This weekend, I had the opportunity to attend a Bowling Pin Shoot at Marion County Fish and Game Association. Two of my friends are members there, and invited me along to the pin shoot in the effort to get me to join the range as well, and also because holy hell pin shooting is wicked fun.
As you can see from their website, MCF&G offers a lot of different shooting options, including pistol, rimfire, trap, muzzle loading, and even an airgun league. In addition to just having the range itself, they also have a variety of regular competitions, such as the bowling pin shoot that I went to. Like the pin shoot, they have a regular steel match one Friday a month, NRA bullseye matches, muzzleloading matches, weekly trap, and a host of other matches and activities.
At the pin shoot, I got to meet a good cross-section of the range regulars (while getting my ass handed to me), and they were a good group of guys. Everyone was interested in having fun, as well as being very welcoming of the “new guys”. The “safe” area to the side of the pin shooting area was nice, as people were talking about pin shooting, different guns, etc.
The one thing that impressed me was the level of concern for safety as well and how they went about enforcing it. During the pin shoot, I accidentally handled my firearm at the line when I shouldn’t have, but instead of having some range nazi come screaming up my backside, the RSOs assumed that I’m a semi-unretarded adult and just reminded me of the safe handling rules. As such, I was duly chastised. But the commitment to safety coupled with the courtesy with which it was enforced really impressed me.
The only strike to MCF&G would be that they don’t allow high-powered rifles, but then again I’ve yet to find a range in the Indy/Metro area that does allow that; other than the odious Don’s Guns. Here’s Marion County Fish & Game Association breaks down on my review list:
- Location: Not a bad location, it’s only a little bit further from my house than Eagle Creek, and since it’s “members only” the access is limited and gated. The range itself is located in a bit of backcountry woods which makes it very easy to forget that you’re 10 minutes from a major metro area.
- Range: This is obviously where MCF&G shines – their range is large with a wide variety of different guns that are supported. Again, their only knock is that no high-powered rifles are allowed, so it would get 4 stars instead of 5.
- Staff & Members: One of the best parts of this range is found in the staff and members. Everyone I encountered was courteous, friendly, and generally helpful and pleasant. Unlike a lot of ranges I’ve been to, I never once got the feeling that myself or my friends were “outsiders”. For the welcoming and open atmosphere provided by the guys at the range alone I would recommend it to a lot of people.
- Intangibles: At Marion County Fish and Game, I really felt like I was at a range populated by “gun guys” No one was waving guns around and acting stupid, everyone was responsible, safe and friendly. In short, it was everything I want in a range experience.
Bottom line: I’ll definitely be going back to Marion County Fish & Game Association; at the very least to shoot steel and pins on a monthly basis and I’m going to investigate possibly purchasing a membership as well. I firmly believe in supporting the sport locally, and I think that joining an area club would be a responsible thing to do.