Back in the day, didn’t enlightened civilizations leave elderly people out in the woods or send them off Snipe hunting when they got too old to operate smartphones? Or perhaps they just zapped the geriatrics to save money on TV remotes with extra-large buttons. Maybe I’m thinking of that old Sci-Fi flick Logan’s Run, but I digress. Thankfully, things have improved immensely for serious airgunners looking for a quiet place to spend their golden years.
You’ve heard of communities that offer activities like shuffleboard, square dances on Friday nights, and the occasional pot luck supper, but have you ever heard of a neighborhood with a serious airgun range? No? Read on.
One of the perks of editing the Airgun Wire is that I get to meet, at least virtually via email, interesting people from all over the planet. One such acquaintance is Steve Ware, the webmaster for the USA Air Rifle Benchrest Association. Steve currently lives in the state of oppression that’s labeled “Oregon” on maps and globes sold at fine retailers everywhere. The current government regime there is not known to be friendly to shooting of any kind, so Steve thought about moving to a place where he wouldn’t be despised by the politicians that “serve” him and his family while gleefully accepting his tax dollars. During his search, he ran across an interesting community that just might be onto something big for the airgun community. I’ll let Steve share this little nugget of into in his own words.
Airgun Wire: How did you hear about Quail Creek?
Steve Ware: My first interest was the 16 pickleball courts. A friend of mine, a pickleball addict, moved there. As the webmaster for the USA Air Rifle Benchrest Association, having pickleball AND an air rifle range convinced us that Quail Creek was the place to be.
AGW: Have you run into direct issues in the state of Oregon that have interfered with your airgunning?
Steve: No, but I am also a competitive “powder” gun shooter. Oregon has several bills in the current legislature that will restrict my Second Amendment rights. It is just a question of time before one or more of these becomes law.
AGW: What most interests you about Quail Creek?
Steve: Besides pickleball and the air rifle range, the summer temperatures mirror southwest Oregon closely. It does not have the oppressive heat of Phoenix. Also, the income tax rate is 4.5% vs. Oregon’s 9%.
So, what’s this Quail Creek place?
In the unincorporated town of Green Valley, just south of Tucson, Quail Creek is a 55+ gated community with all the normal things you’d expect. Tennis, golf, and yes, Steve, pickleball, whatever that is. However, the 100-yard airgun range offers an interesting twist to standard community amenities. Oh, for the pistol shooters, the neighborhood also offers a seven-meter indoor range.
The first thing you’ll notice is that we’re not talking about an unused field where property managers “allow” airgun shooting. This is a first class airgun range with 40 covered shooting bench positions. Dedicated and clearly marked shooting lanes keep targets segregated and allow placement of wind vanes and ribbons for serious accuracy shooting and formal competitions.
The investment in a quality range makes Quail Creek a great host for regular competitions like the Phoenix Airgun Bench Rest Invitational and Saguaro Classic – a fundraiser for continued range development and improvement. On the lighter side is the frequent “Hot Dog Shoot.” Yes, that involves grills and cooking out. Need we say more?
You can learn more about the happenings at Quail Creek on the club’s website.