How Safe Is an Indoor Shooting Range?
If you’ve thought about visiting an indoor shooting range for some target practice or to share a fun experience with your friends, you may have questions about how safe it is. It’s easy to make assumptions when it comes to gun ranges, especially when you don’t know much about them. However, the truth is that countless measures are taken to ensure that every shooting experience is carefully monitored, supervised by trained experts, and above all, safe for everybody involved.
Here are some of the ways indoor shooting ranges provide a safe environment for shooters:
Firing Lanes Are Designed for Safety
While shooting at an indoor range, each person has his or her own designated shooting lane. This prevents injuries from people trying to shoot over or around each other, or distractions from others who are talking or waiting to shoot.
Additionally, each lane is designated for safe distance firing. Smaller caliber bullets, such as .22’s, can be fired safely from about 50 feet. Larger rounds or machine guns will require more distance, which is adjusted based on whatever firearm you’re using. The trained staff and experienced instructors will be with you every step of the way to make sure you feel comfortable in your lane and know exactly what to expect before you fire your first shot.
Every Indoor Shooting Range Has a Bullet Trap
Bullets travel at very high velocities, so something has to absorb their impact and prevent them from ricocheting when shooting at an indoor range. A special device called a bullet trap is meticulously engineered to catch the bullets after they’ve been fired and to keep them from flying off and hitting anything else.
Many indoor shooting ranges use a steel bullet trap because of its many benefits, including minimizing lead exposure and less downtime for the range because they are generally easier to clean than other types of bullet traps. They are also incredibly effective at catching and trapping bullets, so you’ll never have to worry about a stray bullet being a hazard during your shooting experience.
Protective Construction Materials
You may find that most indoor shooting ranges have extra thick concrete walls all around the building. Not only do these thick walls provide an extra layer of security to prevent bullets from passing through the structure, but they also absorb a lot of the sound from the discharging firearms inside the range. This is why you often don’t hear anything outside of a shooting range, even when there are shooters inside.
The inside of a shooting range is also strategically designed and constructed for safety. All non-ballistic walls have shields made of steel and plywood that are angled to deflect bullets downrange if a round was to hit them. Additionally, indoor shooting range floors are made of thick reinforced concrete that gradually slopes from the firing line to the target line to deflect a rare stray bullet.
All Shooters Have Gun Safety Training Before Using Any Firearm
All potential shooters are required to go over basic firearm safety protocols and shooting range rules with an experienced instructor before they are allowed to handle a firearm. It is crucial to follow all the safety rules established in these training sessions to ensure a safe environment for yourself and everybody else in the range. Some of these safety rules include:
- Always keep the firearm pointed in a safe direction
- Always keep your finger off the trigger until you’re ready to shoot
- Make sure your gun is unloaded until you are ready to use it
- Use the proper grip when firing the gun
- Know your basic firing lane commands (i.e., load, unload, fire, cease fire, etc.)
You’ll also go over the things you should avoid doing at a shooting range.
Personal Protection for Your Hearing and Vision
One concern you might have is that shooting in an indoor shooting range could damage your hearing or vision. However, protective gear is available at all indoor ranges that will keep your eyes and ears safeguarded from any potential danger. Each shooter is given sound-canceling headphones and shatterproof goggles before entering their designated firing lane.
If you plan to take up shooting as a hobby, it’s a good idea to invest in your own protective gear. You can bring your personal soundproofing headphones and custom-fitting goggles with you to our shooting range in Las Vegas for a more comfortable experience.
Protective Measures for Lead Exposure
When a firearm is loaded with lead rounds and fired in an enclosed space, lead vapor is always a concern. However, a carefully designed ventilation system can control exposure and clear harmful fumes very quickly. A special exhaust system is in place to remove all airborne lead toxins while maintaining the perfect level of air pressure inside the range.
Additionally, cleaning methods for indoor shooting ranges are done very meticulously and thoroughly. Gun range staff members are trained on emptying bullet traps, collecting debris, and cleaning firearms in a way that reduces exposure to lead and provides a safe environment for shooters. Additionally, shooters and workers are instructed to wash their hands carefully after every shooting session.