Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association
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  1. #1
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    Default Pistol range rules

    I went to the state range near Rickets Glen the other day.. I had just bought a new revolver and was anxious to test it.. The pistol range is kinda odd because it has benches set at 25 yards.. When I get there everyone is shooting rifles from the benches.. Guy says go ahead and set up your target. My reply was I will have to wait because I am shooting a pistol and need to be closer.. He says you can't do that, you have to shoot from the benches. This kinda rubbed me the wrong way and I said yea and you can't shoot rifles at a posted pistol range.. He stated that it is both.. The signs are kinda ambiguous.. It has a big sign that says pistol range and under that a sign that says sighting range.. I waited them out (watched the guy shoot magazines that had way more then 3 rounds in them) and then moved up to 10 yards and did my thing.. Maybe I am just venting but the whole thing makes little sense to me.. If its a pistol range there should be closer targets and is it really a pistol and sighting range or a pistol sighting range?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Pistol range rules

    Quote Originally Posted by Crazee View Post
    I waited them out (watched the guy shoot magazines that had way more then 3 rounds in them) and then moved up to 10 yards and did my thing..
    15 yards beyond the firing line?......See below.

    This subchapter cited in 58 Pa. Code 135.41 (relating to State Game Lands).
    135.181. Rifle and handgun ranges.

    (a) General provisions. In addition to 135.2 (relating to unlawful actions) and except as provided in 135.182 (relating to Ranges, State Game Lands No. 176), the following pertain to lands under Commission ownership, lease or jurisdiction, designated as rifle or handgun ranges:

    (1) Rifle and handgun ranges are open from 8 a.m., prevailing time, until sunset Monday through Saturday and from 12 noon to sunset Sundays, unless otherwise posted; except the Sunday immediately preceding the regular antlered and antlerless deer seasons and the regular bear season, when the hours are 8 a.m. to sunset.

    (2) A range may be reserved for exclusive use by an organized group from January 1 through October 1. An organized group desiring to reserve the range shall make necessary arrangements through the appropriate regional director or a designee at least 20 days in advance.

    (3) An individual may not use the range when in use on days when it is reserved by an organized group.

    (4) An individual or an organized group using the range is responsible for keeping the area clean and free of debris, and may not discard, deposit, leave or throw litter except in approved refuse containers. Range users shall remove targets from range backboards when shooting is completed and prior to leaving the range.

    (5) The Commission is not responsible for anyone injured on the range. An individual using Commission owned ranges does so at his own risk and assumes all responsibility for injuries to a person or property caused by or to him.

    (6) When more than one person is using the range, a range officer shall be designated.

    (7) An individual under 16 years of age may not use the range unless accompanied by a person 18 years of age or older.

    (8) The appropriate regional director or designee may close a range by posting signs to that effect.
    (b) Prohibited acts. At a rifle and handgun range located on land under Commission ownership, lease or jurisdiction, except when authorized by the appropriate regional director or a designee for military or law enforcement training, it is unlawful to:

    (1) Possess a loaded firearm, except at an established shooting station on the firing line.

    (2) Discharge a firearm, except from an established shooting station on the firing line at a paper target placed on a permanent target backboard.

    (3) Discharge armor piercing, incendiary, explosive, tracer or multiple projectile ammunition.

    (4) Be intoxicated, use or possess an intoxicating beverage or controlled substance on the range.

    (5) Possess an automatic weapon.

    (6) Possess, load or discharge a firearm that contains more than three rounds of single projectile ammunition, except as provided in subsection (c).

    (7) Shoot clay birds anywhere except areas designated by the Director by signs stating that clay bird shooting is permitted.

    (c) Exceptions for a handgun range. At a Commission range specifically designated as a handgun range, it is permitted for an individual to load and discharge a handgun containing a maximum of six rounds of single projectile ammunition at any one time. Other rules and regulations pertaining to shooting ranges under Commission ownership, lease or jurisdiction shall be in effect.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Pistol range rules

    Yes I realize that and thought that was fairly obvious in my post..

