Posts Tagged ‘rockingham county’

I remember having a terrible time when I first decided to go to the range in West Va.  Lots of people I knew had been there but nobody could give me much info about it.  I remember looking online and coming up with little more than a general idea of where it was located.

So I decided to post this to hopefully help others looking to visit this range.


From Harrisonburg, Virginia, you need to head west on U.S. Route 33.  This leads you to within a little more than a mile from the range; there’s no need to worry about other roads until you cross the mountain and enter West Virginia.

When you reach the bottom of the mountain on the West Virginia side (3.4 miles from the state line) there is a road off to the right with a sign indicating there is a shooting range.  This is FDR 151.  There is a very tiny sign that says “151” but don’t be looking for that.  The range sign is much larger and easier to see.  Take this turn and continue for just over one mile.  During that mile there is only one more turn you make (a slight turn to the right) and its clearly marked and easy to see.

Be prepared for a long slow ride.  That one mile takes me about 6 or 7 minutes.  It’s a one lane gravel/dirt road all the way and its full of holes and ruts.  After a lot of rain, there’s plenty of mud as well.  If you have a small car like me, keep this stuff in mind.  FDR 151 is also completely surrounded by trees.  Its entirely possible that after a storm (or even moderate winds) trees could be down in the way.

Once you make it through all those perils however, you’re there.

Set Up:

There are two seperate ranges, one for pistols and one for rifles.  Both have their own parking areas but they’re close enough that walking between them is no issue at all.  There is a bathroom near the rifle range’s parking but it has no running water.  If you intend to wash your hands after shooting (or using the bathroom for that matter) plan to bring your own water.

The rifle range is set up with 7 or 8 benches in a shelter that is covered by a roof.  There are large cans at both end of the shelter for disposing of trash.  Please take advantage of this because this is a free range after all and not frequently maintained.  The pistol range does not have any shelter but if its raining you probably aren’t going to be shooting anyway.

The rifle range is marked out to 25, 50, and 100 yards.  They don’t have the numbers posted but there is a hill behind each set of targets and it’s easy to tell where each is.  Each distance has metal posts with string tied between them for hanging your targets as well.  You should always bring some extra string however; if the string is broken, there is no replacement.  On the left side of the range there is a gravel path that leads all the way to the 100 yard mark.


There is a board posted at the rifle range that lists all the rules.  Most are common sense and basic safety things but I wanted to share a few that you might not consider.

1)  They do not allow shotguns.  Many people use shotguns there but its clearly posted that they are not allowed so to be safe just leave the shotgun at home.
2)  No clay shooting.  I assume this has to do with the broken pieces that end up all over the range.  It makes a mess and even the biodegradable stuff takes time to disappear.
3)  No shooting bottles, electronics, glass, or basically any target that isn’t made of paper or cardboard.  There is glass and plastic everywhere from people who don’t follow this rule and its very disrespectful and dangerous.

And always do your best to clean up when you leave.  I pick up all my brass (or steel in my case) and throw away all the targets I don’t keep.  In addition I always pick up some trash that others before me have left.  Its a free range and I try to leave it at least a little cleaner than when I arrived.  If you don’t want to help clean up at least leave a donation (not that you can’t do both) in the locked drop box across from the rule board.  Its a big cylinder looking thing.  Someone has to maintain the area and if it becomes too expensive they could start charging a fee or just close it all together.

Looking out toward targets

Looking out toward targets

There are 7 or 8 benches

There are 7 or 8 benches

Looking from the benches to the parking/entrance

Looking from the benches to the parking/entrance

**  There will be an ammo update this evening between 6pm and 8pm so check back!  **


The gun show was in town this weekend, the 8th and 9th.  I had been waiting for it for a good few weeks but was actually pretty disappointed when I went.  I should’ve went earlier this weekend but I was unable to and arrived with only 3 hours of the event left.

By then I guess all the reasonably priced firearms (if there were any) had already been purchased.  The only guns I were even slightly interested in were priced over $600.  And about 90% of those were over $1,000.  Way out of my price range.  The only guns I could afford were low end bolt action or lever action hunting rifles in calibers I didn’t want to buy ammunition for.

There were a bunch of Ruger Mini-14’s available but they averaged around $800.  That’s way too much for one of those and I say that as an owner.  Even the pump shotguns were priced outrageously.  The only semi-auto shotgun I saw was over $1,100.

The only gun I saw that I actually considered purchasing was a 9mm Hi-Point Carbine.  And that was only because it was one of the strangest weapons there.  It was also I think the only gun that was priced under $300.  But unusual design was not enough to merit a purchase.

Moving away from the firearms I looked at some of the ammunition that was for sale.  Most of the boxes appeared to be 30 years old with faded labels and visible layers of dust.  I’m not sure where these people dug this stuff up, but I wasn’t about to purchase any of it.

There were a great deal of accessories available.  There was everything from AR parts to survival gear.  I almost bought a mid length quad rail handguard for my AR15 but it was priced too high.  I guess I’ve been spoiled by the internet because I’m always judging prices based on what I’ve found online.  I’m sure almost everyone at the show would’ve negotiated prices but I’m not into haggling so I just kept walking.

Overall it seemed like a decent setup and if you had lots of money to blow, this would’ve been the place.  But I didn’t, so the $14 I spent for my fiance and I to get in the doors was wasted.

But now I’m going to go eat my pizza and try to forget about it all.  Tonight I’ll work on assembling my new crossbow . . .