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 Post subject: Rio Salado Sportsmans Club
PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2012 1:11 pm 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Sun Nov 27, 2011 5:44 pm
Posts: 248
Location: Arizona
I have recently shot sporting clays at the Rio Salado Sportsmans club, at Usery Pass, a couple miles north of Apache Junction.

My home course is the Ben Avery Clay Target Center, run by the Arizona Department of Game and Fish. I made some comments in the Ben Avery Post in the South-West Thread. For Phoenix shotgunners, it is *THE* place to go. 3 sporting clays courses of varying levels, bunker trap, FITSC, and refinished trap and skeet fields. And they are still improving!

Anyway, what happens here in AZ is that the Game and Fish will open a range, run it for few years, then arrange for operations to be run by local gun clubs. This is Rio Salado. This model has proven so successful, that last year, Game and Fish started building a course in Northern Arizona, and is looking to build in Yuma.

I guess Rio has been there for a long time, in excess of 10 years, perhaps? There is a rifle/pistol range, gunsmith, and the clays course. I will only be reviewing the clays course.

I have not been there in at least 6 years. When I first went, you had to call to make sure they were open, and it was kind of a PITA. But no longer!

Rio has set hours, price is comparable to Ben Avery (actually better, $30/100 for non-members, $20 for members, BA is $25 for members), ammo sales/gunsmith on premises, and nice friendly people. $5 push cart rentals, same as BA.

Before you go tot he clays area, there is a patterning board. As you enter the clays area, you first come upon the 5-stand. At BA, the 5 stand is set up on a skeet/trap field. At Rio, it seemed more spacious. Continuing on, there are two traps that take tokens, to warm up or for beginners. Continuing on, you arrive at the first station of the sporting clays course. The course is only 12 stations, BUT, at least 1/2 of the stations have two cardysytems (four traps), a 'spicy' and a 'mild' settings. The course is in an 'L' shape where the stations are, but is also an 'O'. So stations are set up on 1/2 of the 'O' and the other half is trail for golf carts. I thought that was a good idea, to keep people finished with the course away from the shooters. Also, you are shooting with a mountain backdrop, which was pleasant.

Target presentations were good, both 'mild' and 'spicy'. The 'spicy' ones really were! Rio does alot of things that I liked. For one, you have to pick up your own shells, and most do as they have >4k members, so most people there have some ownership as a member. But, Rio also provides magnetic wands at each station to pick up shells. In fact, each station had water in coolers, magnetic wands, stick to poke wads, automatic traps, and a separate 'stand' to score, put stuff on (very convenient). Throughout the course, there are shade covers, plenty of benches. The course is well maintained.

Cons: Parking lot is small right by the clays course (the whole area is one HUGE parking lot, so alot of parking). Office is walking distance from course, if you do not mind walking in sand, maybe 50 yds. Office could be located closer to course, as there is a building there.

As Rio is equidistant for me as Ben Avery, I will be visiting a lot more. Especially when BA has tournaments, which they have many scheduled this year.

Their website can be found here: http://www.riosaladosportsmans.com.
Usery Mountain Shooting Range, An Arizona Game and Fish Range
Managed by Rio Salado Sportsman's Club, Inc.
Location:
3960 N Usery Pass Road, in Northeast Mesa, 7 miles north of Highway 60 (Ellsworth Road Exit).

Hours:
7:00 AM to 5:00 PM, everyday.
We close at 2pm on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve
Closed New Year's Day, Easter, Thanksgiving & Christmas Day.

I am not affiliated with Rio Salado Sportsman's Club.




Last edited by prettigrumpy on Tue Mar 20, 2012 12:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Rio Salado Sportsmans Club
PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2012 1:18 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 30, 2010 8:06 am
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Location: Tucson Az
Good report Grumpy! Accurate and thoruogh!

I have shot many times there with a friend of mine, and it is a pleasant walk, and good shooting!

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Patriotism: Supporting your Country ALL THE TIME;
and your government when it deserves it - MARK TWAIN



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 Post subject: Re: Rio Salado Sportsmans Club
PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2012 2:04 pm 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Sun Nov 27, 2011 5:44 pm
Posts: 248
Location: Arizona
870, Thanks!

