Learning how to safely handle a gun and defend yourself should be a positive, empowering experience. But it can also be a little intimidating. A good shooting range will welcome and work patiently with anyone who wants to become a responsible gun owner and protector. Look for a firing range or gun club with:
WhereToShoot is the internet’s most comprehensive listing of gun ranges. Managed by the NSSF, this interactive map is updated frequently with range listings for every state. If you own a firing range or gun club and want to attract more customers, the NSSF encourages you to enter or update your range information free of charge at their website, WhereToShoot.org.
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Though dry-fire training is an important component of defensive shooting, there is no replacement for actually going to the shooting range and drawing and firing your daily carry pistol. If you are not thoroughly familiar with how it leaves the holster and shoots, you will not be as ready as you can be to respond to a deadly force scenario. Similarly, if you haven’t tested your sidearm with different types of ammunition, then you haven’t optimized that pistol or revolver for lifesaving use. Different powder charges and bullet weights pattern differently out of different firearms, and even a small variance can have a big impact on your accuracy.
Along those lines, the only way to be certain that you will be able to effectively employ your home-defense shotgun or carbine is to train with it. Safety manipulation, reloads and rapid sight picture acquisition are all essentials when it comes to home defense, and practice drills with an empty gun will only get you so far. Like the handgun you carry every day, your rifle and shotgun will have preferred loads, and it is important that you assess several options before you settle on what you’re willing to bet your life on. Remember, you owe it to those who depend on you as a protector to be as proficient as you can with that shotgun or rifle, and that means you must invest time in shooting it.
Whether you’re training with defensive drills, blasting some clays or just plinking, time at the shooting range is time well spent. Indoors or outdoors, ranges give responsibly armed Americans opportunities to hone their skills, try out new firearms and enjoy the peace of mind that comes with being prepared.