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Old March 12, 2012, 12:53 PM   #1
Deja vu
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Range Etiquette? (fairly long)

A few months ago I was at one of the few indoor ranges in my area because it was very cold out side, when I had this experience. I want to know if I handled it correctly or if I should have been more polite.

I was at the local hand gun range. Shooting my BFR 45/70. The range has 7 lanes and I was in lane 2. There was no one else in the range at the time. I was shooting for about 20 min (Chronographing my loads and observing accuracy using a bench) when this guy comes in with a 9mm double stack hand gun. The guy takes the lane next to me (#3). At this point I tell him that my gun is pretty loud and that he may want to move to a farther way lane. I offered to move to lane #1 and have him move to lane #7.

The guy refuses and so I decide to be polite and move as far away as I can to lane #7. I tell him that I will be done in about 30 more min (checking speed on a chronograph is slow for me) or that if he was going to only shoot for a short time I would be happy to wait. The guy then pulls out 5 boxes of 9mm and starts shooting with out even acknowledging me.

Once I start shooting it is obvious that my shooting is bothering the other guy because he is visibly flinching every time I fire. The guy then gives me a dirty look and he goes and gets the range officer. The range officer asks to see what I am shooting and then says that if I want to shoot rifle caliber I need to shoot in the out door range (Its mid winter in the mountains of Idaho so its pretty cold).

Instead of going out in to the cold I put away the BFR and take out my Coonan Classic in 357 magnum. I was going to eventually chronograph some really hot loads with a 110 grain bullet (light for a 357 magnum) over H110 (A good powder for a 357 magnum but tends to make big fire balls and shock waves) I originally was not going to shoot this gun this session but planned to eventually with these loads, but at this point I was frustrated.

So I start shooting this gun and it is obviously much louder than my BFR. It breathed fire like a dragon and roared like an f15 eagle.I fired 3 magazines pretty fast. The guy then looks really mad and again gets the range officer. The range officer asks to see this gun, he then asks if he can fire a round, I agree and he shoots it one time. He hands it back to me and says that "it is a very interesting gun" and gives it back to me. The range officer said that it was ok to shoot this gun at the indoor range and that I could shoot the BFR again when the range was empty.

The guy that was complaining then gives me a dirty look and leaves. I really did feel bad but not enough that I was going to leave.

Did I do the right thing? I have brought this story up a few times on other threads. It still bothers me because I usially am not the kind of guy that wants to cause problems.
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Shot placement is everything! I would rather take a round of 50BMG to the foot than a 22short to the base of the skull.

all 25 of my guns are 45/70 govt, 357 mag, 22 or 12 ga... I believe in keeping it simple
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Old March 12, 2012, 01:36 PM   #2
Buzzcook
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If it was too loud for someone 6 lanes away wearing hearing protection, it was probably too loud for you to be shooting indoors.
Hearing protection isn't perfect.

As for as interacting with your fellow humans, it doesn't seem that you did anything horrible.
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Old March 12, 2012, 01:38 PM   #3
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Sounds to me like you made a serious effort to be reasonable and considerate. Some people make their own problems.
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Old March 12, 2012, 01:42 PM   #4
Deja vu
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If it was too loud for someone 6 lanes away wearing hearing protection, it was probably too loud for you to be shooting indoors.
Hearing protection isn't perfect.

As for as interacting with your fellow humans, it doesn't seem that you did anything horrible.
he was in lane #3 and I was in lane #7 so we where 4 lanes apart but still you are right it is a bit loud to shoot in doors. I do double up on the hearing and my muffs are some of the best rated I can find.

and Thank you
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Shot placement is everything! I would rather take a round of 50BMG to the foot than a 22short to the base of the skull.

