Shooting Ranges


August 2, 2007, 07:00 PM
I am interested in opening up a shooting range/gunshop/repair facility in Upstate NY (about an hour from NYC)...

My question is, is there a market out there for a quality place? I know there is one range here, but they are rude, expensive ($100 just to be put in their database, then you pay for range time, gun and ammo... must use their ammo at $20 a box for 9mm) and can not do gunsmithing.....

What are all your thoughts, as I am seriously considering it as a possibility, got money saved from inheritances and the like.....

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SG Merc
August 2, 2007, 07:52 PM
Whether or not there is a market isn't as important as whether you have a marketing plan. Opening your own business is going to require thorough research into what type of people are in the area you're looking at, and what they want. I'm glad to see that you're starting off thinking about that.

You can make money if you have a good business plan, but if you don't then it'll be hard to succeed even if there is a demand for what you offer.

If you don't have a business background then you might be best served by either buying books on small businesses and marketing, or hiring someone with those skills.

August 2, 2007, 08:03 PM
Thank you for your ideas.

I have an MBA from a decent college. I have a certification in being a Master Gunsmith. I have 2 advisers who understand business and how they run, they check up on everything, including my business plan.

The population is pretty blue-collar, with some white collar. They just want a clean, well-lit place to shoot, where they can find a decent price on firearms and can get their stuff fixed if needed.

August 2, 2007, 08:15 PM
IMHO an hour away from the city puts you too close and you wil get nothing but resistance in your community.

I do, however, like the idea. The indoor range near me charge $300 a year and its a dump. Cant even go all summer because its so hot. Plus there are NO places to shoot outdoors closeby.

I would jump at the thought of a range with A/C around me.

good luck to ya!

August 2, 2007, 08:24 PM
where do you go in the NY Metro area? I don't think it is the one I am thinking about.... unless they changed a policy in the last week or so, it was $1500 to shoot for the year.... and you still had to buy their ammo!

Looking in either Westchester or Rockland County.... want to make accessible to the city, but still keep it "upstate".

August 2, 2007, 09:55 PM
Hmm. My profile also says "Upstate, NY", but I live about 5 hrs drive from you! Anyway, I hope your plans take off. And if you really want to live upstate, we can always use more good ranges up here (around Rochester area).

August 2, 2007, 10:12 PM
OMG Westchester???

good luck with that.

Having a purple kids squirt gun in your car in Westchester will get you 10-20yrs....unless you are the uber-rich - then you get a pass of course....and they just shoot on their property.

Make it just over the border in CT. Danbury area is SORELY in need of a good private range. You could get $3-500/yr easily IMHO. Lots of shooters in the area and NO good places to shoot.


August 2, 2007, 10:27 PM
Problem with CT is that I would get hell from Boston politics.... besides, NY State is slightly better than CT with regard to ownership.....

I am actually looking into a place right near the New Jersey Border, but in NY.... right off the NYS Throughway and the Palisades Parkway.... actually about 5 minutes from the Palisades Mall.....

Besides, if I go to CT, I may lose the NYC population....

August 2, 2007, 10:40 PM
hummm, maybe I misunderstood. are you talking gun ownership or business ownership?

NJ/NY ownership of pistols is about 1000X worse than CT.....a lot more gun owners in CT and they WONT drive over that border with weapons. I would think rule 101 is that you have to be close to pistol owners. Think PA or CT. PA is too far, and CT is as close as NJ border...

Boston politics? Im confused.

The NY population around westchester does not shoot handguns at indoor ranges...pheasent at a friends place 2X a year - maybe.

You dont want to the city crowd (and they dont want you)

again, hope it works!

August 2, 2007, 10:54 PM
No way i live in CT near NYC in the fairfield county area (one of the supposedly most liberal regions). My local range is a gun dealer, ammo seller, offers training for Concealed carry permit and gun smith but you dont need to buy thiers, every firearm you buy gets you 2 hours of free range time. You can shoot everything cept P++ magnum rounds and slugs because both would cause the walls to cave in lol.

