This is good info, just what I was looking for. I had always shot in my parent's back yard which is well within 500 feet of other houses. Now that I have my own place for the last 16 years I always felt uncomfortable shooting in my back yard because it's a little more of a neighborhood setting. We all have at least 2 acres so we're not right on top of each other so I still did it but very cautiously and frankly was nervous about it. I had one next door neighbor come out but he didn't complain, just wanted to see what was up, he was cool with it as we knew each other anyway. I have some new neighbors so now I wanted to get the facts so naturally I came here (well, here and the DEP website and a little time on the DESPP web site but wanted some practical discussion too). From what I can tell, it does seem that the 500 foot rule is only for hunting and target shooting within 500 feet would only be illegal if there is a town ordinance against it. I have had the police come to where I was shooting many years ago, once or twice at my parent's place and once at a friend's house. They just looked at where we were shooting and determined we were being safe and just said, have a nice day, be safe and went on their way. So I always questioned the 500 foot thing since I was clearly not getting any hastle from the police despite them showing up. I just thought they were perhaps cutting us slack because we were polite, respectful and cooperative, but maybe it was just that they knew the laws and knew we weren't breaking any.