Range report – Hudson Gun Club

First a little back story: I’ve started to get into shooting guns. I have some that I inherited from my grandparents (I’ll blog about those later) and I went out and bought a Pietta replica of an 1858 Remington New Army .44 caliber black powder cap and ball pistol. I’ve also started to reload cartridges for my Remington 740 .30-06 rifle. More about that later too.

Today Dave and I made a recon run to the Hudson Gun Club today. The following is my report.

The main reason Dave and I went is because the club is open to the public year round on Sat and Sun. We thought we should check it out to see if it is worth the drive. After April 17th they will be open to the public on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. I might run out there after work some Tuesdays.

The web site says that it’s $10 to shoot. When we got there it was $13. Not a major deal and still cheaper than the Oakdale Gun Club (where we usually shoot) by a bit.

It was pretty nice, they have a really nice club house – with a bar – and the pistol range is great. Big new shelter, looks like the concrete floor is heated (!) and it’s nice and roomy.

Dave and I shot our pistols first. I was shooting my smokewagon – the 1858 Remington. Dave was shooting his Sig P6.

I put 24 rounds down range with only one jam up from a cap fragment. I had no fouling issues, hang fires or miss fires (or chain fires for that matter) at all.

I was shooting 17 grains of Jim Shockey’s Gold fffg powder with a Wonder Wad over it and a Hornady .454 ball. Each ball shaved a nice ring when seating. I used CCI #10 caps. One of the first modifications I made to my pistol was to fit the nipples so a CCI #10 sits nice and snug and I had no issues today.

I put all 24 rounds on the paper with most of them grouped within a 6″ circle at 15 yards. Everyone complains about the Pietta pistols shooting high and to the left, but mine seems to hit close to POA with no issues.

Dave put 100 rounds down range in the same time it took me to load and shoot 24. (Well actually he let me shoot 15 rounds from his pistol, so he put 85 rounds down range.)

Speedy the cap and ball is not.

On the other hand, I got much nicer groupings with my 7-1/2″ barrel than he did with his 4-1/2″ barrel. 😛

I had made up some paper cartridges, but since the Wonder Wads are larger than the cylinder bores it was close to impossible to get them into the cylinders. I think I might try making some paper wrapped pre-measured powder charges for next time – I can just drop them into the cylinder and put a wad and ball over them. Should speed things up quite a bit.

The difference in report between Dave’s 9mm and my revolver was amazing. The 9mm is so percussive that it was making the powder that I spilled (into a tub so I could reuse it) jump with each shot. The cap and ball is a much slower “whoomph” and not nearly as loud.

We then moved on to the rifle range.

The shelter for the rifle range is obviously much older than the pistol shelter – the pistol shelter still has Tyvek on it so I think they are still building it.

The rifle range shelter is small, cramped and was very wet from snow melt running through it. It was also almost full when we got there. We found one table and started setting up. Dave had his new M4a3 and I had my Remington 740 .30-06.

We stood around for a while hoping that people would stop shooting so we could put up targets, but they just kept on. Finally we just picked some targets that no one else appeared to be using and started up.

Here is a major difference between Hudson and Oakdale – There are no Range Officers at Hudson. No one is in charge of cease fires or anything like that. At the pistol range it wasn’t an issue because there weren’t very many people there and we all just looked over during the lulls and agreed to cease fires when we wanted them.

I guess at the rifle range we should have spoken up and asked for a cease fire, but being the new guys I was hesitant.

Dave had major feeding issues with his new M4a3 and only put a few rounds down range. I managed to shoot all the hand loaded ammo that I had brought (40 rounds) while he was messing about.

I had one light strike that didn’t fire and a couple of misfeeds but otherwise all went okay. They all ended up going to the same general area on the target (about an 8″ spread I’d say.)

Hudson Pros:

  • The club house is really nice with actual plumbing, food and a bar.
  • Cheaper than Oakdale.
  • The pistol range is pretty nice. Though they need some new screens for hanging targets.
  • Open to the public year round.

Hudson Cons:

  • The ranges are right next to the parking lot, so it’s pretty loud as soon as you get out of your car.
  • Further than Oakdale.
  • The rifle range is not so nice.
  • Lack of Range Officers

My final takeaway:

  • I would go back there to shoot my pistol until Oakdale opens.
  • If I really felt I needed to shoot a rifle it would be an okay place to do it.
  • Once Oakdale is open again (June 4th) I would go to Oakdale instead.
  • I really like the Range Officers at Oakdale. The lack of them at Hudson is a little concerning to me.
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