Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Posts
    16

    Shooting Range/ Gun Club and Purchase Questions

    Hi All,

    I recently got PAL (Both Restricted & Non-Restricted).

    I am based in GTA (Greater Toronto Area).

    Please guide me for following -

    1. Finding a Gun Club/ Shooting range to become a member. (I did some homework but could not find anyone who is excepting new members).
    2. Find a reliable store to buy my first firearm. (Again, I did some homework and found Cabela's prices to be the lowest. Anyone have experience ordering through Cabela's?)

    I appreciate all responses in advance!

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Senior Member linung's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    #WEXIT
    Posts
    2,182
    Cabelas is fine.

    You got lots of good choice to get a gun locally. Tenda in Markam, Al's in downtown. FOC in Ajax.

    https://www.gotenda.com/
    https://alflahertys.com/
    https://www.firearmsoutletcanada.com/

    Ellwood Epps has the best selection but they're in Muskoka.

    depending on where you live. Target is about the only one taking members. If you live in the east, gagnon is taking people, but they're like out in Oshawa. It's farther but 50m is better then 25m.

    http://www.gagnonshootingcentre.com/
    https://www.targetsportscanada.com/
    Memeber of CSSA, OFAH



    More Shooting! Less Posting!

  3. #3
    Canadian ForcesMember
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Robson Valley, BC
    Posts
    251
    If you deal with Epps, watch out because they will give you lots of attitude for no good reason. I would suggest going somewhere else, anywhere else.
    Waiting for first light. Shook hands with the devil.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Posts
    2,335
    I am in Toronto.

    My favourite store in the GTA (and the only store actually in Toronto) is Al Flaherty's. I bought most of my guns there. I have found the gun shop guys friendly and helpful if they feel you are a serious buyer, not someone just coming around to look at guns when you have no intention of buying.

    Firearms Outlet Canada are also good guys, in Ajax.

    I even bought one gun at Target Sports - they actually have a good selection, and you can handle the guns easily.

    Once I got more comfortable with the guns, I bought some from other owners, either at a gun show or from forums like this one.

    When you are a newbie, the advantage of buying at a local store is they are more likely to help you if you are having trouble with something (sights, disassembly, etc). I generally have not bought online.

    I try to avoid buying at the big stores (Cabelas, Bass Pro) because I want to support small gun shops that really care about gun owners rather than big American corporations that won't give a crap about Canadian gun owners. Also, saving 50 bucks or more a gun is insignificant once you've put the first thousand rounds through it. Ammo is your main cost driver if you are a serious shooter, along with membership and the cost of gas to get to the range regularly.

    I bought one gun at Epps. Would not recommend it unless they have something you can't buy anywhere else. Or you need their gunsmith for some reason.

    As for gun clubs, it depends what you want to do with your guns:
    -handguns? for least hassle, Calibre (out of Target Sports) is your best choice. Year round, retrievable targets, easy drive 2 minutes off the 404. It has downsides too (ventilation, having tourist shoot in the stall beside you), but practically speaking the upside far outweighs the bad unless you enjoy long drives to places like Barrie, Niagara Falls, Guelph, or Waterloo. All gun clubs have hassles involved with membership, and some waiting involved, but I think Calibre has the easiest qualification. I am not knowledgeable about Gagnon Shooting Sports, but I don't see the advantage of a 50m range if your main interest is handguns. Calibre has a good IPSC practice group if you get into that. Also IDPA.

    -There is the Toronto revolver club, right inside Toronto, but it's a very old facility and they try to stay under the radar. I was there once, and it doesn't look like a fun place to shoot. Not that easy to join either. Lots of old timers there. I've heard them saying they want to get new and younger members, but I don't think they are really making an effort.

    There is an Oshawa gun club with good outdoor facilities, but my one visit there was very negative. Unfriendly, unhelpful, and I think they generally don't like handguns there.

    There is also a good place in Burlington if you are willing to drive out that far for handgun stuff.

    -trap/skeet? Hamilton Gun Club or TITS (Toronto International Trap and Skeet). Voice activated target release.

    -Sharon Gun Club has excellent outdoor facilities for all shooting sports, but nothing indoor. Shooting outdoor in winter is not something I enjoy much. It's also a huge pain to join there. You have buy "buy" share, which is usually available, but last time I checked they cost 5K and up, and that was a while back.

