If you’re used to firing on an outdoor range, you may not be aware of all the safety issues shooting at an indoor range presents. PDN Contributor Andy Loeffler, who instructs at an indoor range, outlines the concerns.
When doing defensive firearms training or any other kind of shooting at an indoor range, you may want to supplement your ear plugs with a set of ear muffs. Shooting outdoors, sound dissipates over a greater distance than it does indoors, where the concrete box of the indoor range holds the sound inside with us.
The walls at an indoor range are very close to the shooter. Ejected cases can easily come back and hit you. Wear a baseball cap with a wide brim to protect yourself from flying brass, as well as wraparound-style eye protection to protect the corners of the eyes from errant pieces of hot metal held in by the close walls.
During shooting drills at an indoor range, when we fire at targets at combat-realistic distances, safety issues with the targets become apparent. An angle that allows you to accurately fire at the lower A and B boxes on a Balance of Speed and Precision target means you will be firing into the floor. Firing into a dirt berm outside? Not a major consideration. Firing into the concrete floor of an indoor range? Big safety issue.
Shooting lanes at most indoor ranges have a bench that you can place gear on or even use as a rest to fire from. But this bench means you cannot utilize a low ready position or Position Sul because if a round is discharged, it will go into the bench, which has metal parts. The round may deflect back into your body.