The Ultimate Guide on How to Open a Shooting Range


Nothing feels quite as exhilarating as shooting a target at a shooting range. And that feeling isn’t just in your mind. Shooting a gun can cause a rush of serotonin in your brain, leading to a strong sense of pleasure.

If you’re looking for a way to provide a safe, fun environment for people to practice their aim, opening a shooting range is a great opportunity to consider.

But, starting a business is overwhelming and it can be hard to know how to begin. We can help. Keep reading to learn how to open a shooting range the right way, so you’ll be in business for years to come.

Think About the Type of Range You Want to Open

Before you do anything else, think about whether you want to open an indoor shooting range, an outdoor one, or a hybrid range with indoor and outdoor options.

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Indoor ranges are usually more expensive than outdoor ones, but they’re also popular because you can operate them regardless of weather conditions. You can also open indoor ranges in more commercial areas, as opposed to outdoor ranges, which must be in more rural areas for safety reasons.

While outdoor ranges are usually cheaper to open, they may not get as much foot traffic because of their rural location. And, since people can’t use an outdoor range at night, you may not get as much revenue as you would from an indoor range. If you decide to open a hybrid range, you could get the best of both worlds, if you have enough upfront funds.

Learn About Local Regulations

Once you’ve made a decision about the best shooting range to open in your area, you’ll need to learn about local licensing and zoning requirements. Generally speaking, indoor ranges are restricted to commercial building zones, while outdoor ranges must be in an approved rural area.

However, some states have more specific requirements. For example, there may be regulations preventing a shooting range from opening within a certain radius of a school. There are also some regulations surrounding cleaning and maintenance requirements for ranges. Check out to learn more.

It’s best to check with your local government officials to learn about all of the licensing and zoning requirements in your area before moving forward with starting your business.

Get Involved in the Gun Community

Next, you’ll want to start getting more familiar with the gun community in your area. Visit other ranges to learn more about how they operate. You can also use this as an opportunity to see if there’s something unique that your range could provide to customers that they’re not currently getting from other ranges.

You’ll also want to visit gun shows to make connections with manufacturers. This will not only help you as you’re planning to open your range, but they may also have some helpful advice for you as you’re getting started.

Finally, join national gun associations like the National Rifle Association and the National Shooting Sports Foundation. By joining these groups, you’ll know about all the latest news in the industry and have the opportunity to network and get advice from others who share your passion.

Write a Business Plan

Now that you’ve done the necessary research, it’s time to write a detailed plan that explains how you’ll bring this dream to a reality.

At a minimum, you should also include the following:

  • An analysis of the market and competitors
  • How you plan to structure your company
  • What services you intend to provide
  • What products you intend to sell
  • A marketing strategy
  • Funding requirements
  • Financial viability projections

Once you’ve written your business plan, have a few people look it over or consider hiring a business consultant for additional feedback.

Get Proper Insurance Coverage

Any time you open a new business, you’ll need to get insurance, but this is especially important when opening a gun range. Of course, the nature of a shooting range means that you’ll need to be protected against liability in the event of an accident committed by you, your staff, or your customers.

You should be able to find a general liability policy for your range at an affordable monthly fee, so don’t put off securing the coverage you need.

Start Marketing

Now that you’ve done the hard work in the background, it’s time to get the word out about your business. Choose a name and a logo, as well as branding guidelines like fonts and colors you’ll use. You can then create a website yourself or hire a company to make one for you, which you can use to hype up your new range.

Digital marketing tactics like email marketing, pay-per-click ads, and social media marketing are all effective tools to use but don’t forget about offline marketing as well. You can take flyers to local gun clubs or sporting goods stores to help get the word out about your range before it opens.

Hold Events

Once you’re ready to open, consider planning a few special events to drum up excitement in the community. For example, you might promote a grand opening for your launch date, with special pricing, food, etc., to encourage people to come and check out your shooting range.

Holding special classes at the range is also a great way to become more noticeable in the community. Consider hosting gun safety courses once a month, or a special gun maintenance course to help bring more people in the door.

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Now You Know How to Open a Shooting Range

After reading through this guide on how to open a shooting range, you should have the knowledge you need to move forward with your dream of opening a new business. By following the tips we’ve outlined above, you’ll be well on your way to opening a profitable gun range in no time.

Looking for more advice as you begin this business venture? Browse through our other articles today.

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