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Review of The Range Austin

Discussion in 'Austin' started by JWBost, Dec 26, 2017.

  1. JWBost

    JWBost New Member

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    Dec 24, 2017
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    This is a review of the Range at Austin.

    I’m a member of the Range.

    The Range is a really nice range, very clean with good acoustics. The staff are very cool and knowledgable.

    The Range has a lot of beginners and persons looking to get into the shooting sports. The RSOs are really good at handling and teaching new/inexperienced shooters.

    One of the ways that the Range is really accommodating to new and inexperienced shooters is the design of the target holders. It’s cardboard that’s held by a clip. So if a new shooter shoots the target holder, the holder doesn’t go down. Another upside to this design is that you can shoot your shotgun with buckshot or birdshot, without fear of damaging the target holder.

    There are not too many rifle shooters at the Range. The issue with the Range is that they have the wrong bench top in their rifle bays, so you can really only shoot rifle while standing. One of the reps said that the Range is talking to Action Targets to correct that issue.

    The Range’s rifle bay has the moving and spinning target holders, so you can practice shooting at a moving target. That alone is worth the price of admission.

    You can also shoot anything up to 50 cal in the rifle range. Actually, you can also shoot anything in the pistol lanes too. I’ve seen guys shoot 308 in the pistol lanes. You can not shoot pistols in the rifle lanes. The Range is one of the few places in Austin where you can actually shoot a 50 cal. BoTW and Reds doesn't allow 50 cal.

    The Range allows any variety of NFA, including silencers and machine guns. I bring my silencers, and the first time they checked my form 4s. Afterwards, no one has ever asked again. They also rent machine guns. Their machine gun rentals are quite reasonable.

    In my mind, one of two major downsides to the Range, which has prevented some of my friends from joining, is that they don’t allow reloads. They only allow new ammo. The pistol lanes also have a gutter in front of each lane where brass falls into, so you can’t recover the brass, even if you wanted to. Management will tell you that it’s an insurance issue, but every indoor and outdoor range in the central Texas area allows reloads without a problem (or just get different insurance). I think the real purpose of this policy is to sell ammo or to dissuade experienced shooters, since only experienced shooters are reloaders.

    The second downside is a traffic flow problem: that darn exit that leads to I-35. When you exit the Range parking lot, you have to take a right turn out of the parking lot. Right in front of you is the on ramp to I-35, but you can’t get on the on ramp because there are blockades. So you have to drive all the way up to William Cannon and then get onto 35. WC is always backed up and jammed, and the on ramp is after the traffic light. If the planners had foreseen this when they planned the parking lot and exit, they could have moved the parking lot exit a little farther to the south part of the property. This would allow cars exiting the Range parking lot to immediately get onto I-35. I used to shoot multiple times a month, but that darn traffic jam every single time afterwards became too annoying to bear.

    This is more of an issue for members who shoot here frequently and have to deal with the traffic flow. I’ve spoken to other members who also share this annoyance. I’m not sure they can fix it though, because of zoning and permit issues. It’ll be interesting to see how many people renew their memberships come renewal time. I’ll renew mine.

    According to one of the RSOs, the Range has a policy for cycling groups of customers when it’s super busy. If the range is busy, and there’s a waitlist, you are supposed to only shoot for an hour. If you want to shoot after your hour is up, you have to get off the lane, and get back on the list. I’ve never been asked leave a lane for another shooter. If this policy is, in fact, true, then it’s probably the Ranges way of catering to new and inexperienced shooters, who usually don’t shoot more than a rented handgun and few boxes of ammo.

    You can often get insight into how well run and clean a place is by how well they maintain their bathroom. At the Range, the bathroom is spotless. Also, not only is there a clean bathroom to wash your hands after a session, there’s also a wash sink, out in the common area, to wash your hands after shooting.

    I don’t know how well their retail is doing. I shoot there like once or twice a month nowadays, so I’m not there all the time. But when I’m there, I never see anyone buying guns, and I’ve been a member since the beginning. The problem is that their gun prices are way too high. Not Gander Mountain high, but higher than everyone else in town, including McBrides and Reds. Their black Friday ‘special’ packages were $100-$200 more expensive than on gunbroker, to give you an idea.

    I’m also not sure of their retail strategy. It seems a bit confused. The Range is definitely geared towards beginner and inexperienced shooters, as you can deduce by some of their policies, but their retail is geared towards experienced shooters. A beginner probably isn’t going to buy a Noveske, a semi SAW, a zenith HK clone with a pistol brace, a high end 1911, etc.

    Their retail area is the nicest and most modern of any gun store I’ve been to. I’ve seen their staff interact with customers, and the staff are very nice and friendly and are not the pushy know-it-all type of gun clerk.

    The Range is has an online check in, if you’re a member. On the weekends, they can get packed, and checking in online is awesome.

