Do Indoor Shooting Ranges Allow Shotguns?

Indoor shooting ranges allow gun enthusiasts to test out various firearms in a supervised and enclosed environment. 

Some shooting ranges are even set up with unique games, giving customers a more interactive shooting experience. One might ask if these indoor shooting ranges allow all types of guns—specifically, shotguns.

Shotguns can be shot in indoor ranges. Some issues with shooting shotgun indoor include safety, birdshot can bounce off rubber traps while the wades can collect in the trap causing a fire hazard. If shooting indoor with a shotgun we recommend a steel trap. The shot is collected into the collection system and wades can easily be swept up off the trap and floor after the shop closes. The wades do damage the standard acoustic fascia applied to the protective baffles above the shooter but this can be prevented if designed with other more resilient materials and solutions.

Ranges we have built for shotguns, secure a large space in excess of 125’L X 50’W X 25’H. The space is designed without a trap and is set up for sporting clays with 7-14 clay throwers. They include games and challenges for all levels. (look up TNT in UTAH – you will see pictures. Also see if you can find the Governors Club 2 in Georgia, another indoor shooting range. These indoor ranges are a blast.

Are Shotguns Allowed on Indoor Ranges?

Shotguns require a much more extensive range. Check out TNT, use this as a reason why you can do it, in a safe and effective way.

However, if you’re in the mood to try a shotgun, a few sports are expressly set up with this weapon in mind.  

Where Can I Use a Shotgun?

It’s up to the ranges in the local areas. Indoor and outdoor are options. Outdoor is definitely preferred and accepted.

You can use a shotgun in an outdoor shooting range. Outdoor ranges are more versatile than their indoor counterparts because they offer different types of terrain where targets can be set up in random spots and varying distances, allowing you to tweak your shooting experience as you like.

Almost every outdoor range permits the use of a shotgun on-premises. However, they may restrict the kind of ammunition allowed. For example, some may prohibit lead pellets and prefer single projectiles, like slugs, to reduce impact.

Types of Shotgun Sports

Shotgun shooting gets exciting when you try your hand at the different sports designed for shotgun use.

The two main kinds are trap and skeet shooting, both involving shooting at moving clay targets. Trap and skeet shooting were designed as exercises to improve a hunter’s accuracy and increase their chances of success, but these ‘exercises’ have now grown to become Olympic Sports.

Trap Shooting

The critical difference between trap and skeet is how the targets move in relation to the shooter.

Trap shooting involves firing at clay targets shot out of a “house” or “bunker.” These targets are fired in random directions away from the shooter. So, while the shooter is aware of the target’s origin, they are clueless about the order or trajectory in which the target moves. 

This element of randomness creates an intense yet exciting challenge for the shooter who has to be on edge, ready to fire in a particular direction at a moment’s notice.

Trap shooters fire five shots from five distinct points marked out on a semicircle. Each participant gets 25 shots in each round, and those with the most successful hits win the round.

Participants decide on the number of rounds to be played, and the one who wins the most games wins the competition.

In Olympic trap shooting, 15 fixed machines fire targets, and each competitor gets 125 shots to score the highest points. While the fixed direction of the targets may seem like an advantage, the Olympic targets are fired at over 68 miles per hour, ensuring that only the most skilled marksman can make the shot.

Skeet Shooting 

Skeet shooting was a shotgun sport devised in the 1920s by a hunter who recognized that trap shooting did not replicate birds’ random movements or flying patterns. This shooting sport was his attempt to rectify the mistakes so clear to him in trap shooting.

In skeet shooting, the participant must hit two targets that cross one another at the height of roughly 15 feet (4.57 m)  in front of the shooter. 

The targets are fired from two separate machines, one fixed at 10 feet (3.048 m) high and the other at 3.5 feet (1.06 m). These machines are placed almost 40 meters apart, and the shooter stands somewhere in the middle, between the two bunkers.

Skeet shooting can be considerably more complex than trap shooting as participants must fire and hit both targets quickly.

This sport comes in two versions – American Skeet Shooting and International Skeet Shooting. 

In American skeet shooting, targets are fired in a different order, and there is no delay between when the shooter calls for the clay and when the target is fired.

International skeet shooting follows the format used in the Olympic games and the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) games. 

In International Skeet, there is an odd delay between zero and three seconds from when the shooter called for the target and the machine fires.

Sporting Clay 

In addition to skeet and trap shooting, sporting clay is a more recent shotgun shooting discipline that has gained immense popularity in the last few years.

This sport is often called “golf with a shotgun” and involves shooting on various courses laid out over a vast expanse (at least 35 acres) of natural terrain.

Each sporting clay session involves shooting at 10-15 different shooting stations, each set up entirely differently from the others. The terrain and natural obstacles differ from station to station, adding an exciting new element to the sport.

The machines, or bunkers, firing targets are also set up differently at each station. The speed, angle, and distance covered by the target differ throughout the course, adding to the randomness of the sport.

This element of surprise and the need to adapt to different terrain makes sporting clays the most reliable shooting practice in preparation for actual hunting.

Contact Action Target Today

While indoor shooting ranges allow the use of various firearms, some choose not to allow shotguns based on their range design and setup.

If you’re looking to work on your shooting game, do some hunting prep, or clean out the old shotgun, an outdoor range is your best bet. With over 30 years of experience, Action Target can help you build the perfect range for your unique needs. Whether you’re building a commercial range that caters to casual or tactical training or a law enforcement range to better prepare your officers, our experts can help with the challenges of building a range. Talk to one of our representatives in your neck of the woods here

Note: All law enforcement range shoot shotguns indoors. They prefer steel, but I see it often on rubber traps. We support shotguns in indoor ranges, but a range owner needs to consider options during the design.