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Thread: New Indoor Range

  1. #1
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    New Indoor Range

    Greetings,
    I am just doing some research.

    1) What would you like to see in a new indoor range?

    2) What do you dislike about the current indoor range you use?

    3) How far do you have to travel to find and indoor range?

    Any input would be appreciated!

  2. #2
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    If you're going for a niche in the market, try for an indoor rifle range.

    That being said, I believe a range should be well lit, and heated. Most places exchange outside air for the ventilation, and that makes it almost unbearable in the WI winters. Very similar to being on an outdoor range.

    I travel about 30 minutes to the indoor range in the winters, and my options are incredibly limited. I live in West Bend, so MW Shooters in Lomira is the closest place for me.

    Man, I really miss Jay's in Menomonee Falls..........
    You can speak softy and carry a big stick, but I'll stick to my guns.

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  3. #3
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    I hear ya on the temp. The reason for the air exchange is an OSHA regulation. The air handling system is the most expensive part of the whole range. We are looking into better heating methods.
    Unfortunately the area of WI we are looking at is not going to help you, but thanks for the input!

  4. #4
    Regular Member oliverclotheshoff's Avatar
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    if ou are looking into building a range look into a air make up unit it will exchange outside air with the insde but it will also heat air we have one on our building due the large exhaust fans in our building creating a negative pressure making it almost impossible to open a door or a geo thermal system which uses the constant ground temp to heat during the winter and cool during the summer
    SCOTT

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  5. #5
    Founder's Club Member protias's Avatar
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    Allow handgun, rifle, and shotguns (even slugs).

    I'd travel 60 minutes to one.

    Have a class III license and rent full autos.
    No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms. Thomas Jefferson (1776)

    If you go into a store, with a gun, and rob it, you have forfeited your right to not get shot - Joe Deters, Hamilton County (Cincinnati) Prosecutor

    I ask sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people except for a few politicians. - George Mason (father of the Bill of Rights and The Virginia Declaration of Rights)

  6. #6
    McX
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    Zombies for target practice would be nice, perhapse a grille serving cheeseburgers too?

  7. #7
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    Zombies .... Oh Yeah!!

    The grill ... we looked into it and what a pain in the butt! Even for a simple setup there are so many permits and health department rules ... ugh! So we thought about catering for special events.

    The air system is pretty much set and trust me ... No one will freeze.

    What we can shoot depends on the backstop. Our current design is supposed to handle anything, but I want to try a .50 cal myself before we say it can to the general public.

    As far as full auto ... I would love to!! I am still looking at what that will take.

    Thanks guys,
    Keep it coming!!

  8. #8
    Regular Member oliverclotheshoff's Avatar
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    open up a chain of them so i can have close by in juneau county
    SCOTT

    "When guns are outlawed only outlaws will have guns"

    "When seconds count police are minutes away"

    "Dialing 911 only takes seconds but waiting for help may take the rest of your life"

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  9. #9
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    Trained Employees

    Class III will be great to rent, but make sure the employees know that some people own them LEGALLY! Employees do not need to ask to see the paperwork to "make sure you're ok".

  10. #10
    Regular Member Trip20's Avatar
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    I'm in Wausau so I will not be your customer, but here's my opinion.

    I want a place to shoot with relaxed rules. Of course I'm not speaking of relaxed safety rules (i.e., The Four Rules).

    I've been to ranges indoor and out where rapid fire was not allowed. I never went back. Part of what I do to test reliability on a new firearm is rapid fire - as fast as I can pull the trigger. If you're following the 4 basic firearm safety rules this should not be an issue. In my opinion that's all a range master should be paying attention to instead of worrying about how fast I'm pulling the trigger at a target while keeping my muzzle under control.

  11. #11
    Regular Member littlewolf's Avatar
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    IDPA type stages, Shoot house that would be cool along with the standard paper target lanes.
    Owner Little Wolf Firearms , US ARMY RETIRED 101st Airborne & 84th DIV TRNG Small arms instructor.
    Remember , Gun Control is " USING BOTH HANDS!"

  12. #12
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    Trained employees is a must. Nothing worse than some jackhole thinking they know more than you when they don't. A name badge doesn't make you smart.

    The shoot house is very expensive and the insurance is even worse ... but i have an idea or two that may work out.

    You guys are great, keep it coming!

    What do you think about inventing some new shooting games that teams can compete against each other? I'm thinking TopShot on a smaller scale.

  13. #13
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    Some family in MN took me to an indoor range, and they had a .50 available for rent.

    I'd recommend a flat rate rental for weapons, on top of the range rental. The guys up there charge me $25 for the hour, and I had my pick of weapons. Of course, I took the .50 cal. For that particular weapon, they charged by the round fired ($3 a shot, which was actually a deal when you think about it) They were set up in the back of a warehouse, and were set up for 1000 yd shots. I'll have to find out the name of the place......


