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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So my son (who is a bad influence on me) convinces me to buy an AR. Perhaps so that I quit eyeballing his. Now, this gun is a little snottier than what I usually shoot on my home range so I decide to not push the neighbors over the edge and go looking for a club with a good rifle range.

I do some reading here and find that a club just 5 minutes away has 100 and 200 yard capability. I go pay a visit one morning when some of the members are there shooting Trap. Club was convenient, range was OK, but the wheels came off the cart when one of these guys asks what kind of rifle I have. "Not one of them ARs, is it????" My affirmative answer was quickly followed by "we have round limits here, no more than 5 rounds in 5 minutes" and "we had some problems in the past". Suddenly the welcome mat had disappeared.

I wished them well and went on my way.

And decided to check out another club I had read about. The VP of this club is a member here - bear arms - and we PMed a couple times about his club. AR friendly? Oh heck, they are downright in love with them. They even hold tactical rifle matches!!!!

A forgetful dealer and a government agency that thought my name sounded familiar conspired to delay my receiving my new gun until just a couple of days ago. Says bear arms, "Bring it out and shoot the match with us." Well, I have some experience with competitive shooting and I wouldn't mind seeing what a tactical rifle match was all about but I'd kinda like to sight it in and get a little familiarity with it before diving in.

"No problem, come on out to the match and when we're finished I'll stick around and you can use the rifle range as my guest."

And at the end of a long match, well past lunch time, that is just what Ken did. Even helped me figure out which way to turn that odd front sight.

Ontario Rod and Gun Club gained a couple new members. And anyone living within driving distance who wants a nice place to bench a rifle or shoot a pistol and a good group of guys who put on fun matches would be well advised to check it out. Here's their web site........... Ontario Rod & Gun Club | A Great Place To Shoot
 

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tapper3: thanks for the great review! I'm a member there and also the web site manager and I'm very glad to hear you had a good time. I wasn't able to be at the tactical shoot today, but I just finished up scoring the match and have posted the scores on the site you linked to. I look forward to shooting "one of them ARs" with you. And with anyone else who likes a shooting experience that's more than bench shooting at paper targets (also a fun thing to do). We are also shooting steel targets with pistol calibers on Tuesday evenings, alongside our normal Tuesday evening trap shooting. To anyone interested, please check out the website: Ontario Rod & Gun Club | A Great Place To Shoot and come check us out!
 

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The first range you mentioned sounds similar (in attitude) to an Onondaga County range that a lot of forum members are familiar with. In one breath they condemn black rifles, and in another whine about why they're numbers are dropping.
 

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5rds in 5min... did you happen to ask how they managed not to break that rule with every double bird, or for that matter even get through a match in less than a couple hours?
(longer if more than two people are participating)

Just 'cause they grew up with flintlocks doesn't mean progress should halt. Hell, I look forward to my grandson getting his first plasma rifle or rail gun even if I'm too decrepite to use it.

Local club here is owned by trap/skeet folk, but they know the lights stay on and the throwing machines function only because of the ebr set, so welcome pretty much anyone that isn't a menace.
 

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The Pleasure was all mine! Glad to have anyone who likes too shoot anything. " Can't we all get along." IE Trap guy's and old timers. I think we can and do the best we can. We had a great turn out and a hoot of a time, best match this year. Thank's too all who came and support us. Keep your powder dry and your pecker wet.
 

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Wow, 1 second between rounds suddenly sounds not half bad.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
No, not Williamson. In fact, my son used to shoot with his AR's previous owner at Williamson. I've not heard Williamson was "unfriendly".

That being said, I am not upset at all that the first club seemed less than enthused - better I learn that before paying my dues. To be honest, were other considerations. I would be expected to pay full membership dues now and then again at the beginning of the year. The target backers are made of plywood and that is a pain in the butt to staple into. And they made a point of telling me that the "real money" came from Trap & Skeet shooting, not general membership dues, so that shooting took precedence over casual use of the rifle or pistol ranges. A lot of little things causing me to lean against it and the negative attitude toward the AR just tipped the scales.

Evild brings up a very good point. Rapid fire shooting, whether with rifle or pistol, is often frowned upon. (BTW, Evild, was that El Presidente or Vice Presidente? lol)

I've been a member of several clubs over the years and I understand the politics of gun clubs very well. Most clubs began as Trap & Skeet clubs with maybe a rifle/pistol range as an afterthought, mainly because they had the land to do it and a few members wanted it and were willing to make it happen. But back in those days a semi-auto rifle held 5 rounds, maybe 8 if it was a Garand. And a semi-auto pistol held 8 unless it was one of those Browning High Powers or something like that. The majority of the members never heard anything other than "pull - boom - boom" --- nice sedate, slow, gentlemanly shooting. A double tap was something you saw dancers do on the Ed Sullivan show.

Today you have guys mag dumping ARs and practicing Bill Drills with high cap .38 Supers that sound like ARs. And, to the guy over on the Trap field this sounds like uncontrolled firing. It sounds reckless. It sounds scary.

What are they scared of? They're scared of losing their club. Many of these guys have decades invested in their clubs, brought their kids there to shoot and "meet the fellas", and then their grandkids. Pot luck suppers with the wives now and then (not too often though). The guys who have 20-30 years invested in their club are scared to death that one stray projectile will result in a lawsuit that will be the end of it.

