Outdoor vs Indoor Shooting Range – Which Should You Choose and Why

Outdoor vs Indoor Shooting Range – Which Should You Choose and Why

October 7, 2023 / Comments (7)

Firearms Gun Safety

An outdoor and indoor shooting range offers slightly different experiences. Let’s examine what both bring to the table.

Outdoor vs Indoor Shooting Range | What's Better?

Heading down to the shooting range can be an enjoyable recreational activity, whether you’re a beginner looking to sharpen your shot or an expert who just likes to practice your hobby with friends.

Outdoor Shooting Ranges

Outdoor shooting ranges are also quite common, though much more so in rural areas.

These shooting ranges might also be less often kept up in perfect condition since they might be policed relatively loosely by the local community.

This could be a plus or minus depending on everyone’s commitment to keeping things clean and in working order.


  • An outdoor shooting range allows you to get some fresh air while you are practicing your shot placement.
  • It may also allow you to simulate a more natural light environment if you primarily shoot when hunting – this could, for instance, be a perfect time to test out a new hunting scope to see whether its light transmission in the natural environment is optimal or if you need to fiddle with the settings.
Pros | Indoor vs Outdoor Shooting Range – Which Should You Choose and Why
  • Outdoor ranges also typically allow a wider variety of guns for practice. Long guns like rifles and shotguns are usually fair game, alongside regular handguns and even smaller guns like revolvers. The sky’s the limit.


  • Obviously, the big negative to outdoor shooting ranges is that you’re at the mercy of the elements. If it’s raining, you’ll have to stay home or otherwise go to an indoor shooting range.
  • Furthermore, outdoor ranges usually require more personal maintenance. Someone has to make sure all the cartridges are picked up over time, including spent brass casings.
  • Depending on the sophistication of the range, you also may need to hike down to the targets and manually replace them after a few minutes.
  • This is a little less safe by default, even if everyone swears that they’re observing gun safety rules.

Indoor Shooting Ranges

Indoor shooting ranges are much more common in cities than they are in rural towns and communities.

As a result, you might be able to find tons of indoor shooting ranges in your area and have your pick of different targets, set up stations, and so on.


  • The majority of indoor shooting ranges are often attached to gun stores, meaning it’s easy to purchase boxes of ammunition and try out a type of cartridge you’ve never fired before.
  • Another big plus to indoor shooting ranges is that you don’t have to deal with bad weather. If it’s raining, you can still get your gun range fix at an indoor range. It’s arguably perfect if you want to test absolute accuracy without accounting for sun glare or wind.
Pros | Indoor vs Outdoor Shooting Range – Which Should You Choose and Why
  • The availability of ammunition is another big plus since you don’t have to go home if you run out of cartridges.
  • Furthermore, the most sophisticated indoor shooting ranges have automatic target swappers or apparatuses that will switch out targets at the press of a button.


  • Indoor shooting ranges typically place a much higher focus on appropriate range behavior and rule observation. There are often one or more observers watching all of the shooters and ensuring that everyone follows the rules perfectly.
  • To add, most indoor shooting ranges are set up to only allow handgun practice. There are some long gun indoor ranges, but they’re much rarer.

Wrap Up

So which should you choose? It depends on your personal preference and what you have available nearby.

If you only have an outdoor shooting range, that’s your obvious choice!

But the truth is that both shooting ranges can offer enjoyable experiences, particularly if you bring some of your buddies along for a great time.

Good hunting!

Between outdoor and indoor shooting ranges, which one do you prefer? Let us know why in the comments section!

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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on May 24, 2016 and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

7 Responses to :
Outdoor vs Indoor Shooting Range – Which Should You Choose and Why

  1. John says:

    I ordered a standup tee shirt in medium, and did not receive a confirmation email.

    1. Roy Gibson says:

      I have ordered multiple things and still have not got them yet ether I got a total of 3 shirts a hoodie and a hat and tumbler and I have only received two shirts and all they keep saying is it’s at the wearhouse that I’ll get a confirmation email when they ship out It is ridiculous

  2. Roy Gibson says:

    By the way good article for newbies…

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