Huge thanks to our dedicated partner, Law Enforcement and Military veteran Mike Lazarus, for writing this article.
Some time ago, the city of Ventura had an outdoor shooting range in the foothills of the city. It was a very nice, smaller range that allowed shooting out to about 50 yards. The range had some steel targets and one could get basic range necessities there. Then the city grew and people began to build houses near the shooting range. The obvious happened. Despite knowing the range was there before moving in and building, the new residents complained. The public shooting range was noisy (big surprise) and of course, the guns were scary to some of the new residents. There used to be several areas of BLM land that people could go and shoot, but those public shooting ranges were also shut down. Southern California has quite a few nice indoor ranges, however for those who enjoy shooting outdoors, the options have become somewhat limited. Call it progress, urban sprawl, or just a sign of the times. Whatever it is, we must support the few remaining outdoor public shooting ranges. We do this to preserve our sport and maybe our freedoms. Or, perhaps, just for the fun of it.
California Tactical Academy (CTA), located in Piru, California, currently has the best Southern California option for outdoor public shooting. The public shooting range at CTA is remarkable. The range features a handgun only range, a rifle range with paper targets available to 500 yards and steel, reactive targets to 1000 yards. There is also a recently added rimfire only, all steel range which is like the shooting gallery of my dreams. Having a rimfire range is a great choice for younger shooters as well as adults. The rimfire shooting range features targets at various distances where new shooters can enjoy the reactive steel targets at a distance that does not discourage them with difficulties. The further distance rimfire targets present a fine challenge for the adult shooter, particularly if they are shooting from a standing, offhand position. It’s a great way to practice basic rifle or pistol marksmanship at a very low cost for ammunition.
The handgun shooting range has both paper and steel targets as well. One can sight in their handgun, then spend the remainder of the day casually working on the steel targets without having to tape or otherwise check the paper targets to know if they are hitting the mark. You will find great selection of static and reactive steel targets that goes up to 50 yards.
The rifle range is becoming well known in Southern California. Shooters, gun builders, hunters, and the casual shooter are coming to the range to test their guns, their skills, and to just enjoy the day shooting with friends or family, finding a public range that allows you to shoot to a 1000 yards is rare, especially in southern California.
A popular indoor range recently closed for a variety of reasons. However, the range did see a fairly brisk business and charged $18 an hour to shoot there. CTA charges $20 for the entire day. And allows the use of the handgun, rimfire, rifle and shotgun ranges for the cost. They will even include the first paper target for free. Additionally, if you want to purchase more paper targets, the hardworking crew will drive out to your target stand during a cease fire and replace the target for you.
Ammunition, gun rentals, gun purchases, and a variety of shooting supplies are all available at the Pro-Shop at CTA. One could show up with no supplies, rent what they need for the day, purchase all the ammunition they want, and be able to use the public shooting range. Training is also available at the public shooting range.
In this day and age of closing ranges and limited places to shoot, we are lucky to have an outdoor public shooting range that offers the services that CTA does.