February 1, 2010

890 words 5 mins read

Review: Safe Shot Indoor Range in Reno, NV

Safe Shot Indoor Range

9425 Double R Blvd

Reno, NV 89521


Very short summary: DO NOT GO UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE. Ultra Expensive. Ultra Black Lung.

Long Version: I’m out more money than I care to admit and 2 days later I’m still coughing from the case of black/smoker’s lung I was given while in there. But I’m getting ahead of myself, let’s go back to the beginning.

Safe Shot

We’re up in Tahoe, so it is 30-45 minutes to get to Reno, then another 45 minutes to get out to the Washoe County Range near Pyramid Lake. That is quite a long round trip, so when we heard that an indoor range was going to open in Reno, we were quite excited. Low and behold, SafeShot Indoor Range appears on scene in South Reno, an excellent location for us to visit on a regular basis. So this past weekend we went to try it out for the first time.

The first thing you have to do is “check-in”. In this process you have to sign a little waver (standard liability disclaimer) and give then your name, address, and driver’s license. This is a little displeasing, but John and I were willing to accept it as a small price to pay. The real problem is that the check-in process was extremely slow. Waiting for other people and getting our own stuff done took at least 20 minutes.

The real shocker comes when you see their prices, which is something you won’t find on their website and for good reason it turns out. Range fee’s are $15, and that is palatable, but nothing else is. For a 30 round bag of 9mm it is $20; $25 for 40cal; $25 for .223, $35 for 7.62×39 — just to name a few prices. Oh, while we’re on the topic of prices, standard paper targets are $2 each! Give me a freaking break! But at least you can bring in your own targets. That leads me back to the ammo, you can’t bring in your own, PERIOD.

This range only got permission to exist, because it is “green” and lead free, and if the county finds even a single lead round, they can be closed down (or so we were told). I can accept that and their not wanting outside ammo because you can’t be sure, but their prices are outrageous. The cashier admitted to us that they are charging us the same for 30 rounds, that you can go buy 50 elsewhere because they “have to make money too”. I can accept a 10% even possibly a 25% markup, but nearly 100% markup? That is insane.

I went and found the manufacturer’s own web store to check their prices. The .223 costs are of course “full price” here on the website, but still cheaper than what Safe Shot sells them for. Granted .223 is expensive, so I can give them concession that being a not “bad” deal. But let’s go look at 9mm and find that is $3-4 cheaper directly from the manufacturer. Now Safe Shot is buying in bulk, at wholesaler prices, not web store retail costs. So they are making that difference I point out, then a significant sum more.

Part of the range, after we were done. You can see some of the smoke.

Even if they reduce the costs, we won’t be going back due to the black lung. In short, the ventilation is TERRIBLE (or the opposite of sucks (Editor’s note: blows), because if it actually sucked it would be working properly). At the most, there were 4 shooters on the range (of 10 lanes) including John and myself. According to the employee there, that was “busier than normal” as an excuse as to why it was so smokey. I never worked in a coal mine nor have I smoked but I am a fairly experienced shooter, I guess my lungs are a little more fragile than some but that was NOT COOL. The smoke was bad enough to mildly obscure the target at 25 yards, at many points in time. Of course, as soon as we got outside of the range, we started coughing (this was Saturday). As of Monday morning, I’m still coughing sporadically because of the crap. John is doing a bit better than I, though as he put it on Saturday after blowing his nose, it “looked like [he] snorted a lump of charcoal”.

In the end, Safe Shot Indoor Range in Reno is simply not worth visiting. They have gun rentals, which is nice, and other amenities like a store (which we didn’t investigate), but those positives don’t make up for the downsides. The cost is simply too much, even for casual use. Between John and myself the cost was nearly $300. My portion alone (which consisted of 2 targets, range fees, 2 30 round bags of 9mm and 3 30 round bags of .223) was just a slight over $150 (don’t forget tax). We figured that I could have done the exact same for $70 or less at the Washoe County Range, including gas and MSRP ammo (not even bulk purchase). Plus I don’t like paying for an hour at the range and days of coughing.

So please, save yourself the suffering and empty wallet, don’t go to Safe Shot Indoor Range.