    As far as rapid fire goes, I fully agree. However, I'd recommend a "certification" of some sorts for rapid fire. I can put all 19 rounds of my XDM into the paper at 25 yards, but I've been shooting for years and know how to handle my weapon. Someone shooting for the first time won't be able to (my wife for instance, bless her heart). If I can prove to your range master, under his supervision, that I am capable of rapid fire then I should be allowed to. The problem comes in when someone wants to "test out" on rapid fire and sends half the clip through the roof......... I totally understand why rapid fire isn't allowed in 95% of places, especially indoors.


    Now a grill? Now you're talking. You don't need a license to have a gas grill and do cheeseburgers on the weekends. Car dealerships and other businesses get around that all the time. They just cook a lot more food than the employees can eat, so they are forced to give them to the customers. Add an extra $5 to the range rental fee on a Saturday, and now you have a range complete with cheeseburger/chips and a soda. You need a permit from the health department when you start storing food overnight, have a menu, cook every day, yada yada yada.....


    I'm up in GB all the time for work, and always have my defensive firearm with me. Would love to stop by, say hi, and make my range bag a few rounds lighter.

    Best idea ever? A discount for opencarry.org members?
    You can speak softy and carry a big stick, but I'll stick to my guns.

    Member - Wisconsin Carry, Inc. http://ww.wisconsincarry.org
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  14. #14
    Regular Member MKEgal's Avatar
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    1) What would you like to see in a new indoor range?
    Plenty of shooting stations.
    Reliable equipment.
    Good lighting throughout the whole range - no dark spots.
    Temperature control, so it's not hot in the summer & cold in the winter.
    The ability to bring the target however close I want. (No minimum distance.)
    Staff people who are friendly & knowledgable.
    Places in the lobby to sit & chat or clean a pistol.
    Yearly membership at a reasonable rate. (Renting hourly gets expensive real fast.)
    A long airlock, so it's easy to get more than one person at a time in or out.

    An easily accessible emergency "STOP SHOOTING NOW!!" alarm that anyone can set off - make loud buzzers & flashers go off throughout the store.

    The ability (space & permission) to stand, sit, or lie down to shoot.
    Ditto for things like drawing & firing, rapid fire, double tap, & other advanced moves.
    (IDK, maybe have some way to sign people off that they've been checked out as being safe on those?? Or have a beginning range & an advanced area? Just thinking out loud, so to speak.)

    The ability to use whatever ammo I want - have a backstop that's reliable, instead of one that needs to be pampered by feeding it only certain types of bullets.

    Perhaps a separate range that's dedicated to IDPA-type setups, where a shooter can move through the room, things to hide behind, targets that move.

    Sound control. The difference between Fletcher's in Waukesha & the Deerfield range is astonishing, both inside the range & standing outside observing.


    2) What do you dislike about the current indoor range you use?
    Loud, both in the range & in the store/lobby.
    No temp control - uses outdoor air.
    Minimum distance of 10 yards.
    Doesn't allow any Russian ammo (bimetal bullets).
    Not evenly lit - some parts are fine, others rather dim.
    Only allows employees to carry.


    3) How far do you have to travel to find an indoor range?
    The closest to me is under 5 miles.
    Next closest is about 8.
    I usually go to the one that's about 15 miles away because I like the people & the whole feeling of that shop. (And even when I was just learning, they never treated me badly or talked down to me.)

    Just in the last few weeks I found a nice outdoor range in Berlin that has a yearly membership. That's a 90-minute drive for me, but even with the cost of gas round-trip if I'm there more than an hour I come out ahead compared to going to the 15-miles-away indoor range, because of their hourly range fee.
    Last edited by MKEgal; 09-08-2011 at 08:02 PM. Reason: typo
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  15. #15
    Regular Member Interceptor_Knight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrmike.me View Post
    1) What would you like to see in a new indoor range?

    2) What do you dislike about the current indoor range you use?

    3) How far do you have to travel to find and indoor range?

