Review: Wilshire Gun Club

de-evoproject

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I participated in the VIP pre-opening yesterday and decided to put up an honest review. Let me preface this whole review by saying 2 things: 1) I REALLY want to love this range. I hate H&H with a passion and all the other indoor ranges around OKC barely rate a "meh" in my book 2) I came in with pretty high expectations. With all the hype this place has been running and the stats they have been posting, the bar was set high.

I will be using a 5 star rating system throughout the review.

So with that in mind, here we go.

The street view:
Very nice building appearance. Nice signage, the scope is very cool and makes the building very easy to find. The parking lot is smaller than I expected so parking on a busy day could be problematic. They do offer valet parking, which to me seems excessive and bit of a high class catering option but may also mean there is extended parking further away.

Appearance: 5 stars
Accessibility: 3 stars
Parking: 3 stars

The sales floor: Very impressive selection of firearms for sale. The wall of rifles and shotguns has a wide selection ranging from your basic budget model Remington and Ruger bolt guns all the way up to your custom, high dollar specialties like the Nemo Omen. The whole sales floor is clean and spacious and the reps were friendly and eager to talk. The young man behind the counter that was talking about and showing off the omen had a little trouble figuring out how to get the bolt back in the rifle and get it back together but that may have just been first day jitters.

On the downside, while the selection of guns is impressive, the selection of accessories is pretty pathetic. There were 4 or 5 short peg board racks with the shooting accessories on them. One rack for magazines, one for bags, one for AR parts, one for cleaning accessories and a couple of random thing racks. The cleaning accessories were ONLY OTIS BRAND. Highly unacceptable for a gun range that is obviously trying to be a gun store or even a range marketing to more than pistol shooters. Low end, mil knock off products aren't going to meet muster for the guys that really understand and care about their weapon maintenance. The magazine sales rack was well stocked but highly over priced. The guys working that area advised me that the prices were not set and actual tag prices would be brought more in line with market prices, but that's something I would have expected to be worked out before they open the doors, even for a VIP pre opening. The selection of holsters is nearly non-existent. I didn't see any batteries. Poor selection of eye and ear protection for sale. No magazine holsters, gloves, one singular vest tucked on a back wall. Basically, all the bread and butter of a gun RANGE just isn't there. Very disappointing.

Gun sales: 5 stars
Other sales: 1 star
Overall appearance: 4 stars
Staff: 3 stars

Cold hand arms/ OK machine gun club room:
Very happy with this room. I have been a customer of Steve with Cold Hands Arms for years and personally am very happy to see him moving up out of the industrial park across from Shepard's auto to a nice clean indoor range collaboration. No more clutter, lots of room to walk around, some very cool showpieces and several different suppressors, short barreled accessories, and various other Class 3. The long side of the counter is for Oklahoma Machine gun club rentals. They advised they haven't gotten all the rental pricing worked out but it would be set before the actual opening. The guys are friendly and fairly knowledgeable. Very nice set aside location for the class 3 and custom AR room.

Overall room: 4.5 stars
Cold Hand Arms section: 5 stars
OK Machine Gun Club: 4 stars

Ranges: Ok, so here's where most of my expectations were. This IS a gun range first and foremost right? I do want to say I only looked in on the archery and pistol ranges which are very nice but pretty standard setup for the industry.

I did all of my shooting for the night on the 101 yard range. I brought in my .300 win mag M70 that had just come back from custom gunsmithing and was mainly working on sighting and barrel break in. We also had a suppressed .300 blackout for some fun shooting.

The lanes are clean and well lit. Lots of space behind the stalls for observers. Behind this open area is a full length bench top for gear storage. The RSO was very friendly and gave my friend and I a thorough run down of how to operate the touch screen controls for the target system which included exact range inputs, lights on target and in booth with white light and strobe functions and video monitor on target at 100 yards. Pretty awesome first impression.

