Anyone use Hopkinton Sportsmen's Club?

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Was just wondering if anyone is a member here and if its worth it? It's close to where I work so it seemed convenient but after looking into it, its a far cry from the $75 per year I pay for my local club and it seems like a double secret handshake plus a reach around is required to join. If its a nice setup and its worth it, thats what Im looking to know. as ive never been there. These are the requirements.
$100 initiation
$180 annual dues.
Proof of membership in NRA, GOAL, or NFFA
Sponsoring member of at least one year
Written and field test for indoor range use.
Written and field test for 200 yard range.

Any input would be great. Thanks.
 
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Yes it is worth it and there's an emphasis by the board on quality of membership. No secrets or reach arounds, just a matter of getting someone to sponsor you.
 

Rob Boudrie

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The club's attitude is simple:
  • The club does not particularly owe anything to someone who is not a member. They are not hurting for members and can now afford an emphasis on quality rather than just meeting numbers.
  • Once you are a member, providing the mostest and bestest access to facilities is a top priority and the club does owe you something.
The $180 is reduced to $130 if you put in your annual work hours (I think it is 6 hours). Although not mentioned on the page there is a $5 annual charge for the card key (to make maintaining the system self-funding).

The things I like:
  • Decent ranges with 6 separate pistol bays
  • Rifle range to 200 yards
  • Total lack of infighting for resources between shooting disciplines
  • No fudd zone. Nobody looks funny at you if you holster a gun or put rounds on target quickly (emphasis, on target)
  • Self service ranges, no dedicated ROs. If you are using the range, you share in that responsibility.
  • Best clubhouse shitters in all of Massachusetts (I think....they had better be for what they cost)
  • The Major holding court on the outdoor range in the summer. If you see an old guy with a pipe and old rifles, introduce yourself and be prepared to learn something you never needed to know but will find interesting and worth your time
  • Financially stable and responsible. Continuing to invest in club improvements too numerous to list here. The club facilities are getting better with time, not decaying each year (that has not always been the case though)
  • The club is not arbitrarily (or non-arbitrarily) membership capped or waitlisted. Some of the hardest working members joined within the past few years.
  • Clubhouse and rifle/pistol range WiFi for members. None of this "that's for the directors" crap (there was a thread about this at another club). Very convenient for eFA10s.
  • USPSA program on par with Harvard's quality wise.
 
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The club's attitude is simple:
  • The club does not particularly owe anything to someone who is not a member. They are not hurting for members and can now afford an emphasis on quality rather than just meeting numbers.
  • Once you are a member, providing the mostest and bestest access to facilities is a top priority and the club does owe you something.
The $180 is reduced to $130 if you put in your annual work hours (I think it is 6 hours). Although not mentioned on the page there is a $5 annual charge for the card key (to make maintaining the system self-funding).

The things I like:
  • Decent ranges with 6 separate pistol bays
  • Rifle range to 200 yards
  • Total lack of infighting for resources between shooting disciplines
  • No fudd zone. Nobody looks funny at you if you holster a gun or put rounds on target quickly (emphasis, on target)
  • Self service ranges, no dedicated ROs. If you are using the range, you share in that responsibility.
  • Best clubhouse shitters in all of Massachusetts (I think....they had better be for what they cost)
  • The Major holding court on the outdoor range in the summer. If you see an old guy with a pipe and old rifles, introduce yourself and be prepared to learn something you never needed to know but will find interesting and worth your time
  • Financially stable and responsible. Continuing to invest in club improvements too numerous to list here. The club facilities are getting better with time, not decaying each year (that has not always been the case though)
  • The club is not arbitrarily (or non-arbitrarily) membership capped or waitlisted. Some of the hardest working members joined within the past few years.
  • Clubhouse and rifle/pistol range WiFi for members. None of this "that's for the directors" crap (there was a thread about this at another club). Very convenient for eFA10s.
  • USPSA program on par with Harvard's quality wise.
If I were looking for a second range, or lived closer, this would be top of my list.
 
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  • The Major holding court on the outdoor range in the summer. If you see an old guy with a pipe and old rifles, introduce yourself and be prepared to learn something you never needed to know but will find interesting and worth your time

This is 100% true. I now have slightly above average knowledge of 19th century infantry tactics and how to make subsonic "gallery loads" for a K31 Swiss. ;)
 

Tinkermatic

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Totally Worth it. I drive over 40 minutes each way to get there. Easier to get in than Harvard (thank you to my sponsor, you know who you are) rarely is there ever many people there though I tend to frequent weekday mornings.
Toilets are top notch! (When the clubhouse is open) people always wave, everyone is super nice and I’ve only encountered 1 FUDD in over a year. Also, rapid fire is ok, though I’ve heard grumblings?
I looked at Taunton, Harvard, and Hopkinton and settled on Hopkinton. I still have yet to scratch the surface of the 200 yd. lanes, indoor range, and I’d love to try my hand at some trap, so long as people don’t make fun of my Mossberg 590 with ghost rings (it’s all I got people).
 
