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View Full Version : Best places to test drive guns in the Bay Area?


JakiChan
12-31-2009, 4:16 AM
I'm considering purchasing my first handgun (after a bit of training, of course) and am looking for recommendations for places to go and rent guns in the Bay Area. Some things on my list are the SIG P228 and the HK P2000. I'm not sure I'd want to buy a model of gun I hadn't shot first but I would never buy one that I hadn't even held to see how it fits in my hand. Any suggestions?

clhking
12-31-2009, 4:32 AM
Reed's Indoor Range

1100 Duane Avenue
Santa Clara, CA 95054
408-970-9870

Range/store hours:
Monday - Friday 10am - 9pm
Saturday 9am - 8pm
Sunday 9am - 7pm

http://www.reedsindoorrange.com (http://www.reedsindoorrange.com/range.html)


Unfortunately, according to their webpage, they have neither of the firearms you want to test out. But they have a lot of others you can try.

They have the standard rule, come with someone who will vouch that you won't go crazy or bring your own gun to show you aren't borrowing their firearms to do yourself or others harm.

Good luck, I've heard nothing but good things about both of your prospective purchase options.

pingpong
12-31-2009, 4:32 AM
Targetmasters out in Milpitas has a pretty good selection of guns. I haven't been to Jackson Arms in South SF, but I've heard pretty good things about them as well.

As always, you have to buy their ammo to feed into their guns, which can be pretty pricey. And don't forget to bring a buddy along; otherwise they won't let you rent in case you came just to blow your own head off.

I'm fairly certain Targetmasters has either a P228 or P229 (leaning towards P228). Worst case, shoot a P226 and just pretend the barrel is a quarter inch shorter :).

sammy
12-31-2009, 9:37 AM
I am heading out to Chabot later today (1pm or so) and have a P2000 V3 in 9mm. If you want to try get back to me and I will bring it. Sammy

huck
12-31-2009, 10:30 AM
Good idea to try to shoot the gun first. Any gun shop will let you HOLD the weapon before purchasing, but it can be hard to get a read on it when it's still got a trigger lock in place.

Not sure where you are located, but if it's out by Tracy, there's a place in Ripon that does this. Not sure what guns they have.

RANash
12-31-2009, 11:00 AM
I've been to Reed's in Santa Clara and enjoyed shooting there.

If you're anywhere close to Vacaville, "Guns, Fishing, and Other Stuff" (cool name!) has an indoor range I've used twice. They have a good selection of rental guns, but I don't know if they have the ones you're looking for to rent.

The store has gotten some bad reviews on the internet, but my experiences there have been really good.

Go Packers!
12-31-2009, 11:17 AM
Go to Reed's. All the staff are very knowledgeable. The range fees are a few dollars more than Targetmaster's, but in my opinion it is nicer and safer range. Though for purchasing firearms, Targetmasters has better prices. Additionally, Targetmasters is having a sale that they will pay the DROS fees (saves you $25). I believe today is the last day of the sale. Call for details. Have fun.

JakiChan
12-31-2009, 12:47 PM
I'm not ready to purchase yet - I want to take a class first and then do some shooting with friends to make sure I want to spend the money on a gun.

Reed's is *very* convienent for me as there is a rather large building at 1350 Duane that I spend a fair bit of time in. I've even been in there to get a Surefire G3. But if they don't have what I want to shoot then that kinda sucks. I'm sure I'd go there to shoot *after* I've got a weapon, though.

rkt88edmo
12-31-2009, 1:01 PM
With other calgunners

http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=254707

andalusi
12-31-2009, 6:13 PM
I haven't been to Jackson Arms in South SF, but I've heard pretty good things about them as well.

As always, you have to buy their ammo to feed into their guns, which can be pretty pricey. And don't forget to bring a buddy along; otherwise they won't let you rent in case you came just to blow your own head off.


I like Jackson Arms a lot. The staff are friendly and I've always enjoyed my experience at the range there. As far as rentals go, Jackson Arms has a lot of Glocks, some Sigs, some S&W revolvers, and a couple of 1911s (SA and RIA). I don't remember seeing any HK pistols and I don't know if any of the Sigs are a P228.

Also, while you do have to buy their ammo to shoot their rentals, they at least offer reloads so you don't have to pay as much. The .45 ACP and .38 Special reloads I've shot worked fine (I shot their reloaded .45 out of my own pistol another time, too).

All that said, Reed's is probably the best place to go for trying out new handguns. Even if they don't have the particular pistol one's looking for as a rental, at least they'll probably have it behind the sales counter for you to look at.

I'm not ready to purchase yet - I want to take a class first and then do some shooting with friends to make sure I want to spend the money on a gun.

