Trap shoot range master John Cox (seated) keeps score as John Christie “launches” clay targets or “pigeons” with the push of a button whenever a shooter yells “pull!” Photo submitted

Westwood Rifle & Pistol Club open to all shooters

Target shooters are always welcome to participate with members of the Westwood Rifle & Pistol Club at the Al Hoop gun range in Plumas County. Membership is not a requirement and not just Westwood residents are invited as the name of the organization suggests.

Now in its 55th year, the competition is always friendly during scheduled club events, including weekly shotgun, rifle and pistol target shooting.

Shooters can arrive with their own shells and shotguns or other firearms plus ammunition.

Following state law, ammo must be gun club approved and legal; no armor piercing or incendiary rounds are permitted at the range.

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Target practice is an excellent way to tune up for hunting season — but members are quick to point out that many people who don’t want to hunt could still have loads of fun just shooting for sport.

According to club officials, it’s more of an opportunity to get involved and have a blast, as well as striving to attain your personal best and to find a sense of camaraderie enjoying a day outdoors in the sunshine.

Club members are always happy to be of assistance, offering tips and answering questions.

Organizers emphasize the importance of wearing proper eye and ear protection when visiting the range.

Club members are reaching out to the community to promote the club, and want everybody to know the organization operates the shooting events in a manner that is designed to be a safe activity for all involved.

Members and non-club participants alike agree that shooting is an enjoyable way to spend a portion of the day with like-minded people.

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Organized events provide opportunities to not only learn gun safety, but for experienced members to teach the shooting sports to novices as well.

Parents that have kids 10 and older who want them to have the opportunity to have a place to practice firing a gun, can contact the club for information on bringing children to the range. The club provides an ideal setting for kids to learn the sport and safe use of firearms, say members.

Although the annual cleanup day at the range has passed, members are adamant about keeping the range clean and picking up their empty shells after every event.

Anyone who would like to help with setting up sporting clay equipment specifically and other tasks such as cleaning up after a shoot will receive a free day of shooting for each day you volunteer.

To become a member, check out the website at www.alhooprange.org, which also provides more detailed information on the Westwood Rifle & Pistol Club, a schedule of events, and includes a link to an online membership application that can be printed out, filled in and mailed to WRPC, P.O. Box 2021, Chester, CA 96020.

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The entrance to the Al Hoop Gun Range is just inside the Lassen County line off Highway 36 approximately 10 miles east of Chester, directly across the highway from the Lassen Emigrant Trail marker.

Look for 1613 painted on a tree where the dirt road begins, and drive to the range located at the end of a dirt road leading back into Plumas County after about a mile drive.

For additional information, contact club president Ron Damsen at 596-3017.