Carter's Country: This Shouldn't Annoy Me Like This, Right?


Deer Hunter
August 9, 2008, 11:12 PM
Alright, I like this place in Houston. It's a wonderful range/shop that has something for everyone. Friendly service, nice prices, but whenever I go shoot there something always twitches a nerve with me.

When you check in the rifles, the "Hunting" rifles cost around two dollars or so less to shoot than so called "Tactical" rifles. Now it's not much of a difference, I know, but...

My friend pays 9 dollars to shoot his Mosin.

I pay 11 to shoot my FN FAL.

Every year I hunt with my FAL.

Does this seem right? Why is it that I have to pay more just because of the color of my rifle? Sticking rifles into genres such as that hurts our cause, because as soon as we make the distinction we play into the gun-grabbers hands.

If I brought in a "tactical" 10/22, what would they charge me?

Has anyone else had this experience?

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August 9, 2008, 11:20 PM
Bill Carter does not like military arms, gunshows, internet sales, or other gunshops. He wants to be the ONLY shop available. There are other ranges available that do not charge more for them. What side of town are you in?

Livin in Texas

Owen Sparks
August 9, 2008, 11:21 PM
Private business can make any rules that they want. You don't have to shoot there, they cant make you. I would tell them either I shoot at hunting rifle prices or I take my business elsewhere.

August 9, 2008, 11:27 PM
$11 is still pretty cheap for an indoor range.

It has been my personal experience that military or "tactical" firearms tend to have large magazines and they tend to put more bullets down range than bolt/lever actions. Much the same as I have observed that people I know tend to fire more bullets per range trip from their semi-automatic pistols than with their wheel guns. Without knowing anything about Mr. Carter I would hazard a guess that he is off setting greater wear on his back drop and his air filtration system. I could be completely off base but that is the only logical reason I could come up with.

August 9, 2008, 11:28 PM
Have you asked the Management? I agree that it’s really dumb to help reinforce the anti stereotypes and place distinctions on cosmetic difference. I wonder if my Garand would be “tactical”?

Anyway, you should ask the management why they have this rule.

There are really only 3 reasons I can think of:

1) They feel someone who spends money on a “tactical” gun can spend the extra $.
2) They "fear" that someone who owns a “tactical” gun is going to cause more wear and tear on the range (through use of more ammo, depletion of the backstop, or just plain recklessness [see #3]).
3) They want to subtly suggest that “tactical” guns are as not welcome.

Deer Hunter
August 9, 2008, 11:30 PM
Carter's is an outdoor range, not an indoor range.

I havn't brought it up yet. I've only been there three times. It's the place I go with my friend and girlfriend when I'm visiting in Houston. Usually I go to a range in College Station.

I just wanted to hear some opinions and thoughts on the matter. And if we bring a Mosin to the range, we are shooting that one much more than my FAL!

August 9, 2008, 11:46 PM
THANK YOU Deer Hunter for bringing this up, I was pricing them out just a couple hours ago for a possible range trip tommorrow and I was appalled that they charge an extra $1.50 to shoot a rifle just cause it's non-PC. Still looking for a rifle range in Houston (N. of I10) that does not charge per gun...

August 10, 2008, 01:27 AM
There's still a greater wear and tear on the backstop...


Is the guy holding a gun to your head? GO SOMEWHERE ELSE? Or do you need to get a general consensus from THR membership before you are able to make up your own mind?

August 10, 2008, 02:10 AM
Wow Bogie, that was very rude. He wants to check to see if this thing is normal. He never said he would continue to go to that range. Satisfying curiosity does not constitute being an indecisive dolt.
In response to Deer Hunter, I haven't seen it anywhere. I could certainly see the more rounds downrange theory being correct. I certainly put more rounds through a AK than my K31 at the range. If you ask there and find ou, let us know. I am interested in the reasoning too.

August 10, 2008, 05:27 AM
That outrageous per gun charge is exactly why I will not go to Carters Country. Charging more for the looks of a gun is an insult.

And I don't think the service there is very friendly either.

Take your business somewhere else.

