The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Conference Center > General Discussion Forum

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old March 19, 2013, 03:16 PM   #1
MRYANJ99
Member
 
Join Date: March 7, 2013
Posts: 40
Range Ettiquette

I'm planning a trip to a public shooting range here as soon as it warms up. I've been shooting for several years, but I always go to family property and have never been to a range. Is there any ettiquette that I should be aware of? I don't want to look like an idiot out there or worse, get kicked out for something dumb that I was uanware of.
MRYANJ99 is offline  
Old March 19, 2013, 03:20 PM   #2
Gaerek
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 3, 2012
Location: Arizona
Posts: 939
Read the rules before going in. Every range does things differently, and the rules will tell you what to watch out for. Don't pick up brass that isn't yours...unless you ask first.

Really, if you read the rules and abide by them, you should be in good shape.
Gaerek is offline  
Old March 19, 2013, 03:31 PM   #3
adamc
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 3, 2013
Location: Stalingrad Connecticut
Posts: 216
+1 many times there will be no problem..I've met good people and some
I'd rather forget about... just don't annoy the RSO.

I am a new member to a club with LOTS of Range rules ALL
Strictly enforced, but the club touts 100% safety with 0 accidents

so I'm game
__________________
**** NRA Life Member *****

Connecticut was the Cradle of the Gun Industry, NOW it is just a Pine Box,
Courtesy of our Governor "Chairman MAO Malloy"

Last edited by Vanya; March 19, 2013 at 03:39 PM. Reason: language.
adamc is offline  
Old March 19, 2013, 03:33 PM   #4
Vanya
Staff
 
Join Date: July 7, 2008
Location: Upper midwest
Posts: 3,877
Welcome to TFL.

Definitely read the range rules -- and if there's an RSO (range safety officer) or someone else around who looks like he/she's in charge, it's worth going up and introducing yourself and saying something along the lines of "I'm new here, is there anything I should know?" It's a lot better to say you're a newbie and ask than to pretend you know what you don't.
__________________
"Once the writer in every individual comes to life (and that time is not far off), we are in for an age of universal deafness and lack of understanding."
(Milan Kundera, Book of Laughter and Forgetting, 1980)
Vanya is offline  
Old March 19, 2013, 03:48 PM   #5
FlyFish
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 20, 2009
Location: Overlooking the Baker River Valley
Posts: 1,485
If others are downrange changing targets, etc., and you're back on the line, don't handle any firearms for any reason whatsoever. All firearms should already be on the bench with the actions open (or cased). Some ranges allow loading of mags, some allow handling firearms if you're not facing downrange, and so forth. I don't care what's allowed, I make it a point to not do any of those things - I don't fiddle with my range bag, pick up brass, . . . nothing, just stand there with my arms folded. There's nothing more unsettling than being down at the target butts and seeing somebody doing "something" back on the line.
__________________
NRA Benefactor Life Member
SASS #84900
03 FFL
Pemigewasset Valley Fish & Game Club
FlyFish is offline  
Old March 19, 2013, 04:25 PM   #6
globemaster3
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 28, 2006
Posts: 1,206
+1 to Vanya's comment:
Quote:
f "I'm new here, is there anything I should know?" It's a lot better to say you're a newbie and ask than to pretend you know what you don't.
I've got a lot more patience for someone who admits they are new than for someone who arrogantly breaks the rules. The former are teachable. The later need to leave. You'll see what I mean if you frequent the range much.

Also, can you go online and access the rules ahead of time? It would allow you more time to study and fully understand expectations before you go out there.

Have fun!
__________________
NRA Life Member
Active Duty USAF 1994-Current
globemaster3 is offline  
Old March 19, 2013, 04:30 PM   #7
Spats McGee
Staff
 
Join Date: July 28, 2010
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 5,071
If you can't go online, call ahead. I've done this with a few ranges, and here are some of the questions that I typically ask:
1) What can I shoot? (pistols? rifles? caliber restrictions?)
2) Are there any ammo restrictions? (like tracers?)
3) Are there any target restrictions? (some ranges don't want you using silhouette targets)
4) Can I keep my brass? (I've heard of ranges that have a "if-it-hits-the-floor-it's-ours" rule. I don't go to those.)

Other than that, I'd say you've gotten pretty good advice:
a) "I'm new here, can you give me some info?" is a pretty good starting point;
b) No fiddling with your stuff when others are downrange; and
c) No keeping brass that isn't yours without permission.
__________________
A gunfight is not the time to learn new skills.

