View Full Version : Any Jacksonville, FL shooters?

April 29, 2006, 08:57 PM
I'm a newb who picks up my first handgun on Thursday. Really looking forward to all of this but don't know anyone locally who shoots. Wife isn't into guns at all but is supporting my decision to get one better than anticipated. Looking for range suggestions also - I think I'd prefer outdoors so that leaves me just Gateway, but I welcome all suggestions. Thanks!

Lucky 7
April 29, 2006, 10:26 PM
Howdy how Heraclid! Welcome to the forum!

Well, my (Marine) friends and I enjoy shooting at Bullseyes (near Regency Mall). Its a good lil facility and clean of "undesireables".
Also, you more than welcome to come with us (usually 3 or so) and have a grand ole time :D

Semper Fi!

April 29, 2006, 10:54 PM
Hi back at ya! First of all, a big thanks for your service. People don't say that enough. Hey, you don't know a guy named Garrett Peck do ya? Used to work with him.

You must mean over at Atlantic & University. I was just there this afternoon putting my first gun on layaway! I'll be picking it up Thursday. May be signing up for some of their classes soon.

Thanks for the invite! If you guys won't be too bothered with a complete newbie, I may take ya up on that some time. I promise, I'm trying extra hard not to be a gun idiot.

April 30, 2006, 07:26 AM
i live off of dunn ave here in north jacksonville

April 30, 2006, 07:28 AM
gateway is the best place to shoot and i have been to all of them

April 30, 2006, 08:05 AM
Gateway Rifle and Pistol Club is an excellent outdoor range. Covered firing line and facilities for most rifles and pistols and a shop. I am a member and shoot about once a week. I would be glad to get together with you if you would like. If you want to go, directions are:

1. From 295, exit at "103rd St" and go West towards Cecil Field.
2. When you start to go down a hill towards a bridge over a creek, just before the bottom of the hill, before the bridge, turn right on "Lambing Rd."
3. Go to "Noroad" ( the road is named No Road), turn left.
4 Continue to "Zambito" which goes to the right. Just after the intersection there is a sign on "Noroad" that sez "Dead End". There is also a small sign on a tree that says "Gateway Rifle and Pistol Club".
5 Turn right on "Zambito," continue around the sharp curve to the left and the club is a short way on the right. Once you are on "Zambito" it is almost impossible to miss.

They permit Day Shooters, I don't know the daily charge but it is reasonable. Safety is paramount there and a new first time shooter will have to watch a short video and answer a simple test, as you watch. All the answers are on the video.

Good Shooting and I hope Isee you there.

April 30, 2006, 12:55 PM
Thanks for your replies!

cwb, I got your message - thanks! I am getting more familiar with the Dunn Ave. area as I spend some time out there for work, usually a few days per month. Usually I'm hitting Normandy the same day(s) so I try to stop by Green Acres on my lunch break occasionally. :-)

tegemu, likewise - thanks for the helpful information! Looks like a really nice and comfortable day to be out there shooting today actually. Waiting for Thursday is killing me. LOL! But now I need to get good ear protection and safety glasses, figure out what ammo I want, probably invest in a good safe or the like, find some good instruction in basic and self-defense, then there's the CWP.

Gateway sounds like my kind of place. Those directions sound vaguely familiar, but I'm thinking it's not anything to do with shooting. Do they fly R/C planes and helis around there somewhere by chance? That would be cool- I could hit two birds with one stone. :-)

I would really appreciate tips on a good instructor if anyone knows one they'd highly recommend. And are the electronic noise-cancelling earmuffs worth it?

Lucky 7
April 30, 2006, 01:00 PM
check ur PM in a sec

April 30, 2006, 01:26 PM
I like Gateway, even though I had a run in with one RO. (two targes on one stand) I had a few pistols out and a 10mm giving me a fit. Shoot , atempt repair, repet. til fixed.
Other than that it is excellent.

The Bullseye is great too, the guy in the AR dept. knows his stuff. I won a S&W ballcap there.

The other indoor range, I forget teh name (near Downtown) SUX!!
That guy is an asshat.
If you get a chance go over to St. Johns Firearms, those guys are awsome too.