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Pistol range rules

    The PGC Ranges are for sighting in hunting pistols. 25 yards is a good starting point. Some do have closer pistol backers.
    Jules

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Pistol range rules

    Quote Originally Posted by ar15jules View Post
    The PGC Ranges are for sighting in hunting pistols.
    Jules
    Is this your opinion or is this stated somewhere? I have been to 4 different PA gun ranges and this is the only one that the benches are set at 25 yards.. The one in Lack Co is set at 15 yards and the norm is to shoot at 10 yards. I am not advocating breaking the rules in fact this is off topic from what my question was..My original question was is the range really both a pistol and rifle sighting range?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Pistol range rules

    Go here:

    http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal...=620410&mode=2

    Monroe and Somerset have 10 yard ranges.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Pistol range rules

    Thanks for the link Devrbd but I am not sure how accurate it is.. The pistol station in Lack CO is set at 15 yards not 25/50..

    Still wondering if anyone knows the answer to my original question?

  8. #8
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    Scranton, Pennsylvania
    (Lackawanna County)
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    Default Re: Pistol range rules

    There is a lot of misinformation floating around about the PGC range in Lackawanna Co. (Archbald).

    Let's get this straight. There is NO distinction between 'Rifle' and 'Pistol' ranges at the Lackawanna Co. PGC range in Archbald. In order for this distinction to be made, the range must be posted as such. Currently there is no posting indicating 'Pistol' or 'Rifle' at this particular range. Technically, you could fire a handgun from the bench of the 100 yard targets, or even the 200 yard targets. Likewise, you can fire away at the 25 (?) feet targets with your Hunting Rifle or AR all day if you wanted.

    Additionally, there are no fixed firing lines on the short range (25 feet, although hard to say because there is no firing line to measure from). The shooter can establish his/her own firing line that all others must abide by until the firing ceases, at which point a new firing line can be established.

    I have spoken with a PGC officer about this on multiple occasions and confirmed. Now, this info only applies to Archbald where there is no posting, and subject to change if the PGC decides to post a designation. But until then, that's the long and short of it.

    When it comes to other ranges, which I have never visited. If there is a designated firing line (i.e. marked as such, or permanent benches, or some sort of canopy), then you're stuck shooting from the designated line, like it or not.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Pistol range rules

    Quote Originally Posted by Crazee View Post
    Thanks for the link Devrbd but I am not sure how accurate it is.. The pistol station in Lack CO is set at 15 yards not 25/50..

    Still wondering if anyone knows the answer to my original question?
    To answer your question, just to be clear if it wasn't from the above post, if there is a sign or some sort of other posting at the range (doesn't matter what the PGC website says) that designates the range as either "Pistol/Handgun" or "Rifle" then only those firearms can be used on that range. If there is no such posted designation, then you are free to fire either on that range.

    Now, when it comes to shotguns, the PGC officer I spoke with was a little bit ambiguous with his response. Personally, I don't see any reason that you couldn't use a shotgun on undesignated ranges given the letter of law, but you would be causing inordinate damage to the backstops and I would advise against it. Also, I don't know a single PGC officer that would start writing you a fine if he saw you shooting buckshot on the unofficial "handgun" or "rifle" ranges, legal or not. Although, in Lackawanna Co. there is an area for claybirds where shotguns are completely acceptable.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Pistol range rules

    Sorry but that doesn't answer my question.. The range in question has two signs.. Top sign reads PISTOL RANGE, bottom sign reads SIGHTING RANGE.. So is it a pistol sighting range or does anything go? Also this range has benches just like the one in Archbald.. Are you saying because they don't have roofs they are not designated shooting lines?? Also not sure if you are saying you can shoot bird shot at the rifle range in Archbald but I know that not to be true..The guy before me was shooting bird shot at the 50 yard line and I almost got the ticket because I was sighting in my shotgun and he hadn't cleaned up his shell casings..

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