Santa Margarita Gun Club

27 June 2019 – Letter from the Club

SMGC Members,

We have some good news to report!  First things are progressing on the lease renewal, there have been a lot of ups and downs in the process, but it appears that we are getting consensus from the Base on what we do, why we do it and what we need to do it.

Currently, the contract administrator is expecting lease paperwork to be completed by the Navy and sent to the base for review shortly (2-3 weeks), fortunately the Base administration just had a great (in our minds) meeting with Gunner Jones and proposed a common sense solution for most of our issues.  This brings a lot of good things that help streamline our match operations, only a few impediments that we were already planning for, and gives us access to Ranges that are very rarely closed for maintenance of the impact area.

Thanks to Gunner Jones, Mr. Vaineharrison and Mr. Marshall for listening and finding a solution that accommodates our needs and provides additional training and competitive marksmanship opportunities for USMC personnel.  

So here are the backstory and details:

  1. Wilcox R103, will be closing permanently. In any case they are going to have to do a fair amount of work to it if were to be used again and planning, surveying and any work would only interfere (prevent) our use.
  2. The X-Ray impact area has been shrinking do to some activity and installations placed further down the canyon from R116 and R117.  Those ranges will continue to be used by the USMC, but calibers are restricted to 5.56 and 7.62.  300 Win Mag and 50 cal are authorized for military necessity only.  Hence the recent restrictions to our calibers allowed on R117A.
  3. MCCS has experienced great success since their relocation to R216. That move opened up their allowed calibers, facilitated improved placement of steel targets on the range at greater distances and easier parking. The attendance and participation of Marines at the range Friday thru Sunday has been outstanding and continues to grow. Its a clear demonstration of build it and they will come, and the Marine Corps preference to have this recreational activity provided on the Base.

So here is where we are headed:

  • We will utilize the following ranges (the 200 series are in the Camp Horno area):

    R117A – will be usable with the above mentioned caliber restrictions, and the current limitations on range transportation. Given what was offered below, we may not use it going forward other than for some emergency.
    R213 – 25 yard Pistol with turning targets.
    R214 – 200, 300 and 500 yard rifle, MidRange, XTC, EIC Rifle, GSM with calibers less than 50 cal. Parking allowed at the Range.
    R215A – Can be used for MidRange (600 yards) and  Long Range NRA up to 1200 Meters – paper targets only (think Electronic Targets on stands) with calibers less than 50 cal. Parking at adjacent R214 – an easy walk even with our gear.  We need to look at optimal positioning for target placement for MidRange and Long Range, but No Pits so e-targets only for our use.
    R218A – Practical Rifle and Long Range NRA up to 1200 Meters (Electronic Targets on stands) with calibers less than 50 cal.  The USMC snipers tell us this is the best range in the Marine Corps.  Parking is not as convenient as the rest, but immediately across the street from the range access road is Deer Park,  we hope to be parking there.

    The downside to this is that we need to get the electronic targets before we can conduct anything other than a MidRange or XTC match.  They are on order, and when I checked with Adam the manufacturer he had a problem with the latest batch of the circuit boards and was waiting for resolution before shipping our targets.  Hes was expecting a few week delay which should push our delivery into mid-July.
  • Equipment – All of our Conex Boxes will get sighted at R214 which will provide easy access to these ranges.  This will minimize the hassle that the Match directors are taking on by loading and transporting targets from the SOI area to R117 currently, and making the return trip after a long day or weekend at the range. So once again, everyone will be expected to pitch in loading and unloading targets from the conex boxes.
  • Scheduling – We continue to have the same priority as before.  We can request the range and let the principle scheduler know quarterly what we would like, but until we are 3 weeks out, and no USMC or reserve unit has requested the range, we will not be booked.  The great news here is that the chance of all 3 being used is very small so we simply have to flex to another range and conduct the match.
  • Calibers – These Ranges will allow us to conduct our matches safely within a Surface Danger Zone appropriate for the range of modern competitive calibers currently used in NRA and PRS matches.  We expect all 6mm, 6.5 mm and 30 calibers to be usable on these ranges.  ON Range 214, we will be restricted to certain target numbers for calibers other than 223. We do not believe this will be an issue in conducting a normal match. As you all are aware, and as we have mentioned at each recent event….. “Factory Loads Only”
  • DBIDs – as soon as we have a signed lease, we will be requesting as exemption from the 60 day DBIDS renewal.  Essentially we would like the same courtesy extended to the Golf Club and stables.

So for all we are planning on the following schedule: 

  • July 6 – CMP Rifle EIC at R214
  • July 27 – Practical Rifle at R218A
  • July 28 – MidRange Match and GSM at R214
  • August TBD – Pistol at R213
  • August 24/25 – Long Range at R215A
  • Sept 7/8 – Practical Rifle Clinic/Match
  • Sept TBD – MidRange at R214