Boyert Shooting Center

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Vol Texan
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Boyert Shooting Center

#1

Post by Vol Texan » Mon Feb 16, 2015 1:24 am

Friday night, (Friday the 13th), my wife and I found ourselves without a 6 year old for the evening. Our daughter was out for a 'big bash' at her gymnastics school until midnight.

So, we decided that we'd have our Valentine's Day date a day early. So, being an incredible wife, she suggested that we start the night out at the shooting range :coolgleamA: . I checked out the website for a few local ranges here in the west side of Houston, and was disappointed to find out that Boyert Shooting Center was closing in just under an hour. Top Gun was a bit further away, and it was also closing at the same time. Athena was closing an hour later, but we'd had a less than good experience there, and I really wanted to introduce my wife to the Boyert range (my daughter and I have shot there many times, but my wife has not yet made it in).

She suggested I call Boyert anyway, just to find out if they were doing something special for Valentine's Day weekend - a date night special perhaps. I did call, and no, there was nothing special for the evening, but lady on the other end of the phone said something that surprised me: "No problem...if you show up before closing, you'll still get your full hour. We'll stay open late anytime for our customers who arrive before closing."

I have to say, hearing this was a pleasant surprise. Other than restaurants, I don't often hear about businesses that do such a thing. It's because of service like this that I've made Boyert my preferred local indoor range for the last few months. Don't get me wrong - I've had good service at other places such as Top Gun and Memorial Shooting Center, and perhaps either of these might have had the same offer for me. But I figured it's worth giving these guys a shout out for the service they offered that evening, just under an hour before closing.

When it was all said and done, we had a great time at the range, followed by a great (late) dinner. Thanks, Boyert, for creating an atmosphere in your range where your employees are empowered to make the customer feel welcomed.
Your best option for personal security is a lifelong commitment to avoidance, deterrence, and de-escalation. When those fail, aim for center mass.

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brhalltx
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Re: Boyert Shooting Center

#2

Post by brhalltx » Mon Feb 16, 2015 11:14 pm

Where is Boyert? (Westheimer/Fondren; interesting, I've never heard of it before.)
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howdy
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Re: Boyert Shooting Center

#3

Post by howdy » Mon Feb 16, 2015 11:21 pm

Boyert is the old Tactical Firearms on South Mason Rd in Katy. Tactical was the guy who did not think there should be on line ammo sales. The owner of Tactical lost the business in bankruptcy. There is a second Boyert Range in Houston on Westheimer near Fondren. I used Tactical Firearms range to qualify my CHL students. I have not had a class since Boyert took over. Anyone use them for quals?
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Re: Boyert Shooting Center

#4

Post by Vol Texan » Wed Feb 18, 2015 1:30 pm

howdy wrote:Boyert is the old Tactical Firearms on South Mason Rd in Katy. Tactical was the guy who did not think there should be on line ammo sales. The owner of Tactical lost the business in bankruptcy. There is a second Boyert Range in Houston on Westheimer near Fondren. I used Tactical Firearms range to qualify my CHL students. I have not had a class since Boyert took over. Anyone use them for quals?
This is partially correct.

Boyert Shooting Center (the original) is on 9099 Westheimer Rd, in Houston. They had their grand opening on 14 June 2014, so they're a relatively new range in Houston.

(The next bit is going to read like an advertisement for this place, but I assure you I have no ties to them - I am, however, impressed with the place each time I go.)

I went in for the first time in August or September last year, and I met the owner, John Boyert. I had my 6-year old with me that day, and I wanted to inquire as to whether they'd let her shoot there (some places, like Athena, won't let her shoot until she turns 12?!?). The guy behind the counter was helpful, but wasn't 100% sure as to what age was old enough to shoot there, so he stepped to the back to ask John to come to the front and talk with us.

I expected a quick 'yes' or 'no' conversation, but instead I got his full attention for about 30 minutes. I said that his place had caught me by surprise. From the outside, it looked like just another place in the strip center, but once I got inside, it had the 'upscale look and feel' of Athena. He explained that he'd been the CEO of Athena when it opened, and that he and his investors had a difference of opinion on the direction of the company (I'm paraphrasing his words here), and that they had gone their separate ways within a month or so of opening. He said he was hoping to build a more family-friendly place, but that the investors were intent on a more upscale shooting club.

