range rules and REGULATIONS
Adopted January 1, 2014
Associated Gun Clubs of Baltimore, Inc
11518 Marriottsville Road
Marriottsville, Maryland 21104
- Download the PDF Version of our Range Rules
- Target Frame Information
- Range Safety Rules
- Supplemental Operating Procedures
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Match Director Information
- AGC Map
- Range Rule Violation Disciplinary Actions
- Range Etiquette
- Range Bag Checklist
- AGC Range and Safety Orientation Course Affadavit (PDF Download)
Hours of operation:
- Weekdays, 8:00 am to 8:00 pm or Sunset.
- Weekends, 9:00 am to 8:00 pm or Sunset.
- Line Hot at OPEN; CLOSED at Last Ceasefire
- Ranges will be open every day except:
- Thanksgiving Day, CLOSED AT 2:00 pm
- Christmas Day, CLOSED ALL DAY
- New Year’s Day, CLOSED ALL DAY
- The trap range may remain open until 9:00 pm on Wednesdays.
- The 50-yard range may remain open until 9:00 pm on Tuesdays for league events.
- Use of any range is prohibited if weather or other conditions prevents full visibility.
- Officers and staff RSO’s may close the range if lightning or other conditions pose a danger.
- Any range may be closed to non-competitors during an AGC sanctioned event. Scheduled range closures are posted on the AGC website.
Range badges shall be worn exposed at all times when shooting. They may not be loaned or transferred. The AGC reserves the right to request additional photo identification to confirm identity. Non-shooting members shall display their range badge or current AGC club membership card when on range property.
Badge holders may bring guests and shall supervise their guest(s) at all times. A badge holder with guests may occupy only one firing point and only one person may shoot at a time. Exception – The Wobble Trap may be occupied by a range badge holder and up to 4 shooting guests. The badge holder is responsible for their guests and for explaining all pertinent rules and regulations to them.
The AGC is host to seven (7) different ranges:
- A 50-Yard, 58 Lane Handgun only Range.
- Cartridge, Cap and Ball and Flintlock – No Shot Shells!
- A 100-Yard, 100 Lane Multi-Purpose Range. (Barnes Range)
- Rifle, Handgun, Shotgun – Cartridge, Cap and Ball and Flintlock.
- The 10 rightmost lanes are reserved for “Benchrest Only” shooting. No other positions; Standing, Kneeling, Sitting, Prone or Creedmoor are permitted.
- Lanes to the left of lane 57 (orange column) are opened only at the discretion of the RSO.
- A 200-Yard, 10 Lane Hi-Power Range.
- Rifle, Handgun, Shotgun – Cartridge, Cap and Ball and Flintlock
- Four Trap Ranges.
- Restrictions on shot size, velocity and stock type – See “Trap Range”
- An Indoor Pellet Gun Range (Memorial Hall)
- Compressed Air, Carbon Dioxide, Springer. - Restrictions on bullet weight, size and velocity. See “Indoor Pellet Range”
- A 4-Lane Archery Range
- Bows and Crossbows - No Broadheads on AGC Targets!
- A Shotgun Patterning Range.
- Patterning Only! No Slugs! Not to be used for target practice!!!!
Each of the above Ranges has additional configurations, permissions and restrictions that are addressed later in this document.
Each Range is comprised of 3 distinct areas:
- Firing Line – Where you shoot from.
- Downrange – Where you place your targets. (Forward of the Firing Line.)
- Impact Berm – Where your expended rounds must ultimately land.
On the 50-Yard Handgun Range and on the 200-yard Hi-Power range there are additional berms referred to as a “Protective Berm” which is not intended to receive fired rounds:
- On the 50-Yard Handgun Range the first protective berm is located immediately in front of the 25-yard target positioning mechanism, and the second one is immediately in front of the 50-yard target holders.
- On the 200-Yard Hi-Power Range, a single protective berm is located immediately in front of the Pit overhang.
Care must be taken to avoid impacting these berms! Always check your full line of fire before shooting.
- While not technically part of a Range, the access area leading up to the Firing Line is interchangeably referred to as the “Assembly Area”, “Behind the Concrete Pad” or “The Rack Area”.
