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By Brandon via

There isn’t anything in the world you can do that isn’t going to upset someone else. Some people just need all the attention, don’t they? A gun range in Pennsylvania, Beaver Valley Rifle & Pistol Club, recently had a vending machine installed that houses all sorts of ammunition calibers that can be used at the range. It’s a service to the members, since non-jacketed ammunition is what the range likes its members to use. Even though it’s installed inside a gun range that requires access with an electronic key, people are still complaining about it . . .

The club’s vending machine is operated by Master Ammo Company, a small ammunition manufacturing business owned by Sam Piccinini, a Rochester Township patrolman and Republican candidate for Beaver County Sheriff.

Membership to the BVRPC is open to individuals 18 years of age or older. Individuals under 18 years of age are permitted to join the organization as junior members who are to be supervised by an adult sponsor while at the club. All adult members are given digital swipe cards which grants 24 hour access to organization’s grounds and to the club’s indoor shooting ranges where the ammunition vending machine is located.

Sam Piccinini told the Beaver Countian that members of the club were having a hard time finding “non-jacketed ammunition” required for use in its gun ranges, which gave him the idea to install a vending machine as a unique opportunity for his business.

“Most conventional commercial ammunition manufactured today is jacketed, and jackets can separate from the lead when it hits the backstops in gun ranges,” said Piccinini. “This causes two issues, it causes premature wear to the gun range’s backstops and it could cause a safety issue because the jacket can come back and hit you. It wouldn’t be enough to kill you, but it could cut you or put an eye out.”

The source article states that they “received several tips from a members of the Beaver Valley Rifle & Pistol Club”. That doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me, but I guess it wouldn’t be the most surprising thing in the world. Why, though, would a gun range member(s) complain that ammunition is available for sale on-site?

“This has been kept a secret, it’s nobody’s business, it’s our club, we can do as our members allow us,” said Bill Fortuna, President of the Beaver Valley Rifle & Pistol Club. “Legally there’s nothing anybody can do about it.”

To the people complaining about this vending machine, get a life. A vending machine with junk food is more likely to kill you than a bullet from this machine. Let’s get real here. #cleaneating

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  1. Way back in the day we had beer vending machines in my military dorm, right next to the cig machine.

    • yeah, but seeing that ammo vending machine, almost made me need a happy sock vending machine.

    • I bet AFEES was involved with ending that. Can’t have competition for the Class Six (or anything else).

      • Where I was it was the 1SG. He wouldn’t let them into the barraks to refill the machine.

      • I would think AAFES would be the ones stocking it (Or at least an AAFES vendor/contractor).

        More likely the Military attorneys & First Shirt didn’t want underage drinking in the dorms since the machines can’t be “babysitted”.

    • We had vending machines with beer in our fraternity too. If I remember correctly, we owned the machine, and used to stock it with just pop. But, then someone figured out that we could buy beer for it at just a couple cents more than the quarter we were charging for the pop, which only cost maybe fifteen cents. That meant that the profit on the soft drinks covered the slight loss on the beer, so we were still making money.

    • I was stationed in Japan very recently. There are cigarette & beer machines everywhere. There is no human at the refreshment stand in a movie theater, just rows of machines selling candy, food, and beer by the cup. I have even seen machines dispensing used female undergarments. (I’ll give you a minute on that one).

      I’m sure that there is no ammo vending machine in Japan.

      I would definitely use this (if it was available) at my private range.

  2. The WahWah Sisterhood strikes again. Apparently, there’s nothing more exciting than minding someone else’s business.

  3. Tips were from shills like MDA types. Someone should install vending machines that dispenses Dependsoutside B. Todd Jones’ office.

    • If it’s inside a private, members-only gun range, how would these shill “MDA types” find out about it?

      To me, it sounds more like there’s a few busybody Fudds in that club’s membership roster.

      • That or a member told someone about it and they took a hissy and went to the paper about it.

  4. Overall, it seems like this would actually be safer, in that shooters could buy just what they intend to shoot in that session and not have any extra ammo stored around the house, beyond what’s needed for their EDC.

    Or, it could be nobody else’s damn business what legal activities consenting adults engage in at their private club. Yeah, that’s the one I’m going with.

    • What planet are you from? Eurup?