August 10, 2008, 06:08 AM
Not exactly the same, but a local gunshop has an equally irritating PC policy. They have an AR hanging up, with a sign on it that reads, " You must be 21 to purchase this rifle." However, an 18 year old could buy a Mini, a tactical shotgun, or even a new Springield M1A there, though.? To be fair, I don't know if this is a company policy, or some state or fed law, but it's still aggravating. I wonder if people were as "freaked out" by the first lever action repeaters, carrying a tube full of rimfire rounds? :eek:

Ian Sean
August 10, 2008, 07:35 AM
They have an AR hanging up, with a sign on it that reads, " You must be 21 to purchase this rifle."

I would have pulled out every dollar on me, pointed to the rifle, then my cash and told them, "see this? this is the last time you see my money in this store"...and left.

I did exactly this at a smaller store about 5 years ago, counter person was going on a rant about semi-auto's and the "need" for one. Last time I ever went in there.

August 10, 2008, 10:37 AM
There's still a greater wear and tear on the backstop...
Because .223 and .308 cause more damage than .30-06 and 7.62x54R...:scrutiny:

Physics says you're wrong and fail.

Deer Hunter
August 10, 2008, 11:07 AM
The friend I shoot with in Houston also goes to another range (although I can't remember the name), so I'll ask him about it next time I'm up.

And no, Bogie wasn't rude. That was a legit question. I've thought the same thing on occasions with some threads. However, I just wanted to hear a few opinions about it.

I'll be looking for a new place to shoot. It does get expensive if we all bring one or two rifles a piece then a pistol.

August 10, 2008, 11:32 AM
Deer Hunter, come to Pasadena for a visit.

Pasadena Gun Range charges per person (not per gun) and they don't have any time limits unless they're really busy ( I've never been turned out over time limits there ).

You (as a single customer) can take in as many guns as you like, in whatever configuration.

I hosted some European colleagues last year, and visited PGR with them. Took a handtruck and several trips to get all the guns in.

They also rent full auto weapons ( they have an MP5, Grease Gun, M16A1, Thompson, M1 Carbine and a few more ).

August 10, 2008, 02:08 PM
PGR is a pretty fun indoor range and one of the few that lets you shoot rifles and full auto, but unless they've greatly improved the ventilation since last time I was there, its not some place I'd recommend shooting at on a regular basis.

IMHO just about any of our other Houston options is better than Carter's range, and a lot of us won't shop there since he came out in support of some gunshow restrictions many years ago.

I thought it was pretty cool that later his FFL was named "one of the largest crime gun suppliers" by the Brady bunch. This of course is only because he probably sells more guns than any other dealer in Texas and therefor more of his are stolen and end up used in crimes than smaller dealers.

He seems to have put business ahead of his politics recently, as last time I was in the Pasadena store they had AR15 AR10 and M1A, prices were well above what they run at local gun shows, but its perhaps a start. I only go there when he has a sale on something I want that is priced lower than I can get at a gun show. Last one was my S&W M22A, a couple of years back.

On the extreme north side of town, you might try the Public National Forest range off FM1375, assuming its still open.


August 10, 2008, 05:43 PM
Could be because most "tactical rifles" are firing steel cased FMJ ammo, which causes more wear and tear on steel targets than hunting ammo. He also can't resell steel cased for what he can sell used brass for.

August 12, 2008, 03:38 PM
Sorry but the only thing that I ever really liked about the place was the aggregate in his concrete floor

August 12, 2008, 05:51 PM
A bit of history:

(Side note...I'm assuming you're referring to the Carter's on Treaschwig? If not, let me know and I'll delete the following).

The neighborhood that grew up around Carter's Country has grown quite a lot in the last 10 years. We're still sort of out in the boonies, as far as Harris County goes, but it's grown a lot. As developers began to build out in the acres behind the backstop of Carter's there were incidents reported. Gunfire that didn't stay on the range, houses hit, etc. Don't think I recall hearing that anyone ever got killed, but still, there was clearly some problem.

Whether it was the homeowners' association, the builders, or both, that sued, I don't know. It looked for awhile that the range would be shut down altogether. Eventually, however, there were compromises made. The 200 yard range was eliminated. The berms were built better, higher, and with "eyebrows". The lawsuit was dropped, and Carter's remains in business.

