Guns and rifles have been a huge part of the American history which is why to keep this part of our history alive, we’ve got shooting ranges for recreational or law enforcement use. These outdoor shooting facilities provide a safe environment to fact out you to act out your Wild West dreams and unleash your inner cowboy.
Let me just start with this. YOU CAN SHOOT FROM HELICOPTERS! When it comes to badassery, this place has got it in heaps and it’ll just give you the excuse you need to release your inner badass. So put it on your bucket list and visit Helibacon which is located about 100 miles Northwest of Houston, near College Station. Shooting a gun from the helicopter is too overrated for this place, now shooting a machine gun from a helicopter is all the new rage. In case you’d rather stay on the ground than on air, they’ve got on-ground machine guns. They’ve also got a large range of full-auto firearms including Glock 18, Browning 1919, AK-47, M16, Thompson SMG, H&K MP5 F, and Uzi.
Tenoroc is one of the best public shooting facility in central Florida. The range was built by the FWC and funded by the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program (WSFR). It is open to the public and students and they provide a safe place to not only practice using guns but they also teach responsible usage of firearms and hunter safety.
How can I not mention Bullseye shooting range in Florida, even though it’s an indoor range, it's most famous for its Bullseye Women's Shooting Club and Women’s Handgun 101. They also provide new merchandise on a daily basis, including guns, ammunition, holsters, and accessories. Find the Best land here at Land and Wildlife
Okay, so maybe I’m cheating a little, but this place had got it all. It’s got the best of both worlds, a shooting range as well as a 3-D archery range, which is why Top Gun simply had to make it to the list of some of the best shooting ranges in the US. It's safe, friendly, and clean with state of the art range and ventilation equipment. Doesn’t matter if you’re new to the game or are an experienced shooter, hit it up so that you could enjoy a positive shooting experience. And it doesn’t hurt that Top Gun is a family oriented facility as well.
Can’t decide where to shoot some guns when in Vegas? Machine Gun Vegas is just the place for you. Just like how we expect Vegas to be flashier and bigger, you can bet on a dollar or hundred, Machine Gun Vegas meets all the expectations of Las Vegas. Not only have they got bigger shooting ranges but their guns don’t disappoint either. They’ve got these awesome packages for you to practice or simply have fun with while using those big guns, including a Zombie Survival Package where you can use MP5 suppressed or sniper rifle suppressed guns to kill zombies.
After talking about some of the best shooting ranges in the US, let’s actually talk about what a shooting range is. A shooting range or a gun range is a facility in which one could practice the use of firearms or train in the art of guns and firearms. In a gun shooting range, all its activities including the use and training of firearms are overlooked by supervisory personnel A.K.A. Range Master or "Range Safety Officer" (RSO) in the US. Top gun shooting ranges are usually owned by the military and law enforcement agencies or are privately-owned. The best ones are obviously owned by the military. They provide the best areas to develop your shooting and tactical skills. When it comes to shooting, one must learn to train its body under the stress and pressure of actually holding a gun, and feeling it recoil when you pull the trigger.
It’s also a great recreational activity to enjoy with the family (for kids above 14 under the supervision of their guardian and, women who are not pregnant). When it comes to gun ranges, there are 2 types of ranges, indoor gun ranges and outdoor gun ranges. In urban areas, indoor ranges are more common as they provide a more controlled and safe environment to practice the use of firearms, whereas outdoor ranges are found in less populated areas away from inhabitants due to noise and safety issues. Outdoor shooting ranges are more suitable for hunting practice, training by military personnel or for recreational purposes. Currently, the US holds twice the number of gun ranges as compared to any other country in the world. Every gun range prices vary depending on the type of facility, be it indoor or outdoor, the size of it, its location and the types of firearms allowed.
Outdoor shooting ranges are the best when it comes to long-range shooting. Outdoor ranges give you the opportunity to be more flexible and gain a tactical experience while training. They’re also a bit cost-effective when it comes to building them because they require less equipment as compared to an indoor shooting range. Again, training outside gives you the freedom of a larger range of a distance, vehicle and realistic scenarios, multiple firing stations and so much more. In an outdoor range an errant open shot is usually contained by a backdrop and containment system (as per federal regulations and local statutes) and if not, it's incapable of causing any damages, as they’re built far away from human settlement so that issues like noise or errant shots don’t end up being fatal. Most outdoor ranges don’t restrict the type of ammo or bullets you use. Building an outdoor gun range depends on one thing and that’s “Location”. The location you choose is vital as you’ll have to make sure it’s far away from urban areas so that noise pollution, exposure to lead and errant bullets cause no harm to the people in the community. And since you’re building these ranges far away from civilisation, not only do you have to arrange water, power, and sewage from long distances but since you’re far away from civilisation, your customers will have to travel really far to use the facility which may end up being a disadvantage to your business. As more and more people are creeping towards uninhabited areas many outdoor ranges are forced to close shop, therefore endangering the future of your business. Before you plan on opening a local gun range, it’s best to keep all the cards on the table so that you could make the right decision in choosing either one of the options that could affect your business and income in the long-run.