- On the Pistol Range, Barnes Range and Hi-Power Range, the Firing Line is located on a sheltered “Concrete Pad”.
- The Concrete Pad is further delineated by a forward Red or Yellow Line and rear White Line.
All seven (7) Ranges have two (2) modes of operation:
- Hot – You may handle and discharge your Firearm.
- Cease Fire – You may not touch your Firearm.
Cease Fires are called as follows: “Cease Fire, Cease Fire, Make all Firearms safe, actions open, magazines removed, insert your Empty Chamber Indicators. Muzzle loaders may discharge into the impact area at this time. Once you have made all firearms safe, step off of the shooting pad”. Once all shooters have stepped off the pad the following command is given: “The line is now safe, you may go forward to post or pull targets. Do not handle firearms at any time during the cease fire”. Once all shooters have returned and are again standing behind the shooting pad, the following command is given: “All shooters are back, the line is hot, the line is hot”.
Any member can and should call a Cease Fire whenever they witness a situation that warrants it!!!
Range Safety Rules:
- The decisions of the Range Safety Officers (RSO’s) are final! Any decision or action of a RSO may be brought before the AGC Executive Committee and Board of Trustees.
- The RSO’s may stop the firing of any firearm, or at any target if such represents a danger to persons or property.
- The RSO’s reserve the right (weather permitting) to ask the shooters to step back off the Concrete Pad during a cease fire.
- RSO’s are authorized to relocate the firing points on the line of members whose shooting activity causes multiple complaints from adjacent shooters.
- Pets shall be accompanied by their owner, leashed and controlled at all times. Pets are not allowed on the Concrete Pad.
- Alcohol consumption is not permitted in the vicinity of an active range. Alcohol may be consumed only after shooting is completed and firearms have been secured and then not in areas visible from public roads. Anyone who appears to be intoxicated or under the influence of drugs will not be allowed on AGC property.
- All firearms being brought to or transported on range property shall be unloaded. All uncased firearms transported on range property must have an ECI in place (where applicable) and be carried muzzle up. Holstered firearms may not be worn except under applicable MD law and Trustee approved events.
- Cased and uncased firearms may be transported to or from the rack area (Assembly Area) behind the Concrete Pad at any time. Firearms (cased or uncased) may not be brought to or from the Concrete Pad during a Cease Fire. Uncased firearms must be carried with ECI in place (where applicable) and muzzle up.
- When on the Concrete Pad firearms shall remain pointed downrange while being cased or uncased.
- All rifle cases shall remain pointed downrange while on the Concrete Pad. It is recommended that cases be stored off the Concrete Pad when possible.
- Always keep your firearm pointed in a safe direction.
- Always keep your firearm unloaded until ready to shoot. On AGC Ranges, firearms are considered loaded when:
- An Empty Chamber Indicator (ECI) is not in place.
- Actions, cylinders, loading gates are closed. (Cap and ball revolver actions excepted).
- Cartridges or empty cases are in the chamber/cylinder or when the magazine is attached.
- Black Powder Firearms containing; propellant, projectile, cap or powder in the pan of a flintlock.
- Always keep your finger off the trigger until ready to fire.
- Always know what is beyond your target.
- It is always recommended that eye and hearing protection be worn at all times on or near the firing line.
Individuals assume all responsibility for any injury that occurs by not wearing eye and hearing protection!
- Do not handle firearms during a Cease Fire!
- A Cease Fire is in effect from when it is last called for the day until the range is called Hot the following morning.
- During a Cease Fire, all firearms shall be pointed downrange or racked in an upright position with actions open and ECI’s in place.
- During a Cease Fire, please stay behind the White line when not pulling or posting targets.
- Cease Fires normally occur on the hour and half hour. When multiple shooters are self-governing on the line they shall follow the same cease fire commands and procedures as staff RSOs. Upon mutual agreement they may call for more or less Cease Fires.
- Off-hand shooters shall stand between the front edge of the Concrete Pad and the Red or Yellow line with the firearm muzzle at or past the front edge of the Concrete Pad.
- Shooters using other shooting positions shall place the muzzles of their firearms as close as possible to the front edge of the Concrete Pad. Under no circumstances will a firearm be discharged if the muzzle is behind anyone on the Firing Line.