    Lastly, the pricing to shoot. The Range gets an unfair rap for being expensive, but, its not that expensive, comparatively. For example, Nardis in SA is like $500 a year. The Range standard membership is like $500 a year also (unless you were one of the first to join and got their discounted rates, which is why I’lll renew). For non members, the first shooter is $25/hr for pistol, $30/hr for rifle, but each additional shooter is only $10, up to four total. So the pricing is pretty fair and comparable to other indoor ranges. The ‘expensive’ rap is unfair, although, it doesn’t help their reputation for being expensive when they’re holding Ferrari days (I have no idea what Ferraris have to do with shooting).

    Also, if you’ve ever been to KCR or Big Sandy to rent machine guns, you’ll see that the Range has some pretty reasonable machine gun rental prices. You rent a MG, buy their ammo (which is very reasonably priced), they assign you a personal RSO, and you get to shoot the MG for as long as you buy their ammo. For comparison, 9mm is like $15 a box and the full auto rental is $75 an hour. At KCR, one 30 round magazine of 9mm will run like $30-$40.

    Where it gets really expensive is if you join the VIP. The VIP membership is something like $7500 initiation and then like $3000 a year, thereafter, and includes the spouse and two dependents. I wouldn’t mind joining the VIP area if they allowed unlimited free passes for guests (and fixed the traffic flow issue). According to one of the reps, they had discussed the idea of letting VIP members bring unlimited guests, but that idea was shot down. At that price, I would always be shooting alone in the VIP.

    I hope that the Range is successful. I like shooting there, the staff is cool, the range is nice, and my wife will only shoot at the Range.

    Overall, I’m a big fan of the Range. I hope they continue to improve. All businesses have room for improvement, and the Range is making a concerted effort to constantly improve. Austin needs some more shooting choices, and it’s a cool place to take a date/girlfriend/wife to a date night shooting experience.
     


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  2. benenglish

    benenglish Lifetime Supporter Staff Member Lifetime Member Admin

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    I like places such as you describe and wish them all the best. They sound pretty good. So, don't take this as me being excessively snarky. That's not my intention.
    So, I can't shoot my .308 pistol on the rifle range. OK, then what's the maximum distance available on the pistol range?
    Deal killer. :( If I brought it from home, how do they ensure that my ammo is new and not reloaded?
    What's their policy on nets? Many pistol shooters clamp a net to their bench so that their empties never hit the floor.

    Do they have any problem with revolver shooters handling and putting away their own fired cases?
     
  3. Moonpie

    Moonpie TGT Addict Lifetime Member

    Moonclips from my cold dead hands!
     
  4. JWBost

    JWBost New Member

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    Dec 24, 2017
    Austin
    Benenglish,

    Question 1. 25 yards, pistol. What you bring up is one of those grey areas. I’ve shot my TC Encore 308 in the rifle lane, but the RSO wasn’t sure and had to ask the front desk. They said it’s fine. You just can’t bring a Glock 17 to the rifle lane.

    Question 2. It’s done on an eyeball and honor system. Being a reloader, myself, you can tell when ammo has been reloaded, unless the reloader goes through the trouble of putting it in a factory box. You can’t blame the RSO for enforcing the rules that management makes up.

    Question 3. Yes. I’ve seen guys use nets, both in front of the gutter and those Calwell nets that catch ejected brass at 3 o’clock. I pick up my brass. I’ve learned how to position myself so the brass bounces back off the side wall. There’s no rule against picking up brass. The RSOs are really cool. They’ll even let me pick up all the loose brass laying around.
     
  5. grumper

    grumper Well-Known

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    Austin
    How long are the rifle lanes that allow .50 BMG?

    Edit: Oh NVM, the website says 100 yards are available for a slightly higher fee. But the thing you mentioned about the shooting benches being non-existent on the rifle lanes sucks.

    Can just forget about trying to sight in one of those 30lb rifles trying to hold it steady standing up.
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2017
  6. JWBost

    JWBost New Member

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    Dec 24, 2017
    Austin
    100 yards. I’ve never seen an indoor range that was longer than 100 yards, and I’ve been to a lot of ranges all over the country.

    On a side note, one of the RSOs and I was watching a guy sight in his brand new 338 LapuaMag on one of the pistol lanes. I guess he wanted to get on paper while he was waiting on a rifle lane to open. So, I’m pretty sure you can also shoot anything in the pistol lanes, too.
     
  7. Moonpie

    Moonpie TGT Addict Lifetime Member

    Wuss.
     
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  8. grumper

    grumper Well-Known

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    Me needs to eats me spinach. But shoot them up with 'roids first.
     
  9. zincwarrior

    zincwarrior TGT Addict

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    Shooting lapuas and 7.62s in an indoor range? That sounds...loud.
     
  10. Moonpie

    Moonpie TGT Addict Lifetime Member


    I heard you shot those one handed?
     


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