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Yes, it is worth it. I was a member for 28 years until I moved down south in 2015. While the cost/requirements you listed might seem expensive and excessive, the aim is to have a membership of responsible, safe shooters. For reference, my new club has a $500 initiation fee, $240 annual dues, a six month minimum probationary period, required a general written safety test and demonstration of knowledge of the club rules, field tests for rifle and pistol (and shotgun), for rifles, a mentor was assigned to you to help/guide and verify your safe handling of your rifle and, when you were ready, administer the field test.

As if that wasn't enough, you had to get a min. of 4 full members to observe you shooting your rifle and sign a card to indicate they had done so and felt you were a safe shooter, you had to shadow a range officer for a min. 6 hours, and all semi-auto rifles had to be checked for safe function (no doubling or going auto). When all this was completed, you were considered a full member. And yes, it was worth it to me, it is a great club!
 

tcarter01

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Where I need to be...
Went to become a member once a few years back...Did not follow though..Just didn't feel it. Mind you Its got great infrastructure and solid management...But to quote one the greats..

"No one goes there nowadays, it’s too crowded." (yogi b)

Truth is not so crowded that much actually,... nice guys there and everyone I met with and spoke too were great....but for some reason everyone wants to get in so as Rob B mentioned in his own personal response up top

The club's attitude is simple:
  • The club does not particularly owe anything to someone who is not a member. They are not hurting for members and can now afford an emphasis on quality rather than just meeting numbers.
I pay deference to that since I "believe" he is one the Big Kahuna's there...

So guess they are very selective and are what might be considered in some places...looking for specific members...I did pick up a whiff of "elite member syndrome" my few times there....But maybe that is just in how I read that post....

Maybe I am reading it wrong... Who knows...

Found a great club nonetheless and wish HSA the best.
 

Rob Boudrie

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I pay deference to that since I "believe" he is one the Big Kahuna's there...
I hold absolutely no official position with the club, and am not an officer or board member.

I've been a member there since 87 and am one of their "special projects" people. There a handful of members who take care of various specialized activities for the club. My area is the card key system, cameras, wifi and range gates (anything 24v or less). We have another member who takes care of the solar power on the ranges and others for special projects like weed control.

My comments were my impression of the club's attitude. I do know the club decided not to have a recruiting table at the Marlborough show because the leadership did not feel a need to beat the bushes for new prospects. I am absolutely certain of the second part "for the members". That goal has always been right up there with not getting sued, going broke, or being indicted. The club is at the point where you will nearly always find people on the ranges on weekends; will very frequently find them on weekdays; but will rarely not be able to get a pistol bay or rifle range position for yourself.

If by "elite member" you mean someone who will actually shoot, have fun, and contribute to the welfare of the club you are right. If you refer to being in some sort of clique, you are wrong because most members have only one point of contact (the sponsor) at the time they join.
 
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Does this make you a full patch member?

Laugh if you must, Rob, but yes, it does! You have to keep in mind that the New England States have hundreds of clubs, so it's easy to be picky when it comes to choosing one to join, most other States they are few and far between. Despite the pain in the butt requirements and the cost, I feel fortunate to live about 30 minutes from my club which has great facilities and have met many great folks there.
 

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Hopkinton is a nice club and if you’re near, it deserves a visit when things get back to normal. Is it perfect? And are all members non-fund or as welcoming as cheers was to Norm? No, but I doubt anywhere is unless it’s your own private club.

What are you looking for in a new club? What do you like about your current club and what don’t you like?
 

Rob Boudrie

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Hopkinton is a nice club and if you’re near, it deserves a visit when things get back to normal. Is it perfect? And are all members non-fund or as welcoming as cheers was to Norm? No, but I doubt anywhere is unless it’s your own private club.
Assuming you meant fudd. All members? Probably not. All board members? Last I checked, yes.
 

LuvDog

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darn auto correct. I agree.. from the board members I’ve met, they are great and truly are dedicated to keeping/making the club better.
 

upcountry

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Old time sour grapes response.....
I was a member there in the early-mid '80's and a volunteer on range instructor for the clubs NRA pistol training class. We did a few classes a year as they included live fire every night as well as classroom for about 5 weeks. We had problems during classroom in the hall due to noise from the bar. When one of our instructors went to the bar to mention it a board member (not entirely sober) told him "We don't need you". So we took the program to another club that did very well by us for years.
I'm sure that things may have changed. Don't know if they still do classes like the NRA Basic Pistol or if the bar is still a big money maker or if the club still participates in the bullseye pistol league (the bar was open during match nights). Time passes.
Rob B is still active there and I'm sure he can set me straight as to how things are now, but that was our experience back then. I'm hoping to be corrected and updated by Rob.
Aside from that, it was a good club--good ranges and 24/7 access to the indoor range.
 

LittleCalm

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It's a great range. Agree with what Rob said on all counts. All shooting is good -- outdoor pistol and carbine bays, rifle range, shotgun range, indoor range (which I have never used in 10 years!). No elitism that I've ever seen. If you are pressed for time, try to avoid the Major! (assuming he's the old WWII-looking gentleman who I've talked to on the rifle range).
 

