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Starting a Shooting Range Business: A Complete Guide

private shooting ranges includes indoor commercial shooting range and outdoor range serves as a lucrative business that invloves tactical training and must meet up all safety requirements

Have you been thinking about starting a shooting range business?

Well, strap in.

I've got a complete guide locked and loaded with everything you need to know to get started.

Whether you're dreaming of an indoor haven or an outdoor shooting paradise, starting a shooting range business is no joke. It requires careful planning and thorough research on operational procedures, target customer base, existing customer base, safety features, zoning requirements, range design, local government laws and regulations, federal firearms license requirements, and so on.

In this blog, I'll discuss the steps needed for starting one from scratch.

Let’s dive in.

Starting a Shooting Range Business: A Step-By-Step-Guide

Starting a shooting range business can be a profitable venture. 

From calculating business expenses to promoting your business, I'll cover everything in this blog post.

Here are the steps you need to follow for starting your business.

1. Research the Shooting Range Industry

There are 3 types of shooting range businesses: indoor, outdoor, and hybrid ranges.

Indoor shooting ranges are popular in urban areas due to their convenience and controlled environment.

Outdoor shooting ranges offer a different shooting experience, allowing for longer distances and a more natural environment.

Hybrid ranges combine the best of both worlds, offering the freedom of open-air shooting and a controlled shooting environment.

Regardless of the type of shooting range, you must understand and comply with federal licensing requirements. Therefore, thorough research is a must.

Also, each state has its own specific regulations and licensing procedures for shooting range businesses, including:

  • Zoning restrictions
  • Safety inspections
  • Background checks
  • Record-keeping requirements

Abiding by these regulations ensures that shooting range owners can create a safe and legally compliant environment for their customers.

For more information on safety protocols, federal licensing, and state regulations, I recommend you visit the website of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.

indoor shooting range remains one of the community recreation programs so all the safety requirements involved should be met

2. Know the Startup Costs for Shooting Range Businesses

industry professionals at outdoor shooting range and shooting bays should help clients handle range equipment and teach them eye and ear protection

Starting a shooting range business requires careful planning and a thorough understanding of the associated startup costs.

Here are some of the costs you will need to factor in:

  • Equipment: One of the major costs of starting a shooting range business is the purchase of equipment. This includes

           - Firearms

            - Ammunition

            - Targets

            - Safety gear

            - Range maintenance equipment

            - Shooting benches

            - Range dividers

            - Ventilation systems and more

  • Land/Structures: If you plan on building an outdoor range, you will need to acquire suitable land. The cost of land will depend on the location, proximity to residential areas, local zoning regulations, and the size of the range.Indoor ranges require constructing or renting a suitable building. You will also need to spend on constructing shooting lanes, bulletproof walls, soundproofing, lighting, and ventilation systems.
  • Labor: Hiring qualified staff members is crucial for the smooth operation and safety of your shooting range business. Consider labor costs for salaries, benefits, training, and ongoing staff development. 
  • Business Formation Costs: Establishing a legal entity for your shooting range business, such as an LLC or Corporation, involves certain costs. This may include registration fees, legal fees, licenses, permits, insurance, and more.
  • Marketing and Promotion: Promoting your shooting range business to attract customers will incur costs. This may include advertising, online marketing, creating a website, signage, brochures, social media campaigns, and other promotional materials.

I also recommend investing in lead generation software to target specific demographics and individuals who may be interested in your services. You may go through this lead generation software list by Attrock to find a suitable option for your business.

3. Come Up with a Detailed Business Plan

Creating a comprehensive business plan is necessary when starting a shooting range business like any other business. It helps outline your goals, strategies, and financial projections. 

Here are some key elements you should include in your business plan

  • Pricing strategy: Determine how you will price your services. You may consider factors such as the cost of equipment, overhead expenses, competitor analysis, and your target market's willingness to pay.
  • Funding sources: Identify the funding sources available to support your shooting range business, such as personal savings, bank loans, and so on. Your business plan should present a clear and realistic financial plan to use the funds to attract investors.
  • Marketing strategy: Develop a marketing strategy to attract customers and increase awareness of your shooting range. I suggest using traditional and digital marketing channels, such as social media, email marketing, local advertising, and partnerships with relevant organizations or clubs.
  • Tools and Software: You need to invest in required software such as sales management tools, business text messaging software, accounting software, and delivery management software to run your business successfully.

Here are some tips you can follow for writing a business plan.

existing establishment or new local ranges know your target audience and build your company image as one of the local businesses

4. Get Your Shooting Range Business Accredited

Getting accreditation is another important step when starting a shooting range business. It helps ensure the safety and legitimacy of your operations.

Before pursuing accreditation, ensure that you have obtained all the necessary license and zoning requirements, various permits required by federal, state, and local authorities, and local regulations.

Familiarize yourself with the safety standards and regulations applicable to shooting ranges. This includes compliance with zoning laws, noise ordinances, and environmental regulations.

Prepare the necessary documentation and forms as per the requirements of the accreditation organization. This may include details about your range's safety protocols, range rules, insurance coverage, and emergency procedures.

