Range Review: Discount Firearms + Ammo, Las Vegas

There’s a right way and a wrong way to do everything. The Gun Store in Las Vegas is the embodiment of “the wrong way,” as we’ve shown. Thankfully there’s a better option out there for those in Las Vegas who want to try out a machine gun: Discount Firearms + Ammo. . .

Located a convenient 10 minute walk from the Imperial Palace hotel on the north end of the strip (or about a $5 cab ride), Discount Firearms + Ammo (hereafter referred to as DFA because I’m lazy) runs a combination gun store and range. I got a chance to sit down with J. Chapin, one of the head guys at the store to discuss their operation.

According to J, DFA’s focus is on customer service instead of simply cranking people through and making the most money. While The Gun Store (hereafter referred to as TGS because I’m lazy) simply hands someone a gun and points them downrange, DFA takes the time to explain the concepts behind firearms safety and how guns work. They educate their customers on safe firearms handling instead of simply letting them check the box of firing a machine gun, giving them the tools to handle firearms in a responsible manner in the future.

That distinction holds true for a number of things DFA does differently than TGS, starting with the shop. Instead of a cramped bus stop, DFA’s front room looks like one of the nicest gun stores I’ve ever been in. It’s well lit, clean, and staffed by friendly and knowledgeable salespeople. With TGS the machine gun rental is a separate room from the main show floor, but for DFA machine gun rentals occupy just one section of their main counter. As J said, their focus was to make the experience just as good for the tourists looking to rent machine guns as it is for the locals to come in and buy guns.

That was another interesting thing that we talked about. According to J, most of the customers that come in the store to rent guns are tourists that are prohibited from buying guns or ammo for one reason or another, whether they’re foreign visitors who can’t own guns in their home countries or they’re out of state visitors who can’t buy guns across state lines. And while a good portion of their business comes from these foreign visitors, the owners of DFA wanted to make sure they didn’t forget about their local customers who buy guns and take concealed carry classes.

They had considering moving to a “take a number” system that allowed rental customers to tour the store while waiting to shoot. But as a measure designed to allow the salespeople to talk to those who actually are there to buy guns instead of those who just want to play with them, they opted to go with the serpentine line. However, the entire time I was there I didn’t see a single person in line.

Speaking of concealed carry classes, DFA holds classes for civilian CCW licenses twice a month (moving to weekly soon) for a packed room of 20 new shooters each class. In addition, they serve as a facility that trains and re-qualifies all of the armed security guards for the local businesses. So they’re big on training and safety, and partner with local suicide prevention groups to help prevent firearms related suicides.

In terms of variety, DFA has many of the same guns that you’d see at TGS — AKs, Thompsons, MP5s, but not too many of the “exotic” machine guns (if such a thing exists). They do have a pretty rocking belt fed m1919, but other than that what you see is more or less what you get. Which still isn’t bad, as these represent some of the most fun machine guns I’ve ever had the chance to fire. The big benefit comes when you realize that these guns are in service grade condition, that is they’re bright and shiny, well oiled, well maintained and above all clean. Much better than TGS’ offerings.

In terms of price there’s no one close. Instead of the ridiculous price gouging going on at TGS, according to J the prices at DFA let the customers experience the guns for more than just a few seconds of joy. It’s still not as cheap as if you owned the guns yourself, but it’s damned close.

How about the range? Well for starters it doesn’t feel like a dark alley. The range is well lit, uses digital target holders (which place the targets exactly where you tell them), and it’s big enough to accommodate 14 shooters at a time — more than TGS could. The range is longer too, pushing out to around 25 or 30 yards.

In short, I have no idea why anyone would ever go to The Gun Store over this place. Discount Firearms + Ammo has a better range, better employees, nicer guns, better prices, and is much closer to the strip. In short, it’s perfect.

comments

  1. avatar Ralph says:

    Nick, LV and it’s surrounds boasts many great places to shoot, and the best is the Clark County Range. It must be the nicest municipal facility anywhere.

  2. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

    When I lived in Nevada, I never had reason to go to an indoor range, any indoor range, for any reason.

