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Old November 4, 2013, 02:25 AM   #26
Powderman
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I wasn't being safe because there were people down range. So, I tapped on the bright yellow chamber flag sticking out of my gun, and pointed out to him that I was the ONLY one at the range who actually removed my bolt and inserted a flag anytime people were down range, then asked him why he hadn't said anything about that!, he replied that I needed to stay away from my bench because I wasn't being safe! Never again on a weekend, I'll stick to midweek when I'm usually all alone.
Respectfully, he was correct.

It may sound overbearing, but safety dictates that NO one handles firearms or TOUCHES firearms--in ANY manner--while there are people forward of the firing line.

I am an RSO at two gun clubs, as well as a firearms instructor. I emphasize that rule constantly and consistently. The ONLY exception allowed is in the case of a fully cased firearm coming on or going off the range. If it is coming on, I approach the shooters with, "Hi! How are you today? Please place the cased firearm against the wall and leave it there for now; we have people downrange."

The first violation of that rule gets a polite reminder.

Another violation, and you leave the range next time the line goes hot.

There is no place for complacency when handling firearms. I'm not saying that YOU are--by your use of the ECI and removing your bolt, it shows that you are being safety conscious and that's a good thing. However--safer is always better.
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Old November 4, 2013, 05:54 PM   #27
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I've found it best to avoid it completely the week before deer season. I once heard a RO teaching one the most basic functions of his firearm. I'm not an expert myself, but you should at least know how to load your weapon and which end the bullets come out of...

And this is why Australia and Canada both have a system of firearms licensure with a written and practical exam which makes sure that you know this basic stuff before you're even allowed to think about buying. When I got my licence in Australia there wasn't a practical handling session like the Canucks have, but AFAIK this has now been rectified. Both countries may do a lot of things "wrong" in the eyes of gun owners, but I think they've got this one right.
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Old November 4, 2013, 06:29 PM   #28
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before you're even allowed to think about buying.
With respect, and not to jack the thread....

...but this is covered in our Constitution.
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Old November 4, 2013, 06:43 PM   #29
Nathan
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I gave up on the public range for these reasons:
- I hated seeing kids lose their hearing when I shot because their adult supervision brought them no eyes and ears. I tried handing out plugs, but got told no or treated rudely too much.

- I hated seeing people play home gunsmith behind me with loaded guns that were somehow jacked up.

-I hated arguing with the RO about the no 3 fast shot rule when I was double tapping a target, then double tapping a second target. While some jackwad was hip shooting an AK without a target 3 tables down!

- I didn't mind the spare bullet holes in my targets so much, but when we call the line cold, unload your rifle. I would always have to tell some person, please clear your chamber now. Apparently at Semi's 4 Newb's gun shop, they don't tell them...remove the mag, then empty the chamber.


So, the solution to crappy public ranges: (Here it is)
-Armed RO's who will enforce the rules. Give them a series of punishments to apply. Maybe have some kind of appeal process.
-Punishment for dangerous acts... Basic rules violation like not wearing ears= go home for the day. Point your gun at another person=banned for 3 months. Handle guns on a cold range=mandatory training before being allowed back, etc.
-Mandatory range introduction training to be held be the RO 1/2 hour before open. You need this before you can shoot there at all.
-rules committee of experienced shooters and state officials.
-budget to grow the range and take action as issues arise.

The way to get mandatory gun training is the same way we got mandatory birth control training. Put it in the schools.
- Eddie the Eagle- Stop, Tell a responsible adult.
- Intro to guns - 4 safety rules, training of 4 rules, loading and unloading, making safe, I.e staging and securing a firearm which is somehow in the situation, target shooting, shooting at jugs to show the destructiveness of ammunition, last how guns are used daily in society to make the world a better place.
- Basic tactical use - range safety while moving, using firearms safely to solve tactical problems(like IDPA), when to call 911, how to make contact with police/fire/ambulance when firearms are in the situation.

I'm thinking schools could possibly use hand me down guns and ammo from LEO, crime confiscations or military surplus

Last edited by Nathan; November 4, 2013 at 07:22 PM.
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Old November 4, 2013, 07:21 PM   #30
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I as I got my stuff together and got my truck loaded up to leave the range I noticed that as the range was cold this guy was handing his AR and actually had it in his hand and was turning toward other people....his buddy quickly grabbed the gun and turned it back down range, but he still failed to tell him that he shouldn't even be handling it in the first place. I sat there in my truck thinking I should politely let this guy know and explain to him that while people are down range he shouldn't even touch his weapon, but I didn't I drove off thinking I would come across as a A-hole, but now I regret that I didn't take the time to let him know.....maybe he was just ignorant about how things should be done at the range next time I will take the chance of being a A-hole......
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Old November 5, 2013, 05:48 PM   #31
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With respect, and not to jack the thread....

