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Old April 27, 2005, 09:43 PM   #1
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Did I do something wrong? Range question

I have been to the rifle range much to many times in my life to count, however, my most recent trip has me perplexed and I am looking for opinions. I arrived at the range (a range that I frequent) during a cease fire and went downrange to hang a couple targets. Afterwards I took my rifle out of the truck (magazine out, chamber open) and placed it in the rifle racks along with everyone else's rifle. I then took my ammunition out of my shooting bag and placed it on the bench to secure the bench I wanted. As I placed my ammo on the bench the rangemaster some distance away hollers: "everyone behind the line"! I obey, go behind the line and wait until he says the range is hot you may commence firing. So I pick up my rifle lock and load and begin firing. As I'm shooting someone taps me on the shoulder, it's the rangemaster. He leans down and says "do you understand that there is no handling of weapons with people downrange?". I reply yes and he says "good if I see it again you're out of here". I reply back I was never handling a weapon with people downrange, and he insist that he "saw" me do it. I tried to explain that the only handling I did was to remove my rifle from the truck and place it in the rack. The rangemaster (an elderly gentleman with thick glasses whom must be new because I have never seen him before) gets in my face and proceeds to scream like a drill sergeant "HEY, I saw you do it! You should have left the rifle in the truck until the range was hot. Do you have any questions!". I am at this point feeling both humiliated and more than a little ticked off. I figure out that this guy is pointless to argue with or try to convince otherwise so I sternly reply "no". To this he continues his YELLING "Good, if you do have any other questions refer to rule #2!" he points to a sign with rule #2 stating: "The rangemaster is in charge". I for one have never had anyone question my gun safety and it quite frankly bothers me that he did as I have always considered myself very safe and responsible with firearms. If I had done something wrong I am the type of person who is quick to apologize and recognize mistakes. I have never been to a range where you cannot remove your weapon from your vehicle until the range is hot. It would have been one thing if I had gone to bench and fiddled with the rifle but I simply moved it from the truck to the racks which are far behind the firing line. From anyone else's perspective was what I did wrong and how should I have handled the situation any differently? I really did not appreciate this old geezer getting in my face and yelling at me like a child. Any comments/suggestions?
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Old April 27, 2005, 09:59 PM   #2
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RO nazi's are great arnt they?

We have one at our range too, while I agree it may have seemed a bit harsh, they (the RO's) are there to prevent potentially deadly accidents from happening - which means strict enforcement of the rules with no exceptions.

This doesnt mean I agree with him, I am mearly pointing out that he thinks its his job to keep the range safe - even if he is a bit too aggressive, he is still doing what he believes is the correct thing to do.
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Old April 27, 2005, 10:12 PM   #3
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Hmm. It seems to me that, whether they're hanging targets or at the benches on a hot line, those other shooters are always gonna be "downrange" from the new guy walking up to the line w/his rifle.
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Old April 27, 2005, 10:24 PM   #4
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The guy was wrong and IMHO, so were you. The rule was not meant for people like you, it was meant for those people that are new or dangerous. If they kept the rule strict when it came to handling guns while cold, then they would prevent a new guy from taking out his already loaded rifle and, without anyone having a chance to stop him, slam his rifle on a shooting table pointing down range while people were setting up targets. This is just one scenario of many and if you can imagine an idiot doing this, then you can understand that the rule was not really for you but should be followed for sake of continuity IMHO.

The way the range safety officer treated you was wrong too. Just what people need when handling dangerous equipment is to feel nervous and rattled (just in case you don't know, the " " means "sarcasm". I didn't know that is what it meant for the first 3 weeks posting on TFL and that is why I am pointing this out)
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Old April 27, 2005, 10:40 PM   #5
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RCPractitioner, i understand how you feel. i remember the first time i was chewed out by the RO. just remember he is there for the sake of you and everyone elses safety.

one outdoor range i go to has a very thick and obvious white line painted on the ground that one is not to cross when the range is cold.

if you can't follow this simple rule then find somewhere else to shoot. the rule and the line is there for a reason.
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Old April 27, 2005, 10:41 PM   #6
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Protection of life or Ego?

The RM is there to protect the lives of the shooters and spectators. (you know that)

No matter how many times you go to this or any range it is unsafe to handle a weapon with people down range. (you SHOULD know that too)

Gun owners can be a rough testosterone soaked group of people who get their egos out of kilter over the smallest things when it comes to their guns.

It sounds like you were throwing out some sort of "vibe" that made the RM zero in on you. He did right to firmly instruct you. If you would have said "sorry, it will not happen again." in your best "I screwed up" attitude. I'd bet a dollar you wouldn't have gotten the drill sgt. treatment.

