Last year, I wrote an article for this blog that covered the Top Five Indoor Ranges in the Southeast United States, and now it’s time to do it all over again, except this time I’m heading to the Northeast. I wanted to keep the same parameters I had used to rate and compare the ranges in the Southeast–those being indoor ranges that also offer something else to do either before or after you shoot on the range. Oh, and they need to be open to the public, which is a bit harder to find in the Northeast as most ranges are for members only. Now some club/private ranges are awesome ranges and even offer occasional public events, but again, the focus of this list is on the ranges that anyone, including out-of-state travelers, can shoot at any time. And speaking of you travelers, check out GunRentalsUSA the next time you’re planning a trip, GunRentalsUSA is essentially a searchable nationwide database of shooting ranges that also allows you to filter searches not only by if rentals are available or not but by exact makes and models of guns you’re interested in renting.
Okay, let’s not forget the disclaimer: this is just my list and my personal opinions. If I didn’t include your favorite indoor, public range it’s because I didn’t know about it, or for one reason or another it just didn’t make MY list. But feel free to reach out and share your range with me, I love hearing about great places to shoot. As a matter of fact, two of the ranges on this list were introduced to me by fellow firearms professionals.
When I found a public range dedicated specifically to air guns, I had to include it on my list. Lewis and Clark carried a .46 caliber Girandoni air gun on their famous expedition across the country back in the early 1800s (and that 4-foot-long, 10-pound Girandoni air gun had been part of the Austrian military arsenal for 20 years prior to that).
I would also venture to guess that a lot of you reading this right now took your first shot with a BB or pellet gun – hopefully no one shot their eye out. Many of our next generation shooters are honing their skills today by shooting 10-meter Air Competitions, so yeah, air guns are pretty cool. And although almost all indoor ranges will allow air guns, it’s great to see a location designed specifically for them, especially in places where you just can’t shoot in your back yard. At New England AirGun Range, you can fire .177 .22 and .25 calibers. They offer rentals, or you can purchase a new or used air gun at their fully stocked pro shop. The range is often used for practice, competitions, birthday parties, and team-building events. Once you’re done shooting on the range, head down the road to The American Heritage Museum and spend some time admiring their massive collection of armored vehicles and tanks, you might even get to drive one if you’re lucky!
I live in Virginia, about 200 miles from Schuylkill Haven, Pennsylvania, and to be honest, I had never heard of it before. But over the last few months, on two separate occasions, two different people have recommended Schuylkill Gun Works to me…and word-of-mouth recommendations carry a lot of weight! So, I had to check this place out. A quick map search revealed that Schuylkill Gun Works fell in the geographical center of three familiar destination locations (about an hour from each): The U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center museum, The Pennsylvania Longrifle Museum, and Lehigh Valley Sporting Clays, all worth a visit to if you’re in the area. As you’re traveling down Pennsylvania highway 61, you can’t miss Schuylkill Gun Works – just look for the building with a World War II era tank in the parking lot.
Once inside, you’ll be greeted by helpful and courteous staff members who are obviously the reason this place gets recommended so much. The range offers a pretty good menu of rentals and the fully stocked storefront sells firearms, ammo, and accessories.
Guntry is located just north of Baltimore, not far from Fort McHenry, where Francis Scott Key wrote the national anthem during a bombardment of the fort in 1814. If you’re in the area, you owe it to yourself to tour the fort, then head on over to Guntry.
Guntry isn’t a range, it’s a world class country club for shooters. This state-of-the-art 64,000 sq. ft. facility contains 34 indoor ranges (including five 100-yard ranges), a 300-degree immersive simulator that has over 200 scenarios, an amazing full-service café, and a fully stocked retail store containing firearms, ammo, accessories, apparel, and souvenirs. They have an easy check-in process for first-time visitors and rentals are available for those who need them. Guntry was even one of seven ranges featured in a recent Shooting Illustrated article (“Home on the Range”, May 2023) that discussed how gun ranges in America are evolving to cater to the changing gun-owner demographic.
Located in the middle of Northern New Jersey and just minutes from New York, Gun for Hire claims the only six-star rating in America. They have three 25-yard ranges and New Jersey’s only public 6-port indoor 50-yard range. Known for accommodating tourists and out-of-state travelers, Gun for Hire has the largest selection of gun rentals
in the Tri-State area, you can even rent a Barrett .50 BMG. This is also the place to plan that next big milestone in your life: they have range packages available for marriage proposals, bachelor/bachelorette parties, shotgun weddings, gender reveals, single-again parties, birthday parties, retirement parties, and team-building. In addition to shooting, you can eat at the onsite café, shop at the fully stocked Gun for Hire store, hang out in the shooter’s lounge and listen to one of the Gun for Hire Radio Podcasts that are recorded in the onsite studio, or tour the challenge coin museum.
This is another place that I can’t call just a range, this is an entire campus dedicated to shooters and firearms professionals. On campus, you’ll find the SIG SAUER Academy which provides some of the finest firearms and tactics training available today, you’ll also find The SIG SAUER Flagship Store, The Museum of SIG SAUER, and of course, the open-to-the-public indoor range equipped with variable lighting, computer-controlled reactive steel, static steel, target turners, moving target systems, and the ability to bring in training aids such as chairs, desks, or even vehicles.
So that’s my list, go check these places out if you get a chance and be sure to let me know if there is a list-worthy range in your area.
Earl Roberts is the Owner-Operator and Chief Instructor of Mobile Marksmanship LLC, a Firearms & Safety Training Company located in Northern Virginia. Earl is a retired Marine, former private security professional, and an Emergency Medical Technician with a degree in Firearms Technology and multiple armorer certifications. His instructor credentials include NRA Rifle, Pistol, and Shotgun, National Sporting Clays Association Certified Shotgun Instructor, CCW Instructor, Range Safety Officer, Active Shooter Mitigation & Response Instructor, Crime Prevention & Personal Protection Instructor, Trauma First Aid Instructor, and CPR/AED Instructor. When not teaching, Earl can be found competing with shotguns, pistols, small-bore rifles, and/or muzzleloaders…and occasionally writing gun related articles.