5. Find the Ideal Location

When starting a shooting range business, finding the right location is key to business success.

For outdoor ranges, evaluate the land size and shape to accommodate various shooting distances and target setups. Consider the surrounding vegetation and natural barriers to ensure safety and prevent stray bullets.

For outdoor ranges, evaluate the land size and shape to accommodate various shooting distances and target setups. Consider the surrounding vegetation and natural barriers to ensure safety and prevent stray bullets.

I strongly recommend locating your shooting range near your target market. This will help attract a steady flow of customers and reduce their travel time.

Consider these factors when choosing a location for your business.

build an indoor shooting range within city limits and also ensure range safety. contact local ranges and improve your commercial shooting business

6. Brand Your Shooting Range Business

Pay special attention to branding when starting your shooting range business. The right branding strategies help to establish a strong identity for your business. 

Understanding your target market is crucial for effective branding. Identify the demographics, preferences, and interests of your potential customers.

Selecting a strong and memorable name for your shooting range is also essential. Pick a name that reflects the nature of your business and also appeals to your target market.

It is also important to establish a cohesive visual identity for your shooting range business. This includes choosing appropriate colors, fonts, and logos that align with your brand's personality.

Here’s a tip. Leverage social media platforms to enhance your brand presence. Use tools like Movavi Video Editor, Lightworks, and Animoto to create engaging videos on shooting sports, safety, and other relevant topics.

7. Develop Safety Protocols and Obtain Insurance Cover

When starting a shooting range business, ensuring the safety of your customers and staff is of paramount importance. Besides adhering to safety protocols mandated by the state, it is important also to create your own protocols tailored to your shooting range facility.

For instance, you must have a robust emergency response plan that outlines procedures for handling various scenarios, including accidents, medical emergencies, fire, or unauthorized access to the range. 

It is also crucial to train your staff on executing the emergency response plan. Create videos quickly with AI-text-video-generators, including real-life scenarios to help your staff better understand how to apply the procedures in real-time situations.

Here is an example.

get helpful advice and teach all safety operational procedures to your clients and staff and get your shooting stations insured.

You must also acquire appropriate liability insurance coverage for your shooting range business. Liability insurance helps protect your business from financial loss in the event of accidents, injuries, or property damage.

8. Get Reservation Software for Your Shooting Range

Invest in reservation software when starting your shooting range business. Reservation software helps streamline the booking and scheduling process, allowing customers to easily book range time online. This minimizes administrative tasks, reduces the risk of double bookings, and ensures a smooth and efficient operation of your shooting range.

With reservation software, customers can conveniently view available time slots, make reservations, and even pay in advance. This can significantly enhance the customer experience.

Data from the software can help you make informed decisions regarding staffing and equipment allocation. You can also tailor your marketing efforts to attract and retain customers.

9. Promote Your Shooting Range Business

Promoting your shooting range business is crucial for attracting customers and building a strong reputation in the industry.

Word of mouth is a powerful tool for promoting any business. Encourage satisfied customers to spread the word and recommend your shooting range to their friends, family, and colleagues.

Create a professional website that showcases your shooting range facilities, services, and pricing. Use a form maker to embed forms on your website to gather leads.

Create enticing offers and promotions to attract new customers, encourage repeat visits and establish relationships.

Online reviews and ratings play a significant role in building trust and credibility for your shooting range business. Consider applying for a rating from the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF). It can further enhance your reputation and attract customers looking for trusted shooting ranges.

establish contacts with promotional literature and promote your business to target customer and other interest groups improving your existing customer base


Starting a shooting range business does not have to be daunting. Just follow the step-by-step guide I’ve laid out for you. 

Do your market research, get the necessary permits, finalize a shooting area, and invest in quality equipment. Safety concerns should always be your top priority for either a new shooting range or an already operating establishment. Keep your customers happy, stay updated with regulations, and be adaptable. 

With hard work and dedication, your shooting range business can thrive in this exciting industry.

Unlock the full potential of your shooting range facility with strategic decision-making. Embracing a forward-thinking mindset is key to enhancing your facility's operations and maximizing efficiency. Streamlining and automating your processes empowers you to identify and address areas that require improvement.

Discover the transformative power of Omnify Facility Management Software, which has revolutionized operations for numerous recreation and sports facility businesses. By leveraging this cutting-edge solution, you can save valuable time and effort while providing exceptional services to your members. Take advantage of our FREE TRIAL today and propel your shooting range towards unprecedented growth.

Reena Aggarwal

Reena is the Director of Operations and Sales at Attrock, a result-driven digital marketing company. With 10+ years of sales and operations experience in the field of e-commerce and digital marketing, she is quite an industry expert. She is a people person and considers the human resources as the most valuable asset of a company. In her free time, you would find her spending quality time with her brilliant, almost teenage daughter and watching her grow in this digital, fast-paced era.

Looking to venture into the shooting range business? Omnify’s step-by-step Guide on starting one has got you covered. Continue reading for more information.

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