Submitted by Catherine Kim
Living in a heavily populated area such as Southern California, I do not have the treat of stepping outside to shoot my firearms. In my backyard I have a 20 yard bow range with 3D targets, but some days I just want to shoot my guns and smell the blissful aroma of gun powder lingering in the air.
So, here are my options-
- I could say screw it and blast off some rounds, but that probably wouldn’t be a good idea, so we’ll just scratch that one.
- Drive about 2 hours to BLM.
- Drive about 1.5 hours to the closest outdoor range.
- Drive a few minutes to the closest indoor handgun range.
- Drive 25 minutes to a new indoor handgun, rifle, and shotgun range.
Wednesday afternoon on August 8, 2012 I rallied up my coworkers and their kids and decided we would try the new range (option 5). I guess I’m kind of known as the adventurer in the office… the girl who likes to shoot guns, hunt, scuba dive, and jump out of perfectly running planes. It’s always a great feeling when you take people who have never shot before because they get hooked! One advantage of me taking people is they look at how small I am and figure, hey if Catherine can do it, then so can I. I am pretty pint sized and girly.
On the roll call I had the following-
- Female coworker – 2nd time shooting (1st time was with me)
- Male coworker – Shot many times
- His teenage son – Shot very few times
- His son’s teenage friend from Germany – Never shot before, unless you count Call of Duty ;)
- Another male coworker – Either had never shot or did when he was very young
So the idea of being in a controlled environment with safety protocols was first choice, plus wanting to go after work really limited our choices. It had to be local, but capable of shooting a variety of firearms. For me, these are really 2 features I look for when choosing an indoor range-
- Staff / Customer support
We drove to Field Time Target & Training (FTT&T) located in Stanton, CA. It’s nestled within an industrial area of Orange County. Surrounding the range are various manufacturing companies and machine shops. This was my second visit to FTT&T. My first visit was at their grand opening. They had phenomenal raffle prizes, discounts on membership, and an awesome sale on their remanufactured ammo. To date, I have purchased thousands of their rounds and I absolutely love their ammo for target practice. I have had no issues with their 9mm, .45 and .223. It is high quality and cheap. Recently having visited their booth at the gun show, they explained their ammo will hit the shelves with the “American Legacy” brand. I’ve included a photo below.
* Tip: For every 500 round box of ammo you purchase you are entered in a raffle for a new gun every month. Check out their website to see the monthly giveaway.
I understand why many ranges have poor attitudes. They are tired of the wannabes gangsters and idiots; however, that number of those types of customers is low (at least when I analyzed the ranges I’ve been to). A gun range is still a business. Their ultimate goal is to bring in revenue. I think most will find profits can be greatly increased when customers rent guns, buy ammo, and enroll in classes. If you put on this, “I know everything and you don’t so I’m better than you” attitude, your customers (generally male) are going to react with their prideful attitude in retort. Ask customers if they’ve shot a certain kind of gun that you have for rent, tell them about your ammo and classes, and spread the knowledge. After all, we are all gun enthusiasts, so why be rude.
First time shooters are nervous. They don’t know what to expect. That is why the staff and customer support play such a huge role in helping determine whether people will return or not. You don’t want a bunch of rude pricks, because that really ruins the experience. FTT&T was exact opposite. Everyone was attentive to needs and answering questions. Their hospitality played a key role in ensuring my guests would return. From the person at the counter to the employees on the range, they gave excellent support. Many times I try to analyze whether I’m just being treated nicely because I am a female, but that was not the case. I noticed everyone received equal service. The employees on the range would walk up to people, start up conversations on their guns, help people, and sweep the casings.
Their 21,000 sq ft facility is new, modern, and beautiful. I have not been into a range where everything is so “pretty.” From the décor to the room layout it is very nice. They offer a large gun rental selection from iconic handguns to tactical rifles. There are training classrooms upstairs, a storefront, large break room, and two range rooms. Each station has an electronic target system where you can easily program your own distances, similar to your car radio, to bring back and forth your target. There is a touch button for lighting amongst other features. Another benefit was the wide space from the shooter area to the back tables.
If I were to nitpick, there are only 3 things on my wish list. First, I wish the range was longer than 25 yards, but it is an indoor range, so I can’t complain. Second, better air conditioning in the range (which has been a lot better). Lastly, I think they should think about expanding the front room with a show floor to sell more gear. I think they could generate more money by selling hunting clothes, gun stuff, cleaning gear, gift cards, patriotic wear, etc…
As a final note, during my visit I found the customers were also friendly. Perhaps all the stars were aligned perfect for my visit. There were two NRA instructors testing out a new 45-70 rifle in preparation for an Elk hunt. He had mentioned to me that what I was doing was great… bringing adults and kids to shoot, so he let everyone in my party fire off his rifle. Wow, that thing was sweet and surprisingly smooth. So, customers (you) can also make a difference to someone else’s experience. Be kind and enjoy being around the company of fellow gun lovers. J
So overall, I really liked this place. I’m actually planning to return to it tonight!
More information can be found at-
Field Time Target & Training
8230 Electric Avenue
Stanton, CA 90680