    Any input would be appreciated!
    What is your budget? This is a serious question.
    There currently is no modern indoor range within a convenient driving distance of Green Bay with the exception of NWTC. NWTC is not open to the public unless you take their $200+ class and then it is limited times and days.
    Unless you are going to simply have a cookie cutter short distance pistol range, an air handling system is a very small percentage of new construction range costs. Unless you are adding a range to an existing business, the range needs to have a solid business plan and be profitable. NWTC hosts LEO shooters. You need to be competitive with them AND be more attractive to the general public in order to survive. This isn't Milwaukee metro. People around here bitch about paying $50 a year to belong to a well maintained range because they can pay $3 to shoot at a public range or shoot in their buddy's back yard. Your customer base needs to be a wide demographic. Those who frequent OCDO are not going to be the demographic paying the bills. There are alot of great ideas already mentioned regarding attractive features but there is significant costs involved to implement them. I can tell you that you are not the only one with thoughts of constructing a range in the Green Bay area and at least one other one has a solid business plan and is seeking financing which is difficult in today's economy. A large scale facility is several million dollars. From what little you have said it does not appear that you are looking at such a large scale and may be adding on to a current business or you have an existing handgun range at a private club (De Pere, etc) and simply want to bring more people in. Being vague is going to get you alot of answers which really are not relevant to reality and your range.
    Quote Originally Posted by mrmike.me View Post
    Greetings,
    I am just doing some research.
    The research you should be doing is investigating existing successful ranges which operate as a business. The scope should include successful ranges within WI and outside of WI. Also, private and public indoor ranges which have floundered. Knowing why another business failed is valuable data along with why some have remained profitable.
    Last edited by Interceptor_Knight; 09-09-2011 at 05:58 AM.

  16. #16
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    Interceptor_Knight I appreciate your concerns and input but to be honest we are about a year past the points you bring up. I will say they are very valid and well thought out points. Anyone looking to open any business should yield your words. This project is three years in the making and being vague is a valuable tool right now. The control of information is important. If I made statements here and a certain permit (class 3, food, ...) did not come to reality I would be a lier. I do not want to make specific statements until there is a statement to make. I am on a team that is putting this range together and we are working very hard to give customers what they need and stay within our budget. The last thing I am going to do is make promises that our budget can't keep. For example we looked at a shoot house and it is just not doable, but as I mentioned before we may have come up with affordable alternatives. We may be able to provide some level of shoot house experience but I do not want to make that promise because is hinges on us securing a lease to an out building on the property we are leasing for the range. If the owner wants to keep that out building for himself a shoot house style attraction my not work out.

    Also thanks for the heads up but we know about the other group. We believe they are at least months behind our efforts, but anything could happen. We could have a major contractor issue or some permit get pulled (let me tell you HVAC is a nightmare for ranges). It is the risk you take with any new venture. Until we have an open date I can not say much ... I will listen to input and implement what I may have missed if I can. Honestly so far I have not heard a single thing that is not covered in our plans. This tells me all of research over the last three years has been spot on.

    Here is what I can tell you, and all of this is subject to change:
    1) We are a new facility.
    2) We will have the latest technology, much of it is first in the nation stuff (I wish I could give you details on the target systems ... so cool)
    3) LEO has show interest (to what level I can not discuss)
    4) Local government has green lighted the project (I wish I could name them, they are a great group to work with. When I can, I will tell everyone to do business in this municipality!)

    Why ask here: Opencarry.org is a wonderful place to ask questions. Here we have a collection of shooters in a local geographical area. Who better to ask about shooting then shooters? See if a shooter will not go to a range then the range has wasted it's time. When a house wife comes in to take the NRA Basic Pistol course I want her to come back and do the Winchester Marksmanship, or a ladies team pin shoot or the Personal Protection classes. I want her to become a shooter ... so if shooters do not have input then why would they come to the range. I find the mature male gun owner in WI (the demographic here) to be a perfect customer. In fact Interceptor_Knight I look forward to shaking your hand in our new range and personally thanking you and everyone else who posted here for showing interest and caring enough to post.

    I was a bit distracted by kids and cops this weekend so I forgot the name of the fellow I met from this very board at the new Sheriffs office this weekend (sorry buddy) but he was a guy I hope to see using the range. Gun lover, good head, family man, cares ( hell could have been Interceptor_Knight). That is what I find here and why I posted here instead of another forum. So keep the info rolling .... I will do my best to not let you down ... and hopefuly very soon I will get to say "Welcome to The Fa(name not yet releases due to trade marking and other legal stuff)er! Come on in and shoot your gun ... or ours!"

  17. #17
    Regular Member oliverclotheshoff's Avatar
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    a discounted memership for anyone in a firearm orginization WCI, NRA and so on i have never shot at an indoor range always out in the woods or at outdoor ranges mostly due to the fact that i dont live near one that i know of but would be willing to travel to one for a grand opening party
    SCOTT

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  18. #18
    Regular Member Interceptor_Knight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrmike.me View Post
    I was a bit distracted by kids and cops this weekend so I forgot the name of the fellow I met from this very board at the new Sheriffs office this weekend ....
    It was me and it was good to meet you.

    I sent you a PM with some info I believe you may find useful.

