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Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Apparently, GTR Sporting Club of Waukegan, Illinois is currently undergoing some sort of reorganization

This occasionally updated old blog post (originally from 6/29/2016) still receives frequent visits.  
A note for first-time viewers:  The most current update is here at the top and the older updates (some pegged with a related addendum) are in reverse order below.  

Stopped in at the Caliber Gun Range today (9/12/2017) around 3pm for a quickie.  

This was a Senior Citizen Appreciation Day (or something like that ... I honestly did not know until I got there) so I got to shoot for FREE (yay me)!   I keep promising myself to go to this range more often but life often insists on setting my priorities.

The facility is still safe, clean, friendly, well maintained, and professionally staffed.  In fact, every aspect is looking real nice.  I got to say "Hi" to a pair of familiar faces; Frank Orsi and Chick Baruffi happened to be there..  

I only stayed long enough to churn 45-rounds of ammo through my 1993 vintage S&W 442 airweight at 15-feet and 21-feet on the 8-inch targets ... my hand ached like hell later but I sure did have some fun while I was at it!

Check out the Caliber Gun Range website.  


Well, folks, the shooting range is still in business and into the beginnings of its third year.

Yesterday, 1/3/2017, I had a great time shooting at the Caliber Management Gun Range of the GTR Sporting Club (that is my impression as to what the range's business moniker currently is).  

To my eyes, not much has changed at the range since I was last there on 7/31/2016; it is still an outstanding place to go shooting, although some of the target-control touch-pads may be getting "cranky" because of age and use.  Most (if not all) of the GTR logo window-bling is gone.

Before I could shoot, I had to re-enter my FOID creds into the new Caliber Management computer system;  the FOID creds from the GTR Sporting Club computer system were not merged into the new system;  re-registering is a quick-and-easy one-time thing (until, of course, they again decide to change the darn software).   

As far as staff and magagement, I did not see one familiar face during this visit.  I suppose that, as long as I have a clean, safe, nearby place to go shooting, I don't much care who owns or manages the facility.  The folks staffing the place during my visit seemed to be very caring and competent.   

The modest little GTR - Caliber Management gun store is open and doing business.   

The "fast food" area was not serving during the time that I was at the range; dunno when (or even if) it is ever open.  

I have no interest in the downstairs lounge area; it is alleged to be open for business.  

The old GTR Sporting Club website has long been closed down; the URL for that old site no longer redirects to the newer Caliber Gun Range - GTR Sporting Club website.

The Caliber Cun Range - GTR Sporting Club Facebook Page is still at the old GTR Sporting Club Facebook URL.

As far as I know, Illinois Concealed Carry classes are still offered at the GTR - Caliber Management Gun Range on weekends.

FOREMOST, above all other news, GTR - Caliber Gun Range NOW ALLOWS RIFLE CALIBERS UP TO .308.   Woohoo!  The range used to limited rifles to no more than 5.56 NATO.  Anyhoo, just to be safe, you might want to call and verify before you lug in your great grandpa's battlefield trophy 8mm WWII German Mauser.  

I will speculate that the range still prohibits all steel case, steel jacketed, and steel core ammo.  


EDIT 7/18/2016:   CLICK HERE for the 19th Judicial Circuit Court of Lake County online system for searching records.  Choose to search by Business and enter GTR for the business name; voila, a couple of pages of what has and is happening in the legal world regarding GTR Holding and GTR Sporting Club.  

I can imagine that it is tough to hold a business together nowadays; winding up in court probably is not too unusual.  Are there any conclusion(s) that we can draw from GTR's legal challenges?  I dunno;  it does look like it all is a tough row to hoe.

Perhaps the following is a sign of GTR attempting to return to a state of normalcy.
EDIT:  Nevermind, it was removed from the website a day later.

Police Pistol Combat League07/21/16 to 08/25/16  
6:00 PM to 8:30 PM

REQUIRED MATCHES: Minimum of 10 matches. MATCH FEE: $130 for the GTRPPL SPRING COMBAT League. The league will run for (6) weeks and you may shoot up to (3) matches at any scheduled league event. Match sign-up is based on a first come, first serve basis and will be limited to 50 competitors. Please call 847-782-8888 for more Information!


