A Friendly Reminder – Safe use of the MP Range

by Don Senft, VP Operations

With all of the excellent weather this summer has delivered for us, our facilities have seen regular and intense use by our nearly 5,000 members. Throughout the summer, we have hosted a number of Discipline events on both the RP and MP ranges, and when the RP is booked up, it shunts a larger than normal number of shooters up to our MP range, and this has resulted in a few safety issues that are worthy of mention here as a reminder to all to ensure the safe and efficient use of the MP range facility. I would ask that all members take the time to review the current MP range rules on the website, just to ensure they are completely familiar with all of the nuances associated with the use of these unique shooting bays that are such an enjoyable place to shoot at our club. I do want to highlight below a few of the key rules that we have for the MP range based on issues we have had over the past month or so as reported by our volunteer RSOs and staff. Please take the time to read through each of this and refresh your memory on the safe use of the MP range.

Please ensure you are only using approved calibers of ammunition on the MP range. Often when the RP range is closed, rifle shooters make their way up to the MP range to shoot. The full list of approved calibers is in the range rules and is also posted in the MP range sign in hut on the wall above the sign in book. Generally, 7.63X39 (1400fps) is the largest caliber authorized for this range. We have recently found 30-06 and 300 Win casings in the bays, which at over 3000fps are dangerously over caliber for the safe use and template on these short bays. This poses a serious ricochet threat to the RP range and elsewhere on the property. Additionally, steel core ammo (check by holding a magnet to the projectile) may not be used during a fire ban as they spark and will cause a fire. CHICOM casings have been reported being found in the bays during the fire ban in violation of this rule and at risk of burning down our entire complex.

Only approved targets can be used on this range. These include paper targets that do not depict human form (B27 silhouette targets are authorized) and approved metal targets that are reactionary when struck. Metal targets must spin, or drop when hit to prevent backsplash from the disintegrating round. If you are in doubt if your target is authorized, please check with Range staff on entering the ranges. We have found a great deal of garbage along the butts that folks have been shooting at, from tin cans to old televisions. None of these are considered authorized targets.

No vehicles, including motorcycles, are to be parked across the end of the bays. You may stop there briefly to unload, and then must move your vehicle to the clubhouse side of the road to park. There have been many recent issues with motorcycles parked across the end of the bays.

Please ensure you sign in and sign out of your bay. This same process is also now in place for each Firing Point on the RP range. This is a requirement of our insurance and allows us to monitor range usage for maintenance purposes. Each individual must sign in, including all guests (who must also be wearing ear and eye protection).

The ground is caving away near Bays A and B. No vehicles are to proceed around the barrier in place there at any time. Bays may still be utilized, but you can only access them by walking in with your gear.

Finally, a reminder that firearms are to remain cased until in your bay, and that muzzles must remain pointed down range at all times so as to avoid sweeping other members arriving to make use of the MP range. The only place targets can be placed is at the end of the bay along the back berm, no shooting at any time is to take place into the side berms or bay dividers. Holsters may only be used by those with a holster card, no exceptions.

Please pay heed to these important safety rules, as we have seen too many instances of members failing to abide by these critical items over the past month. We must all work together to ensure the safe operation of our ranges at all times.

Please again refresh yourself with the specific rules currently on the website. Each of our range rules are currently being updated and new improved versions will be posted up to the website shortly, and you will be made aware when those are available.

Thanks for your continued support and focus on safety. See you on the line.