The facilities at the Forks Rifle Club W. G. Coulter Rifle Range are for the use of members of the club in accordance with rules established by the Executive Committee acting in accordance with the Bylaws of the Forks Rifle Club, Inc.
The purpose of these rules is to insure that all activities are conducted in a safe manner as to protect individuals and the organization, while promoting the shooting sports activities. To that end the facilities are available for the use of individual members whenever there are not scheduled activities such as matches, leagues, marksmanship training or hunter safety classes taking place. Outdoor shooting shall be restricted to daylight hours, unless the facility has lighting installed on the range. To the extent that it is practical multiple shooting activities will be accommodated. However, the scheduled activity will have priority.
To utilize the range facilities all individuals must be members of the Forks Rifle Club in good standing. Temporary 15 day memberships are available for individuals from outside the area. The sponsoring member must be present and is responsible for the conduct of the temporary member. Members under eighteen years of age must be accompanied and supervised by an adult member whenever on the range. Guests are welcome to accompany the member on the club facility but are not allowed to fire firearms unless participating in a scheduled match, organized league or sanctioned training activity.
Membership cards are issued to all paid members upon the successful completion of the orientation. Members over eighteen years of age are also provided the combination to the gate lock. The combination is not to be given to anyone else. If the number is forgotten, a member of the Executive Committee needs to be contacted to obtain the number. All members need to be prepared to show their membership card upon request by other members. The gate is to be kept locked unless there is an organized shooting event in progress. Always lock the gate behind you upon entering and leaving the range. Do not drive off the graveled roads or parking areas. The prairie trail along the target backstops on the west side of the range complex is graveled between the club house parking lot and the 200 meter silhouette firing point. Do not drive on the remainder of the trail when wet.
Upon entering the range first check the sighting-in-range and building for any activity. If there is someone else utilizing the sighting-in-range, confirm that they have checked for any down range activity. If there is no one utilizing the sighting-in-range, before setting up to shoot, insure that there is no one down range from you. This includes physically checking the target shed and pit areas. If the strobe light on the east outside wall of the sighting-in-building is flashing, it indicates that someone is present on the high power range on the east side of the north-south range road. If there are other individuals on the range facilities coordinate with them before starting to shoot.
Individuals on the sighting-in-range can shoot out to 200 yards utilizing the 100 and 200 yard backstops while there is activity on the high power range east of the north south range road. However, if there is any activity on the west side of the north/south range road, the sighting-in-range cannot be utilized. This includes when the silhouette range is active or there is maintenance activity taking place down range. The chain should be across the entrance to the sighting-in-range parking area, and the signs beside the doors to the sighting-in-building will indicate the range is closed. When the club is hosting state and regional championship matches the range is closed to all other activities.
If an individual desires to shoot beyond the 200 yard backstop on the sighting-in-range utilizing the silhouette range backstops, there can be no one down range on either side of the north-south range road and the chain has to be in place across the north-south range road adjacent to the 600 yard high power firing line.
All individuals will respect and abide by safe gun handling practice at all times when on the range. No one will go ahead of the firing line unless all firearms are unloaded and set down on the shooting bench or floor, holstered or cased. No firearms will be handled when anyone is down range. The muzzles of firearms will be controlled at all times when on the range.
During matches and league shooting, as soon as the firearm is uncased an empty chamber indicator will be inserted into the firearms chamber. It will be removed only when the individual is on the line firing. All members are encouraged to use empty chamber indicators anytime they are utilizing the range facilities. Firearms will be unloaded when not being fired.
Eye and ear protection is recommended for all personnel utilizing the range facilities while firing is taking place, but is required for anyone under the age of eighteen involved in organized shooting activities while on the firing line or in the pit. The use of both ear plugs and muffs is suggested when utilizing the covered firing points on the sighting-in-range.
Promiscuous shooting is strictly prohibited. Only proper targets will be utilized. Shooting at glass bottles, concrete blocks, target frame work, number boards or any club equipment or structures is prohibited. Shooters are expected to pick up their targets and cartridge cases when they are finished shooting. Since the club does not have a trash pick-up service, members are encouraged to take their trash with them. Trash containers are provided for use if it is not practical.
Due to the issue of ricochets, firing at metal targets on the sighting-in-range is prohibited unless the targets have been installed by the club. This includes metal swinging or spinning reactive targets.
It is imperative that all projectiles fired be contained within the confines of the range. All rifles, handguns, and shotguns firing slugs must be fired downrange into an appropriate backstop. Care must be taken when setting up targets that they are aligned with an appropriate backstop.
Shotguns can be fired at aerial clay targets from east of the 600 yard firing point on the high power range, when there is no activity on the high power range. Clay targets must be thrown in a southeasterly direction. Members need to provide their own clay targets. Plans are to install a mechanized thrower at this location. Until that is operational, members will have to provide their own throwers.