April 30, 2006, 01:57 PM
Outsider_10fp, I've heard some things about Bullseye (formerly Southside Gun), some good and some not too good. Nonetheless I am buying from there and had a good experience there yesterday. Shooters over on University turned me off pretty fast, and I'm lukewarm about St. Nicholas, but the San Jose store is like 2 minutes from me. I do not know of a downtown range - the only other one besides Gateway and Bullseye that I know is at Gun Gallery on Beach Blvd.

I stumbled across St. Johns Firearms last week while handling some accounts out there with work. I spoke to a guy there over the phone yesterday and unfortunately he said they are looking to close the store down by July and didn't think the owner would want to place an order and increase his inventory but to call Monday and see. Won't happen because I went for the Pro-9 at Bullseye a few hours later. Anyway, I was inquiring about Pro-9's and FNP-9's and he said they didn't have what I was after but they are trying to sell off some remaining FN Forty-Nines. You might get a nice deal on one if that is of any interest to you.

April 30, 2006, 03:47 PM
Heraclid. PM me and maybe we can meet at Gateway on Thurs. and pop a few caps and then go get a cupa Joe and try to out-lie each other. I would be glad to share my limited knowledge with you.

April 30, 2006, 05:03 PM
the best gun shop in jacksonville is shooters on phillips

April 30, 2006, 05:24 PM

I had a good feeling about them until I got some pretty bad customer service over the phone. Still, it's just one employee on one given day, no one is perfect, and I'm a forgiving sort.


Not sure about Thursday but we'll see... definitely should set something up soon. As for out-lying each other, it's my experience that no one has a good enough memory to be much good at that. :-)

XD Niner
April 30, 2006, 08:44 PM
Gateway is an excellent range. If you really want to learn to handle your new pistol well, consider some of the action shooting matches they host every month. I shoot the USPSA match there on the second Saturday of each month. They also have IDPA and cowboy action shooting events.

There is no better (and more fun) way to become proficient with your new pistol IMHO.

April 30, 2006, 09:02 PM
Sounds like a lot of fun, but I want to have a little regular range shooting experience under my belt before I attempt that. I'd want it to be pretty much second nature by then. But maybe I am misunderstanding the wat the matches work. I imagine I'll be doing it at some point. :-)

May 1, 2006, 07:31 PM
I'm here in Orange Park,I go to a range in Osceola Natl. Forrest,its not as large as Gateway but you don't have a rangemaster looking over your shoulder either,which is what I like,you can shoot what you want,how you want.Let me know if you want directions out there,its real easy to find.


May 1, 2006, 08:02 PM
Thanks - I've seen a reference to the Osceola range once or twice and wouldn't mind checking it out some time. So let me see if I remember this right...

I don't have a CCW permit yet. I can still convey the gun to the range in the forest so long as it stays in a case and put away in the car. I cannot carry it in a national forest though. But obviously if there is a range out there, the range must be okay.

But being brand new to things that go bang, perhaps the structure of a range with a RO would be best for me.

May 2, 2006, 04:36 PM
Yes,there is a certain road in and out that you must use unless it is hunting season and you have the proper license,but the road that you have to use just happens to be the shortest route there from Jax.

May 3, 2006, 05:35 PM
adeese660, thanks for the info - I'll have to get out there and do it some time. I love the great outdoors and need to see some more of what is practically in my own backyard. When I do it, I'll let you know.

May 4, 2006, 09:10 AM
WHOA! WHOA! WHOA!! I got my names crossed
BULLSEYE is the asshat, I meant to say Shooters, over on Beach.
AS why bullseye sux, is because ...
Me and a buddy go in to do some shooting, he is gonna use one of my pistols.
Anyways, we go in, look around, admire his safes, etc.
ME: We'd like to do some shooting.
Him: Do you need to rent one?
ME: No, they are in the truck
Him: Are you packing?
ME: Yes, I have a CHL
HIM: did you see the sign on the door?
ME: I saw about 30 flyers on the door, it is a bit cluttered with stuff.
HIM: If I cant trust you to read the signs, how the [email protected]#K can I trust you to shoot on my range
ME:mad: , EXCUSE ME!?
Him: go back out and read teh sign
ME: yeah, ok, you wiat here for me to return!

We hauled ass outta that place. Thtat guy was a real peice of work!

Shooters, on the other hand is great, that is where I won the ball cap.
THose people are excellent, and comaprable prices to what I see across the board.