I have no clue whether .223's were involved in the problems that led to the lawsuit. I *can* imagine that, wishing to keep peace with the HOA and to avoid further trouble, he might be thinking to discourage their use.

It may in fact be that he just doesn't like them. But they bring in big bucks, and he sells them, so I'm thinking it's more likely a PR issue with the HOA.

Could be wrong. It has happened before :D


August 12, 2008, 08:27 PM
Hahaha I knew what you'd be complaining about when I saw the title even before I opened the thread. Yeah their policy is sort of stupid IMHO, but I can see the reason behind it. A greater volume of fire will chew up the chicken wire and clothes pins they use to hold the targets more quickly.

Now if they charge the "tactical" surcharge on a "tactical" polymer-stocked bolt gun that is functionally no different than the same gun with a wood stock, then I'd be more than a little pissed about it. But AFAIK they don't.

Deer Hunter, come to Pasadena for a visit.
Comparing a 100 yard outdoor range and a 20-yard(?) indoor range really doesn't work

The Freeholder
August 14, 2008, 05:18 PM
My favorite gun store, which I would drive 2 hours to get to, where I had spent literally hundreds of dollars on reloading gear and range time, gave me crap about EBRs once.

Just once. I haven't been back in several years. Told him why I wouldn't be as I walked out.

Another one, local store, guy that owns it is a member of my range. Same load of crap after several hundred dollars of business. I'll still shop there, but only if I'm in a heck of a hurry and whatever I'm after is cheap. The only thing that has saved him from total abandonment is that he is local.

On the other hand, Midway, Natchez and Brownells have never game me crap, and they all have my credit card on file, much to my wife's pain.

Never had any problems buying components at shows either. They don't care what I reload for or shoot.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
August 14, 2008, 05:40 PM
the "Hunting" rifles cost around two dollars or so less to shoot than so called "Tactical" rifles.

Boooo! I can think of several gun configs that I'd *love* to take in there and argue with them about, as to whether or not it's "tactical".

What about an M1 Garand, for starters? Which one is that? I can't imagine that policy lasting very long - it would hack me off enough to not go there anymore, for sure.

August 14, 2008, 06:23 PM
I can remember when Carter country charged $5, whether you had one gun or ten, Pasadena Gun Range was the same.Since I worked at Arco, now Cit-go Lyondell it was very convenient. I was using Thunder Gun Range till they jacked up their prices, now I'm going to try the indoor range on 105, $12 no matter how many guns you bring.$8 worth of gas to get there and back. I'll be checking it out in the next couple of weeks....

Deer Hunter
August 14, 2008, 07:04 PM
In any case, I'll be looking for another range next time I'll be up in Houston. Right now I'm living the good life, paying $10 to shoot all day long at a local range (7,10,20,25, 50,100 yard range) near College Station.

I don't buy the "crazy tacticool triggerhappy" theory. Everytime I have been there I have seen numerous ARs and AKs. Not a one was shooting quickly. The most unprofessional shooting I have seen was at the 7 yard pistol line.

The steel-core heavy ball we were shooting out of our Mosins would tear up a backstop much more than my 55 grain Monarch .223 ammo or my SA .308.

Maybe it's about round-count. But then again, Why don't they capitalize on it and sell .223 and 7.62x39 at a good price to sell to those whom will go through 100 rounds a session?

August 14, 2008, 07:33 PM
What range do you shoot at in College Station? Haven't been there in many years and would like to know where to shoot when I go in the future.

Deer Hunter
August 14, 2008, 07:39 PM
Arrowhead Shooting Range, between Bryan and Hearne on highway 6.

August 17, 2008, 04:08 PM
You've gotten good and courteous service at Carters Country?!!!.

August 17, 2008, 05:21 PM
WALLY please tell me (us) more about the 1375 range. I searched the internet and could not find anything. I am very interested in a range like that.

Carters has also gone up on trap/skeet. They opened up a three or four more fields and then you wait for ever for someone to throw for you. It seems like every time we've been there lately we have had to make at least one cell phone call to the store to beg for them to send someone down. They think if you have 8 or 9 rookies in a rotation it is ok. Sometimes I swear it takes an hour to get through one round. Then the employees get pissed when you don't tip very well. Service sucks there, but it is the only game near by for us, when our group comes from Kingwood, Spring, and The Woodlands.