all 25 of my guns are 45/70 govt, 357 mag, 22 or 12 ga... I believe in keeping it simple
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Old March 12, 2012, 01:47 PM   #5
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You were correct in your actions. You even offered to wait for a while, and the guy who obviously thinks it's his private range ignored you. I think if the range doesn't want you shooting rifle caliber handguns in the indoor facility they should make it clear in the beginning.
You tried to be polite, the other shooter was just being an obnoxious SOB!
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Old March 12, 2012, 01:47 PM   #6
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No, I don’t think you have anything to worry about. I have been to indoor ranges that have rules limiting the calibers you can fire, but it does not sound like you were violating their rules. I always try to be considerate of others by following the range rules and just exercising common courtesy. Generally most people I have interactions with are also very courteous and friendly. However, there are unhappy people in this world who regrettably try to make everyone else as miserable as they are.
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Old March 12, 2012, 01:51 PM   #7
Grant D
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You can please some of the people all of the time,and all of the people some of the time, but not all of the people all of the time. You did the right thing. There's some people you can never please no matter what you do.
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Old March 12, 2012, 01:53 PM   #8
JimPage
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I think you were very considerate. But personally I find shooting my 44 mag too loud in the indoor range even with double ear protection. That however is your choice and if the range allows it, the complainer was off base.
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Old March 12, 2012, 01:54 PM   #9
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Some people just like to complain.

Case in point. I am at the outdoor range and my friend shows up and he is shooting a Ruger MKII. The range is pretty empty except for the two of us.

Guy comes in and sets up on the right of my friend and we have been shooting for at least half an hour.

He gets a warm brass down the neck and flashes the evil eye at my friend who is oblivious to what is going on. Mind you there are 25 or so stations at the range. You can tell by the look on his face that he is getting upset.

Two more rounds and the guy comes unglued. He gets in the face of my friend.

My friend moves to the other side of the bench and rigs a brass catcher and the problem is solved. At least for this visit. I have seen the guy before and he is always wearing a sour puss.

I just avoid him, but he walked into the problem.

Sometimes people are just looking for a confrontation of some sort.

Just remember, those same people drive...

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Old March 12, 2012, 02:04 PM   #10
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Sometimes people are just looking for a confrontation of some sort.

Just remember, those same people drive...
I just picture them suffering through a few decades of stress-related bleeding ulcers before finally stroking out because their resting pulse rate is somewhere around 200/130.


And that makes me smile.
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Old March 12, 2012, 02:13 PM   #11
m&p45acp10+1
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I do not see any semblance of wrong doing. There are some people that Lord help me. They seem to be looking for someone or something to offend them.

I have had times when at an outdoor rifle range that people were shooting when I was firing off some of the big boomers that only get fired on very rare occasions. Two have muzle brakes on them that amplify thier repoer greatly. I always take several extra pairs of ear plugs incase someone is shooting when I fire them. I will offer the ear plugs so people can double up on hearing protection. One guy refused, and I think he dropped his rifle while casing it when I fired off a 7.62x61 S&H from my grampa's old custom built rifle with the muzle brake. It sounds like a howitzer firing. He was demanding a refund, saying that I was firing off a .50 BMG the range manager and I are good friends I showed him the rifle when I arrived. He then came to make sure it was not what the offended man said it was. He then shot it, and laughed.
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Old March 12, 2012, 02:28 PM   #12
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It sounds like you made every effort to be considerate of the other shooter. You told the other shooter that he might be bothered by the noise of your gun, and he ignored that information. Move on, and don't worry about him. You did nothing wrong.
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Old March 12, 2012, 02:39 PM   #13
orangello
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I don't frequent ranges, but what else could you have done other than leave? I think you went the extra mile on courtesy. If i had been the other guy, i probably would've been watching your shooting in a very impressed manner.

Some people are like rotten tomatos, thin-skinned & full of goop.

Last edited by orangello; March 12, 2012 at 03:24 PM.
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Old March 12, 2012, 03:30 PM   #14
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Did everything you could have done bud. I deal with the public at work and I know the type of people you are talking about. Don't let it get to you. It is what they want.

Just take a deep breath and return to a happy place and most importantly....keep shooting
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Old March 12, 2012, 03:40 PM   #15
ckpj99
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I don't think you did anything wrong. There are two ranges in my area. The first seems to have every first-timer and "Imma take a buds out a go shootin" person in the state. It's always busy, and you can see a few people being a little reckless. That's why it has video cameras that are constantly monitored, with a PA system that the range owners can use to call people out if their doing something wrong. It has about 20 lanes.

