The Inside and Outside Scoops on Hitting The Range

A shooting range is a great place to learn to shoot, hone your skill, and socialize with fellow gunnies. Once you decide to join, one of the first choices you’ll have to make is whether the best fit is an indoor or outdoor shooting range. While there’s no wrong answer, there may be an answer that’s more right for you. Environment, practicality, skill level, personal goals – how you rank these factors will help determine whether you’ll benefit more from being outdoors or indoors.

Depending on where you are in your shooting career, the choice may be clear. In most cases, it’s strictly a matter of personal taste. Here are a few advantages to consider between indoor versus outdoor shooting ranges, plus a few perks that come with both.

Advantages of Indoor Shooting Ranges

Opting for an indoor range means sacrificing the fresh air and organic vibe of the great outdoors, but there are conveniences you can only find within four walls and a roof.

Location: Indoor ranges can be located within or close to cities, making them more accessible and a faster commute. For those without cars, indoor ranges are usually closer to buses and subways.

Year-round access: Winter? Rain? No problem. Indoor ranges have you covered – literally.

Regulated and measured: Gun ranges offer a controlled environment to ensure safety. There is enforced distance between members. The number of people is limited per lane. A code of behaviour is respected.

Advantages of Outdoor Shooting Ranges

For some, nothing is better than shooting under a clear blue sky. The list could end there, but there are more perks to consider:

Multiple shooting stations: Being outside offers more variety than shooting in a straight line. You have more mobility, different styles of targets, and the larger spaces can accommodate creatively themed sets.

Realistic environments: Outdoor ranges provide a more realistic training scenario, which is especially important for those training for military, law enforcement, or to compete. Targets can cover a wider area and be placed at various distances, re-creating the environment you’ll encounter in the field.

Fresh air: The advantage of being outside goes deeper than enjoyment. Shooting involves a lot of smoke and lead. Being outdoors means you don’t have to worry about what you’re breathing. Although indoor gun ranges are very well ventilated, those who are sensitive to air quality may prefer sticking with fresher air.

Greater choice of guns: Outdoor ranges impose fewer limits on the types and sizes of guns.

Other Perks of Joining a Shooting Range

Gun rentals: Some ranges have rentals and being able to rent guns can feel like walking into a candy store. Try out different grips. Test out different calibers. Introduce a first-timer to shooting. Having access to a variety of guns is not only fun, it can help you decide which gun you enjoy the most.

Access to classes and instructors: If you’re a new shooter, proper instruction from a trained teacher is essential. Having regular classes with the right instructor is an important first step towards becoming a skilled marksman.

No matter what you choose, the right shooting range will give you hours of pleasure and allow you to improve your skill level. Enjoy the search and happy shooting!

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