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History of Indoor & Outdoor Gun Ranges; Modern, Hogan’s Alley, Simulators & More

The first formal firing ranges were probably military. They need a set organized range to facilitate training, in some cases with those who had never had previous gun handling experience. Ranges provide an organized layout allowing for various training exercises in a controlled environment and provides for rating the shooters ability and safe firearms instruction.

Modern Shooting Ranges

Modern ranges are both indoor and outdoor ranges and many feature advanced target handling. Some are arranged to provide for ‘shoot-don’t shoot’ scenarios. Ranges can have layouts that facilitate tactical training and movement. Much of the combat featured in the middle east has involved fighting within homes and businesses and therefore much of the pre-deployment changes has included building clearing techniques and urban combat and crowd control techniques.

Hogan’s Alley Training

Hogan’s Alley features stores, streets and buildings that are included with interiors and is in Quantico, VA at the FBI’s academy. Built with the help of Hollywood designers it is a microcosm of Americana for training of FBI agents.

Electronic Shooting Range Simulator Equipment

Other ranges are electronic and show videos with electronic capture of simulated hits from weapons equipped with laser and are used to teach when and when not to engage a person with a firearm. Many scenarios have multiple endings and iterations to teach this valuable skill, primarily in the law enforcement community.

Shooting Range Targets

Typically, most ranges are equipped with some sort of target manipulation, flip-up or turnaround target holders as a variable exposure and to control engagement times and seize fire on timed targeting competition. We cannot discount the lure of falling plate (round disks or plates of steel) and other targets. Silhouettes are steel targets cut in the shape of animals of different sizes as will as gauges, varying from sheet metal for air guns and rimfires to half inch plate for high power rifle targets. These are timed competition and you must knock the plate over to score. It originated in Mexico and has been very popular in the US.

Bench Rest Shooting Competition

Bench rest competition is shot from 300 to 1000 yards. Special ranges are required for long distance matches. Though competitive shooting burns a lot of range time, the primary function is to learn the basics and sharpen your shooting skills for military or defensive purposes. In fact, training ranges probably date to the bow & arrow and crossbow days. After all the archers of the period where required to practice on a regular basis in England.

Tactical Training

The rise of tactical training in the US for military, police, security and concealed carry has increased the number of ranges. It is estimated that the US consumes 12 billion rounds of ammunition per year, at least the sales support this amount. Current military consumption is 1.8 billion rounds. During the Korean War and World War II an estimated 45,000 rounds where expended per casualty. In Vietnam it rose to 50,000 rounds per casualty with a million rounds per day being fired. In the Gulf wars an estimated 250,000 rounds are fired per kill. Ammo expenditure is so high that the US manufactures cannot keep up with demand and we are importing small arms ammunition from Israel. Of course, a lot of this is fired as suppression fire, spray and pray and other scenarios that limit actual casualties but serve to occupy the enemy in keeping a low profile.

Custom Modular Shooting Ranges & Equipment

Ranges are important features, ranging from simple and static to automated and dynamic. Every concealed carry individual is encouraged to develop the skills necessary to master their weapons to build both competence and confidence. Shooting Range Industries designs and builds custom portable shooting ranges with all the bells and whistles. Contact us to learn more today!

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