EDIT JULY 11, 2016:  The above sign is posted inside the GTR Sporting Club.   Time will tell us whether CALIBER MANAGEMENT's performance will turn out to be large caliber, small caliber, or sub-caliber.   Management wise, this initial year-and-a-half of GTR Sporting Club's existence has been akin to some kind of reality TV show (I will not attempt to summarize; only an insider could explain what has transpired).  Frank Orsi, the man that most folks recognize as the founder of GTR Sporting Club, currently appears to be the person in charge.  Charles "Chick" Baruffi, an indomitable 1959 - 1962 era Marine, is still part of GTR's team and (IMHO) appears to be more enthusiastic than ever.   Never bet against any team that has a Marine, unless, of course, the opposing team has two Marines.    

At a glance, GTR may be somewhat of a wounded bird but it is not yet cold and dead in the water.  

Since I did have a receipt, on Sunday GTR cordially validated the remaining unused punch-card that I purchased last December.  Will GTR still honor the card during the days, weeks, or months ahead?  Stay tuned.  When I purchased the cards my plan was to shoot at GTR no less than one-day per month during 2016.   Having a range within minutes of my house has really been nice, but I'll move on if need be.


***** Below is the original post from 6/29/2016 (along with a some addenda) ***** 

Something has been going on at GTR Sporting Club in Waukegan, Illinois;  I have heard it said that the club is under new management but I can find no such announcement in the media and nothing official is posted at the facility.

A few clues that something is happening:

A) Their Facebook page has not been updated since May 24 of this year.  This is very unusual.   From inception, GTR has always had an active Facebook presence.  EDIT 7/8/2016:  GTR resumed updating their Facebook page.

B) There are no future events listed on their webpage.  Again, this is unusual because they always had something planned.

C) The training calendar on their website has only a couple of items for the near future.  Again, very unusual ... EDIT 7/8/2016: Training classes are again being offered; caveat emptor.

D) Those who are members of the club allegedly cannot use their membership range-time allocation; they have to pay-per-session.  I have not verified this; this is something that I heard and I also read it in reviews at Google+ GTR Sporting Club pageThe following couple of items are via a "copy-and-paste" of those reviews:

EDIT: I removed my "copy and paste" of those comments since one vanished from the G+ page.

E) This afternoon there were lots of official looking people with clipboards (one that I know to be an attorney and one dude sported a badge) busily shuffling through things.

F)  The Gun Store / Pro Shop section is dark and locked tight with a sign stating that it is closed for "Inventory / Audit."

NOTE:  Today I overheard an employee tell a concerned customer that, "Everything will be back to normal sometime around the second week of August."

What I know for certain:

1) Pay-per-session shooting at GTR, for a large part, looks to be business as usual.  I last went shooting there on June 10th and they accepted my prepaid range-time punch-card.

2)  One section of the shooting range (I believe it is referred to as the 8-Lane Combat Range) has been closed off.  I will venture a guess that this MAY simply be just to save some energy costs by not running the very elaborate air-handling system and the lights on that section; there is no reason to keep equipment online when pay-per-session shooters have been scant.

3)  EDIT 7/9/2016:  I stopped in just after noon today to get an Italian beef and I see that there is a sign posted that Frankie's Cafe is temporarily closed.  Ignore everything (below) that I wrote the other day about Frankie's Cafe.

The third (or fourth ... I lost count) reincarnation of Frankie's Cafe has been a bright spot in all of this; it has been under new management for a while now via Bobby, a very personable and notable food pro from the North Shore, and it is open Wednesday through Sunday (closed Monday and Tuesday).  Bobby serves up sinfully good Italian beef, Italian sausage, pizza, etc.   Seriously, this cafe is an undiscovered local treasure;  get your grub to go or eat at the "inside bistro."  You say that you are not a gunslinger?  Hell, even if guns are not your passion, GTR Sporting Club is worth a visit just for the chow at Frankie's Cafe.

I was a member of the club for their first year of existence.  During this second year of operation, I have been a pay-per-session customer (about once per month).

At this blog site I have written prior entries about GTR:
and HERE.

EDIT 7/6/2016:
CLICK HERE and scroll down the page for recent comments left at YELP (NOTE: YELP comments come and go)