BGSL Reopeing Ranges [Archive] - Glock Talk

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KY Gun Geek
07-03-2008, 21:36
BGSL is reopening ranges!

I'll get to the details in a minute, but a little background may be helpful.

First a little about me. I'm part of what has been called the "Range Committee" This is a bit of a misnomer, and probably implies more actual influence than we really have. We are 3 BGSL members, 2 Board members and one former Board member, who were asked by the President to act as an advisory board. We were picked because of our backgrounds in the shooting sports and our experience with BGSL. All are IDPA and USPSA shooters, 2 are NRA Highpower shooters - as well as lots of other disciplines. 2 are IDPA SOs, one has achieved a High Master ranking in High Power. The point is, we are NOT shotgunners, we regularly shoot in the pits, on the rifle range, and on the GP Range. We have been working out the details of the rules and range operational procedures.

I could probably write a book on all the details, 3/4 of which you would probably find irrelevant. So, I'll give you an update as to where things are now, and what I know our immediate plans to be, then stick around to answer questions. That doesn't mean I'll get into answering flames.

OK, so here the status right now:

1) BGSL has moved from a very "hands-off" approach to the ranges to actively managing them. A full time Rangemaster has been hired. This means that it is someone's full time job to make the ranges safe and successful.

2) Ranges will be open only when a range officer is present. This means limited hours for now, we are working through getting more ROs (paid and volunteers) to expand the number of hours. While range officers are effective, they are expensive - around $55,000 per year per range. With 4 ranges in question, we'd be looking at $210,000 per year to have ranges open regular BGSL hours.

3) Baffles are physical structures that will keep rounds from going off the property. We have started baffle construction on the GP Range, and have created 2 baffled bays in the Pits. The long term goal is to reduce the number of range officer hours necessary (and thus the expense). The approach is to invest in baffles to reduce the cost the putting ROs on the range, but baffles take time.

4) We recognize that (in general) better shooters are safer shooters - yes there are exceptions (both ways), but we're playing the odds here. That's why we've come up with a qualification procedure. This will allow folks who have mastered a particular discipline to shoot on the range most suited to that actvity. Qualification has 2 parts - a skill test based on the activities on that range, and a review of the rules.


SHOOTING OPPORTUNITIES
Pits

The Pits are open 8 hrs on Saturday & Sunday, as well as at least 2 4 hour sessions during the week. The exact hours my fluctuate so check the BGSL website.
Members with an orange pit pass and their guests may shoot in the baffled bays.
With a red pit pass, members may shoot in the regular pits. A red pit pass requires a particular IDPA or USPSA classification, or a minimum score on a classifier that is substantially the same as the IDPA classifier.
ALL OF THE REGULAR USPSA, IDPA, SASS, and GSSF MATCHES ARE RUNNING.


The Rifle Range
The 300 yard Rifle Range is open Saturdays & Sundays noon to 8, and usually one day during the week. Again check the website for specifics. There are no baffles on the Rifle Range, so Qualification (a skill test and rules review) is required to shoot here.

The General Purpose Range

There is a section of the range that is completely baffled. It is a 12 yard range that we call GP Handgun. Members w/o qualification, and guests may shoot hand guns here.
There is a 50 yard section (GP 50). This section has what we call the 1st baffle (steel in the roof) installed. With qualification, members can shoot here.
There is a 100 yard section (GP100). We are installing the steel in this area and therefore is not yet open. This should be open sometime in August.
The much disliked tubes are still installed on the GP 100 area, and will stay in place until baffles are complete.


Pistol Bullseye
This is a 50 yard range configured primarily for the Bullseye game. It is open ONLY for the scheduled Bullseye matches and a Bullseye practice on Wednesdays.

Ok - what questions do you have? Remember, I'm not going to get into a flame war, or the politics. If you are a member, come to the Membership, or BoD meetings and voice your opinion on those items.

Rhandhali
07-06-2008, 09:27
Why don't you just set up a CCTV camera at each of the ranges and hire one guy to sit in the club house or at a guard shack somewhere near the GP or rifle range? It provides the window dressing that the board thinks is so necessary and it's a hell of a lot cheaper to pay 100k or so now and 50,000 a year for one range officer.

Houngan
07-06-2008, 12:40
Will there be a level of classification/testing necessary to attend the matches as a non-member?

H.

KY Gun Geek
07-06-2008, 14:39
Will there be a level of classification/testing necessary to attend the matches as a non-member?

H.

No qualification required to attend a match, not now, nor is it the plan.

Matches are well managed (usually 1 RO per active shooter), and the COFs are put together by people with experience.

KY Gun Geek
07-06-2008, 15:23
Why don't you just set up a CCTV camera at each of the ranges and hire one guy to sit in the club house or at a guard shack somewhere near the GP or rifle range? It provides the window dressing that the board thinks is so necessary and it's a hell of a lot cheaper to pay 100k or so now and 50,000 a year for one range officer.

We considered this. Problem is that it doesn't really address the issues. At best it would allow us to "prosecute" after an incident had occurred. It would not help us prevent the incident in the first place.

Couple of incidences that I have personally observed which could have been serious problems since we have re-opened.


Guy on the rifle range where he had about 30 minutes before completed qualification (which includes reading the rules), manages to Negligent Discharge a scoped bolt rifle. He was working the bolt and safety with his hand in the trigger. The round impacted about 5 feet from the top of the 300 yard berm (which puts it about 5 feet from going out of the property). I was the RO and had just asked him to keep the muzzle down per the rules and to keep his finger off the trigger until he was ready to fire. He kept the muzzle down, but didn't keep his finger off the trigger. Had I not been there, that round would have surely gone out.

On the handgun range (baffled box) there was a guy who's hands shook like mad. He managed to hit the baffle support structure 6 or 7 times before we could get him stopped.


There are many more stories like this. Point is that we are as good as our weakest member. We have to take the steps appropriate to keep that weakest member from destroying the facility or shooting the neighbors, not throw the book at him after the damage is done. This is what we haven't been doing a good job of up until now.

When the baffles are complete we will move to as few ROs as possible - ideally one guy roving from range to range.

Rhandhali
07-07-2008, 12:38
We considered this. Problem is that it doesn't really address the issues. At best it would allow us to "prosecute" after an incident had occurred. It would not help us prevent the incident in the first place.

There are many more stories like this. Point is that we are as good as our weakest member. We have to take the steps appropriate to keep that weakest member from destroying the facility or shooting the neighbors, not throw the book at him after the damage is done. This is what we haven't been doing a good job of up until now.

When the baffles are complete we will move to as few ROs as possible - ideally one guy roving from range to range.

That's what I like to hear, but you're wrong about the security cameras only being a "passive" measure. The point of the CCTV cameras is not just to get a record but it would allow your one range officer to keep his eye on all four ranges at once instead of running around in a golf cart all day bouncing between ranges.

It's also possible to directly address any minor problems on the fly if you set up a loudspeaker next to the camera. It's just a way of letting one person do the job of four. Having a camera might also help to cut down on the theft and vandalism that have been problematic in the past.

Speaking of which are there plans to actually use that expensive security gate? I don't think I've ever had to actually use the gate card in the five or six years I've been a member and my usual shooting times are along the lines of 9 AM on a Tuesday morning.