      “no extra ammo stored around the house” That is one of the dumbest things I’ve heard of late. If you DON’T have a full combat load stored, you are WRONG>

      • Settle down, Rambo.

        The fact is that many owners use their firearms exclusively for hunting and/or plinking, with zero anticipation of ever using them in the worst case scenario as envisioned by the Framers. That’s just a fact, which nobody can deny. After all, there are such people whi don’t even keep the firearms themselves in their own home, let alone the ammo; prefering instead to keep it off-site in a safer place away from their children.

        Given that fact, I said GIVEN that fact, as opposed to it being wished away and ignored by suburban commandos, then there wouldn’t be a need for extra ammunition at home. Absent that extra ammo, there’s less risk of negligent discharge at home.

        Now, that’s not the argument I would support, but it’s one that a sane, sober, and reasonable person might offer and consider, even if ultimately they reject it.

        If, like the world, all of TTAG is a stage and all the commenters are but players, then I was just playing the role of Devil’s Advocate. Apparently you went out for that of Village Idiot.

  5. “Why, though, would a gun range member(s) complain that ammunition is available for sale on-site?”

    Maybe the prices were criminal?

    • $21 for 50 rounds of what looks like .45acp doesn’t seem too outrageous. Now if it’s 9mm you have a point.

      • This is a completely non-scientific assessment, but that looks to my eye like 9mm for $21 / 50. I think .45 auto would look a little stubbier.

  6. Don’t understand the concern with jacketed ammo. Never hear of this issue in any range that I’ve been to.

      • I’ve been hit with shards of jacket as well… not that I’m advocating going the “No-Jacketed” route. I hated cleaning lead out of my Judge back when there was NO jacketed .45 Colt ammo.

  7. I have a dream, that someday Glocks will be available from vending machines outside the local Wal-Mart. Or maybe instead of having that little test-yer-skill game with the remote controlled claw and fuzzy animals, the game will have an assortment of pistols from FNH, Sig, S&W, etc.

    I can see it now, “Daddy! Get me that purple Kel-Tec!”

    • Since flying with a firearm will likely always be a PITA, I’d like to be able to reserve a car from Hertz, complete with GPS and a G21 that I could pick up at the counter.

  8. “Most conventional commercial ammunition manufactured today is jacketed, and jackets can separate from the lead when it hits the backstops in gun ranges,” said Piccinini. “This causes two issues, it causes premature wear to the gun range’s backstops and it could cause a safety issue because the jacket can come back and hit you. It wouldn’t be enough to kill you, but it could cut you or put an eye out.”

    Is jacketed ammo a problem? Eye protection? I’ve shot a few ranges and clubs in different states but never at a range than did not allow commercial ball ammo. Eye protection was a must in all of them too. Just wondering.

    Great thing about private clubs, members choose the parameters.

    • Every indoor range I’ve been to requires you to use their ammo, and theirs is generally non-jacketed. So this isn’t unusual.

      On a semi-related note, I know this range. They require all members IIRC to have an NRA membership current and in good standing before they’ll even consider you. So I haven’t joined.

      • The indoor range I go only requires to you use their ammo in their guns. Otherwise they just check that it’s not steel (magnet test).

        • I donate to organizations that actually do some good, like the NAGR and SAF. Plus, I’m not a fan of Wayne throwing my First Amendment rights under the bus in a vain attempt to save the second. I want ALL my rights, not just some of them.

          How many calories do you burn jumping to conclusions?

  9. “Sam Piccinini, a Rochester Township patrolman and Republican candidate for Beaver County Sheriff.”

    Someone is just trying to cause trouble for Mr. Piccinini. Maybe they don’t want him elected Sheriff, or maybe it’s just retribution for a speeding ticket.

    Anyway, I’m surprised a standard snack vending machine can hold that much weight.

  10. This is a great idea……in the right locations they would be a hit. Street corners in Chicago and LA, also anyplace in the District of Columbia……thugs with guns need ammo.

  11. This really hit home, because I BELONG to this club! In fact, I’m buying ammo there tonight! Talk about a small world. The author of the beaver countian also did a nasty smear add for my boxing club, that helped get kids off the streets, and give them some discipline. I was running security for one of their fights, and this guy claims kids were being purposefully beat up, and we had liquor and inappropriately dressed women as ring girls. It was nothing you wouldn’t see at a public beach, and honestly they were more clothed than some women I’ve seen at the beach. I’m almost positive he’s lying about our Sheriff threatening him as well.

