Club Magazine Limitations

One thing about my club that can sometimes drive me nuts is that we’re limited to no more than five rounds in a magazine.  I was wondering how common this kind of restriction is at clubs?  What’s the rule at your local club?

When this rule was explained, they claimed the reason for it was to prevent accidents if a gun failed and started firing uncontrollably.  In my experience, this doesn’t happen.  Plus, in my experience with machine pistols, if you shot 5 rounds off automatically and didn’t expect it, you’re putting three rounds in the ceiling.

I find the rule to be particularly annoying with revolvers, and now, I understand that the standard M1 Garand clip would leave me in violation of my club’s rule.   That’s not even mentioning how annoying I think it is to have to switch magazines if I’m trying to shoot a string of 10, or if I want to practice with the Glock on the indoor pistol range.

I think the real reason for the rule is to keep people out of the club who just want a place to come blast away, and aren’t serious shooters.   I can accept that there may be utility to weeding out people who just want to join so they can blast away at crap on the plinking range, but I think there are better ways to avoid that problem.

One disappointing thing about this club, is the leadership seems to want to bring everything down to the lowest common denominator, rather than weeding out the problem people, so the rest of the members can enjoy the facilities.  In our last club newsletter, they threatened to shut down the plinking range for range violations, without mentioning what people were doing that was a problem.  It seems to me the proper way to deal with this is to revoke memberships for violations, rather than mete out collective punishment.  I wonder if it’s the same attitude behind the round restrictions.

22 thoughts on “Club Magazine Limitations”

  1. Sounds like your club is imposing gun-control on it’s members. The Clinton Ban still allowed 10 round magazines!

    The club that I belong to (as well as the few clubs I’ve visited) have had no restrictions on how many rounds you can load.

  2. Never had a capacity issue, but the last club I belonged to instilled a “No Talking” rule on the firing line (after I had been a member for ten months). They claimed it was a safety issue. I termintated my membership the next month. It really cut down on my enjoyment of the sport when I couldn’t even discuss my last string of shots with my Dad standing next to me.

    The State run range the next county over doesn’t have this rule and no one has been shot since it opened. Heck, more talking takes place at that range than actual shooting.

  3. I have never heard of such a thing.

    The range I have my membership at has a few annoying rules such as slugs only for shotguns (the concept is that they don’t want shot getting in the target mover thingy’s rails) when 00 isn’t going to do any such thing and they’re real picky about what they consider “fast shooting”.

    Other than that, I would cancel my membership in a second if they told me I could only load 5 rounds in a magazine. Shooting .22, 10 is the minimum I go with.

  4. I have never belonged to a club with those limits on the membership. we do a sight in days for non members before deer season and we limit those people to 1 round in the gun– this was instituted after a fella with a slug gun loosed a second round into the air after his first shot.

    I would be disappointed in my club if they imposed those limits.

  5. It’s possible that the club’s insurance company insisted on this rule. They’ve been known to require stupid or PC (but I repeat myself) rules such as banning human-shaped targets.

  6. No restrictions at all at my club, never even heard of a club that does until now.

  7. Haven’t been to a range since I was a little kid; I tend to prefer driving out into the boonies and doing my plinking, and then clean up any mess I make.

  8. I’ve never heard of such a thing! Lots of ranges/clubs limit rapid firing, and understandably so. One of my local ranges offers automatic weapons for rent, but they have strict rules about how you use them, and they make sure you are capable of not putting holes in the ceiling.

    I agree that there should be a place you can go to do “serious” shooting, and not have to worry about the guy in the next lane just blasting away. On the other hand, blasting can be fun sometimes too. Wouldn’t it be just as easy to have “plinking time” where there are less restrictions, and “serious time” where the range officers can make sure serious shooters are not being bothered?

    In areas of the country where you can just go out in the woods/desert/whatever and blast away, ranges should be completely reserved for serious shooting, sighting in rifles, etc. But in cities, I think it is fair to share time with annoying ammo wasters.

    At the very least, they should allow you to apply for an exemption to the rule based on an examination of your firearm (to rule out slam-fires) and a promise that you are practicing a specific technique or skill that requires more than five rounds.