I hear Tuscon Trap and Skeet has invested and revised their courses there. Missed the January/Feb tournaments there this year due to being out of the country. But am excited to shoot there this year, and will review.


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 Post subject: Re: Rio Salado Sportsmans Club
PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2012 9:36 am 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Tue Oct 14, 2008 6:55 pm
Posts: 256
Rio is my home club and I am one of the shotgun instructors. We throw just over two million targets per year.

There is additional parking to the right of the main lot as you face the entrance to the course...you just don't see it because of the 'scrub brush.'

We are in the process of setting up a shotgun clubhouse / trailer right behind the five stand set up. When they come to the club, most guys park by the rimfire range by the office to buy their targets and then drive over to the shotgun range.

The only thing we lack is skeet...and we've looked at it a million different ways. It's a matter of having enough real estate to deal with safely managing shot fall. Right now we just don't have it. Otherwise there is literally something for everyone at this club. We hold a registered shoot once every quarter, and hold other fun events like the South American Dove Flurry.

Membership is literally 1/20th of what I paid at my last club. Target fees for members are the best around. We *are* the friendliest gun club, and most certainly have the most scenic and beautiful sporting clays course in the state.

Come out and visit and consider becoming a member even if you don't spend the whole year here. You'll be glad you did.

http://www.riosaladosportsmans.com/

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 Post subject: Rio Salado Sportsmans Club - 5 stand review
PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 7:47 pm 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Sun Nov 27, 2011 5:44 pm
Posts: 248
Location: Arizona
I am liking this course more and more everytime I go, in fact I have purchased a family membership!

Shot the 5 stand today, level 1 and level 3. There is a dedicated gentleman who runs the 5-stand. There are 3 different levels. Level 1 is singles and report pairs. Level 2 is singles, report pairs, and true pairs. Level 3 is singles and true pairs. Overall, and excellent outing!


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 Post subject: Re: Rio Salado Sportsmans Club - 5 stand review
PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 10:36 pm 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Tue Oct 14, 2008 6:55 pm
Posts: 256
prettigrumpy wrote:
I am liking this course more and more everytime I go, in fact I have purchased a family membership!

Shot the 5 stand today, level 1 and level 3. There is a dedicated gentleman who runs the 5-stand. There are 3 different levels. Level 1 is singles and report pairs. Level 2 is singles, report pairs, and true pairs. Level 3 is singles and true pairs. Overall, and excellent outing!


That's my buddy James. He's a hell of a bunker shooter. His dad runs the whole shotgun show.

My shooting / instructing is about to take a back seat to the two English Labrador pups I just purchased, but I am always willing to meet a new guy and take him around. Contact me at kind dot stranger at yahoo dot com. Sundays are best!


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 Post subject: Re: Rio Salado Sportsmans Club
PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 11:48 am 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Sun Nov 27, 2011 5:44 pm
Posts: 248
Location: Arizona
Yep. Spoke with James for a little bit, nice guy, didn't want to use his name initially.... The one thing that I liked about him is that I didn't feel rushed like I do at some courses and he seemed to move the pace of the group. The group in front of me was slow(er), I tend to be fast(er), he adjusted accordingly. And of course, he has an eye out for safety.

How often do they change the traps around, on both the 5-stand and the sporting clays course?


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 Post subject: Re: Rio Salado Sportsmans Club
PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 3:49 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 02, 2003 6:04 pm
Posts: 766
Location: Gilbert Arizona
prettigrumpy wrote:
How often do they change the traps around, on both the 5-stand and the sporting clays course?



I don't know about the 5 stand but they change the Sporting clays sort of like this: Around 6 of the 12 stations are changed each week, sometimes more time permitting, but that's around their average. Sometimes the change may be as slight as to going from a report pair to a true pair, sometimes both traps are radically changed in the way they operate, what they throw, the speed they throw or the type of clay they throw.


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 Post subject: Re: Rio Salado Sportsmans Club
PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2012 2:12 am 
Field Grade

Joined: Thu Sep 08, 2011 2:02 am
Posts: 30
Thumbs Up for Rio. Home course [was given a family membership as a Christmas gift] and have really liked the fellas at the shotgun ranges. Had some issues with my gun and the guys were very willing to hep me out.




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