Is Massachusetts unique in the density of gun clubs in the state?

darrowj

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I have had similar conversations with a couple of folks recently. One of them lives in North Georgia and the other in suburbs around Charlotte, NC. Both of them are gun owners and love to shoot. They both told me that one issue they have is the distance they need to travel to get to a range. In both cases they have limited options and need to drive between 30 - 60 minutes one way to get to a range.

I told them both that I live within 20 minutes of about ten gun clubs. I think I may even be missing some. Two of them are within 10 minutes of me. Is Massachusetts unique in the density of gun clubs in the state?

Examples of clubs close to my home:
Hopkinton Sportsmen's Club
Maspenock Rod and Gun Club
Hopedale Pistol and Rifle Club
Woodville Rod and Gun Club
Holliston Sportsmen's Association
Southboro Rod and Gun Club
Uxbridge Gun Club
Grafton Gun Club
Ashland Fish and Game Club
 

jayhitek

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I think the size of those states and the ruralness of them contribute to the gun club locations.. You may have 10 gun clubs and 30 towns and 3 million people in that circle.. They 4 towns and 200k people..
IMO
 
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Nope NH has it too. I live in a town with about 300 households. So there are about 250 gun clubs. Just depends who's house is shooting on a particular day.
 

one-eyed Jack

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For some locations gun clubs are not needed for non-competition shooting. As an example, my two sons in NH each have 13 acres and their ranges are the back yard. The Alaska son has 80 acres. Jack.
 

Rockrivr1

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I always thought that southern states would be a shooting club utopia, but it doesn't seem to be the case. I visited a friend in a small town 30 minutes outside of Atlanta last summer. We decided to hit the range as the wives were going shopping. It was a 40 minute ride to the range and it was a pretty crappy range at that. My friend said their was an indoor range closer but it was very expensive to be a member and non member pricing was through the roof. Plus they didn't allow a lot of rifle calibers there. The only other outdoor range was another hour away from where we were. Still had fun shooting, but was surprised that the ranges in MA i belong to were much better.
 

C. Stockwell

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RI has about twenty-seven active gun clubs plus three indoor commercial ranges for a total of thirty ranges, plus or minus a couple, in comparison to thirty-eight towns.

30 clubs within 38 towns. In the smallest US state.
 

LuvDog

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Growing up in the midwest - gun ranges/clubs were few and far between. Of course, it's much easier to just shoot in your yard there.

We even used to shoot in the basement of some friends houses.
 

drgrant

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For some locations gun clubs are not needed for non-competition shooting. As an example, my two sons in NH each have 13 acres and their ranges are the back yard. The Alaska son has 80 acres. Jack.
The problem is over time things change and then suddenly that huge rando plot of land people used to shoot on isn't there anymore. I think this is why lots of other states have
less clubs, because they crutched off just "shooting in the woods". That works great up until someone just "buys the woods".

-Mike
 

Mountain

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Moved to Mass from Tennessee a few years ago. I fully agree that the gun club density is excellent here. 25 minute drive to my local club, and it was shut down for an extended period due to developer shenanigans (sounds familiar?) despite existing in the same location for over 100 years. Next closest private club was 45 minutes w/o traffic and 1.5 hours during peak traffic.

Additionally, MANY more choices here if you want to compete.
 

C. Stockwell

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The problem is over time things change and then suddenly that huge rando plot of land people used to shoot on isn't there anymore. I think this is why lots of other states have
less clubs, because they crutched off just "shooting in the woods". That works great up until someone just "buys the woods".

-Mike
That's exactly why we have clubs here.

If you went back to New England around 1900-1920, most people probably shot on their own land or on land they had access to. Around 1920-50, New England started suburbanization. Meaning, all the old farms got bought up and turned into housing, commercial property, highways, etc.

Some parts of New England are still like this, such as northern NH, Maine outside the Portland/Augusta area, and probably most of VT. Pockets of Western Mass. But for most people, they don't have access to sufficient land to shoot on.

The other thing southern New England has is the tradition of competitive shooting going back to like the 1870s. Mass Rifle Association and Newport Rifle Club are two good examples. Those are among the oldest clubs in the country. So, when skeet and trap became popular in the early 20th Century, the idea of forming a club wasn't so alien because the idea already existed at the time.

Basically, the factors for club density around here were the suburbanization before and after WW2 and the desire for a place to have competitive shooting, like rifle or skeet or trap.
 

Picton

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I’m a member of a nice club here, and for years I had access to the rod & gun club on Ft Bragg. That was well-maintained too. But the best-run and best-maintained non-military range I’ve ever been to was in, of all places, LA County.

When I was in Wyoming, we either shot at the range under the college gym (.22 only) or in a pit north of town (M-60s, no bipod).
 

greencobra

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i've alway said if people only knew, right. when i got into shooting in 1970, i worked 1/2 mile from woburn sportsmens. but who knew there was pretty much a gun club in several surrounding towns 12-15 miles outside of boston. right now i choose to drive 35-40 minutes to shoot but only because it's a little more rural than the other clubs near me and i like that feature. but yeah, it's crazy we have so many clubs.
 
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