8

Sometimes people move to a new area or go hunting far from home. What standard methods and techniques should a person use to find out where they can shoot or sight in firearms?


I'm looking for things to try if a basic web search fails to turn up something that fits your criteria for whatever reason. Answers involving specific web resources are acceptable, but I'm looking for more than lmgtfy.com style answers.

  • So, I don't shoot, but can you explain why Google doesn't work? – Azor Ahai Apr 12 '18 at 18:56
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    @AzorAhai search engines can be a viable method. Maybe my google-fu is weak but when I search I tend to find results for indoor ranges. It is harder for me to find outdoor ranges that are free or low cost. Furthermore not all cities/regions have informal but recognized places to shoot posted online. – Erik Apr 12 '18 at 19:01
  • Oh I see. Maybe you should add that to the question - it doesn't say you're looking for outdoor or free/low cost ranges. Unless you can only "sight in" outdoors (I confess I have no idea). – Azor Ahai Apr 12 '18 at 19:03
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    @AzorAhai you can sight in indoors or outdoors. I didn't add the stuff about outdoor ranges to the question since I wanted to keep the question as general as possible. I also assumed that a basic web search would be the first step anyone would take. I'll add something to my question. – Erik Apr 12 '18 at 19:10
  • @Erik - I've found ranges using Yelp when traveling to the Carolinas. Google / Yelp listed many here in the NY metro area. If you're having trouble look for sporting stores and then call and ask the people at the stores. – Mayo Apr 12 '18 at 19:59
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Often times it makes sense to ask the locals by asking at gun shops or outdoor gear shops like for example Sportsman's Warehouse or Cabela's.

The other good resource would be the managers of public land in the area, sometimes the BLM or Forest service will have designated areas and sometimes areas will be closed to shooting during certain times of the year.

I have also seen in Nevada where towns will have a designated free public shooting range.

What you are basically looking for is a place with,

  • Good backstop to keep the bullets from going way past the target
  • Out of the wind to make it easier to sight in .
  • Decently flat
  • Not in an area where people/animals are likely to wander between you and the target.
4

You could visit your local police department and ask if they can recommend a public range. This is somewhat more likely to get you a range that caters to handguns than rifles, but it's worth a try.

2

Often, public versions of these ranges are also operated/regulated by the same agency that regulates hunting/fishing/game harvest in the area. When I moved from Alaska to Michigan, I found that while Michigan only has a few public shooting ranges operated by the state (5 perhaps?, and none in my area), they do provide a listing of private shooting ranges in state on the DNR's (Department of Natural Resources) website.

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    I got a bit lost reading your answer. It seems like you're saying a good resource is the Department of Natural Resources website for the state you're in. Is that correct? – Erik Apr 12 '18 at 15:51
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    Indeed. I was trying to make it a bit generic possibly for folks not in the US. – Deleted User Apr 12 '18 at 15:56
  • You should note that DNR is hardly a standard name for such government entities. Each state makes up names for their departments separately. Describing the purpose of such a agency is legitimate, but making is sound like they all have the same name is misleading at best. Here in MA, for example, there are several state agencies you would want to check with. The Division of Fish and Wildlife regulates hunting, and has some lands for that, but the Department of Conservation and Recreation manages most of the public hunting land. There is no "DNR". – Olin Lathrop Apr 13 '18 at 11:46

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