Gun Stores and Indoor Ranges


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RangeDS
January 11, 2012, 09:17 AM
I see reviews for indoor ranges and folks report that the facility was "safe". Having just completed what I believe to be a safe state-of-the-art 15,000 square foot store and indoor range, I am curious to know opinions.

What criteria or conditions make a gun store and indoor range feel safe in your opinion?

Thanks,
Range Development Services (http://www.rangedevelopmentservices.com)

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MtnCreek
January 11, 2012, 09:24 AM
Air quality is my biggest concern w/ indoor ranges.

Not really a design feature, but atmosphere has a big impact on safety IMHO.

mdauben
January 11, 2012, 10:41 AM
What criteria or conditions make a gun store and indoor range feel safe in your opinion?
For me, more than anything its the other people using the range. If they are horsing around, or handling their guns in an unsafe manner (particularly poor muzzle control) I will usually leave, whether I am done myself or not. That said, I have only run into this problem once or twice in my life.

Der Stro
January 11, 2012, 11:13 AM
Indeed, for me the only things I REALLY like about an indoor range are strong, solid, lane dividers and constantly circulating air. In my opinion there really isn't a design feature to make a range "feel safe" but it's more of a welcoming and friendly staff plus a decent amount of privacy that makes me feel at ease at the range. The only time I didn't feel completely at ease on the firing line was an indoor range where the guy at the counter acted like he was doing me some huge favor to rent a handgun, the RSO looked like he would rather shoot himself in the foot then hang around one more minute, and they kept calling random cease-fires that would last 15-20 minutes so the RSO could go disappear somewhere. It's less of a facility issue, and more of a staffing one.

RangeDS: Looking at the Lake Norman location there is nothing offhand that would put me off, it all looks very clean. I don't live too far away, I'll have to come out sometime and check it out.

O C
January 11, 2012, 11:26 AM
Air quality, and lighting, rank right up there. Those are things that count no matter the quality of the staff. Now, throw in a competent, safety minded staff, and you won't have enough lanes to fill the need.

Master Blaster
January 11, 2012, 11:37 AM
Properly trained and Curteous range officer paying attention to what the shooters are doing (not fauning over the girl with big breasts in the low cut top). A quick but thorough safety briefing for new shooters. No machinegun rentals to Idiots who have never fired a gun before.
Proper air circulation so I don't get lead poisoning (that sweet taste in the back of your throat is obvious) while I am shooting.

mgmorden
January 11, 2012, 01:55 PM
Properly trained and Curteous range officer paying attention to what the shooters are doing (not fauning over the girl with big breasts in the low cut top). A quick but thorough safety briefing for new shooters. No machinegun rentals to Idiots who have never fired a gun before.
Proper air circulation so I don't get lead poisoning (that sweet taste in the back of your throat is obvious) while I am shooting.

I often wonder if this is a local thing or not, but I've been to at least half a dozen different ranges here and there and none have EVER had a "range officer" watching anything (competitions excepted). From my perspective I've only even heard such a thing mentioned on the net.

Tcruse
January 11, 2012, 02:01 PM
The staff and air quality are both very important. Also, having reasonable rules and explanation as to why. For example one range started out as no ammo wi any steel. They included case, jacket, and bullet. Their claim was that it damage their backstop and was unsafe. Well, I think that everybody can agree that steel core and hard steel bullets may damage backstop. Using bullets that have bimetal jackets do not pose any more danger that copper jackets. Steel cased ammo does not affect the backstop.

Also allowing most all hunting rifles, but not fn57 seems to also not make sense.

The good news is that the staff at this facility were much more experienced than the published rules and seem to be reasonable. I have not sen anyone using Tula/Brown Bear ammo being stopped.

I usually do not shoot stell cased ammo because I recover my brass to donate to some friends that reload. I may have shot some bimetal jacketted bullets but not sure since I do not check all ammo.

I would also price the ammo on sale at the range at a price comparable to the other sources. Many would see not having to stop off to purchase ammo on the way to the range as a reason to choose your range over one of the others.

chrt396
January 11, 2012, 03:00 PM
In my neck of the woods..we have a few indoor ranges. Two of the better ones are the ones I visit. One is an outdoor range with rifle as well as shotgun and pistol ranges with a host of educational programs and various disciplines offered. Safety is HUGE at the range. Well staffed with R.O.'s that for the most part spend most of their time instructing newer shooters on certain techniques to improve their shooting..and the other part of their time is spent correcting shooters that can't read signs posted about range safety rules. I appreciate the RO's watching out for these people. Many guys will call them Range Nazis. I would rather have someone watching and correcting than to have a shooter pointing their pistol down the shooters line or shooting a weapon that they cannot control. You will get the occasional bad ass RO who just wants to jump all over people, but this is rare. All the RO's are volunteers, so you just have to be a little tolerant. Majority of the time..they're good guys. The complaints are usually from the young guy who wants to show his girlfriend or buddy just how bad ass he is and starts rapid firing or double tapping..blowing up the target stands..wood splintering everywhere. He gets publically called out..gets embarrassed or P.O.'d and leaves. In many cases, the RO doesn't have to say a word. The members will correct the situation themselves by teaching or instructing the shooter who is in violation. This range costs $20 for all day..members shoot for $3 all day. This is a GREAT value if you shoot a great deal like I do.I paid $180 (before the membership fee went up). That $180 included my $20 range fee that day. I shoot 60-70 times per year..or more. Take 65 x $20 = $1300. Take $3 X 65= $195 plus the $160 membership fee and that equals $355. THAT is a great savings!!!!!