Due to the energy involved, the shooting of .50 caliber Browning and similar high energy, large caliber firearms are prohibited unless the individual member has specific approval of the Executive Committee and is limited to the high power range. The firing of any firearm on fully automatic on Club property is prohibited. However, legal automatic firearms may be fired in the semiautomatic mode. Firing of tracer, incendiary, or explosive projectiles is prohibited. The detonation of explosive devises or exploding targets on the range property is prohibited.
Cartridges that cause damage to the steel targets will not be fired at those targets. Members are expected to provide their own targets. The club will endeavor to provide frames on which to mount targets, but during times of high utilization the availability can not be guaranteed. It is suggested that members bring their own target stands, particularly if they plan on shooting at shorter ranges.
The Forks Rifle Club sponsors high power rifle, smallbore rifle, pistol, black powder cartridge rifle and vintage military rifle matches throughout the year. In addition, a number of indoor and outdoor shooting leagues are also sponsored. Matches are open and membership is not required to participate. However, members participating in leagues must pay the appropriate league fee. Nonmembers may participate in league activities, if they pay the established per time fee.Targets are provided for individuals participating in organized matches and league activities. The cost of all material is factored into the league and match fees. A significant portion of the winter indoor league fees is allocated to the expense of heating the range.
The Forks Rifle Club sponsors a junior marksmanship program, which provides the opportunity for young people to get involved in competitive shooting. The club provides the equipment and supplies for the program. Juniors are charged only a nominal fee and may participate in any league activity at no additional cost. Individuals are considered juniors through the year of their twentieth birthday.
Due to the number of organized shooting disciplines offered at the range, the opportunity for an individual member to shoot whenever they choose may at times be limited. Therefore, it is vital that shooters coordinate with other shooters on the line so everyone gets an equal chance to use the facilities. The 100 and 200 yard sighting-in range was constructed in a mannerso that individuals can be shooting from the benches while the 600 yard high power range is being used. Shooting at ranges beyond 200 yards from the benches on the sighting-in range is only permitted if there is no other activity anywhere else on the outdoor range and the chain is in place across the north-south range road.
Indoor Range Rules: User fees support the indoor range. The use of the range is limited to paid-up adult members who have paid the appropriate indoor range fees and junior members under the direction of an instructor, range safety officer, or authorized adult member. In addition to basic safety rules, the following rules will be followed by personnel utilizing the indoor range:
- When the range is in use it will be under control of a club appointed range officer.
- Firing will commence only on the authorization of the range officer in charge.
- Upon the command to “cease fire”, firing will immediately cease actions will be opened and firearms will be unloaded.
- For safety reasons the row of lights over the firing points will be on at all times when firing is taking place.
- The air exchange unit and re-circulating fans will be on as required when firing is taking place.
- Only firearms of .22 long rifle, short, or long calibers are allowed. (no hyper-velocity ammo is permitted)
- Muzzles will be controlled at all times. Keep muzzles pointed up while moving to and from the firing line.
- Except when in the act of firing actions will be kept open and firearms will be unloaded.
- Empty chamber indicators will be inserted in the chamber of firearms at all times, except when on the line firing.
- The trigger finger will remain out of the trigger guard until the muzzle is pointed down range at the backstop.
- All firearms will be unloaded, empty chamber indicators inserted, and grounded before anyone goes in front of the firing line.
- Should a firearm malfunction during the course of fire, the shooter will remain on the firing line with the muzzle pointed down range until the firearm is cleared.
- Only proper paper targets hung on the target stands are permitted.
- Individuals will clean the firing line and the target area upon the completion of firing.
- Fired brass will be placed in the brass bucket.
- Eye and ear protection is mandatory for individuals under eighteen years of age while on the range during firing, but is strongly recommended for all individuals.
- Non-firing personnel other than range officers, instructors, and coaches will remain behind the ready-line while firing is taking place.
- No roughhousing or fooling around is allowed on the range or in the classroom/meeting room.
The above rules are not all inclusive. Additional rules may be initiated by the range officer to insure the range operates in a safe manner. Individuals will follow the directions of the range officer in charge unless it is unsafe to do so. All activities or practices contrary to law are prohibited. Anyone caught vandalizing club property will be prosecuted.
The use of alcohol and/or drugs that impair one's reflexes and/or judgment by anyone while utilizing the Forks Rifle Club facilities is prohibited. Anyone judged to be impaired regardless of cause will not be allowed to utilize the facilities.
All members of the Forks Rifle Club are expected to adhere to these rules and practice safe gun handling at all times when utilizing the facilities of the Forks Rifle Club W. G. Coulter Range. Exemption to any of these rules may only be granted by specific approval of the Executive Committee of the Forks Rifle Club. Individuals, who violate the range rules, commit unsafe acts, or damage club property, may lose their range privileges and may be expelled from the club in accordance with the Bylaws of the Forks Rifle Club.
Most importantly, remember that this is a member run club. Anything abused or neglected will have to be taken care of by other members. A little common courtesy goes a long way. There are always things that need to be done at the range facility. So if you use the club facilities consider doing a little work to help maintain the areas you use.
Revised October 31, 2015