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View Full Version : San Gabriel Valley Gun Club, Duarte, CA


Got10/22?
08-21-2009, 1:55 PM
Just a thought. Does anyone know the real story behind why this place closed down?:( I use to go shoot there in the mid 80s - early 90s.

wildcard
08-21-2009, 2:42 PM
Noise complaints from residents despite knowledge of the range when they moved in..

And some other usual BS..

Black_Talon
08-21-2009, 5:49 PM
Taken from the "Mountain Cove" forum (don't know if it's still online or not) during the run up to the range getting shut down: The Mt. Cove homeowners thought the gun club would keep their property values down. They want a more upscale version of Azusa, and getting rid of SGVGC was one part of their plan. Another part depends on getting rid of all the gang-banger scum in the city. Rots o' ruck with that one guys!

den888
08-22-2009, 6:47 PM
I lived in the LA area in the early-mid 1980's while attending college there and would shoot at this range from time to time. I loved the rifle range at SGVGC. Sad to hear that it has closed down.

Here's some posts that I found related to this -

http://www.yelp.com/biz/san-gabriel-valley-gun-club-duarte

HCz
08-22-2009, 6:59 PM
From the link provided above,
"The glub has been there for a long time... Developers bought the land nearby and built houses. People bought houses and signed a waiver, stating that they knew there was a gun range and that there would be noise... of course there would be noise... Then the people complained; alot.

The gun club was on Vulcan Mine company property and some land was leased from the Army Corp. of Engineers... So the city of Duarte put pressure on Vulcan not to renew the lease... (Big Company, Big tax revenue vs. Gun Club w/little revenue... big company wins)"

(Story paraphrased from nice woman at ammo counter about 3 days before they closed... but that's the general idea.)
This is the story I heard too. City tried to shut the range down for years, but since the land was leased to Vulcan by feds, not the city, they couldn't close it. They tried rezoning AFAIK. However, they managed to pressure Vulcan into not renewing the lease.

Also, a few months later,
Man who killed himself on gun club grounds ID'd

Author: Brian Day Correspondent
Date: February 2, 2007
Publication: Whittier Daily News, The (CA)

AZUSA - A man who killed himself at the San Gabriel Valley Gun Club on Jan. 26 has been identified as 69-year-old Raymond Doug Level, coroner's officials said.


The man was a longtime employee of the gun club and had lived on the club's grounds until a short time before the suicide, when he vacated his residence there, said Azusa police Sgt. Mike Bertelsen.


http://nl.newsbank.com/nl-search/we/Archives?p_product=WDNB&p_theme=wdnb&p_action=search&p_maxdocs=200&p_topdoc=1&p_text_direct-0=11710E5AABCD16C8&p_field_direct-0=document_id&p_perpage=10&p_sort=YMD_date:D&s_trackval=GooglePM

69Mach1
08-22-2009, 7:02 PM
The SGVGC was a great range.
http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=119729&page=2

Got10/22?
08-22-2009, 9:26 PM
Thanks folks! 69Mach1 thanks for including your original post and yes, I had great memories there. Early 80s I was only 19 at the time I shot my first 44 magnum revolver from a shooter who was zeroing his scope. That one range officer (didn't get his name) did a fine job, especially when anyone crossed that yellow line, you really got yelled at and I don't think he even needed a PA. SGVGC - RIP.

mckinkle
07-10-2011, 10:47 PM
I worked at the San Gabriel Valley Gun Club in 1976 I believe it was. This was my first job. (Not counting baby sitting, housekeeping, etc...) I didn't really like or know how to use a gun but I had a lot of fun working there. I grew up near by the gun range in Duarte. I took my kids there a couple of times just to see where I worked when I was young and I still have no idea how to use any kind of gun. I found this website while looking up the gun range on the internet just out of curiousity. ;)

bjl333
07-10-2011, 10:58 PM
I worked at the San Gabriel Valley Gun Club in 1976 I believe it was. This was my first job. (Not counting baby sitting, housekeeping, etc...) I didn't really like or know how to use a gun but I had a lot of fun working there. I grew up near by the gun range in Duarte. I took my kids there a couple of times just to see where I worked when I was young and I still have no idea how to use any kind of gun. I found this website while looking up the gun range on the internet just out of curiousity. ;)

When did you quit Fish Canyon? I think i started going in '79.

