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“I Can’t!” (But Really, “I Can!”)

September 30, 2021

Written by Ben Sattler, Assistant Director of Operations

If I had a dollar for every person that came up to the range to watch a friend and tell me ‘I can’t shoot’ I’d… well, I’d have a lot of dollars. There are a lot of unfounded beliefs about people’s ability to use firearms, and it’s very natural! Firearms are not something that many people are raised around, and they have some serious negative image problems. They can be loud and if mishandled, much like a car or snowboard, they can be dangerous. But much like cars or a snowboard they can also be really fun. The difference between ‘unsafe’ and ‘really fun’ is all in the user, and that’s where we can come in.

Learning to Shoot Safe

The staff at Liberty Mountain Gun Club are all experienced firearms instructors who are used to working with people who have never shot before.  We will offer instruction where we work with you in a safe environment until you are comfortable with the whole thing. We like working with new people and offer patience, encouragement, and gentle reminders as needed.

You Have Options!

LMGC offers a number of different options to try out. If you’re totally new to shooting, we recommend starting off on a weekend at the rifle or pistol range with a 10-22 rifle. These have so little recoil that I would put one on my nose and shoot it, and a slick red-dot sight that makes aiming really easy. I’ve been working at LMGC for three years and have yet to see someone leave without a smile on their face after using one of these. If you prefer pistols, we also have Ruger Mark 4 22-45 pistols for rent. These are a little bit trickier to shoot than the rifles, but only a little bit more. They offer a good step-up challenge once you feel you have mastered the rifles!

Lastly, the shotgun range is open 7 days a week and offers something that the other ranges don’t: moving targets! Contrary to popular belief, shotguns do not kick like a mule, and it can be very satisfying to hit a clay pigeon while a friend films it. Shotgun can be more challenging than rifle or pistol, but it’s the challenge that makes it worthwhile. No one celebrates picking up a pencil or when you throw an empty can into the trash; success is taken for granted because it’s so easy.

So, What Do You Say?

College is an opportunity to stretch your horizons, experience new things, and overcome challenges that offer self-confidence and skills to move forward in life. It’s perfectly okay to feel nervous about trying new things, but if you never try new things, you’ll be limiting your future potential. LMGC offers you the opportunity to try something new with a lot of patient and professional support. Why not give it a try? Learn more about Liberty Mountain Gun Club at liberty.edu/LMGC. See you soon!

Shotgun Games at LMGC

June 10, 2021

Written by Josh Bryant, Assistant Director of Operations

Are you a complete novice to shotgun games? Maybe even shooting in general? Don’t worry, we’ll give you a primer in the shotgun games available at the Liberty Mountain Gun Club.

LGMC currently offers American Trap, American Skeet, and 5 Stand. The targets for all three games are small clay discs—commonly referred to as clays, pigeons, or birds. Each game consists of 25 targets. Only one person shoots at a time, but up to five people can participate in a game at once. So, keep that in mind when you’re getting a group together to come to the range! When it’s a shooter’s turn and they’re in position ready to shoot, they call out ‘Pull!’ and the clay pigeon is thrown.

American Trap

American Trap is a good place to start for people unfamiliar with shooting. In American Trap, only one target is presented at a time, and the targets are always going in the same general direction—away from the shooter. The shooting positions are 16 yards behind the target launcher, or trap machine, which is inside a small building also known as the ‘trap house’. There are 5 shooting positions, evenly spaced in a line (or shallow arc), and each participant shoots at 5 targets per position.

American Skeet

American Skeet steps up the difficulty from American Trap in several ways. Firstly, there are two machines, one on the left side of the field (the high house) and one on the right side of the field (the low house). Secondly, not only do the birds come from two different directions, shooters are moving from one station to the next around a large semi-circle.  To further complicate things, at several stations participants have to shoot two birds at a time! In total, there are 8 stations along the semi-circle, each presenting a different angle to the birds. Again, don’t worry if this sounds confusing. When you’re at the range, we’ll walk along with you and explain as we go.

5 Stand

5 Stand seeks to simulate hunting scenarios and is a scaled-down version of the popular shotgun discipline called sporting clays. 5 Stand, oddly enough, has five stands! At LMGC, shooters can potentially engage 9 different targets on a variety of flight paths. Each stand has a card, or menu, that lets the shooter know which birds they will see from that stand. Each stand has a different card in order to make the game more diverse. There are five targets thrown at each stand: a single clay, two clays thrown with a bit of a delay (report pair), and two clays launched simultaneously (true pair).

