By Joe Evans
Pennsylvania –-(Ammoland.com)- The Northeastern Pennsylvania is flush with options when it comes to gun ranges, both Public and Private.
Public Gun Ranges
Each North East PA public range is open Monday-Saturday from 8 a.m. to sunset, Sunday from noon to sunset. All public, state-run ranges listed here are available for use by anyone with a 30$ range use permit or a general hunting or furtaking license.
There are eight public, state-run ranges in the northeast region: one in Carbon county, one in Columbia county, two different ranges in Luzerne county, one in Lackawanna county, one in Monroe county, one in Pike county and one in Wayne county.
Each state-run range has their own regulations and rules, each one different for what a shooters may want.
For example, the Carbon county range located on state game lands 141, has both a rifle and a pistol range. The rifle range features seven firing points at 300 yards and a pistol range featuring 11 firing points at 50 yards.
The Lackawanna county range, located on state game lands 300, has both a rifle and a pistol ranges. The rifle range features a bountiful 17 firing points, the most of any state-run range in the northeast region, between 50, 100 and 200 yards and a pistol range with six firing points from 50 yards.
Each range has its own specific rules and regulations. A full list of ranges across the state, along with directions to the range sites, which state game land each is located on, along with details on what types of ranges are open is available here.
Private Gun Ranges
Aside from state owned ranges, there are even more private ranges in northeastern PA.
Using the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s website, Wheretoshoot.org, an online resource that allows users to seek out and search for private gun ranges by state, zip code and rating system, I found up to thirty individual listings with 30 miles of Scranton, PA.
Using the sites star rating system, the highest rated private range within the search parameters was the Factoryville Sportsmen’s Club in Factoryville, PA with a four out of five star rank.
Factoryville Sportsmen’s Club in Factoryville, PA
The club places a heavy focus on shooting sports, firearm safety and hunting, it actually started out as a softball club. Shortly after World War II, Zbegner said, some of the softball club members started to use the grounds for target shooting and the club evolved from there. Today, the 130-acre facility is a shooter’s paradise, complete with three rifle ranges of 100, 200 and 400-plus yards, two trap ranges with voice-activated stations, skeet range, pistol range, two-hour sporting clays course and a 30-target archery course. There’s also an enormous barbecue pit, a clubhouse with lounge and kitchen, pavilions and plenty of space for members to hunt.
“We have over 700 members using this club but I’ve never had a problem finding space to shoot on any day,” club member Paul Zbegner said. “It’s under-used with all this space.”
Rock Mountain Sporting Clays in Meshoppen, PA
The Rock Mountain Sporting Clays in Meshoppen, PA comes in second with two stars out of five. The remaining 28 listings ranked only one of five stars.
Rock Mountain Sporting Clays is a shotgunner’s paradise. It is considered to be one of the premier clays courses on the East Coast. Rock Mountain has hosted such varied events as the Northern Side by Side Challenge and Expo, NSCA Zone II Championship, the Pennsylvania State Championship, NSCA-Registered Tournaments, SCTP State Championship, The Royal Order of Edwardian Vintagers Weekend. The Rock Mountain Sporting Clays also hosts corporate events, bachelor parties, family reunions, fun shoots, a fabulous wedding reception in our brand-new pavilion, and numerous fund raisers.
With all of this in mind, many of the ranges on the Wheretoshoot.org list require a memberships to the organizations that own the private ranges, but many offer day passes. With fall weather approaching it is time to get out and shoot!