View Full Version : Range Etiquette? (fairly long)

Deja vu
March 12, 2012, 12:53 PM
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 :rolleyes: 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.

March 12, 2012, 01:36 PM
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.

March 12, 2012, 01:38 PM
Sounds to me like you made a serious effort to be reasonable and considerate. Some people make their own problems.

Deja vu
March 12, 2012, 01:42 PM
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

March 12, 2012, 01:47 PM
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!

March 12, 2012, 01:47 PM
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.

Grant D
March 12, 2012, 01:51 PM
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.

March 12, 2012, 01:53 PM
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.

March 12, 2012, 01:54 PM
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...


March 12, 2012, 02:04 PM
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.

March 12, 2012, 02:13 PM
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.

Spats McGee
March 12, 2012, 02:28 PM
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.

March 12, 2012, 02:39 PM
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.

March 12, 2012, 03:30 PM
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 :)

March 12, 2012, 03:40 PM
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.

March 12, 2012, 03:45 PM
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.

March 12, 2012, 04:28 PM
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.

March 12, 2012, 07:18 PM
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.

old bear
March 12, 2012, 07:22 PM
Sounds to me like you made a serious effort to be reasonable and considerate. Some people make their own problems.

What tailgater said^^^.

Deja vu
March 12, 2012, 09:10 PM
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.

March 12, 2012, 09:19 PM
You did fine. Being polite and honest with the RO can go a long way but doesn't always work with a jerk.

March 18, 2012, 09:56 PM
Jesus couldn't make everybody happy, neither can you. You did good. Not your fault.

March 19, 2012, 01:23 AM
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.

March 19, 2012, 01:37 AM
how dare you allow your guns to make loud noises! Don't you know to shush your guns when they misbehave like that:p

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?

March 19, 2012, 02:05 AM
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...

March 19, 2012, 06:15 AM
I just don't understand why so many fools decide the only place to shoot is the place next to the guy already shooting. It's just dumb. But you get a similar thing in parking lots- 20 year old jocks can't walk an extra 30 feet to get into the building so they all vie for the spaces closest to the door. I drive a junker and I always park as far away as I can get fro the pack. I have even trained my wife to do the same. I just don't understand people sometimes...

March 19, 2012, 08:07 AM
About 3 or 4 months ago i had a scottish bloke with a .50 BMG (HS-50) come and fire off about 40 - 50 rounds right next to me.

Everyone who's been near a .50 knows the shockwave that comes with each shot within a 7-10 metre radius around it. I was about 1 metre from it. I thought it was awesome.

As long as you weren't breaking any rules I think he deserves a slap

March 19, 2012, 09:00 AM
You were there first and abiding by the rules. RO was a tool and that guy was a passive aggressive loser.

March 19, 2012, 12:04 PM
Good grief, I hate dealing with goons at the range. One of the things I love most about the gun community is that 99% of the people you meet are the salt of the earth. Great people, good values, super friendly, and more than willing to help in whatever way they can. That remaining one percent, however, is generally absolutely ridiculous. You went well out of your way to be considerate AND you were there first. If he had a problem with you, why didn't he come over to you and say "hey, do you have something else you could shoot while I shoot through my ammo?" Going to get the range officer without coming to you first? That's bush league.

You did the right thing and showed every courtesy anybody would expect. The other guy was just another goon.

March 19, 2012, 05:21 PM
I usually shoot at my place so I can be nice, a goon, half dressed, or whatever. My range, my gooniness, but always safe.

On the other hand, when I do travel to the nearest public range (a nice one by the way) we do upon occasion run across a fool or two. For some reason, and I do not understand this at all, range idiots around here universally show up sans ear protection. I then break out the Mosin M38 with the Romanian ammo, or something else as equally noxious and pot away. That usually does the trick.

serf 'rett
March 19, 2012, 06:02 PM
Afraid I must disagree with many of the previous posters who state you did nothing wrong.

You shouldn't have moved. :D

I really snorted when I read that you downsized to the lowly .357 mag! Too funny!

I've had times when someone decided to park themselves in the empty spot to my right; whereupon, I tell them my pistol throws brass there and they still choose to park their carcass even though there are other empty lanes. They think my little .22 won't be a problem, only to discover hot brass has a way of getting one's attention. Its soon time to "just smile and wave boys" as they relocate.

March 20, 2012, 07:58 AM
I agree with every one else. You made why more effort than needed really. If I go to an indoor range that lets me shoot my S&W500 I ALWAYS inform anyone that might be within 3 lanes that I'm going to shoot and if they want me to wait I have no problem. Even if I am there first, I know it's not something you really want to be standing next to when it goes off. Even if I shoot my 357mag I will let people know. I've had people a lane or two over come up to me and ask what I was shooting before so I figure even that is enough to get people's interest up, maybe I should warn them first.

The guy just seems like a tool that, like someone else said, thought it was his own private range. It's a gun range. to some extent, if you can't deal with the noise, you need a new hobby.