Mail Clerk
07-11-2011, 12:15 PM
San Gabriel Valley Gun Club was one of the best shooting ranges close to the Los Angeles area!!! Thanks to the greedy city council of Azusa and that stupid home owners to the east of the range who lied to the city to get them shut down they removed a business that brought more city tax/revenue than the land can bring.

Mail Clerk

G-forceJunkie
07-11-2011, 12:37 PM
Thanks for the memories. I shot one HighPower match there in the early 90's to qualify for a CMP (may still have been DCM at the time) Garand.

Ed_Hazard
07-11-2011, 12:41 PM
I deeply miss SGVGC, many fond memories of shooting their as a child, up untill they closed it.

pennstater
07-11-2011, 4:59 PM
Been shooting there since 1978 until it closed Nov. 6th 2006. SGVGC was a great place to shoot. The RO that was mentioned earlier who didn't need a PA, his name is Jim. Real nice fellow. Yep, I miss that range.

82A1CAL
07-13-2011, 2:02 AM
I hated those rude range masters sitting in the booth. Yelling and screaming at customers for every little thing. The rudest range in So Cal. That is why I shoot at burro even it was further and less developed. Tell me you haven't got yelled at!

Ed_Hazard
07-13-2011, 2:30 AM
I was never yelled at. But then again I followed the range rules.

speeedracerr
07-13-2011, 2:39 AM
Ahhh... I miss the old snack shack where we would buy burgers and hot dogs when taking a little break from shooting! Boy do I miss Fish Canyon!

Not to mention... they also closed down the paintball field "California Paintball Ranch" which was a little north from the range to build new track homes.

82A1CAL
07-13-2011, 2:49 AM
You probably need to think way back when you were a kid. I was never yelled at. But then again I followed the range rules.

Got10/22?
07-13-2011, 6:40 AM
Here's a photo that someone took and posted either here on CGs or another forum. Thought I'd share it you folks. If anyone have photos of this club please post. Love to see more pictures of this once upon a time shooting range. R/O Sparky I was told that was his name didn't need a PA. He yelled at your arse when you crossed that yellow line during target change. He did his job and made sure it was safe for everyone.

106262

Man, looking at this photo with nice weather, blue skies, anytime away from work was a good day!

Don the savage
07-13-2011, 12:41 PM
Fish canyonwas awesome. I grew up in Arcadia in the days of sgvgc and Santa Anita indoor range. Also the range at the top of 39. The sgv shooting scene was killed by NiMBYs and the change of politics in the area. Very sad.

Rule .308
07-13-2011, 1:05 PM
The RO, Jim, was the best. Mind his rules, observe his yellow line during a cease fire and you would not get yelled at. I went there for many years, not only did I never get yelled at, I had many good conversations with that old timer. Miss that place something fierce.

akjunkie
07-13-2011, 1:35 PM
Yeh, Fish Canyon was awesome. Talk about a short drive from my house. Alot of good memories.

On a side note, wondering if someone could help me with this.

@ Fish Canyon one of the club members (or maybe he was just a regular) use to sell home made spotting scope stands out of the back of his white pick up truck. He had 2 models: one for the bench and the other stood on tripods. Recently i saw the exact same "Bench Model" @ Angeles with their Rental Scopes. Wondering if anyone had the contact info for this guy. Me and several shooting buddies would like to buy several more "stands" from him.

only10x
07-13-2011, 1:43 PM
I would love to have that range back.

Black_Talon
07-13-2011, 5:50 PM
Yeh, Fish Canyon was awesome. Talk about a short drive from my house. Alot of good memories.

On a side note, wondering if someone could help me with this.

@ Fish Canyon one of the club members (or maybe he was just a regular) use to sell home made spotting scope stands out of the back of his white pick up truck. He had 2 models: one for the bench and the other stood on tripods. Recently i saw the exact same "Bench Model" @ Angeles with their Rental Scopes. Wondering if anyone had the contact info for this guy. Me and several shooting buddies would like to buy several more "stands" from him.

That was Joe Wagner. Since SGVGC was shut down, I heard he hangs out at the 22 rimfire range over there by International Trap & Skeet on Saturdays. Someone recently said they spotted him at Angeles on a Saturday as well. That may account for the rental scope stand be ing his version.

mu9en
07-13-2011, 7:18 PM
Here's a photo that someone took and posted either here on CGs or another forum. Thought I'd share it you folks. If anyone have photos of this club please post. Love to see more pictures of this once upon a time shooting range. R/O Sparky I was told that was his name didn't need a PA. He yelled at your arse when you crossed that yellow line during target change. He did his job and made sure it was safe for everyone.

106262

Man, looking at this photo with nice weather, blue skies, anytime away from work was a good day!

oh man.. those were the days... i miss it...

82A1CAL
07-13-2011, 8:30 PM
Never met that guy, Could be the nicest guy once you know him but no reason to treat customers like your little b.
,Here's a photo that someone took and posted either here on CGs or another forum. Thought I'd share it you folks. If anyone have photos of this club please post. Love to see more pictures of this once upon a time shooting range. R/O Sparky I was told that was his name didn't need a PA. He yelled at your arse when you crossed that yellow line during target change. He did his job and made sure it was safe for everyone.

106262

Man, looking at this photo with nice weather, blue skies, anytime away from work was a good day!

akjunkie
07-13-2011, 9:17 PM
That was Joe Wagner. Since SGVGC was shut down, I heard he hangs out at the 22 rimfire range over there by International Trap & Skeet on Saturdays. Someone recently said they spotted him at Angeles on a Saturday as well. That may account for the rental scope stand be ing his version.


Black Talon,

Can U elaborate on Int'l Trap n Skeet. You're not talking about TripleB?

toby
07-13-2011, 9:19 PM
Attended from 1977 till closing!...:( That was the only range worth going too. I tried all the rest and FORGET-em. I'm on my own now.

BamBam-31
07-14-2011, 5:48 PM
Man, I miss that range. Jim was the best. Crusty old drill sergeant who kept the noobs in line.

It's been some years now, and there still hasn't been a replacement for this range loss. That's why it kills me when people ***** and moan about what few ranges we have left. Appreciate them while you can, fellas. ;)

Black_Talon
07-14-2011, 6:36 PM
Black Talon,

Can U elaborate on Int'l Trap n Skeet. You're not talking about TripleB?

It's the shotgun range at Rosemead and the 60fwy. I haven't been there in 15-20 years, used to be called International T & S.

Here's the range where Joe hangs (hung?) out at:

http://www.larrclub.org/

AndrewMendez
07-14-2011, 7:30 PM
A few weeks ago I ran Notice of Defaults for the Mountain Cove and Mirador developments ( the two closest developments to the range ). Almost 1/3 of all the people who purchased their houses, at the peak of the Real Estate boom mind you, have either lost, or are in the process of losing their house, that does not include anyone who has purchased and rented/leased out OR moved out for what reason. I would guesstimate, not more then 50% of the people who voted against it, still live there. Such a shame.

So not only did they manage to close the range down, the forclosures on their houses started just 2 years later.

On a side note, the cities of Azusa and Duarte, are now trying to close Vulcan down completely. The city of Azusa is also trying to get a dump placed into the city, with over 800 truck loads a day. Someone tell me how I am going to sell a house in Azusa with that hanging in the background.

Mail Clerk
07-14-2011, 7:45 PM
That was Joe Wagner. Since SGVGC was shut down, I heard he hangs out at the 22 rimfire range over there by International Trap & Skeet on Saturdays. Someone recently said they spotted him at Angeles on a Saturday as well. That may account for the rental scope stand be ing his version.

The last time I was at Angeles the man running gun store on the property did look very familar. I had thought he worked at SGV club.

In addition, I had thought it was strange the owners/managers didn't try to set up a new range somewhere else???? During those times I heard rumor they wanted to join forces with the guys at Burro and help develope the range into a decent club/shooting range. So where are those guys all these years????