If you ever have a real need for more than a couple of magazines, your problem is not a shortage of magazines. It's a shortage of people on your side of the argument. -- Art Eatman
Spats McGee is offline  
Old March 19, 2013, 04:40 PM   #8
SIGSHR
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 13, 2005
Posts: 3,076
When you arrive at the range, it's a good idea to look around, see who is shooting what and where they are. I recall one range where those shooting very loud firearms were clustered at one end to minimize the sound and distraction, those firing 22s were grouped further away. It's a good idea not to sit next to a bench rest shooter, the ones I have known really prefer their privacy while shooting.

Last edited by SIGSHR; March 19, 2013 at 04:46 PM.
SIGSHR is offline  
Old March 19, 2013, 07:03 PM   #9
dakota.potts
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 25, 2013
Location: Saint Augustine, Florida
Posts: 1,156
Know your rules. Keep the muzzle downrange at all times. Carry pistols in your holster or in their case if you have one. Carry rifles in a bag or cart, or if you don't have either, carry it with the muzzle up and the magazine removed.

When not firing stay well behind the bench and other shooters. At my range you can step forward to load any external magazines if you're the next shooter. With an internal magazine like a bolt action rifle or shotgun I typically don't load until I'm up to shoot. With the magazines, you can fill them but don't load them in the gun until ready to fire.

Keep your finger off the trigger until you've picked a target and are ready to fire at it. Keep the muzzle downrange at all times.

If you're sharing a bench with other shooters (you often will) you'll have to clear how you're going to go out to check the targets. You'll want to go check your shots but everybody should have their magazines and weapons cleared when people go out to check their targets. Nobody should have a gun in their hands (although I sometimes load magazines) when somebody's on the range checking their target.

This is obviously on a range with self regulated lanes and no ceasefire. Learn the individual range rules and follow them to a T. Also, and this is a big one, find out what's allowed (steel ammo, rimfire, rifle size, etc.). Know where you're supposed to be. We have pistol bays and larger bays. However, they allow .22's and sometimes carbines or shotguns in the pistol bays. A pistol can be shot in any as far as I know but if you don't have a rifle you shouldn't use a rifle bay in case somebody with one would need it.

If you want to approach somebody, wait until they don't have a weapon in their hands and I like to tap them on their shoulder to get their attention. This is how I get the attention of my family members. I've also done it to ask weapons of the instructors shooting and once to complement a man on his 1940's era Thomspon (fully automatic and very fun to watch).

Keep the muzzle downrange at all times.
dakota.potts is offline  
Old March 20, 2013, 12:52 PM   #10
MRYANJ99
Member
 
Join Date: March 7, 2013
Posts: 40
Thank you guys so much. This is very helpful advice. Glad to be part of this forum.
MRYANJ99 is offline  
Old March 20, 2013, 05:43 PM   #11
Erno86
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 22, 2012
Location: Marriottsville, Maryland
Posts: 530
The most frequent mistake at our gun range, is for shooters that carry cased guns on the concrete pad {that hold the firing benches/firing line} near the firing line, during a cease fire. It is okay to place the cased gun on the gun rack behind the concrete pad which holds the firing line. In the morning when the range opens...it is still considered a cease fire from the day before; untill the line is called "HOT."

When carrying cased/uncased guns on the firing pad...muzzles --- cased or uncased --- should be pointed upwards till placed on pad or bench. When firearms are placed on the pad or bench --- cased/uncased shall be pointed downrange; preferrably at the backstop. When on the concrete pad, all gun cases shall be pointed downrange unless it is put in the vertical position with the muzzle pointing skywards.

If you have a double gun case, with muzzles pointed in two directions: open case with one muzzle pointed downrange --- take gun out ---do a 180 degree reverse on the case, and take other gun out with the muzzle pointed downrange.

Please do not dry fire the gun, while the muzzle is not pointed downrange.
Erno86 is offline  
Old March 20, 2013, 06:01 PM   #12
stephen426
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 11, 2005
Posts: 2,884
Lots of good advice has already been given on here. Outdoor ranges are usually a lot more tricky since you have to be much more concerned about the safety of others. A couple of things come to mind for almost every range I have been to:

1. Make sure all your guns are UNLOADED before taking them out of the car.

2. NEVER carry any weapon uncased unless you have the action open. It is much better to carry it encased since it is often hard to determine whether an action is open or not.

3. Make sure to NEVER SWEEP anyone with your weapon regardless of loaded or not. Basically keep all weapons pointed down.

