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Old August 23, 2015, 08:36 PM   #1
thump_rrr
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Personal Defense At The Range.

I recently joined a new range along with a friend.
This range is off the beaten path and very small.
You are given the code to the padlock to enter and exit the range.
The membership cost is $30.00 a year.

There is usually nobody there and we shoot alone, pack up and leave.
This morning we arrive and there are 3 guys using the pistol range and have a couple of IPSC stages setup.

We had a little small talk and went on our way to the rifle range since we didn't bring any pistols.

The 3 guys pack up after a while and leave.

Late in the afternoon a guy on a motorcycle stops by and calls us over to the gate which is visible from the rifle benches.
We go to the gate and the guy wants some info on the range.
We answer all his questions and even tell him where to go get his membership card.
He seems a bit off and makes several failed attempts to get the code for the gate from us.

After about 30 minutes he leaves.
My friend and I both agree that the guy seemed a bit off and that it wouldn't take much for somebody to shoot us both and drive off with several high priced rifles and/or vehicles.
We said that from now on we will both carry while shooting at the range.

Do any of you feel the same way?
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Old August 23, 2015, 09:00 PM   #2
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Yes, when hiking outside commonly traveled, I get a similar feeling. Anytime you're in the hinterland, it's best to be prepared for critters of the 0, 2 and 4 legged types.
Could have been a strange but harmless guy or something with not so harmless intent...
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Old August 23, 2015, 10:19 PM   #3
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Could of been suicidal, or wanted some quick bucks by stealing something, or just wanted inside for some reason known only to him.

When the group I often shoot with goes downrange to the targets, one person remains behind with the guns. They're unloaded and laying on the benches, but ammo is right there, and the parking lot is not far away. Two scenarios not nice to consider.

I don't think it's paranoia at all, just common sense.
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Old August 23, 2015, 10:23 PM   #4
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It's how the bad guys in the FBI Miami shootout got guns and vehicles ...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1986_FBI_Miami_shootout

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Old August 23, 2015, 10:31 PM   #5
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I try to never run all my mags dry or completely run out of ammo, save some for the trip home. The guy could have been casing the place, or a reporter or just curious. Best to keep your guard up.
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Old August 23, 2015, 10:33 PM   #6
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When i go to the range my EDC pistol stays on me if im shooting rifle. When shooting pistol, i either carry a 2nd pistol as a defensive gun or ensure the one im training with is always loaded.

Its a private gun club (outdoor rifle, indoor pistol) and most of the time im there by myself. The few guys that show up when i am there are all nice guys and we have become friends. Its the oddball that shows up at the gate that makes me stay armed
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Old August 23, 2015, 10:57 PM   #7
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I sometimes would go to my club on a weekday and I am usually the only one there. The thought has crossed my mind that all it would take is someone shooting me to get a bag full of guns. That's why I always carry a full-size pistol whenever I'm at the club.

I've even thought about using a cable lock to secure the gun to the bench when I am downrange. I mean, running 100 yards will take me ~30+ seconds. All it would take is for someone to drive up to the bench, grab the gun and go.
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Old August 23, 2015, 11:08 PM   #8
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Quote:
We said that from now on we will both carry while shooting at the range.

Do any of you feel the same way?
Why would you not be armed while at the range before this incident?

You probably should have been been armed before you ever arrived at the range and just remained that way, LOL.
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Old August 24, 2015, 01:18 AM   #9
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I have to admit, we think along the same lines. It may sound paranoid, but even though I shoot at a range which has a range master, I keep a loaded pistol concealed in the SOB while I am shooting. Being close to the Mexican border, some questionable characters often show up. I just do not feel comfortable relying on some minimum wage dude who I know is less qualified than myself, to keep me safe or my stuff from walking off simply because he has the red shirt on. Unless I have someone with me to stay by my shooting point, I am always looking over my shoulder.
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Old August 24, 2015, 03:49 AM   #10
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I shoot on public land, a known place to shoot by a good bit of people. My carry piece stays holstered as always and I always stay super aware when hiking down to setup/check target that are hundreds of yarda downrange, and of course I have several guns and all my gear on the ground behind me. I don't bring but two AR mags when I go out, they go in my back pocket when hiking away from my gear, remember to lose the ear-pro when not shooting and just simply try to make it difficult for a thief. Honestly though, not much I could do if someone was sniping me out from on of the surrounding wooded hills, but that goes for walking out to my car every morning too, can't prevent everything.
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Old August 24, 2015, 04:55 AM   #11
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Quote:
You probably should have been been armed before you ever arrived at the range and just remained that way, LOL.
CCW is not permitted in Canada and getting a non resident CHL would prove very difficult in most U.S. States.
The funny thing is the range in question is in Vt. where any non prohibited person regardless of residency can legally carry.
I have been visiting either Vt. or Ny. most weekends for decades and this is the first time that I have gotten that feeling that something really wasn't right.
Maybe the guy was just trying to save himself $30 who knows.
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Old August 24, 2015, 05:12 AM   #12
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Range violence is not unheard of. Seems common sense to carry and be situationally aware.
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Old August 24, 2015, 06:09 AM   #13
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armed and ready

I shoot at a public range in PA that is a mile down a rural byway. The shooting points are about ten yards from the road. The target stands on the rifle range are 50 to 100 yards farther away.
When I am alone, do I leave my rifle on the bench when I walk downrange to change targets? NO, I do not.
Also, I show up at the range with a .44 Magnum SBH in a shoulder holster and I keep it on either the table or my shoulder while shooting or changing targets.
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Old August 24, 2015, 07:48 AM   #14
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Always armed. Always aware. No exceptions.
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Old August 24, 2015, 07:49 AM   #15
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You realize that many ranges BAN loaded firearms behind the shooting points and/or during "people down range" periods?
I was "challenged" by a corrections officer at a public range in Colorado for carrying a loaded pistol (holstered) from the parking area to the firing line a few years ago. While he was chewing my butt and pointing to the sign that stated this restriction, I produced a Federal ID badge and he quieted right down and became human again. I wasn't even there to shoot-just checking the range out for future reference.
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Old August 24, 2015, 08:29 AM   #16
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A lot of clubs require you to keep all guns unloaded unless you are actively shooting.

