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 on the range 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, hunter safety classes, or other related activities taking place. Outdoor shooting is restricted to daylight hours, unless the facility has lighting installed on the range for shooting after dark. 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 fifteen (15) day memberships are available for individuals from outside the area (100 miles). 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. Junior members over eighteen years of age are provided the combination to the gate lock and must complete the orientation. 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 activity is in progress. Always lock the gate behind you upon entering and leaving the range. When there is an organized activity taking place requiring access the gate will be locked in the open position by a club officer or individual in charge of that event. Then the gate will remain open until the event is over and then will be once again locked in the closed position.
Do not drive off the graveled roads or parking areas. The road 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. However, a prairie trail runs on the west side of the silhouette range between the 200-meter firing point and the 500-meter silhouette backstop. Do not drive on the prairie trail when it is wet. The 500-meter backstop may be accessed from the north-south range road.
Upon entering the range, 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 both sides of range including the target shed and pit areas. If there are other individuals on the range facilities coordinate with them before starting to shoot.
If the amber 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 the amber light is on individuals on the sighting-in-range are restricted to shooting at 200 yards or less. Individuals on the sighting-in-range can shoot out to 200 yards utilizing the 25, 50, 100 and 200 yard backstops while there is activity on the high power range east of the north south range road.
When 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. At these times 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 multi-day state and regional championship matches the range is closed to all other activities. Check, the club website for the latest information on scheduled range activities.
When there is no activity on the high power range, the chain is to be up across the north-south range road adjacent to the 600-yard firing point. The chain on the west range road is to be up except when someone is down on the range putting up or taking down targets or performing maintenance activities. Before driving down range to put up or remove targets on the sighting-in-range or silhouette range backstops insure that the red flashing lights in the sighting-in-range are on.
Regardless of flashing lights, signs on doors, chains across roads or entrances to parking lots, every individual must insure that there is no one down range and that it is safe to shoot, before discharging a firearm.
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 25, 50, 100 and 200 yard sighting-in range was constructed in a manner so that individuals can be shooting from the benches while the 600-yard high power range is being used.
However, 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 chains have to be in place across the north-south range road adjacent to the 600-yard high power firing line and the entrance to west range road.
All individuals will respect and abide by safe gun handling practice at all times when on the range. The muzzles of firearms will be maintained in a safe direction at all times when on the range. On the sighting-in-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. Once the line, including the heated shooting house, is determined to be safe the red flashing lights will be turned on and will remain on until everyone has returned behind the firing line and the range is deemed hot. This also applies to anyone driving down range on to put up or remove targets on the west side of the north-south range road. No firearms will be handled when anyone is down 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 and is directed to do so by the range officer. All members are encouraged to use empty chamber indicators anytime they are utilizing the range facilities. Firearms will be unloaded when not being fired and anytime anyone is ahead of the firing line.
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, in the pit or in the indoor range. 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 frames, 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. Always place the target holders so that the bullet will impact directly into the backstop after passing through the target. If you experience a ricochet, cease fire immediately and reposition your target.
A set of steel rifle silhouette targets are located on the 200 (chickens), 300 (pigs), 385 (turkeys) and 500 (sheep) meter backstops on the silhouette range. These targets are to shot from off the railroad rail target stands. Cartridges that cause damage to the steel targets are not to 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. Wood pallets are used on the sighting-in-range 25, 100 and 200 yard backstops. Portable target frames are used on the 50 backstop and on the 25-yard range when shooting at ranges less than 25 yards. If you bring your own target holder, insure that it is high enough and positioned so that shots passing through the target will impact directly into the backstop. Do not shoot at any target on the ground. It is imperative that all projectiles fired be contained within the confines of the range.
If you are shooting a handgun or rifle at 50 yards or less, please utilize the four northwest target bays in the sighting-in-range. The addition was specifically designed for handgun and short-range rifle shooting to eliminating any skips or ricochets.
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. Firing of these rifles is restricted 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.
A shotgun range has been established east of the 600-yard firing point on the high power range. A battery powered mechanized thrower has been installed at this location. The thrower is set to throw the clay targets in a southeasterly direction. The range can only be used when there is no activity on the high power range. The amber strobe on the east side of the sighting-in-building indicates that there is activity on the high power range. Members need to provide their own clay targets and clean up the area when finished.
The Forks Rifle Club sponsors high power rifle, small-bore rifle, pistol and vintage military rifle matches throughout the year, as well as a number of indoor and outdoor leagues. Matches and leagues are open and membership is not required to participate. Members and nonmembers participating in leagues and matches must pay a fee. Members may and nonmembers must pay league fees on a per time basis. 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.
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 or individual authorized by the executive committee.
- Firing will commence only on the authorization of the individual 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 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 indoor 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 10, 2018