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June 26, 2008

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The Flood of ‘08, Shooting and the Price of Gas

I planned to spend Father’s Day filling sandbags. Fortunately the Iowa River floodwaters crested earlier and lower than anticipated and the city told volunteers to take the day off. This was great news for my sore back and even better news for Iowa City. Barring more rain, we’ve seen the high water mark of the Flood of ’08. As the waters recede, it will be time to clean up and calculate the cost of the flood, which may run to billions.

What does this have to do with shotguns? Well, because my house sits high and dry on a hill, the main cost of the Flood of ’08 to me is this:  due to the road closures and detours between home and the club where I shoot skeet, the 70 mile round trip is now 150 miles one way. Even if gasoline were free I wouldn’t want to make the drive very often. At $4 a gallon it’s not happening. I’ll wait for the water to go down.

Having to re-think my drive to the gun club reminds me that I’ve often wondered how far other people regularly travel to shoot. I don’t have any idea what the average distance is, but I do know that convenient access to a ranges is very important to recruiting and retaining shooters. So I’d like to take a poll: how far do you have to drive to the gun club, and will $4 gas mean fewer trips to the range for you this summer? 


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coach ike

dear dave,
the range for me is about 12 miles round trip so shooting won't be an issue. on a different note, i was surprised to not see the ruger m77 hawkeye as an accurate rifle listed in your previous article? how come?


support the NRA, lots of legal battles to come, and they are the only ones who will be fighting many of them for us. open up your wallets if you can to help the fight to allow us to keep driving to and using these ranges.

Mike Reeder

Here's some more good news for gun owners. The public is clearly with us: Gallup just released the following statement:

Americans in Agreement With Supreme Court on Gun Rights:
Nearly three in four say Second Amendment guarantees right of Americans to own guns

PRINCETON, NJ — The Supreme Court's ruling on Thursday that a District of Columbia ban on handgun ownership is unconstitutional appears to be solidly in step with public opinion. A clear majority of the U.S. public — 73% — believes the Second Amendment to the Constitution guarantees the rights of Americans to own guns. And almost 7 out of 10 Americans are opposed to a law that would make the possession of a handgun illegal, except by the police.

James G

Pistol Range is about 40 miles round trip, rifle range is about 25 miles round trip. Gas has not affected my shooting habits.

However, it seems the price of ammo is going up at about the same rate! I shoot .45 pistols and you can hardly find 100 rounds for less than $35 these days!

With the cost of gas, ammo, and range fees I'm looking at about $100 just to shoot 200 rounds

Will Becker

The war is'nt over just because the battle was won.Don't become complacent.Remember,liberals never give up trying to destroy our liberty and switch to a Marxist government.

George Cook

My rifle, pistol and shotgun shooting facility is a 40 mile round trip. Thats not too bad however my deer lease is a 900 mile round trip. I'll just have to go less often and stay longer.

WA Mtnhunter

....a Marxist government headed by Obama...


Sporting clays 45 minutes, skeet and trap 90 minutes, rifle range side porch with shooting bench. Guess what I do the most of?
Ky bull


Hurray for my RIGHT to drive a 100 miles round trip, twice a month, to shoot. The price of fuel will not deter me, however, the price of ammunition has made me a rim fire nut. Bedding, pillaring, etc. All on a .22LR ! It is amazing how small a group my old Marlin 25-N now shoots. Now I just need to tighten the nut behind the trigger.


Here in Wyoming we shoot handguns right off the back deck. Rifles go to the desert where there are miles of open country. The trap, sporting clays, skeet, silouette, etc. ranges are about 8 miles one way from my house and are first class to boot. Many locals choose to pack a gun and almost every house has anywhere from a few to a lot. As you might expect the crime rate is LOW. The criminals that do exist usually are from somewhere else and don't last long.

