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Why Can't I Shoot my Benelli at ANY RANGE in the Houston Area?


Nalapombu

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Hey all,

Before I moved here to Texas I thought it was a Sprotsman's and gun owners dream. That's one of the reasons I always wanted to live here. Boy was I ever wrong about this stuff. I swear to you, I have never seen things like I have seen in the last couple weeks here....anywhere. If I didn't know any better I would swear I was in Connecticut or Massachusetts, some really UNFRIENDLY state to guns.

Here's the problem.

I have had a Benelli M1in my closet for 10 years. It's had maybe 25 rounds through it. I decided to fix it up for HD use with the hopes that at some point soon I would try this 3-Gun thing.

I put a +4 tube on itfrom Nordic, new sights and follower. I planned on a few other things later on. Naturally after I got it set up I wanted to "break" it in. It hasn't been fired in such a long time and I wanted to make sure everything was working together without any problems before I loaded it and put it in my corner to rely on it for protection.

I thought it would be nothing to go to my closest range and run through a box of 100. I drive out to the range that I have had so many people tell me about. They tell me it is the most awesome range around here. I was excited about it. It's called HOT WELLS. I went there, they have pistol ranges, rifle ranges, both at varying distances. Nice benches, great facilities and help. They also have the shotgun area that has skeet and trap facilities.

I explain to the guy running the place that I have a Home Defense shotgun that I want to break in. I want to know where I can go to shoot it on the range and how much. What he tells me next I simply could not believe I would ever hear on a range....in TEXAS.

He tells me I can't shoot it on the pistol range, OK. Then he says no to the rifle range, OK. Then he explains that he will NOT allow me to shoot this shotgun on the shotgun range and when I ask why, he said they SCARE the other shotgun shooters. HUH? WTH? SCARE people at the GUN RANGE? I thought it was some kind of a joke. Sadly, it wasn't. I ask what if I come there the first thing in the morning on their least busy day and I went to the farthest part away from anyone else.....AND if anyone else came onto the shotgun range, I would pack up and leave. NOPE....not a chance.

He then tells me that my ONLY chance to shoot my shotgun at that range is to pay $85 for a Home Defense Class that is 2X per month. I ask will I be able to shoot all 100 rounds or so and he says NO. You'll have to shoot the way the instructor tells you to, no deviations from the program, but if you don't get to shoot enough in that class, you can pay $35 and repeat it and then pay the fee again and repeat it as much as you want.

That was his solution.

I left shaking my head. I thought this was some kind of a joke.

I started calling and visiting other ranges in the area and asking them if I could bring my Benelli to shoot at their range. Some of them told me flat out NO and some told me that I would be welcome to shoot at their range anytime I wanted if I removed the mag tube, put in a 2 shot limiter and agreed that I would load no more than 2 rounds at a time and never shoot more than that.

I am up to 8 or 9 ranges now that have refused to allow me to shoot this shotgun. If someone would've told me this before I put this shotgun together I would've laughed in their face. I would've said...this is TEXAS, not Connecticut.

So, here I sit with a souped up Home Defense shotgun that I can't shoot. No range in the area will allow me to shoot it. It SCARES too many people. You think I'm joking about that, I'm not. I've been told that more than once.

SCARY GUNS = BAD.

As a last resort I thought that surely someone here would be able to help me find a place to shoot my shotgun. I don't know what else to do? I've sent emails, called and visited more ranges than I ever thought I would have to. Now I have a list of ranges that I will NEVER..EVER walk into again.

I just want a place that will let me test my shotgun. That's all. I can't do it though.

Can you all help?

Do you have any suggestions at all for me?

At this point, I would gladly PAY a private land owner that is gun friendly to allow me to come to his place and shoot my shotgun. That's how bad it is down here. I don't know what the other people that have these shotguns do. I know they are NOT shooting them at the most well known and popular ranges in Houston, I've checked with almost all of them.

Any ideas?

Thanks for the time and help.

Nalajr

P.S. I apologize for the long post but I wanted you all to know what I have been through trying to do nothing more than find a range to shoot my shotgun at.

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Have you tried American Shooting Centers? http://www.amshootcenters.com/As scary as that place can be (public range, lots of first time shooters) you can shoot your shotgun there at the 25 yard patterning board. You could also see if Baileys House of Guns would let you shoot there. That's your short term solution.

Long term solution, join PSC or ImpactZone. You can shoot shotguns at a plate rack at PSC, run around with it like you would in a match, etc. That's where I'm a member.

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wow that is bizarre. look and sign up for a 3 gun match in your area. you will definitely get to use/test your shottie at a 3 gun match. actually it's a great idea to wring out your HD gear (pistol, rifle, shottie) at matches just to make sure everything (including the shooter) works as intended.

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Hmmm...Wow 8 or 9 ranges...

Go to impact zone in Hempstead.

Google it and go on a 3 gun day and ask if you can run/test/break in shotgun.