...but this is covered in our Constitution.


That it is, but just look at the hoops some people in some US states are having to jump through now. I've done the Canadian course and jumped the paperwork hoops that go with getting the "unrestricted" licence (excludes pistols and high-capacity centrefire semi-autos). I can go down to the store tomorrow, put my cash down and walk out with an armful of rifles & shotguns and the ammo to fit them. I could buy out the entire shop, and nobody would care.

All I have to do is show my licence at the counter when I pay, and I'm good to go. No Form 4473 or whatever it's called, no phone call or electronic request for a background check (that's built into the licence application), nothing.

Same goes for bullets, primers, powders.

I would argue that I'm better off than a lot of "Constitutionally guaranteed" Americans. For all your right to bear arms, you (plural) seem to be stumbling over a lot of paperwork to get there. And how many times have you looked at some idiot being unsafe on a public range and thought "That guy needs a few lessons in common sense before he's allowed in here again?" Those lessons (like the criminal background check) are part of that Canadian and Aussie licensure process.
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Old November 5, 2013, 06:01 PM   #32
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I guess I’m lucky and shoot with a group.
We have earned the trust of he range and call our own range.
Everyone watches each other and we are very safety oriented.
What scare hell out of me is when you go to an indoor range and there are bullet holes in the lane dividers.
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Old November 6, 2013, 03:43 PM   #33
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With respect, and not to jack the thread....

...but this is covered in our Constitution.
The right to own a firearm is, but not the right to be unsafe with it at a public range.... public as in "National Forrest" not privately owned land. Not sure exactly what your point is about......"but this is covered in our Constitution"
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Old November 6, 2013, 04:01 PM   #34
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His point is maybe we should have a similar licensing process. Something that ensures everyone who buys a gun has been trained how to be safe with it.

In concept, I like this idea or training before purchase. I tell people this is the right way to do the process of getting a first gun. It often falls on deaf ears.

Where I struggle is government mandated training before we buy. Maybe the government could offer training, or accept NRA training to give us a card to allow 50 state + air and sea CCW, eliminate all currently banned and regulated guns, including import restrictions. That way I get a card and can buy silenced full auto AR's without paperwork or hassle. Or maybe just mail order a custom gun without an FFL?? It should also nullify state laws which restrict gun types, capacities, drop tests, etc...

I'm seeing myself becoming real flexible all of a sudden!
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Old November 6, 2013, 05:01 PM   #35
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We shoot at the Manatee Gun Club (only 1000 yard public range in Florida) and they recently installed numbered markers in the ground at the 100-400 yard paper target lines, corresponding to the bench locations, so that everyone stays "in line" and doesn't shoot through someone else's target.

There are still potential issues because the steel plates are at 565 yards, behind all the paper and the RSO's always ask what range you're going to be shooting at when you arrive to try to minimize problems.

Any shooter would know at first glance down the tube whether there's someone else's target in the way- but yeah, I'm sometimes amazed (and the RSO's tell some crazy stories) at the way "beginner" is re-defined all the time.

Everyone has to learn- but some make no effort. Downright scary, sometimes.
That is the best range, I love that place!
Finally they have lane markers? Last time I was there the ROs were directing folks where to place the target racks. That took a while.
Everbeen around the back to 'AREA 51'?
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Old November 6, 2013, 05:43 PM   #36
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Nathan, good point. I can understand the nervousness of people who wouldn't want a licensure process put into the hands of dull-witted government-employed clock-watchers with a rabid lust for gun control.

In both Australia and Canada, I had the instruction and the test administered to me by senior members (RSOs or instructors) of shooting clubs or by lifelong sporting shooters/hunters. IOW they were pro-gun by definition. There's no reason the NRA and/or similar bodies couldn't also perform this function in the US.

The involvement of the bureaucracy was AFAIK limited to checking off the fact that I had passed the test, passed the background police check and my ID details were legit, and issuing me my licence. And collecting the fee, of course, but that's a whole 'nother debate.

