Outdoor shooting ranges are a better way to train. Inside shooting ranges are good but outdoor ranges are great! You get a completely different training session when you use an outdoor range.
In most cases the outdoor range is more challenging than an indoor range. The indoor range has too many controls that you are not very likely to have in an emergent situation or in a real life situation.
Lets take a look at the differences.
Controlling for Climate
Obviously an indoor range controls the climate. An outdoor range does not control for climate you get what you get. So why is is better to be shooting without climate control? When you are in a real life situation you can not control for climate. You can not control the wind or the other elements.
Training indoors puts you at a disadvantage in a real world situation because indoor training has every thing under control while in the real world you will not be able to control the wind or other elements.
Training outdoors allows you to experience real life elements as you may experience them in a real life situation.
Caliber of Gun
Another huge issue with indoor ranges is that most all do not allow you to shoot anything over a pistol caliber. While this is fine if you are training with a pistol what if you want to train with something of a larger caliber? You really do not have any choice but to use an outdoor range if you want to shoot anything other than a pistol.
When you choose an outdoor range you are making the choice to be able to shoot what you want! Why would you limit yourself when you do not have to. Proper weapons training should include a full range of weapons not just a pistol.
Indoor ranges clearly can not handle but only up to a certain caliber pistol because of safety concerns. Even if the range is located away from other buildings there is still a level of risk when using a higher caliber weapon.
One Stance Training
Using an indoor range also puts you at a disadvantage because you can not move from your one stance position. While some outdoor ranges are a bit strict about movement some are actually quite liberal and offer great “tactical” training type situations. Movement is not only allowed but encouraged.
Indoor ranges for obvious reasons offer very limited mobility and are often cramped spaces that you have to shoot in. Outdoor ranges typically encompass quite a bit of space which gives you more opportunities to train and a greater distance to your target. The targets can be moved around and repositioned at an outdoor range. Indoor ranges just do not have the space to offer the kind of challenging training that you will find outdoors.
Again an outdoor range can more easily mimic real life situations. Unless you plan on running into a target that is going to stand right in front of you in a dead on position than an outdoor range is simply a more realistic way to train.
An indoor range is very predictable. There is not a lot of challenge there. You put on your ear gear you pick up your weapon load it and you shoot. You do not have to worry about wind, rain, sun glare none of it.
The problem? You do not have to worry about wind rain sun glare or any of it! When you do not have to figure out how the wind will carry your ammo after you pull the trigger it is easier but it is less challenging. Sometimes you have to challenge yourself to get the right training session.
Challenging yourself is what training is all about. Challenging yourself to deal with real life situations is what will make you a better marksmen/woman. You need the challenges of a real world situation to really get your training down pat.
Outdoor ranges are much more flexible training situations that allow for a much more challenging environment that can be adjusted to suit your training goals
If you are not convinced yet than consider the cost. It is less expensive (for better training opportunities) to utilize an outdoor range. The indoor range has an higher overhead and the maintenance is more costly than at an outdoor range. Now paying less does not mean you are getting less of an experience in this case it is exactly the opposite. You are paying less and getting more!
An outdoor range is a better option to really get the training that you need to take you to the next level of expertise and personal security. You can save money and get a better session by choosing an outdoor range.