Hopefully, this has given you some idea of what to expect when visiting the Shotgun Range at LMGC. If this sounds like a good time, come on up! And if it still sounds confusing, don’t worry. The LMGC staff is always available to help and will be on the range the whole duration of your game.

Gun Club Lingo 101

April 29, 2021

Written by Bill Crawford, General Manager of Liberty Mountain Gun Club

Every industry/sport/hobby has its own lingo to one extent or another, and shooting is no different! In this brief introduction to gun lingo, we’ll look at some words and phrases you may hear at LMGC. After reading this, you’ll have a better understanding on the most common phrases spoken on our ranges. Our goal is to explore more obscure phrases in another blog to come!

“The Range is Hot”

We may declare this on a 25-degree day in February…when it’s snowing…and windy…and everyone is bundled in five layers of clothing. It’s not a weather observation, but rather a command that means the range is now ready for individuals to handle firearms and begin shooting. Prior to this command, however, we must say something else that sometimes seems an equally odd statement (see next).

“Eyes and Ears Everyone!”

We are aware that the vast majority of our range users do, in fact, have eyes and ears. We’re not suggesting that folks check for the physical presence of their eyes and ears, but rather it is telling everyone that the range is about to “go hot” and that everyone must put on their eye and ear protection. We’ve just shortened it to the friendly reminder/command “eyes and ears.”

“The Range is Cold!”

Yes, it’s the opposite of a “hot” range. It’s what we call out when we want to allow folks to do things like hang new targets, paint steel targets, or otherwise just make the range fully safe. Before we can call the range “cold,” we must assure that everyone’s firearms are unloaded, locked open, with all sources of ammunition out of (and preferably away from) the firearm. Best of all scenarios, the firearm is put in its case.  NO firearms may be touched once the “cold” command is given. And, once “cold,” you may remove your eye and ear…protection (please leave all body parts firmly attached).


Birds is a term we use to describe our clay pigeons. Some people get rather queasy if they are asked if they want to “go shoot some birds.” No wildlife of any kind can be shot at our range, so rest easy knowing “birds” in our case means little round clay targets that are launched from a machine.


Spalling is one of the reasons we require “eyes.” Some people call it shrapnel, but more commonly gun ranges will use the word spalling to describe the little pieces of bullet fragments that are created when a bullet hits a steel target (or other hard surface). There are always some small amounts of spalling flying around, and that is why we do require eye protection, as well as have restrictions on how far away steel targets must be. If it was any closer you run the risk of being hit by spalling.

Thanks for reading and as mentioned before…stay tuned for more! Visit Liberty.edu/LMGC to learn more about the Gun Club.

Gun Storage Options

April 2, 2021

Written by John Nelson, LMGC Range Safety Officer

With the record setting number of first-time gun owners in America today, many individuals are finding themselves the proud owner of a new handgun, rifle, or shotgun and are now wondering how to safely store this new firearm. Whether it is to safeguard it from children or other occupants in the home, potential thieves, or for any other reason, firearms should absolutely always be safely locked up whenever they are not in your possession! Common options for securing your firearm include gun safes, gun cabinets, and single-gun lockboxes.

Gun Safes

Gun safes are very commonplace in homes across the country and are an excellent option from a security standpoint. Typically the costliest and heaviest of the options, weighing in at several hundred pounds, these containers are ideal when you do not intend to move the container frequently, would like to store multiple firearms, or desire a container rated for protection against fire and flooding in addition to theft. That last feature also makes them great for other valuables and important documents.

A few options I recommend are Cannon Safe and Stack-On’s Sentinel line.

Gun Cabinets

Gun cabinets come in a myriad of sizes and shapes, many similar to gun safes on the market today. They tend to trade off the top-notch security and the fire/flood protection offered by safes for a lower price point and weight. They are another excellent option for storing multiple firearms and are markedly easier to move without strong helpers or specialized equipment than a similarly sized gun safe. Many models offer the option to bolt the unit to wall studs from the inside to prevent a would-be thief from carrying off a still-secured cabinet with its contents.

