Which state is the most conducive to long range shooting?

LearningAsIGo

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I was thinking the other day about where I would want to move to when I am ready to move. I want to move somewhere that gets REAL winters (think snow sustained on the ground for long periods), has lots of land for sale at reasonable prices (would love to have my own 1200yd range on a few hundred acres, or however many is needed for that), and lots of access to longer range public land or good long range membership ranges. Plus the state must be generally 2A and NFA friendly.

If you were moving somewhere, where would you move and why? Or is your state perfect already?
 

diverdon

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    Sounds like you are talking about Montana.
     

    42N8 1

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    Have you ever been to Wyoming? It is not the ideal place to live in my opinion but to each his own.
     

    LearningAsIGo

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    How about Maine or New Hampshire? Montana and Wyoming look pretty but very desolate. I want to live in rural areas, but it'd be nice to have cities nearby as well.
     

    ArmyJerry

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    NH is expensive, but great state, Maine is slightly less expensive, full of Maineiaks though, both beautiful, neither has a city, just large towns they call cities. Look at tax implications before you make a decision.
     

    LearningAsIGo

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    Have you ever been to Wyoming? It is not the ideal place to live in my opinion but to each his own.

    What don't you like about it?

    This is of course all academic for me right now, there are so many factors that go into where to move. But I figured for this part of the equation this was the best place to ask :)
     

    Dirty D

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    Arizona or Nevada. California has alot of BLM land where you can go shoot but the laws suck
     

    LearningAsIGo

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    Arizona or Nevada. California has alot of BLM land where you can go shoot but the laws suck

    I have only been to Arizona once (Phoenix in the summer). I picture all of it as desert, though I have heard the Flagstaff area gets more snow than anywhere. Are there green (as in trees) areas of AZ/NV?
     

    Mister Ridge

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    Not to hijack the thread but what would you all recommend for the same parameters as the OP minus the lasting snow. Snow's fine but I don't want around it forever. Oh, and I prefer grassland and mountains to desert and plains.
     

    LearningAsIGo

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    Not to hijack the thread but what would you all recommend for the same parameters as the OP minus the lasting snow. Snow's fine but I don't want around it forever. Oh, and I prefer grassland and mountains to desert and plains.

    I agree, so definitely no hijacking. When I said lasting snow what I meant was lasting through winter. I'd like real "winter" from about Nov-Dec to March-April. And I prefer trees and mountains as well.
     

    Wally Pinkerton

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    If you consider Montana you'd better also consider the LACK of public land. It's a giant pain in the ass. Just food for thought.
     

    Krav69

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    You could consider Colorado, but alas, it is a gang rape.
     

    Wally Pinkerton

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    In my experience, granted I'm only one opinion, the land that is public is very long range unfriendly, very steep and rugged (Beautiful! But by the time you set up steel your daylight is running low).

    Mind you, I'm from Utah and it seems like everything there is public, the catch 22 is, with public land there are lots of people over your shoulder.
     

    FN in MT

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    Lack of land? I thought that MT had tons of BLM and public land for hunting/recreational shooting?

    A LOT of our public land is what we call "checkerboard" sections. Meaning there may be several sections (640 acres/sq mile) on a privately owned Ranch. Unless those sections are accessible from a road or the landowner ALLOWS you access...NO trespassing. So there may be a lot of land but a portion of it is inaccessible.

    There's a lot of land in Western MT that's BLM, etc.... but it's timber...tough to shoot LR there.

    I live between Helena and Great Falls. I belong to a Club to shoot LR. It's tough to get acess to a lot of the private land that would work for LR.

    Big money is taking over mT. Out of Staters buying up a lot of land....and closing it down. MT is really changing.

    I'd like to move to southern Utah. Snow is VERY over rated....Same for below zero temps.
     

    Flying Goose

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    MT is changing but there are areas that are changing faster than others, Bozeman and Whitefish are perhaps the leaders in that change. Helena is where we are trying to get back to someday and you'll find everything you need around there.

    As for being close to a city what do you define as a city out here its a Costco, Target, Home Depot and thats pretty good.

    As for WY and MT you have to realize they are each two different states WY divided North to South, MT divided West to East. One side desolate and nothing, the other wooded, mountainous, and magnificent!
     

    Dirty D

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    I have only been to Arizona once (Phoenix in the summer). I picture all of it as desert, though I have heard the Flagstaff area gets more snow than anywhere. Are there green (as in trees) areas of AZ/NV?

    A good portion of the northern half of AZ is forest, lots of evergreens so green year round.
     

    Phezzik

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    I've moved around quite a bit in my short time on this earth so far, and bein from colorado but living all over the west my vote also goes for Wyoming. I grew up in Colorado, but he laws suck nuts now (hence why I'm moving in a few weeks). Northern California is beautiful and lots of places to shoot, but even less gun friendly than CO. Lived in New Mexico for a couple years and thought I hated it, but now realize how nice it was. Northern new mexico is nice (mountains and snow), and Whittington is in Raton, but the issue I ran into is you almost have to join a club to shoot legitimate lr. Most of the land down there is either tribal or DOE.