In both Oz and Canada, there is a separate set of hoops to be jumped through for those wishing to buy handguns or (for the Canadians, who are allowed to have such things) high-capacity (>5) centrefire semiautos. That isn't me at the moment, so I can't speak to that one.
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Old November 6, 2013, 06:20 PM   #37
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With respect, and not to jack the thread....

...but this is covered in our Constitution.
+1

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The right to own a firearm is, but not the right to be unsafe with it at a public range.... publicasin "National Forrest" not privately owned land.Not sure exactly what your point is about......"butt this is covered in our Constitution"
You do have the right to be unsafe.( the constitution covers freedom not safety)

The privately owned range has the right to boot you out for doing so.

And... the police have the right to arrest you if you break any laws in the process.

It is perfectly legal to be an idiot.
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Old November 6, 2013, 07:47 PM   #38
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It is perfectly legal to be an idiot.
Boomer
as horrible of a precedent that this sets.... you have a point.

it may be legal to threaten the safety of others but that does mean we have to tolerate it until someone get's hurt.
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Old November 6, 2013, 08:12 PM   #39
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Good point

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Old November 6, 2013, 09:52 PM   #40
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Let's not wander off into rights and politics, sil vous plait...
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Old November 6, 2013, 10:36 PM   #41
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Powderman, I would have to disagree with the extreme safety measures. I do not run civilian ranges, but on rare occasion when I am compelled to instruct a SWAT training session, I let common sense dictate how my range is safe. First and foremost, my range is idiot proof. How do I make it idiot proof? I kick the idiots off of it. When we are down range, I could not care less if the rifles have rounds in the magazines. I don't even care if there is a round in the chamber. All I care is the bolt is up and slid back about a half inch. When I went to Master Swat operator school, one of the exercises we did at least 100 times, involved our sniper shooting a small water balloon that was 18" above our point man's head. The sniper was shooting it from 100 yards. Forgive me, but I am just not very paranoid about being downrange of loaded and even attended, loaded weapons. I am extremely paranoid about even being on the range with a person who is not competent and proficient in firearms handling.
Messing with scope caps on an obviously unloaded firearm while the range was cold? That would not even cause me to bat an eye. Unloaded rifles do not kill anyone, unless someone uses them as a club and beats you to death with them.
The only training accidents I have seen came from a ricochet, which is just a chance you take when shooting steel poppers. I got hit in the arm by a piece of #4 buck that ricocheted off the wall of a shoot house. That is pretty much unavoidable as well.

We have a remote 1000yd range that we shoot at regularly. A couple of "contractors" were shooting there not too long ago. Both are ex military snipers. Conditions were less than ideal and they could not see where they were hitting. One of them went down range and stood about 30 feet away from the target and radioed back to the other one where he was hitting. I was not there that day, but the story was relayed to me. It was shocking to the one telling it. To me, it is just a testament to the confidence they have in each others level of ability.

Last edited by reynolds357; November 6, 2013 at 10:46 PM.
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Old November 6, 2013, 10:53 PM   #42
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Am I expecting too much from my fellow shooters?
Short answer: Yes you are.


There are way too many untrained shooters out there. Its not suprising if they shoot your target intentionally or not. I'm not even surprised when some new shooters don't even know how to use their own guns...

Even "experienced" shooters still make dumb mistakes. For example, my roomate (who has more guns than me), has never zeroed his RDS on his AR15. We went to the outdoor range a few months ago and he couldn't hit anything with his rifle due to his optic not being zeroed, while I was banging steel at 150yards with my optic (already zeroed) on my AR.

And this is from a "firearm enthusiast". Imagine what noobs are capable of...scary.
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Old November 7, 2013, 10:28 AM   #43
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At my club it use to be open to the public but it got to where people was shooting up the target frames and leaving trash not just plastic bottles and such but car mufflers and other parts. We had to go to a members only shooting range with a few simple rules. Now we have target frames that I built from last year that are needing to be replaced. Yes once in awhile you'll hit a frame when sighting in a new rifle but if you been shooting for any length of time you can tell if it was a accident or if it was on purpose. The ones done on purpose really burned my butt and if caught someone doing this they would be asked to leave and their membership revoked.
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Old November 7, 2013, 02:23 PM   #44
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THANK YOU, reynolds357. Apparently common sense is missing on many private ranges as well as public. It seems like too many people are less concerned with actual safety and more concerned with black and white interpretations of safe practices.
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Old November 7, 2013, 03:09 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by Sierra280
THANK YOU, reynolds357. Apparently common sense is missing on many private ranges as well as public. It seems like too many people are less concerned with actual safety and more concerned with black and white interpretations of safe practices.
While you may not have been technically unsafe, you WERE violating a common range safety rule and he was right to correct you. Those black-and-white rules were put there for a reason: to make it easier for everybody to follow them and for RSOs to enforce them.