I recommend looking into Hornady RAPID products.

Single-Gun Lockboxes

Single-gun lockboxes are another popular option on the market today, and many can be readily mounted in drawers, vehicles, or under furniture for a compromise between keeping a firearm securely locked up, but still quickly accessible in emergency situations. Access options include keys, combination dials, fingerprint scanners, and even RFID keychains to suit individual preferences and needs. Models exist which are even designed to conceal themselves around the home and not broadcast valuable contents to would be thieves in the first place.

A few options I recommend are Hornady RAPID products and GunVault’s NanoVault product line.

To reiterate, any firearm not in your immediate possession should absolutely always be safely locked up, and any quality-made variant of the options presented above will serve you well in keeping your firearms secured against accident and theft. Factors to consider in determining which option is best for you include your budget, how often you plan to move the container, how much space you have for firearm storage, how many guns you intend to store, and if fire/flood protection is worth the cost and weight premium. Happy shopping!

Find Your Passion at LMGC

September 25, 2020

Written by Bill Crawford, General Manager of Liberty Mountain Gun Club

The morning started off with a quiet calm and just a bit of low-lying fog. Rumors of “record-breaking weather” were murmured until the lead edge of the cold front started to blow in. Now everyone is conceding defeat, but not you. You suspected the front would bring crazy winds, and you were right.

You’re at the 1000-yard Benchrest Shooting National Championship and surprisingly find yourself as one of the favorites. Who would have thought just few years earlier you had wandered up to Liberty Mountain Gun Club with no experience and no expectations whatsoever? The Range Safety Officers and staff there immediately made you feel comfortable and encouraged you to learn.

Undiscovered Talent

You quickly found your passion in precision rifle shooting. When you found out there was an academic rifle shooting class, you were pleasantly surprised. Who would ever have thought you could get two credits learning to shoot? So you became a regular at the range and your skills grew rapidly.

While LMGC offers 100, 200, and 300-yard shooting ranges (which are good distances to learn precision and some wind reading), your tastes grew to longer ranges—600 yards, then 1000. From contacts you made while studying at Liberty, you even got an opportunity to engage steel targets at over a mile away!

Friendly Competition

Back at the national championship, as you stare downrange, you notice the 200-yard wind flag blowing slightly to the left, the 400-yard flag blowing strongly to the right, and the 800-yard flag blowing up. UP?! You make note of this anomaly and wonder how on earth a flag can be blown straight up. This is going to be a fun and challenging day.

About then, one of the world’s greatest shooters and defending national champion walks up next to you. He looks to the flags and casually observes, “Our kind of weather huh?” You nod and say you sure hope so.

You find a sense of pride and are humbled at the same time that someone like him would make such a comment to you, like you were long-time pals—even equals! He knows you went to school at Liberty and learned how to shoot there, and he finds it intriguing that a university has such a rare facility within their campus recreation department.

After a friendly exchange, you wish him luck, shake his hand, and say you hope to meet him in the finals. Then, with one last look downrange, you head back to your car to prepare for the day of shooting, in the sport you grew to love those few short years ago.

To view hours and find more information, visit Liberty.edu/LMGC

First Time Visit at LMGC

July 31, 2020

Written by Hope Thompson, Range Supervisor

There are moments when we wish we could decide on something to do as fast as Phineas with a, “Ferb, I know what we’re going to do today!”. Well good news, there are plenty of options for you to spend your day up at Liberty Mountain Gun Club! Located directly across from Hydaway, LMGC is a recreational shooting venue available to current students, staff, and faculty and caters to both new and experienced shooters alike.

So, What Does a First Visit Look Like?

For new shooters or first-time visitors to the Liberty Mountain Gun Club, there are always friendly faces ready to help you learn about the ranges or any other questions you may have. The staff at LMGC strive to make sure every customer is comfortable and following the four main safety rules. When you first enter the facility to check-in, you watch a four-minute safety video and sign an Assumption of Risk form. After that, you will be all set to check out and start your range time or game! Liberty Mountain Gun Club typically offers a variety of different rental options if you don’t have your own firearms, which include Ruger Mark IV pistols (.22 caliber), Ruger 10/22’s, and Beretta over-under shotguns (12 & 20 gauge).  In addition to the various rental options, LMGC also has made a big effort to keep prices very affordable for users!

