If you want to blow off some steam or try a unique sport, visiting a shooting range may be one of your best options.Luckily, the Netherlands has plenty of options to get started on some shooting practice. In this article, we will explain to you how to do just that with 5 of the best shooting ranges in the Netherlands
The thrill of holding the grip… The excitement of the controlled explosion at your fingertips… The satisfaction of the bullet hitting bullseye… Spending an hour at a shooting range can set one’s mind straight, and calm tensions.
It is also great fun, and a nice alternative to other recreational activities, like visiting an amusement park in the Netherlands, for example. In most Dutch cities, you can find a shooting range to meet all your gun-related recreational needs but beware, the country has especially strict gun laws. Expats from the US, and even other European countries, might find it hard to wrap their heads around them all.
In the following, we will run down what you need to take part at a shooting range in the Netherlands. We will also recommend you a few spots around the country where you could try yourself out.
How to Take Part?
Owning a gun has strict rules in the Netherlands. Civilians are not allowed to buy automatic and semiautomatic rifles. Incendiary and armour-piercing ammunition is also banned for the public. Civilians are only allowed to buy pistols, revolvers, rifles and shotguns. Even with these, they must carry a license and observe regulations.
If you choose to apply for a license, you must bring references and pass a mental health examination. Police consider each application and even check your property to see if you have proper storage place for your weapons and ammunition.
Luckily, it is a bit easier to join a shooting club or book an appointment at a shooting range. Still, there are some rules you must observe.
Most importantly, you need to get a Certificate of Conduct (VOG) from the government before joining a shooting club. This process could be more lengthy for expats than for Dutch citizens. Some clubs may help you with the application, but it could still take a bit long.
The Justice Ministry will consult authorities and records. This is to make sure you have not committed any crimes that might forbid you from handling firearms. You can head to the Ministry’s website for details and questions about VOG’s.
You may also need to go through weeks or months of training before you even pick up a gun.
With regards to occasional, recreational shooting: most shooting ranges in the Netherlands also have their own sets of rules, even though you don’t need a VOG for this. You are commonly expected to not to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs during shooting practice. Safety equipment is required at all times, as is following the track officer’s lead. You must have an ID ready before registering for a recreational shooting activity.
Great Shooting Ranges in the Netherlands
Club Kaliber – Amsterdam
This shooting range is located centrally in Amsterdam with a nice view of the canals. Club Kaliber turned 20 years old this year and is still very much up and running. Its experienced staff and the five ranges can accommodate all your shooting needs.
You can choose to shoot with .22 caliber rifles, as well as pistols and revolvers. These are available in the calibers of .22, 7.65mm, 9mm, 9mm short, .38, .45, and 357. All five ranges are 20 meters long. The place is also equipped with a canteen complete with a dart board overlooking the ranges.
In addition to joining the club, you could also call them up to book a single shooting lesson for €25.
Lijnbaansgracht 162-1hg | Amsterdam
Sporthuis Harte – Amsterdam
Sporthuis Harte is an indoor shooting range in the Netherlands offering shooting experiences to those of various levels. This range is used by different associations each day of the week. Thus, you will have the opportunity to get a great glimpse into many groups pursuing this hobby. You can contact them through their website for booking.
Jan Rebelstraat 15 | Amsterdam
DoelTreffend – Delft
Once you’ve done soaking in all the artistic wonders of Rembrandt’s birthplace, why not relax by shooting some rounds? DoelTreffend is a professional, welcoming shooting association that operates a range in the city.
There are many different weapons to choose from. You could get started with air rifles and pistols. Then you could move onto the real guns, calibers ranging from small to large. You also have the opportunity to try out some historical weapons here.
You can read about joining this club and membership fees on their website.
Botenpad 3 | Delft
Kralingen Shooting Complex – Rotterdam
This range in Kralingen is home to five different shooting associations. Among them is the Association of Unilever Sharpshooters. This club was founded by the staff of Unilever in 1966. Now they work independently and provide first rate courses for beginners.
The location itself offers four 25 meters long ranges, and one that is 50 meters long. You can also find a 100 meters long track for large caliber weapons. If you wish to stick to air rifles though, they also have one 10 meters long range for that.
You have to be a member to participate in shooting with this club. But it is also worth checking out the other organizations that use this location.
Lucie Vuylstekeweg 38 | Rotterdam
Schietbaan De Wildenberg – Weert
And now something that a little bit different… If you are tired of shooting at paper targets, why not try clay pigeons for once? The bullets are the same. You can use shotguns, small caliber rifles and pistols, but the experience is different to your average shooting range.
Schietbann De Wildenberg offers an experience that is closer to the feel of hunting than what most shooting ranges have. Different challenges, areas and shooting clubs grant a great variety to this location.
This shooting range offers different packages for visiting that you can buy. You also get to keep your targets after.
Op Kernies 3 | Weert
Note: Due to pandemic-related government ordinances, most shooting ranges in the Netherlands will stay closed until May 20, 2021. This might affect the availability of shooting ranges as well.