And then the problems started to appear. The stalls are pretty much pistol stalls. There is a very narrow, non-movable table top to set up on. No shelving or rifle racks at all and pistols are not allowed on the 100 yard range. There is also a red line on the floor maybe 3 or 4 feet from the stall bench that runs the length of the floor behind the stalls. We were informed that all bagging and unbagging of weapons had to be done in front of this line in the stall and not on the rear bench top. This presented the first set of issues, I carry my rifles, an AR-15 and a Winchester Model 70 custom long range tactical .300 Win Mag, in a 36" two rifle soft case and a commercial 52" drag bag. Unpacking in a tiny pistol sized stall is cramped, cumbersome and extremely difficult. This also means that I'm going to be spending time walking back and forth with each rifle bag if i bring multiple weapons or shoot with a buddy. Additionally, with the lack of bench space, length or width, and no storage racks, it's very difficult to stably secure weapons you aren't currently shooting. I had to perch my bolt gun very precariously with the bipod legs at the very front of the table and could only get it to set fairly securely by allowing it to rest on the 10rd AICS magazine in the magwell on top of my rear bag. The buttstock was hanging very far off the table and on a normal day with more people moving around the room would definitely be in danger of being knocked off. I have no idea how a person with a standard hunting style rifle with no magazine would rest their rifle securely. When it came to shooting, due to the lack of area to securely rest my rifle for sighting in, I asked if I could shoot prone from inside the stall if i kept the target at 100. I was original told I could, which was incredibly appreciated, especially since I'm a prone precision shooter naturally and not fond of bench shooting. However, after only a couple of rounds, 2 more employees came back and immediately informed me prone shooting was not going to be allowed due to "they were worried about the angles". I understand, of course, for anything closer than max range, however even after i explained the angle vs vertical travel at 100 yards with a promise to keep the target at 100 was still told no. That was truly disappointing, and led to the next set of problems with shooting position. Trying to zero, I obviously needed a stable platform for accurate grouping and minimization of user input error. They had a couple of plastic rifle rests, unfortunately, these were very cheap, poor quality plastic junk and wouldn't fit on the tiny stall table either. They had a couple of chairs around that were much too short to use as a bench rest seat no matter what position I used, sitting, leg under sitting, etc. I eventually settled on an awkward, half kneeling in seat, leaning on the stall wall position.

After a few rounds of this awkwardness, an RSO showed up with a stool that was much too tall but easier to work around than the chair. A few more rounds and they offered to drag in a bench shooting setup but by this point I really just wanted to get my trigger time and was fairly frustrated.

In addition to the positional problems, I came to find the video spotting system was very lackluster as well. The video camera views the target at a bit of an odd angle and makes it nearly impossible to see a hit on anything except pure white paper. I was using a deck of cards target so I would have more fine points of aim for zeroing. Hits were very difficult to track on the black or red surfaces and were sometime difficult to find even on white. My buddy was using a two bull's eye target that was red, black, grey and white. It was a bit easier to track but not by much. They would have definitely benefited from a higher resolution camera and monitor or a zoom function.

Finally, as we were finishing up and shooting our last few rounds an RSO came in and let us know, quite curtly, that our range time was up by 15 mins. We were a bit confused, as no one had mentioned a time limit for the night and they had only mentioned the the ranges would be $28 in the future when the official opening came up. The RSO clarified that it will be $28 PER HOUR. Needless to say, we were a bit dumbfounded, as this is well out of line with current market charge for lanes. If you are unaware, in OKC you will general pay between 15-20 per lane for a single shooter for as long as you want to shoot, with additional shooter being an additional 7.50-10. 28 for a single shooter for one hour and 15 per additional shooters is a very high premium. The pistol ranges were a few bucks cheaper, I don't remember the actual prices but the time limit definitely makes the cost excessive at best and outrageous to most.

With all the issues we experienced, we came to the conclusion that the 100 yard range was a fantastic concept with a lot of potential and some great technological features that made for excellent marketing, but overall suffered from poor implementation, restrictive design, failure to take into account the target customer needs, restrictive range rules and extremely premium price point.

Overall range appearance- 3 stars
Equipment functionality- 3 stars
Shooting stalls- 1 star
Operational restrictions- 1 star
Pricing- 1 star
 
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de-evoproject

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Cafe and bar: After our very disappointing range experience, we decided to try the cafe which was the 2nd major selling point of the establishment. They were kind enough to offer food free of charge for the pre opening, which was very nice. The menu isn't huge but offers some fantastic selections. I personally opted to try their bison burger with fries and an appetizer of chicken skewers. We also ordered drinks, choosing a beer each and a couple glasses of whiskey, myself enjoying a Macallan 12 year scotch double on the rocks and my friend grabbing a Moore, OK local made bourbon (the name evades me at the moment) of the same size. Alcohol was not complimentary, obviously but the price was reasonable, coming out to just over 26 for all 4 drinks before tip.

They had a few problems with the system pricing up the drinks but were able to get it sorted in short order.

