How To Train With A Limited Range

Mad Duo Merrill posted an article about training in a “shitty” range. He means an indoor range that is very restrictive. Many shooters do not have the opportunity to make use of an outdoor range. Often the fun ranges are membership only or shooters do not have the time or ability to get out to these ranges.  So many shooters are limited to the indoor range.  Weather can be a big factor as well. When I used to live in NY, my shooting club would go indoors during January and February and have an action match.

So what can you do if you are the many who are stuck with what they got? Well you can reach out to the indoor range owner or manager. Get to know them. Have some experience shooting and then see if they will let you try practicing some other techniques. I was a big proponent for shooting in the dark. Many of the members of my club back in NY had never tried shooting in the dark before. I told them if we can turn off the lights then I will supply the flashlights and you can all try shooting in the dark.

Merrill has some other techniques for even the most strict of ranges. Work on fundamentals like shooting small groups but don’t just be satisfied at close range. Once your confidence and skill set is at an acceptable level try pushing the target further and train more. Try different style targets. I always tell people shooting at a stagnant piece of paper at the same hole is boring. Change it up. Try target acquisition. Get or make a target with multiple targets to shoot at and train moving that gun, aiming and shooting those targets.

You can practice “air holster”. Merrill notes that while many ranges wont let you draw from a holster or even point a loaded gun at your side to mimic a draw, you can position the gun as if you had just drawn the pistol prior to gripping it with both hands. Then practice punching out and shooting with a two handed grip. You can try practicing shooting single handed and weak handed as well. You will be surprised how many people do not try shooting with their opposite hand. They will always say “it is awkward and I am not good at it”. A perfect reason to try practicing it.

Merrill also brings up the benefit of using a shot timer. Now using a shot timer inside an indoor shooting range might not be feasible with other shooters. However you could set it up for a par time and random delay. You can practice shooting on the beep, reload and shoot within the par time. Practice getting faster. It will be beneficial. This obviously leads into practicing your reloads. You can more than likely have a magazine loaded in a pouch on your belt and you can practice drawing and reloading those spare magazines.

Another trick is to try malfunction training. Load some snap caps in your mags and practice problem solving a malfunction in your handgun.

Another option is to look into shooting sports like USPSA, IPSC, IDPA, Bowling Pin Shoots etc. Some indoor ranges host these types of shoots.


For the whole article go to Breach Bang Clear.

Nicholas C

Co-Founder of KRISSTALK forums, an owner’s support group and all things KRISS Vector related. Nick found his passion through competitive shooting while living in NY. He participates in USPSA and 3Gun. He loves all things that shoots and flashlights. Really really bright flashlights.

Any questions please email him at


  • TheNotoriousIUD

    Waiting for JINZ

    • JumpIf NotZero

      For what?

      BreachBangClear has excellent articles from people who actually train. Everything single he goes over is spot on. They aren’t some clowns whose trigger word is “training”.

      • TheNotoriousIUD

        I dont read anything over a week old.
        High speed training has already advanced past the stuff in that article.

  • USMC03Vet

    I’m so glad I found a great gun club with a great outdoor range. Shooting isn’t even fun with most indoor commercial ranges due to all of the asinine restrictions because they hate shooters.

    • TheNotoriousIUD

      Gun Club President

      • JumpIf NotZero

        Can we get less constantly repeating memes please? Perhaps Tumblr is more your speed or age group?

        • TheNotoriousIUD

          Sorry, we can’t all be Tier 1 tactical commenters.

          • Swarf

            Seems like the only thing not HSLD about Jump is his panties, because they certainly are prone to wadding.

    • LibertyToad

      Yeah, that’s very true. I was able to get membership into a private club and it is great. Much cheaper than going to an indoor range and it is never crowded. Plus, you can shoot anything up to a .50 BMG. I have to drive 75 minutes each way to get to it, but I usually spend 4-5 hours there so it all works out.

  • Don Ward

    Yes. Because gun ranges are obligated to allow any random jackwad in off the streets so they can “train” doing the latest Modified Isreali Mossad Speed Draw or whatever.

    • JumpIf NotZero

      I don’t remember seeing anywhere in the article arguing for ranges to or to not allow anything. Did you read actually the article?

      • Don Ward

        “Mad Duo Merrill posted an article about training in a “kitty” range. He means an indoor range that is very restrictive.”

        That is the Lede of this post. Since this is Disqus, replace the “K” with “sh”.

        That seems to me a pretty “kitty” way to get your point across when you are denigrating a place of business because they won’t let you “train” utilizing the latest Spetznaz quick-draw technique or whatever. Look at that picture of the “kitty” range. Effing look at it! Those ranges are designed – essentially – for one specific way of shooting in order to ensure the safety of guests and employees.

        • JumpIf NotZero

          So, in the first 11 words you decided that because they call the ranges kitty, that Dave Merrill is arguing for an [obligation to allow
          random jackwads to unsafely handle guns]? I’m still not seeing that in
          the article.

          Ranges that don’t allow people with ability to safely do things like shoot from use a holster, defensive ammo, low light, a shot timer, shoot at angles, rapid fire…. They are kitty ranges. But… I do understand your specific prerogative of these “spetznaz” techniques, I can empathize how these things must look to certain people.

          Above is a great article of how someone can make the most out of their time at a limited range, for people that are at the range to learn, this is all great advice. Props to Nicholas C for reposting it here.

          • Don Ward

            The article is one pejorative after another of “kitty” ranges because they are designed for essentially one spectrum of shooting techniques. He goes on to use the term “cages” by associating them with the idiotic slang term that some motorcyclists – aka future organ donors – give car drivers.

            It displays a certain lack of maturity because the writer can’t wrap his mind around the fact that these ranges are designed for one singular purpose and have to take into account safety measures for the general public.

            It would be like complaining you can’t practice high diving at your community swimming pool during the morning lap swim.

        • Nashvone

          I understand a range ensuring the safety of the guests and employees BUT I do know of a range that will ban you for clearing your own FTE. You have to call a Cease Fire and let the range officer clear it for you. As far as I’m concerned, that’s over the top.

          • Don Ward

            That is a bit over-the-top. Agreed.

          • Laserbait

            I’m glad that I have not experienced a range that bad. The Scammer Mountain range does not allow the use of reloads there, so I have never/will never go there.

          • LibertyToad

            Yeah, that’s pretty bad.

          • Budogunner

            As an NRA certified RSO, I agree with you.

        • Budogunner

          Liability for gun ranges is no joke. Is be happy just to have more “kitty” ranges available with cheaper rates so I could maintain fundamentals with greater convenience.

  • JumpIf NotZero

    A little HDR heavy, but they have great photos to go with the excellent article.

  • Wynter

    I’ve not found a public range ever (indoor or out) that will let you draw from a holster or even shoot at any speed that resembles “fast”. Every TV gun show you watch these days talks about trying the things they show you at your local range but it’s all banned by the rules. I get it, liability and all that but it’s definitely no joy for the masses without access or the $$$ for private ranges. If civilian shooters just had the access to ranges where they could train like we did when I was a LEO the entire nation would be a safer place.

    There is a HUGE lack of public ranges in general across the US and, unfortunately, even among those ranges that do exist, most won’t allow folks to engage in any training other than slow, steady target shooting.