A Great Range is Closing: Best of the West Shooting Sports in Liberty Hill, Texas

If you were among the thousands who attended the three Texas Firearms Festivals that TTAG put on in years past, you’ve been to Best of the West Shooting Sports in Liberty Hill, Texas. It’s located bout 40 minutes northwest of Austin.

Best of the West is one of the best public ranges in the area featuring tactical bays, a pistol range, trap and skeet fields and a thousand yard rifle range.

Besides being an ideal venue for events like the Festival, three-gun shoots and more, Best of the West is a great resource and place to shoot for those of us here in the central Texas area.

But thanks to an ongoing dispute with a developer, Creekside Ranch Group, which had bought a nearby plot of land, Best of the West had been forced to shut down its extensive rifle range for the last year.

That dispute escalated recently and BOTW has now been forced to restrict the firearms in use on the property to handguns shotguns only. Unfortunately, that isn’t a viable option financially.

As a result, BOTW sent out the following email to its customers and members:

We were notified that beginning Monday, August 26, 2019, we would no longer be allowed to have rifles of any kind used on the range. Contrary to rumors circulating, no one has been injured or killed by gunfire from the range.

However with this information we will, with much sadness, be closing Best of the West effective on or before, September 29, 2019, as we cannot financially sustain operations.

Over the last nine years, we have enjoyed each and every one of you. Words cannot express how much we thank you for your patronage, loyalty, support, encouraging words, and ideas to help us. We have developed friendships that we will always remember and appreciate.

If you have a yearly membership, we will prorate and send you a refund as soon as possible.

Again, thank you all so much for everything you have done and for growing Best of the West with us. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause our customers, the LTC instructors, and all the law enforcement agencies that use the range for training and qualifications.

Sincerely,
Millard Grantham and staff

There’s more to this story which we hope to be able to bring you in a later post. In the mean time, we’re observing a moment of silence for the loss of a valued resource to the central Texas shooting community. Best of the West will certainly be missed.

comments

  1. avatar Evey259 says:

    Being from Houston and bereft of long range ranges (No longer, thank you Bayou Rifles,) I considered a membership at Best of the West while this dispute was going down. It’s a damn shame things went down this way, and I hope there’s some legalese that can get them out. Fuck those developers for expecting a pre-existing business to just shut down because they bought a plot of land.

  2. avatar Juice says:

    This is a real shame, and the little bit about the developer moving in and adding in restrictions is irritating. I don’t live in the area, and only had the chance to go once a few years ago. But it was super refreshing to be able to walk in off the street and rent a private bay with a big group, and not have to have a membership that you need to wait for people to die to get.

  3. avatar JP Ruiz says:

    I’m sure that the Developers are building homes for good ole Transplants moving in from the Liberal Leftcoast, Chicagoland, and the Progressive Utopia of the Metropolitan Northeast………..

    Gotta appease those Stalinist f***-ups recreating their Liberal s***hole Utopias in an ‘Evil Right-Wing NutJob’ Republican State.

  4. avatar Hank says:

    Let me guess, someone bought land next to a shooting range then began to bitch about shooting. I can’t stand morons who do that. Same kind of people who don’t like loud music and drinking then move next to a bar. Or people that don’t like bright lights and yelling move next to a football stadium. Or when people move from the suburb to the country and complain about tractors and combines. Or idiots from New England that move to Nevada then waste tons of water to have a green lawn in the desert. If you want to live in quiet suburb then stay your ass in the quiet suburb.

    1. avatar Geoff "Hurry-up and *die*, Ruthie" PR says:

      “Let me guess, someone bought land next to a shooting range then began to bitch about shooting.”

      A tried-and-true strategy originally developed in California to shut down municipal airports so developers could build on the valuable real estate. “Airplanes are noisy!” “Then why did you buy a home next to an airport, moron?”

      We’re talking Texas here, people. Are there no large ranches owned by a conservative near there that can have a chunk of land sectioned off and sold to Best of the West?

