Our great nation contains between 16,000 and 18,000 indoor shooting ranges. That means you can easily find an indoor range no matter where you live. While an outdoor facility is a great place to practice, train or just spend an afternoon plinking, an indoor range offers the benefit of being available day or night all year. No more rainy-day range-outing cancellations!

By definition, an indoor range is supervised and usually runs as a commercial business. Let’s talk about what you can expect during your first outing to a local indoor shooting facility.

General Safety Considerations

Just as you’d do anywhere else, it’s important to start with the four basic rules of gun safety:

  1. Treat every gun as if it’s loaded — always.
  2. Keep your finger off the trigger until you’re ready to fire.
  3. Don’t point a gun at anything you’re not willing to destroy.
  4. Be sure of your target and your backstop.

An indoor range will have some additional specific procedures. Most of these can be determined with some pre-arrival planning.

Pre-Arrival Planning

Unlike an outdoor range, an indoor range has limitations on types of guns and ammunition. An indoor range has to build a backstop from rubber or steel that prevent bullets from exiting the building. Higher-powered rifle and handgun rounds may damage or even penetrate this barrier. There’s also the issue of noise. Gunshots indoors are LOUD. Shotguns are sometimes prohibited, as multiple projectiles are more likely to damage floors, walls and target systems.

Source: What to Expect Your First Time at an Indoor Range – USCCA