- Semiautomatic strings may be fired on any range at a rate that allows the aiming of each shot. All shots fired must be controlled and strike within the designated Impact Area for the shooters position.
- No tracer, incendiary ammunition or exploding targets may be used!!!
- All shooters shall clean up their area when finished shooting.
- Cleaning of firearms may be done on the Firing Line only with muzzles pointed downrange or upright. Cleaning of firearms off of the Firing Line is allowed only if the firearm action is clearly disabled. (Firearm disassembled, bolt removed etc.) and no ammunition present.
- If a firearm fails to fire, the muzzle shall remain pointed at the Impact Area for at least 30 seconds before remedial action is taken.
- Shotgun patterning may be done only on the 100-yard and Shotgun patterning ranges.
The shotgun patterning range is for patterning a shotgun, not for practice shooting!
- Except for Public Trap inventory, firearms, ammunition, or ammunition components shall not be stored on range property.
- During AGC sanctioned matches the Match Director controls the range in cooperation with the staff RSO’s.
- During Junior events the Board of Trustees may restrict shooters to rimfire calibers. Restrictions will be posted on the AGC calendar.
- Full automatic fire and the shooting from holsters are permitted only under the direct supervision of the Full Auto Committee or the Action Shooting committees respectively.
- Bumpfire and Crankfire shall be allowed during normal range hours on the 100-yard Barnes range only. Shooters must prequalify to a standard to be approved by the Board of Trustees.
*** TARGETS ***
- Range specific target and frame dimensional data is depicted at the end of this document.
- On the 50, 100 and 200 yard ranges, Other types of targets may be used provided that the round easily passes through them and strikes the impact berm. Examples: Tennis balls, ping pong balls, golf balls, plastic bottles, charcoal briquettes, chalk, etc.
- It is the shooters responsibility, that regardless of;
a. The target frame origin (AGC or shooter furnished), or
b. The shooters firing position (Standing, Kneeling, Sitting, Creedmoor, Prone), or
c. The shooters height;
The shooter must ensure proper target height such that fired rounds do not “earth” anywhere between the firing line and the Impact Berm.
The Impact Berm is the exposed earthen berm just beyond the maximum target distance of the Range being utilized.
- Pictures, caricatures or illustrations depicting real people may not be used as targets.
- Targets and Target Frames must not be capable of deflecting a projectile in an unsafe direction.
- Targets containing explosives or glass are not permitted.
- Targets may not be placed on the Impact Berm. Please keep off the Impact Berm.
- You are responsible for your target line clean up.
- Commercial Biathlon Targets:
a. Permitted on the 100 Yard Barnes Range only:
b. May be fired upon at a distance of 50 yards or greater with .22 rim-fire ammunition only
- Steel Targets - Permitted only on the 50, 100 and 200 Yard Ranges as follows:
a. 50 Yard Pistol Range:
i. Only when used in a Match hosted by a Member Club having obtained the prior specific approval of the Trustees.
b. 100 Yard Barnes Range:
i. Flat plate steel targets of any configuration may be placed at 100 yards and fired upon with rim-fire and black powder lead balls – The maximum black powder charge allowed however, is limited to 70 grains of 2FG granulation or equivalent.
ii. May be fired upon with air rifles when placed between 25 and 100 yards downrange.
iii. Must be positioned so that missed shots will strike the impact area.
iv. Must not be fired upon with center-fire cartridges unless used in a Match hosted by a Member Club having obtained the prior specific approval of the Trustees.
c. 200 Yard High-Power and Silhouette/Hunting Handgun Range:
i. Steel targets are not permitted unless:
1. Used in a Match hosted by a Member Club having obtained the prior specific approval of the Trustees.
2. Used in a Club hosted Silhouette/Hunting handgun Match.
3. Used for Silhouette/Hunting handgun practice but only as follows:
a. Spinners or Clangers may be placed immediately in front of the 50, 100 and 150 meter impact berms.
b. Official steel silhouette targets must be placed on the steel support rails immediately in front of the 50, 100 and 150 meter impact berms.
