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Square ranges are awfully limiting. As Kevin Michalowski points out in the video above, they place all manner of limits on what you can do within your assigned lane. Drawing and firing from a holster is almost always verboten.

Rapid fire? Some allow it, some don’t. And by their nature, none of them let you move around enough to practice as you need to for real-world situations.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t accomplish something when an indoor range is all you have. What’s your favorite indoor range training drill?

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  1. My indoor range does an action pistol league. So we do get to draw/move/shoot.

    Is it realistic training? No not really, limited cover – Nobody shooting back, it’s a game more than anything. But, it’s still good practice.

  2. Best option: Become a member at a private range that allows you to actual practice self defense techniques and not just stand there like an Olympic shooter shooting like a statue at paper, one round at a time.

    Or, if you’re at fuddy-duddy range, then you can at least practice your ‘presentation’ a little by pulling the pistol back to your chest (still pointed downrange of course) and ‘re-presenting’ quickly before you fire each shot (or two, if the RSO won’t wet himself) – instead of just standing there with your arms extended and aimed up the whole time you plink away. (yay)

  3. A great thing about living “Out West”, is going shooting in the desert. I’ve been to an indoor range a couple times, but why pay money for an experience that sucks? Out in the desert, I can shoot however I want.

    • Yep. That’s the only way to do it. If you have the ability, that is. I haven’t shot at an official range since Boy Scouts, and don’t miss it. Out in the boonies, I make my own range and do what I want.

  4. I practice fundamentals and reloading if I go to a square range. Not much else I can do.

  5. They’ll let me draw from concealment at my local range, so that’s nice. Still not moving and only shooting at one target, though. I’d really like some dirt of my own to shoot at. Some day…

  6. Sounds like the problem is square ranges, not indoor ranges. An outdoor range can be just as square.

  7. I see how far I can shoot 5 rounds through the same hole. If shooters nearby are interested, I’ll teach them to be more accurate.

    I’ll also do failure drills, or snap from the low ready to center mass and shoot. A lot of square ranges will allow holster draws, rapid fire, and movement if you take a class or rent a range with your “operator” friends.

  8. Mix snap caps and work on trigger control, slow precision shooting, idpa lets me practice the rest.

    • Trigger control, definitely. I will run the target out all the way and try to print tiny groups. Fun when it’s an outdoor square range and there are pistol targets out at 50-100. Also, I like to do Mozambiques occasionally.

  9. My favorite indoor training drill is introducing new shooters to the sport, using a .22 pistol. After that, my next favorite drill is browsing the gun counter on my way out the door to go to my home range, where I can do whatever I want, as long as I’m safe in doing it.

  10. Gun range practicing , indoor and outdoor is quite limiting and fairly useless for defensive handgun training . It is good for teaching beginners to not fear the firearm , trigger and recoil control and sight acquisition on stationary targets . It can also be useful to an experienced shooter that is trying out a new or potentially new handgun and or caliber , but it will not help much in training someone for a real life encounter with a bad guy . This training needs to be done while running (moving) , falling backward , ie. tripping on something , dropping to a knee or crouch , shooting sideways of forward moving targets , multiple stationary and moving targets and shooting rapid fire with both and one handed and oft handed shooting . Drawing your weapon while timed is also very useful . These practices are often only available on private property and everyone should either have a piece of non zoned land or no someone who does . If you can’t , go to the range . Some practice is usually better than no practice . I like to practice shooting at double silhouetted targets my self , shooting the bad guy in the head while he tries to hide behind a hostage .

  11. You can’t move but your targets can.

    I use 1 large target and stick on several 5″ targets. Put multiple targets on randomly, then shoot at them randomly to train yourself to move off one target to another. Two rounds at each, have mags ready to reload off the bench as fast as you can and continue.

    The other thing I do is set up the targets the same way, then lay the gun on the bench in carry condition, wait a bit, then just pick it up and shoot at multiple targets. Similar to the first part in the video.

    We can double tap at the range I go to, just no rapid fire mag dumping.

    Best drills I can come up with for indoor shooting where we can’t draw or rapid fire.

  12. Don’t you guys ever just shoot for fun? Does every trip to the range have to be “training”?

  13. Indoor ranges are a place to shoot for fun when nowhere else is available. You can practice proper trigger control and grip, etc.

    Beyond that….not much use.

    But it’s ok to shoot because it is fun to shoot.

  14. I prefer to shoot outdoors at a family member’s property, but when at the range, I’m practicing my aim more than anything else. My range allows drawing and rapid-fire [or at least I’ve never seen a sign nor anyone get yelled at for doing it], just not 5.56, steel shot or steel-cased ammo. But even then, there’s not a lot of room or anything. The only drill I’ve been shown to do in a range is a rapid load and target-acquisition drill my stepdad [a former Ranger and later Fed] taught me, so that’s the only one I do. I don’t know whether it has an official name; it probably does.

    Unload your gun. Clear the chamber.
    Place the gun, unloaded, down on the lane bench [pointed downrange, of course].
    Place the loaded magazine next to it. Turn around so your back is to the lane.
    Your partner [or yourself, if you’re playing alone] tells you what part of the target you’ll be aiming for. They can list just one, or as many as you think you can remember in the order they said them.
    When your partner [or, again, yourself] says GO, you turn around, load the gun as quickly as you can, and then, again as quickly and accurately as you can, acquire the target[s], shoot.
    Evaluate your progress. Lather, rinse, repeat.

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