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Is it typical for indoor ranges to charge hidden fees for hitting the carrier?

Muggs919

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Man so sorry that happened. I did the $99 range pass for the summer and they did tell me it was $50 bucks if I hit the carrier. I'm always paranoid about it. Do you remember which lane it was? I think lane 22 had a paint flake last time I was in there. I was nervous that I was going to get charged since the RSO changed while I was shooting. The first guy said don't worry about it. Luckily the 2nd guy knew about it as well and said it was not a strike.
I wanted to shoot the full auto today, but didn't want to wait the hour or more. Hopefully will get the chance again soon.
 

Elf

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I shoot there regularly but have no relationship to the staff or company; they use these automated electronic target carriers: Target retrieval systems - Meggitt Training Systems

If you've ever shot AR500 or AR550 steel you know what sort of energy a round imparts to it, and the (rather expensive) electronic target carrier that allows for cool things like moving target sequences and the motor it uses to move on the rail get beat up and fail after repeated strikes.

All I can say is on normal range days they are very explicit about the fee for hitting the target carrier and have explained it to every new shooter that has set up next to me or every guest I've brought. No idea what they did or didn't explain today during the rush of their event, but this isn't a "hidden" thing during regular business. Incidentally, the target carrier is way above where you should be aiming.

Regarding insurance, what is more reasonable? Charging only the individual people who cause the damage, or adding a middleman to the price (the insurance carrier always takes in more than they pay out, over time) and putting that cost on everyone?
 
OP
YotaNut12
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Lane 13. I totally agree with you on the insurance thing it makes more sense to hold the individual responsible, I am just new to this and I didn't know it was so expensive. I as-umed it was just a piece of metal that holds the target, not some high tech equipment. This is a new build and don't even have sights on yet. I set the thing out to like 50 feet and didn't even realize I was hitting the carrier until the RSO said to stop and put it away until I get sights on it, I know I'm an idiot for thinking I could just go off the hand guard to line up my shots but really just wanted to fire it finally and make sure it would cycle. I still feel like there should be better warning that hitting it would result in such a large fee especially for idiot newbys like myself.
 
OP
YotaNut12
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You should still look into it I'm sure with their training classes they are more forgiving plus she will get better with professional training much faster then just target practice. Plus if they wanted to really stick it to me they could have as I hit it more than the one time they charged me for. My problem is not the fee, it's that I was not warned before hand I wasn't expecting it and it really screwed up my financial situation this month I know $50 isn't much to most ppl in this hobby but it was a serious gut punch for me.
 

Elf

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I was planning on going to this range mainly to give the wife some instruction and practice. But since she is still working on hitting the side of a barn I'd be totally paranoid now about being charged for hitting the carrier.
I wouldn't worry, just bring the target in closer :)

Also as noted they have good instructors on hand there.

My problem is not the fee, it's that I was not warned before hand I wasn't expecting it and it really screwed up my financial situation this month [...]
Ouch, sorry to hear :(
 

Flymph

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I've never been to an indoor range where they don't charge you for hitting the floor, ceiling, or target holders/stands... really, you should only be hitting the target and bullet catch behind it.

I'm sorry you were unaware of this rule, but it's not exclusive to this range.
 
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Paid with a card? Dispute the fee.

If they didn't disclose the fee up front and you didn't sign an agreement, make them choke on it.
 
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Dang. 50 bux is 1/3rd of the way to a set of MBUS Pro sights... bummer.

It's not unusual for a range to charge a fee for hitting their equipment (including walls, ceiling, carrier, etc) but they make it well known w signage and keep it in reserve to discourage shenanigans and deliberate misuse in the lanes. I don't think I've ever known anyone who's ever actually been assessed the fine.
 
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I’ve been there several times and they have always been very clear there is a $50 fee if you shoot the carrier.

I think most computerized ranges are like that.
 
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You would think that anything down range ought to be bullet proof. So basically they're letting John Q. Public shoot at a $5000 computer and then expect that it will be fine? Walk out of that place and never go back.
 

MechaNik

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Maybe consider joining a private outdoor range if possible. I did just that a while back and I'm real happy, at least with the pistol bays. You're your own RSO and nobody is gonna charge you for putting one in the dirt or hitting a tree. Heck, at the rifle range I flat out broke the "carrier" for some steel targets 200 out and all I had to do was notify the president and it got taken care of. The downside is, it's kind of a senior social event so you get to talk to withered spoons wether you like it or not
 
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I've been to a number of indoor ranges (computerized and not) and all of them charged a fee if you hit the carrier or assembly.

As an FYI, I'm a member @ Safefire and they were always clear about the $50 for hitting the carrier and the RSO's always ask you to inspect it before you set-up.

BTW, even private ranges will discipline you (typically cancel your membership) if you are abusive to the range equipment.
 
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I’ve been a member there for several years and have heard them go through the speech about the charges for carrier strikes multiple times every time I’ve been in. It’s pretty universal for indoor ranges to do so and most I’ve been to have a line on the cardboard target backer that if you hit the cardboard above that line you get charged .

This does not seem unreasonable as you not only potentially damage the carrier but most definitely tore a hole in the ceiling baffles by missing your target altogether by a foot or more at 25yards or less with a rifle. This would likely have been a shot over the berm at a outdoor range which would get you kicked out anywhere I’ve shot.
 

GWS

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It was a big event and I'm betting OP got there when it was hectic and they missed having him sign off
If they didn't get his sign off they shouldn't have made him pay. From OP's description, there was no damage beyond marred paint. If that is all the case then Safe Fire is garnering a lot of bad press over a nickel's worth of paint.
 
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15 (or more) years ago I built a folding target stand for plinking. I was pretty proud of my design, the portability due to the light weight and the way the stand and base folded into each other to lay flat in the bed of my pickup. Also that I built it for almost $0 (scrapwood + hardware).

Anyway, my boys were pretty small and managed to shoot enough .22 holes in it after two or three outings that it became firewood... looked like 1000 yr old wormwood... then it fell over.

If I coulda figured-out a way to charge those two little boogers $50 a hit... ? Man, they'd still be working that off.
 
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I shoot there regularly but have no relationship to the staff or company; they use these automated electronic target carriers: Target retrieval systems - Meggitt Training Systems
...
I watched the video. There's no way the computer in that thing cost $5000. You could achieve all of that with a $6 arduino and $100 to $200 worth of parts (if you paid a lot) and another less than $50 worth of metal. For $5000, the computer should be generating holographic life like 3D zombies.
 

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