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

    Steadicam Gun Operator
    Night Vision & Thermal Aficionado
    Flashlight/Laser Enthusiast
    USPSA competitor

    Any questions please email him at [email protected]