If I had been downrange I would NOT have felt good watching you approach with a firarm in your hands.

You can save a bench just as easily by pointing to it and saying "I've got that one" if someone makes a move on it.

I don't like being yelled at either and have gotten the "drill sgt." treatment myself over something as stupid as fishing brass out of the brass bucket. But I disarmed the situation by swallowing my ego and appologizing. He yelled a little more to get the point hammered home and I humbly went back to my shooting. (I still don't know what the deal was but he was in charge)

Bottom line, The RM is in charge. Otherwise someone will get hurt.

Last edited by Rigmarol; April 27, 2005 at 11:27 PM.
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Old April 27, 2005, 10:55 PM   #7
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I belonged to about 5 ranges right now and all enforce the rules no handling of firearms at all when cease fire or crossing the line. He was just trying to enforce the rules maybe a little harse but im sure he meant well. I've dealt with people breaking safety guidelines and its quite scary, had a leo (please no offense guys) that when he did his hip withdraw he would point the gun to the right side well i was standing there one day last time that was allowed on range no more hip draws, im consontrating on what im doing i don't want to have to worry about the guy next too me.Thats where the RO's come in as our eyes while we enjoy our sport safely.
Please LEO's don't take offense i just used this cenario since this is a person who should be proficant with firearms just like the one in the video in kids classroom( loaded gun in a classroom).
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Old April 27, 2005, 11:09 PM   #8
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I had one of the range nazis hassle me for moving my guns inside their aluminum transport cases off the line during a cease fire. I asked why they permitted people to carry said cases ONTO the range during a cease fire, but not OFF the range. "We don't permit ANY guns moving around on or BEHIND the lines during a cease fire --PERIOD!"

Really? You'd best start leaving that holstered range gun in the office during cease fire then. That bothered him!
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Old April 27, 2005, 11:38 PM   #9
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Perhaps y'all are right and I shouldn't have gone on the defensive and just sucked it up. It was natural reaction though to something I didn't percieve as wrong and/or dangerous, and it would have felt like I was admitting guilt to something I didn't do. However, if he thought I was handling a weapon in an unsafe manner with people downrange I wish he would have addressed me at the moment he thought he saw it instead of after the fact so that I could have addressed the problem then. IMO it's not wrong to unload your weapon from your vehicle during a cease fire. Even when the range is hot I would have been unloading a weapon with people in front of the truck. What about all the guys unloading their shotguns from their vehicles behind us for the skeet stands? Maybe they should also have to wait until the line is hot, maybe noone entering the range should be allowed to exit their vehicle during a cease fire because they may be carrying concealed. Last but not least if the rule is not to unload weapons from your vehicle during a cease fire then why isn't it on the board with the same rule about the rangemaster?
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Old April 28, 2005, 01:38 AM   #10
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RCP, the rule at one local range where I live is not just no handling firearms, but no handling firearms OR ANY benched equipment during a target change. In fact, no one is allowed to stop at a bench, but merely to pass through to go travel out to the target array. It makes people much more comfortable when they turn around and heading back towards the benches, see no one stopped there fiddling around with anything, firearm or not. At the moment he insisted that you were handling a firearm and you say you weren't, you were at the bench ahead of the line. That alone makes people tense.

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Old April 28, 2005, 03:21 AM   #11
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The rifle never crossed the line or went to the bench during the target change, the rifle went from the truck to the rack and never left until range hot was called. The rifle went into the rack (not the bench, the bench is the actual shooting station from which you fire) the rack is a simple device made to hold the weapon during target changes and it places the muzzle pointing straight up into the air, this rack is far behind the line.
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Old April 28, 2005, 09:21 AM   #12
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RCPractitioner, first let me start by saying I’m trying to give an objective view. Yes you did some things differently than they should have been done. Did you have the rifle in a case when you placed it in the rack? If not then you were handling the weapon during a cease fire (I know you are safe and have been doing this for a long time but think about the guys next to you and the “new” range officer who don’t know you). Next you walked up to the bench to place your ammo there during the cease fire. At the range I go to you do not approach the bench during cease fire. You are behind the line until it is hot (only crossing to place targets but never handling anything on the bench, again think about the next guy who doesn’t know you or your safety practices). You argued with the range officer. Would you argue with a cop at a crime scene? The range officer is there to make sure everyone has a good and safe shooting experience. And lastly, the RO talked (hollered) with you during the hot line because at that time he was not as preoccupied with watching the range for violations of safe procedure. If I’m looking at this wrong, someone correct me. I’ve been at the range a few times when I wished the RO would have hollered at some of the shooters for unsafe practices.
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Old April 28, 2005, 10:35 AM   #13
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At my local range, there is no cease fire unless your on the pistol range. All the other range stations have trenches with fortified walls on either side which are 15 feet high.

