We started participating in the shooting sports at a friend’s range during early 2005 and after the close of the season decided we wanted to go to the next level by building a range of our own. Ridge Crossing Shooting Club was formed late in 2005 under bare bones circumstances and continues still to be a work in progress. The winter months of late 2005 and early 2006 were spent in frantic preparation getting ready for the Spring Kickoff in April 2006. Our Range consisted of one big bay with a small berm and a dried up pond area that was home to a large population of world class chiggers. We were lucky to start with a group of regular shooters who have been consistent to come back month after month and recruit folks to come out and join us for monthly matches. Between matches, 2006 was spent building props, designing stages, getting the club affiliated with International Defensive Pistol Association (IDPA), and making plans for bigger and better events. Being budget wise we developed a flair for what we jokingly call “dumpster diving”. We’ve turned into shameless scavengers spotting homes undergoing improvement projects that would produce a treasure trove of leftovers for props and range supplies.
The original bay was revamped in 2007 with dozer work and the place started to take on the look of an honest-to-goodness range. The possibilities of Ridge Crossing Shooting Club becoming a permanent fixture were starting to come into focus and be more than just daydreams. That same year our Senior Safety Officer Instructor Tim Bishop trained and certified six of us as IDPA Safety Officers. Any range owner can tell you that you can never have too many Safety Officers on-hand to keep things rolling.
Each year that passes the Range gets bigger and better. 2008 has been an explosive year of growth for us. Two sponsors – Grenada Gold-n-Gun and Competitive Shooting Concepts – came on board and funded more dozer work resulting in 2 bay areas and completely changed the lay of the land on the Range. In addition to the monthly matches, classes were added to the schedule. We offered an Intro to IDPA class, Competitive Shooting Concepts held 2 classes, Ridge Crossing hosted the local portion of the 2008 World Wide Postal Match, 3 Classifiers, sponsored the CrimeStoppers Annual Blue Steel Challenge. Our biggest challenge yet was hosting the 2008 Mississippi State IDPA Championship Match in November.