Is An Indoor Shooting Range or Outdoor Range better?
When selecting a place to do one's shooting, there are two choices - an indoor shooting range or outdoor shooting range. Some people prefer one to the other overall, some prefer different ranges for different purposes.
Each can serve their purpose, and each has benefits and drawbacks. The main point is to get the most out of one's time at the shooting range.
Indoor Shooting Range Fantastic For Pistol Practice
Mostly, the largest reason to go to an indoor shooting range is shoot handguns. Granted, some allow long guns and some don't; it all depends on the indoor range, but for the most part handguns are the focus of an indoor range.
A good number of gun stores have shooting ranges attached. Some even have rentals available, in case there's a pistol a person wants to try before they buy. It's really the best way to do your gun shopping, since you can try before you buy.
Benefits of indoor ranges are that they aren't susceptible to the elements. You can shoot there virtually any day of the year - so long as the range is open. Factors like light, wind and so on don't enter into it. So, if one wants to see just how accurate one's pistol is, an indoor range is the ideal place to do it.
Since so many of them are located at gun stores...you don't have to go home if you run out of shooting range ammo.
That said, since one is indoors, proper behavior is a must. Obey the rules of the range. It isn't as if there's anywhere that the four rules of gun safety apply more than anywhere else, but one does have to be mindful.
Just don't be THAT guy at the range. (Or girl, for that matter.) No one likes that person.
In fact, that's just a good rule for life in general.
Fresh Air And Varied Shooting At Outdoor Shooting Range
While the indoor range provides benefits in the form of a more stable environment, many cleave the outdoor shooting range for its versatility. And heck, who wants to stay indoors all the time? Get out of the house once in a while, go to the shooting range for fun; it's good for you.
Outdoor shooting ranges are - obviously - more at the mercy of the elements. One might be able to concealed carry all year long, but outdoor ranges may be closed during summer fire seasons or during winter months, depending on the range.
With that said, the major benefit of an outdoor range is versatility. Pistol shooting is obviously feasible, but a sufficient outdoor range can also be used for long guns. Some cater exclusive to long-range rifle shooting and shotgunning - especially the skeet and trap set.
Another benefit is that outdoor ranges can also present greater opportunities when it comes to choice of targets. Paper targets are great, don't think for a moment they aren't valuable. However, reactive targets are also fantastic. In fact, they can be invaluable in honing accuracy; small reactive targets (such as a 6- or 8-inch diameter gong) are great for practicing shots at vital areas at distance.
Obviously, such shooting is good for recreational shooters trying to become more accurate. However, for the big game hunter it is invaluable.
Additionally, outdoor ranges are where competitive shooting matches take place, regardless of the type. IDPA, ISPC and all the up to Olympic shooting. If a person wants to get involved in that kind of shooting, that's where it's done and that's also where one should practice.
Many A Shooting Range Out There
One can choose indoor or outdoor, but shooting ranges are diverse. Some are public, some are private. There are also many gun clubs that maintain their own range; some require membership and others allow purchase of a day pass.
Private gun ranges are likely to be somewhat more sterile environments, with rules and regulations to follow. There may even be a range officer. Some people prefer this, some people don't; it's up to the individual to choose.
Public ranges can be basically a small pit for your shooting range backstop on the side of a hill for pistol shooting or large, open spaces. On the one hand, you can do any type of target shooting that you want - but you have to pack all the gear in and out. Additionally, there usually aren't range officers at public shooting locations. It's all up to you to keep safe and be courteous to others at the range.
About The Author
Born in southeastern Washington State, Sam Hoober graduated in 2011 from Eastern Washington University. He resides in the great Inland Northwest, with his wife and child. His varied interests include camping, hunting, concealed carry, and spending time at the gun range as often as possible..