Saturday, October 4, 2014

UPDATED: How Mentor's new Point Blank gun range hits the bull's-eye and misses the target, too



UPDATE: A blog reader has written to say the range's web site indicates that persons can collect their own spent brass. However, during our visit there for the range's official October 4 opening, my wife and I were told that only if the place was not busy can one brass pick his or her own fired cartridge cases. We were further told this provision means no brass picking on weekends. My older brother was given the same face-to-face information, also on October 4 - Jeff Frischkorn.

Mentor’s new Point Blank Range and Gunshop franchise has a lot going for it in the way of pizzazz and shooting range amenities.

What is does not have, however, are competitive prices for its firearms and ammunition. At least in a number of instances I saw and following a walk-through today (October 4) during Point Blank’s official opening at 5957 Heisley Road in Mentor; a Northeast Ohio community located east of Cleveland.

At 20,000 square feet with 20 shooting bays, Point Blank certainly and easily pushes aside virtually every other similar indoor shooting range found locally.

Clean to the point of almost being spotless with tidy rows of shooting equipment and accessories, Point Blank is a nice place to visit. This is true whether one brings his (or her) own handgun and rifles up to .308 Winchester caliber.

The shooting stalls are well lit and separated enough so that one shooter needs not worry about being elbowed by a shooter on either side. Likewise the entire assembly is climate controlled. That will become an ever-increasingly important issue when cold weather finally settles in. Or at the height of summer when heat can make shooting a less than fun outing.

Good too is that the complex rents both handguns and rifles; the cost ranging from $10 to $20 per session.

Also, the range has special prices that are discounted from the usual day-of fee of $12 per lane for a 30-minute period for handgun use or $15 per lane for a 30-minute period for rifle use.

Neat is that Point Blank has an almost dizzying array of special lane rental prices that include a “lunch special,” a “senior’s day” special, a “ladies day” special, a “public safety day” special, and (I especially love this one) a “date night” special. Is that cool or what?

Now comes the dum-de-dum caveat.

Boy, I saw that any number of the prices for firearms and ammunition expensive. I mean, eye-popping/why on Earth is this stuff so expensive, expensive?

When one can charge about $35 for a 50-round box of .380-caliber run-of-the-mill ammunition one has to begin thinking way ahead and buying ammunition elsewhere before even thinking about opening Point Blank’s doors. That cost is easily $15 to as much as $20 above what I typically pay for this pistol fodder.

Speaking of .380 ammunition, the Smith and Wesson .380-caliber Bodyguard that is my go-to concealed carry firearm is selling for more than $60 at Point Blank than what I paid for the same model several months ago at the Berea Gun and Knife Show.

In fact, a check of the Internet firearms buying web site www.galleryofguns.com shows the Point Blank price for the same Bodyguard model costs at least $40 more. And Gallery of Guns is not always the least expensive site to order a firearm through a FFL dealer, either.

For that matter, the cost for the Point Blank Academy Ohio concealed carry course costs $150. Just up the street a ways at Gander Mountain the same/similar course costs $100, which is the typical going rate for the requirement to legally carry a weapon concealed.

Yep, Point Blank’s CCW class is 50-percent more expensive than what is often encountered elsewhere in the area.

Thus begs the question if I’ll visit Point Blank as a shooting customer. The answer is an unqualified “yes.” With those pesky caveats again.

“Yes” for the senior’s day; “yes” for date night, “yes” for when the weather is too nasty to shoot at the outdoors rod and gun club ranges that my wife and I visit with some regularity.

Yet when we do shoot at Point Blank we’ll not only be packing our own ammunition, assuredly as well the cases will be of aluminum. That is because in almost every circumstance Point Blank prohibits a shooter from collecting his or her own brass cartridge cases.

In short, this brass becomes the property of Point Blank once it hits the floor. At $1.60 - the current going rate for scrap brass - that can mean a good additional chunk of money for Point Blank. 

Meanwhile, a reloader is left without the means to, well, reload his or her own ammunition.

Shoot, even the Ohio Division of Wildlife allows a shooter to police his or her own brass at its jim-dandy outdoors gun range at the Grand River Wildlife Area in Trumbull County.

One step further,  if I’m in the market for another handgun I’ll once again visit a gun show where prices are both more competitive and favorable than what I saw today at Point Blank.

And as is the case with most everything in life it pays to shop around and come up with a money-saving game plan that allows a shooter the opportunity to fully appreciate the experience.

- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn
JFrischk@Ameritech.net




    

4 comments:

  1. I agree that the pricing is out of line, but I checked their website and the range rules state that "you may pick up your own brass" (http://shootpointblank.com/the-range/). Does it say something different at the range? I would be a bit miffed if I got to the range and found that the rules were different from their website.

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  2. Down here at the Cincinnati Point Blank locations, they have a local commercial outfit making range ammo for the shops, at decent prices. If the outfit can ramp up production maybe Point Blank can stock it in the Mentor location as well.

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  3. I find (as a moderate shooter) that there have been several improvements made since opening: the guns/ammo/accessories have more competitive pricing now, they have sales and gun giveaways almost every month that people can get to by visiting or visiting their Facebook page, and I was allowed to not only pick up my own brass, but the rso helped me with a squeegee to sweep it up faster. In addition, I've noticed fun events going on when I visit such as radio station broadcasts, contests, and giveaways. This is the first range I've been to where I have a chance to win a free firearm just for perving their Facebook page. I'm sure there are/were some kinks due to being a new store and range in Mentor, but it seems they're doing pretty well and have changed to please customers. I now have an all access membership and shoot at least once a week there. It's really fun!

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  4. Cant stand cheap sob's, point blank brings a wonderful facility to town and gets blasted for trying to make a little money, wow it's $40 cheaper and uncle Toms gun & knife show, they have tons of overhead with a new multi million dollar facility. Cheap bastards like Jeff make it hard for high end, nice places to make it. Thanks Jeffrey

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