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Taunton or Harvard?

Discussion in 'Gun Ranges & Clubs' started by Tinkermatic, Dec 3, 2018.

  1. Tinkermatic

    Tinkermatic NES Member

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    Hello NES brain trust.

    I need to join a club here in MA and soon. I’m on the sothwest side of Boston and have narrowed it down to Taunton and HSC. They’re both about 45 minutes from me(every range or club seemingly is) and seem to be fine clubs with nice facilities. I’m open to other suggestions as well.

    Can any current or former members, of either club, chime in with any pros or cons?

    The process for joining Taunton seems far more straightforward and less involved, than Harvard with it’s letter of recommendation stipulation. Getting to either in the afternoon or evening would pose a problem as I typically work late and have Wednesday and Sunday off.

    I have never shot at any club other than a public indoor range, so I really don’t know what to expect.
    Any advice is greatly appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Dave
     

  2. andrew1220

    andrew1220 NES Member

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    Harvard without a doubt. I'm not a member there but I shoot IDPA/USPSA matches there and they have one hell of a setup (300 yard rifle, action pistol pits, cowboy action, machine gun range, indoor range etc). Especially for $150 per year. My club in Gloucester is $155 and doesn't even have a fraction of what Harvard has.

    Only been to Taunton's indoor range once and it was very nice. Never been to their outdoor range.
     
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  3. one-eyed Jack

    one-eyed Jack Manufacturer Dealer NES Member

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    Harvard. Jack.
     
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  4. jayhitek

    jayhitek NES Member

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    Where do you live? I can't think of where you are that Taunton and Harvard are 45 mins from you.. And something could be a lot closer..
    Hopkinton and Southboro might be in your range too..?

    And are you looking for Long distance shooting or is 100&200 yards fine for you? Indoor? Outdoor steel shooting?
     
  5. slap shot

    slap shot NES Member

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    Harvard hands down. Have only visited there a few times but so much more to offer.

    Taunton member until i moved north. Very nice people at Taunton but Harvard is much bigger.
     
  6. Tinkermatic

    Tinkermatic NES Member

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    I'm on the corner of West Roxbury/Brookline. Looking at my GPS with this mornings traffic, Harvard was actually just over an hour drive time for the 32 mile distance...

    100-200 yards would be more than adequate to start. As I said, I've never shot at a club, so I don't know what I'm missing as far as type of shooting, steel, action, etc. Indoor or Outdoor is fine, I've only shot at indoor public ranges up until now and I'm looking to get in to center fire rifles.

    Hopkinton and Southboro are both about the same distance and travel time as Taunton and HSC. I chose those two after looking through the forums and just narrowing my search.

    I'm trying to figure out some time to go visit both and see what they have, but not many clubs have stuff going on Wednesday mornings. That's my ideal day to shoot. My wife and I only have one day off together, Sunday, so they're typically packed with chores, errands, and some football.
     
  7. andrew1220

    andrew1220 NES Member

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    A friend of mine who I shoot IDPA/USPSA with, lives in Brookline and is a member of Harvard. I think he said it's like 45ish min for him (on a weekend anyway).
     
  8. Gasgunner

    Gasgunner NES Member

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    Braintree?
     
  9. Tinkermatic

    Tinkermatic NES Member

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    It’s the closest, but I’d prefer to drive out of the city, another 15 minutes isn’t a big deal. It’s not location so much as the club itself. Harvard sounds great, but getting to a 6:30 meeting on a Thursday night is going to be difficult.
     
  10. Gasgunner

    Gasgunner NES Member

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    No question Harvard is great, wasn’t sure how long the drive to Braintree would be for you.
     
  11. RumRunner

    RumRunner NES Member

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    Never been to Taunton, but am a member of Harvard and I really like it. The outdoor range setup has plenty to choose from. Their 200/300 yd range you need to be qualified on before you can use it, but the 100 yd you do not. The only disappointing thing to me is the indoor range, it's not very modern at all, but it works. I'm very happy there, and I live about 45 mins away too.
     
