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 Post subject: Re: Why do ranges/clubs have min. barrel length rules?
PostPosted: Sat Oct 19, 2013 2:05 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 24, 2010 10:11 pm
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Location: Coronado, Ca.
The public club I am a member of has the same rule the state has for minimum barrel length of 18". However the size of shot is regulated by the club as well as no magnum rounds are allowed. The owner has been in litigation with one particular homeowner up on the hill for years regarding noise levels on weekends as well as weekdays which are different. Also I have introduced a fellow co-worker who happens to be no taller than 5', to trap shooting. She purchased a Mossberg youth model 20ga pump for home defense. At first she just looked at it in her living room until I brought her out to shoot it 25 to 50 times at the trap field. Her barrel is 20" and shoots the factory 20ga loads from WalMart. She is now very comfortable shooting her 20ga pump as well as having fun shooting trap with a pretty non-traditional trap shotgun. I have seen quite a few "tactical" and "home defense" shotguns at the range shooting a few rounds of trap. It may not be traditional but where else can someone shoot their shotguns for practice and fun?




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 Post subject: Re: Why do ranges/clubs have min. barrel length rules?
PostPosted: Sat Oct 19, 2013 4:38 pm 
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Location: Central Indiana
bigbearbear wrote:
One of my colleague has a double barrel shotgun (side by side) with barrel length of 20 inch. We wanted to do some trap shooting but almost all the ranges/clubs in my area have this odd rule about minimum barrel length. Their minimum barrel length requirement can be anything from 22 to 26 inches.

Does anyone know why do they do that? Is there a sporting reason for this or is this just to prevent wannabe gangsters from using the trap fields to practice their drive-by shooting with their short barrel shotguns?


Most of these proper club shooters just want to keep the "Riff-Raff" off their ranges.
That is why I won't join a club and will only shoot at DNR ranges where as long as the gun is pointed down range they don't care.


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 Post subject: Re: Why do ranges/clubs have min. barrel length rules?
PostPosted: Sat Oct 19, 2013 6:20 pm 
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Thanks for the various feedback everyone, looks like there are multiple possible reasons why they have this limit on barrel length. The one about sound is a little strange, but I guess its their range their rules kind of thing.

I guess we'll stick with sharing and using my shotgun instead of both ours, I have a Benelli SuperSport that has a 28" barrel. The trap shooting isn't a "regular" field where you have 5 people shooting at different stations. The range does have that but we're planning to use their manual trap range, it is more like a trainer/fun clay shoot thing where you load the clay into a manual machine and have someone step on a level to throw the clay for you. And you shoot one person at a time.


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 Post subject: Re: Why do ranges/clubs have min. barrel length rules?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 28, 2013 11:48 am 
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Skeet_Man wrote:
I've never been to a club that has a minimum barrel length, but can completely understand why.

Typically those who have short barreled shotguns (often with rifle sights, a tactical flashlight, a sling (with or without 25 rounds of ammo), pistol grip collapsible stock, and sidesaddle mount) are neophytes to the shooting sports (and the appropriate safety rules). They are also typically the ones who take their gun out of the case behind the field, proceed to load up their 10 round extended magazines, then try to walk to the field with a closed, loaded gun. When they leave, you see the ground littered with high brass, large shot size hulls.

It is EXTREMELY rare that a shooter who is familiar with the game, and knows what they're doing, will show up with their home defense riot gun to shoot clay targets with.

If you want to play, show up with appropriate equipment. They're not going to let you play golf with a bag full of garden rakes and hockey sticks either, even though you can hit golf balls with them.

Tell your buddy to talk to the range manager and explain the situation. If he can demonstrate that he's safe and knows what he's doing, they may make an exception for him.



I couldn't have put it better. I shoot at a large public range and see it all the time. I would agree if your friend has a old double and asks it may be allowed. I've seen wannabes walk up with 5 boxes of buckshot expecting to shoot.

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 Post subject: Re: Why do ranges/clubs have min. barrel length rules?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 28, 2013 12:59 pm 
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joe74 wrote:
bigbearbear wrote:
One of my colleague has a double barrel shotgun (side by side) with barrel length of 20 inch. We wanted to do some trap shooting but almost all the ranges/clubs in my area have this odd rule about minimum barrel length. Their minimum barrel length requirement can be anything from 22 to 26 inches.

Does anyone know why do they do that? Is there a sporting reason for this or is this just to prevent wannabe gangsters from using the trap fields to practice their drive-by shooting with their short barrel shotguns?