c. The 200 meter steel support rail may only be installed during a Club hosted Silhouette/Hunting handgun match. Therefore, Spinners or Clangers used for Silhouette/Hunting handgun practice at 200 meters should be placed at or slightly beyond the same range as the in-ground steel rail support cylinders.
d. When the use of steel is permitted as described above, it shall always conform to the following general rules:
i. Mild steel having a minimum thickness of 0.250 inches may be fired upon by air- guns, .22 caliber or black powder only.
ii. All other calibers shall use Armor plate steel having a hardness and thickness sufficient to prevent “dimpling” or “punch-through”.
iii. Whenever possible, all armor plate steel should be positioned so as to direct a majority of the splatter downward.
iv. During a steel Silhouette/Hunting handgun match, the 200 yard range will be closed to all other activities.
v. No personnel are permitted in the 200 yard target pits when shooting steel targets.
vi. Armor piercing ammunition may not be fired at steel plates.
*** BLACK POWDER – SPECIAL RULES ***
- No Smoking within 15 feet of black powder or black powder substitutes.
- Prior to loading, shooters using muzzle loading rifles or pistols shall fire caps on all nipples of percussion firearms or a pan full of powder in a flintlock while pointing the firearm downrange.
- Muzzle loading firearms using granulated propellant shall have the propellant poured into the muzzle from a powder measure.
- Containers of propellant shall be kept closed when not being used.
- Shooters using muzzle loading rifles shall place their rifle upright in a v-notch in the loading bench or some other device during a cease fire or during loading. Hand formed cartridges, propellants and sabots may be loaded at the firing line with the firearm held in the upright position.
- Percussion and flintlock firearms shall be forward of the yellow line and pointed downrange when a percussion cap is affixed or when the pan is charged.
- Muzzle loading handguns shall use a loading stand or similar device during a Cease Fire.
*** RANGE SPECIFIC RULES ***
- This range is designated for the shooting of handguns and events approved by the AGC Trustees.
- No shot shells may be fired on this range.
- Firing from a prone or Creedmoor position is prohibited.
- When AGC metal frames are used only a single centered target is allowed.
- Muzzle loading handguns shall use a loading stand or similar device during a cease fire.
100-Yard range (Barnes Range)
- Positions to the left of the orange roof support pole (at lane 57) are opened at the discretion of the Staff Range Safety Officer on duty.
- The 10 permanent benches on the far right of the Barnes range are for Benchrest shooting only.
- In the Benchrest area, everyone must be behind the red zone while the line is hot.
- Handguns may be fired on the 100-yard (Barnes) range. Rounds must hit impact berm.
- An orange flag shall be displayed forward of the firing positions when the range is clear to go forward of firing line.
- The 50, 100, and 150 meter impact areas are for the exclusive use of shooting steel silhouettes with Silhouette/Hunting handguns only. The 200+ yard impact berm is the primary impact berm used for all 200 yard shooting. In addition, it serves as the 200 meter impact berm for silhouette/hunting handgun shoots and practice.
- Practice silhouettes, clangers, and spinners may be used for silhouette/hunting handguns practice only and shall be positioned directly in front of the 50, 100, 150 and 200+ meter impact berms..
- If you provide your own target frame it may be placed in receptacles just forward of the edge of the pits or behind the pits.
- People may stay in the pits between ceasefires only during organized shoots under the control of a designated Match Director.
- People in the pits must be able to communicate by voice (electronically) with the Match Director from within the pit.
- When using the AGC target frames, the center of the target bulls cannot be less than 24 inches from the frame side members.
- No slugs may be fired on this range.
- Only shotguns firing a maximum powder load of 3 dram equivalent, shot size 7 1/2, 8 or 9 shot, and a maximum muzzle velocity of 1200 fps are allowed.
- Firearms shall remain unloaded with actions open at all times until on station and ready to shoot. (Exception, racked break-open shotguns). ECI(s) are optional on this range only.
- No shooting is permitted in front of the 16-yard line.
- When shooting handicaps, shooters may shoot from a staggered position not to exceed 2 yards.
- Portable traps and other throwing devices may be used when positioned on or behind the 16-yard line.
- It is permitted to walk forward of the 16-yard line, to the trap house only, as long as the field is “clear”, i.e. shooters may be on the line with unloaded guns and open actions.
