I had a lunch date with my wife this week — at the range. We both had new ammo we wanted to try out, so Colleen suggested "Let's just take the steel. It's quicker to get set up." (Eat your heart out boys.)
We set up the two 10" steel targets and got to shooting. It was a beautiful day, honeysuckle fragrance in the air, nice breeze... However we only got about 50 rounds off each when we were approached by the Range Master who informed us "You can't shoot those targets here." Trying to remain calm I pushed for an explanation. We've been shooting the steel once or twice a month there for two years. He kept saying the targets had to be "falling," and had to direct splatter down. Unfortunately he didn't seem in the mood to discuss it. We packed up to leave but I decided to stop by the clubhouse to talk to him again, hopefully after we both calmed down.
I explained that the bullet splatter was directed parallel to the target, and even showed him the lead staining on the target bases. I talked about the AR500 steel used in the construction and how it was safe since it didn't dent, which would cause dangerous ricochets. He listened and agreed to look into it further.
Later that evening he called me back. He explained that he had received a call at home about illegal targets in use and, I think, got himself a little worked up on his ride out. To his defense, he's been dealing with some trouble at the range recently with rule violators. He told me since the targets are professionally made and designed to direct splatter down then they fit within the rules. He suggested I keep a copy of the Nevco web page with me that states "... splatter dissipates in a pattern parallel to the target surface and when used as designed our targets will not throw anything back at the shooter." If anyone objects I can show them that and tell them that the RM approved their use.
I am still disappointed and somewhat perturbed, that the folks who complained couldn't be bothered to speak to us directly. I know what group it was, and they never came within 100 yards of us. Their interference cut short a pleasant afternoon with my wife. However, I do give the range official kudos for stepping up to call me back and straightening it out. We ended up having a good discussion about various target styles, and rule violations we've both witnessed. He even invited me to contribute to updating the range rules to be more specific with regard to what is or isn't allowed. And I learned that construction on a new pistol bay will begin this week! All and all a good ending.
Mr. Steel, we'll be shooting at you again.