Marines

Targets nearly ready to fly high at new range

29 Jun 2012 | Lance Cpl. Paul Peterson

MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. - Let the clay pigeons fly high because the sound of shotgun blasts is just around the corner for Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune’s brand new skeet, trap and archery range.

After nearly five years of planning and construction, along with the dedicated commitment of MCB Camp Lejeune’s shooting enthusiasts, the R-100 Range Complex on Old Sawmill Road near the base’s main gate is scheduled to open near the end of July and will offer patrons an outlet for their target shooting needs.

“There’s nothing else like it,” said James Hill, range manager. “It’s probably a two-hour drive to where just anybody can come and shoot clay targets. With the skeet, trap and five-stand option, short of some private clubs, there’s nothing else like this within several-hours drive.”

This isn’t the first skeet and trap range aboard the base. A previous range serviced shooters since the 1960s, but was removed as base expansion needed the area, said Hill. With the opening of the R-100 Range Complex, however, target shooting aficionados and novices alike are in for a drastic upgrade to their target shooting resources.

Patrons will have access to eight skeet fields, two trap overlays and a five-stand overlay. For those unfamiliar with skeet and trap shooting, it means that they will have access to a variety of shooting activities and styles with variable levels of difficulty. Just as important, the range is meant to serve the recreational needs of all levels of shooters, and the staff can both supply and educate new shooters to engage targets. In fact, the first lesson with certified instructors for shooting targets with the shotguns is free.

“We really focus on getting on getting the new shooter excited about skeet, trap, five stand and archery,” said Hill. “By the time we get done with them, they’re breaking targets, and they’re coming back. They’re bringing their roommate. They’re bringing their buddies. The next day we see the same face with three or four new guys, and they’re out there to try it again.”

Don’t have a shotgun or a bow? The range will provide rental shotguns and bows with arrows for $4 per day. One round of skeet or trap costs $5, or patrons can pay $8 for the more variable five-stand shooting on weekends. Archers can pay $3 for a spot to shoot on the archery range all day, and shooting accessories such as eye protection with adjustable lenses will also be available at the range.

It is a competitively priced range, so it is affordable to service members, said Hill, but it’s also a well-equipped facility. Brand new towers and pits stand ready to deploy clay targets from wireless launchers.

The old cords and manual systems have gone the way of the dinosaurs at R-100. Shooters sighting in on trap targets need only give the word, “Pull,” and the wireless launcher will oblige them with a target. The new facility has even won some national recognition as the site for the 2013 Armed Services Skeet Championships.

“That’s a small portion of what we do here,” said Hill. “It’s about providing a recreational outlet for our young Marines. We can get them started shooting, breaking targets and having fun. If they decide that they want to continue on, we can do that for them too.”

The base will consider opening the range to the general public after the initial period of service is assessed. The first priority is to provide for the recreational needs of the base community, said Hill. Upon opening, the range will be accessible to authorized patrons at least 16 years old, or accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Patrons can bring their own shooting equipment, but ammunition is limited to number seven and a half, eight, and nine lead shot to shoot the facilities biodegradable clay targets.

For more information about the new range, visit mccslejeune.com/skeet or call 451-3889