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Thread: Shooters' Paradise....

  1. #1
    Campaign Veteran pourshot's Avatar
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    I stopped by on Friday and drove around back to see the 'do-ens' and the 'goings-on' if any...

    No one was working that day, but you could see where the cleanup contractor is moving along. It is slow going because they have to sift the pile by hand to extract all the remaining live rounds and the lead that was in the backstop when the range burned.

    When the storefront was emptied the Friday following the fire it was very sad to see all the product leaving (the guns were removed the day following the fire). Although the smell was not overpowering it was pungent and being as it was accompanied by 1" - 4" of drop ceiling tile goo on the floor and no lights... Well, it reminded me of walking through abandoned cave, especially when you could stand in the front door and look all the way out the back where the sunlight was streaming through what was once the roof.

    You never really realize just how much impact a store can have on a locality until it is not there anymore. Many people, no, many friends, no, many members of the Shooters' Paradise family have come by to extend condolences and offers of help. To all of them, thank you.

    And to the others that just stopped by, like those who take a moment when they see a funeral procession and wonder if it was a good person, or if they were rich, or where they ended up, I say Yes, Shooters' was good, Yes Shooters' was rich with friends and family, and as to where Shooters' will be when this all plays out....well, I would ask you to consider the phoenix, a bird that is reborn from its own ashes so too will Shooters'.


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    Was the cause of the fire ever determined?

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    I was talking to the guys down at 'The Range' in Stafford. They seem toTHINK that it was from poor maintenance of the backstop they used. Unburned powder just sits downrange and if not cleaned up regularly, can cause a fire. They actually had a small fire while I was at The Range but they use steel for a backstop and have an ungodly strong exhaust system so there was no worries. Shooters used a shredded rubber backstop which requires much more maintenance. I have also heard that Shooter's exhaust system just wasn't strong enough. Having only been there once and not being an HVAC guy I can't verify. And from what I have heard from a few other people... they ARE planning on rebuilding and reopening in the same place.

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    Campaign Veteran pourshot's Avatar
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    The Shooter's range was swept every night.



    0 - 7 yards was mostly brass and placed into the brass buckets.

    7-20 yards was target debris and was placed in to the trash

    20 - 25 yards was mostly rubber from the back stop and it was placed back on the stop. I do not think any of the powder made it to 20 yards. Matter of fact, the last time they did range maintenance they had the 1/4" gummed rubber sheets replaced on the top of the shredded rubber. So there would have been little chance of powder being able to get past the sheets and into the shredded rubber.

    No, I do not think this was an issue.

    Oh, and trust me....the metal stop is a lot harder to clean then the one shooters had. I saw the metal one they took out. The lead really starts to build up in the metal ones. At least it did at the old one at shooters....


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    Regular Member VAopencarry's Avatar
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    I 'heard' from a mostly reliable source, it was, in fact, unburned powder/powder dust ignited by a spark from a round.
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." - Thomas Jefferson

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    Campaign Veteran pourshot's Avatar
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    VAopencarry wrote:
    I 'heard' from a mostly reliable source, it was, in fact, unburned powder/powder dust ignited by a spark from a round.
    OK, butmy question would be how does lead, copper and rubber spark?

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    My question would be, "How did the Fire Marshall reach that conclusion?" Was there testing done that proved it, or is it a conclusion that is becoming accepted as true?
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

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    Founder's Club Member Hawkflyer's Avatar
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    My vote still goes to a tracer fired into the rubber.
    "Research has shown that a 230 grain lead pellet placed just behind the ear at 850 FPS results in a permanent cure for violent criminal behavior."
    "If you are not getting Flak, you are not over the target"
    "186,000 Miles per second! ... Not just a good idea ... It's the law!"

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    Campaign Veteran pourshot's Avatar
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    Hawkflyer wrote:
    My vote still goes to a tracer fired into the rubber.

    One would think that, but according to the manager on duty at the time the shooters that were on the rangehad already wrapped up prior to the fire starting.It was not a real busy morning.

    Now I will be honest and say I do not have any real experience shooting tracers, but it seems to me that it would not be like the cigarette in the couch scenario where it smolders for hours before it bursts into flame in the middle of the night.


    How long can a tracer burn? What is the heat generated? and could that start a fire long after it was shot into rubber?

    I do not think we will ever know about shooters, but it does entice me to do a bit of research....I just do not know if I will ever have the time.


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    Campaign Veteran pourshot's Avatar
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    Wooley wrote:
    Its simple, the brass gods were mad at Shooters for their non-rapid-fire policy for rifles and punished them accordingly.
    It was only non-rapid fire for those that were unknown. Once they got to know you and your ability to control your gun.... so if it was the brass gods....it had to be the 'unknown brass god' ;-)

  11. #11
    Campaign Veteran pourshot's Avatar
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    Wooley wrote:
    Hey, I just moved here! All I see is a sign that said I ought not do it. There is only one signI fear more than"No Rapid Fire" and that is "No Public Restroom"!!!

