Gun ranges provide a service that is much needed by American gun owners. Particularly for those of us that live in major metro areas the local gun ranges represent our only convenient option to train with our firearms. Sadly, some of the more effective training tactics that we teach our students cannot be practiced at most gun ranges. For the safety of every patron coming into the gun range, both the most experienced shooters and the most novice, gun ranges tend to have a set of rules that go to extremes to ensuring that everyone is safe.
In Self-Defense training we of course teach our students to train every movement for real life and that means doing some things that are against the rules at your average gun range. Here are some examples of things you may want to train that are often prohibited at local gun ranges.
Drawing your firearm from a holster or place of concealment. This is generally a big no no. Set the gun down on the range table, pick it up to shoot, and then set it down again.
Shooting at multiple targets side by side or in angled directions. No dice. Rules generally require you only fire at the target in your lane, straight in front of you.
Shooting from behind or around cover. Sorry here too. You will need to stand in a “reasonable” standing stance and shoot straight.
Clearing Malfunctions. This is a skill you need to develop but a lot of ranges require you call the RSO for assistance.
Gun ranges have the right to be nervous. Any of the above practices can be dangerous both to the shooter and to others in the range. Here are some suggestions of how you can increase your learning experience despite these rules.
- Get clear on what the range rules are. Check your gun range’s website and or call them before you go.
- Train these motions FIRST extensively in a safe environment with training firearms.
- Research to see if there are any gun ranges in your area that have a tactical firing line or tactical section of the range where the rules may favor those who are doing self-defense training.
- Familiarize yourself with safe and legal locations in the outdoors, outside of city limits where you can control your own training environment.
- When arriving at the range introduce yourself to the range safety officer (RSO) and let them know what your training goals are and ask them for suggestions and input.
What else have you found helpful to better your training experience despite the rules at the gun range?