Range Visit: Elsy Pearson

Last weekend I took part in a Fark Party, an event where members of the website Fark.com get together in person.
In this case, we decided to visit the Elsy Pearson range in Casa Grande, AZ. The aerial photograph is a little old, as there is now a range in the upper left where there appears to be cars parked, as well as a range in the lower-right. There’s also a chain-link fence. According to the range description on file with the NRA, it has a 250 yard rifle and pistol line. I eyeballed our range at 150 yards, but I could be mistaken. There was a few other ranges in the complex that may have been longer, but we left to get food before I could investigate further. There was also a shorter (maybe 50 yard) range where a bunch of NFA folks were shooting.
It’s an unsupervised range, with no safety officers. The rules are printed on a big metal sign — there was about six rules, all basically saying “be safe, don’t be an idiot”.
The range is run by the Casa Grande Parks & Recreation Department and is free for public use (having grown up in the San Francisco suburbs, this is nearly unheard of for me!). There’s a nearby range for police use only, but it was much the same as the public range. There is also the Casa Grande Trap Club about a quarter-mile north, for those who prefer shotguns.
The public rifle range is simple and spartan (metal roof, concrete benches, and not much else), but well-maintained. Large berms serve as backstops, and there’s a Big Honking Hill beyond the berms to catch any stray bullets. Unfortunately, air moving down the hill created some gusty winds at times, but not much cross breezes, so it didn’t really affect accuracy.
I didn’t look closely, but the range doesn’t seem to have any “facilities” — no bathrooms, no soda machines, etc. I don’t know if the range even has electricity running to it, but I doubt it.
There doesn’t appear to be any restrictions on the type of firearms used (though I wouldn’t be surprised if they restricted tracers and incendiary rounds for obvious fire safety reasons) — there was a bunch of folks with full-auto at range just north of us. From the look of things, it was a bunch of NFA owners having fun on a Sunday afternoon, rather than a match. No police cars were evident and a variety of guns (from heavy machine guns to MP5SDs) were being fired, so it didn’t seem to be cops either. It was refreshing to see so many NFA owners out there.
It’s a bit out of the way, but if you go South on South Isom Road from the intersection of West Arcia Road for about a half mile, it’ll be on your left. The Google Maps are accurate, as was the GPS (Garmin StreetPilot c330 — a device worth its weight in gold!) directions taking me to that intersection. Both Isom and Arcia are unpaved roads, but are smooth and well-maintained. My Toyota Camry had no trouble, nor did the Toyota Yaris and Hyundai Tiburon belonging to other members of the party.
If you find yourself in the vicinity of Casa Grande, the Elsy Pearson range is a well-maintained, clean, and free place to shoot. It’s nothing fancy, but ranges don’t need to be.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *