FOP Range Newsletter
I am reaching out to make you an offer you will have a hard time turning down, information that will bring you up to speed with who we are, how we got here, and how you can join and be a part of it.
I am Jon Grigsby, the owner of the FOP Range Inc. I retired from law enforcement as a sergeant after serving 25 years with the Pleasant Grove Police Dept. In my 20’s I got involved with the steel plate competition events that FOP Lodge 58 held here as fund raisers twice a month. That is where I first experienced steel plate shooting and was hooked. I became a civilian member of the FOP Lodge and helped take care of the one range the property had. I became a police officer at 27, swapping a career as a master Honda automobile tech for law enforcement. Also spent about 10 years figuring out I wasn’t cut out to be a landlord. Vicki and I have been married 21 years. The last 27 years managing this range has been some of the most fun I have ever had.
The FOP Lodge 58 made me their Range Master and I ran the range for them. In 1995, upkeep on the range was getting out of hand with the 500 civilian FOP Lodge 58 members with free unsupervised range access shooting the place up, trashing it. The Lodge wanted to close it to civilians and just let police use it. I countered with an offer to lease the property long term and run it as a private gun club that would have staff present when open to keep it safe. They agreed. We have a 99 year lease. On Jan 1, 1996, the FOP Range Inc. was born.
Pretty much everything you saw on your visit here I built. I immediately began developing the property, running 2 bulldozers for a week at $400 an hour to carve out the ranges we have today. In 2018 we made major improvements, creating the Steel Plate Range, Rimfire Range and overhauling the member’s Rifle Range and the Main Range by the Office. The Main Range is the range you used as a Trial Member.
This range is a multi-purpose range with berms at 12, 25, 50 and 100 yards. There are a dozen concrete benchrest tables and a dozen handgun shooting stalls on the 50 yard wide firing line. It is controlled by a traffic light that keeps all users coordinated while shooting and going downrange. It is near the restroom… which is mighty important to some people. The firing line is observed from the Office where staff are close by to keep an eye on things and help where needed.
Steel Plate Range
This was originally 2 ranges that I had carved out with a backhoe. In 2018, I removed the center divider and made it one wide range. A covered area was added with 20 7.5’ wide stalls for up to 20 groups of shooters to use at the same time. This range has over 160 AR500 steel plate reactive targets at 10, 15, and 25 yards. The plates are painted every evening after closing so the next day members get what looks like new plates to enjoy. Only handgun caliber ammo is allowed to be shot here as the rifle calibers can damage the plates, making them unsafe. What calibers are allowed? All of them up to a velocity of 1500 feet per second. If you are unsure if your ammo is too fast, just ask staff. They can help you.
This 22 LR only range is my favorite place to plink. With over 240 steel plate reactive targets, many of which are falling steel plate racks with remote reset, you will run out of ammo before you run out of targets. The most recent thing I added was a pair of man on man competition plate racks. One is at 10 yards with 6” plates and the other at 25 yards with 3” plates. The middle two plates overlap when they fall and the plate on the bottom determines the winner. It is well suited to introduce new and young shooters to our sport. No big calibers around to intimidate. No need to ever go downrange. No big recoil. Cheap ammo. Tons of smiles.
Member’s Rifle Range
It is 100 yards long with berms at 50 and 100 yards. The covered area has a poured in place concrete bench rest table 40 feet wide with screen dividers to keep your neighbor’s brass off you. It is comfortable and has 10 positions to shoot from. You can park feet from the table to make hauling gear easier. There are also rifle grade AR500 steel plates at 100 yards to plink on. The shooting area is covered to allow shooting in all weather.
We named them Paper Range A and Paper Range B… for a lack of creativity. Each has 6 target stands at 10 yards, tables to spread gear on, and a roof over the tables to allow shooting in all weather. Members can draw from holsters, move, shoot multiple targets and do shooting drills here if needed.
This range is a 50 yard range, 25 yards wide, with a classroom for conducting classes. The classroom has AC and heat, a huge TV for multi media presentations, and seating with tables for 26 at a time. We provide use of this part of the facility to any law enforcement agency needing a place to train and qualify its personnel free of charge. Member’s dues keep the bills paid and make this possible. Commercial use also available to firearms instructors who need a place to conduct classes, security companies and church security groups who need to train and qualify.
We just did a $5000 renovation on the office to make it a more welcome place to sign in. Ammo, targets, safety gear, and cold drinks are stocked. Ammo is cheaper here than just about anywhere else. Low ammo prices are something we do for our members. The range doesn’t make much at all from ammo, selling it for just a little more than we pay for it. I have a movie theater question. If the popcorn and such were free or nearly free at the movies, would I go more often? My answer was yes. Following that logic, if the ammo at the range was nearly free (costing members about what the range paid for it) would members shoot more? So far, the answer to that question is also yes. As ammo is available to us at cheaper prices, we will pass those price reductions on to our members. For example, the 9mm we were selling for $19.99 is now $15.99. Many calibers are still hard to get and cost too much but that is improving.
