The Los Angeles Shooting Range Blues

Blog Post
The Los Angeles Shooting Range Blues (a rant)

For those of you who can target shoot in your back yard (the way I did when I was a kid) or who can drive two miles to the local range, I’m howling for pity, because I can’t.
As a young man, living in Arizona, Colorado, etc. Shooting was a way of life for me and everyone who lived around me. In Southern California, the climate is different.
In order for me to shoot in an area where people won’t call the authorities, I need to drive a minimum of three hours from home. Six hour round trip.
There are ranges closer BUT 
  • They are often populated by inner city people who just as often as not shoot into my target, thinking that they are shooting into their own. Most serious shooters feel that they’re far more likely to die at the Lytle Creek Range than they would be, clerking at a liquor store in Watts or Compton.
  • Then there are the agents from the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms who show up from time to time and take down license plate numbers and/or ask to inspect your firearm. While I am ATF compliant with any weapon that I would take to the local range, it’s annoying.  And the Agents from the US Forrest Service (who oversee the operation of the range), generally well meaning and clueless, but annoying. And the Agents from the California Bureau of Investigation who are looking for an easy arrest.
So, no, I have shot there.

Shooting in Arkansas
(JP LR-07 w/Schmitt and Bender Police Marksman II scope)
The trackless Mojave Desert does offer shooting opportunities in relative peace – a three hour drive from the house in each direction, not counting traffic, which can easily make that five hours in each direction.
I can go to visit my buddies in the mountains of Northern Arkansas where the ATF dare not tread in search of moonshiners or shooters (see right). There are a lot of private ranges in Arkansas where you can shoot unmolested. It’s a three-day drive from home in each direction.
In all fairness, there are a lot of shooting opportunities a three day drive from the inner city/blue state hell. 
Yes, it’s true that I’m spending a lot of time in Nevada where everyone is armed to the teeth and there are more shooting ranges than shopping malls, so maybe my rant is only slightly hollow.

20 thoughts on “The Los Angeles Shooting Range Blues

  1. Sorry to hear that — it's no fun shooting at annoying ranges and 6 hours of driving isn't too fun either. Sounds like you might have to move. (jealous of Schmidt & Bender, btw)

  2. Seems like that would make all the business travel more tolerable, if you could incorporate a bit of range time…

    For a while I had a bb gun that worked and a shoebox target, and that made for good living room stress relief. Last time I tried it though, it seems something about the bb gun is broken. Very disappointing.

  3. You could practice shooting in your back yard, but there's always some spoil sport twip who'll complain about it.

  4. I used to pack a firearm on an airplane, but not these days. More's the pity. Because I could shoot wherever I landed. Overseas – no problem – diplomatic pouch.

  5. P.S. Trade the BB gun for a 12 ga. riot gun. You won't miss the shoebox (in the living room) target anymore and X will get downright polite.

  6. ha! 🙂

    And yeah, I was wondering if it might be a hassle to fly with a gun. Maybe you could buy one in Reno that you keep there somehow… Or do they rent guns at ranges?
    Anyway, shoot something!!

  7. 3 Hours? Think of how far I have to go if I want to shoot something!
    I'm actually dying to shoot something. I can feel a whole new me waiting to come out and be all Lara Croft like!
    However, 3 hours is too far to drive so I suggest a new hobby like…I dunno…pretending to be a plastic surgeon or something 🙂

  8. Why would I want to shoot a rented gun, Pretty Jenny? You haven't been out shooting much lately. The joy of shooting involves shooting either your own weapon, or a borrowed .45 Thompson SMG or a German MG 42, neither of which have to be yours to enjoy.

  9. you've got me there. it's true I've never shot anything I own, so I suppose I don't have a proper point of comparison.

  10. We just joined the Sac Valley range, wife included! She likes the discounted rate for couples – but it's a thirty minute drive or so. El Dorado is closer, but I might need to buy a SAA and a lever-gun for that. Come to the Gunblogger Rendezvous in Reno, last time there was a guy with full-auto fun!

Comments are closed.

Scroll to top