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Like pretty much everyone who reads TTAG, I like to shoot. I like to head to the range, and I find no better way to waste time and money than by turning it into noise.

With that said, I also like to try and train while I’m at the range. Test my skills a bit rather than just mag dump into the trash. I try to have a lesson plan ready when I head to the range to know what I’ll be working on. For that reason, the Range Buddy app seemed to be an excellent tool.

The Range Buddy app was created by a shooter and designed for shooters. I found it after he posted it to a social media page I follow. The app itself is free, and months ago, when I downloaded it, all of the content on the app was free. This remains the case in September, 2023.

You can choose to pay for a premium version, which removes the part of the app where it asks for money. I happily paid for the app and was willing to support a 2A supporter and fellow shooter.

What Does the Range Buddy Do?

The Range Buddy app is basically a digital book of drills and qualifications that you can do at the range. Having it on my phone makes it extremely convenient to reference while at the range. I don’t want to dig through to find the right drill when I’m at the range (RIP Todd). The Range Buddy app is an expansive list of drills and a few police quals that seem to be slowly expanding.

Range Buddy separates the drills in a few different ways. You can choose drills by difficulty level or by target type. The Range Buddy has drills for all kinds of targets. This includes USPSA/IDPA, Steel targets, B8s, homemade targets, multiple target drills, and law enforcement targets. Finally, there is even a printable targets tab, and the app links to those so you can print them and do the particular drill.

They’ve even added a highly customizable command trainer. Shooters can print a command target made up of numerous shapes that feature numbers and colors. A series of menus allows you to customize exactly what commands are used, how many commands are used, the time allowed between shots, and even more.

The Value of the Range Buddy

The first factor here is convenience. It’s on my phone, in my pocket, and at the range with me. It’s easy to access immediately and the layout on the phone is fairly nice. Everything is big and very easy to read. The drills are broken down in an easy-to-understand layout with a very friendly user interface.

The Range Buddy app provides you with the range, par time, ammo count, and distance required. We get a skill worked section that gives you an idea of what you are working on. Following that, we get the general details of the drill, followed by the stage setup, the requirements, and then the course of fire. It’s logically laid out and makes sense.

The split between the different difficulty levels will certainly help new shooters decide how to train. They’re given immediate and easy-to-understand standards. This allows you to track your progress and see how you’re improving.

The Range Buddy also addresses a wide variety of target and drill types, making it easy to find what works for your current situation. You can even post your scores and photos to compete with other users, although that doesn’t seem to be widely used by other folks.

I’ve only used the Virtual Instructor a few times, but it’s fun. If you have the imagination for it, you can make this out to be both valuable training and a fun way to spend some ammo. It’s quite intuitive, and you have a lot of customization options. Plus, it works great for dry fire.


The first time I downloaded the app and paid for it, the ads asking for a donation didn’t go away, but that was quickly fixed. As of right now, the app doesn’t crash, doesn’t eat much space on your phone, and is very intuitive. The only bug I’ve found comes with the Virtual Instructor. If you leave it running and minimize the app, it won’t stop running. Pressing the stop button didn’t work. I had to completely close the app to make it stop.

Other than that, the Range Buddy is very solid and easy to use. I use it fairly often, especially if I’m testing a gun and need creative ways to expend ammunition. The drills are oriented around pistols, and while many can be adapted to rifles, it doesn’t really support other platforms. I’d love to see rifle and shotgun-specific drills added.

For what amounts to a free app, the Range Buddy is an outstanding tool for spending some time at the range.

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  1. Now, convince me it’s not counting every shot, recording my location, voice and all my other data and then uploading that, part and parcel to God knows where to build a log. Yeah, I know, run on sentence. Also, same here for this comment section, and all the scaling that can be done. Good thing this is literally the only place I post, so small bread crumb trail. Range time is my own, I leave the phone at home.

  2. 95% of phone apps are spyware harvesting your information and selling the god knows who to be used against you for targeted ads or worse.


    As it is I don’t use half the pre-loaded apps that came with my phone and have them disabled. If I can’t make a site work on the Brave privacy/add-blocking browser then I don’t go there.

    Most things are better without an app -especially YouTube because it removes all the adds in the videos except for those the creators personally do and include as part of the video itself. .Those can be zipped through by tapping the jump 10-seconds ahead function until there are done.

  3. The app requires access to your camera, microphone, storage, and full network access.

    There is absolutely ZERO reason this type of app would need access to those things…so it’s highly suspect.

    • The camera and microphone access are solely for uploading pictures/videos for your training session. The app doesn’t record anything, you have to upload the picture or video from your camera roll.

      I’m going to review the app store’s individual policies on their permission sets and scale back on what permissions are actually granted. The app doesn’t need access to your network, I was probably more liberal than I needed to be when going through the permissions when deploying the app to the app stores.

  4. First thing it wants is to create an account to sign in.

    That rates pretty high on the This Sucks meter, permissions aside.

    An account just to look at some targets? Hard pass.

    • It’s more that looking at targets. The app is a catalog of 130+ shooting drills, sorted by target type and filterable by skills worked. You can enter practice session notes and see where you rank on the drill specific leaderboards, you’re able to add drills to your favorites list and the Virtual Instructor is one of a kind.

  5. No need for that app, invite me with you to the range, supply the emu, and I will shute at you while you shute back.
    Train with purpose.

  6. If you shouldn’t be using a phone while driving- you sure as 5hit shouldn’t be using a phone while shooting.

    It’s imperative to NEVER forget- convenience is the right hand of the devil…

  7. Why does everything have to have an app to function?
    I know some people love LabRadar.
    Tell me that is not recording everything you put across it and upload for someone to exploit or track.

  8. I train 2 days a week, 800ish rounds. I’ve been liking this app. Thanks for sharing!

    The comments about Spyware, etc. You already have all that in your phone unless you built it and programed it!

    • Thanks Phillip,
      I created the app and continue to update it regularly. We’re about to roll out community drills that will allow users to upload their own drills and have others shoot the drill.

      There’s no spyware in the app, both Apple and Google do a pretty good job making sure there isn’t spyware in the apps that are available on those marketplaces.

  9. The Range Buddy app is a versatile tool for avid shooters, offering features like shot tracking, range mapping, and performance analysis. Its intuitive interface makes it a favorite among gun enthusiasts. However, ensuring data security is paramount in today’s digital landscape. Implementing aerospace innovation, as outlined in this informative article, can fortify the app against potential vulnerabilities, enhancing user trust and confidence in its reliability.

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