May 4, 2006, 04:30 PM
I got the same feeling about Bullseye one time also,they acted like they were the only gun shop around and were doing ME a favor by 'letting' me buy from them,didn't buy and have never been back,its been about 4-5 years now.

May 4, 2006, 09:17 PM
My in-store experiences with Bullseye have been pretty good, but the best service I have gotten so far isat St. Nicholas in Mandarin. They spent a lot of time with me and they knew I wasn't buying anything that day. The thing there though was that I had a clerk who said he was a revolver guy and was clearly not up to speed on a lot of the semi-autos.

The reason I wonder about Bullseye is not on first-hand experience, but rather because of a report I heard about that had figured out the worst gunstores when it came to their guns later being used to commit crimes. They were one of the worst in the country and had something like 234 criminal traces come back to Southside Gun (now Bullseye) - no other local shop was on the list. I do not recall over what period of time this data was compiled, or what sort of number was considered just par for the course in that line of business. They were also found to be missing some of their guns.

Back when it was still Southside Gun, the owner (along with a handful of other local dealers' employees too) got arrested when a sting operation caught them facilitating (or at least not take proper precautions against) straw purchases. Then they became Bullseye. Seems like their prices aren't that good, but I can't complain much about the help I've gotten there lately. The couple that owned Southside Gun is now divorced, and the wife now runs Bullseye. Maybe they have cleaned up their act too, but I am sort of leary of 'em. I was reluctant to do any business with them but they had what I wanted and it saved me some hassle.

May 7, 2006, 02:57 PM

Just wondering - any more out there?

May 7, 2006, 03:56 PM
Hi Pal,

The miscreant owner of Southside Gun, a posturing, Wannabe Ole' Tyme Gunslinger and former cop idjit named Wayne, did in fact sell out and leave town. He also had a store on Blanding Blvd which is now another St. Nicholas gun. I do a lot of business there.

May 7, 2006, 05:06 PM
I remember Wayne being in the news for something relating to his stores,does anyone remember what that was about,if I'm not mistaken,he was arrested,had the feds on him or something.I don't remember,hope somebody does though,I'm really picking my brain trying to figure it out.

May 7, 2006, 05:25 PM
adeese660, see my comments above re: Southside Gun.

I remember those corny old commercials he did where he tried to take a pag eout of an old Rifleman episode or something... "get it now, get it today, at Southside Guuuuuuuunnnn." I bet he is the person several folks here said they had run-ins with and never went back there. Figured he must be gone now as there are is now only Bullseye (formerly Southside Gun I, I believe).

May 7, 2006, 06:14 PM
I did a search on Southside Gun and it turned up exactly what you said earlier,the FFL bureau was also involved in it.
I also remember those commercials,your right on that one too,it was from The Rifleman.I do remember he was a little arrogant when you when in his store.I do alot of business with St.Nicholas,Jimmy's Pawn and Gun on Lane Ave.,Shooters,the pawn shop in Middleburg,and now a friend of mine just got his FFL about 1 mo. ago,he owns a pawn shop just north of Knight Boxx Rd. on Blanding Blvd. in Orange Park,he does't have much right now because he hasn't had his FFL long,but he can still order anything you want.It shouldn't be long though before he has a pretty good selection on long guns and hand guns.

Mas Ayoob
May 7, 2006, 08:03 PM
Gateway is a great resource. They also have IDPA on the first Saturday of every month. Great bunch of people, very helpful to newcomers and transplants. You'll meet lots of good, like-minded folks there.

January 31, 2010, 12:16 PM
I know this is a really old post, but I'm relatively new to Jacksonville and I thought to revive this thread to see if you guys out there still feel the same about Gateway, Bullseye, etc. I checked out Gateway once and it was fun, but I need some shooting buddies. I have an AR-15 that I've been itching to take out and try, but the opportunity has not presented itself... I have been to Bullseye and used their range. I really enjoy it. Their shop is ok; I haven't bought guns from them but have used them for several incoming transfers.

January 31, 2010, 12:34 PM
I try to stop by Green Acres on my lunch break occasionally.

I was in Jacksonville for about 10 years. Then for resons that only make sence to detailors I was trnasfered to Oklahoma City a year before retierment.

Just from my experience I would take what you hear at Green Acres with a big grain of salt and shop around for better prices before you buy. They were often way over priced.

