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

Flymph

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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.
The bullet doesn't just stop at the carrier tho, it ricochets into the floor or ceiling.
I think you should know there are consequences for damaging the facilities, even if it's just a scratch.
 
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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.
I agree w this... to a point.

A shooting range's #1 priority is safety... that may or may not conflict w being a profitable business at times, but let's be real about it: there are risks involved. How closely do YOU monitor "strangers" when they show up at your favorite plinking spot? Or shooting w cats you've never shot w before?

They have rules for that and penalties for violating (willfully or not) those rules that can include fees or expulsion. The OP's beef was mostly centered around not being informed, and that's a legitimate beef.

However, the range personnel also have a duty to protect the business' assets and equipment. I believe THIS was where they dropped the ball and tried to pick up yardage on defense... fines and penalties are there to be a deterrant. If they're not made common knowledge through signage then they're nothing but an enforcement vehicle and have 0 effect until after-the-fact.

Then there's the issue of willful VS accidental. I have no doubt the OP didn't bounce a pill offa the carrier on purpose. But if you look at it from the range's point of view, he did bring a rifle (or carbine, whatever) and start chucking lead downrange with no sights... that could be viewed as irresponsible.

I think the real problem is the lack of information. I think EVERY range and firearms related business should have clear signage posted in conspicuous places 1) Four basics of gun safety. And 2) Clear verbiage as to range policy, especially as regards fines, fees, safety, etc*.

Take down some of the No Smoking signs, fer cryin' out loud... WE KNOW!


*NOT advocating govt regulation. Nope, not me, not EVER. Just good business practices... sometimes you have to accommodate the LCD.
 
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I’ve been shooting at Safefire since it opened. It’s always been a policy there to charge for hitting the carrier. And if you do hit the computerized portion, you’re not just paying for the replacement or repairs. You’re paying for whatever lost revenue occurs while that lane is down. The reason they require you to keep your credit/debit card behind the counter is to keep you honest. One of the things the RSO is responsible for is checking to see if there is any existing damage to the carrier or the angled protective plate before a new shooter starts engaging the target. I always do the same myself just to be sure. That said, I hit the angled plate myself once when I had an unexpected double tap using a Glock 19 with a newly installed Apex trigger. And gladly paid the $50 since I was happy it hadn’t been a few inches higher where it would have hit the computerized portion of the assembly. I personally don’t understand the instant jump to the conclusion that a company that offers an excellent facility at a reasonable cost is ripping off people merely by having a reasonable penalty for damages incurred. And it clearly cites the penalty in their mandatory waiver, right down to the $50/$5000 charge. Be sure to complete your smart waiver ahead of time!
 
OP
YotaNut12
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I don't disagree, I was irresponsible for taking my rifle and shooting it without sights. The result of which caused damage to their equipment. I never signed a waiver, just a sign in sheet. I really thought I could just get the rounds down range and into the berm with no sights. Hindsight I should have known better based on that fact alone but I was overly excited to finally get to shoot it. I did buy Magpul buis for it before but they ended up being broken out of the package and I returned them, I was planning on getting a set of Daniel defense iron sights but haven't yet. I never should have brought the rifle in without them.

I have never been to an indoor range and only been to English pit or the rock pit up on larch. English pit tells you not to hit the wooden holder but doesn't charge a fee for accidentally or incidentally hitting it. I don't think is unreasonable for them to charge $50 for hitting the carrier especially considering the cost of replacement and the impact of the lost revenue for having the lane closed. But with all the chaos during the event I was not warned about the fee. The RSO told me to check the carrier for silver streaks so I wouldn't get blamed but never told me the consequences for hitting the carrier. This is my issue. Had there been any signs or warning I would feel better about the situation in fact relived they ONLY charged me $50 when I hit it numerous times. It was out far enough I didn't see it hitting the carrier and I was not all that concerned with hitting the target, I was focused on the rifle not blowing up in my face and that it cycled. I know it was very foolish of me and I'm not proud to admit that. But it was far enough out I didn't notice it and the RSO didn't see it but heard it as they are trained/experienced to hear the sound of it hitting the steel. I get that I was an idiot for thinking I could shoot with no sights but I still believe they should have provided better warning about the fee. Whether or not it was in the rules or the waiver I never seen it until after. That's unacceptable and is why I believe I should not have been charged. As far as I am concerned anything down range is bullet proof or it wouldn't be there. I know that's an ignorant attitude and should be common sense that if you hit it you are responsible for the damage but without adequate warning I don't think it's right. They probably warn most ppl verbally but failed to for me. There really should be signs so if someone is not verbally warned they have no excuse for not knowing about the fee. Ideally on the carrier itself so everyone can see it and they are fully aware that it's a very expensive machine and striking it could break the computer inside.
 
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It's typical. Although it's not usually hidden. Several years back when I took my Ex shooting for the first time, she shot and broke the carrier. The charge was $50. :rolleyes: There was a small sign posted up by the register that I had never noticed.

