Convince a gun club to do field target matches

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    gonzav71
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    Trying to convince a gun club to do airgun field target matches. The problem is that they have a strict “no blue sky” (no pointing the muzzle skyward) policy at their rifle and pistol ranges. I am planning on joining the club but will face some opposition from firearm shooters. What information would you tell them to alleviate their safety concerns? I want to create a wooded course that 3D archers or shotgun sporting clay shooters can use as well. One concern would be the maximum distance a 20 FPE rifle can travel. Any suggestions?
    Leo

    • This topic was modified 3 months ago by gonzav71.
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    Digger25
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    Maybe show the video of EBR so they could see what Airgun is all about and we follow safety very similar.

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    Scotchmo
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    Though elevated targets are allowed in FT, they are not required. You should be able to set a good course with “no blue sky” (no pointing the rifle muzzle skyward).

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    gonzav71
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    Digger25,

    Showing video of a field target match is a good idea.

    Thx

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    GLPalinkas
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    Leo, the DeSoto Airgunners shoot at a gun club range in Arcadia, FL. Our fearless leader and Evil Match Director, Ron Zeeman would know more but certainly a “Show and Tell” would go a long ways toward convincing the administration. When we shoot Field Target and at times, Benchrest, we get the powder burner guys coming by asking lots of equipment related questions. Most of us DeSoto airgunners are still or have been powder guys. The inquisitive types appreciate this fact. Some realize that accuracy is king in our sport and are amazed at what some of our members and rifles can achieve.  

    I’m sure Ron would be able to answer the “how we got started” questions. Here is his contact link:

    Ron (at) DeSotoAirgunners (.) net

    Hope to have the pleasure of shooting with you again next year. 

    Best,

    Gary

    Venice, FL

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    Brazos
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    Put backstops behind your elevated targets.  For example I use old satlilite dishes behind my elevated targets.  I love elevated targets.  Around 80% of my targets are elevated.

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    Tvanpool
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    We use the Archery 3D course for our FT matches and it has Sporting Clays and Skeet fields adjacent to it. Work up a ballistics chart to show the club that the max range of a <20 ft. lb. air rifle is about the same as a shotgun. Maybe if they understand airguns better they may be more friendly to your request. They would be likely to listen more if you were an active member. 

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    sillymike
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    Scotchmo

    Though elevated targets are allowed in FT, they are not required. You should be able to set a good course with “no blue sky” (no pointing the rifle muzzle skyward).

     

    I know when I was involved in the running of a shooting range, if someone came to us with a "new" proposition that contravened our existing safety rules. Our first answer would have no. 

    Even more so if that suggestion would have came from someone that not even a member.

    My suggestion?

    – Play by their rules at first. Maybe limit the power…

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    Scotchmo
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    sillymike

    Scotchmo

    Though elevated targets are allowed in FT, they are not required. You should be able to set a good course with “no blue sky” (no pointing the rifle muzzle skyward).

     

    I know when I was involved in the running of a shooting range, if someone came to us with a "new" proposition that contravened our existing safety rules. Our first answer would have no. 

    Even more so if that suggestion would have came from someone that not even a member.

    My suggestion?

    – Play by their rules at first. Maybe limit the power…

    Yes. If it is a club/range with membership, then join. Best to follow all established rules initially. After you successfully run airgun matches for awhile at the range in question, then propose exceptions for airgun matches, if needed.

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    gonzav71
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    sillymike

    Scotchmo

    Though elevated targets are allowed in FT, they are not required. You should be able to set a good course with “no blue sky” (no pointing the rifle muzzle skyward).

     

    I know when I was involved in the running of a shooting range, if someone came to us with a "new" proposition that contravened our existing safety rules. Our first answer would have no. 

    Even more so if that suggestion would have came from someone that not even a member.

    My suggestion?

    – Play by their rules at first. Maybe limit the power…

    I will follow their rules. But according to their rules, break barrel and under lever spring air rifles are not allowed since it violates their no blue sky policy. I am joining their club to help them host more air gun matches and participate in most of their many shooting events. Hope they are reasonable.

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    Scotchmo
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    gonzav71

    sillymike

    Scotchmo

    Though elevated targets are allowed in FT, they are not required. You should be able to set a good course with “no blue sky” (no pointing the rifle muzzle skyward).

     

    I know when I was involved in the running of a shooting range, if someone came to us with a "new" proposition that contravened our existing safety rules. Our first answer would have no. 

    Even more so if that suggestion would have came from someone that not even a member.

    My suggestion?

    – Play by their rules at first. Maybe limit the power…

    I will follow their rules. But according to their rules, break barrel and under lever spring air rifles are not allowed since it violates their no blue sky policy. I am joining their club to help them host more air gun matches and participate in most of their many shooting events. Hope they are reasonable.

    I thought you were talking about elevated shots into the sky, with no backstop. So this is about when handling the rifle, not when shooting?

    That can make it tough to load a piston gun.