  19. #19
    Campaign Veteran GLOCK21GB's Avatar
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    An indoor range in the Area would be very nice, specially in the Winter when their is not much to do. You would be seeing me there on a regular basis, I don't live far from Interceptor.I look forward to your grand opening. Give me a shout if your looking for any part time employee's.
    Last edited by GLOCK21GB; 09-12-2011 at 10:26 AM.
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  20. #20
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    games are good , bowling alleys keep in business by hosting leagues

    easy to join leagues would be great

    keep your target mechanism simple , i have had the electric target retriever was not working properly at an indoor range before very frustrating , i would have rather cranked a handle to have my target come back then mess with it wasting my range time.

    as a bullet caster , it is great if you sell the lead collected down range back to the patrons at approximately scrap price they will reward you by putting it back in your back stop so you can sell it back to them again , and again , it is all about repeat business

    have discounts or monthly or annual plans , like a health club they can come shoot say for xx number of dollars a month have them sign up for it and auto withdraw it monthly till they give you a months notice then you stop, if they show up 20 times a month great it's not likely but if they do you sell them more ammo , or they deposit more lead either way your keeping people in front of your merchandise that will make them more likely to buy. may be have a few members only lanes for them so that they feel like they are well served even if the rest of your range is full

    tables to set your gear on behind the shooting lanes

    ladies nights or women's only lanes at a certain time to encourage more women to come at a time they can feel more comfortable , if you get the ladies involved and make it a family thing your more likely to get families involved if the family is involved then they are there that much more often

    if just one person in a family is involved in shooting you see them some times but if everyone is involved , i have a friend his wife and daughters also shoot 22 league they shoot 2 nights a week every week all winter long

    for food you might have an patio area , with a grill people could use or the numbers to several carry out places around you that deliver. they could bring in a sandwich or order in a pizza.
    Last edited by GreenCountyPete; 09-12-2011 at 03:57 PM.

  21. #21
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    MMM cheeseburgers

    Quote Originally Posted by McX View Post
    Zombies for target practice would be nice, perhapse a grille serving cheeseburgers too?
    Oh heck yes to the cheeseburgers!!!!!!!!!!!!

  22. #22
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    Well family is a theme we will be promoting. We have a kid friendly area and will have some Eddie Eagle stuff. As for the burgers ... maybe we can get a scout troop to cook some up.

  23. #23
    Regular Member jpm84092's Avatar
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    But Would You Travel 1500 Miles to This One?

    Quote Originally Posted by protias View Post
    Allow handgun, rifle, and shotguns (even slugs).

    I'd travel 60 minutes to one.

    Have a class III license and rent full autos.
    I know that the Salt Lake market is different than the Green Bay market, but one of the most successful indoor ranges in this area is one I am a member of. This is a 25 yard indoor range that allows pistols of any caliber, rifles of any caliber up to and including the .50 BMG, and shotguns (including slugs). They rent a large selection of pistols, rifles, and shotguns. And, they rent fully automatic firearms including an M-60 machine gun. (Brings back memories.) You must buy their ammo for rental firearms. They offer several long guns for rent that fire the .50 BMG, but do not rent a "Ma Deuce". To keep insurance fees manageable, one of their employees, who is an RSO, must be present for any fully automatic firearms shooting (if a rental) or when renting the .50 BMG firearms. If you have your own, you are on your own.

    They do heat the air in the winter, but do not cool it in the summer as SLC can see temps in the 100+ range. So on hot days, the range is not as fun as it is on not so hot days.

    Because they use cardboard target hangers (secured to a metal travel mechanism), any distance from 1 inch to 75 feet is fair game. (Although they go through a lot of target holder clips.)

    They offer a wide range of membership options so customers can tailor their resources to a suitable membership option. There are two options that offer unlimited range time, one free guest, and discounts within the store on guns, ammo, and "stuff".

    They offer NRA Classes, the UT Concealed Firearm Permit Course, and some in-store non-NRA classes taught by NRA Instructors. (One is the shooting team coach at the University of Utah.)

    They do not have a grill that offers cheeseburgers, but if they did, that would be perfect.

    And, because this is UT, their prices are competitive.
    My cats support the Second Amendment. NRA Life Member, NRA Instructor: Pistol, Rifle, & Personal Protection - NRA Certified Range Safety Officer, Utah BCI Certified Concealed Firearm Permit Instructor.
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by GLOCK21GB View Post
    Give me a shout if your looking for any part time employee's.
    You will hear me shouting soon!!

  25. #25
    Regular Member Zeus's Avatar
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    LCD screens that run a video on safety rules and a short quiz that must be passed for first time shooters before they can use the range. These monitors will also show range high scores from competitions and basic fundamentals of shooting, grip, stance, trigger squeeze etc. Also night shoot capability would be a must since most defensive engagements take place in low light.
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