New to ranges. Indoor or outdoor?

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Thread: New to ranges. Indoor or outdoor?

  1. #1
    Member Array dkpeppard's Avatar
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    New to ranges. Indoor or outdoor?

    Hello all.

    I am really loving this site and am so glad I found it. I've been reading as much as I can, which brought another question to mind. Are there advantages/disadvantages of using an indoor range versus an outdoor range for cleanliness and breathing reasons?

    My wife and I just added a G26 to our collection and we are going to our first indoor range this Saturday morning. The range is called the Firing Line, located in Denver (Aurora), CO. I have heard decent things about Firing Line, but was told we needed to watch out for increased noise and for gunpowder in the air.

    For gunpowder in the air: I know ventilation is an important factor. Is this because it will be hard to breathe or gunpowder will get all over our skin and clothes? I'd like to know what to expect. Should I wear grungy clothes to the indoor range? Will I need to worry about covering the leather seats in my car when we get back in? Will our skin be covered in "soot"? I'll want my wife to know too, in case this means she'll have to "primp" back up at home after practice, if it really is that messy.

    For sound issues: we bought the gel inserts, which are really comfortable and worked well when we shot outside. Will these be ok indoors too, or will they be inadequate?

    We were considering buying a membership at Firing Line so we could shoot all year round, but will reconsider if indoor ranges are a real messy environment to be in.

    I sincerely appreciate the feedback. Sorry for the "noob" questions, but I don't want any surprises at the range.

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  3. #2
    VIP Member Array Kerbouchard's Avatar
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    In my experience, indoor ranges are not that messy. You're not going to look like you just came out of a coal mine and I doubt soot will be any concern.

    I personally do not like indoor ranges because ricochets seem to be more common, lighting is often inadequate with a dark backstop which makes it difficult to see your target, and the noise from gunfire is amplified.

    For your first trip, I would recommend dressing in darker colors if you think it might be a problem and dress in layers since you do not know what the temperature will be like. I would also wear your gel inserts with some muffs over them(i.e. double hearing protection). Almost every range will rent you a pair of muffs for a few bucks.

    Also, the ventilation should be sufficient to prevent the buildup of smoke. If it's not, you should find another range anyway.
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    Senior Member Array Natureboypkr's Avatar
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    Both are great, just with the outside ranges you have to deal with the elements.
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  5. #4
    Member Array dkpeppard's Avatar
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    Thank you for the quick responses. I'll let you know how it goes in there.

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    Senior Member Array Cthulhu's Avatar
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    First, don't apologize. Ain't none of us born knowing this stuff.

    Well, maybe SOME of the members here.

    Freaks

    Anyway...

    Noise:
    Depends on what you're shooting and what the folks around you are shooting. If someone is popping off a .454 at an indoor range...ouch.
    Lots of folks wear simple gel or foam ear inserts AND some sort of 'muff' type protector...electronic or not. Typically, you've got sound bouncing off all kinds of surfaces at an indoor range.

    Gunpowder:
    I'm not sure of gunpowder, but I'm pretty certain there is a risk of airborn lead exposure at an indoor range, requiring adequate ventilation.
    If you're just worried about residue, I've never had to worry about powder being on my clothing or anything. Maybe my hands, but that's it.

    -JT

  7. #6
    Senior Member Array Natureboypkr's Avatar
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    Many of you outdoor ranges are more favorable for rifles and shotguns even thought there are indoor ranges that allow you to use them. The only thing you can use in indoor ranges are armor piercing bullets.
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    Senior Member Array Cthulhu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Natureboypkr View Post
    Many of you outdoor ranges are more favorable for rifles and shotguns even thought there are indoor ranges that allow you to use them. The only thing you can use in indoor ranges are armor piercing bullets.
    Huh???

    -JT

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    Member Array TLeath's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Natureboypkr View Post
    Many of you outdoor ranges are more favorable for rifles and shotguns even thought there are indoor ranges that allow you to use them. The only thing you can use in indoor ranges are armor piercing bullets.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cthulhu View Post
    Huh???