    ....well that at "Range Closed due to Fire Damage".
    THAT, my friend, is the fault of the sign gods.... ;-)

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    A steelbackstop may be harder to clean than a rubber onebut I'm willing to bet that if a fire starts on both types, the rubber one is engulfed in flames LONG before the steel one even shows any damage. IMO the steel one would just burn itself out as long as there is nothing else to fuel it.

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    Wisconsin Carry, Inc. Shotgun's Avatar
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    Hawkflyer wrote:
    My vote still goes to a tracer fired into the rubber.
    Sounds very plausible. In the Army our tracers once started a heck of a grass fire.
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    Campaign Veteran pourshot's Avatar
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    Shotgun wrote:
    Hawkflyer wrote:
    My vote still goes to a tracer fired into the rubber.
    Sounds very plausible. In the Army our tracers once started a heck of a grass fire.
    But how long after you were done shooting? I am not saying tracers cannot start fires, I am just questioning the delay...

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    Wisconsin Carry, Inc. Shotgun's Avatar
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    In the event I witnessed, the flames appeared while the shooting continued. It is not possible to say at what point the fire began, but (and this is a distant memory from over 30 years ago) by my recollection flames were noticed after maybe 15 minutes of shooting (probably at least a dozen men shooting). It is hard to compare because dry grass would probably burst into flame rather quickly, whereas rubber chunks might smolder for a considerable time before flames appear. A tracer could burrow some distance into the pile of rubber. I'm just saying it's plausible because I've seen tracers fired from an M-16 ignite grass. Not being familiar with the particular range at issue here, I can only speculate from a distance. When bullets fly, all sorts of flukish things can occur! Tracers can burn for hundreds of yards. If someone fired a tracer round into a pile of rubber chunks at 25 yards, that means the round continues to burn in there for a relatively long time. Possibly in contact with something flammable. With all the smoke that's commonly foundon a shooting range, who isgoing to notice a little whisp of smoke from something smoldering?
    A. Gold

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    Founder's Club Member Hawkflyer's Avatar
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    pourshot wrote:
    Shotgun wrote:
    Hawkflyer wrote:
    My vote still goes to a tracer fired into the rubber.
    Sounds very plausible.* In the Army our tracers once started a heck of a grass fire.
    But how long after you were done shooting?* I am not saying tracers cannot start fires, I am just questioning the delay...
    Two elements are at play. The tracer usually burns out very quickly, but it is possible at the short ranges involved here for the tracer compound to enter the rubber before it is completely consumed. In that event it could cause a smoldering fire in the rubber which could take a while to actually ignite and become a visible flame. Depending on the construction of the backstop it could smolder for some time before smoke or other signs of fire appeared to the observers.

    The other condition could be that the tracer compound itself was somehow compromised and was smoldering and finally ignited, setting off the rubber. This could be from old ammo or contaminated tracer compound.

    In any case, the rubber pile could smolder for a while before finally ignited into a significant fire.

    The fire hazard is the main reason most ranges do not allow tracer fire. With a rubber bullet catch this would be a really bad idea.

    Regards
    "Research has shown that a 230 grain lead pellet placed just behind the ear at 850 FPS results in a permanent cure for violent criminal behavior."
    "If you are not getting Flak, you are not over the target"
    "186,000 Miles per second! ... Not just a good idea ... It's the law!"

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    Range down in Johnson City, TN called Point Blank caught fire due to Tracer round to the backstop.

  18. #18
    Campaign Veteran pourshot's Avatar
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    Couple of updates -



    I stopped by 2 weeks ago and they were loading the steel into 1 of several rollback dumpsters. That left2 large piles of 'range' debris consisting of mostly rubber and cinder block (8 - 10 foot tall and conical shaped).



    I stopped by today (5/25/07) and they were hand sifting throughthe remaining 2 piles. They would scoop it up on a bobcat and locate thebucket over the dumpster and then check it a handful at a time for live rounds.



    The gent that was overseeing it (I did not get his name) said that they would be another few weeks doing that and then they, or another company, would start doingany demolition that was required.



    That in mind, I would say look to July for the bad sections of the remaining structure to get taken down and hauled off.



    Onanother note,Shooters' is still selling guns out of the industrial park in Newington. They are trying to keep things running so opening the store when it is completed will be a minor move and not a complete transition.

    Help them keep the money flowing...The new number is 703-339-9880

    They are willing to order guns, and the pricescan bereally good. However, you may have to prepay to get the really good prices.

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    Regular Member zoom6zoom's Avatar
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    Is there a walk in storefront at that location, or is it phone only? And do you know what is being charged for transfers? ( I thought it used to be a bit on the high side) . Would like to send some business that way if possible.

  20. #20
    Campaign Veteran pourshot's Avatar
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    zoom6zoom wrote:
    Is there a walk in storefront at that location, or is it phone only? And do you know what is being charged for transfers? ( I thought it used to be a bit on the high side) . Would like to send some business that way if possible.
    Not really a store front. Just a couple of rooms Coastal clear out (somewhat) for the gun store.



    I never thoughtto ask about transfers. Sorry.

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