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  12. greencobra

    greencobra NES Member

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    harvard. been there ~9-10 years i think, 35 min from the house for me. had been there several times with friends who were members and active in cowboy/sass shoots to watch. liked what i saw and how rural it was really considering the proximity to boston and lowell. i was just getting into ar style rifles and i could happily shoot away in peace there. there's a plethora of ranges to use and some steel to shoot. the best thing it has to offer is the property. there's a lot of it. i like that ride in from the front gate, so beautiful and peaceful. i do about 2 mph driving in just to relax, lol. i go early in the morning, shoot, then just sit on my tailgate and smoke a cigar before heading home. only encountered one ass wipe in my time there, everyone else has been cool. i generally mind my own business but will get in conversations from time to time and find i've just spent an hour chatting. that's ok, too. really great place compared to other clubs i've been in.
     
  13. jayhitek

    jayhitek NES Member

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    If Braintree is 15 mins closer.. You'd be suprised at what that 30 mins would matter.. If it's an 45 to an hour to Harvard.. Just there and back alone is close to 2 hours. You're gonna spend the whole day there, like you're going for a whole round of golf every time. Quick trip to the range and you're gone for 3-5 hours..
     
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  14. ReluctantDecoy

    ReluctantDecoy

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    This is the exact reason why I've been going to Boston Gun and Rifle in Dorchester. Being from Cambridge and working in Southie, this is the closest range that won't eat up the whole day for a quick 1hr range trip. However, they're pistol caliber only indoor with a max 15 yards, and are switching to lead free come February, so I think I might be looking at a new range too. I mean, I like the notion of lead free, but my wallet doesn't.
     
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  15. Matt-CZ

    Matt-CZ NES Member

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    Usually clubs have special events that are open to the general public. Something like an IDPA match or a CMP shoot. I'd try showing up to one of those so you can try out the club grounds before committing to applying and paying dues.

    Braintree club has CMP meets every month that is open to the public, but they are done for the season and will resume in spring of 2019.
     
  16. uwaeve

    uwaeve NES Member

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    Harvard has USPSA practice Wednesday nights and IDPA practice every other Monday night, both open to the public. Check calendar, gate should be open shortly before the events. Can't speak to IDPA as I've never been but the USPSA group is safe and friendly.

    Harvard Sportsmen's Club - Calendar
     
  17. johnnymac101

    johnnymac101 NES Member

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    ^^^ Always helpful to check the club calendar... you don't want to drive an hour only to find out the range you want is in use all day/night.
     
  18. Rob Boudrie

    Rob Boudrie NES Member

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    Harvard is indeed the Harvard of gun clubs.

    Hopkinton is worth checking out, particularly since it is very easy to get to from the Boston area - MA pike to exit 21A, south 3 miles on 495, take your first right and go one mile. 6 outdoor pistol ranges, 100/200 yard rifle range, 6 position 50 ft indoor pistol range, absence of silly rules.
     
  19. Tinkermatic

    Tinkermatic NES Member

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    This sounds appealing.
     
  20. jayhitek

    jayhitek NES Member

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    I can attest to Rob. I'm a member of Hopkinton too and very happy there. Great place.
     
  21. northny

    northny NES Member

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    Different clubs have different strengths. Think about what you may want to do now and in future. Then see if club has it or allows it. Read rules before you join. I’m a member at Harvard. But to shoot trap or skeet I go to Hopkinton as Harvard only has a shotgun range with manualy cocked throwers for clay pigeons. Neither has sporting clays. Going to Hopkinton I drive past one club with nice shotgun facilities because they require steel shot.

    I had an individual ask me for tour at Harvard. When we got to 200 yard range he asked how difficult it was to hit the steel at 200 yards with a .22 rim fire. I told him it was impossible as club rules limit that range to center fire only. He was crest fallen as his main interest was long distance.22RF. But you can find other clubs that allow it, but they won’t have some other things Harvard does.

    So check out the details.
     