You must be going to country clubs, Hahahahaha

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

MOST of the ranges in Houston are country club esque. It's where the money is. Static rifle and pistol, sporting clays, trap, and skeet. They perceive too much risk in drawing your gun, and most of them have 1 round/second speed limits. Some of the indoor ranges are better about the speed limit, but most of them state you can't draw from a holster or pick up your brass. As you mentioned, ImpactZone is good if you can get in, but I would choose PSC any day. http://psc-range.com/

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This is actually and unfortunately very common all over the country. This was the case at my club when I first joined. No place to shoot the tactical-ish shotguns on our range. I joined the board of directors and eventually, slowly, incrementally effected changes to allow action sports type shooting. Now no one freaks out when I shoot 5 stand or skeet with my 3gun shotgun and I have 2 berms designated for "special use". It's a start and while I have to jump through hoops to use them, I have a place close to home where I can go practice. Even still, I am a member of 3 different clubs, just so I can practice everything I need to practice.

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This may be a bit of a drive, but Cawthon Cartridge Club out in Navasota has plenty of bays and open fields to shoot your shotgun if you're looking for a long term private range. Memberships are a bit pricey, but the facilities they have are damn useful. They have USPSA and 3-gun monthly matches which definitely take advantage of the area available at the range. Don't worry about your shotgun being frowned on, the only guys we look at strange because of their shotguns are Open Division shooters (but that's because we are all jealous of the box mag "unloaded shotgun starts" :roflol: )

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This may be a bit of a drive, but Cawthon Cartridge Club out in Navasota has plenty of bays and open fields to shoot your shotgun if you're looking for a long term private range. Memberships are a bit pricey, but the facilities they have are damn useful. They have USPSA and 3-gun monthly matches which definitely take advantage of the area available at the range. Don't worry about your shotgun being frowned on, the only guys we look at strange because of their shotguns are Open Division shooters (but that's because we are all jealous of the box mag "unloaded shotgun starts" :roflol: )

Don't hate our Open shotguns because they are beautiful. :devil::cheers:

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Nalapombu

You vist DFW area much?

If you do try to make it on Sat or Sun bring your Benelli with you and drop me a PM a day or 2 in advance. You will be my guest for the day at our range and you can shoot it as much as you want bring your ammo with you slugs, buck shoots etc

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Yes, I feel your pain....I joined three ranges so I can shoot all of my guns! OP, I am sorry the ranges in your area tainted your view of TEXAS....I hope things will change for he better! One of the ranges I know of (in East Texas) has just begun to accept semi-shotguns as they are trying to attract more people to shoot skeet and trap. When I visit my brother and shoot there, I am respectful of the O/U shooters and just laugh it off when they ask about my mag extension on my Beretta 1301.

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I visit Texas twice a year, and I've found the exact same scenarios and attitudes. The worst part is that it is perpetuated because people think it's normal. It's the same line of thinking and tradition that makes texas an anti-open-carry state requiring a license for ANY form of carrying a handgun for self-defense. Texas is not a gun-carry friendly state.

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Every range I have vistied or contacted is an OUTDOOR range. I've emailed, called or visited at least 10 ranges and hear back from about 8. They are not just in Houston, but in Conroe, and other small towns around Houston. These are not Country Club type ranges with Wine and Cheese bars. I can't afford that stuff so there wouldn't be any need for me to even check on such a place.

ImpactZone is PRIVATE. Cannot go there as a member of the public. They make that pretty darn clear to you. Unless it is on the day of a match. Showing up on a 3 gun match day doesn't sound like a lot of fun to try and shoot my just modded Benelli for the first time in 10 years in front of 75 guys and gals waiting to shoot.

As far as making friends or trying to get onto some rural property, don't think that's going to work either. I've been trying for 2 years to get to hog hunt or find someone to give me some pointers or advice and that hasn't worked out as well as the finding a place to shoot my Benelli has...if that gives you any idea of how easy that has been.

In 2 years everything I thought Texas was has been shattered before my eyes. It's NOT a hunters paradise...unless you are LOADED with cash to spend 2 grand + per year on a lease....and it is certainly NOT a gun lovers paradise.

This Benelli thing in the corner is nothing more than a 9 pound Paper Weight at this point.

American Shooters Center is the one in George Bush Park....right? I've already checking into that place. I called them. The person on the phone said no loading more than 2 rounds at a time and when on the shotgun range, someone will be with you at all times to make sure you oberve the rules.

I tell ya I am about to the point where I load up about 200 rounds and my Benelli and drive west until I hit no where'sville and then stop and shoot till I don't want to shoot any more. The way I see it that's about the only chance I'll have at getting to shoot this shotgun.

I swear this feels like some kind of retarded dream I am in. But its not.

I never thought I would ever say this again, but how I long for West Virginia.

Thanks all for the suggestions.

Nalajr

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Go to sa or dfw area. Or even better hill country or midland. Anywhere but Huston and you ll be fine. Except maybe Austin;)

I spend more time north of SA in the hill country, and the attitudes are the same. Even my pro-gun (not Fudds) friends who live there are noticeably anti-carry and are always making excuses for the cops, government, laws, and traditions.

The best pro-freedom part of the state is the backwoods of NE Texas, an hour out of Lufkin. It's another world.

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I'm sorry I can't offer any help, but I do want to thank the OP for posting the topic. I always thought Texas was more gun-friendly too, but apparently not. It makes me appreciate Nevada (Las Vegas) even more. At the outdoor ranges here we can pretty much do whatever we want as long as we're safe. Shoot slugs on the rifle range, rapid fire, full-auto, etc. It's a great conversation starter to shoot skeet with a drum mag on your Saiga.

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