- Trap fields are run independently of each other.
- No one may walk beyond the trap house when other fields are in use.
- When a person is in a trap house, an orange safety cone shall be placed in a visible position. (Usually on top of the traphouse.)
- Firearms used in all trap events shall be fired from the shoulder. Folding stocks shall be in the extended position.
Shotgun Patterning Range:
- This range is for patterning only. Not for practice shooting.
- No slugs may be fired on this range.
- When approaching the Patterning Range always be aware of the shooting activity on the adjacent Archery Range.
- Prior to shooting, position an orange cone and flag in a visible location to indicate that the patterning range is being used.
- Shooter supplied paper or paper purchased from the AGC may be used on the patterning frame.
- Sky drawing is not allowed. – Sky drawing is the practice of drawing the bow back while aiming above the target before lowering the aim point down onto the target.
- All relevant range rules are applicable, by substituting archery terminology.
- Only field point or target arrows may be shot at AGC targets.
- Prior to shooting, position an orange cone and flag in a visible location to indicate that the Archery Range is being used.
- Archers shall designate a common Firing Line.
Indoor Pellet Range:
- All firearm safety rules apply.
- The Pellet range is available for Club use from 8:00 AM to 11:00 PM on any day the range is open.
- Only compressed air, carbon dioxide, and spring powered guns firing .177 or .22 caliber blunt nose lead pellets weighing less than 25 grains may be fired on this range.
- The maximum allowable velocity is 1000 fps for .177 pellets and 800 fps for .22 pellets.
- Only paper targets or AGC approved metal or metal-clad targets may be used.
- Shooters shall be aligned properly with their pellet traps.
These rules shall be followed by all persons on AGC Patapsco Ranges and associated facilities. Range rules may be specifically modified, reduced or expanded only by vote of the Board of Trustees.
Persons witnessing an infraction should first bring it to the attention of the offender. If the infraction is not corrected, the witness should then inform the AGC range officer. Enforcement of the range rules is granted the AGC executive committee, AGC range officers, and any AGC sanctioned Match Director. Range Officers have the right to stop any action they feel is unsafe or violates the range rules until the matter can be ruled upon by the AGC executive committee. Range badge privileges may temporarily be revoked until the infraction is reviewed by the AGC executive committee.
It is not realistic to think that a set of range rules could encompass all possible situations that may develop on the AGC Patapsco Ranges. If your actions are considered as unsafe by a “Reasonable Person” standard, stating “It is not in the range rules” is no protection and your actions will be addressed.
We have an obligation to ourselves, each other and our community to enjoy our sport in a totally safe and lawful manner.
If any of the above rules fail to address a perceived problem…. Just Use Common Sense!
*** Definitions ***
Any member in good standing of an associated club.
Any member in good standing of an associated club holding a valid “Range Badge” (AGC photo ID)
A friend, acquaintance, family member or prospective member who you invite to the range for recreational purposes. If you are acting as an instructor and/or representing a third party for profit entity of any stripe, or if you are financially compensated in any way for your instruction, either directly or indirectly by your student(s), then your activity falls under the provisions of Chapter XV, Certified Instructor Organizations (CIO’s), Vetting and Operating Procedures as amended, of AGC’s current Policy & Procedures Manual as posted on the AGC website.
Any unaccompanied “non-member” on AGC property.
Any exposed firearm “out of the box (case), on the bench”.
The concrete slab consisting of the firing line, red or yellow line, white line, benches, tables Etc.
Rack Area, Assembly Area or “Behind the Concrete Pad”:
The area directly behind the concrete pad.
ECI (Empty Chamber Indicator)
Any flag device to show the chamber or action of a firearm does not contain a cartridge.
The area where a fired projectile “should” contact with the hill after passing through a target.
A special berm designed to protect equipment or fixtures. These are located on the 50-Yard Handgun range immediately in front of the 25-yard target positioning mechanism and on the 200-yard range immediately in front of the pit overhang. Care must be taken to avoid hitting these berms.
*** Supplemental Operating Procedures ***
CIO (Certified Instructor Organization) Training classes:
During CIO events, holstered firearms must stay on the concrete pad or adjacent rack area.
