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Dec. 01, 2006

Lone Wolf shooters use gravel pit


A Las Vegas woman practices her marksmanship at the Wulfenstein?s gravel pit range used by the Lone Wolf Cowboy Shooters while Larry Strickland times her.

Wanted: a home range


While the Pahrump Cowboy Shooters are waiting for a shooting range in Pahrump, an offshoot group called the Lone Wolf Cowboy Shooters has been holding matches at Wulfenstein's gravel pit off Highway 160 on the south end of Pahrump.

The 36 members of the Lone Wolf shooters have been using the range since the Nevada Senior Games in November 2005, said Debbie Strickland, co-owner of Strickland Construction and president of the group, known by her cowboy name of Penny Pepperbox.

Wulfenstein Construction Co. doesn't normally use the gravel pit on weekends. The Lone Wolf Cowboy Shooters holds cowboy shootouts the first and second Sundays of the month, using single-action revolvers; while slide-gun shooting takes place the third Sunday, using semi-automatic weapons.

That's a more frequent schedule than the Pahrump Cowboy Shooters, which holds monthly events in Amargosa Valley.

"We were very fortunate. I went to Jim Wulfenstein and asked him if he would allow us to shoot in the pit. He said sure and not only that, we'll build you berms and give you your own gate. He's been quite gracious," Strickland said.

While the gravel pit may lack a lot of the old west props at Purgatory Flats, the narrow shooting range in the berms practically eliminates the danger of ricocheting bullets. Both clubs emphasize safety.

"We're going to get to that point but right now we're just trying to build in the ground-work to figure out how to fit in the rest of the facilities," Strickland said. "We always want any of our bullets to impact the berms and that's important. We want to have total control of our weapon at all times. The only way to do that is to have a bermed facility like we have at Wulfenstein's."

While the events are sign-posted on the highway, pointing out the easy access to the gravel pit, interested cowboy marksmen have to belong to the Lone Wolf Cowboy Shooters. Membership is $25 annually. There has to be a range officer present to shoot, and facilities are normally open only when club members are there. Like the Pahrump Cowboy Shooters, members dress up in cowboy gear and shoot pre-1890s weapons.

"We can see a need for a range here in Pahrump. We are trying to get another range site that the town would own that would then become a town function," Strickland said, referring to the negotiations with the Pahrump town board involving the Pahrump Cowboy Shooters.

"We have only one facade here at the Pahrump range. Currently we have one more facade here at Strickland Construction we're going to move out there," she said. "There's actually six berms right now and Wulfenstein's going to build us 10."

Strickland said people who want to join her club should call her business at 727-4600.

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