    I used to go to Silverdale (half way between Niagara and Hamilton) to shoot my rifles and do some trap - you can go without being a member, just pay the day rate, so if you go only a few time a year, it was a good place. But, they changed their rifle range in order to comply with demands from the CFO so that it feels like you are shooting from a bunker. Took all the fun out of it. They have excellent IPSC facilities, but for that you have to be an actual member. In my opinion, not worth the drive from Toronto.

    If I could join any club in Ontario regardless of driving distance, from the ones I have tried as a Toronto person, it would be either Barrie or Guelph, because they have everything you want for any shooting discipline, and an indoor handgun range for the winter. But driving there regularly from Toronto is not an option, and it takes a long time to become a member there.

    Don't get discouraged by the hassle of starting up, which can be considerable depending on which club you want to join. Accept it, and know that it's reassuring that the guys in the stalls beside your also had to go through the same hassle to demonstrate their seriousness about owning a gun. Once you've dealt with the hassles, it's worth it. And realize that many of the hassles were put there by the people who want to end gun ownership and shooting sports. Don't let them win by being a quitter!
    Last edited by TJSpeller; 08-19-2019 at 06:44 AM.
    CSSA CCFR CPC

  5. The Following 3 Users Like This Post By TJSpeller

    Aniest (08-19-2019), GTW (08-20-2019), LB303 (08-20-2019)

  6. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    SWOntario
    Posts
    2,407
    "...but they're in Muskoka..." Epp's is 15 minutes North of Orrillia on Hwy 11. Not Muskoka. It's worth every minute of the 2 hour or so drive. They have stuff you won't see anywhere else. There used to be an antique shop(called Ad Hominem. Dunno if they still exist.) across the parking lot that was worth a look too.
    "...excepting new members..." That's the issue with TO these days. Has been for years. Tory shut down most indoor ranges soon after he was elected and now there just aren't enough memberships for the demand. Even the "hour or so drive" clubs are full. Guelph for example, hasn't taken new members or put any on their waiting list since at least 2016 and have no plans for doing so in 2019. No new members at Barrie either.
    You may want to look into the CFB Borden Rod and Gun club. There are some hoops to jump through but the biggest deer track I've ever seen was on Borden.
    https://www.bordenrodandgun.com/membership/
    Where you are in TO matters. You really won't want to drive to Burlington or anywhere else West of TO from the East end.

  7. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Posts
    2,335
    Barrie has a waiting list - at least they did a couple of years ago - and you can put yourself on it and wait. I was called within 6 months of being put on the list. Guelph is tough to get into, for sure.

    But for handguns, Calibre (Target Sports) is taking people now. I don't know the situation at Gagnon.

    It goes make a difference whether you are Toronto west end (in which case Burlington is not so bad) or east end (in which case Gagnon, or Oshawa, or the Marksmen club (http://marksmenclub.com/) are better. I don't know much about the latter, but it looks like they are taking new members.

    Toronto never had much by the way of gun clubs in the last 10-15 years. There was the one at Union station, and the one at U of T, which were shut down, but not by Tory - it was by the socialist who was mayor before Rob Ford, forgot his name. There was another out on the Lakeshore, but I know nothing about it.


    Persevere!
    CSSA CCFR CPC

  8. #7
    Senior Member linung's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    #WEXIT
    Posts
    2,182
    Reading the page provided for CFB Borden Rod and Gun club... It appears that you have to be in the Military or RCMP to join. Or at the very least know someone who is a member and have him/her invite you to join. So basically not for the general public.
    Memeber of CSSA, OFAH



    More Shooting! Less Posting!

  9. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    GTA
    Posts
    480
    Quote Originally Posted by Justice View Post
    Tory shut down most indoor ranges soon after he was elected
    OMG, I cannot believe I'm gonna defend that MF Tory ...but, for the sake of Truth - it wasn't Tory, it was Miller ... a MF in cube ...

    may he be turning as a fan every time a Toronto gun owner have to go buy ammo/firearm or shooting ... be Miller alive or dead ...

  10. The Following User Liked This Post By sltoronto

    IJ22 (08-21-2019)

  11. #9
    Senior Member Grimlock's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Posts
    1,667
    Quote Originally Posted by linung View Post
    Reading the page provided for CFB Borden Rod and Gun club... It appears that you have to be in the Military or RCMP to join. Or at the very least know someone who is a member and have him/her invite you to join. So basically not for the general public.
    Easy solution: the army is hiring! See the [third] world! Learn the names of joints you didn't know you had from your doctor! Help buy a divorce lawyer a boat (or two)!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •