I went to the range Sunday for a refresher of a course called "Tactical Pistol I" that I'd taken a couple of years ago. It runs two consecutive weekends, 7 hours each day, for a total of 14 hours. It's split 50/50 classroom/range time, and it's time well spent. I feel that being a firearm owner carries with it the responsibility of being properly trained, and my local range offers some excellent training, from the NRA "First Steps" classes up to the "Tactical" classes. Had a great time, saw some friends I haven't seen in a while, honed my skills, and picked some some tips.
They had the entire "right" end of the range closed yesterday, which are the lanes my girlfriend and I generally use. The backstop/trap at the far end has become somewhat degraded over the years, and some of the steel plates are misaligned and dimpled *just enough* to cause ricochets. NOT dangerous, but it's annoying to get 'tickled' from time to time with the occasional little bits of spent rounds. The Range Master said they're going to shutting down for about two weeks in the near future to install all new steel down at the far end, along with some other upgrades. It's been 25 years since the range was built, and I've read that it's generally accepted the backstop/trap should be replaced every 10~15 years. The bad news is that it's going to cost $120,000 for all the work. The good news is that they'll have a State-Of-The-Art backstop/trap, and it will be rated for "full bore" rifles up to 308/7.62 caliber.
This brings up another subject, and that is to support your local range if you're lucky enough to have one, as if you don't, they might not be there in the future! I tend to do the same thing with all the local businesses in my area. Sure, I could save some money buying my soda at the supermarket down the street, but I buy it from the little Mom-and-Pop market next door to my apartment. I could save some money buying all my electronic stuff online, but I'll always check my local purveyor of all things electronic (Torrance Electronics) first. I used to do the same with computer items, but all the local stores that had competitive prices have all gone under, and few of them ever had the latest stuff. I don't mind paying an extra couple of bucks for the item, but when they're DOUBLE the going online price, I shy away.