4. Do NOT HANDLE any firearms on the firing line when the line is cold.

5. Do NOT RAPID FIRE unless you have been given express permission to do so.

6. Do NOT walk up with a HOLSTERED weapon.

7. Do NOT DRAW from a holster on the line unless you have been given express permission to do so.

8. Do NOT act like a hoodlum or demonstrate any unsafe gun handling techniques.

9. Do NOT TOUCH anyone elses stuff or HOVER over other people's stuff without permission. It is okay to be curious and talk about other guns, but introduce yourself first.

That is all I can come up with for now. I have never had any issues following these practices.
__________________
The ATF should be a convenience store instead of a government agency!

Last edited by stephen426; March 24, 2013 at 02:51 AM.
stephen426 is offline  
Old March 20, 2013, 06:50 PM   #13
dakota.potts
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 25, 2013
Location: Saint Augustine, Florida
Posts: 1,156
It's funny, my range allows you to rapid fire (including automatics), walk up with a weapon holstered, and I think draw from a holster (never seen anybody do it).

So the moral of the story is know your range. I can do some things that Stephen cannot but at another range I wouldn't assume those.
dakota.potts is offline  
Old March 20, 2013, 09:36 PM   #14
cvc944
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 17, 2013
Location: Lenhartsville, PA
Posts: 164
I always think of good ettiquette as little more than common decency, something from days gone by, but always appreciated today. There are things that are not against the rules, but are still in poor form. Muzzle breaks are something that rings your neighbor's bell more than your own, so I always unscrew mine if I'm not alone. Following posted rules to the letter and just being aware of your fellow shooters and treating them like you would like to be treated should do you just fine.
cvc944 is offline  
Old March 20, 2013, 10:01 PM   #15
breakingcontact
Junior member
 
Join Date: October 25, 2012
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 736
Also...I've been really impressed with how helpful some folks in the online gun community have been.

Post here where you're going or on a more local forum and you'll probably get lots of help and specific advice.
breakingcontact is offline  
Old March 21, 2013, 02:06 AM   #16
Sanity Challenged
Member
 
Join Date: January 24, 2013
Posts: 15
If you're going to talk to someone, speak loud enough to be heard. A few weeks ago someone asked my father a question in a normal conversational volume, which he could not hear with his ear protection on. He absent-mindedly pulled off one ear to say "what?", and instantly regretted it. I call both parties foolish for that one.
Sanity Challenged is offline  
Old March 21, 2013, 03:32 PM   #17
dajowi
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 2, 2005
Posts: 976
Thinking about the safety of others is a good thing. But don't forget your own. Public ranges attract idiots, "experts," and people you'd rather avoid.
dajowi is offline  
Old March 21, 2013, 04:04 PM   #18
Erno86
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 22, 2012
Location: Marriottsville, Maryland
Posts: 530
Here's a quoted safety orientation speech, by Travis Haley, from Magpul Dynamics dvd: Art of the Tactical Carbine Volume 2

"Complacency guys...complacency is a killer --- It can get you killed quicker than a bullet. At an advanced level, things can go fast and they can go wrong fast.

Okay...so you'll again have to police yourselves when it comes to safety, and realize that the more advanced you get, the more skill you get, the easier it is to make mistakes, and that goes for any profession out there, whether you're skydiving, whether you're playing professional sports --- running an gunning out there --- you'll find that the most knowledgeable...the most skilled people, are the ones having the safety issues; the ones that are burning in and having accidents.

So again...realize that as you excell at that ladder of excellence --- that you have to be more safety cautious...allright."

Last edited by Erno86; March 21, 2013 at 04:21 PM.
Erno86 is offline  
Old March 21, 2013, 04:24 PM   #19
zincwarrior
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 1, 2011
Location: Texas, land of Tex-Mex
Posts: 1,232
Quote:
Lots have good advice has already been given on here. Outdoor ranges are usually a lot more tricky since you have to be much more concerned about the safety of others. A couple of things come to mind for almost every range I have been to:

1. Make sure all your guns are UNLOADED before taking them out of the car.

2. NEVER carry any weapon uncased unless you have the action open. It is much better to carry it encased since it is often hard to determine whether an action is open or not.

3. Make sure to NEVER SWEEP anyone with your weapon regardless of loaded or not. Basically keep all weapons pointed down.

4. Do NOT HANDLE any firearms on the firing line when the line is cold.

5. Do NOT RAPID FIRE unless you have been given express permission to do so.

6. Do NOT walk up with a HOLSTERED weapon.

7. Do NOT DRAW from a holster on the line unless you have been given express permission to do so.

8. Do NOT act like a hoodlum or demonstrate any unsafe gun handling techniques.

9. Do NOT TOUCH anyone elses stuff or HOVER over other people's stuff without permission. It is okay to be curious and talk about other guns, but introduce yourself first.