Detached magazines may be reloaded during a cease fire behind the white line.
Outdoor pellet shooting:
Pellets are not required to hit the impact berm.
Empty Chamber Indicator use:
The use of an ECI is optional ONLY on the trap range. It is recognized that on some types of firearms, black powder handguns for example, the use of an ECI is not possible. If an ECI can be used it is required.
Bumpfire – Crankfire:
All range rules apply. Shooter must notify the staff RSO of the firearms use before shooting. There shall be a minimum of 2 empty lanes on either side of the shooter. The shooter is asked to stay as far to the left on the firing line as possible. Only pre-qualified persons may handle the loaded firearm.
Non-Bullseye targets on the 200-yard range:
When using non-bullseye type targets on the 4 foot by 4 foot, 200-yard target frames, the aim point shall be at least 12 inches in from the outside edge of the wood target frame.
Shotgun Patterning/Archery Range:
A common firing line is to be used for both ranges. Shooters must share a mutually set distance of the firing line. At least once every 20 minutes, the line must be given to the opposite shooter for a change of distance.
*** Frequently Asked Questions ***
Hey, I got to go…What about my guest?
If for any reason the badge holder must leave the firing line: safe your firearm(s) insert ECIs, Remind your guest to not touch the firearms and to stay behind the white line until you return
Unable to safe a firearm when a cease fire is called:
If you have a problem making your firearm(s) safe when a cease fire is called:
Raise your hand, (this will indicate to the RSO there is a problem). Do not move behind the white line until the malfunction is cleared and the firearm is safe, OR after the RSO has assessed the situation and has asked you to do so. If the malfunction can’t be cleared the RSO may ask you to place your firearm vertically in a reloading notch (long gun) or a loading stand (handgun) and “stand guard” over the firearm until the cease fire is completed.
When my firearm is cased, how am I supposed to know which direction it is pointing?
It is your responsibility to know which direction your cased firearm is pointing! A common practice is to mark the exterior of the case to indicate which end conceals the muzzle.
My case contains 2 firearms, each pointed in opposite directions?
- If the case contains form fitted foam, you can place the case upright in the rack behind the pad and then move them to the bench.
- If the firearms are loose in the case, a common practice is to leave the case in your vehicle and carry each firearm muzzle up, action open, magazine removed and ECI installed to the rack or bench area depending on the Cease Fire status.
- Check the AGC Web-site before you leave home – www.associatedgunclubs.org
- Subscribe to AGC news – You can subscribe on the above web-site.
- Call the range to be sure they are open – 410-461-8532
I drove all the way to the Range only to discover I left my Range Badge at home, can I still shoot?
- If you have a photo-ID (Driver’s License) you can get a Guest Badge from one of the RSO’s.
*** Match Director ***
The AGC By-Laws state that the purpose of the Association, among others, is to encourage organized shooting, develop improved marksmanship, promote, arrange and conduct contests, matches and tournaments between member clubs and others. This has been done in various forms for the past 50 years or so. Some clubs conduct matches for their members only. Other clubs conduct matches that are open all AGC members as well as the general public.
If a club match is to be conducted without any change in the normal routine of the range the club can elect not to appoint a Match Director. Open matches which may attract non-AGC club members and for which a report must be prepared for the AGC must have Match Directors appointed.
What are the responsibilities of the RSO’s and the Match Directors during the competition? The RSO’s are responsible for ensuring that everyone on the range obeys the current range rules including the competitors. If a competitor violates a range rule the transgression will be brought to the attention of the Match Director for immediate resolution. If the on-duty RSO sees any action by the competitors or other shooters on the range that he feels is detrimental to the best interests of the AGC he is authorized to halt all firing until the problem is rectified.
The Match Director’s responsibilities are: (Before, during and after a match)
•To establish the duration of the match
•To determine which firing points are to be used
•To determine the length of the relays
•To inform non-match shooters of any restrictions relative to their shooting such as firing points, rate of fire, acoustic signatures of their firearms, boisterous behavior and time taken to change targets.
•To control the behavior of the match shooters.
•To provide suitable targets and target frames
•To return the range control to the RSO at the end of the match
•To see that any match debris is cleaned up
•To oversee the preparation of the report for the AGC