Rob Boudrie

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I'm sure that things may have changed.
A lot has changed since the 80's:
  • You won't get yelled at for rapid fire if you are hitting the target
  • The indoor range is no longer lead only 1000fps max. We did actual testing to determine it could handle FMJ at 1340fps (38Super out of a competition handgun) and found the conclusion that such ammo would damage the backstop was just an erroneous assumption.
  • The max 5 rounds loaded rule (or was it 6? I'm not sure if I am feeling lucky today remembering the exact number) gone. That died on the current president's dining room table (literally)
  • The club no longer has a liquor license. The former bar from the 80's was relocated into a bigger bar but drinks are no longer served.
  • New shitters; new septic tank; new AC; new roof; well and water system upgrade to modern standard; new furnaces (oil->gas); new windows; 200 yard positions added to rifle range; 6 pistol ranges added; parking lot paved; modern CAN (Club Area Network) -public wifi at clubhouse, rifle and pistol ranges.
  • New front door and exterior door to rear stairwell.
  • Sheltered positions for 3 of the pistol ranges (no room to add them on the 3 short ranges - it would block a road we need to keep open for heavy equipment and vehicles)
  • Downrange warning lights on rifle range
  • Indoor pistol range ceiling finished - no more hanging fiberglass batting
  • The pistol course is still offered but I think it is on a full day weekend schedule. Different instructor running the show (really good guy)
  • Nice shed for archery. We got a good one :). Nuff said.
  • Automated gate system and modern cardkey system that does not lock users out after any power glitch (we used to need to send someone to the clubhouse to hit the reset button whenever this happened)
  • Trap and skeet machines replaced with ones that actually work
  • New steel building and conex boxes for pistol range support
  • Interior clubhouse lights replaced with LEDs
assuming he's the old WWII-looking gentleman who I've talked to on the rifle range
s/WWII/Korea/g and we only have one of him. He winters in Hawaii and only holds court at Hopkinton in the warmer months and is highly respected by the club leadership and those who take the time for an audience.
 
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Thank you all for your input. First and foremost, by the time I get home and get to the range its dark because I live an hour away so I wanted someplace close to work. These are the answers I was expecting but needed to hear it. I have considered steel challenge and USPSA and it seems pretty convenient being this close. The range I'm at now, I spend half my time shooting and the other half cleaning the range but get to leave with 20 lbs of brass for 20 min work so its not too bad. I want to move forward with competition and becoming a basic level instructor and a more professional facility would help support that. That being said, am I allowed to go and observe USPSA practice sessions without being a member? Thanks again.
 

natf

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I want to move forward with competition and becoming a basic level instructor and a more professional facility would help support that. That being said, am I allowed to go and observe USPSA practice sessions without being a member? Thanks again.
I was a member until I moved to NH. Going to a USPSA practice sesssion (once they restart) is probably the best way to get to know people at the club and probably find a sponsor.
 

hillman

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I was a member there about 8 or 9 years ago, at first I wasn't feeling it because of the hoops required to join, and I hate jumping through them, but it actually ran very smoothly and didn't intrude on my enjoyment of the place. In fact, we ended up having a combination first birthday/adoption party in the clubhouse for my son, and all of the guests really enjoyed the place. My wife's grandmother ended up leaving in the middle to go shoot a rifle with another member who showed up, it was great. During my initial "indoor range initiation" or whatever it was, I was shooting just fine and one of the club officers, I don't remember his name, watched me shooting, pointed out one small thing I was doing wrong with my grip, and all of a sudden I was shooting much better, to my surprise. I only dropped my membership because of the expense at a time when we had other things going on, and now I just don't feel like driving that far.
 
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Yes, it is worth it. I was a member for 28 years until I moved down south in 2015. While the cost/requirements you listed might seem expensive and excessive, the aim is to have a membership of responsible, safe shooters. For reference, my new club has a $500 initiation fee, $240 annual dues, a six month minimum probationary period, required a general written safety test and demonstration of knowledge of the club rules, field tests for rifle and pistol (and shotgun), for rifles, a mentor was assigned to you to help/guide and verify your safe handling of your rifle and, when you were ready, administer the field test.

As if that wasn't enough, you had to get a min. of 4 full members to observe you shooting your rifle and sign a card to indicate they had done so and felt you were a safe shooter, you had to shadow a range officer for a min. 6 hours, and all semi-auto rifles had to be checked for safe function (no doubling or going auto). When all this was completed, you were considered a full member. And yes, it was worth it to me, it is a great club!

This sounds like an awful place. I'm sure if you like the structure, monitoring and overreach it would be a good place.

Guess I'm just not cut out for that kind of club. I rarely run into anyone at my club when I go to shoot, even on weekends.
 

darrowj

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I've been a member there for a couple years now. It is not a FUDD club. Don't do anything stupid and be safe seems to be the basis for rules. Great ranges and I have not had a problem with anyone.
 
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