I get it. And no one should be surprised that this fear exists. With a range of generally 300 yards, shot from the shotgun sports can be contained on the property. A rifle or pistol round? Perhaps not. And all it takes is one.

Add in steel casings left behind, shot up targets left up for the wind to carry over onto the neighbor's property, ventilated pop cans on the range floor (you just know those rounds skipped somewhere), unbroken birds perched near the tops of backstops --- any number of petty things that just make everyone look bad and - yeah - sometimes some of the old timers cop an attitude. Sometimes shooters - ALL shooters, not just AR or pistol shooters - can be our own worst enemy.

I don't hate those folks for frowning. I understand where they are coming from and just moved on. Fortunately for me, I didn't have to search too long before finding a club that seems to not suffer from this. Incidentally, I've found that clubs that exhibit the greatest amount of fear, and consequently the greatest amount of "unfriendliness", are the ones that have not spent much money on physical barriers to "sky shots" or restrict unauthorized access or had NRA audits toward range safety. Perhaps they find it cheaper and easier to just discourage strangers with those "other" guns.

I really don't have any hard feelings. That was not the reason for my posting. Even if I had been welcomed with open arms I would have still come out behind on the deal, in hindsight. Ontario is 10 minutes from my son's place and the other would have been a long drive for him. I don't mind driving and I like the idea that this could become more his club than mine. And while both clubs offer nice pavilions, benches, and range depth Ontario has some super guys who are moving forward, making range improvements, making plans for more with an eye toward attracting members and match participants. That, alone, is worthy of support and the reason for my "shout out".
 

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Tapper3 ;

What an insightful post - I think you really nailed it.

FWIW, I think we are seeing Ontario shift a bit away from clays and more towards the practical rifle and pistol.
We are in a transition from a trap only mindset to being able to hold other events as well. We still shoot trap on tuesday nights and the ocasional ata shoot, but without all shooting discipline's we probably would not survive. Seems like most guy's today want a safe place to shoot rifle and pistol. Not much support for clays anymore, I believe that generation is getting older and dont recruit new talent so that tradition is thinning out fast.Most of the good trap guys left our club over stupid little things, that i wont get into. All I can say is if you want something done to improve the club you must get involed to change it, Not wine like babys and then never show up again. I still like to bust some clays but Nothing compares to practical shooting. What a rush, If you never done it, you are denying yourself great pleasure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
LMS - I hope it doesn't shift too far in the other direction. Wouldn't want to lose members from that group. Hell, I may even join 'em once in awhile, haven't shot trap in a long time. I pretty much suck at it but figure I can provide comic relief to those guys who are probably bored shooting 25 straight all the time. I wandered around the club house Saturday and looked at the trophies and whatnot. Looks like some pretty good shooters in that club.

The club shoots trap on Tuesday evenings (not sure of the times, check the website) and has started doing Steel Challenge type shooting at the same time. The idea being you can bring pistol & shotgun and play both games.

So I can miss moving targets with a shotgun and stationary targets with a pistol, all within a couple of hours. Is this a great country or what?
 

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We are in a transition from a trap only mindset to being able to hold other events as well. We still shoot trap on tuesday nights and the ocasional ata shoot, but without all shooting discipline's we probably would not survive. Seems like most guy's today want a safe place to shoot rifle and pistol. Not much support for clays anymore, I believe that generation is getting older and dont recruit new talent so that tradition is thinning out fast.Most of the good trap guys left our club over stupid little things, that i wont get into. All I can say is if you want something done to improve the club you must get involed to change it, Not wine like babys and then never show up again. I still like to bust some clays but Nothing compares to practical shooting. What a rush, If you never done it, you are denying yourself great pleasure.
Yep - hope you didn't think I was disagreeing with the direction or anything. I think it makes sense for you guys, and you are filling a niche nicely. And, being an avid trapshooter myself, I know all the folks you're talking about that have left to head down the street. I know Lee McM from work and we talk about this every once in a while. Sounds like you folks are doing a good job re-inventing your club. Sooner or later I'll be over there to try it out....
 

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I hear what the older guys are saying... they don't want one knucklehead screwing it up for everyone. I get that - but the clubs also need to evolve with the times if they want to attract and retain younger members.

AR's are all the rage these days and handgun ownership is on the rise. There's a younger generation of shooters out there who want to be able to use their firearms in a manner for which they were designed. Hard to practice shooting a compact semi-auto for defensive purposes when you're limited to a 12x12" target 50' away.

My club - no AR's, no rifles, no shotguns, no carbines, and no magnum loads. The range is 50' indoors, 25 and 50 yards outdoors (and targets can only be at those spots). .17HMR and .22LR rifles are the only long guns permitted. So options are limited (and their reasoning is understandable). But - it's close to home and the indoor range is heated.

I usually shoot later in the evening and for a club with ~450 members, I find I'm usually the only person there... but I guess the daytime leagues and whatnot are more of the club's focus. And that's fine. I pay my dues, respect the rules, clean up my mess and leave the place cleaner than I found it. Just don't have the time to devote to club events and politics with an unpredictable work schedule and young kids. So accordingly I am not in a place to tell the board how I think things should be run either... and I can respect that.
 

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One way to look at it is that there is no ideal club for everything. I am a member at 3 clubs, they all have different "personalities". I use them for different purposes and I try not to get caught up in the cliques and politics - it's all about the shooting.
 
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