Indoor ranges are popular shooting venues

Other than when I attended college, I’ve never lived in a big city. My homes have always been in distinctly rural areas so I’ve never lacked for a place to target shoot, either for fun, to sight-in hunting rifles or just to practice and improve my shooting skills.

Most Michiganders aren’t so lucky. For many, a shooting session often entails a fairly long commute to a rural area where they can shoot safely and legally, or a trip to an indoor shooting facility. More and more urban shooters are heading for one of the hundreds of indoor shooting ranges, located in all parts of Michigan.

They might not be the best alternative for someone wanting to sight in a deer rifle, but for guys with handguns, rimfire rifles or even some modern sporting rifles, they fill the bill quite nicely.  A new study sponsored by the National Shooting Sports Foundation reveals some interesting statistics.

More than 15 million shooters across the country take advantage of indoor ranges each year. The most often listed reason is simple target practice. Eighty percent of the respondents chose “improving marksmanship” as their reason to visit a range. Others picked shooting for fun or to improve self-defense skills.

Roughly 50 percent of the people surveyed said they visit an indoor range at least monthly and 13 percent reported weekly or more frequent visits.

Most indoor ranges restrict the types of firearms they allow, often segregated by caliber or power. Some are handguns only. Others restrict high-power rifles but welcome less powerful long guns. Check with the range near you to see what guns are acceptable.

Semi-automatic handguns were shot by 96 percent of shooters who visited an indoor range last year. Revolvers were used by 66 percent of shooters and modern sporting rifles by 41 percent.

Many ranges have membership packages, which allows frequent shooters the opportunity to visit often and at discounted prices. Only about half of the surveyed shooters are members of a range facility; the other half just pay each time they visit. Almost all indoor ranges sell firearms, ammunition and other shooting supplies. Many have shooting coaches on staff for new shooters or schedule special sessions for beginners and novices.

Categories: Firearms, Michigan – Mike Schoonveld

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