  5. avatar O2HeN2 says:

    A little before my time, but I heard that a range here in Colorado – The Tabletop range – was shut down because of neighbor complaints. One of the most damning pieces of submitted evidence was a bunch of bullets that someone found and retrieved from their backyard pool. The odd thing was, though, is that there wasn’t any engraved rifling on the bullets – and the judge was unable or unwilling to understand what that meant.

    O2

    1. avatar strych9 says:

      I’m going to call you TriG because it works with your name and this website.

      You’ll also note that this kind of thing is increasing in Colorado. A lot of places you used to be able to shoot you no longer can because people think that their recreational choices are more valid than those of others. The former simply go where they know there’s shooting, intentionally placing themselves in danger, then complain about “safety!” to get shooting banned in those areas.

      Even where it’s still legal people will drive long distances to call Johnny Law to come harass you.

      1. avatar Geoff "Hurry-up and *die*, Ruthie" PR says:

        It’s a deliberate strategy, Strych. They putting in work to make gun ranges, indoor and out, socially unacceptable. (to their twisted standards.)

        It’s a modified version of the cigarette playbook they used to great effect to kill smoking. Have you noticed there’s no where near as much cigarette smoking in movies these days? About the only time you see it now is in screenplay adaptations of published books, where they can’t dodge it…

      2. avatar MeRp says:

        Someone, one day, came riding a horse over the hill that acts as a backstop for the shotgun range at my range. We all ceased fire, but I was quite shocked at the stupidity. They just kept on riding along even after they topped the hill and had to realize that they were literally in the line of fire. No news in the club newsletter about it, though, so they must either have not made a legal complaint or whomever they complained to must’ve explained that riding horses on the property of a gun range was quite an unwise thing to do and they had no legal basis for complaint.

  6. avatar Garrison Hall says:

    You can put the blame squarely on the county commissioners. Developers always know that local politicians are always for sale. Money quietly changes hands and suddenly the local gun-range is driven out of business.
    Developers run local politics in Texas.

  7. avatar M1Lou says:

    This has been happening all over to drag strips, small airports, gun ranges, circle tracks and anything else that people want to complain about. There needs to be a stupid people protection clause. If you buy land next to one of these locations, you don’t get to sue for normal operation of said locations. You are the idiot that didn’t do your due diligence in figuring out what it would be like to move next to one of these locations.

  8. avatar enuf says:

    Developers and new homeowners are always doing this sort of thing to shooting ranges, airports and military bases, farms and the like. The newcomers encroach on existing facilities and once they have some power they force whoever was there first out of business. Over noise and smells or claimed worries about safety. Well, if all that needed to be worried about, why build your home next to it in the first place?

    This happened in Tucson, AZ to the shooting range that operated near Sabino Canyon for many, many years. Beginning with no homes anywhere near, eventually homeowners forced it to close. Today it’s a base of operations for wilderness SAR teams, a big thing in Arizona. But the shooting range is a long drive out of the city,

  9. avatar johnny go lighty says:

    You would think that Mr Abbott would make a drive in the legislature for a law grandfathering all ranges with immunity frommlaw suits and penalties for frivolous suits.

    1. avatar LKB says:

      Texas actually has pretty good range protection laws. How they failed in this instance (telling the rest of the story needs to wait until the court action is completed) will make your blood boil.

  10. avatar Boba Fett says:

    I loved their tactical bays. This really is a shame.

  11. avatar NB says:

    Beta Male Developers from California?

    1. avatar Sunny-Tzu says:

      You can blame “beta males” all you want. However, people like you, and conservatives are losing because as Sun-Tzu as mentioned “know thy enemy” and you don’t. I’m not going to vet out all the nuances, other than to say leftism and feminism are linked at the hip.

      1. avatar Longhaired Redneck says:

        👍👍👍👍

      2. avatar Barry G Bertocki says:

        Well said.

