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Range Politics and Black Rifles

Discussion in 'General Firearms Forum' started by whitebread, Apr 27, 2012.

  1. whitebread

    whitebread ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

    Nov 29, 2010
    Raleigh, NC
    I belong to a nice private range with 300 members - skeet range, 250 yard rifle, and pistol pit. Most members are probably in their 50's or older, with maybe 20-30% being younger. On the rifle range you will see a lot of bench rest guns, lever guns, bolt actions, and a muzzle loader here and there. I am fairly active in the club, attend all meetings, dinners, work days, etc.

    There seems to be growing tension between the older folk and 'those kids with black rifles.' A lot of sighs, dirty looks, and on rare occasion, a snarky comment when an AR or AK is pulled out of the rifle case. (I haven't seen this reaction to wooden stock M1A's or M1 Carbines.)

    There are no rules prohibiting rate of fire, type of gun used, or anything like that. You just can't shoot the soft steel silhouette targets with jacketed bullets.

    Why are other (more traditional?) shooters against black rifles? For the life of me, I can't figure it out. If you like shooting rifles, why wouldn't you embrace other rifle shooters regardless of their favored weapon? Please enlighten me!
  2. HoldHard


    Nov 28, 2008
    Motor City 'burbs
    Let's reverse the situation. You are now in your 60's and a young wipper-snapper pulls his latest "space gun" out of the case and starts shooting.

    Would you be annoyed that his new rifle can outperform your Evil Black Rifle?

    It's just one of those generational things.... unless you have gone all tacti-cool on it...:supergrin:



  3. Firecop203


    Aug 23, 2004
    Bad press, bad reputation, bad image on TV. Take your pick.
  4. Are you pacing your shots?
    Picking up your brass?
    Picking up your steel?
    Obeying all the normal range etiquette?
    Not destroying targets or backgrounds?
    Picking up after yourself?
    Not hitting the other guys with empties?
    Not sweeping them with your guns?
    Giving breaks at appropriate times to allow their target changes?

    If you are doing all of that, they shouldn't have a problem. I suspect that some of the younger guys, if not you, are not doing all the stuff on that list. And that is the source of the problem.

    Pacing shots is difficult to address. If they are used to one sort of pace, and timing their shots between other shots, and you come in there and set a different pace from a 30 round mag at a quicker tempo, that might be annoying for them.

    But it is probably the other stuff in that list that really gets to them.

    Just guesses :)
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2012
  5. ronin.45


    Apr 24, 2008
    I see the same thing at some local ranges regarding pistols.
    Most private shooting clubs were started several generations ago and have a decidedly "mature" member base. That older group is more comfortable with bullseye and maybe PPC competition. When they see someone practicing for IDPA or God forbid USPSA, they don't understand it. As with most people, they are against things they don't understand. Plastic guns and fast shooting are looked at as "punk kid" stuff.

    I don't let it bother me.
  6. The range I belong to has over 1000 members, hosts muzzle loading matches, Hi Powder Matches (mostly black rifles), Black Powder cartage Matches ETC. The type of gun you shoot does not get as much attention as how you act when at the range. As listed above bad safety habits and lack of respect for other shooters will get comments.

    Our range rules do not allow loaded guns other than at the firing line or rapped fire. This seams to be a problem with some of the younger shooters (WA is an open carry state) who feel they should not have to obey any rules. Also we used to allow 50BMG on the range but some one had to see if it would shoot through the over head baffles ( it did).

    There is nothing bad about Black rifles or the people that shoot them. There always has been some groups that are not interested in some shooting venues and do not see why any one else should be either. As shooters some times we are our own worst enemy. :upeyes:
  7. whitebread

    whitebread ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

    Nov 29, 2010
    Raleigh, NC
    Good insight. I think the pace of fire may be what is annoying them.

    I don't see any .223 brass around, and always pick up all of mine, but there is a ton of steel 7.62x39 rusting in the grass in front of the firing line.