    Montana is beautiful, but a friend of mine who has a big hunk of land up there agrees with the previous statements about how the state is changing. That, however, can be said for a lot of states (just look at Colorado as a prime example). I love Wyoming for the access to land, diversity in terrain, traditional climate for a norhternly state, and IIRC no state income tax. And as far as I'm concerned one of the last few "free" states. Even Magpul's headed that way after telling CO to shove it (moving there production facilities from Erie, CO to Cheyenne, WY). The only downside that I've found is the wind. Man the wind. But that aside from that perfect for me. As soon as my wife finishes school and I figure out what I'm doin' with my shop, I imagine that Wyoming is where we are going to end up.
     
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    Veer_G

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    Hell, and here I was thinking relaxation, closely followed by alertness and sobriety. Go figure.

    FWIW, I wouldn't hold out any great hope for New England states. The New York City metro area, Massachusetts, and Connecticut are overflowing with "fellow travelers" who are inexorably creeping northward.
     

    MikeInUtah

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    Utah is full. Move along please. Plus, I hate having to drive 30 mins to endless miles of blm land to shoot, ride dirt bike or do whatever on, or drive 40 mins to world class ski resorts. I did catch a guy flying a weird looking parchute fan boat glider contraption probably 100 feet over skull valley yesterday and I am thinking on getting into another hobby now.
     

    Ledzep

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    I've been checking it out, myself. I'm looking pretty heavily at Wyoming and Idaho.

    Nevada is great for LR shooting, but I'm absolutely burnt out on 100+ degrees all the time.
     

    Bunnypunter

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    Agreed, Utah is full. Nothing to see here, move along.
    Utah is full. Move along please. Plus, I hate having to drive 30 mins to endless miles of blm land to shoot, ride dirt bike or do whatever on, or drive 40 mins to world class ski resorts. I did catch a guy flying a weird looking parchute fan boat glider contraption probably 100 feet over skull valley yesterday and I am thinking on getting into another hobby now.
     

    LearningAsIGo

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    All the suggestions are great, though it's unfortunate so few states actually meet the criteria.
     

    Shoottothrill

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    Heber or Payson Arizona. Payson is about 4500 elev. Heber is close to 7000 elev. Pine trees and grassy meadows. Snow in the winter, but not crazy amounts and May to Sept. is perfect weather. Arizona is very gun friendly as well.
     

    LearningAsIGo

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    Follow-up to this question: How many acres for a 1.2K yard range? Assuming proper backstop (hill/mountain/50ft berm) and rural with no regulations? I can do the math, but 1+1 doesn't seem to always equal 2 in implementation.
     

    ZombieMonkey

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    Heber or Payson Arizona. Payson is about 4500 elev. Heber is close to 7000 elev. Pine trees and grassy meadows. Snow in the winter, but not crazy amounts and May to Sept. is perfect weather. Arizona is very gun friendly as well.

    My issue is finding good places for LR that allow for safe extended distances. It seems anywhere I go you run into issues with hundreds of small ATV trails cutting across what would otherwise be a great place to really extend out and ring some steel.
     

    DetroitRearView

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    Yes, please disregard any rumors that Wyoming is an option :rolleyes:

    Besides most of the private land has been bought up...everyplace I go it seems to be...public land

    We like to shoot rocks and other stuff, and some say we are kind of uncivilized



     

    Alpine 338

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    Problem is overpopulation of idiots in this country. Before I was born, just about every place was a decent place to live. Over time, people have been brainwashed, and as a result, we have what we have. My point? Without getting into politics, we are seeing less and less decent places that are truly desirable. California was a great and vast State, that offered so much to choose from. As California went down the crapper, so followed States such as Colorado. I saw the writing on the wall in the late 70's when Colorado started getting a large influx of people from New York, Mass., Vermont, etc. this was the start of our downward spiral, with the nail in the coffin being a sliding economy in California causing many of those Californians moving to Colorado in the 80's and 90's. Colorado is still a great place, but it will become just like California in the not so distant future. I've heard from many that the same is taking place in places like Oregon, Idaho, and to a smaller extent Montana. It's just a matter of time that places like Wyoming and Utah will end up like those States.
    If I didn't already have so much invested in Colorado (i.e. good friends, a home I built, and a good job), I too would be looking for a better place to live.
     
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    sulcop96

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    Not many votes for Alaska, that would seem to be a good option. I am asking the same question as I plan on retiring in 4-6 years. After I retire I am hauling ass out of MASS and am looking for the right combo of economy, land, friendly people and the ability to shoot frequently so MASS is totally out of the question.

    Sully