9301 Zambito Ave, Jacksonville, FL | Directions 3221030.262070 -81.806615
Neighborhoods: Southwest, Herlong
The grass is greener on the other side – I went there a few years back and vowed to never go back. Unfortunately for me and the others here in Jacksonville, there are no other options. You do you have to watch a video regardless of experience with firearms. There are zero silhouettes allowed on the range. The biggest downfall for the range is the staff. They are rude, obnoxious, and basically just suck the fun out of being there. On the contrary, I went back there with a buddy that is a member and we shot on the member only ranges. There they seem to leave you alone and not bug you. It makes the day much for pleasurable. I have been to plenty of public ranges and this is by far the worse.
Not really my cup of tea. – Gateway Rifle & Pistol club = My experience.
First and foremost I will tell you, I do not shoot at many civilian ranges. I have been to 3 in this area, and several in other states (so I am by no means an expert in civilian ranges). I am however a fully qualified small arms instructor in the military, and I hold many certifications and qualifications within the military security and anti-terrorism fields.
First when you check in you have to watch a 20 minute video that is horribly out of date, then you must take a 20 question test. (This is a one time deal if I understood correctly.) The range itself is not too bad, its very antiquated or at least the parts your allowed to use as a "daily shooter" and not a life or annual member. (No moving or electric targets, pop ups, etc..) Most of the target holders were pretty beat up and in ill-repair. While it's understandable those things take damage, it made me wonder how much maintenance is performed on the stands on a regular basis. Again this was only on the ranges I was allowed to use, as you have to be a full member to enjoy any of the other ranges. The ones I was told I could use were the 7, 15, and 25/50 pistol lines and the 100 yard line rifle.
After I went through the safety video I went to the 100 yard line to set up a target when I was told I could not use my standard silhouette targets that are similar to the ones I use at work because of the "media factor". The club didn't want the media to arrive and take pictures of someone shooting a silhouette style target. I don't even know what to say to that. I however complied with instructions because its an expensive place to shoot and I didn't want to get kicked out over something like that.
The final thing I noticed was there were club "members" who were constantly driving around on little work vehicles stopping to check on you. Which is understandable especially if its open to the general public and you don't know the shooting skill of the folks coming in. I think there has to come a point when you can tell someone understands the 4 universal firearm safety rules and has good habits with firearms and you leave them the hell alone. However I guess this is not the case. The entire time I was at this range I doubt more then 10 minutes went by before a "clubbie" came by to annoy the hell out of me. The guy at the 100 meter range wasn't bad, but the gentleman that was over at the 15 meter range was nearly intolerable. He stood practically over me with his hands in his pockets the entire time and didn't say a word. I eventually got to the point where I asked him if I was doing something unsafe or not allowed? He told me no he just wanted to watch. Your club I guess you have that right.
It cost me 21 dollars to shoot at this club, which to me is expensive. I will not be back there due to the experience and the impracticability of the rules which as they are set up now I can get no training use out of the range (Silhouette, drawing from holster, different shooting positions prone,kneeling,etc) , I hope anyone else trying it has a great time because the place does seem to have a lot of potential.
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