Id suggest making a range in an area such as Danbury but not too near Monroe where there is already a well liked range the one i go to regularily. CT has awsome gun laws my only complaint is the stupid waiting periods except if you have a hunting lisence or a CCL they go away. No limits on purchases either or magazine capacities. If you get your range set up id be happy to work there for you and get things set up and even visit your place often enough. Danbury is only about 40 minutes away.

August 2, 2007, 10:58 PM
I'm working on my MBA right now, as well as a business plan for a restaurant. I'm sure the market exists but the problem will be advertising it. From what I remember of living in NYC, the ranges are all private. I doubt they'll let a competitor post an ad. If you can find an effective means of getting the word out, it might be possible. However, as you know, real estate costs a fortune. I've never priced gun-related insurance, but I can't believe insurance for a firing range is cheap. As other posters have mentioned, the other obstacle is local government. Will the .gov grant you a business permit?

Good luck.

August 3, 2007, 08:02 AM
I was thinking rockland or westchester, as I know the area, have a built in customer base (not enough though), as there is that bad competition in the area, they will have the ability to comparison shoot...

Besides, I love that try before you buy routine.... =)

Imagine being able to take a gun from the display cabinets, and after putting down a small deposit, trying it out... Of course this would not be able to be done with all guns, but I can keep a few models on display which will not be sold, but merely used as range guns...

I appreciate you all taking the time out to let me bounce ideas off of you... that is why I love us gun nuts!

Oh, and I will start looking into CT today, see what I can find out.

August 3, 2007, 09:40 AM
just a thought...

If you have the type of place that rents out guns to everyone for $5 and sends them into the range to shoot --- thumbs down

REQUIRE supervision from Range Officers (one on one until they are satisfied the renter is ok) - fine.

until then, I wont be there nor will the 10 or so people I normally shoot with.

There is enough money in the area, and shooters are looking for a safe, clean place....and most I know are willing to pay a pretty good dollar for that.

$5 dollar rent a glock if you buy my $25 box of ammo place? - see ya.

August 3, 2007, 09:42 AM
Close to New Jeresy??
What good does that do?
I understand upper -westchester is pretty good for gun ownership.
I lived lower down. Yeah, try getting a ccw.


August 3, 2007, 10:12 AM
Of course, everyone must show competence with a firearm before being allowed on the range, even with an Range officer.... must show handling, loading/unloading and basic safety procedures.. then is let out on the range where they are supervised until they show they are safe....

Probably be more like $10 a firearm, either a per hour or per day range time charge, as well as reasonably priced ammo (not quite walmart, but close)....

And New jersey is pretty good for getting people to shoot... a lot of people who want to experience the joy before going through the paperwork for a gun ... and it is possible to get a gun in NJ, just not a CCW..... besides, it is a heavily populated area, and in the USA, for every metropolitan area of 250k or so people, there is at least one range.... NY a few on Long Island, and the one place here... seems like a good market, I know in Rockland there are 13k hand-gun owners, not sure about westchester, but still seems like a good base...
But you are right, safety first, safety second, safety always!

August 3, 2007, 10:28 AM
Does Rockland and Westchester have the silly permit laws like NYC does? IIRC, in NYC you need a "target permit" if you plan on shooting more than twice a year.

August 3, 2007, 10:29 AM
In Rockland you need a pistol license.... good for life, no expiration. In Westchester, it is good for 5 years and must be renewed.

August 31, 2007, 03:01 PM
I have a rockland permit. It is CCW but restricted to the activites of "hunting, hiking, fishing, camping, and target shooting." From what I have been told Rockland does not issue an unrestricted CCW to regular people.

September 1, 2007, 01:54 AM
Knowing how to count and keep records (a formal education) is something a lot of people can figure out as they go. You have to know Human nature and how to sell yourself.

If you take just about any bright uneducated person with a world class personality and energy...and he starts to make money in a business...9 times out of 10 he will figure out, very fast, whatever technical aspects of running a business he has too. If you take someone with the finest business education on the wont make up for a lack of personality and energy. He will end up with a well run failure.

If you have both going for you. You should be just fine.

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