I told him that the Athena did seem more like a country club (with a VIP lounge and a Cigar Room), but I was not interested in that. Rather, I wanted a place I could shoot with my daughter and wife.

I mentioned that my daughter is often too short to shoot at the benches at other places, but they've made great concessions for us. The folks at American Shooting Center let us pull a bench or a cinder block up for her to stand on. The folks at Top Gun always pull a chair out for her to kneel on while shooting. He said that he'd prefer not to have that sort of thing - he wants the kids to shoot, but he wants to make sure they have a good footing. We could use something like an exercise step to get her higher up, because it has more foot room on it, but he prefers not to have her kneeling on a chair or on a small step stool.

But then that's when he really started to impress me. He said (I'm paraphrasing again here), "we're always one generation away from losing our 2nd Amendment rights, so I think it's important to get our kids involved in shooting early." He then grabbed a display child's gun off the wall, got us both a set of ears, and brought us out to the range. He handed my daughter the rifle and asked her to step up to the shooting bench. She did, and I noticed that she fit perfectly, without a step. He said that he intentionally built the benches just a bit shorter to make it easier for the kids to shoot without the additional step. We talked for a few more minutes, and then walked out of the range. Between the soundproof doors of the range and the main lobby he'd installed a hand-washing sink. Sure, that's a good idea, but I saw the subtlety here...he understood that moms (dads too, but mainly moms) will always want to get their kids to wash hands after shooting. He put the sink here, right as you exit the range, to facilitate that happening before the kids even take off their ears (getting their hands clean before they get their hands near their faces).

After that, he took us around to show us the simulators (including a live-fire simulator) that he installed. Cool stuff, and I'm looking forward to trying these out.

On Halloween, he had a pumpkin shoot. Kids could come in dressed in their Halloween costume and shoot with no range fees (we had to pay for the pumpkins only). He hung plastic over the walls in the live fire simulator room, bought a bunch of pumpkins, and built a rack to hang them from. My daughter destroyed 6 pumpkins before we went trick-or-treating that night, and she still talks about it to this day.

His staff is very friendly, and welcomes my daughter in each time we visit. They say a way to a man's heart is through his stomach...but that's not really true. If you want to win my business, cater to my family's needs and you'll win my loyalty as a brand.

Like I said, I have no financial interest in this place, but I've been really impressed so far, and I like to give good reviews when they are deserved. It is so easy to find bad reviews about places - I figure good reviews are rare enough that they deserve the extra attention.

(end advertisement)

Now about Tactical Firearms...I've visited that place only once, and I thought it looked like a great place to shoot. The folks inside were very friendly, and I'd heard good things about the range. My visit was only a quick one, and I didn't have time to shoot that day, so I don't have any comment about shooting there. I've read lots of things about the place, but I've never met the (former) owner. I did like that he had a sense of humor regarding the messages he posted on his marquee - my favorite was, "Sticks and Stones may break my bones, but hollowpoints expand on impact". I've heard that he got quite political on there as well, and while his political messages generally meshed with my political leanings, I can understand why that irked some folks.

I live in the west side of Houston, but a visit to Tactical is not along my daily travels all that often, so I have not yet returned. If they were closer to me, I'd likely have been there a lot more often. It seemed like it could be a great place to shoot.

I'd heard that the former owner also had some legal troubles, and I'm not 100% sure what precipitated the transfer of ownership. I did read this article that made it appear like a hostile takeover by his (at the time) partner, but then again, this is a one-sided account of the situation, so that also has to be taken with a grain of salt.

I've heard that John Boyert has now acquired the old Tactical Firearms in Katy, and will re-brand it under the same name of his original location. I don't know when (or if) that's going to happen, but I'll likely make the trek over there to check it out. Due to location, however, I'll probably still frequent his older place more often.
Your best option for personal security is a lifelong commitment to avoidance, deterrence, and de-escalation. When those fail, aim for center mass.

www.HoustonLTC.com Texas LTC Instructor & NRA Pistol Instructor
www.Texas3006.com Moderator
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Armored Cav.

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