Smart man. The unfortunate part is if you like it, you'll soon find you won't be spending money on a gun---you'll be spending it on guns!

Reed's is *very* convienent for me as there is a rather large building at 1350 Duane that I spend a fair bit of time in. I've even been in there to get a Surefire G3. But if they don't have what I want to shoot then that kinda sucks. I'm sure I'd go there to shoot *after* I've got a weapon, though.

Keep in mind that the website doesn't necessarily list *everything* they've got for rent. It wouldn't hurt to call and see if they happen to rent either or both of the pistols you're looking to shoot.

centr0
12-31-2009, 10:08 PM
ive had good experiences in targetmasters in milpitas. best part is theyre open till midnight. rentals close at 11pm and make sure to bring a friend. he/she doesnt have to go into the range they just need to stay on the premises. i can confirm that they do have the p229's for rent as well as p226's and the hk p2000. i was in the same boat as you renting guns to see which ones the best. it took me 3 range trips 200 rounds per trip to make a decision. i rented the g17/19, xd tactical in 9mm, p226, p229 and a some revolver.. ended buying the p226/9mm and i pick it up from targetmasters on saturday. :D

good luck in your choice. SIGs are a great choice. love their trigger.

gbarbo001
01-01-2010, 12:18 AM
Bulls-eye in San Rafael has a large selection of pistols for rent and use on their range. Knowledable staff and very friendly.

NOTE: you can't rent a gun from them if you come alone, or without at least one gun of your own. This rule is designed to prevent suicides which, unfortunately, have happened over the years. Guy turns up, rents a gun, buys a box of ammo, goes out on the range.......you get the picture.

MarioS
01-01-2010, 12:29 AM
Thing I don't like about renting at Reed's is that they require you to run their ammo through it only. I can understand the policy but when you're charging $25 per 50-round box of regular FMJ, it's a bit ridiculous. That being said, the employees there have always been nice to me and I've never had a problem dealing with anyone; although, their one shot every three seconds rule bugs me.

Go Packers!
01-01-2010, 11:44 AM
Thing I don't like about renting at Reed's is that they require you to run their ammo through it only. I can understand the policy but when you're charging $25 per 50-round box of regular FMJ, it's a bit ridiculous. That being said, the employees there have always been nice to me and I've never had a problem dealing with anyone; although, their one shot every three seconds rule bugs me.

Every range I have ever shot at has the same three seconds between shots rule.

Turbinator
01-02-2010, 11:43 PM
Thing I don't like about renting at Reed's is that they require you to run their ammo through it only. I can understand the policy but when you're charging $25 per 50-round box of regular FMJ, it's a bit ridiculous.

Ok, what would you recommend? That they allow anyone to walk in and use their own homemade reloads on the range guns? I think this is what they are trying to avoid, primarily.

Turby

MarioS
01-03-2010, 1:43 AM
Every range I have ever shot at has the same three seconds between shots rule.

Some don't, and they are the only ones I will give my business to.

Ok, what would you recommend? That they allow anyone to walk in and use their own homemade reloads on the range guns? I think this is what they are trying to avoid, primarily.

Turby

Sorry, I guess I wasn't clear. My complaint is not with the policy, I can understand that. My complaint is more with the $25 price tag on a 50 round box of regular 'ole Blazer Brass FMJ, that you must buy. Might as well be firing LE-grade JHP down the range for the same price. I doubt they are buying it at $24 or $25 per box.

But, I know, I don't have to go there and I can choose to take my business elsewhere, and I do.

Henry47
01-03-2010, 10:29 AM
Some don't, and they are the only ones I will give my business to.



Sorry, I guess I wasn't clear. My complaint is not with the policy, I can understand that. My complaint is more with the $25 price tag on a 50 round box of regular 'ole Blazer Brass FMJ, that you must buy. Might as well be firing LE-grade JHP down the range for the same price. I doubt they are buying it at $24 or $25 per box.

But, I know, I don't have to go there and I can choose to take my business elsewhere, and I do.

they are a business. how else do they make money? 1 dollar targets? ten dollar an hour rentals? jackson arms let's you shoot brought commercial ammo through their rentals if I'm not mistaken

JakiChan
01-10-2010, 4:39 PM
Keep in mind that the website doesn't necessarily list *everything* they've got for rent. It wouldn't hurt to call and see if they happen to rent either or both of the pistols you're looking to shoot.

This is true. I stopped in the other night after doing some work at the colo. They had both a P2000 and a P226 available for rent. Although the P2000 had the LEM trigger, which isn't what I'm looking for. However it's a place to start once I've taken the NRA pistol basics class.

butch952
01-10-2010, 6:03 PM
+1 for bullseye they have great selection of rental guns to shoot.