  9. Well, here in MA my club has a 5 round rule in handguns and 1 round in long guns which the range master can override. . . since I am normally the only one there I usually go for 5 rounds in any and I know some do more. Other ranges around here are 5 and only 5 or else. . .. I am not a member there but know friends who are. . . .

  10. Yeah, that is about a silly rule.
    Perhaps they had an incident, that caused the rule to be made?

    Our club at one time allowed Full auto, until someone supposely shot over a backstop, & the machinegunner was blamed, it was later determined that it was the slope angle of the backstop itself, but they didn’t change the rule concerning FA’s

  11. Our club doesn’t allow full auto. That doesn’t bother me quite so much. We’re located a few miles north of Philadelphia, and I don’t think the neighbors would appreciate that kind of noise. If I were running the club, I’d probably keep that rule, but might consider having the occasional “machine gun day”, where people could bring full autos… but it would be a formal, supervised event.

    Just out of curiosity, how many of your clubs that don’t have these rules are private? I have a “pay us 200 bucks and you’re a ‘member'” public indoor range in the area, which I like, but it’s expensive. They don’t have any rules about magazine capacity, only about rapid fire, unless you have a machine gun, in which case rapid fire is OK :) It’s kind of silly, but I think they have that rule because they got tired of having to run up to some guy pulling the trigger as fast as he could and asking where his paperwork was.

  12. I wouldn’t belong to any group voluntarily who are so morally cowardly that they would rather punish everyone than to take a stand and use sound judgment against a lone miscreant.

    However, you must admit that has become the American Way. I can’t go 300 yards to Tx and buy a handgun, not because I did anything but because somebody might do something and Lord help us if we actually had to act like men and face the problem, rather than just pretending manhood or morality or Hell even accidentally exhibiting any intelligence.

    Nope, much easier to screw everybody. The diffuse nature of the abuse insulate the rule makers from intensely focused action of a lone target. Of course, that only works because we shrug our shoulders and say “You can’t fight City Hall.” or some such other bromide. Just think if we focused in our great numbers and refused to accept that treatment from anybody, anywhere, any time.

    Don’t tell me it isn’t possible, I have done it my whole life. Including on the job. I will not accept substandard treatment. Alas, I am alone. But at least I like the company.

  13. This is something I plan on trying to get changed. I’m still new right now, and don’t know too many people in the club. Part of the problem with these kinds of environments is that it’s very difficult to organize people. If you could mobilize 50 people, you could change the club’s leadership entirely. That’s actually a taller order than it sounds like when the only means of communication to the club members is controlled by the leadership.

  14. I’ve never belonged to a club. In Indiana, I just shot on the farm. Here, the range is 1.5 miles down the road. Why spend the money?

  15. Well, since the Garand takes a clip not a magazine…lol.

    How about practicing for various shooting competitions where you load 8 and 2 or some such?

  16. This isn’t much of a club for riflemen. The popular events are the pistol and shotgun events, plus silhouette, where you only need 5.

    To be clear, the rule doesn’t regulate magazines. I can have a 30 round magazine, I just can’t have more than 5 rounds in it.

  17. I understand that the (public) Ommelanden Range in DE restricts the capacity of magazines (no high-caps), but I’ve never been there to verify. They probablyhave a website somewhere.

    I belong to Atglen Sportsman’s club, and there are restrictions on rapid fire (full auto not permitted) but not on how many in the mag.

    I know there’s a sentiment among the older guys (“fudds”) about the “young guys with their EBR’s” but I try to be diplomatic. There are precious few places to shoot, and with development/anti’s all over, there will be less and less if we’re not diligent.

  18. I’ve never heard of such a ridiculous rule, nor have I ever heard of such a malfunction. Completely ludicrous.

    I regularly use 15 round magazines in my Glock, 7 round magazines in my .22 rifle (largest available for the old model I have, but can’t complain since I only paid $70 for it even though it came with a nice scope), and just this week I availed myself of my yearly free full auto rental & shot five 30 round magazines in a MP5. What a blast.

    You might need to find another gun range – the weather is quite nice in Arizona by the way if you like Sunshine & don’t mind a little hot weather for a few months during the summer. ;)

  19. What’s the rule on belt feds?

    Or a hopper. Those aren’t magazines.

    (Okay, I know, probably still prohibited.)

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