Many of us would like to shoot more often than we do, but going to the range can be tough. You might live far away, or you might not even have an outdoor facility near you. If you’re looking to boost your trigger time, take a look and see if any indoor ranges are available in your area for you to practice drills.
Indoor ranges are a growing segment of the range market, expanding and building new locations in many cities. If you’re trying to train for competition or just want to keep your training up for concealed carry or self defense, the indoor range can offer some great opportunities.
Assuming you’ve found your indoor range, you might be wondering—what drills can I do there to help my shooting?
First, check with the range staff to see what their policies are. Many ranges do not allow rapid fire or working from a holster. Some ranges require you take a holster class. It’s always good to make sure you know what is allowed before you start shooting.
If you have checked and are not sure what to do, here are a few ideas.
I have been shooting for 18 years and I spend from 20 to 50 rounds every practice shooting groups. This is a slow-fire drill that helps me to work on my sight alignment and trigger control. My goal is to keep all 10 rounds in a fist-size area. If you want to challenge yourself, try for a group the size of a half dollar.
Most ranges I know of have at least a 20-yard shooting area. When is the last time you shot at 20 yards? It can be a challenge, but it is a useful skill to have.
If you are training for competition, practicing shooting with only one hand is a must. Most competitions require a few one-handed shots. If you are keeping your skills sharp for concealed carry, shooting one-handed is helpful. Your support hand may be needed to push a family member out of the way, or it might otherwise be tied up. It’s good to know you can fire one-handed if you need to.
Practice helps to develop habits so that when you are under stress your body will know what to do while your mind is thinking about everything else. It’s good to shoot groups on bull’s-eye targets, but if you are training for competition, practice on the actual targets you will shoot. If it is a sport like IDPA or USPSA, get some of the brown targets with a scoring zone. If you’re shooting steel challenge or Bianchi, you can use white paper plates to simulate steel. If you’re practicing for self defense, get some zombie or bad-guy targets.
Most shooters I know—both competition and concealed-carry—go to bed with a firearm in their nightstands. Have you ever actually practiced picking it up? Getting your master grip, keeping your finger safely out of the trigger guard, and safely meeting up with your support hand are three small steps that seem natural but may not feel that way when you wake up at 3 a.m. (or when the buzzer on stage 1 just goes off). Spending a few rounds practicing the movement then finding the sight and hitting the target is a good drill for any shooter.
There are lots of ways to practice both indoors and out. Keep your basic skills sharp and challenge yourself to do new things—it’s a great way to stay focused on your shooting hobby.