The other range is a indoor range and is owned by the police. Not the department, but by the police themselves. It was opened in the 80's and has done pretty well. It has about 25 lanes, well ventillated and well maintained. It cost $12 to shoot all day. I have been there twice..and NO R.O.'s are watching and it seems as if there are few rules to follow. They don't ask about your experience or what you are shooting that day. Rapid fire, double taps and anarchy are permitted. Maybe cuz' it's owned by the police, the typical thug doesn't visit..therefore eliminating the need for constant supervision. I just don't know, but I was amazed at how well behaved every shooter seemed to be when I was last there.

btg3
January 11, 2012, 04:18 PM
The staff and air quality are both very important. Also, having reasonable rules and explanation as to why.

...I would also price the ammo on sale at the range at a price comparable to the other sources. Many would see not having to stop off to purchase ammo on the way to the range as a reason to choose your range over one of the others.

Well managed indoor ranges typically work with an ammo supplier to keep costs at a competitive level.

Some ranges require TMJ ammo as part of their effort to assure good air quality. Even FMJ leaves a lead vapor trail when fired. TMJ is pricier that what you might choose to shoot at an outdoor range.

Ranges that fail to explain why they have certain rules miss an opportunity.

Range-goers concerned about air quality need to know how to verify the quality of air at their range. Has anyone gone beyond just taking someone's word for it? Here's some info worth reading...

http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/2009-136/pdfs/2009-136.pdf

JohnBT
January 11, 2012, 08:53 PM
"Range Development Services"

I think you might have a nice site, but I can't halfway read the dark print on the the dark background. And it's small dark print. CUT IT OUT. Thank you.

I don't know what I like in an indoor range because the only one here is dirty, cold, smoky, hot and terrible, so I've been shooting outdoors for decades. That will change when the new one opens in early March.

http://colonialshooting.com

Lex Luthier
January 11, 2012, 09:31 PM
I got to take a little road trip last weekend to a small Minnesota town and go plinking.

The range was small (6 lanes) but immaculately clean, and the striking feature was a water stream at the way back. It was pitched about 45 degrees and flowed briskly toward us shooters, caught in a trough and I assume was recirculated somehow. The air was fresh and constantly moving.

They also had an impressive collection of WW2 items and weapons.

RangeDS
January 12, 2012, 09:29 AM
Thanks JohnBT. I checked in on multiple computers and don't see issues with size and color. Both are macs though. Does anyone else have trouble viewing our site?
Range Development Services (http://www.rangedevelopmentservices.com) Got to get it right!

Colonial Shooting looks NICE! Once open I'd like a tour, are you in that project somehow? Do you know the owners?

We looked at converting some buildings but nothing was remotely suitable. Cost was the same and with new construction we knew what we had going in to the process.

mgmorden
January 12, 2012, 09:55 AM
Thanks JohnBT. I checked in on multiple computers and don't see issues with size and color. Both are macs though. Does anyone else have trouble viewing our site?
Range Development Services Got to get it right!

There looks to be some problem with your formatting on Internet Explorer. The sight appears to work fine in both Google Chrome and Firefox.

Dr.Zubrato
January 12, 2012, 11:36 AM
Reasonable staff as mentioned. I dont attend ranges where only 3 rds per magazine is a rule, and I like RO's to notice some ppl can rapid fire 15 rds at 35 ft into 1-2 inch group are not the same as the guy holding a gun sideways rapid firing at the ground, ceiling, and target carriers. Those RO's can make or break a great range day.

gc70
January 12, 2012, 12:53 PM
What criteria or conditions make a gun store and indoor range feel safe in your opinion?

(1) Attentive staff to actively control the range area.
(2) Good lighting in the range area so people can see what they are doing.
(3) Some separation (more than windows) of the range area from the retail area.

The separation of the range and retail areas is probably just my pet peeve. I understand that making the range area visible from the retail area helps to entice customers to use the range. Notwithstanding the safety precautions, the hair on my neck still stands up whenever I look up from a retail display to see a range user's gun pointing at me.

RangeDS
January 12, 2012, 04:30 PM
Interesting to hear the feedback on air quality. Seems like when I'm at the range its the last thing on the minds of shooters.

HERE are some images of our air units and equipment (http://www.rangedevelopmentservices.com/shooting-range-hvac). They push 24,000 CFMs (your home HVAC pushes less than 2,000).

The radial diffusers (1/4 round equipment mounted above the viewing area wall) push a floor to ceiling air wall.

And to your point, gc70, our retail area has two walls (with windows for safety and marketing) between the range and the retail area. Can't hear shooting in the retail area at all.

340PD
January 12, 2012, 05:18 PM
Lex luthier: As a RSO at a local range in the Twin Cities we do have a state of the art air exchange center. We do have at least two RSO's in the 12 bay shooting area at all times. There is also a separate free fully stocked cleaning room complete with supplys. We have 10 bays with 25 yd. and 2 bays with 50 yd. lanes. We do not allow any silhouette targets. We do not allow any low rider pants or sideways caps. We do have a lot of couples shooting. The down side is we are sharing the facility with three police depts. and local sky marshals. This means we are only open to the public Sat. 8-2 and the first Tues of each month 6-9. Come give us a visit.

http://www.southmetrotraining.com/

gc70
January 12, 2012, 10:40 PM
We do not allow any silhouette targets.

Sad and irrational - and I bet that restriction does not apply to the LEO users.

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