Odds are pretty good your range has a sign somewhere. There's really no reason not to. At least I don't really see any value in not fully disclosing this as it's a pretty standard practice for most ranges.

Begs the question, however, as to why a busy gun range wouldn't use carriers made out of AR500. Might be a bit more expensive initially but they'd probably hold up for a lifetime.
 
OP
YotaNut12
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Well it's got a full mlok rail I figured it would be good enough to line up my shots. Why would they call all the other ranges that seems super excessive.
 
OP
YotaNut12
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Exactly my point, it didn't damage the carrier beyond scrapping the paint off! Definitely not worth a $50 fine
 

Mikej

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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
You just wait buddy-boy! "Withered Spoon" indeed. You'll be there someday, see how you like it!? :D Actually it's not terrible. Some of us feel it's better than being 30 again in these times. ;)
 

Reno

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I’m more confrontational. I’d have probably been banned for life over $50.
 
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Well it's got a full mlok rail I figured it would be good enough to line up my shots. Why would they call all the other ranges that seems super excessive.
And you figured wrong. If you had done that outside the outcome could have been way worse. I don't think you understand what a danger you are to others. Take a safety course for crying out loud.
 
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Pete F

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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.
I have a similar setup, folds up and fit into my Acura with the back seat folded down. Also had the same problem with friends putting .22 holes in it. Luckily, I carry lots of duct tape. Every once in a while, I have to replace a leg. Still $0.
 

Pete F

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I don't disagree, I was irresponsible for taking my rifle and shooting it without sights. The result of which caused damage to their equipment. I never signed a waiver, just a sign in sheet. I really thought I could just get the rounds down range and into the berm with no sights. Hindsight I should have known better based on that fact alone but I was overly excited to finally get to shoot it. I did buy Magpul buis for it before but they ended up being broken out of the package and I returned them, I was planning on getting a set of Daniel defense iron sights but haven't yet. I never should have brought the rifle in without them.

I have never been to an indoor range and only been to English pit or the rock pit up on larch. English pit tells you not to hit the wooden holder but doesn't charge a fee for accidentally or incidentally hitting it. I don't think is unreasonable for them to charge $50 for hitting the carrier especially considering the cost of replacement and the impact of the lost revenue for having the lane closed. But with all the chaos during the event I was not warned about the fee. The RSO told me to check the carrier for silver streaks so I wouldn't get blamed but never told me the consequences for hitting the carrier. This is my issue. Had there been any signs or warning I would feel better about the situation in fact relived they ONLY charged me $50 when I hit it numerous times. It was out far enough I didn't see it hitting the carrier and I was not all that concerned with hitting the target, I was focused on the rifle not blowing up in my face and that it cycled. I know it was very foolish of me and I'm not proud to admit that. But it was far enough out I didn't notice it and the RSO didn't see it but heard it as they are trained/experienced to hear the sound of it hitting the steel. I get that I was an idiot for thinking I could shoot with no sights but I still believe they should have provided better warning about the fee. Whether or not it was in the rules or the waiver I never seen it until after. That's unacceptable and is why I believe I should not have been charged. As far as I am concerned anything down range is bullet proof or it wouldn't be there. I know that's an ignorant attitude and should be common sense that if you hit it you are responsible for the damage but without adequate warning I don't think it's right. They probably warn most ppl verbally but failed to for me. There really should be signs so if someone is not verbally warned they have no excuse for not knowing about the fee. Ideally on the carrier itself so everyone can see it and they are fully aware that it's a very expensive machine and striking it could break the computer inside.
I agree with your final assessment and really, shooting without sights at an indoor or outdoor range is not good. Go to a gravel pit or open area with a berm and install some sights. They are not all that expensive for lower tier sights.

I do feel for you about the lack of rule instruction. What would you have done if they hit you wit a $5000 bill?
 
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I have a similar setup, folds up and fit into my Acura with the back seat folded down. Also had the same problem with friends putting .22 holes in it. Luckily, I carry lots of duct tape. Every once in a while, I have to replace a leg. Still $0.
I just use firing strips that I stick into a base which I weight down with rocks I find onsite. When they get shot up or have too many staples sticking out to poke me, I just replace them (they're about a buck each). Posts or holders, especially if you take out new shooters, should probably just be considered expendable.
 
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I agree with your final assessment and really, shooting without sights at an indoor or outdoor range is not good. Go to a gravel pit or open area with a berm and install some sights. They are not all that expensive for lower tier sights.

I do feel for you about the lack of rule instruction. What would you have done if they hit you wit a $5000 bill?
The typically give a speech about this policy to every first timer it is also detailed in the range rules which they usually make you read and sign electronically once a year. Because it was so busy yesterday with their special event they where handing out laminated copies of the rules to every one in line (even long time members) to read before signing in.
 

Dyjital

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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.
Never train the wife. Many arguments have been started that way. I'd gladly pay somebody a LOT to train my wife... if she would go.
 

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