    2. avatar LKB says:

      Actually, no. The guy behind it all is out of San Angelo, and claims to be a FLETC grad.

  12. avatar Scott C. says:

    Wow, that sucks!!! This developer is a true piece of s**t. It’s like the freakin idiots who did this to “South Park Meadows” back when it was an awesome music venue, developers build neighborhoods right next to it and people moved in, then complained about the noise from the music venue. Or just like the retards that buy houses right next to the rail road tracks then complain about the noise from the train. But these mega rich developers just pay off local politicians and old time businesses die off then the chain stores come in.

  13. avatar GS650G says:

    Not the first time developers bough next to a range, usually because the land is cheap because it’s near a range, then they manage to get it shut down because they built houses near a range that was already there.

    Sigh.

    1. avatar EndDangerEd says:

      Sure hope no one finds an endangered species on that developers land… the Feds will shut them down in seconds…. All kinds of critters out there, mice, snakes, desert tortoise… Ya never know what’s gonna happen next! The EPA is not known for their sense of humor.

      1. avatar Ticktalk says:

        Yes but the EPA under trump is a joke.. developer would just need to do a couple weekend resort stays for a few EPA director types and it would be all taken care of…

  14. avatar Billy the Kid says:

    Welcome to capitalism and economic development. I too enjoyed the tac bays, but things change and Liberty Hill is growing. You need paranoid conspiracies to explain what happened here. Sorry we have to find someplace else to shoot but if there is a need, someone will step in and fill it. I do find it hard to believe that the financial model was unsustainable. Perhaps the loss of the 3 gun competitions was a big revenue hit. Or perhaps the owner took his ball and went home when he lost.

    1. avatar Billy the Kid says:

      That’s “You don’t need paranoid conspiracies”

    2. avatar Kyle says:

      Changes nothing about the overall theme.

      Developer moves into an area near something loud, then squeezes the local’s with bucks to make the “loud” go away.

      Its a familiar tune, happened for years.

      Wrong then, wrong now.

  15. avatar Aleric says:

    Welcome to the Liberalization of Texas.

  16. avatar Kenny. Ray says:

    It’s a shame that there are stupid people that move in then want to close down business for noise and such. There is a range i go to in Florence, TX. 10000 N.Hwy 183. It is an out door range called Lonestar Range and academy. People are great, you will find the owners and staff friendly and helpful. An outdoor range that is truly on the way up. Pistol, rifle, and shotgun ranges. Give it a try.

    1. avatar Stephen Craig says:

      Kenny, looked at their site and I didn’t see anything about tactical bays on long range rifle. Do they have those? Otherwise Eagles Peak has all that and their rifle goes out to 300 yards. Hate the old bastards running the place (I can say that, I’m an old bastard too), but might have to suck it up.

  17. avatar Jeff the Griz says:

    That was the coolest range I’ve ever been to. First time I’ve had an opportunity to shoot over 450 yards, and shooting a $10G Gunwerks rifle was an awesome experience. Test drove a full auto MPX and tried but didn’t buy any CC Pistols from Walther/Sig that I was previously looking into. Had a blast with the Sig Air Rifles!

  18. avatar Jimmy james says:

    Sounds like they got out over spent and out lawyered. Sad but this sort of thing happens all the time now. My home range has been around since the mid 80’s. We are anticipating the same thing happening to us. Urban sprawl is a blight on the landscape. The municipality loved us when we moved in. Now they wont even give us a building permit to put up a metal building for our tractor.

  19. avatar MDH says:

    It’s a story as old as the west. Corporate robber baron scumbag wants land to expand holdings, and lays siege to smaller landowners, until they just give up and sell their farms, ranches, gun ranges, and livelihoods at pennies on the dollar.

    I’ve had the pleasure of shooting at that range, and had a terrific time there. It was great place where gun owners could go for recreational and competition shooting.

    Its a godamn shame!

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