I plan on getting the Motorola MS350R, I see it says it has a repeater, aside from all the other cool bells and whistles. If I buy it, get the FCC license and there's an “open" repeater will I then be able to talk farther?...I have a Cobra ACXT365 FRS/GMRS now and I can hear ppl talking but they can't hear me. I know about the privacy codes and it's not that. Thanks for your help. Btw this place is Awesome!!, Very informative!
Welcome to GMRS. To answer your questions... Technically, rather than having a repeater, the MS350R (like other repeater capable radios) has the ability to automatically transmit and receive on separate frequencies. In the case of GMRS, and most other UHF services, the transmit frequency from the radio to the repeater is 5mHz higher than the receive frequency. (Though, there are cases where the offset is - 5mHz). So, you transmit to the repeater on one frequency, it receives that signal, converts it to audio and then simultaneously re-broadcasts that audio on another frequency. It is that second frequency to which you would listen to hear other broadcasts passed through the repeater.
On your Cobra you may have the case where you are hearing the output from a repeater but it can't hear you because you are transmitting on the same frequency you are listening to (and not 5 mHz higher). Of course, the stations you hear might not be going through a repeater and just have more power so you hear them, but not the reverse.
And now to your first question: No and Yes. No, your "transmit" range, the distance over which your signal can be received, will not change. But, since your transmission will be re-broadcast by another transmitter (the repeater) with presumably a better location, more power, better antenna, more sensitive receiver or all of the preceding, you will be able to "talk" to people further away than you could without the repeater.
Does that help?