To give variety to the shooting the site should be wide enough to admit of firing at three butts--25 yards, 50 yards and 100 yards distant--simultaneously. Each butt must be large enough to accommodate an ample number of targets. Members do not like waiting, and as the earning capacity of the range upon which the income of the club is largely dependent is exactly proportioned to the number of targets multiplied by the number of hours in which they are available for use, target accommodation sufficient for at least 10 per cent of the club to shoot at one time will never be found too much nor add materially to the cost of the range.
Target shooters have not as a rule, too much spare time during daylight even in summer and none in winter. While in summer baseball, trips to the woods, etc. constitute counter attractions, in winter the want of something with which to employ the idle hour is often strongly felt; hence the club will be wise that constructs its range so as to permit shooting by night as well as by day and in winter as well as summer. This implies illuminated targets and a sheltered firing point of which at least a portion can be warmed in winter. The whole firing point should be roofed so as to afford shelter from sun and wet, but as the attendance of members is usually less in winter than summer it will not be necessary entirely to inclose the whole, but a portion sufficient to allow of say 5 per cent of the members shooting at one time should be so constructed that it can be warmed, and the inclosing medium should be removable in summer.
Something in the nature of a club house or a pavilion is desirable. The most successful club is generally that which, while steadily prosecuting its primary objects, does not entirely ignore the social aspect. For this reason it is impossible to emphasize too strongly the desirability of a comfortable, attractive pavilion in conjunction with a comfortable, pleasant and easily accessible range.
In addition to butts and clubhouse the club should provide a few club rifles and telescopes for the general use of members. A small charge of say 5 cents per day for the loan of these will provide a fund which will eventually pay their original cost and subsequent repairs and renewals.
One of the most important items of successful club management is handicapping. Nature has failed to endow us all with equal ability, and no amount of effort on the part of some men will enable them to equal the performance of others in all kinds of sports. This is the case in rifle shooting, although steady, careful practice will work wonders with many of those, who at first think they can never become good shots. Consequently to make it possible for these to compete with any hope of success it is necessary to establish equality artificially. This may be accomplished by a process known as handicapping. With the decimal system of scoring with ten points as the highest value of a hit a good method of allotting handicaps is to regard the member's ability as expressed by the average value per hit of his shots and allot him the difference between this average and ten as handicap per shot multiplying this handicap by the number of shots in the competition. For example, if A in a few targets scores 252 points in thirty shots, the average value per shot is 9.4. This Is A's figure of ability, and his handicap will be 0.6 per shot or six points in a ten shot competition and eighteen in a thirty shot competition. An absolute novice should average between six and seven per shot but usually improves very rapidly; and it is not safe to award him more than 1.5 per shot or fifteen points in ten shots, to start with.
Capital sport for holidays or when a good number of members are present is a team shoot at breakable clay disks two inches in diameter and colored white at 100 yards. Several teams, say, of four men each are selected and drawn to shoot in pairs. The team breaking all its opponents' disks first wins, the losing team is knocked out and the last team in wins the match. This is not only exciting fun, but splendid practice, and affords interest for spectators. The latter is important, as an ordinary target match is not attractive to a gallery. It is otherwise when the progress of the match is made visible by the breaking of the targets.