Square ranges are the bunny slopes of shooting—especially the ones that don’t let you draw from a holster or rapid fire. “Real” defensive/tactical shooting means shooting while moving, and shooting at things that are moving, and shooting while moving at things that are moving. Judging from the “experimental” video above, the Marines are finally realizing that their live-fire training needs to be more realistic. On the civilian side, more and more trainers are doing the move ‘n shoot thing, though not the moving thing thing. Cops? Sigh. The problem is, of course, money . . .
Square ranges are safer and more profitable than interactive ranges. Everything is contained in a small space. Everybody does the same thing the same way at the same time. Maintenance is [relatively] minimal and predictable. Insurance costs are low. And square ranges are . . . there. Do you have any idea how hard it is to get planning permission for a new gun range in an urban area? I do. It’s not.
There are plenty of signs that a sea change in gun training is on its way. The use of simunitions and increasingly sophisticated simulators is on the rise. Outdoor ranges are finding move ‘n shoot classes easier to sell (especially to the COD crowd). There’s money in it, now. But the urban zoning things is a bear and square range owners are making so much money they don’t feel the need to reinvent their business.
Still, gun range 2.0 is coming—to the troops, to cops and to you. How long before someone figures out that Westworld (minus the glitch) is both doable and profitable? Not long. Can’t wait.