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Opening an indoor gun range?

Discussion in 'General Firearms Forum' started by Valbrandr, Feb 7, 2009.

  1. Valbrandr

    Valbrandr Neocon

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    Does anyone have experience opening their own gun range? I've been to a few nicer ranges in the West, and am seriously thinking about opening one in Ohio, but I can't find anything online re: the subject.

    EDIT: I just found this: http://www.wbdg.org/design/firing_range.php

    Not lots of cash... but there's a lot of "build to suit" available right now everywhere, and the local range in Cincinnati is really slammed literally every day.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2009
  2. pesticidal

    pesticidal Eh? CLM

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    I'm with a group that has been planning one for 4 years, will be breaking ground this spring. Do you have lots of cash? You're going to need it.
     

  3. sigcalcatrant

    sigcalcatrant

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    Don't forget to add-in the cost of insurance. Will it be public or private?
     
  4. pesticidal

    pesticidal Eh? CLM

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    Insurance can be gotten through the NRA program.

    Air handling and backstops are really expensive.
     
  5. Cartouche

    Cartouche

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    I am also considering it as well. I have found a ton of info from the NRA website. I am planing on visiting a few to check out the operations. From what I have found out in the short amount of time I have looked into it are. Insurance of course, ventilation, lead removal, it seems the enviromental aspect is going to be one of the larger hurdles. Your local restrictions. Hell it is easier to open an outdoor facility than an indoor one. Of course the indoor, as why I am considering it. You don't have to drive an hour to the country to shoot. At least in my area. I have a place to shoot outdoors, just takes time to get there. I belive the convience of an in town indoor range will work, at least here anyway. Good luck. Keep us posted on the venture.
     
  6. Cartouche

    Cartouche

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    Canyou give us a readers digest version of your info, and what you went thru. Cost, restrictions, etc. I am not trying to get to personal into your buisness. Say if you had x amount of money, you can do this. I know property values vary from parts of the country, so round numbers would be good. Thanks if you don't mind. Oh, tell us about your facility. # of lanes, etc. Where is it, name. Thanks.
     
  7. CAcop

    CAcop

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    +1 to that. Whenever they clean out the lead in our backstop at the PD it costs us the equivalent of a car.
     
  8. bfg1971

    bfg1971

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    When My Dad and I thought about this we were quoted a cost of 200,000 per lane to duplicate the range we were in. This was for the nicest indoor range I have ever been to which was located in Orlando FL on International Drive unfortunately they didn't make it.
     
  9. SSN_Doc

    SSN_Doc

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    Property, zoning, insurance, hazmat fees, backstops, target movement systems, air handling eaquipment/filtration, staffing. Initial stock of ammo, targets, guns for rental, guns for sale, saftey equipment, your FFL, security systems, camera systems. Gun accessories to sell.

    I've wanted to open one as well but I'm not floating in a million plus of cash or credit worthiness. I need to find partners. I'm thinking it may be better to buy a large plot of property and open an outdoor range first, then buid the indoor range later, on site. But with an outdoor range you need a large amount of property with a large impact area behind it, and environmental impact studies/statements.
     
  10. Valbrandr

    Valbrandr Neocon

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    The issue of lead disposal is definitely a huge one.

    Friends in Germany recommended that we only allow lead-free ammo in the range (indoor), but I'm not sure that would work here even if I sold it at cost... not fair to reloaders, or those who want to practice with carry loads.

    $200k per lane, wow! Must have been nice... I'm thinking $400k per entire indoor range lol.

    http://www.nrahq.org/shootingrange/sourcebook.asp - thanks to the tipster who pointed me here.
     
  11. pesticidal

    pesticidal Eh? CLM

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    We have the land paid for, about 3 acres in an industrial park. We're going to build a 15 lane facility with additional class rooms. We formed a non-profit group, and procured some funding form the Pittman-Robertson funds. About the same amount was donated which brought us to about 2/3 of the building cost, which is expected to be about 1.75 million. The rest will be financed. We're heading to the bank this week to see what they think about our business plan, which we feel is pretty solid.

    We're working with a metro area of about 200,000 people, and we'll need about 500 members to keep it going. Our plan is to charge the adult shooters $75.00 a year for membership, and $10.00 an outing to use the range. Discounted punch tabs will be available to lower the cost of daily shooting.

    We had to go this way due to the restrictions of our non-profit status. There are numerous 501c ways to go. We are not a 501c(3), so we're working through a 3rd party non-profit so donations are deductible.
     
  12. pesticidal

    pesticidal Eh? CLM

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    Our group to to shoot at the range the police and National Guard shared. IN return, we cleaned out the trap once a year, which promptly went back into new bullets. After we lost the use of the range, they paid over 20k to have the trap cleaned "professionally".

    We also maintained the target turners, and replaced the ceiling tiles once a year. The range recently went though a renovation, but just prior to that I heard only 3 of the 10 target turners were operational.
     
  13. pesticidal

    pesticidal Eh? CLM

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    If you run a business plan, I think you'll find it nearly impossible to open a for-profit range and have it give you a return on investment.
     
  14. Valbrandr

    Valbrandr Neocon

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    Ouch... wow.

    Thanks for the great information however, extremely invaluable to us!
     
  15. Andrewsky

    Andrewsky

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    Don't make your range one of those that charges ridiculous range fees and has a lot of stupid rules. Business will be better.:wavey:
     
  16. Valbrandr

    Valbrandr Neocon

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    Well we did the math, and pesticidal is right... doesn't add up, even with retail, for a long, long time.

    My requirement was for this specific Savage "wet" system: http://www.savagerangesystems.com/ranges.php

    The range I saw this in was exceptionally clean.

    We confirmed that this system installed for 14 lanes is over $1M
     
  17. pesticidal

    pesticidal Eh? CLM

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    We looked at the Savage system. Really nice, but expensive. We're going with shredded rubber for a backstop.
     
  18. Lotus000

    Lotus000

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    There are a lot of costs that you don't think about initially, like lead removal, hazmat fees, insurance is HUGE, obviously.

    I'd also make it an LLC so that, God forbid something awful happened at the range, you as a private entity would still have your own assets separate from the corporation.
     
  19. gunsgunsgunsgun

    gunsgunsgunsgun

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    Well like it was said earlier, figure out the cost per outing for the customer. That will effect the amount of use your range will recieve. There was a place around here with the savage bullet trap (the water fall to keep dust down). the range itself was awsome and the cleanest range I have been to, but it cost way too much to shoot there, even when ammo was cheap. I just think that if you make it cheap to rent the lanes and sell ammo then you should be fine. The other indoor range is old and dirty but its reasonable to rent lanes. though they charge a premium for there ammo. I shoot mostly at a private club that has a run down indoor range that I can access 24/7 not the best place ever but not the worst I have shot at. I mainly choose my range based on price, especially since the rise in ammo which makes things add up quick. Think of it like mcdonalds sell as much as you can as cheap as you can.
     
  20. partsman

    partsman

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    i dont know why you guys are makeing a big deal out of the led removel, we have 6 lane range and you put on a has mat suit where a resperator and grab some shovels and buckets then you take the led to the scrap yard.
    i had my blood checked and my level are in the normal range.

    some of you havent a clue on what it really takes to run a range. the backstop is the most expensive part but they can be found used at a big saveing.
    the vent system can also be found used if you look.
    where i work they had the building they were able to get used backstop and vent system. and i dont think they have more than $135,000 into it.
    you can save a huge amount of money if you shop. do what it takes to get open and get cash flow and then once it takes off and you have a clientel.
    you can always upgrade later...

    the most important thing you need to before a bullet is fired get yourself incorperated....
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2009