Most of these proper club shooters just want to keep the "Riff-Raff" off their ranges.
That is why I won't join a club and will only shoot at DNR ranges where as long as the gun is pointed down range they don't care.


That is just plain old BS, it has nothing to do with riff-raff.

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 Post subject: Re: Why do ranges/clubs have min. barrel length rules?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 28, 2013 1:15 pm 
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We let riff raff in to Deer Creek didn't we Don, :D (sorry could not resist)

What we did not tolerate were unsafe folks. So all firing had to be done with the gun in the shoulder. If your gun lacked a shoulder stock, no matter how long the barrel tube, it was not allowed. We had plenty rentals that were safe so no problem.

One of the guys who became a big fan and brought LOTS of friends came for the first time with an HD gun. we explained it was less than ideal, he found we were right and now shoot a Guerini with a bunch of buddies he started.

We operated on the Tiffani's model. You never know who you are talking to.

BTW some of the unsafe folks we asked to leave and not come back had very fancy guns, and SUV's but that did not make them safe, like wise short barrel does not make you unsafe

Roger

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 Post subject: Re: Why do ranges/clubs have min. barrel length rules?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 28, 2013 6:18 pm 
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Now Roger - as Groucho once said, I wouldn't belong to any club that would have me as a member! :mrgreen:

We do as you did at Deer Creek at my local club near Dunnellon. We get all types, especially right before hunting season, and if they are new, we usually have a regular with them to help, coach and watch for safety issues before they become issues.

And as you stated, I have been swept by someone who should have known better while having a brand new shooter go overboard on the safety

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 Post subject: Re: Why do ranges/clubs have min. barrel length rules?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 1:22 pm 
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I have been to a few clubs/ranges, some have firm barrel length rules others post the rule but do little to enforce it. I asked around (different employees at different times) and got a few variations.

In addition to the Safety, Noise, Riff-Raff and sportsman reasoning I was also provided with what I think may be the truth at the heart of it all.
1) Legal protection- Living in California we love our law suits AND we love to harass those who enjoy guns. The 'legal' minimum barrel length in CA. is 18+", god help you if you are under 18" by even a fraction (even if the guy checking measured wrong). Posting a rule that shorter barrels are not allowed seems to make the ranges feel they are going to get less scrutiny from any potential nannies. I am sure some lawyer along the way advised they restrict short barrels because they caused some liability in some obscure case.

2) MONEY (and legal)- ranges that limit the size/speed of shells to protect catch screens or traps that may be somewhat exposed also seem to be the most finicky about barrel length. Apparently they think the 18" pump only shoots OObuck at 1800 fps.

On the other hand one range I spoke to could give a s**t what you bring or what kind of load you shoot as long as you pay the guy before you shoot. They are way out in the boonies shooting against a mountain and have only a couple of trap stations with traps built in a nice brick house. They also have range masters roaming around to ensure actions are open and empty before they walk off the field.

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 Post subject: Re: Why do ranges/clubs have min. barrel length rules?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 3:37 pm 
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Quote:
Apparently they think the 18" pump only shoots OObuck at 1800 fps.


We had a few start to shoot their SD/HD guns with 00 buck at clays - one shot was enough to call a halt as that could easily reach the approach road or highway; same with those Fiocchi Golden Pheasant #5s that some wanted to use before a trip to Montana; so newbies and especially those newbies showing up with hunting guns are given a little extra watchful eye for everyones sake

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 Post subject: Re: Why do ranges/clubs have min. barrel length rules?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 4:03 pm 
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Hello: I took my 3-gun shotgun which is a Remington Versa Max Zombie with a 22" barrel to the trap range. Got some strange looks until I started shooting and breaking the clays. They then came over and wanted to try it. If you are safe I don't see any reason they should not allow them. Now if you are shooting a Taurus Judge I see a problem. As for noise that is crap, a ported gun makes more noise than my 22" gun. Thanks, Eric


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 Post subject: Re: Why do ranges/clubs have min. barrel length rules?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 4:55 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2011 2:33 am
Posts: 856
Location: Southern California
I am am a shotgun neophyte but have some experience with safety issues.

Noise: The metric under discussion is barrel length. To argue that a longer ported barrel is louder than a shorter barrel is really not relevant unless ranges are going to be required to monitor sound ratings per weapon which would put them out of business.

Blowback: No one has considered whether the risk of injury from blowback (unburnt powder or bits of wadding) fro a shorter barrel creates a greater risk of eye injury.

