So far I’ve given my thoughts on Battlefield Vegas and Shoot Las Vegas, both already very positively reviewed online, both with their own merits and both I’d happily recommend to any of you visiting this utterly insane part of Nevada.
Other people’s reviews are all well and good of course but if they’re not ‘gun people’ doing the writing I like to double check on the situation for myself. LVShootingCenter wasn’t open last time I was over here for SHOT but it’s already garnered a good little reputation with a clean looking store and website to accompany that. The weapon selection is small comparatively but you need to remember what comparatively means within the realm of Vegas gun rental/machine gun experiences.
Las Vegas Shooting Centre is both a standard gun shop and a machine gun rental business combined with a 12 lane indoor range that services both elements. It’s located just barely off the West side of the strip, quick and easy to reach and part of your shooting package does include a free Uber to get you from your strip hotel to the store (though not back again), which actually adds a good bit of value all things considered.
The store and the range both have plenty of light and a fresh, bright new paint scheme, which probably seems like an inconsequential detail but I really can’t emphasise how claustrophobic and grim a lot of other similar businesses in Vegas might feel inside to some people who’re probably already a bit nervous about shooting a gun in the first place. Granted that’s the nature of a lot of gun shops because they tend to have far fewer windows that your average business (if any) but with new shooters it is always important to make the whole thing as relaxing and enjoyable as physically possible. To my mind, of all the rental ranges in town Shooting Centre is absolutely the one to go to for the newer shooter or anyone who hasn’t already shot an extensive number of full auto weapons previously. There weren’t actually many of the weapons they have available to rent that I hadn’t already fired and none of the machine guns were new to me personally, but that is purely as a result of doing a lot of this stuff the past few years. Never shot an AR, AK, MP5, P90, Thompson, M1919 or Minimi in full-auto? You’ll be in for a good time. Plus of course there’s plenty of standard self-loading rifles and pistols to choose from and pretty much everything that’s automatic has a selector to go down to repetition/semi.
Pricing wise, they’re pretty competitive overall, especially when you consider the number of rounds you get with a lot of the weapons and particularly with anything in a pistol calibre. I’m not sure what the deal is with the packages vs just picking á la carte – the ‘First Base’ package for example is advertised at $115 on the website and includes one 9mm SMG and one 9mm pistol with 2 mags for each. I picked from the wall and chose to shoot an MP5 (it was a Turkish MKE with FA sear dropped in to the trigger pack, but it still tasted like an HK), an FN 5-7 and the Sig P320. Total cost came to $113 which is somehow $2 less for shooting a whole extra gun, so I’m unsure if the guy behind the till tapped a wrong button or what but just something to be aware of. Personally I never opt for packages at any of these places as I find they’re put together for general tourists with little to no knowledge of small arms who want to say they ‘shot a Glock and an Uzi’ when they actually fired a P226 and an MP5.
The big plus for me with LVSC is that for the standard price you get 2 magazines with basically everything that’s smaller than 7.62 NATO, usually filled to around 2/3 capacity and that’s quite a substantial step up from all the similar ranges I’ve attended and researched in terms of pure cost per round. You generally pay $5-10 more per weapon than other places, but you get something like 40 rounds though an SMG vs 25 rounds at other places, or 20 through a pistol instead of 10. Crucially you get to perform a reload on everything, which may be of little interest to some but essentially the entire reason I decided to go down was so I could try a full and proper ‘live’ reload on an automatic MP5 for the first time.
As I mentioned the selection is on the smaller side when compared to some other places with hardly any of it being historical (if that’s your bag) and I think the location overall might not be as ‘flash’ as some others with less peripheral fluff; no pick up in a HMMV or giant Monster Truck limo etc. The Range Officers are certainly stricter with rental folks than other places I’ve been to and they will be right up beside you regardless of experience level, which makes the angles available for video recording pretty limited but obviously I’ll never knock anywhere with solid safety procedures. None of the above detracts however from the shooting itself, it just means you’ve made a better educated decision by not being swayed by marketing.
If anybody reading this ever finds themself planning a trip to Vegas then I’d presume you want to shoot some stuff so please do post here or in the group and ask me anything at all about going to these places that you’d like to ask. The cost-per-time ratio is definitely very high end as entertainment goes but Las Vegas is one of the only places in the world you can legally actually shoot so many of the firearms that are available at the various rental ranges and shooting experience centres.