October 8th, 2021

Five Tips for Training at Indoor Ranges — Shoot Better, Safer

NSSF indoor range survey pistol shooters Southwick Associates range report
Photo courtesy Silver Eagle Group Shooting Range, Northern Virginia.

Over 8 million Americans purchased their first firearm, typically handguns, since the start of 2020. These first-time gun owners definitely need training. In addition, all CCW permit holders should definitely practice regularly. For many, pistol practice is an indoor experience. Indoor ranges are most convenient for those who live near urban centers, where the biggest threats to public safety currently exist. This article covers indoor firearms training and the proper procedures you should follow at indoor ranges.

This Video Covers Basic Gun Range Safety Rules and Etiquette


1. Follow the Three Fundamental Rules for Safe Gun Handling
ALWAYS keep the gun pointed in a safe direction. ALWAYS keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot. ALWAYS keep the gun unloaded until ready to use.

2. Follow ALL Range Officer Instructions
ROs are the first and final authority on any range and their decisions are generally final. Arguing with a Range Officer may just get you thrown out.

3. Don’t Bother Others or Touch Their Guns
Respect other shooters’ privacy unless a safety issue arises. Do NOT engage other shooters to correct a perceived safety violation unless absolutely necessary – inform the RO instead. NEVER handle or touch another shooter’s firearm without their permission!

4. Know Your Range’s Rules
Review and understand any and all range rules and requirements/expectations. For example, what is the range’s maximum rate of fire? Are you allowed to collect your brass?

5. Know What To Do During a Cease Fire
IMMEDIATELY set down your firearm, pointed downrange, and STEP AWAY from the shooting booth (or bench). Range Officers do not want shooters trying to “secure/unload” their firearms in a cease fire situation — they want the shooters separated from their guns instantly.

NSSF indoor range survey pistol shooters Southwick Associates range report

Double-Up on Hearing Protection When Shooting Indoors

Howard Leight Impact Pro Electronic Muffs NRR 30

When shooting indoors we recommend quality muffs with earplugs underneath, offering double protection. When inside an enclosed range, with other shooters blasting away right next to you, you really need effective hearing protection. But you also need to hear range commands and be able to communicate. That’s why we recommend electronic muffs with quality plugs underneath. We recommend the NRR 33 Howard Leight Max-1 Plugs. These tapered plugs are comfortable, easy to insert, and have a flared end for better sound seal.

On top of those plugs, run high-quality muffs. For indoor ranges where sound levels can be extremely high, we recommend Howard Leight Impact Pro Muffs. These offer an impressive 30 dB Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) and the effective noise reduction can be improved by 4 decibels or more by running plugs as well.* These muffs are pretty comfortable and offer Headphone Functionality so you can connect to your smartphone, MP3 player, or other audio device. These muffs are a good value, an Amazon’s Choice for $57.47.

* Four decibels may not sound like much, but remember the decibel measurement system is logarithmic, so four decibels is VERY significant. We have discussed the merits of “doubling up” hearing protection with Ph.D. sound engineers. They told us that a combination of muffs and plugs could reduce effective noise levels by up to five decibels compared to plugs alone. In addition, good muffs will block bone conduction sound energy better than plugs alone.

Similar Posts:

Tags: , , , , , , ,