The second is much smaller. Maybe 10 lanes. It's frequented by off-duty LEO and other people who seem to be more serious. I usually go to this one.

At both of these places, it's very common to hear shotguns go off. I stood next to a guy shooting his .44 mag just last week. I shoot slugs and 3 inch mag 00 buck. At one of the ranges, only slugs and 00 is allowed to be shot. At the other, it's not uncommon to hear people with Class IIIs going full auto.

If people have a problem with noise, they shouldn't be at a gun range. Guns make noise, and frankly, if you're ever forced to use your gun to defend yourself, you most likely won't have the option of throwing on some muffs. And in a gun fight, there will be some big booms. Getting over the instinctual flinch is important.

For outdoor ranges, maybe you can get away with some cheap plugs, but if you're shooting indoors, you better have some good muffs.
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Old March 12, 2012, 03:45 PM   #16
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Condition #1 of gun ranges: There are going to be loud noises.

Condition #2 of gun ranges: If condition #1 bothers you, don't go to gun ranges.

Some people think they are above everyone. Seems like you came across one of them. You did nothing wrong.
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Old March 12, 2012, 04:28 PM   #17
Merad
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Seems to me the main question is whether the range has a policy about rifles indoors. If they're not allowed then you're at fault for bringing it (though they may also be at fault for not being clear in their policies when you came in). If they don't have a posted policy then you did nothing wrong in my book. Either way sounds like you were reasonable enough dealing with the guy.
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Old March 12, 2012, 07:18 PM   #18
Cheapshooter
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Seems to me the main question is whether the range has a policy about rifles indoors.
The OP was not shooting a rifle. The BFR 45-70 is a handgun that fires a rifle cartridge. I doubt if there is a rule against it, just an attempt by the range officer to placate the complainer. He did tell the OP that he could continue with the BFR after the PITA left.
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Old March 12, 2012, 07:22 PM   #19
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Sounds to me like you made a serious effort to be reasonable and considerate. Some people make their own problems.
What tailgater said^^^.
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Old March 12, 2012, 09:10 PM   #20
Deja vu
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thanks every one! That is what I thought but for some reason it was still bothering me.

Just to clarify the BFR is a big Revolver that shoots rifle bullets. It is not against the rules. The rules state hand guns and rim-fire rifles only at the indoor range.

As stated the RO said I could shoot the BFR again after the PITA left. I think the RO was just trying to placate the PITA.
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Shot placement is everything! I would rather take a round of 50BMG to the foot than a 22short to the base of the skull.

all 25 of my guns are 45/70 govt, 357 mag, 22 or 12 ga... I believe in keeping it simple
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Old March 12, 2012, 09:19 PM   #21
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You did fine. Being polite and honest with the RO can go a long way but doesn't always work with a jerk.
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Old March 18, 2012, 09:56 PM   #22
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Jesus couldn't make everybody happy, neither can you. You did good. Not your fault.
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Old March 19, 2012, 01:23 AM   #23
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I'd have left when the guy tried tried setting on the lane next to me. If he's that stupid I don't want to be around him when his gun is loaded. When he didn't ruin your day doing that he tried another way... Twice.

We don't have range officers at my range but if I was one I'd have kicked him out for attempting to interfere with your shooting.
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Old March 19, 2012, 01:37 AM   #24
davery25
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how dare you allow your guns to make loud noises! Don't you know to shush your guns when they misbehave like that

Unless you were deliberately breaking the rules in some way I can't believe you'd even give that consideration. Its a range, its going to be loud.

You sound polite and he sounds like a toolhead. What stumps me is that the range officer actually came over to 'test a loud pistol' rather then givin the guy his strangest look and walking off.

Unless theres more to this story - Are there velocity restrictions on that range perhaps?
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Old March 19, 2012, 02:05 AM   #25
PoorRichRichard
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I have this prob sometimes at an outdoor range when some fellow shooters show up with SBRs. But I don't cry about it like a little girl, I move or just get over it. OP did nothing wrong or remotely impolite for that matter. It's a freaking gun range! Some people are just morons...
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