Granite State Indoor Range: Shooting in ‘Live Free or Die’ New Hampshire

GSIR's checkout counter. Image credit: GSIR

What made me choose Granite State Indoor Range (GSIR)?

Ever since my return from Wisconsin, I hadn’t had much money to go shooting.  My federal tax return came back and I had a free day to work with.  I decided I wanted a range day.

I normally go to the Mass Firearms School (MFA) considering the options in-state for public ranges are sparse.  As of recently, there is The Gun Parlor (TGP) in Worcester, but you have to be a member to shoot with them, and their memberships are pricey.

Considering TGP had been through a legal battle with the state attorney general, I wasn’t sure if there had been additional fallout with other gun stores.  Also, considering I hadn’t been to MFA since Christmas 2016, I wanted to make sure that all I needed was a driver’s license.  A cursory check of their website revealed that I would need my LTC in-hand.  I made a quick call to verify this new policy – the clerk I spoke to said that it was always their policy.  The three times that I’d been there to shoot, I never had to show my LTC (except for the one time I purchased ammunition); they only asked for my driver’s license.  Furthermore, when I mentioned that when I’ve been there to shoot previously, I’d never seen anyone that had to show their LTC, the clerk was quick to tell me that their policy is aligned with state law.

After chasing the conversation down several tangents and with him being vague on a few points, I finally received positive confirmation that because my driver’s license was from out-of-state, and I didn’t have a non-resident LTC, that I would not be able to shoot there.  Sadly, because of the way the conversation went, there’s a good chance that I won’t be back there.

Like anything else commerce related, I did a quick Google search for ranges in New Hampshire, and I turned up GSIR.  On my way up to get an oil change, I called them, and all I needed for them was my driver’s license; easy-peasy.

Shooting at GSIR

GSIR is nicely located off of main roads and not out in the middle of nowhere.  Some of this could be the zoning laws in New Hampshire towns, and some of it could be that firearms are not a taboo thing there.  Let’s not forget that it wasn’t that long ago that their governor signed constitutional carry into law.

When you first enter, the facility looks larger than it is because of how they utilize space.  When you enter, on your left are the administrative offices, straight ahead are windows into their pistol ranges.  To the right is some shelving for accessories, and the checkout area.  If you walk in and just walk straight, you’ll come upon their fairly small, but doable retail section, in addition to the range rental area.  In front of the area enclosing the separated pistol and long gun ranges, are four tablets; GSIR moved into the 21st century and allows patrons to sign their waiver electronically.  I also found out that you can fill it out before you get there by going on their website.  Their waiver is good for one year and has to be signed whether you are a member or not.

When I approached to rent a lane, I learned of the requirement to sign their waiver electronically.  There were people ahead of me, so I engaged the clerk in some conversation about their laws.  He also informed me that because of their relaxed policy combined with the relaxed laws, patrons come in from all over the region.  Since there was a group behind me, I headed over to the retail section.

Since New Hampshire doesn’t have an Approved Weapons Roster, their inventory was far greater, though there were a number of firearms I didn’t see in their case.  While I was on their retail side, I asked about making a purchase being a non-resident; the clerk mentioned that he could sell me the firearm, but it would have to be transferred to an FFL in [Wisconsin], where they would have to transfer it to me.

After perusing their retail counter, I returned to the cashier to discover that the four individuals were still filling out the waiver.  It didn’t take long after I returned for a tablet to free up, so I jumped in.  It was your standard waiver that included some questions that you’d find on a 4473.  Be sure to read each question carefully as a waiver is a legally binding document.

Once the waiver was done, I was given a white, foam target with flaps that would secure my target in place.  I was directed to the range rental section.

The range clerk was pleasant, helpful, and animated in his explanations.  I also learned of their “suicide prevention” policy which consists of any patron renting a firearm(s) to placing a courtesy call to a relative and allowing the clerk to confirm with that relative that the person is of sound and good mind to be handling a firearm at that time.  For me, the call took approximately a minute.  It’s an interesting security layer in case someone is hiding something serious that a store clerk might not be able to detect.  It’s not idiot-proof, but it helps with liability as it adds an additional person to the list of people that knew you were at the range.

GSIR operates their range on a tab system such that you don’t pay anything until you checkout at the end of your time there.  I picked up a target, a box of Fiocchi, the M&P9c, earmuffs, and a bucket.  I headed into the pistol range and took my place.  As I normally do when I setup, I removed the 9c and empty magazine from the bucket and put them on the shelf, business ends downrange.  I broke out the ammo and put the box in front of me.  It took me a few minutes to figure out how to work their target system, but I eventually brought the system closer to me, mounted my target, and pushed it to 20 yards.

