Big Western Historical Freedom Shoot

By J.R. Moody

Nestled in what is to me the most scenic part of the American northwest, on the northwest border of Idaho and the eastern border of Washington, is the beautiful town of Coeur D’ Alene. It is surrounded by white tipped mountains that allow great snow skiing in any direction, and gorgeous evergreens abound. Huge emerald colored lakes surround this city. These lakes are large-hundreds of miles long and umpteen miles wide. These lakes provide excellent boating, fishing, and skin-diving because the water is so incredibly clear and pure. World class golfing is here with the only floating green in the beautiful Coeur D’ Alene Lake. This place has everything except the crime. The crime rate is virtually nonexistent. Added to this, the climate is one of the most pleasant in the country. Winters are moderate with fantastic summers.

This is not a travel brochure. In this great city, there is the Fernan Pistol and Rifle Club. Ever year on the third and Fourth of July, they celebrate by having the Big West Fourth of July Freedom Shoot. This will interest NFA shooters from all over. You’ll find most any type of NFA weapons on the firing line from Mac’s to Mag 58’s to Minimi’s to 50M2HB’s. No tracers will be allowed because of a possible fire hazard. The many targets will include steel gongs and possibly a few old cars. On the pistol range, there will be a sub-machine gun competition, which will be as fun and as challenging as possible. To accommodate all of these, the range itself is 400 meters long. The backstop is a mountain around the size of the Empire State Building. To further this, the range has excellent facilities with a clubhouse, covered shooting stations, bathroom facilities, and adequate parking. All this is surrounded by gorgeous fir and evergreen trees. Access is easily attained from the city, approximately 15 miles from the city central or 10 minutes off major interstate 90. The range is off Interstate 90. Take exit 15 (the Sherman Avenue exit). Turn east (left) at the stoplight and proceed under the interstate overpass to the stoplight. Taking the left fork immediately after the USFS Fernan Range Station, proceed on the Fernan Lake Road for six miles. Continue past the junction of Forest Service Road #1562. Turn right into the shooting range. If one wishes to fly into this shoot, Spokane International Airport is approximately 30 miles away. Hotel facilities are easily accessible within a 15-minute drive to the range.

If you live in the West, this shoot is well worth the time and effort. This club seems to want to offer a quality environment for all. We welcome safe shooters as well as spectators. Those with families should not hesitate to bring the whole family. There are plenty of activities for the family to enjoy, including sight seeing on cruise boats, swimming and shopping. To end a wonderful weekend, there will be a phenomenal fireworks display on the waterfront in downtown Coeur d’Alene.

To reserve a space on the shooting line (Price $25.00 for 2 days), contact Fernan Rod and Gun Club, PO Box 1949, Post Falls, ID 83877 or e-mail frgc@dmi.net. You may also contact http://www.dmi.net/gunclub-range/

This article first appeared in Small Arms Review V2N8 (May 1999)
and was posted online on May 13, 2016


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