Same with matches. All guns unloaded, actions open, or ECI (empty chamber indicator) in the chamber.

Load only when told to by the range officer.

I guess I'm different. When I run a range, or control a range, in my safety briefings I say all guns are left empty, actions open or ECI inserted unless you are shooting, or if at a match told to load by the range office.

EXCEPT

I add, "If you are carrying, your CC is to remain in you pocket - if you are intending to shoot your CC the it is treated like other guns, empty and action open when not being actively fired"

What others do on their range is their business.

Its kind of funny walking down the line when you have a bunch of guys in prone firing rifles and seeing the barrel of their CCs point at you from under their shooting jackets.

It doesn't bother me. I'm of the school that believes if your finger isn't on the trigger it isn't going to go off.

No one is likely going to play with their CC while lying down shooting a rifle.
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Old August 24, 2015, 09:09 AM   #17
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Some ranges have rules that prohibit having guns still loaded when time out is called.
And they really frown on having a loaded gun on one's person.
Might as well have a no-gun sign.
Our local county owned outdoor range is like that.
Break the rules and get ejected.
And all it takes is one nut case to do some real damage there.
No matter, rules is rules.
Too bad, 'cause otherwise it's a very nice place.
Fortunately there's other ranges, but none nearly as good.
Makes me appreciate my home air gun range more and more.
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Old August 24, 2015, 09:59 AM   #18
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I've of the opinion those nut cases don't follow rules any way. If they are intent on doing harm they don't care that there is a sign that says you can't have a loaded weapon unless you are on the line shooting.

I find such signs silly. If they worked, gun free zones would be safe. History points out that is not the case.
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Old August 24, 2015, 10:21 AM   #19
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When I visit my son at school in Tallahassee, Fl. we sometimes go to a public shooting range in a state park.
It is unsupervised, about 4 miles down a dirt road.
Seldom during the week is anyone there.
From the first time I went, the thought was if someone wanted to steal firearms ---
I lived in Miami when the guys who got in the shootout with the FBI first stole weapons from target shooters in remote areas.
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Old August 24, 2015, 11:50 AM   #20
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Quote:
A lot of clubs require you to keep all guns unloaded unless you are actively shooting.

Same with matches. All guns unloaded, actions open, or ECI (empty chamber indicator) in the chamber.

Load only when told to by the range officer.

I guess I'm different. When I run a range, or control a range, in my safety briefings I say all guns are left empty, actions open or ECI inserted unless you are shooting, or if at a match told to load by the range office.
I am a member at 2 other clubs where "normal" range rules apply.
I'm not worried that someone will shoot me and leave me for dead when there are 5-40 other people standing around shooting.
A desolate range miles from other people isn't the same.
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Old August 24, 2015, 12:03 PM   #21
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Always armed. Always aware. No exceptions.
Nice thought...a bit simplistic and not workable at many ranges.

Our range is a cold range. It is against the rules to have a loaded gun anywhere on the range except at the range tables or in one of the action pistol bays.

Doesn't matter if you have a concealed carry permit or are a law enforcement officer - no loaded guns unless they're in a case and being carried from your vehicle to the shooting line.

So, you can have a loaded gun in your vehicle - you just can't take it out of the vehicle unless it's in a case. I usually leave my truck gun loaded and in a compartment in the driver's side door - that's normally where I carry it and since I'm not taking it out of the vehicle it's not against the rules to have it loaded.
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Old August 24, 2015, 12:04 PM   #22
grey.ghost
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I have a range on my property, and folks can't get to it without coming down my drive or trespassing on other folks land. I used to feel quite safe until the one day when a fellow walks out of the woods from private land and walks right up to us. He was nice enough, but he didn't belong. We've been cautious since and maintained at least one loaded SD firearm, usually more, nearby for future invasions
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Old August 24, 2015, 12:39 PM   #23
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A loaded gun "free zone" on a shooting range is the height of ludicrous thinking. I will carry concealed everywhere legal to do so.
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Old August 24, 2015, 01:02 PM   #24
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If I can insert a few comments here, I do understand people's concerns about their safety. However, all the rules at ranges are about safety to begin with. Accidents happen far more frequently than assaults and robberies and as far as I know, an accidently shot hurts just as much as an intentional one, probably more if it was your own.

It might be worth wearing a bullet-proof vest, too, although I've never seen anyone do that. After all, not every one at the range is as experienced and safety conscious as you are.
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Old August 24, 2015, 02:12 PM   #25
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Quote:
However, all the rules at ranges are about safety to begin with. Accidents happen far more frequently than assaults and robberies
So, for 6 and 1/2 days a week im considered to be safe with a handgun carried loaded and concealed but for the couple hours im on the range, suddenly its safer NOT to carry?? All because "accidents happen".

If we accept that theory then no one should carry, ever, or anywhere
There is NO logic behind that argument.
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