Pointing Awareness: I have both a 30" O/U and a Remington 870. Sometimes the 870 sports and 18.5" barrel, but usually the 28". Whether or not it is as easy to sweep someone with the longer barrels, I have found that I am personally much more aware of how my long barrels are pointed.

Break Action: The issue is barrel length. Just as porting is not the issue, neither is the kind of action, even thought the break action lends itself to better safety.

Experience: I agree anecdotally that persons with short barrels are more likely to have less familiarity with safety procedures, but wonder if the solution isn't to require some proof of training and/or better range supervision. Many hunters are just as guilty of safety infractions with long barrel pumps and autos. It would be financial hardship on range operations, but I wonder that the solution isn't better qualification of shooters than banning of a class of weapons. Perhaps state or regional certification, if not by national organizations.

Pumps and Auto Loaders: If anything was banned, I would like to see these banned from the trap line. Many shooters are considerate, but some don't even seek to realize how annoying it is to be pelted by ejections. Is it a safety concern? Perhaps not, unless a left handed shooter catches a shell in the eye from the semi on his left. (Not the same where they eject out of the bottom.)

Lastly: Most ranges are private businesses, even if they are open to the public. Open to the public businesses are banned from certain types of discrimination, but barrel length is not one of them. It the club/range owner thinks short barrels or bad for business, rightly or not, it is there right to restrict short barrels. Suck it up, guys. Supposedly, gun owners support traditional property rights. Just my feelings.


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 Post subject: Re: Why do ranges/clubs have min. barrel length rules?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2014 5:18 pm 
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Location: (49.15852, -123.07726), British Columbia
I see many more new shooters (just getting a taste) and occasional shooters (day pass 3 times a year) than regulars. I am a new shooter myself even though I've shoot a lot since I started.
Skeet_Man wrote:
I've never been to a club that has a minimum barrel length, but can completely understand why.

Typically those who have short barreled shotguns (often with rifle sights, a tactical flashlight, a sling (with or without 25 rounds of ammo), pistol grip collapsible stock, and sidesaddle mount) are neophytes to the shooting sports (and the appropriate safety rules). They are also typically the ones who take their gun out of the case behind the field, proceed to load up their 10 round extended magazines, then try to walk to the field with a closed, loaded gun. When they leave, you see the ground littered with high brass, large shot size hulls.

It is EXTREMELY rare that a shooter who is familiar with the game, and knows what they're doing, will show up with their home defense riot gun to shoot clay targets with.

If you want to play, show up with appropriate equipment. They're not going to let you play golf with a bag full of garden rakes and hockey sticks either, even though you can hit golf balls with them.

Tell your buddy to talk to the range manager and explain the situation. If he can demonstrate that he's safe and knows what he's doing, they may make an exception for him.
Mr. Smingler gave a better answer than anyone (range officer, director or other) at the range I shoot at. I'm going to steal his "hockey sticks" story to use here and there. :wink: But it's still only part of the picture. I'm still working, for my own satisfaction, to fill in the rest.


Last edited by gdt930 on Fri Jan 10, 2014 6:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Why do ranges/clubs have min. barrel length rules?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2014 5:33 pm 
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Location: (49.15852, -123.07726), British Columbia
CBLindsay wrote:
I have been to a few clubs/ranges, some have firm barrel length rules others post the rule but do little to enforce it. I asked around (different employees at different times) and got a few variations.

In addition to the Safety, Noise, Riff-Raff and sportsman reasoning I was also provided with what I think may be the truth at the heart of it all.
1) Legal protection- Living in California we love our law suits AND we love to harass those who enjoy guns. The 'legal' minimum barrel length in CA. is 18+", god help you if you are under 18" by even a fraction (even if the guy checking measured wrong). Posting a rule that shorter barrels are not allowed seems to make the ranges feel they are going to get less scrutiny from any potential nannies. I am sure some lawyer along the way advised they restrict short barrels because they caused some liability in some obscure case.
+1

Case law and insurance companies. Another case of dealing with the lowest common denominator.

CBLindsay wrote:
2) MONEY (and legal)- ranges that limit the size/speed of shells to protect catch screens or traps that may be somewhat exposed also seem to be the most finicky about barrel length. Apparently they think the 18" pump only shoots OObuck at 1800 fps.

On the other hand one range I spoke to could give a s**t what you bring or what kind of load you shoot as long as you pay the guy before you shoot. They are way out in the boonies shooting against a mountain and have only a couple of trap stations with traps built in a nice brick house. They also have range masters roaming around to ensure actions are open and empty before they walk off the field.
It's lucky for regular target shooters that high powered buckshot just hurts too much, and costs too much, to shoot. But all kidding aside, it is smart to severely over build your backstop and further over estimate the downrange safety margins.


