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New Range Build

Our plans for a storefront got put on hold shortly after we had started working on retail information and suppliers. Primarily the sources of supplies has dried up for new vendors. With the latest ‘scare’ by the government to take away arms from civilians there has resulted a massive surge in sales. Distributors have not been able to keep up with the volume of orders coming in. The secondary reason was that we came into ownership of a large tractor that was going to be a great help in building a new range at our property. It wasn’t much to look at to start.

 

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After a few weeks of work and a lot of parts, wiring, lights, and elbow grease we got her running like a champ and ready to dig!

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Which leads us to getting it moved out to the range and started some work out there.

The backstop was originally large enough to handle two small lanes of shooters, and was at a downward angle of about 2 degrees. We have been using the farm tractor up to this point to maintain the berm and it has a reach of about 6 feet of height and we were having to drive up the berm to get dirt any higher. Now the Case can reach 12 feet easily and with the backhoe we can reach even higher without issue.

So now the range has been torn up but before long the end result will be much nicer than before. For now though here are some pics of the progress. The current height is in the 10′ range as it stands. It will get taller as we get the area completely cleared and the top soil leveled. Each ‘Day’ is about 2 hours of work since the day job must come first and it leaves little time to get to the range and work. Hopefully after this next weekend it will get a lot of work done on it.

 

This was the start of the berm on Day 3 of work.

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The berm at the end of work for Day 3.

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This was a stand of trees to the left that will be turned into the left 4 lanes. The berm will be widened to around 25 yards of width and will have a grade of 5 degrees. The backstop will be over 16 feet in height and the side berms will be around 12.

The end result should look something like this.

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Until it is done we will still be using it for classes. Don’t hesitate to call us for a class. It may not be as grass covered and green as before but it sure is safer!

The NRA’s Three Rules of Handling a Firearm

Today I am going to take a look at the NRA’s rules of safe gun handling and clarify some of the reasons behind them. Hopefully you will find this educational and possibly incite some thought.

ALWAYS keep a gun pointed in a safe direction

Probably my favorite rule to ingrain into students, this rule is the epicenter of safe gun handling. If you follow only one rule of the three then this is the one to follow at all times. It seems self-explanatory right up until you have to determine what a ‘safe direction’ really is. A lot of students like to ask the question of whether they should always point the gun at the sky or at the ground as the ‘safe direction’. I like to point out that the sky is generally not ‘safe’ since the bullet eventually comes back down to the ground. The ground is a better choice, but with a concrete floor it might not be the ‘safest’ direction of all. ‘Safe direction’ is subjective depending on your situation and should be treated as such. Be sure to understand what your gun is capable of and adjust your ‘safe direction’ accordingly.

ALWAYS keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot

Another fairly simple rule that is almost universally violated by new students on their first time at the range. My next training tool is going to be a mock pistol that has a simple contact that turns on a light every time a finger touches the trigger. A definition of ‘ready to shoot’ should be given as well. I like to tell students that it means that your finger needs to be off the trigger until the sights are aligned with the target, they have begun their breath control, and they are ready to actually put the round down range. This means that they have already adjusted their stance, grip, and sight alignment/sight picture to be ready for the shot. Enforcing this with a student means that when a correction is made after the trigger has been touched by their finger that the first thing said will be to take the finger off of the trigger, then give the corrective action whether it be position, grip, or fundamentals related.

ALWAYS keep a gun unloaded until ready to use

First lets define ‘loaded’. My definition for students is having a gun with rounds in the magazine, cylinder, or chamber. This is a hotly debated topic when an self-described ‘advanced’ student comes to a training class. Upon initial reading most students will assume that it means that a gun should be unloaded at all times. When broken down, however, it is clearly seen that it means that a gun that is not ‘ready to use’ should be kept unloaded. So for this one we will simply take a look at the ‘ready to use’ section. When carrying a concealed firearm, are you ‘ready to use’ it? I know that I am, therefore my firearm is loaded. Is a home defense firearm ‘ready to use’ in its storage location? What this boils down to is the thought of whether a gun in a safe is ‘ready to use’ or if it is there for display or storage. For my own personal uses I will have only the firearm that I am ‘ready to use’ loaded in my home or on my person. Beyond that all of my firearms are unloaded and kept either safely stored or locked with chamber/trigger locks. A couple of display firearms even have their firing pins removed in order to render them completely safe since they are in a display form and have no need to be loaded or used.

In closing, the rules make sense on a lot of levels, but they do take a good bit of common sense and forethought to fully understand and implement. I would like to hear anyone’s thoughts or comments on the matter.