Looks Safe to Me

Blue Trail Range is still closed, but the picture in this article shows a rifle’s eye view of the firing line, with a bulldozer building up the berm in the back.  You can’t see much sky there, and I don’t think the baffling there allows enough elevation for a bullet to head over that mountain.  At this point, you’re probably either dealing with people who just hate guns, or hate physics.  One of the two.

4 thoughts on “Looks Safe to Me”

  1. I don’t know, the berm doesn’t look that high to me, and “not much sky” is still sky. The last paragraph in the article makes a compelling point:

    “I was living there for about 16 months and the house was struck three times,” Pat Dinatale, a Durham homeowner, said. “Since the range has been shut down, no one has been struck.”

    Before anyone gets excited, let me say that this is not an unknown problem at public ranges. Some idiot with an elephant gun goes out and can’t figure out why his shots aren’t hitting the target, when he’s actually sending them over the backstop. It could be just one careless person causing the trouble, but I wouldn’t be very happy if someone was putting bullets through my house.

    Unfortunately, ranges have to make sure their safety efforts keep up with the changing environment. If this were a noise issue, I’d tell the homeowners to get stuffed, the range was there first. But we all know that we’re responsible for every round we shoot, and it is not acceptable to send rounds over the berm into populated areas. The likelihood that multiple rounds hitting houses directly down range are coming from somewhere else is rather small, unless the rate of bullets hitting houses is similar in surrounding areas. I doubt that’s the case. It sucks, but if rounds are getting out of BTR, they need to take steps to stop it. That’s our responsibility as shooters.

  2. Mike,

    I agree if a range is really sending rounds into houses, that’s something that needs to be dealt with by the range. It is possible to prevent such things. However, Dinatale’s home is in the ballistic shadow of the mountain. You can see it flagged on Google Earth. If you run the numbers, even if a round gets over the backstop and over the mountain, it clean misses his house. There’s just no way Blue Trail is sending rounds into his house unless someone is shooting guns into the air at that range.

    It also seems that Dinatale is a developer, who wants to develop land near the range. That could also be a motivating factor in getting it to close down.

  3. When I say “into the air” I mean at a steep angle. That’s pretty much the only way, ballistically, that you can get a round to his house and over the mountain. Even if you were deliberately using plunging fire to get a round to hit his house, I doubt you’d be able to do it.

  4. Peace. I dug a little deeper and I have to agree that this situation smells. The range has been deemed safe by multiple specialists, and those bringing the lawsuits include a land developer and his nephew who conveniently sits on council. All the houses supposedly struck by bullets from the range belong to the developer or contractors who work for the developer. There’s a 500 foot mountain between the range and the houses, which are over a mile distant.

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