Tame 9mm loads for indoor range?


September 18, 2006, 02:24 PM
I was thrilled when my wife agreed to go to a new local indoor range with me this weekend. She is actually talking about taking a CCW class and I wanted it to be a positive experience. Not quite...

We go in with double hearing protection (both foam plugs and headsets) I loaded my S&W 3913 with some standard velocity 115 gr. and cranked off a shot. Great googly-moogly, it was LOUD! With the little guns short barrel and the acoustics of the small (3 lanes) indoor range, it was like firing inside of a closet. I finished up the magazine and handed it to my wife with great trepidation. She fired the first shot, the looked back over her shoulder with a not-too-happy look. Long story short, she fired less than 10 rounds before informing me she was done for the day.

I went ahead and practised a little more and later switched to some Reminton 115 gr. FMJ. and I noticed the report was noticable less, even though both loads were just fmj practice ammo. I've done most of my shooting outdoors, so this is new territory for me. Is this range worse because of its small size, or do all indoor ranges make you feel like you forgot to put your headset on? Would 147 gr. subsonic have less muzzle blast?
Any advice would be appreciated.

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September 18, 2006, 02:41 PM
Can you go to an outdoor range for her next experience? Any other handguns in the collection that could be tried?

September 18, 2006, 04:11 PM
Wife has said she won't give up and is willing to go to an outdoor range and try again. As for Saturday, the only other gun I took was an S&W Airweight Bodyguard (cringe.) Obviously, not an improvement. One problem is, that my wife is petite and has very small hands. I have some revolvers, but the size and weight of a K or N frame Smith doesn't work for her. I have a Kahr K-9 on the way right now. It is about the same weight and barrel length as the 3913, but I'm hoping that the grip ergonomics will make her more comfortable.

The Kahr was supposed to be her gun, but I may have to rethink things if she thinks it kicks too hard too. I'm hoping that the blast and noise factor was a big part of it and outdoors the same loads won't be so intimidating. To be honest, I had a hard time concentrating at the indoor range too.

September 18, 2006, 07:48 PM
get a basic reload kit and you can make your ammo as tame as you want

September 18, 2006, 07:53 PM
BHP would be good in 9mm.

Small grip with a long barrel to help reduce noise and felt recoil.

September 18, 2006, 08:21 PM
Unfortunetly, indoor ranges are quite loud. Even with maximum hearing protection there isn't much you can do to mitigate the noise. It's just something you have to get used to.

Probably the best thing to do is shoot at an outdoor range with some mild loads. Remington UMC 9mm is loaded a bit lighter than other brands. Another thing you can do to acclimate yourself to the noise is to just shoot .22LR your first few trips. If you don't have a .22LR pistol, rent one from the range and shoot that all day. Not only will you get used to your noise, but the noise of the shooters around you. After a while you won't even notice!


September 18, 2006, 08:52 PM
Thanks for the replies. Chupacabra, you answered one of my main questions. Being new to indoor ranges, I wondered if this one was exceptionally loud or if that was the nature of the beast. A little range time and I'll probably adjust, but I think I'll stick to outdoor fresh air settings with the wife.

Kokapelli, I've always wanted a Hi-Power...hmmm. If the Kahr idea tanks and I have to sell it, that is a very good suggestion. Hmmm...maybe even if we keep the Kahr...everyone needs to try the classic designs, right?

I actually have reloading equipment already. A buddy and I chipped in on a Dillon 550 about 10 years ago and haven't used it much in the last 5 or so. We mostly reloaded .357, .41 mags and .45 ACP. I don't have any 9mm dies, but I guess I could always get some and get back into mass production. Good ideas, thanks.

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