Sharp-Shooter PA

Ammo cost really does hurt more than gas. I shoot my .22s, handguns, and shotguns at my house. The closest public rifle range is only like 15 minutes away, and that's where I do most of my high power shooting. The bullseye and small-bore rifle leagues I belong to shoot at an indoor 50' range that is even closer. The farthest I have to go is about an hour away for IPSC/IDPA competitions. I have to say that I do shoot much less besides here at my home, but that is only because I'm trying out having a real life that consists of something more than shooting 5/7 days a week. Turns out that graduation parties, girlfriends, and other normal things are remarkably enjoyable!

J.C. McIntyre

I feel very fortunate that the gun club I shoot at is a 20 mile round trip. I also feel good that I quit smoking cigarettes so the savings pay for the gasoline to go shooting.


Fifty mile round trip. I'm considering getting an air gun and setting up in my garage.

Bernie Kuntz

Our members-only range is 26 miles from here, and with diesel fuel at about $4.50 a gallon, that translates into $12-$13 per shooting session. That's enough to keep me at home too much of the time. I can't begin to describe what it has done to my hunting and fishing plans. It's the worse impediment I've seen in my 59 years.

Phil Bourjaily

It seems that most of you don't have terribly far to go to shoot AND you are hardcore shooters. Coincidence? I don't think so. The more ranges we have open and the easier (and less expensive) it is to shoot, the more people will do it.
Access to shooting and hunting, I think, is the greatest obstacle to the future of the sport.


Wow! No ****s or ***s today!

I drive about 15 miles round trip to shoot at a 100 yard range and 25 miles round trip to shoot at a 300 yard range.

Hunting is about 90 miles round trip.


I have a 50 mile round trip for rifle and pistol. It is a indoor range with modern ventilation system and bullet traps. You can shoot anything you want with no restrictions. Yes I have seen a gentleman shoot a Barrett .50 cal in there. It lite up that 200 yard concrete pipe like you wouldn't believe. When they put in new ranges at my favorite gun shop they took 4 foot diameter sewer pipes and buried them below ground. They put in 50, 100 and 200 yard ranges.

Yooper Jack, next time you come down to mid Michigan you will have to check out Duncan's Outdoor Shop. www.duncansoutdoor.com

Tom the Troll

Tom the Troll.


The 100 yard Rifle / Pistol range is about 12 miles round trip.
The Trap, Skeet & Sporting clay range that also has a rifle pistol range is about 40 miles round trip. I will continue to go as often as I have in the past.


To add to my earlier post.
There is a Bass Pro shop about a 5 mile round trip. It has a rifle tunnel and pistal range. I have only been there once, I prefer shooting outside at the other ranges I mentioned in my earlier post. I also prefer Cabela's


Back to the portable trap and stick bird thrower with cases of targets, a few shooting buddies,and a 3 mile drive to the pasture. When dove season opens, that same 3 mile drive will produce many afternoons of wingshooting pleasure. I am fortunate.


I drive 3 miles one way. I live in Vinton, IA - flood city - and two of the 3 miles of road is washed out. So now my route is 25 miles one way. However we shut down the Thursday night trap shooting until the road is fixed.

K. Pucci

Iroquois Gun Club less then 5 miles down the road. Shoot trap, skeet & target; rifle, pistol & shotgun.
It was a good feeling when the final decision from the supreme court was announced. We now have to watch the die hard liberal facists very closely.

Brian T

I keep forgetting: we have a new 1,000 yd range 45 minutes outside of town with a mountain for a backstop. The .50 cal crew don't blink about the drive.


Closest trap range is 30 miles round trip. Gas is over $4 but I wouldn't mind making the trip if it weren't for the extra expences of buying loading components (shot $40+ per bag)enough for me and my son to shoot. A morning shoot adds up to be pretty pricy in the end. I have rifle and pistol range set up in pasture that I can stretch 200 out of. Thats a little more affordable.


i shoot in the state land about 3 miles from my house, so the gas prices will not affect me there. but i had been toying with trying competition handgun shooting. but with the price of gas, and there being no shooting ranges in my county, i am going to hold off for a while. if things keep going the way they are, we are all going to have to buy mopeds to commute with!

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