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Outdoor vs Indoor Shooting Ranges: Which One is Best for You?

Indoor shooting range vs outdoor shooting range

Whether you’re a veteran shooter and have experience with different types of firearms or it’s your very first time at a shooting range, you have a choice between the two basic types of shooting ranges: indoor and outdoor. There are several distinct pros and cons to both types of shooting ranges and, depending on your personal preferences, you will most likely prefer one over the other. But what makes them different and what suits you better?

Do Your Research

It’s extremely important to do your research before committing to a shooting range. The important thing is for you to feel comfortable, supported, and informed so you can really embrace and enjoy the experience. There may also be some requirements that you have to meet in order to use certain facilities.
Overall, it saves a lot of time, money, and frustration to research both indoor and outdoor shooting ranges before committing to one. People enjoy shooting ranges for different reasons, so it’s also important to list your own preferences and what features or amenities will enhance your experience the most.

Exposure to the Elements

Indoor Shooting Range

One of the most significant advantages to an indoor shooting range, especially in Las Vegas or other regions with extreme seasons, is you have protection from the weather. Snow, rain, or heat is not a factor when it comes to an indoor shooting range experience. The temperature is controlled, allowing you to focus on the thrilling experience of target shooting without being uncomfortable. Another advantage is wind, fog, or other outdoor elements won’t affect the path of the bullet or the shooter’s line of vision. Judging a pistol’s accuracy is most definitely easier in an indoor range without these distractions.

Outdoor Shooting Range

Lovers of the great outdoors will most likely favor shooting at an outdoor range rather than an indoor for obvious reasons. Many people who hunt for sport or regularly participate in outdoor activities prefer the feeling of shooting in the fresh air and open grounds. Although it may be hot, rainy, or cold, some people enjoy the challenge of the elements more than the comfort of a temperature-controlled building. However, this is simply a personal preference.

Convenience of Location

Indoor Shooting Range

If you happen to be in a more urban or populated area, chances are the nearest outdoor shooting range is not really close at all. You may have to travel for hours just to get to one. However, indoor shooting ranges are common, even in densely populated cities such as Las Vegas. Indoor ranges give people in urban areas a chance to get in quality trigger time that otherwise would not happen in such a populated area. The convenience of being able to run into a local range whenever you want is a major perk for those living in a city environment.

Outdoor Shooting Range

Although outdoor shooting ranges may take longer to get to and are usually not centrally located for many people, outdoor ranges offer an escape from the crowds and city life. For those looking to get away and have the travel time it takes to get to the range, it’s often worth it. However, some outdoor ranges can be closed in hotter fire-prone months or icy winter seasons, so be sure to check their schedules before visiting.

Versatility

Indoor Shooting Range

Indoor ranges are sometimes limited in terms of the caliber and types of bullets that can be fired. This is often due to safety reasons, as some bullets or larger caliber guns require more space to avoid ricochets or other potential hazards. However, this is mostly applicable to older indoor shooting ranges with outdated equipment or limited layouts. The Range 702 was designed with safety and comfort as a priority and allows up to .45 caliber and rifles at large as 30-06.

Outdoor Shooting Range

Outdoor ranges are generally very versatile. Pistols and long guns are allowed due to more open space and longer target ranges. Skeet and trap shooting is also possible outdoors, although is not always offered. There is also a wider choice of targets in many outdoor ranges, including reactive targets used to hone accuracy.

Amenities Offered

Indoor Shooting Range

Besides actually offering firearms for rent and rounds for purchase at the facility, there will be climate-controlled lanes, convenient restrooms, refreshment options, private parking, storage lockers, and other amenities based on the particular indoor shooting range. The Range 702 offers a wide variety of classes, experiences, an expansive and unique gun vault, and thrilling group event options, all in a comfortable and safe environment.

Outdoor Shooting Range

There is more freedom and range of movement in outdoor ranges which allows for more active training options in some cases. Outdoor ranges can be valuable in teaching classes on how to perform when temperatures are extreme or targets are moving. However, conditions are often not as comfortable or convenient as with indoor shooting ranges.

Safety as a Priority for Both Indoor and Outdoor Ranges

No matter which range you choose, the four rules of gun safety must always apply:

  • Never point your gun at anything you don’t intend to shoot
  • Do not put your finger on the trigger until you are ready to fire
  • Be aware of what is in front of and behind the target
  • Treat all guns as though they are loaded

A few other things to keep in mind when you are at the shooting range is to know your gun, be careful with mods, accessories, and upgrades, do not rely solely on the safety mechanism, and always wear protective gear. Knowing the weapon you are using is vital. You must know how to shoot it, load it, unload it, and perform maintenance. Safety mechanisms are not foolproof and there is always the chance something could go wrong. Another important thing to remember is to wear all appropriate safety gear. This includes glasses, gloves, vests, and anything else required by the shooting range. These practices are put in place to keep all shooters safe for both indoor and outdoor shooting ranges.

When researching which shooting range is best for you, take a look at what each one offers, what types of firearms are allowed, how far away is the range from your location, and what amenities are offered. Depending on whether you’re looking for a quick session, a thrilling group experience, or specific target practice, an indoor or outdoor shooting range will work better for your particular needs. In any case, be sure safety is always top of mind and follow all directions and guidelines given to you by the range experts.