In previous articles, we’ve covered how to plan your indoor range visit, such as knowing the four firearm safety rules and how to prepare for the range. Now we’d like to provide a few tips for when you actually visit the range.
Carry Your Firearm in a Case and Unloaded
Previously we talked about carrying your firearm in a case, range bag or backpack prior to entering a range. It’s a rule for various reasons, but most importantly for the safety of you and others. Your firearm should be cased until you reach your shooting lane.
It’s also important to carry the firearm unloaded. Magazines can be loaded prior, in order to maximize your shooting time, however they shouldn’t be in the firearm. This keeps you and others around you safe in case of an accident.
Test Out Different Guns
A great tip for indoor shooting ranges is to test out different firearms. All of our indoor ranges have handguns and rifles available to rent, so you can test out different types of firearms to see which are a good fit for you or just to have some fun trying guns you don’t own.
It’s worth testing firearms like this because it gives you a good idea of what you might like, which ones you can handle, and how you have to adapt between the different guns. You’ll also gain a bit more experience with handling firearms as you try more of them.
When you’re new to shooting, start with lower-caliber guns, like a .22LR, to get a feel for how the firearm reacts, such as recoil. After that, you can work your way to testing different calibers and sizes of guns that meet your needs and comfort level. Eventually, you’ll know how different caliber and size of guns handle, but it takes some experience and getting used to.
Being able to test out a variety of guns is one of the perks of shooting at an indoor shooting range. They usually have large inventories to choose from, plus you might be able to try some firearm accessories as well. Firing multiple guns is a great way to make the most of your time at the range.
Choose Clothes That Keep You Covered
Appropriate clothing is usually listed in the range rules, but aside from being rules, you’ll be able to enjoy your time at the range a lot more if you dress safely. For example, you always want to wear close-toed shoes to keep your feet safe from falling shell casings.
Overall, it’s important to wear clothing that isn’t too loose and covers sensitive skin areas that might come in contact with hot shell casings and other by-products created while shooting your firearm.
Ask Questions and Get Help from Employees
Indoor shooting ranges usually have several associates working at a time – some to help with the range, and others to help within the store. The associates working in the range are called Range Safety Officers and it’s their job to help you be successful at the range. Regardless, if you are new or experienced, let them know if you have any questions, that’s why they are there.
At the same time, the Range Safety Officer is not a firearm instructor, so if you really want some help learning how to safely use a firearm, we recommend taking a class before going to a shooting range. It’s a better environment to become more comfortable with your firearm.
Tidy Up Your Space
When you finish your session at an indoor shooting range, it’s proper etiquette to tidy up your shooting lane area before you leave. We strive to make the indoor range a clean and welcoming place to visit, so any help with keeping our shooting lanes tidy is always welcomed.
Start by packing up all of your supplies. Unload your gun and return it to its case, then pack away any ammo you didn’t use. Once you’ve checked that everything you used is put away, check to see if there’s a broom nearby. If there is, give your lane a quick sweep. Do not cross the firing line, but do sweep up the shell casings that fell on the ground around you.
Soap and Water
After you’ve cleaned up your space, make a stop at the bathroom to wash your hands. Lead from the ammmo and firearm is likely to end up on your hands when you shoot a gun, so to prevent spreading the lead to other surfaces that you touch, it’s a good idea to wash up before you leave. When you arrive home, it’s also recommended to take off your shoes before entering and to change your clothes, because lead can attach to these areas as well.
Ready to Try a Nearby Indoor Shooting Range?
The many rules that are required by indoor shooting ranges can be intimidating, but they are generally easy to follow. And since those rules make for a safe and fun experience, it’s worth having them.