Exploring Different Types of Shooting Ranges: Outdoor vs. Indoor

The choice between indoor and outdoor shooting ranges isn’t always as clear-cut as it might seem. Each has its own unique strengths and limitations – factors that can deeply impact your training and overall experience. So let’s explore them together.

Exposure to the Elements

Let’s dive into one of the key differences between indoor and outdoor shooting ranges: exposure to the elements.

Imagine this – you’re at an indoor range, air conditioning humming softly in the background, fluorescent lights illuminating your target. Outside, it’s pouring rain, but inside, you’re dry and comfortable. It’s one of the biggest perks of indoor ranges – they’re weatherproof. Rain or shine, hot or cold, you can always count on an indoor range to provide a stable environment for your shooting practice.

But let’s flip the script. Say you’re at an outdoor range, the sun shines, and a gentle breeze rustles the trees. You line up your shot, taking the wind into account. It’s a whole different thing, right? Outdoor ranges put you in real-world conditions, making your training more dynamic and challenging.

Of course, this exposure to the elements can be a double-edged sword. On one hand, it adds a layer of realism to your training. You learn to adjust your aim in response to wind and light conditions – skills that can be invaluable in hunting or long-range shooting. On the other hand, inclement weather can put a damper on your plans. An unexpected rainstorm or a particularly hot day can make your experience less than pleasant.


When you think about it, indoor shooting ranges are like your neighborhood gym. They’re often located in urban or densely populated areas, making them easily accessible for most people. It can be a huge plus if you’re looking to squeeze in regular training sessions amidst a busy schedule.

Outdoor ranges are located in more rural areas for safety reasons. So while an outdoor range might offer a broader range of shooting experiences, getting there might require a bit of a trek.


Indoor shooting ranges are perfect for beginners seeking to master basic shooting skills. They provide a controlled environment where you can focus on the fundamentals – stance, grip, sight alignment, trigger control, and so on. Many offer professional education and safety courses.

But if you want to stretch your shooting muscles a bit?  Then you need an outdoor shooting range.  With more flexibility and up to 180 degrees of firing mobility, they allow for a wider variety of training exercises, including moving and shooting, shooting from cover, long-range shooting, and more. It can be particularly beneficial if you’re into hunting, competitive shooting, or tactical training.

However,  while outdoor ranges offer more freedom, they also demand more responsibility. Safety rules and procedures may be more stringent, and you’ll need to be comfortable handling your firearm independently.

Gun & Gear Restrictions

Due to safety considerations and noise concerns, indoor ranges often ban certain types of firearms and ammunition. For instance, some indoor ranges may not allow rifle calibers higher than .308 or black powder ammo. They might also have rules about rapid-fire, drawing from a holster, and hip shooting.

Outdoor ranges offer more flexibility. Want to practice with your new AR-15? No problem. Need to test out that high-powered hunting rifle? Go ahead. However, remember that they still have rules and regulations you’ll need to follow.

If you’re into sports like trap or skeet, you’ll need to search for a shotgun range, which will always be an outdoor type.

Price & Rental

Indoor shooting ranges usually charge an hourly fee, which can range anywhere from $10 to $25 per hour. However, some places, like GRITR Range, offer an unlimited range time, meaning they charge a flat daily rate instead. Indoor ranges also offer memberships, which can be a great deal if you plan on visiting regularly. As for gun rental, most indoor ranges have a selection of firearms you can rent, perfect for those who want to try out different guns before buying their own.

Outdoor gun ranges usually charge more, from $20 to $30. And they often don’t offer guns for rent.

Amenities Offered

Indoor ranges often come equipped with modern amenities like electronic target retrieval systems, adjustable lighting, climate control, and ballistic rubber backstops to ensure a safer environment. Plus, they often have lounges, pro shops, and classrooms for gun safety courses and CCW classes courses and workshops. Restrooms are nearby. Some may even offer additional services like gunsmithing. Many have retail. GRITR Range, for instance, is a project of GRITR Sports gun store – the shooting range is inside the store facility, which is very convenient when you need to stock ammo or buy a new tactical belt.

Outdoor ranges, on the other hand, are a bit more rustic. They may not have as many bells and whistles as indoor ranges but make up for it with a more natural shooting environment and targets at varying distances.

Indoor vs. Outdoor: pros & cons

indoor vs outdoor gun range

If you’re a range first-timer, read this guide to learn shooting range basics.

If you’ve decided on an indoor shooting range, choose GRITR Range, your go-to shooting destination in the DFW area! Nestled in North Richland Hills, we offer a top-notch shooting experience with our 22 state-of-the-art static and dynamic lanes, spacious stalls, quality LED lighting, ballistic walls, and a custom HVAC system. We’ve got you covered with over 50 models available for rent, starting at just $9.99. We also offer flexible membership. We provide professional gun training courses, from defensive shooting to LTC & rifle classes, ensuring you can enhance your skills under expert guidance.

Come and see for yourself!


What's the main difference between indoor and outdoor shooting ranges?

The main difference lies in the environment, firing range and mobility, amenities, pricing, restrictions, and training options.

How much does it cost to use a shooting range?

Prices vary widely depending on the range. They charge per hour or per day, but generally, indoor ranges tend to be cheaper. Many shooting ranges also offer memberships for frequent visitors.

Can I rent a gun at an outdoor shooting range?

Rental options at outdoor ranges may be limited, but indoor ranges do tend to offer firearm rentals.

Are indoor ranges better than outdoor ranges?

Not necessarily. The best range for you depends on your needs and preferences. Indoor ranges offer a controlled environment, while outdoor ranges offer more space and a natural setting.

Do I need to bring my own ammunition to an indoor shooting range?

Usually, indoor ranges require you to purchase ammunition on-site or bring ammo that meets certain requirements regarding caliber and type. Outdoor ranges are more flexible.

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Range.GritrSports.com © 2023. All rights reserved.