To change our target you walk down the trench to the 50, 100, 300 yrd marker (where ever your target is placed), and spin this thing around (picture a windmill) and pull your target off. You then put a new one in it's place, and spin the "windmill" back up until it locks in the shooting position.

You do all this while people are pounding 338's down range. This place is run by the DNR!

I'm glad I do not have to deal with cease fires and the like. I have been to ranges that have them and I enjoy this one much more.

Personally I think you didn't do anything wrong with handling your weapon from the truck to the rack (providing there is no sign that dictates doing the same is a violation). I'm sure you maintained muzzle control and carried the firearm safely.

The only thing you did wrong was cross the line to lay your ammo (not weapon) on the bench. While this definitely deserved mention from the range officer, in my opinion his delivery needs work.
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Old April 28, 2005, 05:02 PM   #14
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Quote:
I tried to explain that the only handling I did was to remove my rifle from the truck and place it in the rack.
There you have it. I personally don't like it when I'm downrange and someone is along the firing line handling their firearm. I could care less if you had the bolt out and a safety flag in it. I get nervous anyway.

Yes, maybe he could have handled it better. But you could have too. By your own words, you were handling a firearm while people were downrange but still you insisted that you did not.

I would rather **** someone off, than have to call 911 because someone negligently discharged an "empty rifle" and hurt someone down range. As one of my club's RSO, whenever I see this type of action I address it right there and then. I don't care if you're one of the Board of Director members, the Club President, or what-have-you.

In the future you might want to secure your bench by placing everything but your rifle on it. Then once the line is called hot, retrieve it or take it out of it's case accordingly. IMHO.
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Old April 28, 2005, 05:13 PM   #15
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in my opinion you didnt do anything wrong, and yet you did. if the rules state that you dont handle your firearm while the range isnt hot, then dont handle it. of course you were being safe. but his job is not to decide if you were being safe or not, it is to enforce the rules and ensure the safety of anyone and everyone there.
personally I am nervous if I am not the ONLY person there. hot range or not any person there could turn around and shoot by accident. I agree, from now on secure your bench by placing everything but your firearm at it. if he didnt give you heck, then when the next person who he thinks is doing exactly what you did, safely, might not be so safe and could put a stray bullet into someones head. so if he sees anyone doing anything that "MIGHT" be dangerous, of course he should get in there face. if it were me I would be humiliated and possibly defensive. but if I were one of the others on the range I would be glad the range master had the balls to step up.
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Old April 28, 2005, 06:21 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CarlosDJackal
In the future you might want to secure your bench by placing everything but your rifle on it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by panzer426
I agree, from now on secure your bench by placing everything but your firearm at it.
Fellas, he made it perfectly clear that he only placed ammunition on the bench... firearm was in the rack away from the firing line/bench:

Quote:
Originally Posted by RCPractitioner
The rifle never crossed the line or went to the bench during the target change, the rifle went from the truck to the rack and never left until range hot was called. The rifle went into the rack (not the bench, the bench is the actual shooting station from which you fire) the rack is a simple device made to hold the weapon during target changes and it places the muzzle pointing straight up into the air, this rack is far behind the line.
By the statements bolded in the original posters comment above... it seems he did nothing wrong. Especially if "the rack" is "made to hold the weapon during target change"................................ which is what was happening when he placed the firearm in it's proper holding location.

What else is he supposed to do? Sit in his car in the parking lot 'til the range officer commences firing?

However if putting ammunition on the bench made you cross the white line, (and there's a rule about crossing this line during a cease fire for any reason), then you did do something wrong in that respect.

Maybe I'm missing something here (and I probably am because I do not know how your local range, is arranged - no one here but you knows this).
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Old April 28, 2005, 06:34 PM   #17
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while your RO was on an obvious power trip, he was right. you should not have brought an uncased firearm to the line while the range was cold.

the RO's at the range i go to would do the same thing. they might not have gotten in your face about it and yelled at you like a DS, but you woulda been told to re-read the range rules.

before any shooter can proceed to the line at my range, they must read the posted rules. doesnt matter if you've been there 100 times, they wont let you sign in until you've at least looked at the sign for a minute.

there is also a new rule they've been enforcing: do NOT touch ANYTHING on your bench during a ceasefire. and that means ANYTHING. you are instructed to get your staplers, targets, etc off the bench before the line is cleared to go downrange.

theres good reasons behind strict RO's. just a month ago a shooter 'forgot' the rules and started fiddling with his rifles that were behind his bench. next thing you hear is a charging handle being operated. gave the two RO's a good adrenalin rush (as well as myself).
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Old April 28, 2005, 07:41 PM   #18
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I guess I would question only whether or not what you did this time is the same as what you have done before, . . . and what others do.