Choosing a location for an outdoor range can be risky because let’s face it, our population is increasing and in turn, you see an increase of human settlements in uninhabited areas. Basically, in the long-run, no location is safe, which is why indoor shooting ranges are the most viable option. In cities and urban areas, indoor shooting ranges are a safer and more comfortable option. Although they are a little pricier to build, the payoff is a lot more satisfying. Due to accessibility, we see more and more people flaunting to indoor facilities. Unlike outdoor ranges, weather conditions do not cause a hindrance when it comes to practicing and training in indoor facilities. One of the most popular examples of indoor shooting ranges is Insight Shooting Range in southern Cali. It’s few of the largest facilities in the US, with some of the most friendly and professional range officers. Here, you can practice within an on the target shooting range with pistols, shotguns and rifles. Or you could simply visit the facility and have some fun trying out a new experience with your friends and family as there are firearm instructions and training services by professional available. Unfortunately, indoor ranges do have its cons, especially when it comes to meeting all the municipal requirements of the state as well as the OSHA and EPA requirements for parking, sound, zoning, ventilation and so much more. Choosing the right building to house your facility or building a facility from the ground up can be quite expensive and when you add the sophisticated equipment into the equation, at the end of the day, the costs exceed that of an outdoor facility.
Now, access to shooting ranges doesn’t necessarily have to be restricted to law enforcement. The local masses should also get the chance to have a little fun. So, how many of these outdoor gun range facilities have you actually visited?
If you’re a beginner when it comes to hunting or simply using a gun, I’d recommend Birds Landing. They’re well stocked on guns and ammunition in case you didn’t bring any. They’ve also got a diner-style restaurant that provides lunch and dinner for those of exhausted and in need of sustenance, from all that hunting. It’s got a huge shooting area for you to roam around practice your shooting skills and hunt some game (most commonly pheasants). It's an awesome place to bring the family to practice using guns as a recreational activity. They also provide classes so do check those out as well.
I’ve been waiting to talk about this beauty. It covers an area of 1,650 acres, one of the biggest shooting centers in the US. They’ve also got 5 archery ranges and an area to camp in case you wanted to spend your vacation time unleashing your inner cowboy or cowgal. It’s got multiple target shooting opportunities and has received a five-star rating from the National Association of Shooting Ranges making it one of the best in the business in providing a quality recreational experience. It is a government-owned facility open to 120,000 shooters per year.
This shooter’s paradise is literally massive. It has got 35 firing stations in the pistol range, 29 stations in the rifle range and a five-stand shotgun range (that’s only accessible in the weekends). This is one of the best public shooting range in the county, especially for those who’d prefer the outdoors more. It’s got a beautiful lake on the property and it also provides archery courses for newbies.
This beautiful park surrounded by forest, and huge mountains take up 500 acres of Alabama. This park boasts 15 action pistol bays and a trap field, 5-stand field, a 15-station sporting clays field and let’s not forget it offers a 600 yards rifle range with targets, the rubber kind that can be reused over and over again. There’s also a well-stocked outdoor shop in case you’d prefer some specific equipment. The CMB Park Club that overlooks the entire 600-yard range and the mountains is the perfect place for you and the family to sit and enjoy the brunch and your adventure filled day out. And, did I forget to mention, these guys have got an automated trap machines course. So what are you waiting for, go and check it out with the family and enjoy!
The US of A might be the land of the free but it doesn’t necessarily mean everything on it is actually free. While I was in search of some of the shooting ranges that might be open to the masses and free, let’s just say I couldn’t accomplish what I was after. Free shooting classes may be hard to come across but free shooting ranges are next to impossible. I’d been able to find two public outdoor shooting ranges that offer their services and facilities at a very low or reasonable price.
This beautiful outdoor shooting range is home to the biannual gun shoot event billed as “World's Largest Machine Gun Shoot and Military Gun Show” which attracts visitors from all around the world. It has gotten a lot of media attention from the Rolling Stone magazine, Pawn Brokers TV show, and the CMT channel. All through from April to October the event includes blowing up barrels, blasting appliances, disintegrating old cars and all those other adrenaline-inducing activities that keep that little cowboy in you happy. To sweeten up the deal, they offer a $10 all-day pass. They’ve got a great on-site store that features some of the best guns and rifles in the county. These guys take their gun safety very seriously. They offer many concealed carry classes each month, all for $75. They also offer shooting classes like Hunter Education Classes for free starting from spring sponsored by Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife. I’d 100% recommend Knob Creek for all those die-hard gun fans and hey, the prices are pretty reasonable.
This facility is home to one of the most majestic views, a lodging area, the largest outdoor shooting range and awesome target ranges. The National Rifle Association Whittington Center, about 175 miles northeast of Santa Fe and extremely close to the Colorado border. It is a non-profit facility, funded by donors mostly. The fees for lodging and using the shooting range is quite reasonable. When I say this place is big, I mean it’s really big. It covers about 30,000 acres, 17 shooting ranges and a lot of property open for hunting and other activities. They’ve got shooting galleries, museums, an on-site gun shop, shooting clubs, you name it. If you’re into hunting, this facility houses a lot of game including bull elk, mule deer, pronghorn antelope, spring turkey, and black bear. And when it comes to lodging they’ve got a lot of options like suites, cabins, family cabins, rustic cabins, RV campground, and rustic camping. NRA Whittington is one of the best places to bring your family and kids and enjoy the open air.