Mail Clerk

Hilldweller
07-14-2011, 7:51 PM
I remember shooting at the SGV range too, back in the late 70's to mid-80's.
Great place to relax, talk and shoot.

Shot my first "thumbnail size" 3-round at 200 yards there with my .223 Rem 700.

Ah, the glory days when I still had my eyesight......

brassburnz
07-14-2011, 9:56 PM
Used to shoot there quite often. It was just about impossible to become a member there. Very exclusive, although it was open to the public.

When the rumors about closing started up, one of my friends said it served them right. If they had more members, they might have had enough people to rally behind them.

I don't think it really mattered. The real estate development company would add money to the city coffers, the range wouldn't. I think it's poetic justice that all those homes were foreclosed and their owners lost their ***.

Mail Clerk
07-15-2011, 6:41 AM
Used to shoot there quite often. It was just about impossible to become a member there. Very exclusive, although it was open to the public.

When the rumors about closing started up, one of my friends said it served them right. If they had more members, they might have had enough people to rally behind them.

I don't think it really mattered. The real estate development company would add money to the city coffers, the range wouldn't. I think it's poetic justice that all those homes were foreclosed and their owners lost their ***.

brassburnz,

I had once wished I was a member also but considering the range price for the general public wasn't all bad for an all day shooting event it didn't hurt so much. It was what I considered to be the best range to shoot cuz it was a reasonable distance from Los Angeles too drive to and shoot for a nice morning.

Now that the city of Azusa is practically broke ( last I read over the news) and the news of all those home owners that got their home forclosed makes me laugh!!!:p All those suit and tie fancy people make dumb decisions and it appears they can't run the city properly due to greedy politics. They can't decide what brings in the revenue more in the end. The shooting range brought in more consistant revenue to the city than the homeowners.

Mail Clerk

Got10/22?
07-15-2011, 8:13 AM
Here's a satellite photo of the SGV Gun Club. I don't know when this photo was taken.
106499

Black_Talon
07-15-2011, 5:08 PM
Here's a satellite photo of the SGV Gun Club. I don't know when this photo was taken.


It was taken within the last 2-3 years. Note that all the buildings have been torn down, and only the cement slabs are still there. This was done 'cause all the riverbed homeless folks moved into the buildings after SGVGC was closed.

Mail Clerk
07-15-2011, 7:54 PM
It was taken within the last 2-3 years. Note that all the buildings have been torn down, and only the cement slabs are still there. This was done 'cause all the riverbed homeless folks moved into the buildings after SGVGC was closed.


Black_Talon,

That's great news! The geniuses on the city council kicks out the range that provides constant-steady city revenue/tax into the kitty and then allows the homeless to move in. How smart they are.....NOT:p I'll bet they think just like the big shots in the city of Montebello...

Since every city is hurting for money I wonder if the city of Azusa would reconsider allowing the range back???? As they said it might not improve or make the city look like Beverly Hills but at least they can start receiving revenue again. In the real world no one tey can't have it all.

Mail Clerk

akjunkie
07-15-2011, 8:13 PM
And Belleau Woods Gunshop was right on Huntington, few blocks before turning into Fish Canyon. I use to see John (the owner) @ Fish Canyon every weekend.

@Black Talon,

yeh, that is Triple B Clays now. Off Rosemead/60fwy.
use to be called, Pachmeyer Shotgun Range?

www.triplebclays.com

pennstater
07-15-2011, 8:53 PM
Damn, all the buildings are gone, but the range IS still there. Well, the memories will have to do.

Mail Clerk
07-16-2011, 6:53 AM
A few weeks ago I ran Notice of Defaults for the Mountain Cove and Mirador developments ( the two closest developments to the range ). Almost 1/3 of all the people who purchased their houses, at the peak of the Real Estate boom mind you, have either lost, or are in the process of losing their house, that does not include anyone who has purchased and rented/leased out OR moved out for what reason. I would guesstimate, not more then 50% of the people who voted against it, still live there. Such a shame.