  12. I wish our range did that with self defense ammo. Just let me try small amounts of different loads to see if they work OK.

    • Based on what any range I have ever been to charges for ammo you could probably buy one of those 50rd LE boxes of jhp and just throw the rest away if it didn’t work and still be ahead on price.

      This whole myth about jacketed bullets is just some BS racket to bend gun owners over the counter since charging 15-20 per hour isn’t enough.

    • That is a good idea. Sell like 10 rounds of SD ammo so consumers can try out like five or so types of ammo for like $50. Beats spending like $100- $150 to try the same five brands and find out one doesn’t feed and three are just too snappy or something like that.

  13. So a member can’t use the club range to verify that his/her chosen defensive ammo feeds reliably . Only the overpriced home brew ammo from another member.
    I can’t I’d join a club like that, nor any club that didn’t allow outside ammo.
    The range here must be very poorly designed if bounce back is a concern.

  14. Heh. Yeah. I was talking in a Facebook group ran by this Canadian guy I know that’s rabidly anti gun. He’s been loosing his mind of this for a few days now. His latest justification for his outrage is how ‘we’re fetishinizing guns’ and this is just another part of it.

      • i imagine it probably involves canadian bacon and maple syrup and a moose. Thats as far as I am willing to go down that rabbit hole.

        • And a stepladder? I’ve heard that donkeys in the Mideast must watch their backs/ides Had not heard about Canukians and their moose/s.

      • As far as I’m concerned, it’s none of my business which orifices a consenting adult sticks their gun into for sexual gratification purposes. But for the sake of public health, I would like to remind that you should remove the magazine and visually verify that the chamber is empty before engaging in such activities! ~

  15. Why is it true (if it is) that jacketed ammo ’causes premature wear to the gun range’s backstops’?

  16. Reminds me of the Mitch Hedberg skit about vending machines before that installed the anti-theft flapper.

    “Which one are you getting?”

    “I’m getting D-13, and everything else on the bottom row!”

  17. This is a fantastic idea. Imagine if they were installed inside the shooting bay areas. No need to go back to the counters.

    Or even better, inside Walmart. Figure some ID recognition like a DL, and you’d eliminate the need to go track down whatever kid has the key to the ammo case.

    Then again, tracking down the kid with the key might be the only exercise OFWG get. 😀 😀 BAZINGA!!!

    • “This is a fantastic idea. Imagine if they were installed inside the shooting bay areas. No need to go back to the counters.”

      Add pneumatic air-tube delivery of the ammo to your lane and you will have a winner…

  18. Why is a private club vending machine a story? Oh & none of the ranges near me require that ammo. I guess you shouldn’t do self-defense drills at 5 yards…

  19. Where do they actually get the ammo to put in the machines, when Walmart is always out of it? Is it going to be like those candy machines that are perpetually empty except for one three-year-old Snickers?

    • Or that soda machine at the cheap motel that only ever has Mr. Pibb and Diet Shasta Orange…and that one can of Canada Dry tonic water that NOBODY WANTS.

      • I wouldn’t say nobody. If I had a bottle of Tanqueray and a lime, you can be damn sure I’d take that tonic water…

  20. We have the same issues with jacketed ammo at my club’s indoor range. Each year, we teach one or two classes for new handgun owners and the students are instructed to supply their own lead ammo. Unfortunately, they either don’t realize the difference between all lead and jacketed ammo or they can’t find all lead ammo. We usually wind up donating our own reloads that may or may not work in their guns.

  21. Whether or not jacketed bullets tear up range backstops is one thing. Lead pollution in the interior airspace is another. Even with adequate air filtration (which a lot of ranges don’t have – according to some recent studies on lead exposure) it’s difficult to stay on top of the regulations. Not burning a bunch of lead vapor off the base of every bullet that goes downrange would seemingly make it easier to maintain a safe breathing environment.

  22. That sounds like a very convenient thing to have at the range, especially if it’s located right next to the firing lanes.

  23. I gots to get over to Beaver county!!!! Too bad we can’t vote for Piccinini, although we have a fairly squared away sheriff here in Butler county.

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