    I should also disclose, most the other members don't seem to have a problem with me and area always friendly. I was just perplexed by what I have observed. I wasn't necessarily talking about prejudices against myself.
  8. Reb 56

    Reb 56

    Mar 12, 2007
    South Texas
    Well I'm 74 and enjoy shooting my AR at the Range,just don't understand why some Ranges insist on a 3 second pause between shots. As long as the shots are on the target what difference does it make?
  9. Folsom_Prison

    Folsom_Prison Brew Crew

    May 2, 2010
    At your age I'm surprised you know how to use a computer... :tongueout:

    Just kidding of course! :supergrin:

    One of the ranges around here doesn't permit rapid fire, it's beyond me as well!
  10. 12131

    12131 Monkeyboy CLM

    Nov 17, 2006
    God's Country (Texas)
    Go ask Jim Zumbo. He'll tell you all about it.
  11. Highspeedlane

    Highspeedlane NRA Life Member

    Jan 25, 2008
    New England
    Just pure speculation on my part but I believe some of the older folks just view younger participants shooting black rifles as not truly "embracing" the shooting sports, but rather into it for the "cool" factor, and perhaps along with that the inherent perception of recklessness.

    Of course it doesn't have to be a "black rifle thing" either. I once got chastised at a range for having the audacity to carry my blued Ruger MkIII in a (gasp) leather hip holster instead of a more cushy and protective pistol rug.

    I'm sure even before the black rifle era there were folks that looked down their noses at and held a dim view of, anyone who had the nerve to show up with a repeating Winchester. Why on earth would anyone need a lever action bullet launcher when "real" riflemen use single shots.

    If it's not one thing, it will be another, rest assured.
  12. Highspeedlane

    Highspeedlane NRA Life Member

    Jan 25, 2008
    New England
    That pic always cracks me up. It's missing a hood ornament though. If it had that it would be perfect...:whistling:
  13. Highspeedlane

    Highspeedlane NRA Life Member

    Jan 25, 2008
    New England
    An older friend from work invited me to his range and suggested I join.

    Went out to the pistol range and saw a sign that read, "No more than 6 rounds may be loaded at a time. No rapid fire"

    No thanks.
  14. eyelikeglasses

    eyelikeglasses Hooah, Hooah.

    Apr 10, 2009
    The Sunshine State
    I get that alot. I'm covered in tattoos, might be bumping Tupac when I pull up, I like black rifles and AKMs. I'm also a well raised, God fearing, veteran. My book is judged by the cover constantly. My actions speak louder than words, even if a picture of me is worth thousands of them.
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2012
  15. ponchsox


    Apr 23, 2012
    I was at the range today and heard what sounded like a cannon coming from the AR side of the range. It was an older gentleman shooting it. I definitely wouldn't want to be in the booth next to him. I double up in hearing protection when I shoot and it was loud from about 60 feet away.
  16. DGilbert


    Nov 11, 2007
    It only takes a few bad examples to taint the rest of the field. I've seen shooters rip the heck out of target frames with black guns because they were shooting rapid fire and couldn't really control the firearm as well as they thought they could. That ultimately just costs the range and the users more money. Getting pelted with hot brass from a guy 5 positions down doesn't generate a lot of sympathy either. I don't really think it's the black rifle that generates the resentment, it's the youthful ignorance of range etiquette and disregard for others.
  17. Decguns


    Dec 29, 2003
    I worked at a public range for many years. No bizarre rules on rapid fire and such. But I have to admit it is rather annoying to have a bunch of guys playing Rambo while you're trying to sight in your hunting rifle or trying to lay down the group of a life time. So I tend to put noobs flinging brass with evil black rifles over on the pistol range away from the bench's.
  18. TN.Frank

    TN.Frank Glock4Life

    Oct 11, 2004
    Avondale, AZ.
    Simple enough to fix. Pistols at one end, single shot and bolt guns in the middle and semi or full autos at the other end away from everyone.
  19. eyelikeglasses

    eyelikeglasses Hooah, Hooah.

    Apr 10, 2009
    The Sunshine State
    Quote for brilliance!
  20. arclight610


    Dec 2, 2009
    Old people, that's your problem.