Located on South Dean Martin Drive, just to the west of the Las Vegas Strip, the Guns and Ammo Garage opened as a retail store in 2010 but added a shooting range in January 2012. Owner Darby Neagle half-jokingly says that the business is built on the strip-club model, and it makes sense: customers overwhelmingly tend to be male, and many come from Europe and other parts of the world where gun ownership is exotic or nonexistent. So, you’re paying a healthy price for a unique experience that you won’t get back home -- namely, shooting AK-47s, Tommy guns, SAWs and a variety of other rifles, handguns, and machine guns. They’ll even pick you up from your hotel and shuttle you to the range, just like those other “adult entertainment” venues.
“Most of our customers have never shot before, and don’t know anything about firearms,” says Neagle. So it worth $150 or so to blow off a few dozen rounds on some of the most famous weapons ever made? In short, yes -- it’s a blast.
5155 S. Dean Martin Dr.
Las Vegas, NV 89109
Get the Guns and Ammo Garage Las Vegas details
Phone: 702 – 440-GUNS
Hours for the Guns and Ammo Garage Las Vegas: Daily 9 am - 7 pm,
Description of the Guns and Ammo Garage Las Vegas:
Once you arrive at the range, you’ll be directed to the first in a series of attractive-yet-highly-knowledgeable young ladies, who will help you pick out a package, sign the necessary waiver forms, and familiarize you with the weapons you’ll soon be blasting away with. Unlike many ranges, there’s a large, bulletproof-glass observation window where you can see other customers firing away, and there’s enough room that groups can go in together to shoot. The waiting area is set up almost like a cafe, with some high-top tables where you and your buddies (bachelor parties are popular) can discuss which guns to shoot and, later, compare results on targets that include likenesses of Osama Bin Laden and an assortment of zombies.
In fact, the “Zombie Apocalypse” is one of the Gun and Ammo Garage’s most popular packages; for $150, you can shoot an AK-47, a shotgun, an Uzi, and an HK or Glock 9mm handgun. You even get a t-shirt with the deal. If you are at all into guns or military history, you soon start feeling like a kid in a candy store while perusing the weapons on the wall. Should I shoot the M1 rifle, the weapon carried by most U.S. soldiers in World War 2? How about the Thompson submachine gun, the murderous tool of Roaring ‘20s gangsters? Or maybe the thunderous 1919 belt-fed machine gun, or the modern SAW, both of which will give you plenty of bang for your buck?
In the end, I decide to try three weapons: the Glock, the Tommy gun, and the AK-47. The Glock 9mm is the personal weapon used by most police departments in the U.S., and it’s light and comfortable in my hand. After we don ear and eye protection, the range officer gives detailed safety instructions (importantly -- keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot, and only point the weapon downrange), then loads the gun with live ammunition. Just like that, I’m popping off rounds, aiming at different parts of my undead paper target (focusing on the head shots, of course).
The Thompson is next, and I split the first 25-round clip between single shots and semiautomatic three-round bursts. The gun is big and heavy, and not particularly comfortable when aiming down the sights: no wonder Al Capone and friends typically shot these babies from the hip. Popping in a second clip, the range officer suggests going fully automatic (tip: start by aiming low, since the gun will rise as you fire). I pull the trigger and in seconds I have filled my zombie target with 25 .50-caliber rounds. Definitely an adrenaline rush!
Finally, it’s the AK-47, another “spray and pray” weapon. This one has a mean kick, much more abusive than the Thompson. They say the AK-47 is the most common assault rifle in the world, but while it may be durable, it’s not that much fun to shoot. That’s no knock on Guns and Ammo Garage, which delivered an experience that lived up to my expectations and left me looking forward to coming back for more. Perhaps the M-16 next time, the MP5, or the Smith & Wesson .500? Hmmm...
What Does It Cost?
Packages at Guns and Ammo start at $99.95 for a chance to fire an UZI or an MP5 and any 9mm handgun. They toss in a photo as well. There is a kids package available just in case you want your little ones to learn something about guns in a safe and controlled environment. ($39.95). If you want the entire family to go in and release a bit of the stress that has built up, you get over 200 rounds a video and t-shirts for $249.95.
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