The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > Hogan's Alley > Handguns: General Handgun Forum

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old October 22, 2020, 05:33 PM   #1
gaseousclay
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 4, 2010
Posts: 1,025
Noob question: range etiquette

I plan on making some trips to the range to work on my grip, but my question is in regards to gun etiquette upon arrival. I’ve watched a few videos on the do’ and dont’s when on the range but very little on how to arrive with your gun.

Obviously, your weapon should be unloaded. But, is it ok to have a loaded magazine so long as it’s not in the gun itself? I have a Pelican pistol case and I’m guessing they’ll check my gun to make sure it’s unloaded when I arrive. Is it common practice to have empty mags in the case with the firearm and to just load the magazine when you’re at your shooting lane? Or do some people keep loaded magazines in a separate bag?

Sorry for the long drawn out question. I don’t want to break any range rules and get kicked out
gaseousclay is offline  
Old October 22, 2020, 05:55 PM   #2
Nathan
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 1, 2001
Posts: 5,219
IMO, my gun should be unloaded and cased. If I know an inspection of such is likely, I like to have a chamber flag in the gun to remove all doubt....or have it slide locked back.

Additional mags loaded or unloaded are meaningless to an RSO that knows their stuff. Now, if local/state laws require gun and ammo separate, it iss as not good to show up looking like you broke a law whether you did or not.

I have never been checked.
Nathan is offline  
Old October 22, 2020, 05:56 PM   #3
Rangerrich99
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 20, 2014
Location: Kinda near Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 1,250
Empty gun cased, loaded mags is fine.
Rangerrich99 is offline  
Old October 22, 2020, 06:01 PM   #4
DaleA
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 12, 2002
Location: Twin Cities, MN
Posts: 4,711
Ask. That's the best way to find out what the range wants you to do.

I go to Bill's in the Twin Cities and they are fine with having magazines loaded up and not in the gun. What they REALLY want you to do though is keep the gun in the case until you go up to the line then take it out of the case pointing down range. When you're done shooting clear the gun, bring the case up to the line and put the gun away. This, and the four rules, are the BEST gun control points I agree with.

But again, that's the range I shoot at, ask ahead of time at the range you'll be shooting at.
DaleA is offline  
Old October 22, 2020, 06:18 PM   #5
Mike38
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 28, 2009
Location: North Central Illinois
Posts: 2,420
Another little "tip" is to know, or mark your pistol bag / box as to which end is the muzzle end. That way when to put your bag / box on the bench and open it, the muzzle will be pointed down range. Then make sure you bag up the pistol the same way every time.

I had a pistol box that the way it was made, it held two pistols facing opposite directions. So no matter how you opened it, one pistol was pointed down range, the other was pointed back towards the "spectator area". It didn't dawn on me that I was doing that until a RSO pointed it out. He was very nice about it, just doing his job, and I appreciated him pointing it out to me.
Mike38 is offline  
Old October 22, 2020, 06:36 PM   #6
Pahoo
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 16, 2006
Location: IOWA
Posts: 8,122
The learning curve !!!

Quote:
Ask. That's the best way to find out what the range wants you to do.
Not only ask but read the posted rules/instructions. Every private range posts them. As well as having an Range-Safety-Officer. We are all on a learning curve in this great adventure. So there is always something to learn and share ......

Be Safe !!!
__________________
'Fundamental truths' are easy to recognize because they are verified daily through simple observation and thus, require no testing.
Pahoo is offline  
Old October 22, 2020, 06:43 PM   #7
Rangerrich99
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 20, 2014
Location: Kinda near Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 1,250
Here's a tip:

When loading/unloading your weapon on the firing line, don't do what a lot of people do and inadvertently point your gun down the line.