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 Post subject: Re: Why do ranges/clubs have min. barrel length rules?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2014 6:02 pm 
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If you guys could post a REAL court decision where a gun club was held at fault (liable) , I'd love to read it.

I've been a lawyer for 35+ yrs and have never seen such a case. I was asked to consult on two cases that involved gun clubs in all that time.....neither involved anyone getting shot.

One was due to a trap mechanic falling from the stairs to the high house and the 2d one was a undisciplined dog knocking a hunter down.

Seriously. :?:

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 Post subject: Re: Why do ranges/clubs have min. barrel length rules?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2014 6:04 pm 
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sera wrote:
If you guys could post a REAL court decision where a gun club was held at fault (liable) , I'd love to read it.

I've been a lawyer for 35+ yrs and have never seen such a case. I was asked to consult on two cases that involved gun clubs in all that time.....neither involved anyone getting shot.
You know a lot of cases don't make it to court; for the records. All someone needs to do is threaten to sue. And cases settled out of court have real impact. No?


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 Post subject: Re: Why do ranges/clubs have min. barrel length rules?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2014 6:18 pm 
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TheKlawMan wrote:
Pointing Awareness: I have both a 30" O/U and a Remington 870. Sometimes the 870 sports and 18.5" barrel, but usually the 28". Whether or not it is as easy to sweep someone with the longer barrels, I have found that I am personally much more aware of how my long barrels are pointed.
I agree with you. I don't think either one of us have a lot of success explaining the concept to people who doesn't see this right away. I've watched new gun handlers with handguns. That's one of the tougher habits to teach. Even when they basically understand, it's still not instinctual for many.

TheKlawMan wrote:
Break Action: The issue is barrel length. Just as porting is not the issue, neither is the kind of action, even thought the break action lends itself to better safety.
Something like this should be sold at all ranges for $1. Everyone should strive to be the safest guy/girl at the range.

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TheKlawMan wrote:
Pumps and Auto Loaders: If anything was banned, I would like to see these banned from the trap line. Many shooters are considerate, but some don't even seek to realize how annoying it is to be pelted by ejections. Is it a safety concern? Perhaps not, unless a left handed shooter catches a shell in the eye from the semi on his left. (Not the same where they eject out of the bottom.)
Now just a cotton pickin' minute here. :) Let's not rush to some squirrely decisions, eh?

Image

A simple rubber band will solve your problem. It works even better than the Birchwood Casey shell catcher I have on my other gun. The ones that works best can be found when you buy broccoli at the supermarket. It's thicker and shorter than the ones you usually find at the office supply store. It also works better. Most of the shells will just drop a foot in front and to the right; at your feet.

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It actually does not bother me when other people's hulls comes my way or even hits me on my leg occasionally. You have to block out some of this. Practice concentration? Now if it hits people on the side of the head, that's all different!


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 Post subject: Re: Why do ranges/clubs have min. barrel length rules?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2014 6:36 pm 
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Now can we discuss how tripping hazards should be dealt with? LOL

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 Post subject: Re: Why do ranges/clubs have min. barrel length rules?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2014 1:46 pm 
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Bull Run Shooting Center, Centreville, VA, bans barrels less than 23 inches for all of the reasons listed above.

Bull Run has also started a Learn-the-Game program to complement their Learn-to-Shoot program for the sole purpose of introducing the new shooters to actually shooting a game.

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 Post subject: Re: Why do ranges/clubs have min. barrel length rules?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2014 8:00 pm 
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The people that I associate with during my "tactikewl" range days (IDPA, USPSA, three gun) would mop the floor with most of you when it comes to safety, muzzle discipline and awareness, and gun handling skills.

Seriously, this thread is beyond ridiculous in that most of you believe what you say about the connotations of shorter barrel shotguns


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 Post subject: Re: Why do ranges/clubs have min. barrel length rules?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2014 8:51 pm 
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Maybe your tacky cool competitors are very safety conscious, but the newbie who just bought his new zombie slayer is not, and when they come to "shoot some clays" and have no idea how the game goes, they are serious safety risks and get a close scrutiny. Even the old gents who were hunters and just starting 5-stand have to be watched to make they have an empty gun as they change positions.
My clubs do not care, but as I mentioned before, you WILL be watched for safety sake



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