Let's apply your "common sense" rule here: Which of these two rules do you think would be easier to enforce and to get people to follow?

1) Don't touch your firearms when people are downrange, unless your magazine is removed and your bolt is locked back, or you have a chamber flag, or you're just adjusting your scope covers, or if they're pointed in a safe direction and unloaded, etc.

OR:

2) Don't touch your firearms when people are downrange. Period.
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Old November 7, 2013, 04:21 PM   #46
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THEOHAZARD you summed up what my response was going to be. We are talking about a public range not trained military. When I am down range I can't tell if Joe Public is messing with his scope caps or putting a round in the chamber. The worst mistake is assuming some one knows what they are doing. This is the gods honest truth.....I was at the range one day and this guy had his scope mounted backwards I asked him why he had it mounted backwards....his response "oh is it backwards I was wondering why objects looked further away should I turn it around?" After that day I assume Nonthing!!
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Old November 7, 2013, 04:26 PM   #47
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@reynolds357: It sounds like you are on an LE range. There are different practices and procedures there. During our quals, the first sentence of the range briefing states that the range is a HOT range. In short, before, during and after your qual, you will have a loaded sidearm--at the very least.

Moreover, I am intimately familiar with the sniper shot you mentioned--a entry or op initiated by the sniper's shot--since I am one of those Sierra units that take the shot.

My reference is for the ranges that are not restricted to LE or military use, or those ranges restricted to special training.

When on a public range, I take NO chances with the safety of those on the line.

All guns are ALWAYS loaded.
Always keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot.
Always be sure of your target and what is beyond.

When I am the RSO, the people downrange are trusting their lives to me. If YOU were downrange, would you want someone handling a firearm that is pointed in your direction?
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Old November 7, 2013, 05:00 PM   #48
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reynolds357 - How do you know the guy's rifle is unloaded, when you're down range and turn around to see him fumbling with his rifle; such as his scope caps? Common sense tells me that a red alert should be sounding off in my head --- when I see such a major infraction ---such as handling of firearms on the firing line; while the range is still cold.

Technically...a round still in the chamber can detonate with a hot barreled "cook off" --- but in most shooting range violations --- it has been noted that it is the most experienced shooter's that come down making the biggest safety violation mistakes.

Some seem to have one track minds...when all there concerned about is the shooting task at hand, and totally forget to have enough mindfulness to be safety conscious on the range.

The major reason we keep firearms unloaded/magazines removed/ECI's installed during the cease fire at our range...is too keep kids --- or people that seem to have a mind of a kid --- to make it harder for them too come up to the firing line during a cease fire, and have them close the bolt on a live round, or cycle in a round from the magazine; and pull the trigger.
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Old November 7, 2013, 11:53 PM   #49
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I would have to say #2 is the common sense answer, Theohazard.

Luckily, an unloaded bolt action rifle without a bolt isn't a firearm. It's just gun parts. Or pieces of metal. No more capable of firing a live cartridge than a tool box handle or a pipe wrench.

I understand seeing someone near their gun might cause others concern down range but:

Quote:
The major reason we keep firearms unloaded/magazines removed/ECI's installed during the cease fire at our range...is too keep kids --- or people that seem to have a mind of a kid --- to make it harder for them too come up to the firing line during a cease fire, and have them close the bolt on a live round, or cycle in a round from the magazine; and pull the trigger.
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Old November 8, 2013, 11:47 AM   #50
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my range goes to the extra mile, they make you empty your gun during cease fire and wont let anyone go downrange until all guns have been cleared with the RO. I think that if a gun has been showed clear and if someone has removed the bolt or inserted a LCI then there should be no reason why they can't put caps back on their scope or take their guns off the line and leave during a cease fire. now if there were bullets present in the magazine and all it would take would be a drop of the bolt and squeeze of the trigger to send a round down range then by all means don't let people handle their guns during cease fire however you're just as likely to be killed by an idiot swinging his condition 0 firearm around during hot range as you are of it happening by handling a firearm during ceasefire.

just my .02.
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