Then if I had been you, . . . and what was done by me was accepted and otherwise common practice, . . . when the RO started chewing me, . . . I would probably have chewed right back.

Then, . . . I would have gone to his boss, superior, supervisor: and very seriously leveled the charges against him for his attitude. There is no excuse for that attitude, behavior, at all: at any time: anywhere: period.

People who have to raise their voice, . . . attempt to sound like DI Jones, . . . and assume some sort of Johnny Bad Boy attitude: need to be very quickly and irresolutely put in their place then, there, and with no delay.

I do not shout, scream, and otherwise threaten people, . . . and will not stand for it myself. If I have made a mistake, . . . you can tell me without shouting or screaming, . . . and I will probably do all I can to help it get undone, . . . and to not do it again.

Pardon me: rant off !

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Old April 28, 2005, 08:14 PM   #19
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I don't see where you did anything wrong. maybe it was a borderline infraction but he shouldn't have been in your face yelling at you. I'm glad i don't have to go to a range to shoot Somebody gets in my face yelling like that for any reason is going to find themselves flat on their back with a hell of a broken nose.
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Old April 29, 2005, 12:06 AM   #20
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[sigggghhhhhhh]

alright, i'll play.

publius, i can't tell if you say that because you are clinging on to some principle of demanding to be respected, or if you're ego simply can't handle being deflated?

i'm not trying to flame you, or insult you, i want to know why you would feel justified in assaulting someone who yells at you.
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Old April 29, 2005, 03:45 AM   #21
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I took a picture of the stand and the benches today (sorry for the poor quality this was with my cell phone). As you can see the racks which are fashioned to hold the rifles pointing upward are well behind the red line. Also if he was upset that I had placed my ammo on the bench during the cease fire then fine tell me not to do that again and I would have apologized. I just don't feel that placing the rifle in the rack was wrong during a cease fire.



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Old April 29, 2005, 04:24 AM   #22
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The Red Line

RCP The poor picture is good enough for this reply, I think?

It all depends on the posted rules, any range I have belonged to, UK, Australia, Canada, the US of A, state "You may not approach the bench till the RO says you can do so" more or less, and Rifle Ranges allow no handling!! Of firearms, whilst people are down range, and to add insult to injury, why the RO was himself down range beats me! He is supposed to enforce rules pertaining to bench and rack safety, by being there.

But the main point would be the written rules.

BIG Sign

You may not cross the red line while people are ahead of the benches.

No handling of firearms during a cease fire, except to deliver them cased to the rack area.

Now I am old, 69! But do not wear glasses, except safety glasses, you too will become old, we hope, and people who enforce safety rules will help you to achieve that exalted position, old that is.

Safe Shooting, it is a great sport.
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Old April 29, 2005, 06:43 AM   #23
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I am not going to comment on theincident in particular...there always seems to be more to the story...not a slam...but we only have your perceptions here.

But......this goes a LONG way toward reminding me why I shy away from formal ranges.

Are you allowed to park your vehicle with an actual weapon in it?

Because I would not feel any more "safe" with you behind me with your weapon just because the range was "hot"
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Old April 29, 2005, 07:52 AM   #24
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If a rule infraction occured, so be it and address it. I see no problem with enforcing the rules. Most rule infractions are due to simple mistakes by those who are not very experienced in the use of a range such as this. Most are not just jerks who refuse to play by the rules. That said, deadly accidents can be caused by unintentional mistakes. That is why there is a need for range officers and rules. However, there is no excuse for the way this range officer acted. You can be tough as nails, but be a gentleman about it. The officer should have come to the offender and explained the situation to him. 99% of the time, that would take care of the problem. Obviously, there was not a meeting of the minds in this situation, because the offender still is not clear what he did wrong or what is expected of him in the future. If after an adult conversation about the matter, the offender blows him off or shows his rear end about it, show him the highway. And another thing that came to mind. It seems pretty stupid to me to go up to a complete stranger who has with him a deadly weapon; jump on him, get up in his face, and try to embarass and publicly humiliate him. The odds are if this guy makes this type of behavior a common practice, he will eventually create another type of unsafe situation at the range.
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Old April 29, 2005, 08:35 AM   #25
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Quote:
the only handling I did was to remove my rifle from the truck and place it in the rack.
Quote:
I simply moved it from the truck to the racks which are far behind the firing line.
Doesn't look that far from the photo. Looks like about 10 feet.
The RM was wrong to yell at you, but at any range, he's there for safety and must be obeyed, even if he's over the top.
You handled your weapon when you shouldn't have.
Humbly accept it, apologise, and don't do it again...
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