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I am fairly new to gun ownership, and even before I owned, all of my shooting was done on private property. I went to my first public range yesterday (It is private property, just opened to the public for a day fee, so I guess you call that a public range).

It was an very good experience, here are my positive and negative thoughts, in random order:

+ any day shooting, vs not shooting is good

+ my 10 year old came with me, and though she did not shoot, she had fun watching and loading my magazines :p

- $10 is not a lot of money, but it is $10 more than I have ever payed to shoot before (unless you consider buying lunch for my friend and having him shoot some of my ammo as a "cost" - but I do not think of it that way at all)

+ Interesting people and their guns:
> The friendly grandfather/grandson combo next to me shooting his S&W .38 snubby, his Ruger P85 (complete with recall work done), and the Nylon 66 just like I have at home (I only brought my P95)
> The friendly older guy (well older than me at least) firing his muzzle loader
> The guy down range who seemed to be having a fun time with his friend, and actually shooting a little less accurately than me with both his autoloader and his revolver. (Yes, I know that I should not enjoy someone shooting worse than me, but it is the first time I have been exposed to this :oops: )
> The range master (I think that is his title), who was friendly, professional and relaxed as he explained the range rules to a newbie like me.
> The few other people who impressed the heck out of me with their 200 yard rifle shooting
+ The beautify Northern California weather, which is also present when I shoot at my friend's property, but deserves mentioning because it is one of the few perks of living here

- The lack of ability to check my accuracy after each magazine. I did not bring binoculars (duh!). I am used to being able to fire one or two magazines and then walk up the target and check my accuracy. I could not do that of course because I had to wait for a cease fire. I think that this lead to lazy shooting on my part. I let myself get a bit lax in accuracy since I could not check each time. I will have to fix this part of my mental game next time around.

- The lack of variety in how I could practice. I almost always mix up 25, 10 and even 5 yard shooting. I also have been trying to practice point shooting. I did not have an option closer than 25 yards, and I found out very quickly that I am not anywhere near good enough to point shoot at that distance. Well, OK, I knew that I was not good enough before yesterday, but that "point" was driven home.

+ Supporting a shooting related business. In our area, they are few and far between, so any time I can support the underdog, I am happy

- Travel distance. While my buddies place is a bit of a drive, it is not as far away as this range. The socialists here have succeeded in squeezing all of the ranges out of our very large county. I had to drive to the next county to get to this one.

+ any day shooting, vs not shooting is good. This may be a repeat, but I wanted to finish on a positive note, and it is worth saying twice.

Overall, it was a great day. I will go back again, though will aim to go to my friend's place first.
 

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Glad you had a good time and made memories with your youngun'....that's worth the $10 all by itself...thanks for taking us along.....
 

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Yep - any day shooting is a good day. I shoot almost entirely at the public range now as there is little open spaces left. I enjoy the meeting of new people and talking guns but share many of the hassles, like waiting for cease fires. That's when I walk the line and watch others shoot. We do have set ups from 7yds to 100 yds so there is a variety of distances. And we can use different targets or the ones provided by the range. I miss bouncing cans or practicing my quick draw or pull, point and shoot skills but they are frowned on with so many other shooters around. The negative is in not knowing who you have shooting around you. There are some real stupid people that I have seen and either left the firing line or attempted to instruct them in proper range safety. There is a rangemaster but they are not always as alert as they should be.
 

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The only public range near me is an indoor range and it's $15 an hour and $15 minumum. It sucks so bad. I do go though, because I love shooting. But if I had a nice outdoor range I could use that was close by I'd shoot a whole lot more. I'm glad you enjoyed your experience. It'll get you at the range more often and make you a better shooter. :D
 
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