What to Expect When Going to a Gun Range for the First Time

Whether you’re a new gun owner going to a gun range for the first time, or you’re just interested in learning about guns and shooting, the highly trained NRA-Certified guides at Carolina Sporting Arms are here to help with your indoor shooting range experience. For us, firearm safety is key. First and foremost, we’re here to educate you and to help you learn how to use your firearm safely. We can also help guide you as you learn to use your gun for sport, for hunting, and even to protect yourself if need be.

Going to a gun range for the first time is probably going to bring on several emotions. Nervousness. Excitement. Curiosity. All of these emotions are completely natural for a person who is learning how to use a gun. Let’s explore what you can expect when you are going to a gun range for the first time.

You’re Not Going to Be the Only Beginner

There’s a good chance that there will be several other beginners at the indoor shooting range. Depending on the setup of the range, you may or may not interact with these other beginners as you receive your lessons. Regardless of whether or not you’re the only beginner, there’s no reason to feel out of place. By the time you leave the range, you’re going to have acquired several skills that will make you much more confident as a gun owner.

The entire purpose of going to a gun range for the first time is to learn basic gun safety and handling. So, the number one tip you can follow is to ask as many questions as you can think of. If you don’t understand something, ask. The more you ask, the more you’ll end up learning. And when it comes to gun safety, the more you know, the better.

For many beginners, taking a training class is a very comfortable place to start. At Carolina Sporting Arms, there are a wide variety of classes from which to choose.

First Steps

This is a handgun introduction class that teaches you all about basic gun safety and handling. This is an instructional class with no hands on training. The goal is to address many of the emotions and fears that someone new to shooting may have.

First Shots

This is your introduction to live-fire on our range, with expert supervision. You may even start out on our TI Firearms laser simulator, which is a lot of fun. The students in this class are all beginners, so you’re in good company if you’re new to shooting.

Ladies’ Night

This is a class for beginner and intermediate female shooters, moderated by a female pistol instructor. You’ll learn about pistols and have the opportunity to shoot several different ones, including a self defense firearm. Afterward, we reflect and decompress over tasty wine and light hors d’oeuvres in our members lounge. It’s a fun event!

Give It A Shot

This is another female-only class that dives deep into the world of using firearms for safety and protection.

At Carolina Sporting Arms, we believe it is important for each student to get the best personalized instruction available. That’s why we keep our class sizes small, with an average of six students and no more than twelve students in any class. We also offer personal one on one instruction as well, which is a popular option for enthusiasts of all skill levels.

We also have a static simulator. This is an excellent feature for folks who are new to firearms and shooting. It allows our guides to help address fears and emotions before you even set foot in the shooting range.

Knowing What To Expect When You Arrive

When you first visit the indoor shooting range, you’re going to be asked several questions. First and foremost, you’ll be asked if you have ever shot at our gun range before as well as whether or not you have any firearm experience. Next, you’ll be asked what type of gun you brought to shoot, a rifle or a pistol. The type of gun you are shooting will likely determine which lane you will shoot in. Also, whether you’re shooting a rifle or handgun, the gun range staff will want to inspect your ammo to ensure it is not steel-cased or steel-cored.  

You’ll also be asked questions about eye and ear protection. When shooting indoors, you are required to have your eyes and ears adequately protected, but there’s no need to fret if you didn’t bring any. Carolina Sporting Arms offers high-quality protective equipment for a modest price, and it’s yours to keep.

Lastly, you’ll be asked if you need to purchase any ammo or targets. If you brought your own, that’s perfectly fine.

Getting Ready to Shoot

When you’re ready to hit up the shooting lane area by yourself and shoot at targets, there are several safety and etiquette tips to follow. First of all, never be scared to ask the range safety officer questions if you have them. They are there to help. Also, to make sure you don’t come in with guns a blazing, you’ll need to have everything neatly organized in a range bag. A small duffel bag can even work as your range bag. It’s also important that you wear a ball cap. You don’t want ejected brass from the firearm to lodge itself between your cheek and safety glasses.

At Carolina Sporting Arms, all of our shooting ranges are seven lanes. Our ranges are managed by an experienced Range Safety Officer at all times. Our Range Safety Officers are here to help you, to answer any of your questions, and to encourage you as you learn to use your firearm and shoot safely.

Now It’s Time to Shoot

Our range officers will assign you to a lane. Before you start shooting, though, you’ll need to hang your target and unpack your gun. Any time your gun is on the bench, the slide on it needs to be opened. If you are shooting a revolver, it will need to be open as well as have a completely empty cylinder. Once you’re ready to shoot, simply load your gun, always keep it pointed downrange, and always stay in your own lane.

The Takeaway for Your First Visit to an Indoor Shooting Range

You can learn first-class gun handling and safety at Carolina Sporting Arms. Make sure to take advantage of the range’s membership package to access special services and discounts. We are here to help you get the most out of your indoor shooting range experience.


Scroll to top