Potential Dangers at the Range

Andy Bullen
BESC Club Member

It has come to our attention lately (at the beginning of May, 2011) that before the Cedar Mountain Range was part of BESC it was operated by the Colorado National Guard. Among other activities the guard pursued at the range was practicing with 40MM grenades. These were high explosive anti-personnel weapons and there is a possibilitiy that cartridges may still be present on or near the range property. The federal government and the National Guard are in the process of contracting for the survey and removal of any such devices; however nothing will happen on the ground for another year or so. In the meantime club members need to be aware of the potential hazard and know what to recognize and avoid. So far only expended devices and parts of them have been found on our range property but the possibility of live devices does exist and we need to exercise caution if we encounter anything of this nature. Parts of 40MM cartridges have been found all over the upper (east) of the silhouette bay above the 200 yard silhouette berm with the greatest concentration just below the 300 yard steel targets and the deer silhouette. Parts have also been found in some of the draws above the upper pistol bay. If you encounter any of these devices use extreme caution: do not handle them; notify a club officer so appropriate action can be initiated. 40MM grenades are considered armed if fired and they are very sensitive and cannot be disturbed. They should not be picked up of moved in any way. Grenades have to be destroyed in place using a donor charge of explosives set next to the grenade and detonated. If you find something suspicicious contact the Moffat County Sheriffs Office at 970-824-6501 for assistance.

Above are some of what was found on the range. The 270 and 45acp cartridges are for size comparison. On the left is a non-lethal 40MM projectile used by law enforcement. On the right is the metal nose cone from a 40MM grenade. In the center is a relatively complete, though expended, 40MM grenade.

Two of the projectiles on site behind the 200 yard silhouette bay berm.