Home On The Range: Build Your Own

Range time. Training time. Good times. Most of the time.

There are plenty of interesting range rules out there. Almost all of them get in the way of actual defensive training.

The first thing you need to know is that if you are ever involved in a gunfight, you will NOT be standing still on the 7-yard line shooting at a flat paper target that is also standing still.

Yet, that is how most of us train. We do it this way for the sake of convenience and “safety.” I put quote marks around the word safety because we can train safely in other ways, but we choose not to because it is easier (convenient) to line everyone up on the 7-yard line and shoot at stationary targets.

Our love of this convenience has grown into policy at some shooting ranges and gun clubs. My least favorite rule at any pistol range anywhere is the prohibition of drawing from a holster. I assume this rule is in place to stop dumbasses from going all Tex Grebner and shooting themselves in the legs. We all know that special kind of stupid exists in this world. Still, rather than hold people personally responsible, these gun ranges implement blanket prohibitions against certain types of activities. Sounds like gun control to me.

The clear choice is to look for a range that specializes in defensive pistol training or competition. It might be a long search and a long drive, but you should be training to “shoot, move, and communicate” at least every other month. You can do so with dry-fire practice in your basement or garage, but you will want to have some live-fire drills worked into your schedule as well.

If you have the room, you might consider building a suitable shooting facility on your own land, or joining forces with some like-minded buddies and buying the land you need to create your own defensive training facility. It does not have to be complicated. You’ll need a good safe backstop and enough room to get out to about 10 yards to practice the basic drills.

There are dozens of plans for homemade target stands available on the Internet. Pick out one you like, make several, and start your training. As you advance, start adding things you can use for cover and concealment and always move to cover as you train.

If you can pull it off, building your own shooting range is the best way to increase your training and improve your skills. As always, check your local zoning laws, create a good solid shooting area, and when you get to shooting, remember: Slow is smooth and smooth is fast. So go slow for form.