Become comfortable keeping the gun pointed down and downrange (we call this "low ready"), or just downrange if there's one of those shelves there, while inserting a mag or unloading the gun. Drives me crazy to see people pointing their guns perpendicular to the line and basically at everyone that happens to be on the firing line to the left/right of them.

the easiest way to deal with this is to simply turn 90 degrees so that your shoulders are lined up downrange, bring the gun back towards your torso about mid- to low-ribcage height and conduct your load/unload procedure.

However you do it, just don't point the gun along the firing line and at potential other shooters.

Thx.
Rangerrich99 is offline  
Old October 22, 2020, 07:49 PM   #8
darkgael
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 9, 2006
Location: Homes in Brooklyn, NY and in Pennsylvania.
Posts: 5,285
Yep.ALL gun handling done on the shooting point. I run a small private range in Brooklyn, NY.....that is the rule. If there is a need to go down range, all guns are made safe....magazines out, slides back cylinders open and empty. Points are vacated and guns checked by an RSO.
Eye and ear Protection is mandatory.
__________________
“Auto racing, bull fighting, and mountain climbing are the only real sports ... all others are games.” Ernest Hemingway ...
NRA Life Member
darkgael is offline  
Old October 22, 2020, 08:09 PM   #9
imp
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 11, 2006
Location: Pistol-Vania
Posts: 577
My personal opinion, unless you plan on firing more than 300 rounds or have difficulty loading magazines, I would suggest loading magazines at the firing line.

Its a mundane task that seems to settle anxiety. Especially for newer shooters, the irregular sound environment, the observation of range officers, and the potential hazards of live fire seems to create a little anxiety.

Not much mind you, but just a little, where a persons confidence in safe manipulation of their weapon might not be as high as it is at home. The little tasks like unpacking your equipment, setting up targets, and loading magazines allows you to adjust to the sound and feel of the environment and steady the nerves.
__________________
There he goes. One of God's own prototypes. A high-powered mutant of some kind never even considered for mass production. Too weird to live, and too rare to die.
imp is offline  
Old October 22, 2020, 08:54 PM   #10
Aguila Blanca
Staff
 
Join Date: September 25, 2008
Location: CONUS
Posts: 15,134
Quote:
Originally Posted by imp
My personal opinion, unless you plan on firing more than 300 rounds or have difficulty loading magazines, I would suggest loading magazines at the firing line.

Its a mundane task that seems to settle anxiety. Especially for newer shooters, the irregular sound environment, the observation of range officers, and the potential hazards of live fire seems to create a little anxiety.
If you're shooting at a commercial range where you pay by the hour -- and an hour is all you get if there are other shooters waiting -- then time spent loading magazines is time NOT spent shooting. We can load magazines at home. We go to the range to shoot.
__________________
NRA Life Member / Certified Instructor
NRA Chief RSO / CMP RSO
1911 Certified Armorer
Jeepaholic
Aguila Blanca is offline  
Old October 22, 2020, 09:16 PM   #11
stephen426
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 11, 2005
Posts: 3,803
Some ranges inspect guns. Others prefer you don’t even remove them from the case until you are IN your lane amd ready to shoot. Here are a few obvious ones since you mentioned you are a noob. No offense if you know this already.

1. No loaded weapons (loaded mags are usually okay, but not in the gun).
2. All weapons should be encased (preferably in a range bag or hard case)
3. No concealed weapons on you unless the range allows for it (most do not)
4. Do NOT handle your firearm outside the shooting area unless you are talking with staff and they approve doing so.
5. Do NOT cover or sweep anyone with the muzzle of your weapon. If the gun is locked back and there is a chamber flag, people are less worried about that, but never point a semi-auto that has the slide forward even if the gun is unloaded and there is no mag inserted. Same goes for revolvers with closed cylinders.

I went to a range where they clearly posted that no loaded weapons were allowed. The douche bag I was going with (didn’t know him very well) decided to ignore the sign and went in with the gun loaded. They almost threw him out, and probably should have.