What Are the Four Main Safety Rules?

We’re so glad you asked! Here are the four main firearm safety rules:

  • Treat all firearms as if they are loaded at all times.
  • Muzzle Awareness: Always keep the muzzle of your firearm pointed in the safest direction possible.
  • Trigger Finger Discipline: Keep your trigger finger straight, out of the trigger guard, and off the trigger until you are ready to fire.
  • Know Your Backstop. Always be sure of your target, what is in front of it, and what is behind it.

If you aren’t quite sure what some of these mean, the LMGC staff will be happy to help further explain and demonstrate these rules to ensure your visit is as safe as possible!

Educational Classes

Insert advertiser voice, “But wait, there’s more!”. There are several residential classes that students can take for credit. These electives take place at the facility with our very knowledgeable and enthusiastic full-time staff. These classes are geared toward those who want to learn more about firearms, ammo, and how to handle firearms in general.

LMGC also offers a free General Firearms Safety class which is available to current students, staff, and faculty and immediate family members thereof. The class is an introduction to firearms safety—a perfect opportunity for new users to learn how to safely operate their firearms! It will also allow a Virginia resident over the age of 21 to apply for their concealed-carry permit once it is completed.  It can be useful for getting your Liberty University concealed carry permit, but is not required.  We will provide a firearm, eye-and-ear protection, and everything else needed to complete this course.

What are you waiting for?

Overall, it is definitely worth the drive up the mountain to the Liberty Mountain Gun Club. Whether it’s your first time up or your 100th, there is always something to do. But don’t just take our word for it, come up and see for yourself!

      Facility Series: Gun Club

      May 29, 2020

      Written By Victoria Dissmore, Marketing Employee

      LMGC is a full-service shooting facility located just minutes from main campus, offering a number of shooting opportunities for all skill levels. Whether you have never shot a firearm before or you are working toward an Olympic shooting medal, there is something for you. Read on to discover everything the Gun Club has to offer.

      Shotgun Range

      LMGC is proud to offer one of the nicest shotgun facilities on the east coast. Shooters can try their hand at:

      • American Skeet
      • American Trap
      • Five Stand (at two nine trap 5-stand fields)
      • International Skeet
      • International Bunker (International Trap)
      • Sporting Clay Course

      The shotgun range is currently open to students, faculty, and staff Thursday–Sunday.

      Rifle Range

      With ten bays ranging from 100 to 300 yards, LMGC gives rifle shooters the opportunity to shoot both steel and paper targets at each range. Any .22 caliber rifle will also be able to shoot targets at 50 yards.

      Knowledgeable Range Safety Officers (RSOs) will be available to assist and provide safety for all rifle range shooters. The rifle range is currently open on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.

      Pistol Range

      LMGC offers a broad array of shooting opportunities on our pistol range. With the capability to engage targets from 7 to 50 yards and offering steel and paper targets, the range offers a challenge to everyone, regardless of experience.

      For new shooters, experienced and well-trained Range Safety Officers (RSOs) are on hand to provide both safety and guidance to shooters.

      Pistol range amenities include:

      • Steel targets
        • plate racks, dueling trees, Rimfire Challenge courses, static steel targets, and “poppers”
      • Movable paper target frames
        • offers customized distances and target arrays

      The pistol range is available for use on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.

      Archery Range

      LMGC is not just a place for firearm practice, but also for students, faculty, and staff to develop their archery skills.

      The archery range has:

      • a large area with field targets for Olympic (FITA) style shooting
      • a 10-lane 3-D range for 3-D shooting
      • lanes available to rent by the hour

      Shooters should note that broadheads and crossbows are not permitted; only field points and recurve or compound bows will be allowed.

      The archery range is open Thursday–Sunday.

      Competitions and Classes

      Besides all the different shooting ranges, LMGC offers various shooting competitions, concealed carry classes for FREE, and gun safety classes throughout the year. If you’re a student, you can also join the Club Sports Shooting Team.

      Visit the LMGC website for more information about these classes and keep an eye out for future gun club events, as well. You can also find out more about the range rules, firearm safety, age and personnel regulations, permitted firearms and ammunition, pricing, and range hours, on the LMGC website.

      If nothing else, take the On-Demand ride up to the LMGC lodge for picturesque views and a quiet place to study.