That is all I can come up with for now. I have never had any issues following these practices.
__________________
This is an excellent list. As always, read their range specific rules (some have a video or such too).
zincwarrior is offline  
Old March 21, 2013, 06:06 PM   #20
BornToLooze
Member
 
Join Date: March 8, 2013
Posts: 80
I know at one of the ranges by me one of their rules is: NO GANGSTER HANDLING OF FIREARMS.
BornToLooze is offline  
Old March 22, 2013, 11:09 PM   #21
BuckRub
Junior member
 
Join Date: October 3, 2012
Location: Central Texas
Posts: 1,046
If everyone is down range checking targets, don't shoot!!!! It scares the hell out of them
BuckRub is offline  
Old March 23, 2013, 01:59 PM   #22
Erno86
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 22, 2012
Location: Marriottsville, Maryland
Posts: 530
While downrange...don't spend all day discussing your group sizes. Our 100 yard range, just slapped a 4 minute time limit while downrange; on the weekends.
Erno86 is offline  
Old March 23, 2013, 06:25 PM   #23
-Xero-
Junior member
 
Join Date: March 14, 2013
Posts: 51
I used to go to a municipal range for bench shooting. The Range Officer had quite the reputation for being anal retentive.

I read the rules.

This range was never busy, no want for empty benches. When I shoot off the bench, I set up a scope, and at the next bench over, I set up a cleaning station -- gun cradle, rods, jags, patches, etc. And I set up a bucket at the end of the table to catch the patches.

As I remember, the RO assigned a bench for you, and he took grave exception to my using the adjacent bench to run patches. I moved the 55 gal. trash barrel behind my bench because I needed space for my cleaning kit -- a very large tool-box on wheels.

The RO didn't like that either -- forget about salvaging the case holders in the garbage for reloading use.

The point I'm making, I guess, is that some ranges are really lock-step. You may not see any reason why you shouldn't move a trash bin. (The RO needed things where he could see them from his "control tower" -- One RO and two ranges.)

The RO sat in his "tower" up on the hillside, took range fees, and watched the users. NOT someone able to strike up a conversation.

I don't use this ranger any more. Won't use it because I'm not comfortable, and it doesn't fill my needs.

Trap Club is PRIVATE, and we all know the rules. There is no RO. Some ranges are more comfortable to use than others. You may want to "sit and watch" for a while if that's an option.
-Xero- is offline  
Old March 24, 2013, 03:08 PM   #24
ClydeFrog
Junior member
 
Join Date: May 1, 2010
Posts: 5,798
My input....

If you plan to go shooting on a free or public access range, I'll post a few points. I'd add that you should wear shirts or sweatshirts that are NOT open collar, V neck, etc. Hot brass can go flying down a shirt & be a major safety issue. It happened to my good friend in 2009 with a PX4 9x19mm and a woman in SW Florida shot her fiancé with a semi auto pistol, when her spent case flew down her top.

A: Keep your area clean & pick up any trash, cans, boxes, paper plates/targets, etc. You may or may not be the cause of all the trash there but it's better for you & the next shooter(s).
B: Bring a first aid kit or have the EMT stuff ready to provide aid. You don't have to be a ER doctor or a USAF ParaRescue trooper but a kit can help with minor cuts, scrapes, etc or a gun-shot, snake bite, etc.
I've seen a lot of hairy stuff on ranges. I served four years in the US military & went on public/private ranges as a armed citizen. Be ready for emergencies or first aid issues.
C: Know & understand the range rules/SOPs BEFORE you go shooting.
This is a simple point but many ranges/staffs have ticky-tacky rules or regulations that could be a hassle later. Be aware of any special rules & know how to alert the range master or park ranger if required.
Gun owners & shooters should be friendly & open but some on public ranges are not.
D: Don't bring distracting music, toys, pets, small kids, etc. Be considerate of the other range shooters. It's not a beach or a park. Keep the safety rules in mind.

Last edited by ClydeFrog; March 24, 2013 at 03:14 PM.
ClydeFrog is offline  
Old March 24, 2013, 04:19 PM   #25
BuckRub
Junior member
 
Join Date: October 3, 2012
Location: Central Texas
Posts: 1,046
D. Don't bring small kids? That's our next generation of shooters! Bring them, women and other new shooters and get them Involved. I love seeing small kids at the range.
BuckRub is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:35 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.14629 seconds with 7 queries