Thursday, November 26, 2009

New Range Report

(Well, not really new, just new to me....)

My man Chuck at Beaches Pawn turned me on to a shooting range out near Marsh Landing not too long ago.

If you drive out to the Beaches on JTB, you might have noticed a wooden tower out in the boonies east of the Intercoastal (a/k/a "the Ditch").
The tower is part of the FOP Lodge #17, and is next to the pistol range out there.

The range as viewed from the tower.

The FOP lodge runs the range and they also have a pretty nice meeting hall out there.

The Lodge

I've been to a couple shindigs out there now, and the facilities are great. The pistol range is private, for members of the Sawgrass Sport Shooting Association. To join the SSSA, you first must join the FOP.
Its not too bad of a deal-
So, join the FOP lodge, apply for membership at the SSSA during one of their monthly meetings (1st Tuesday of the month), pay your initial membership fee, and you're almost there.

There is a mandatory 4 hour firearm safety course that you must attend before you are a full member... There was a training class a week or so back that I attended as part of my application...
It was an excellent class-
3 hours of classroom time, then an hour (more like 2 hours) of range time, working on practical handling and basic pistol drills.

There were 16 people in the class, 9 new shooters and 7 experienced shooters...

Instructor Cooper addressing the class.

We practiced basic point-and-shoot, center-of-mass shooting, one-to-the-chest-one-to-the-head, two-to-the-chest-one-to-the-head, one-hip-one-chest-one-head, then the "Bill Drill"- Five in the chest, one in the head.

Brandon and Dave punching holes in paper plates.

Carolyn, Dwight and Elizabeth working on shooting posture.

Working on the three-shot drills.

After the class there was a steel plate competition and a turkey shoot...
(Our instructor Cooper won the plate shoot, and Dwight won the turkey shoot.)
That evening there was the annual SSSA/FOP Barbeque... SSSA President Steve Guthrie cooked ribs and chicken and Yours Truly fried two turkeys for the party...

That evening they had a dedication ceremony- officially naming the range after one of the founding members, designating it the SSSA Paul Brown Firearms Range.
Mr Brown was in attendance, and was speechless when the new sign was unveiled.

The next meeting will be Tuesday, hopefully I'll get sworn in, learn the secret handshake and the combination to the range gate padlocks...
Just in time for me to take off to Vancouver, Boston and other places until March of next year... So I guess I'll have to wait until after the Olympics are over to start enjoying the shooting gallery.
Woo hoo!


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