I also took this opportunity to take a number of pictures of the target as I experimented with different aims and different holding styles.  I did a combination for the sake of aim and practicing with sights, and single handed rapid-fire as if I were firing at an actual threat.  Both times, my aim was fairly consistent – each time, I was hitting at least the torso and several head shots.

After making quick use of the ammo, I returned to the counter for two boxes of ammo and to trade the 9c for the Shield.

Upon return, I did the same modes of experimentation.  With the sheer number of holes in the target I’d been using, I should have used separate targets for both.  My main purpose for coming here was to fire the Shield again for a type of confirmation to myself that it was the firearm for me.  Mind you, as time went on, I took more and more pictures so that I would have some reference pictures.

Once done, I headed out of the range, and returned everything I’d rented, followed by paying at the clerk’s station.  At the end, I purchased three boxes of ammo, rented ear protection, two handguns, and one target – I came out spending less than $100 because New Hampshire has no sales tax.

I would say that their staff was friendly, knowledgeable, and accommodating.  Their range was small, but I suspect their shop doesn’t get busy enough to require a larger setup.  Their range safety officers were helpful and were vigilant about keeping watch over both, but I was surprised that neither the range clerk, nor the checkout clerk were monitoring any kind of CCTV.

I took a membership brochure as I was departing.  Their site isn’t the clearest in terms of how their membership packages stack up, but you can purchase one at an annual rate or monthly.

  • An individual membership is $450 for the year, or $39 per month.
  • Family memberships (four immediate family members that live in the same household – proof of address required) are $700 for the year, or  $59 per month.
  • Red, White, and Blue (RWB) memberships (active and reserve military, law enforcement, firefighters, and EMTs) run $400 for the year, or $34 per month.
  • Senior memberships run $400 for the year, or $34 per month.
  • Corporate memberships are $1600 for the year, and $149 for the month.
  • Their Patriot Gun Club (PGC) is either a one-time payment of $5,000 with two monthly options:  $50/mo with $2,500 down or $85/mo with $1,000 down, both for a 60 month term.

With the exception of the PGC, packages feature:

  • Unlimited use of range time for the duration of the year.
  • Lane reservation – Individual, RWB, and Senior can reserve a lane; family and corporate can reserve two lanes.
  • Guests of the member shoot for $15 each.
  • 10% off the price of ammo and training classes.
  • 50% off the price of firearm rentals and suppressor rentals.
  • For an extra $50/yr, they can access the VIP lounge; corporate membership allows free access for members.
  • 20% off of personal instruction.
  • Corporate members get free FFL transfers, where the others get 50% off.
  • Only corporate members get 10% off events held by GSIR.
  • Only corporate members get 30% discount on classroom rentals.
  • Only corporate members get 25% discount on renting the VIP lounge.

PGC members get:

  • Lifetime unlimited use of a range.
  • Reserve up to two lanes.
  • Their guests shoot for free (wording on the brochure implies that all of their guests do).
  • 10% off ammo and training classes.
  • 50% off firearm rentals and suppressor rentals.
  • Free access to the VIP lounge for members and guests.
  • 25% off personal range instruction.
  • Free FFL transfers.
  • 15% off of GSIR events.
  • 50% off classroom rentals.
  • 40% off VIP Lounge rental.
  • 5% discount on firearms purchase.

My thoughts on membership:

  • The Patriot Gun Club is a worthwhile purchase if:
    • You shoot for competition or sport, and will be in to practice almost daily, and for long period of time.
    • You’re employed in the firearm industry and become the recipient of firearms on a regular basis, or you find yourself frequently transferring firearms to others.
    • You’re the head of a gun organization and want to conduct either classes or other training sessions at their facilities.
    • You become a regular and want to network with other enthusiasts without paying an additional monthly cost for the Lounge.
    • You accept that if you are an individual, it will take approximately ten years of membership usage for it to pay off.
  • Otherwise:
    • RWB and Senior feature the same benefits and discounts.
    • Military and emergency personnel save $50/yr, or $5/mo. over civilians.
    • If your family shoots often, the discount on ammo, training, and the ability to reserve two lanes could work out.
    • PGC and corporate membership seem to be a difference on whether you want the membership to be lifetime, or you want it to be something you don’t need to renew at the end of the year.

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