What makes an ordinary indoor shooting range? A few lanes, some target hangers, the requirement that shooters wear eye and ear protection. What makes a better-than-ordinary range? One that provides those basics, but tops it by offering an array of extras that cater from the beginner to more advanced firearm aficionados, all while maintaining a dedicated safety presence. And the NRA Range aims for the higher standard.
Nestled behind NRA headquarters in Fairfax, Va., the 50-yard range, with 15 lanes, touts itself as being “not your ordinary range” – and with all its offerings, some of which are described below, that’s a fitting description. From the most basic needs to more advanced pursuits, you can find what you need.
If you’re new to shooting and you want to find a good instructor, you can start your search at the range. A few companies offer courses at the NRA Range regularly. Some of them include: Live Fire Instruction; Capital Defense Instruction; Green Ops and Justified Defensive Concepts. Classes range from introductory safety classes to more advanced training. You can also find cards and flyers for independent NRA-certified instructors.
Newcomers to the sport who might be a little hesitant about shooting at a public facility can rest easy knowing that anyone who shoots at the range must pass a general safety and knowledge test. As always, safety is paramount, with NRA-certified Range Safety Officers (RSOs) keeping a watchful eye on whether the firearms are pointed downrange and that shooters otherwise follow precautions. If you’ve gone through a training class but still lack confidence, or maybe you just want some basic marksmanship tips, the RSOs are always on the line and can provide assistance.
Most lawful gun owners realize that shooting is a perishable skill, which goes a long way toward explaining why they like to spend time practicing. But honing your craft extends beyond marksmanship training at a stationary paper target, and the NRA Range is a great starting point if you’d like to find out about some new activities.
The NRA Range hosts regular activities, including competitive shoots, for local chapters of the International Defensive Pistol Association, the U.S. Practical Shooting Association and SASS Cowboy Action. A variety of local organizations also have monthly events at the range. Check with those groups or staff members at the range if you want to experience some of the shooting events.
Woman-only get-togethers are also on the calendar. The Northern Virginia chapter of The Well Armed Woman (TWAW) meets at the range monthly, and women get discounts on range fees for Ladies Night every Thursday.
With all that to choose from, you can still drop in for basic target shooting if that’s what you want. Don’t worry if you forget something. The range sells ammunition, targets and accessories that will make your shooting experience one of the best.