    1. avatar Drew says:

      I hate indoor ranges with a passion. I had never used one until I moved to the OC a couple years ago and my range time went from 4 days a week to maybe 4 times a year. I’m 90% dry fire/air rifle for the moment, excepting when I get the time to drive out into the desert. I’ve practically quit carrying just because I’m not comfortable with the amount of trigger time I’m getting. Why anyone would pay $25+ (for a reference my old home range was $20 a year + $2 a visit, stay all day if you want) a visit to shoot in a shitty concrete hallway for an hour is totally beyond me. Living here has almost ruined the sport for me.

      1. avatar CarlosT says:

        You really, really need to leave California. You’ll be much happier when you do. The years I spent in San Francisco where the worst in my life. If you like the west coast, both Oregon and Washington are better. If you like dry and hot, Arizona would probably be a good choice.

        There are good indoor ranges, though. West Coast Armory outside Bellevue isn’t cheap, but it’s a great range.

        1. avatar Drew says:

          I love SF and there’s actually a ton of decent outdoor ranges within an hour or so of the bridges, but SoCal is a completely different animal. It’s just a giant wasteland of strip malls and suburbs that extends for hours in every direction. Plus, I don’t really give a shit about the beach even though I’m 5 minutes away by bicycle. If I could afford to moor a boat and get out onto the ocean for more fishing and diving it might be different, but just sitting on a beach where you can’t drink or smoke and the water is butt ass cold besides is lame as hell.

        2. avatar CarlosT says:

          NorCal’s not great either, unless you’re rich. It’s a vast collection of pretentious boutiquey neighborhoods and suburbs. Everything costs at least three times what it should and is one third the quality what it should be, and everybody is convinced it’s top notch.

          Palo Alto’s okay, but that’s about it.

        3. avatar Gerald says:

          +1 for West Coast Armory

  3. avatar Bob B says:

    Another option on Blue Diamond Rd south of the strip is this one:http://www.lasvegasgunrange.net/My adult son and I enjoyed a variety of submachine guns and shotguns for a good package price. He went for the modern (MP5 & M16), while I enjoyed the classic Tommy gun and M3A1. Of my two, I liked the Grease Gun better. We had safety lessons and supervision from a range safety officer at all times.

  4. avatar Matt R says:

    I know this is an old thread, but I just found it looking for Cheap Ammo in Vegas online. I’m almost hesitant to give out my favorite range in the city because I don’t want to have to deal with more people when I am there, but as a Member I get first pick any way. I only started shooting seriously about 6 months ago. I much prefer to shoot in the desert because there is MUCH MORE to do, you can plink If you want and train at night if you wish, I work during the day so being able to shoot at night is important to me.

    That being said it isn’t always the easiest to get out to the desert, especially since my truck broke down, I haven’t had the time to fix it, and I like to shoot at least an hour a day 5 days a week. So I had to find a range that was open as late as possible to accommodate me. I have hit almost every range in this city. Admittedly there are still a few I haven’t been too, but mainly because I feel I have found the perfect one for me.

    Someone mentioned Clark County Shooting Range, which is on Decatur North until you literally can’t go north any further. I LOVE going there on Wednesday, because on Wednesday they are open until 10pm, so Wednesday’s are the best day for me to hit their. They are EXTREMELY STRICT about their safety rules there, which is understandable, because you have to walk out onto the range yourself to change targets, so they have these 20 minute sessions where you shoot at targets you had set up during the break, and then after the session there is a 10 minute break where you are not allowed to touch your firearm and you go check and switch out your targets. The cycles go like that throughout the day, but it’s a great range and is outdoors and well lit with stadium lights.

    This Article was about Discount Firearms and Ammo, and talked about the flaws With The Gun Store. I 100 percent agree with the author on both points. I got my CCW at the Gun Store. And while I ABSOLUTELY LOVED my instructor their, a retired police officer by the name of Sao, I couldn’t have more incredible things to say about him and his philosophy to teaching and how patient and informative he was. This is the cheapest place in Vegas to get the CCW training, and if you are lucky enough to get Sao then you will learn great knowledge by the book. With that being said, the Range and store, I can not STAND. My first experience with the Gun store was with Sao, so I thought the entire experience at that range would be the same, I was disappointed. The staff in the store and Range are incredibly rude, with one of those “I am better than you attitudes.” The funny thing is most of us recognize they know more then us, that’s why we are there, is to learn, but it’s not tailored towards a learning environment, its all “I am the Man, and you are not” and on top of that they make you buy their INCREDIBLY OVER PRICED AMMO just to shoot your own gun. It’s stupid and I will NEVER GO BACK, except maybe to see Sao when I renew my CCW in 4 and a half years.

