People from all sorts of different backgrounds like to practice shooting for a variety of different reasons: hunting, personal or home protection, sport and more. If you’re looking to find a place to practice your aim in Birmingham, there’s no shortage of shooting ranges to choose from. Keep reading to find out all the details, plus three organizations that will help you learn to shoot safely.
But first, a little background.
I was surprised to discover the important role hunters and anglers have played in paying for wildlife conservation in Alabama. Check out this story by my colleague Pat Byington for all the details.
Since I’ve only shot a gun a few times at my aunt and uncle’s house in the country (plus that one time I played paintball), I polled a few friends and neighbors to find out where they like to shoot.
Also, I found an organization that focuses on training women to shoot safely, as well as one local firearms instructor who offers training for all.
Indoor Shooting Ranges in Birmingham
Indoor shooting ranges look kind of like a bowling alley, and usually offer weapons (for sale and sometimes to rent while in the range), ammo and training. They also highly recommend—and sometimes offer—both ear and eye protection. Guns are crazy loud and bullets are hot.
1. Hoover Tactical is an indoor shooting range in Hoover.
Hoover Tactical has all this available to the general public, with 30 lanes across all their indoor ranges for the following:
2. Sheepdog Firearms in Trussville.
At Sheepdog Firearms in Trussville, they pride themselves on helping people make the best choice of weapons for themselves for personal protection and sports shooting.
They’ve put a lot of thought into designing a shooting range that provides clean, temperature-controlled air, which means you won’t be breathing in lead dust. Bonus.
Sheepdog also provides training for beginners through advanced students so you can feel confident that you know what you’re doing.
Outdoor shooting ranges in Birmingham
1. Irondale Police Department Firing Range in Irondale.
Lots of people on the eastern side of Birmingham like shooting at this range, and taking classes with Central Alabama Firearms Training. More on them in a sec.
Location: 750 Ruffner Road, Irondale, AL 35210
2. FOP RANGE INC. in Pleasant Grove.
This family-friendly range offers wholesale ammo prices so you can get the most shooting action in on your day out at the range. They’ve got seven outdoor ranges and more than 250 steel plates to shoot.
Like the other places, they offer firearms training because any responsible business that sells guns wants to make sure people know how to use them safely. They’ve also got great info on their site to help you prepare for a first trip.
You do need to be a member, come with a member on a guest pass, or do a 7-day trial membership to check the place out.
3. Southern Skeet and Trap in Irondale.
At this members-only shotgun club, you can hone your skills for hunting dove, duck, quail or turkey. Or, you can practice skeet, trap or 5-stand.
4. Brock’s Gap Training Center in Hoover.
This nonprofit has been in operation since 1962 with the goal of providing “firearms education and training as well as the promotion and advancement of all shooting sports.”
3 useful resources in case you want to learn more about how to shoot safely in Birmingham.
1. The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources has a directory of public shooting ranges across the state.
To use these unstaffed ranges, you need a current hunting, wildlife management or a wildlife heritage license.
Check out the full director and be sure to study up on gun range etiquette via the video above before you go.
2. The Well Armed Woman helps women learn how to shoot safely.
A neighbor told me she’s taken some classes with a local chapter of The Well Armed Woman and highly recommends them.
3. Central Alabama Firearms Training is one place to go for all your training needs.
Highly recommended by several of my friends and neighbors, this place, founded by David McCullough, can help with all your training needs. The list of their instructors’ credentials is impressive (and this is an understatement).
Their offerings include Intro to Handguns, Unarmed Self Defense for Women, Civilian Response to Active Shooter, Church Security Training and more.
Also, did you know we have one of the best shooting ranges in the country in Talladega?
Gun enthusiasts from all over the country come to CMP Talladega Marksmanship Park, just a couple miles down the road from the Talladega Superspeedway.