Last updated on October 28th, 2023
While there are no ranges in Chicago, there are some outdoor shooting ranges near Chicago. Some of these ranges are private and others are open to the public. But each outdoor range will require a little bit of a drive.
We run our advanced classes outdoors at the Aurora Sportsman’s Club. It is an excellent facility but is members only, except for training classes like ours. If you’re not looking to get into a club, I would suggest the Buffalo Range in Ottawa which is another really nice facility. Also McMiller in Eagle, WI is another good facility.
Aurora Sportsman Club
Aurora Sportsman Club is a private range. Their range is open to club members, and occasionally open to the public for special events. We also host several classes each year at the ASC. (No, you do not need to be a member to attend our classes at ASC.) Bring your own food and ammo.
7749 Rueff Rd, Waterman, IL 60556
Buffalo Range is an excellent outdoor facility that is open to the public. I really enjoy bringing my family to this facility and spending a full day there shooting rifles, pistols, and shotguns, and throwing lead down the plinking pit. They also sell ammunition and food.
1254 N 2803rd Rd, Ottawa, IL 61350
McMiller is a nice outdoor facility located in WI. I’ve been there several times and have always had a great time except for their RO on the 300-yard rifle range. McMiller sells food and ammunition.
100 Walters Rd, Eagle, WI 53119
Other Outdoor Shooting Ranges Near Chicago
I’ve eliminated some of the shotgun-only ranges from this list. There are other ranges too, but I haven’t been to every outdoor range near Chicago so wouldn’t want to speak about any unknown facilities. However, you can find indoor and outdoor shooting ranges near Chicago at www.wheretoshoot.org
Why are the Outdoor Ranges so far from Chicago?
There are several reasons why the outdoor ranges are all an hour or more drive from Chicago. It has much to do with the population density, the land value, noise ordinances, etc… Let’s also not forget that the closer you get to Chicago the less the politicians want you to be able to enjoy your firearm freedoms.
First, Chicago and the Collar counties are very densely populated. Real estate is expensive in these areas, and you need large plots of land for an outdoor range. The land is very expensive the closer to an urban area you get, so it simply isn’t practical.
Chicago and Cook County, as well as every municipality ordinance I’ve read, all have noise ordinances. Having dozens of people shooting various firearms simultaneously is loud. I recall one time at the Buffalo Range during their “mad minute”, a neighbor called the police and claimed there were explosions. The sad reality is as urban sprawl continues the new residents inevitably end up pushing out the gun ranges and therefore the ranges end up being pushed further and further away from the metropolises.
Guns and Politics go hand in hand. They shouldn’t but we don’t live in a perfect world. In the real world, the closer you get to urban areas the more the politicians oppose firearms. If you don’t like having to drive 2 hours to get to a gun range, remember that during voting season.
Also see: What’s in Your Range Bag