    Another nightmare of a Range that SHOULD NEVER BE VISITED, is a place called Green Valley Range. They are HORRIBLE! The range is nice, its a state of the art facility, but the entire staff including guys trying to pass themselves off as the owners when I happen to know they are just employees, are incredibly rude and honestly worse then the guys at the Gun Store. At least the guys at the Gun Store have an excuse, they are incredibly busy, so maybe that’s why they don’t take the time to cater to the customer, but Green Valley Range is new and not well known yet, and they are some of the biggest assholes you will ever come across. They have some nice girls that work in the Range, but first you have to get past the assholes in the store. I live in the area, so I kept going back despite how I was treated each time, until a Sunday about 2 months back when I called and made an appointment for me and a buddy to come shoot at 6pm. I knew they closed at 7pm, but 45 minutes were all we needed and they advertise staying open till 7 on Sundays. I called and spoke to one of the nice Range girls, and she told me to come on in. Me and my buddy arrived about 15 minutes before 6pm, we didn’t even have the front door open all the way before one of those assholes I spoke about earlier who thinks he is an owner yelled at the top of his lungs at me and said I need to “Get The F**K out because they are closed.” I tried to explain to him that I made an appointment and the range girls knew I was coming, and he had recognized me because I had seen him the previous 2 days, and had talked with him about becoming a member. Then he told me “If I don’t get the F**K off of HIS property right now, he was calling the cops.” He was extremely Ghetto about it too. I left without a fight but vowed to never come back. That place well never get my business again…

    That same night I made a call over to a place called “702 Range”, which is only about 5 minutes off the heart of the strip. If your a tourist, they will pick you up for free in one of their limo busses, and they have an assortment of Fully Automatic Rifles to choose from. I had heard about them in the past but never Checked them out, and they are one of only a handful of Ranges that are open until 7pm, even on a Sunday. I called them while still in the Green Valley Parking lot, explained to them what had happened to me at one of their competitors, told them I was a local with a friend who was just looking for a few minutes of range time before they closed and asked if I could still shoot, even if I was only able to get there until about 30 minutes before closing. They were so nice about it and told me to come on down.

    Their facility is also top quality with everything you come to expect from indoor range. It is also very well lit with very friendly and knowledgeable staff who go out of their way to treat the customer with respect and dignity. Even though their are a number of other ranges that I have visited in this city, this is the range I visit everyday of the week if I have the ammo, except for Wednesday (because I can shoot til 10pm at Clark County Shooting Complex on Wednesdays) and their membership is only $40 a month and then you can shoot all you want, whenever you want, as long as you want, and if they have a waiting list to get in the range, which has only happened to me once because they have 16 lanes plus 8 VIP for private events, if you are a member you get to go ahead of the pack on the waiting list.

    There are a dozen of other pretty good to pretty decent places in Vegas to shoot, but I find the 702 Range to take the best of all of them. They have decent prices on Ammo, great prices on Firearms and Accessories, a very good Pistol Smith, great ranges, and awesome customer service. The best thing about their Range Officers is, if you are a tourist their shooting for the first time, they give you all the attention you need and teach you safety and will stick with you the entire time, but if you are someone who knows what your doing, they will let you be and just let you train unless you need something, or are otherwise compromising safety. I can’t have better things to say about that place. Anyways, my comment turned into its own 10 page review so I guess I’ll shut up now, but that’s my take on some of the ranges here in Las Vegas from a local’s perspective, from someone who has only been shooting seriously for 6 months, and had his CCW for 2 Months. I recognize that I still have much to learn and am getting better each time I train, and appreciate good customer service with staff that doesn’t talk down to you. Hope this helps someone…

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