    Our front range is over concrete, and they had the opposite rule – never point the muzzles down. At our back competition ranges, up or down is OK.

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    sillymike
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    You might need to start with "only" PCP airgun, and/or lower the power level of the rifle used.

    Also, in some case the no-blue sky rules comes from and agreement with the local authorities. Depending where the club is located and who owns the land around it. You might have to create impact area/safety template to show that a stray airgun pellets would fall within the range.

    Also, what's the membership like at that club how many air gunners are members? If there are only two existing members interested… it will be a hard project to sell.

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    Eddie_E
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    New England Airgun also has a no blue sky rule for the indoor range (aka don't shoot the HVAC compressor rule). We still shoot springers but John S invented a cocking method where you yank the butt stock rearward instead of slapping the barrel upward. It's weird at first but after 50 pellets or so,It becomes second nature, much like the Euro safety's. I even cock the springers this way outside now. New guys can be trained for this quickly, but old timers like me sometimes take a day or two to re-wire our brains instinctive cocking.

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    gonzav71
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    Eddie_E

    New England Airgun also has a no blue sky rule for the indoor range (aka don't shoot the HVAC compressor rule). We still shoot springers but John S invented a cocking method where you yank the butt stock rearward instead of slapping the barrel upward. It's weird at first but after 50 pellets or so,It becomes second nature, much like the Euro safety's. I even cock the springers this way outside now. New guys can be trained for this quickly, but old timers like me sometimes take a day or two to re-wire our brains instinctive cocking.

    Eddie,

    Thanks. I can image the technique you described for break barrel rifles. Cocking the rifle is fine. It's after you load the pellet and close the barrel is where it becomes an issue.

    Leo

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    gonzav71
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    sillymike

    You might need to start with "only" PCP airgun, and/or lower the power level of the rifle used.

    Also, in some case the no-blue sky rules comes from and agreement with the local authorities. Depending where the club is located and who owns the land around it. You might have to create impact area/safety template to show that a stray airgun pellets would fall within the range.

    Also, what's the membership like at that club how many air gunners are members? If there are only two existing members interested… it will be a hard project to sell.

    They probably have 30 Air Gun shooters. Most use break barrels. They keep saying about the "no blue sky" rule at the rifle and pistol ranges.

    https://www.nrafamily.org/articles/2019/11/7/gun-safety-ammunition-maximum-range/ The NRA website has 22 long rifle standard velocity (104 FPE) ammo going 1,588 yards at 30 degree angle.I could imagine a 20 FPE air rifle will only do 1/5th of that distance (317 yards) for max distance.

    In the club history, they did have a 45 ACP slug hit a house owned by a lawyer. The state forced them to put overhead barriers at the pistol and rifle ranges to prevent it happening again.

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    Scotchmo
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    No "blue sky"? But the conversations here are talking about two different things:

    1) no handling the gun so that the muzzle is pointed up.

    2) no adverse downrange trajectory that put projectiles outside of a safe impact area.

    #1 would be an odd one. #2 is normal – shooting ranges don't allows that. Which is it? I suspect they meant #2.

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    K
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    At our gun club, a "No Blue Sky" range is one where overhead baffles have been constructed that do not allow a round fired as  an accidental discharge to exit the range confines. In other words, no projectile, under any circumstance, is able to get to the Blue Sky.

    I think what they're referring to is the practice of break barrel shooters to close their breech with the rifle pointed skyward. In the event of  an accidental discharge while pointed skyward the pellet gets to the blue sky. All they need do is keep their receiver tubes horizontal when closing the breech. Underlevers can be cocked horizontally by rotating the rifle 90 degrees keeping the reciever tube horizontal while cocking   and loading. 

    At the indoor HRA range I had to not only keep the rifle horizontal but I couldn't point the muzzle at an angle to the line of fire. I was using a TX 200. It's all doable.

     

    If I'm right, and the conversation is about safety, you probably  strict gun handling proceedures with the use of chamber flags etc. Safe gun handling of firearms is drummed into most shooters that shoot powder. I don't see that philosophy changing by a slick sales pitch. Airgunnners by comparison handle their rifles like they're golf clubs. We're constsantly sweeping each other at matches. People who have only shot powder are incredulous when they see it.

     

    K

     

     

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    gonzav71
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    I think the club would be concerned about people using rifle carriers especially. The trigger and muzzle are exposed. Most don’t cover them.

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    Scotchmo
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    gonzav71

    I think the club would be concerned about people using rifle carriers especially. The trigger and muzzle are exposed. Most don’t cover them.

    I feel OK when others carry their guns with the muzzle straight up or straight down.

    I feel uneasy when I get swept by a gun, whether carried openly or in a caddy.

    Though I've gotten a little more used to it in field target as caddys seems to be so common.

    I was thinking of using a caddy, and a large visible muzzle cap. But I ended up sticking with what I always do – I case my gun between lanes.

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    d12bn
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    Who sells a muzzle cap? Thanks 

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