Lee Knobloch is the resident General Manager. He is responsible for the day to day operations, maintenance, and staffing. He manages the membership applications, safety enforcement, and facility security after hours. He also manages the FFL side of the business, handling the shipping, receiving and transfers of firearms for members.
David Torbert is our Senior Range Officer. He is a very knowledgeable competitive shooter, reloader, and tinkerer on quirky old firearms. We farm our range safety orientations to him because he has proven to be really good at it. He opens the range several days a week.
Barry Williams is our other Range Officer. He is our weekend RO and closes the range a few days a week. He does a really good job getting the place ready for the next day after everyone is gone for the evening.
Jon Grigsby is the Owner/Range Master. I keep the place legal and safe. I run the business side of things and concentrate of promotion of the business. I am backup to all the above should that be needed. In June, we all caught covid at the same time. I had spent only 20 minutes with Lee before he had symptoms and I got it. We had to close for a week until one of us got a negative test. This was a disservice to our members and required a game plan. I am in reserve when needed. I handle major maintenance and respond to fix anything big that breaks but otherwise try to keep my distance so we can continue to serve our members in the likely event that staff gets the bug again.
The range is a member’s only sport shooting facility. You must be a member or the guest of a member to shoot here. We have entertained over 8000 members over the 27 years of operation and at times saw 15,000 range users annually. We had about 1500 members when covid hit. At the end of 2020, we had 340. All of our recent range improvements were to address capacity. The steel plate, rimfire, rifle and main ranges were all expanded to safely accommodate more shooters at a time. We are starting 2023 with about 600 members and need to grow to our pre-covid numbers. We have the space.
There are three levels of membership, Full, Single, and Limited. Full covers you and your immediate family (spouse and your kids). Single just covers you. Limited is also a family deal but is for Monday to Thursday range use only. There are two tiers, Tier 1 and Tier 2. Tier 1 has a cheaper rate but has a $10 range use fee (just like your trial membership). Tier 2 is more per year but has no daily range use fee. Payments may be a one-time annual payment or monthly payments. All plans may bring guests with no limit on the number or frequency (unlike all the other places you could join).
Membership in FOP Range Inc. will be available only to those persons who are legally able to own and possess a firearm and are at least 21 years of age. Members must be in compliance with all federal, state, and local laws concerning the handling and ownership of firearms.
The FOP Range is the blue collar range. Our fees are affordable. They start at $100 year / $11 a month and top out at $300 year / $25 a month. Monthly payment deals are available. All memberships are recurring dues memberships, set up through the range’s web site’s “Join Here” page. You got in with a $15 30 day trial membership with a $10 per day use fee. Who else offers this? No one. This place sells itself. Once here, Trial Members get a look at what is here, figure out what it costs, and often decide to upgrade to an annual membership plan and get access to the whole facility. My offer to you will make this a very easy decision…
We hold a sale every year starting on black Friday and ending at Christmas. This year’s deal was 40% off the initiation fee and 40% off the dues payments for a year. It was a very successful membership drive that added 57 new faces. We average about a dozen new members a month with the normal prices. Traditionally, when the sale is over, its over. Prices are what they are until the next black Friday deal. As we do need members to shoulder the cost of operating this sport shooting facility with their dues payments, we want you. If you decide to upgrade, the 40% off deal is extended to you. Use coupon code TRIAL40DEAL at checkout from the web site to get your discount. This what 40% off looks like.
$100 Limited Annual Tier 1 is $60
$200 Limited Annual Tier 2 is $120
$11 Limited Monthly Tier 1 is $6.60
$18 Limited Monthly Tier 2 is $10.80
$150 Single Annual Tier 1 is $90
$250 Single Annual Tier 2 is $150
$15 Single Monthly Tier 1is $9
$22 Single Monthly Tier 2 is $13.20
$200 Full Annual Tier 1 is $120
$300 Full Annual Tier 2 is $180
$20 Full Monthly Tier 1 is $12
$25 Full Monthly Tier 2 is $15
$50 Initiation fee is $30
Joining is done from the JOIN HERE page on the foprange web site. It’s under the “Membership” tab at the upper center of the page. Select the plan that best suits your needs and click on it. You will be processed and asked if you have read the Terms of Service. Read it. There is good stuff in it such as your membership agreement. Enter your card info and you are done. Follow up your membership purchase with a call to the range office at 205-744-2600 to set up your range safety orientation. David and Lee handle those and try to schedule them for off peak times during the week when possible. Once the orientation is done, you are good to go. You now have use of the best range in the area. Come often and stay a while when you are here. We look forward to having you as a member.