At this range, they do everything they can to make you buy their reloads. Ostensibly, the purpose is keeping the ammo clean, so if you show up with some sort of a clean ammo (like WinClean), they let you use it. Come with anything else, they make you buy their own ammo (if that is a caliber they carry). I suspect it is a scam since their reloads are among the dirtiest ammo I have shot to date, but then again, I did not bother to do a chemical analysis.
What I learned this Tuesday is that you really have to check the receipt when you deal with these guys, which reminds me of the Firing Line indoor range in Northridge where I used to shoot years back. There, if you did not look at your receipt carefully they would routinely add ten bucks or so to your bill in some obscurely titled line items.
At Shooter’s Paradise of Oxnard, which is the only indoor range anywhere near me, I never quite bothered to do that, but perhaps I should have.
Andrew and I rented a couple of lanes and when we got done I headed over to settle the bill. The total cost seemed in the ballpark of what I expected to pay for rental of two lanes and a bag of 38Special reloads, so I simply paid up. As I stepped away, I glanced at the receipt and offhand there seemed to be too many line items, so I looked at it more closely. It turned out that they substitued one lane rental with two oddly named line items that added up to a couple of bucks more than a simple lane rental. They also charged me for a bag of 357Mag reloads, not 38Special that I actually bought from them. I assumed that it was a mistake, so I walked back up to the counter and asked whether 357Mag reloads cost the same as 38Special reloads. The guy just looks me in the eye and says “yes” without so much as a blink. I look down onto the counter where their price list is taped and the answer is “no”. 357mag reloads are more expensive than 38Special. I point that out. He does not say anything. That starts to irritate me, so I show him the receipt where they are overcharging me for one lane rental. He stares at it for a couple of minutes, presumably trying to figure out whether $8 + $6 (the two line items there) adds up to more or less than $12 (standard lane rental fee). I am not 100% sure what kind of fuzzy math was going through his head, but you could practically hear rusty gears turning.
At the completion of this lengthy thought process, he lifts his head from the receipt, looks me right in the eye and says: “that saves you money”. Now, I am no math major, but I am pretty sure that if you pay $14 instead of $12, that does not qualify as money saving. I wonder if he meant “saving money for the range”.
Before I get too far with this, I just want to mention, that the amount they overcharged me is trivial and makes no difference to me. Had they simply raised their fees, I would gladly pay. No problem there. However, I do not like being lied to and I do not like being cheated.
Anyhow, I look him right in the eye, conjure up the most simpleton-ish smile in my repertoire (not a difficult thing if you look like a neanderthal on a steady diet of sleeping pills) and ask him to elaborate on that. He gives it a shot for another minute or two, but that is clearly not enough time to make $14 be smaller than $12. He finally gives up and says that they’ll give me a refund. I remind him that they also owe me a refund for the price difference between 357Mag and 38Special ammo. He ignores that statement again. So I say it a couple more times and point to the price list on his counter. He thinks about it for a couple more minutes and says “yes”.
At this point, he looks like he wants to shoot me, while I am beginning to enjoy making him squirm.
Moral of the story… well, there really isn’t one, except if you live in Ventura county and shoot at that range: make sure you check the receipt!