Where to shoot in AZ?

Bigstrap3

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Joined
Dec 14, 2010
Messages
51
Location
Arizona
Ben Avery shooting range is in the N/W valley off the I-17 and carefree highway. For the east side try Rio salado sportsmens club in East Mesa both are very nice, and offer a variety of different shooting regimines.
 

shortpants

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Jan 26, 2011
Messages
602
Ben Avery shooting range is in the N/W valley off the I-17 and carefree highway. For the east side try Rio salado sportsmens club in East Mesa both are very nice, and offer a variety of different shooting regimines.
I called Ben Avery and the 1000 yd. range is not open to the public. I don't think Rio Salado has a 1000 yd. range and if they do I don't think it is open to the public either. I would be fine with just finding a spot out in the desert somewhere near Phoenix that I could shoot 1000yds. and be able to drive back and forth to check the target but it is not easy to find. I want to be able to shoot all the yardages in between 1000 also so finding a flat piece of land that big that is not covered in brush and has a road across it is near impossible it seems. If anybody knows of a spot they use I can keep a secret.
 

Bigstrap3

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Joined
Dec 14, 2010
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51
Location
Arizona
Opps my mistake I know that rio salado has no tgt lines near 1000 yds, sorry for the misinformation.:cool:
 

danj

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Oct 5, 2010
Messages
109
Location
Glendale & Roosevelt az
Go north or east of the valley in the mountains. Lot's of canyons that are full of good rocks out to any range you want. Gives you good experience on doping the wind at all ranges. I go out every 2 weeks or so and shoot 10-15 times a session. I shoot my 338 edge anywhere from 600 out to 1300+.
 
Last edited:

azsugarbear

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Sep 20, 2005
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1,307
Location
Central AZ
You really need to get out quite a ways from Phoenix in order to shoot safely at 1000+ yards any more. Phoenix is just too big with too many people wanting to get out of doors. The rolling terrain in the desert makes it difficult to see hikers, horses or quads moving through a wash. More than once I have been surprised by someone moving through my "range".

Nowadays, I travel up I-17 and exit on Dugas Ranch road. Head east, but watch for campers. They usually stay within 1/2 mile of the main road. Head north off of Dugas and you will find some great open valleys with an unobstructed view of 1000 yards or more.
 

shortpants

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Jan 26, 2011
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602
Thanks for the reply! I've been going off Bloody Basin Rd. but have only shot 700 yards there. It starts to get less level after that. Can you drive to your target off Dugas? If you have to walk 1000 yds. to check your target you don't get much shooting done.
 

azsugarbear

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Sep 20, 2005
Messages
1,307
Location
Central AZ
I have a couple different places out there I can go to. The closer one off Dugas gets me out to about 800 yds. The other is a little farther out on Dugas, but I can stretch it out to 1200-1500 yds, if I want. Either way, I set up my metal targets just off the two-track that I came in on. This allows me to see anyone coming from a looooooong way off and it allows me to check & retrieve my targets easily. Send me a PM and I can give you some better directions. Who knows, we might even bump into each other out there.
 

shortpants

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Jan 26, 2011
Messages
602
I have a couple different places out there I can go to. The closer one off Dugas gets me out to about 800 yds. The other is a little farther out on Dugas, but I can stretch it out to 1200-1500 yds, if I want. Either way, I set up my metal targets just off the two-track that I came in on. This allows me to see anyone coming from a looooooong way off and it allows me to check & retrieve my targets easily. Send me a PM and I can give you some better directions. Who knows, we might even bump into each other out there.
pm sent.
 

azsugarbear

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Sep 20, 2005
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Location
Central AZ
From PM's, it looks like there is enough interest in both of these places that I will go ahead and post directions to them:

Head north from Phoenix on I-17. A couple of miles past Cordes Junction there is an exit called Dugas Ranch / Orme Road. Dugas Ranch road is to the right (east) and Orme is to the west (left). Take Dugas Ranch road east approx. 6 miles and then look for Forest Road (FR) 86D on your left. Take FR 68D north approx. 4.7 miles and then look for a tank and turn-off to the right (ignore the first tank on your right).

#1) Take the turn-off and go around the tank. There will be a tree and a small hill on your right. This is where you will shoot from. The road continues to run along the fence line for some 600 yds. You can place your targets just off the road and drive to them to check your hits. Beyond the 600 yds., the road turns to the right, but you can get another 200 yds or so by placing your targets on the slight incline. I like this place for two reasons: 1) you can drive to your targets; and 2) the road runs in a SW to NE direction which is usually the same direction as the wind. It's great for developing an initial drop chart for your load.

