The Butte Gun Club is one of the oldest organizations in America. The club traces its history back to the Butte Rod and Gun Club, which was organized in 1880. The Butte Rod and Gun Club was devoted principally to shotgun competition, so in 1895, the Rocky Mountain Rifle Club was formed with a majority of members from the Butte Rod and Gun Club. The Rocky Mountain Rifle Club affiliated with the NRA in 1909. In 1910 the club built a new range at Rocker, Montana to accommodate increased membership. The Rocky Mountain Rifle Club and the Butte Rod and Gun Club merged under the name Butte Gun Club in 1925. There were two reasons for the merger of the two clubs. The name of the Rocky Mountain Rifle Club did not reflect the membership of the organization, and by eliminating duplication of effort, the purposes of marksmanship could be better effected.
Throughout the Butte Gun Club history, its members have earned recognition in all shooting disciplines. A few of the more historical accomplishments follow.
The Butte Gun Club’s main facility, called the Rocker Range, is located west of Butte and just south of Rocker, Montana.
The Rocker Range is spread out over several acres and caters to all shooting disciplines. Several buildings are on the range including the Schuetzen and Bullseye houses, which are designed specifically for shooting and also provide shelter during inclement weather and winter.
Construction of the Schuetzen house began around 1910. Its architecture is influenced by both German schuetzen style competition and mine hoist houses. The Bullseye house and range was built in 1939 and is believed to be the only one of its kind as late as 1947.
The Rocker Range has:
The Butte Gun Club shares a 50-foot indoor range located in the basement of the Butte Court House, with the local law enforcement department. This range is particularly popular for .22 rimfire bullseye competitions during the winter months.
Rocker Range Use
Although the Butte Gun Club would like to make all Rocker Range facilities available to members at all times, unfortunately; some types of use cannot be enjoyed concurrently without an unacceptable level of risk of accident.
Scheduled group use of the ranges takes precedence over individual use. Scheduled use includes club-sponsored matches and competitions, and range use as a public service to organizations such as hunter safety programs and law enforcement units. Scheduled group use must be requested and approved in advance so members can be notified. Requested group use dates are typically granted on a first come basis. If a particular date has more than one request and one of the requests is for a state, national, and specialty event, precedence will be given to that event.
Priority use of the Rocker Range will be in accordance with the following schedule when not preempted by a scheduled event:
Monday - Benchrest/Pistol
Tuesday - Highpower Rifle/Silhouette
Wednesday - Benchrest/Pistol
Thursday - Highpower Rifle/Silhouette
Friday - Benchrest/Pistol
Saturday - Highpower Rifle/Silhouette
Sunday - Benchrest/Pistol
In the event no one is using the range for the regularly scheduled purpose, the ranges can be used for any other sanctioned use on a first come basis. If one or more members should arrive later and want to use the range as scheduled, others must defer to them after a maximum of 15 minutes.
Range Conduct and Rules
1. ALCOHOL. No alcoholic beverages before or during range use.
2. FIREARM CONDITION. All actions open, or guns unloaded and cased or holstered when not on the firing line.
3. MUZZLE DIRECTION. All firearms on firing line must be pointed downrange.
4. DRY FIRING. Dry firing downrange only, and only from firing points.
5. LITTER. All shooters must pickup and dispose of all trash created,
i.e., cans, boxes, targets, ammo boxes, etc.
6. ANIMALS. No shooting at any wild or domestic animals on premises.
7. YOUTH. Shooters under 18 years old must be accompanied and directly supervised by an adult. Children not participating must remain behind firing lines.
8. BREAKABLE TARGETS. Except for clay pigeons, NO breakable targets unless approved for an organized shoot.
9. EXPLOSIVES; INCENDIARY; TRACERS. Except for approved events, no explosives or incendiary weapons or rounds allowed. Tracers allowed only during times of low fire hazard.
10. FULL AUTOS. Pistol caliber full autos allowed on rifle or pistol ranges. Rifle caliber full autos allowed only on rifle ranges. Bipods or tripods required when engaging targets 300 yards or further with .30 caliber or larger full auto rifles.
11. IDENTIFICATION. Proof of membership must be shown to any member upon demand.
12. GATE LOCKING. Except during sanctioned events, range gate must be closed and locked upon every entrance to and exit from the range.
13. PISTOL RANGES. Except for approved events, only rimfire, shotguns (no slugs), and pistol caliber firearms allowed on pistol ranges.
14. HIGHPOWER SILHOUETTE RANGE. No armor piercing rounds and no caliber smaller than 6.5mm allowed on the highpower silhouette range.
15. .50 BMG WEAPONS. .50 BMG weapons allowed only on rifle ranges. Only paper targets may be engaged with .50 BMG weapons.
16. RANGE FLAGS. Range (red) flags must be flown at the High Power and Silhouette ranges prior to shooting on those ranges.
VIOLATION OF ANY RULE IS GROUNDS FOR MEMBERSHIP TERMINATION. DELIBERATE ACTS OF VANDALISM WILL BE REFERRED TO THE COUNTY ATTORNEY FOR PROSECUTION. THOSE WHO DAMAGE BGC PROPERTY WILL BE SUBJECT TO PROSECUTION FOR RESTITUTION.