The guns are silent and the gates barred to the public at Rustic Range.
"Well I'm ready to quit," Dub Dillard, the Owner said.
Dillard has operated the range for 33 years.
"We've offered a place for people to shoot and practice and zero their rifles for hunting. We also sold guns and ammunition," Dillard said.
Opened 363 days a year, from 1 p.m. to sunset, the grind finally got to Dillard.
"I'm getting older and I didn't figure I could take care of the maintenance. I also need time with my wife and family to be able to do something because it tied us down a lot," Dillard said.
Dillard's Wife, Wanda, said operating the range hasn't left time for much else.
"Dub has been very dedicated to the range. There hasn't been much of a private and social life,” Wanda said.
"I hope it doesn't inconvenience the shooters and friends that we have. My wife and I feel like it's time to step aside," Dillard said.
Ron and Rick Betenbough, and a family friend, have stepped up to buy the land. The three work for Betenbough Homes, the mega developer of homes in West Texas.
"We understand why people are concerned that this wont be here anymore. At the same time Dub is doing opportunities like all of us. When he's tired of a business and he's ready to go do something else somebody's going to come along and buy it. He tried for many years to sell it to someone who might operate it as a public range but nobody stepped up to do that," Rick Betenbough, President of Betenbough Homes said.
The private purchase has made the Betenboughs a target for attack. Shooting enthusiasts have blown up online discussion forums with postings flying like tracer rounds.
One person posted on texasguntalk.com: "They just want to have a private playground that they can charge $1200 per year so that everyone else can stay away and they can play and make a lot of money."
However, Betenbough said there are no plans for home development on the land or to re-open the public range.
"That really requires a full-blown business enterprise. We already have a business that we're all involved in, so that's the reason we won't open it as a public range," Betenbough said.
Although the range is no longer opened for public shooting, Bettenbough said it's shelling out a great business opportunity for someone else.
"Somebody should open a range. They would have a big clientèle that Dub built up for years, right away,” Betenbough said.
Unless that happens shooters will have to find private landowners who are willing to let the lead fly.