This is a discussion on Hand ranges within the online poker forums, in the Learning Poker section; I think I assume hand range based on position and opponent's raises and 3bets, but it doesn't work.
Am I thinking about it wrong?
I'd like to
In order to know the opponent ranges better, you need to know your ranges from every position, open, call, 3bet, c3b. Also, you should know what type of player your ranges represent, TAG, LAG, and others. Knowing that you should know your percentages from every position if you're using HUD, and relate that with the ranges you're using, then you adjust your ranges and percentages to opponents and this is how you start...
A good way to practice that is with the hand replayer, but you should remember that there is always a possibility that you'll miss the exact range you're putting someone on, so it takes practice...
First thing you have to do is not put your personal range as the range of the villain. Villains will not play as you do for better or worse. First you need to categorize players as loose or tight through either their stats or through empirical evidence. Once you have the tendencies of the player then you can have broad hand ranges to start the hand and then narrow them down with every action in the hand.
Start with pre flop tight, loose, or middle (middle being someone who VPIP (puts money in the pot voluntarily) around 20% give or take a few %). Tight players wont VPIP many hands so they should be tighter and stronger in their range. Loose players will be wide and less strong but could also have strong hands mixed in. This alone should give you a range to start the villain on once you go to the flop. Then use the cards on the board and their actions to start narrowing hands. You will also have to do the passive vs aggressive classification for each villain as well. If a passive player bets into you they are strong where aggressive players will be wider range.
Most of all it takes practice. One tip I can give you is try to be mentally involved in every hand you are at the table meaning if you fold, in your mind play the hand as if you were one of the other players and try to range that players villain in the hand. This way you will get practice ranging people more than just the hands you play. Also take notes on the players at your table as you may see them again in the future and your notes will help.