We proceed to the upstairs dining area to enjoy our drinks and wait for our food. The dining area is nice, comfortable chairs and simple tables and the upper platform offers a great experience removed from what is sure to be a busy sales floor. We could see the top of some very dusty and dirty ventilation systems which seems like a bit of an oversight for the nice dining experience they were going for, but I don't detract any points for that as it didn't really bother me. The food arrived in a decent time and was hot and fresh on arrival. The burger was frankly, delicious. Cooked medium rare, exactly as ordered and perfectly seasoned. All components were tasty and fresh, veggies were crisp and juicy and the roll style bun was amazing. The seasoned fried were just as tasty and the skewers and sauce did not disappoint. After the reviewing the menu cost of the meal, I do feel it was a little pricey, the bison burger and fries coming in at $13 for a slightly undersized, albeit tasty, burger. I think somewhere in the neighborhood of 9-11 would have been more appropriate but I might still enjoy a meal there from time to time.

As for the system that has had everyone so worried regarding alcohol at a gun range, their system seems pretty solid. We had to check in with our Id's at the front door and received armbands indicating we were shooters going to utilize the range. Upon checking in to the range and having id's checked and scanned we proceeded to the range past an employee verifying the presence of armbands at the door. After the range time, upon ordering alcohol the armbands were cut off and collected to ensure we no longer had range access. The very detailed set of checks to fully separate the alcohol from shooting seems to me as one of the most well thought out systems to the whole establishment.

Overall, the bar and grill experience was really phenomenal and unfortunately felt like the most refined focus making it appear as a radiant with a gun range instead of the other way around.

Cafe overall appearance- 5 stars
Food quality- 5 stars
Service- 4 stars
Alcohol system- 5 stars
Pricing- 3 stars

Other facilities: In addition to the above mentioned there is a humidor (cigar lounge) a small room with a few lounge chairs lit for a dim, relaxing ambiance, with cases of high end cigars and related accessories for sale. Small and pricey, it did seem a decent retreat for the smokers in the group.

I did not utilize the restrooms while there or the private rooms but did see the inside of some "fitting rooms" which appeared contain a desk with a chair in front and behind, which I assume is for some sort of gear consultation.

Overall opinion: Disappointing. I really expect a Wilshire gun club to set a new standard for gun ranges in OKC. Instead, I found a range with great curb appeal, fantastic floor aesthetics but poor working design and prohibitive pricing. In addition, a lot of the elements, team knowledge and marketing seemed rushed especially for a place with an originally planned open date set for last April and a lot of the questions I asked were met with bewildered looks, "I don't know" or "Well we are working on it, we'll figure out out before we open". Failure to take into account the actual target customer base (everyman avid shooters, longer range rifle shooters, bench shooters wanting a local place to practice, hunters sighting in for hunting season, reloaders wanting a climate controlled environment for testing load development, carbine guys looking for a place to shoot with strobe lights or at longer than pistol ranges), has lead to a lack optimization in the range to actually fit the intended uses. After seeing the rest of the facility, it seems their target audience is white collar weekend shooters looking for a country club atmosphere who don't mind paying inflated prices. Looks pretty but it's mostly fluff. I think they could fix most of the issues if they tried but don't know how long that might take or even if they will bother with most of the range related issue. For a place with so many opening delays they still seem horribly unprepared for the official opening... Tomorrow.

Overall rating: 2 stars
 
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Big_McLargehuge

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"The RSO clarified that it will be $28 PER HOUR."

YIKES. My wife and I can get a lane all day for $14 TOTAL at H&H. H&H may have it's problems, but we're certainly not rich enough for $28/hr! Highly disappointed, but I guess I'm not that surprised considering it's presentation as an "upper-class" range.

Thank you for the honest and informative report!
 

Nimaro

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If the $28/hr is correct, it'll be out of my price range as well which sucks I live 4 miles from the range and was really looking forward to the advertised features.
 

100 yds

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We really appreciate the review. Our goal was to create a great shooting experience and knowing where we lack is important. We are taking every comment to heart and will be acting on them. We ask for feedback and appreciate it very much. You will see continued improvement and additional inventory. Please don't hesitate to keep us posted
Thank you


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

de-evoproject

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I really hope so and if changes are made that I find on any future visits, I will make sure to update my post here and review postings on various other sites accordingly.
 

SMS

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My initial impression is that they have over reached....are there enough "upper crust" shooters in the OKC metro area to keep this place alive?

If it really is $28 an hour to shoot, I will never see a need to set foot in there. Maybe the RSO was mistaken.
 

de-evoproject

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My initial impression is that they have over reached....are there enough "upper crust" shooters in the OKC metro area to keep this place alive?

If it really is $28 an hour to shoot, I will never see a need to set foot in there. Maybe the RSO was mistaken.

Not mistaken. This is the same price I was quoted at the range counter, they just never told me there was a time limit.

If that's not the case I look forward to seeing them correct it here but they have already replied to this post and no corrections were made so I assume not.
 

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