  22. Rob Boudrie

    Rob Boudrie NES Member

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    Or just join both like I did.
     
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  23. Tinkermatic

    Tinkermatic NES Member

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    I appreciate all the help.

    Looks like I need to find some time to visit and convince someone that I’m worthy of adoption er sponsorship. Considering distance, facilities, room for personal growth and number of hoops to jump through, I have no idea.

    I also can’t seem to find range rules on the HSC website, looks like they’re going through some updating.
     
  24. Pewnurse24

    Pewnurse24 NES Member

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    I like Taunton. This year was my first year there, or as a member at any club. Never been to Harvard. Have always been able to get a spot at Taunton regardless of day/time that I have gone. The indoor and outdoor ranges are at two different locations if that makes a difference for you. Only about 5 miles away from one another. The 300 yard range is qualify only also, not sure if that’s a turn off for you. For the price, Taunton is a no brainer at 125 a year. They have frequent group shoots. And one of the best parts is, they have a east and west range at the indoor location. So even if there is junior shooting or a league, the other is always open for members. Guest policy is very leinient which i like aswell. Can bring who ever and how many ever as long as the member is present and deems safe. Hope to see you there.
    ADD: also the application process is easy. One app, no letters needed. I did have to wait about two and a half months for a open orientation however, but that was not a big deal. First year is pro rated after initiation dues.
     
  25. Rob Boudrie

    Rob Boudrie NES Member

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    Ditto for the 200/300 at Harvard and the 200 at Hopkinton.
     
  26. RumRunner

    RumRunner NES Member

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    Harvard has their general rules, then a set of specific rules posted at each range based on what you are allowed to shoot there. When I joined (which was just earlier this year) i took pics of each range's rules posted so I wouldn't have to go around to each range to read them deciding where to shoot that day. With a little searching I'm sure I can find those pics and send them to you.
     
  27. LLF

    LLF NES Member

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    I'm a member at BGRA as well. I like the club but I'm disappointed in their decision to go lead-free next year. They are banning all rimfire ammunition as it is not available lead-free. This will shut out all members like me who enjoy shooting 22 LR and who have a lot of money invested in 22 firearms.
    Are any other clubs with indoor ranges lead-free now or going lead-free?
     
  28. ReluctantDecoy

    ReluctantDecoy

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    Truth be told, I'm a little pissed about this move. I took a close look at the memo regarding the change and noted that it not only says "lead free", but states "This means that only non-toxic ammunition provided by the BGRA will be allowed on the premises". I can't even bring my own now, and BGRA has horrible pricing. The first time there I bought a box of their ammo because I didn't have any. It was something like $16 for handload 9mm, of which they got the casings at the range from members. Seems like a money grab dressed up as "community and political pressure". I mean, if it really was for health reasons, why couldn't I bring my own lead-free?

    I'm a new shooter. Just started at this place in July of this year. I would have thought twice about it had I known it was going this way. I kind of want a pro-rated refund.

    Just looked up the company they are using for ammo. lol--the price is insane!

    9 mm Luger - 100 gr. - RHA, 50 Rounds
     
  29. andrew1220

    andrew1220 NES Member

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    Damn that's expensive. Really sucks they're changing their restrictions.

    Have you guys considered joining Mystic Valley? I shoot their USPSA matches over the winter and they got a great indoor range. Or is that too far?
     
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  30. LLF

    LLF NES Member

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    This is what they will be selling:
    9 mm Luger- 100 gr. - GreenLine, 50 Rounds
    $25.05 for a box of 50. No volume discounts that I am aware of. Not sold by Target Sports or any of the other big discounters.
    BGRA is claiming that they will be buying the ammo in bulk, getting discounts that they will pass on to members. The folks pushing this also claim that other manufacturers will be getting into the lead-free ammo business and that will drive prices down. Pie in the sky and not when you die.
    This is largely being driven by the instructors. They are worried about prolonged exposure to lead. I don't blame them but they need to listen to their members and not shut us out.
     

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