As far as rifle, I have started sucking it up and going to American on weekdays by myself. At least you can shoot up to 600 yards there.

I noticed Gary at Sportsmans Outlet in Humble went way up on his tactical gun prices right before he burned down. His attitude is a lot like Billy's (son, not the old man) when it comes to gun shows, internet buying, etc. I wonder if his prices will increase when (or if) he reopens.

I like PSA, a bit far to drive for a short indoor range, but they don't mind if you shoot .50 BMG in there. I have been going there since you had to walk to the berm and change you target. Great memories of my father and I shooting there as a kid. Of course that may be why I overlook some other things about the place. :)

August 17, 2008, 08:03 PM

August 17, 2008, 09:27 PM
For those of you curious about the above link, I was. And since the poster (not the originator of the original thread) did not include any information about what he wanted to communicate, I will pass what I think he meant on.

The thread links to a program that has a map with only 5 of the many Houston area ranges on it. It does not have some of the ranges we have talked about here, it does have Carters and American. I guess he is fishing for someone to add those other ranges, if you have time.

August 17, 2008, 09:36 PM
this is not directed at any poster here but it is possible hes had a few bad experiences and is trying to discourage some folks from shooting there. i do things like that in my buyisness. i've seen restaurants drop the kiddy menu to get fewer poor behaving kids

August 18, 2008, 01:11 PM
Well listen to what its like here in NY, Westchester County for shooters around here. (And plese no flak for living in a "communist" state that hates the 2nd amendment, I know our gun laws suck especially our own AWB that prevents me from having a colapsable stock on my AR. And btw im 22 and im not leaving NY for another friendly state because if all gunners where to abondon NY then it would be a state full of antis ::GASP:: :eek:)

There are only 4 ranges that I know of within driving distance of my house. First one is in Ardsly which is 10-15 minutes away from my house depending on traffic. First range I even went too, its called The Westchester County Police Pistol and Rifle Range, something to that nature very long acronym is all I remember. Well the R.O. is extememly nice, let me shoot there for free for over a year because I was a family friend of some memebers. And he'd let me bring friends too without any of us paying. I'd contribute to the target donation pool and bought memebership the last 2 years. About 25 shooting booths at 25 yard range, awesome place only complain is no rifles rounds. .22 rimfires and .22 mag are ok but no other magnum loads. Membership is $125 a year w/ free targets (They have a target donation can for $ but your not required to donate).

Ok so if i want to shoot my AR I have to travel upstatish 45 minutes away to eaither The Firing Line or Blue Mountain.

The Fireing Line has weird and crazy pricing that seems to change with each visit.Its an indoor 25 yard range that makes you "register" as lifetime membership for $200 to shoot their but everytime you go you still have to pay $20 plus lead clean up fees plus tax which all comes to 30+ each range visit. No shooting without paying $200 is what really urks me, I've seen the waive the registration once (didn't know the circumstances) but me and 2 friends drove up 45+ minutes once to be told they couldnt shoot cause they didn't wana fork over $200. The first time i went there (two years ago) membership was $125 but failed to mention that until after we had rented a 9mm handgun, bought 100 rounds for it and shot for an hour and ended up with a bill for over $180 expecting a bill of maybe $20+. Yea I was pissed but had no choice but to pay up. Dont really like this range but since they suckered me I've gone there a few times. Pluses are that you can shoot any caliber you wish but unfortunatly it is loud!

Blue Mountain is a nice outdoor Westchester County operated range its 45 minutes away from me. Has small bore .22's, shotgun slugs and handguns at 10 yards, 25 yards, and 50 yards, large bore .223 - .50 at 100 yards, and a skeet range. Pretty cheap to come shoot here $8 for an hour of small bore $10 for an hour of large bore (no idea about skeet). All R.O. I've met are friendly and always helpful, the only compain about this range is they have a weird rule where you can only load 5 rounds at the small bore range, and only load ONE at a time on the large bore range. They say its for "safety", I dont understand that at all.

The only other range I know of is an indoor range that only allows only .22 and handguns, so I havn't been there yet but you guys need to realize how lucky you are even with your "crappy ranges" trust me there are worse.

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