    -JT
    I'm thinking he meant "can't" instead of "can". Probably because these might penetrate the backstop. Dunno. At my indoor range it is for pistols only (or at least for anything that uses pistol ammo).

    I frequent both indoor and outdoor. There are pros and cons for each.

    The sound and ventilation are certainly better at outdoor ranges but it sure is convenient to be able to retrieve your target without having to wait for a cease fire. Lead is an issue so it is important to make sure that if you choose an indoor range that it is adequately ventilated. Ricochets haven't been a problem that I've noticed at my indoor range (so far) but I'm sure they are more common indoors rather than outdoors. Again, range design is important there. Indoor ranges also tend to be a bit more cramped too unless you can go there during off-hours.

    I'm split between the two and tend to frequent both equally.
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    Member Array Banzai Jimmy's Avatar
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    The ventilation at the Firing Line is adequate. The cloud created from firing quickly (don't want to say "rapid" because that's not permitted there... though double taps are OK) is cleared away pretty quickly. Only occasionally will I notice the cloud when breathing, and that's usually after blasting off a bunch of Blazer ammo.

    My hands do come out covered in GSR since I typically fire a few hundred rounds per trip (mostly 22LR since it's cheap). A quick visit to the restroom before leaving takes care of that.

    I have seen the occasional person wear a dust mask. I don't feel the need, but maybe those folks are particularly sensitive to airborne particles. Don't know - didn't ask! :)

    I may run into you on Saturday. Looks like that will be my only day to get to the range this weekend.

  11. #10
    VIP Member Array Ridgeline's Avatar
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    As Kerbouchard said so well there are many good things about shooting indoors, such as most likely cooler in the summer, warner in the winter, and most will have the abiltiy to set and retrieve targets online. However, the noise, the closeness to the guy next door, the dungeon feel, and the ventilation factor. Shooting outdoors is much more rewarding to me for many factors. Since Colorado isn't that warm in the summer, but is maybe a little cool in the winter I would join both type ranges, but spend as much time out as possible. BTW, it's great to have you here with us.
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  12. #11
    Senior Member Array Natureboypkr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TLeath View Post
    I'm thinking he meant "can't" instead of "can". Probably because these might penetrate the backstop. Dunno. At my indoor range it is for pistols only (or at least for anything that uses pistol ammo).

    I frequent both indoor and outdoor. There are pros and cons for each.

    The sound and ventilation are certainly better at outdoor ranges but it sure is convenient to be able to retrieve your target without having to wait for a cease fire. Lead is an issue so it is important to make sure that if you choose an indoor range that it is adequately ventilated. Ricochets haven't been a problem that I've noticed at my indoor range (so far) but I'm sure they are more common indoors rather than outdoors. Again, range design is important there. Indoor ranges also tend to be a bit more cramped too unless you can go there during off-hours.

    I'm split between the two and tend to frequent both equally.

    Thanks for clearing that up for me, it was a typo. Good old common sense lol
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    Member Array mousehunter's Avatar
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    The indoor ranges I have used have been climate controlled - which might make a difference to you if it is cold, raining, or 100 degrees outside. They have also allowed rifles - so were abusively loud.

    All in all, I normally prefer to shoot outdoors - but amenities such as motorized target holders (climate control, lighting) can be nice sometimes.

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    VIP Member Array deadeye72's Avatar
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    The indoor range here has a seperate area for handguns and longguns. The only time I have ever noticed ventilation problems is when everyone is getting ready for muzzle loader season. The ventilation system can't keep up with all that black powder smoke. I still prefer outdoor shooting for lighting reasons though.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Natureboypkr View Post
    Both are great, just with the outside ranges you have to deal with the elements.
    Just another reason to love Florida... The winters can be bad though, I have to wear my LONGER shorts then...

    I prefer OUTDOOR ranges, outdoor PRIVATE ranges...

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