shooting range

May 31, 2009
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Incredibly newb question, my apologies.

Okay, so I have my LTC, my gear, and my gun. Time to practice.

How do shooting ranges work?

Am I required to join first and then I can use the facility or am I allowed to go as a guest first to try it out? Must I accompany a member or can I go on my own to be a guest?

Another note is I do not want to be obligated to a shooting range just yet as I may be moving to another county in MA (depending on job opportunity) which is why I ask the guest question. Thank you.
There are a few public ranges where you just pay money each time you use them (S&W in Springfield, AFS in North Attleboro, and Bob's Tactical in Salisbury). But they are pretty expensive.

Most gun clubs are private clubs. You have to join to use them, unless you are brought there as a guest by a member. At most clubs you can arrange a tour to take a look at the club. But realize that clubs are typically run by volunteers, so it can take a while and require a fair bit of persistence to actually get hold of the folks who run it. GOAL has a list of clubs at their website:

Gun clubs are bargains compared to commercial ranges.
finding a club

First, Welcome!

You don't say where you're located, but the listing in the above post will give you a good idea of who's local to you.

Most of the websites will have a overview of what the various clubs have, but an in-person visit is always best. Check out a few. This is actually a good time of year, as many clubs are having barbecues and / or field days that are open to the public.

My club, Southborough Rod & Gun Club

Is having a pig roast this coming Sunday, and a field day in September.

Also, most clubs that shoot Trap and / or Skeet are open to the public for these sports, and, while you may not be able to use the other ranges without being a guest of a member, you can at least get a look at the facilites, and talk to the people. Each club is different; in thier "mission", their facilities, and (for lack of a better term) their "vibe."

If you're looking in the metrowest area, come on out to SRGC some time.

In any event, good hunting![wink]
Hi Jeff,

Welcome aboard!

As was mentioned above, public ranges in MA are few and far between, and expensive. If you're itching for some trigger time (I would be - I can't stand having a gun and not having shot it), you should check them out. But joining a private gun club is going to be the best solution for you in the long term.

Dues at a private club are usually in the range of $100-$300 per year, plus a one time initiation fee, depending on the club. In return you'll usually have unlimited access (24 hours a day, if the club has an indoor range) to the club's facilities, which should include several indoor and outdoor ranges, trap fields, a club house, etc, etc. The club's website should describe the process of becoming a member (usually involves showing up on a certain night for an interview with the club's welcoming committee).

If you want to check out a private club, you'll probably need to go with a member - I don't know of any clubs that allow guests to attend on their own. You should let us know where you live (or where you might be moving), and we can give recommendations. If you're interested in a certain club, there's probably a member on here who'd be willing to give you a tour and show you around the club. If not, you can get a tour from a member of the club's welcoming committee.

Hope that helps!
Hi Jeff - I just joined a club for the first time this weekend. Like mentioned above, you will probably have to show up during a coordinated event because most clubs from what I gather are volunteer. I had only been to a range 2 times before joining up.

Where abouts are you located?
Welcome, Jeff -

I'm not sure where you're located, but if any of the clubs I belong to (listed below) are of interest, PM me to arrange a tour of the facilities.

Hi everyone,

thank you for the rapid responses.

I currently live in Billerica but may be going up to Merrimack valley - haverhill / amesbury / newburyport depending on job opportunity.

Thanks for the public range info, I ended up going to Salisbury. The guys there were cool and I got to use my M&Pc 9mm.
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