4 months, 2 weeks ago
So my second son Joseph is in town from Austin, Texas. I took him and my daughter Devon to the shooting range at Allen Arms in Greenville, S.C. on Monday (we were in Greenville visiting other family). I had previously purchased an M1 Carbine at Allen Arms, had free range passes and figured I would use them. I could have gone to a new range near there named Sharpshooters, but chose instead to go back where I got the rifle.
As I thought about which of my guns to shoot, I decided to carry guns that used .38, .357 magnum, .45 and .30 Carbine. I had left my ammunition in the truck because if you don’t purchase and use their ammunition they charge a fee. As I walked towards the store I found myself wondering, “They won’t have .30 Carbine FMJ any more than Sharpshooters (who doesn’t charge an ammunition fee), Hyatt Gun Shop (Charlotte), Shooter’s Express (Belmont, N.C., who also doesn’t charge an ammunition fee), or Firepower (Matthews, N.C., who doesn’t charge an ammunition fee either). Surely they won’t be so stupid as to charge me for shooting my own ammunition if they don’t have it to buy.”
I get in there and ask about .30 Carbine ammunition and they claim they have it. They trot out .30 Carbine personal defense ammunition (you know, the $1.50 per round stuff). I respond that I’ll use my own since no one in their right mind sends personal defense ammunition down range for target practice.
We shoot knowing that I will have an ammunition fee, and enjoyed the day, but come out to the ammunition fee times three, or $15 total. I pay it, along with the other costs, but again I say to them that I just don’t understand why they would charge me an ammunition fee if they don’t sell range ammunition.
The guy behind the counter then began to get snarky with me and said they did have it. I responded, “That’s like saying I want to shoot .45, and the only thing you sell is Gold Dot .45, and since I am unwilling to send Gold Dots down range you’re going to charge me an ammunition fee.” He responded, “But that’s all we have.” To which I pointed out that he made my point for me. They didn’t have FMJ or MC ammunition, which is why I shot my own. I went in prepared for an ammunition fee while they sell my spent brass (however silly I think such a rule is). I wasn’t prepared for being told I had to send personal defense ammunition down range or be charged extra.
He said “Well, that’s the store’s policy.” I pointed out to him that they are going to have to deal with issues like that if they want to compete with Sharpshooter’s, after which he got really testy and I figured that it made no sense to continue the idiotic conversation.
Needless to say, this was all very off-putting for Joseph, who made comparisons of Allen Arms with Red’s in Austin, Texas. So be it. There’s a new range starting up in Simpsonville, S.C., and Sharpshooter’s has surely taken customers away from Allen Arms. The old guard will learn to compete or they will go out of business. Either way, I hope Allen Arms enjoys my $15. It’s the last of my money they will see. They lost a valuable customer on Monday.