Note: There is a rancher that has a cattle lease on this piece of public land. We get along OK, but he doesn't like LR shooters because he fears we may hit some of his cattle that we can't see. If we meet, he usually tries to persuade me to shoot in a different direction. When I politely decline, he takes down my truck license number and warns me that I will be charged for any killing of cattle. No confrontation - just matter of fact. He sometimes goes further up the road to check on cattle, place salt, etc., so no shooting "down range" while he is taking care of business up the canyon. (He usually takes his time just to inconvenience us).

#2) If you go past the water tank (heading north on 68D) another approx. 1.5 miles, you will see a turn-off to the left that heads up and over a saddle to the southwest. Take this road and go through the gate at the top. Proceed down the other side and you will see a huge valley running north/south. I usually go about 3/4th's of the way down the mountainside to find a place to shoot. From here you will have great elevation to see your targets. Again, you can place your targets just off the road that meanders down this valley. Distance is right at 1000 yds to the small mesa below. If you want to shoot nearer the top of the saddle, you can stretch out to 1,400 yds. I have never encountered another vehicle on this road. In theory, you could start at the south end and shoot north towards the saddle, but there is a danger in not seeing a vehicle coming up the back side of the mountain. It is better to com in from the north and shoot south. If a vehicle enters from the south, you will see it long before it enters your line of fire.

Final note: Neither spot requires 4 wheel drive, but a high clearance vehicle is advisable. Get out early in the summer months. Although the elevation is 3,500 to 4,000 ft., it still gets warm by 9 AM, with mirages making targets unreadable much after 10 AM.

Hopefully, I will some of you out there sometime. Good Shooting!
 

Bill Poole

Member
Joined
Dec 25, 2008
Messages
7
Location
Arizona
The club that runs shoots on Ben Avery's High Power range is
Arizona Desert Sharpshooters - NRA Competitive Shooting

from oct thru may they run over 100 events. ALL ARE OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

3 or 4 weekend events each month from 600 to 1000 yds and the retired/self employed guys shoot every thursday morning 600 to 1000 yds.

Again that's oct thru may, there is no shade there so they take the summer off.

500 yd shoots at Rio Salado once per month & PRGC, as many as 2 or 3 per month year round.

Nearly all of these events are NRA Prone/F-class (there is also service rifle in addition to the above). The targets are always 6' square cardboard, aiming black is 44" for long range (smaller for medium or short range) but the 10 ring or X rings are quite small, sub MOA for F-class (where scope is allowed).

they almost always split into 2 or 3 groups, with one group shooting and another group working the targets. They fire a 20 shot string then swap positions. Most shooters you get to shoot 3 such strings and work targets for the next guy 3 such strings alternating. (one match is 15-shot strings). Plus 2 to 10 sighter shots per string.

Nearly all the regulars are competition shooters, and competition shooting is about as closely related to hunting as golf is related to fishing. But they always welcome new shooters, mostly in the hopes of getting new competitors into the sport. if you have a hunting weight rifle, you probably won't want to shoot strings of more than 5 due to barrel heating. tell them you're only firing 5 and record misses on the score card for the other shots, or bring 2 or 3 rifles to the line and fire 5 from each. If you show up with a hunting rifle, they usually let you shoot, but they'd probably cringe and 4 or 5 guys would offer to let you try their spare match rifle instead....

when the weather cools down, go shoot with them!

Poole
Arizona RifleShooting
 

shortpants

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Joined
Jan 26, 2011
Messages
602
Hi Bill, this is Jason Scott. I did a couple of hunting shoots with you at PR&GC. Thanks for responding! I hope to make some more shoots in the future with you. I'm thinking the F-class stuff sounds fun. I started this topic last year looking for a place to test loads at long range. It's hard to find a 1000 yard range out in the desert that you can drive to check targets and not worry about traffic coming down the road. Anyway thanks again and hope to see you soon. By the way last time we shot together you fired a few loads over my chrony after the shoot if that helps you remember who I am. I believe it was April.
 

Alan Carnell

Member
Joined
Feb 6, 2019
Messages
11
Location
surprise AZ
You really need to get out quite a ways from Phoenix in order to shoot safely at 1000+ yards any more. Phoenix is just too big with too many people wanting to get out of doors. The rolling terrain in the desert makes it difficult to see hikers, horses or quads moving through a wash. More than once I have been surprised by someone moving through my "range".

Nowadays, I travel up I-17 and exit on Dugas Ranch road. Head east, but watch for campers. They usually stay within 1/2 mile of the main road. Head north off of Dugas and you will find some great open valleys with an unobstructed view of 1000 yards or more.
 

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