. There is also a ton of work to do, mowing, plowing, painting, maintenance of range equipment, the list goes on.

As far as meetings go, you have to remember that most local gun clubs aren't just a range. They are social club. Maybe that's not what you want, but part of what makes it a club is the community that develops between the members. Sure, we have people that never come to meetings, never do their work hours, and all we get is a check from them every year. That's fine to some extent, but if too many of your members are like that, your dues will either go through the roof or your club will die. The community is what makes people care about the club and do the work to keep it maintained and alive. You don't have a paid staff like you would at a commercial range, you have to count on club members to do the work, and run the programs.

As far as "purposely making it dificult to join", that's just not true. If you show up at a club meeting of ours, are an NRA member, meet the residency requirements, and write us a check, you'll be able to join. We welcome new members at every meeting.

Ok, I'm just ranting now, so I'll stop.

Mike




Thanks for your input Mike, no rant detected here.
Has your club crunched #'s to see what kind of traffic it needs to be self sustaining with just straight membership?

Also, how much do your operating expenses increase if you double, triple, halve that number?

/ml
Link Posted: 3/2/2006 11:14:24 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/2/2006 11:15:03 AM EDT by ml2150]

Originally Posted By rkbar15:


They are no different then many private golf clubs and other private organizations. Some of them have waiting lists as well. Their attitude is if you don't like it go join another club or start your own.



Then they are shooting themselves in the foot. Both feet, and the lungs and the head, and the buttocks.

There is always a huge wait list to use any of the public golf ranges in Westchester County. You simply cannot make a realistic comparison between gun ranges and sports clubs in this manner.

There is no public stigma associated with playing golf (as there is with shooting). In fact, the exact opposite is true. Memberships to golf clubs are some of the most sought after, sometimes costing up to $7500 / yr.

If we exclude those clubs that have prime hunting lands; what is your opinion on the current state of ranges in NY, where the bulk require initiation, meetings etc?

For the record, I am passionate about shooting, I have instructed (and certified) a few on my own dime, as well as bought supplies for my range and helped keep the place up. Just don't mandate that as a condition of membership.

/ml/Drew
Link Posted: 3/2/2006 11:50:31 AM EDT

Originally Posted By ml2150:

Thanks for your input Mike, no rant detected here.
Has your club crunched #'s to see what kind of traffic it needs to be self sustaining with just straight membership?

Also, how much do your operating expenses increase if you double, triple, halve that number?

/ml



I'm not aware of anyone doing any real work to figure that kind of stuff out. We essentially have what you refer to as "straight membership" now at $300 a year. So if you didn't come to meetings or do work, that would be the bill. As I think I alluded to, I think we would be in trouble if all the members did that. If we had to pay people to do the work needed around the club, dues would probably have to go up considerably.

I think the bigger problem, at least in our area, is that there just aren't that many people around that are interested in shooting anymore. People are moving north from the more urban areas and that tends to reduce the number of shooters. Besides that, hunting land is drying up as more housing developments get built to accomodate the higher and more affluent population. We have something less than 100 members now and it's a real struggle to get more people to come join.

I do see your point that running it as a more commercial enterprise may be a way to help increase revenue, but it's just not in our club's charter. We were specifically founded to be more than just a range, and a lot of people like it that way, so it would be difficult to change. Of course, when you get to the "change or die" point, something has to happen, but, thankfully, we aren't there.

Mike
Link Posted: 3/2/2006 12:39:22 PM EDT
Mike which club are you refering to?
Link Posted: 3/2/2006 12:42:08 PM EDT
Mike,

IM inbound on The New Paltz Rod & Gun Club.

-Peter
Link Posted: 3/2/2006 12:49:30 PM EDT
By "undesirable element" I'm talking about young Rambo types that you see at some public ranges. Like Mchasal said most of these private clubs are as much social clubs as they are gun clubs.
Link Posted: 3/2/2006 12:54:40 PM EDT

Originally Posted By maddog_enigma:
Bushy, I understand that totally, and to a certain extent would have no problem with it. $300 / yr sounds fair to have a place to shoot whenever I felt like it.

But what about our other concerns, the meetings and whatever else? Time is money too!



If you are willing to spend $300 per year you don't have to go to any meetings or do any work hours and you still get full use of the facilities. Some clubs require you to put in work hours and will not allow you to buy the hours - Walden is not one of those clubs.

I belong to another hunting club (with a pheasant preserve) that owns 200 acres of property. The membership is closed at 60 members but when opennings occur people are willing to pay $2000 for initiation fees and $500 a year for dues and you must still put in 8 work hours - you see everything is relative.
Link Posted: 3/2/2006 1:10:46 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/2/2006 1:11:50 PM EDT by ml2150]

Originally Posted By mchasal:
...We have something less than 100 members now and it's a real struggle to get more people to come join.

...
Mike



$300 yr @ 100 members nets $30k/yr. I would hazard a guess that your club needs $75-110k/yr in real funds to survive. You could do $250 yr with 500 members to break even, and even then, the overhead of managing the influx of those 400 additional members would cost you an additional $1500 just to process them and get them in the system, plus an additonal $$$$$ for the upkeep of the lanes + berm, assuming that on average each new shooter shoots 1000 pistol rounds & 600 rifle rounds per year.

The typical outdoor range has one big thing in it's favor - space. If your range is selling ammo + and targets, you could realize enough of a return to not only over the cost of the person behind the counter but to also contribute to holding down the bottom line.

I would hazard a guess that the typical outdoor range that does not have space for hunting, and does not have an underlying mortgage on the property needs to gross $180-$240k a year to remain solvent without endowements, grants or other subsidies.

At $240 a pop, that's still 1000 members. If 200 members buy on average 400 rds of 9mm per year, that's 1600 boxes per year approximately $1.50 per box for $2400 dollars, or 1% of annual gross.


Clubs (more specifically, ranges) have to find a way to get more people in those lanes shooting.

----------------------------------

Rkbar,

I would think the presence of "rambo" types would be less pronounced in NY. I've seen a simple rule at one range.: Act the fool, lose your membership, no refunds.

/ml/Drew
Link Posted: 3/23/2006 3:33:05 PM EDT
Sorry to bring this thread back, but ....

pimpinforalivin, you sent me an IM a while ago, but you have both IM and emailing disabled through the site, so I have no way to reply to you. Please turn one of those features on, or IM me your email address so I can respond.

Thanks,

Mike
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