So not only did they manage to close the range down, the forclosures on their houses started just 2 years later.

On a side note, the cities of Azusa and Duarte, are now trying to close Vulcan down completely. The city of Azusa is also trying to get a dump placed into the city, with over 800 truck loads a day. Someone tell me how I am going to sell a house in Azusa with that hanging in the background.


AndrewMendez,

It is a dire shame that the people who started all the trouble are now in forclosure! Poetic justice in motion. I hate for anyone to lose their house but in this case I wouldn't shed a tear if they just left.

The other item is the rock quarry...... If the owners were smart they could have joined forces and tried to beat the closeur along with the range. I believed they could have shared the land and both areas could have been winners.

So now they want to put in a dump.....That's real swift. Just wait until the hot summer time when the canyon winds come through there. The smell will carry for miles!

Between both cities the story gets better and better. What a joke:rolleyes:

Mail Clerk

Howie44
07-16-2011, 10:26 AM
And Belleau Woods Gunshop was right on Huntington, few blocks before turning into Fish Canyon. I use to see John (the owner) @ Fish Canyon every weekend.

@Black Talon,

yeh, that is Triple B Clays now. Off Rosemead/60fwy.
use to be called, Pachmeyer Shotgun Range?

www.triplebclays.com

I miss John too. I got more interesting C&R rifles from his shop (sadly sold a lot of them over the years case I thought the market would always be like that), than anywhere else. I did the lighting for his new shop when he moved a couple doors down, and then he lost his license and Gunrunners took it over. Those guys are overpriced arrogant (insert expletives). One guy there actually tried to sell me a bubba'd No4 Enfeild for $1000! Belleau Woods was a MUCH BETTER shop!

mycrstuff
07-16-2011, 1:43 PM
The story I heard when SGVGC was getting shut down was 3 of the 5 city council members were the developer of the housing area. They needed the gun range shut down so that they could develope another parcel that was even closer. They couldn't get the values they needed to make a profit if the range was still there. So it had to go.

Mail Clerk
07-16-2011, 8:58 PM
The story I heard when SGVGC was getting shut down was 3 of the 5 city council members were the developer of the housing area. They needed the gun range shut down so that they could develope another parcel that was even closer. They couldn't get the values they needed to make a profit if the range was still there. So it had to go.

mycrstuff,

How much money is the city making now in it's current state??? NONE! Yeah I heard something simular being told simular to your info. The city is so fair about things.

Mail Clerk

Khanan
07-16-2011, 10:56 PM
I grew up in Baldwin Park and I fired my first gun at Fish Canyon. I have lots of fond memories of Saturday mornings there.

chino
07-17-2011, 10:38 AM
I miss Fish Canyon, became close to Jim the rangemaster. After FC closed I saw Jim a couple of times at ASR. Over the years I became familiar with multiple weapons, frequently Jim would bring to my bench a noob with a "challenging weapon" classical ones were a disassembled K31 bolt or an FAL that needed gas adjusted or someone who didn't bring any tools.
Either you got yelled at or you were about to be yelled at. If you had an attitude it would be "adjusted" rangemaster would stand close to you providing "advise" "Sir please wear safety glasses, Sir, it is one round every two seconds, Sir pick up your brass, garbage.. BEHIND THE YELLOW LINE!" after a few minutes of attention the gangbangers would leave.
I liked the numbered targets, unlike most ranges you knew where to place your targets! I liked shooting pistol and rifle from the same station, I liked running water, the food wasn't great but a nice little restaurant, wife would bring a book and read while I launched lead.
Shot my CMP match there, got my Garand. Met some good people.... RIP FC

At the bench is one of my nieces, Remington PSS .223 Bushnell 4200 6x24

http://i52.photobucket.com/albums/g36/ACK5/DSCN0386.jpg

jyo
07-17-2011, 11:42 PM
I used to go to Fish Canyon range since I was a kid---neat, old fashioned range with a snack shop and you could drive your car and back right into the space you were going to shoot and unload the trunk right there---I would do some shooting there now if it was still open (not during the heat of summer)---nothing but good memories now!