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Plains Rifle Range

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Plains Rifle Range lay to the east of Steppends Road to the east of Airdrie.

Little is known about this rifle range, which is listed as a recreational facility lying between NS80816685 and NS81156678.

One account suggests the range was in use from some time in the early 1900s until the 1960s. There were no mechanical facilities on the ranges, which would have been entirely manual in operation, and dependent on personnel operating the targets. Each target would have been raised and held aloft until it had been shot, at which point it would be lowered to signal the hit to the shooter.

Studying early maps of the area has shown that the west end of the range is shown as a coal pit on 1864 mapping, but as a network of eleven ranges varying in length from 900 yards down to 100 yards, including a "running man" target in the middle of the range area. The firing positions are shown to the west of the range, with the targets and butts to the east. Flagstaffs are marked to the north and south of the target area, and are assumed to have belonged to the range, and would have flown red warning flags when the range was in use.

The aerial view shows two, possibly concrete, structures at the extremities of the indicated locations, separated by approximately 600 yards. That to the west may be an accommodation, while that to the east appears to lie at the south end of a straight embankment that may have been a later range backstop.

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Related Canmore/RCAHMS and ScotlandsPlaces (SP) entries:-

 

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Aerial views


Map

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