January 31, 2010, 05:44 PM
:)* I live in Jacksonville and have shot everywhere in the city over the last twenty years or so.* Gateway is the best all around range for all types of rifles, pistols, shotguns. etc.* Its ran pretty well and safe (in my opinion). Best of luck to you and welcome to the "club"...** Rick

January 31, 2010, 08:24 PM
:)* I live in Jacksonville and have shot everywhere in the city over the last twenty years or so.* Gateway is the best all around range for all types of rifles, pistols, shotguns. etc.* Its ran pretty well and safe (in my opinion). Best of luck to you and welcome to the "club"...** Rick

Actually, Rick, Heraclid's post dates back to 2006! I thought to revive it as I am new to Jax and I thought it's good to get to know some Jacksonvillians out here... Hope to see you at Gateway one day.

January 31, 2010, 09:19 PM
Welcome to TFL. I was in Shooters today buying a new gun. Will be going to Gateway tomorrow to test it out. Rick

January 31, 2010, 09:39 PM
Haven't been to Shooters yet. Have driven by it a couple of times, but every time it was during a time before they were open or after they were closed... I'd bet it must be nice at Gateway on a weekday. I am tempted to call in sick one day during the week and then go to Gateway! By the time I'm out of the office, it's dark already which limits my options to indoor ranges only and weekends are, well... only 2 days long! :) Have fun tomorrow, Rick. Did you buy a rifle or a handgun if you don't mind me asking.

January 31, 2010, 09:46 PM
:) Bought a Sig 5.56 rifle. Got a nice 30mm Trijicon sscope I am mounting on it as we speak. Only problem with Shooters is it is always too crowded to get good service. Take care

February 1, 2010, 12:51 AM
i live in macclenny but i shoot in jacksonville at times,went to shooters today and bought my wife a sig 238 with the rainbow finish,she should be very happy

also when you are at shooter ask for ms or eddy and tell them casey sent you and they will treat you good,i am very well know there, its the only place i buy my guns from

February 15, 2010, 10:17 AM

February 15, 2010, 03:51 PM
:) I have a Glock 21 (custom shop) that would blow your mind if you ever shot it. Awesome self defense gun and extremely accurate as well. NEVER has a jam or problem with it and have shot tons or rounds down range without incident. So it is reliable and thats all that counts when and if it ever goes down....
Maybe we can get together and shoot some time in the Jax area. Take care.

February 15, 2010, 04:42 PM
oooh I like where we are all going with this! Can I also join in to play? I've got Kimber SIS Ultra that's going to melt in your hands (well, figuratively speaking because literally it would really not be very reliable if it melts...)...

February 16, 2010, 12:35 AM
sorry my hk uspc .40 does not play well with other....:p

Suwannee Tim
March 18, 2010, 07:09 PM
I have been a member of Gateway for 35 years. I have had guns pointed at me so many times I cringe to think about it. They will bust the hell out of one member for having two targets on a frame then excuse another who points a gun down the firing line. I am amazed no one has gotten killed yet. I was harassed by a RO name of Donny Martinez to the point I was going to let my membership lapse and find somewhere else to shoot. Alas, there is not any comparable place with in a reasonable distance. Martinez busted my buddy for pointing a muzzle loader vertically as he loaded it. Said it might shoot down an aircraft. My buddy quit Gateway. Martinez told me to drop the floor plate of my bolt action rifle before the range went clear. I picked the gun up and was attempting to drop the plate when he called the line clear then tore me a new one for handling a rifle on a clear line. He was very hostile about it and when I attempted to tell him it was his fault for calling the line clear while I was handling the rifle he began shouting at me "Don't argue with me!" I was so mad I had to just leave. I wanted to watch a Bullseye match and got run off by a RO name of Arvil Budd. He told me I could not stay unless I was registered to shoot in the match. He is a rude one except when I have my wife with me and then sugar won't melt in his mouth he is so sweet. Several times I have had to run him off because he was drooling on my wife.

March 22, 2010, 10:38 PM
Hey Guys,
I grew up in Jacksonville on the Northside off Dunn Ave and I have had the BEST experiances at Gateway. Also, no on really mentioned Gun Gallery on Beach. My brother and I were members and they have a nice (smaller) indoor range. It is a smaller store and range (only can shoot up to .45 pistol and .22 rifle) BUt with inclement weather, it is great.
Just my .02.

Mike Todd