March 20, 2012, 11:04 AM
I don't understand people like that! they came to a gun range, it's gonna be loud!
Quite frankly, while I was reading your post detailing all the effort you went through to make sure that guy wouldn't be bothered by your shooting, I had a hard time not rolling my eyes, you both paid for time at this range, as long as you're not breaking any rules, you have just as much right to be there as he is.
It's his dumb ass that decided to go in the stall next to you :)

I'm new to shooting, and there was a guy shooting something big in the stall next to me, the shockwave just made me chuckle.. it did throw of my aim, but then that's part of the practice :)

Shadi Khalil
March 20, 2012, 03:00 PM
Whatever. It's an indoor shooting range and it's going to be loud. I wouldn't worry about it.

March 20, 2012, 04:48 PM
I don't think that people should be shooting super weapons at an indoor range. Lots of indoor ranges don't allow them. but, that's my opinion, and irrelevant to the discussion.

You did what Jesus would want you to do, you put yourself and your plans secondary to his, and honestly, you didn't have to. You could have stood on the fact that you were there first, and until you were finished, he could cool his heels somewhere quiet.

Instead of giving you the same courtesy, treating you as if you also had a right to breath the air he was using, he chose the low road, and worked you over.

your guy was obviously a hater of some sort. Hates big guns, hates this, hates that, and gee, you not only aren't one of his peeps, you also annoyed him. So, he struck out and tried to cause you annoyance.

I was sitting in a park once, smoking a cigar, reading a book, and taking in the sun. The air was pretty still, but to my back. people came and took a picnic table about 50 feet away. Out of maybe 10 available, they chose the one closest to me. Not long after, they started loudly mouthing about my cigar. since they were actually upwind, there was no way they were even possibly inconvenienced, but they just wanted to make trouble.

If I had my sony, I'd have plugged myself in and listened to some bach, and ignored their whining and grumbling. Instead, I moved another 50 - 100 feet away, so I didn't have to listen.

I let those fools win, and reinforced their bad behavior, and encouraged them to do it again. I am ashamed for that. But, I was able to enjoy the rest of a fine $9 churchill. I shouldn't have had to fight for that right to go out in the middle of nowhere and smoke a cigar and read a book without some fool coming and molesting me, but that is the way humanity works.

Some people are worse than pigs.

March 21, 2012, 01:31 PM
Somebody goes to a gun range and gets irrated because of the noise...? When someone is shooting something that really sounds different I don't get angry I get curious and check it out. I guess nobody has been shooting anything that out of the ordinary where I go - lots of LEO and retired folk shooting the same old stuff mainly.

From some of these posts I would think in most cases somebody would end up not being invited back at the range I shoot at- certainly not if they became obviously angry at someone and were losing it. Anger and people with guns - bad combination. I have NEVER encountered anyone who was not friendly and polite at the range and hopefully never will.

March 21, 2012, 01:43 PM
This is probably the guy that knowingly moves in to a house near an Air Force Base, then bitches about the jet noise. You made an effort to head it off beforehand. He had his chance. Perhaps he needs to take up something quiet, like knitting or stamp collecting. It's a shooting range, some guns are loud. Live with it.
The only thing I would have been upset about is if I wasn't able to talk you into letting me take a couple shots with it. ;)

March 21, 2012, 01:52 PM
I don't think that people should be shooting super weapons at an indoor range. Lots of indoor ranges don't allow them. but, that's my opinion, and irrelevant to the discussion.

some places there is either not an outdoor range available or just not easy to get to. Down here believe it or not, as lax as they are iwth gun laws, the ranges are not all that common. I have one that is about 15 mins from my house, it's a 100 yard range that is always packed, with an hour minimum wait and they are anal as hell.

The next range is an hour away. The next one after that is upwards of 2 or 3 hours.

the indoor range I'm going to today with my 500 has a rifle lane that allows up to a .308. What would that guy have done with a .308 rifle going off next to him?

It's on thing to bring the biggest, loudest, most annoying gun you can and then be rude about shooting it. But in this case the OP couldn't have been more accommodating if he tried. He even offered to wait until the other guy was done and the guy told him to go ahead. and then he complains? I'm beginning to wonder if the guy was smart enough to even own a firearm. haha.

March 21, 2012, 03:38 PM
you were considerate and polite. you even moved for the guy and it still wasnt enough. hell probably thin about his actions and 6 months down the road when his panties aint in a bunch apologize,or hell just be bitter. oh well either way :cool:

March 23, 2012, 01:51 AM
I am an R/O and when people complain about noise I check it out and if the shooter is doing nothing I tell the complainer to move to another lane. The only thing that bothers me is those pesky 223's when I walk past the shooters flank.
You done good bro. Keep it up.

March 23, 2012, 04:47 AM
^^^^ Yeah what he said :D

Most people don't survey the range before they choose a lane. I myself try to do just that (when I go to a public range that is), I know what I will be firing and I try to see what the folks are shooting that are already there. Most folks are decent enough, but you always have that ass hat that thinks he rules the roost.

March 23, 2012, 09:38 AM
my ranges all assign a lane when you check in, but if you get to pick your own lane it should be like picking a public urinal. you always want to be as far as you can from anyone else while trying to limit who can possibly come next to you later. :D