Call ahead and ask about their rules. It is far better to know the specific rules of the range you are planning to go to. They will appreciate you taking the time to know the etiquette.
__________________
The ATF should be a convenience store instead of a government agency!

Last edited by stephen426; October 23, 2020 at 10:54 AM.
stephen426 is offline  
Old October 22, 2020, 09:27 PM   #12
stinkeypete
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 22, 2010
Location: Madison, Wisconsin
Posts: 670
Ask the range officer or representative at the desk as to the rules.

At a public open range- shudders... I am lucky I have a great club range.
__________________
I hunt, shoot bullseye, plink, reload, and tinker with firearms. I have hung out with the Cowboy Action fellas. I have no interest in carrying firearms in urban areas.
stinkeypete is offline  
Old October 22, 2020, 10:08 PM   #13
imp
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 11, 2006
Location: Pistol-Vania
Posts: 577
Quote:
If you're shooting at a commercial range where you pay by the hour -- and an hour is all you get if there are other shooters waiting -- then time spent loading magazines is time NOT spent shooting. We can load magazines at home. We go to the range to shoot.
Definitely a fair point.
__________________
There he goes. One of God's own prototypes. A high-powered mutant of some kind never even considered for mass production. Too weird to live, and too rare to die.
imp is offline  
Old October 23, 2020, 10:02 AM   #14
ballardw
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 19, 2008
Posts: 657
Really reinforce the "ask first". Partially so you can follow the rules and partially so you know what to expect from others.

I know one indoor range that will accept handguns that are loaded if if holstered and worn but want cased weapons unloaded. (NO handling off the firing line for such) If you didn't know that you might feel surprised when seeing the holstered weapons headed into the range.
__________________
-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
All data is flawed, some just less so.
ballardw is offline  
Old October 23, 2020, 10:34 AM   #15
Double K
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 16, 2020
Location: Colorado
Posts: 422
I would second post #11
Double K is offline  
Old October 23, 2020, 11:01 AM   #16
zoo
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 2, 2019
Posts: 317
Nice to see someone asking rather than just going to the range and being obnoxious.
zoo is offline  
Old October 23, 2020, 11:21 AM   #17
LeverGunFan
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 25, 2007
Location: Indiana
Posts: 252
Ideally you should go to the range with someone who's been there before and is familiar with the rules. They can guide you through the range process and keep you out of trouble.

If you don't know any of the range regulars, spend some time before your first range session observing range activity and how the RSO and the shooters act. Watch a complete cycle from a cold range to hot range/live fire back to cold range. In particular watch for how and when the weapons are handled and when targets are posted or changed.

If you decide to jump right in to a range session, make sure you have all the required safety equipment - hearing and eye protection, chamber flags, etc. Be observant and watch what everyone around you is doing. Don't be the first person to do something until you are familiar with the range procedures; if you are the only person heading downrange when everyone else is standing back you may be doing something wrong. Always ask if you are unsure of what you can do when.
__________________
Support the Second Amendment Foundation and the Firearms Policy Coalition
LeverGunFan is offline  
Old October 23, 2020, 01:07 PM   #18
Nathan
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 1, 2001
Posts: 5,219
Quote:
Ask. That's the best way to find out what the range wants you to do.
Generally I strongly agree to ask first. I have. I’ve heard back:

Don’t be an idiot with your gun
Point it down range....and then saw staff not enforcing that at all.


So, now my advice would be to really dig into the 4 rules and how you can apply them in this situation. I like the idea of marking my bag muzzle end.
Bring unloaded guns in a case. Ask if you can unholster, shoot, reload and rehiletero your CCW. Don’t assume.
Use chamber flags when you need to show unloaded.
Uncase in the booth.
Keep barrel pointed at the back stop indoors. Not up, down, at walls, but at the bullet trap. Nothing else is bulletproof.
Never assume a range will allow drawing practice without asking.
Never exceed the capability of the backstop....steel bullets and magnums can be an issue.
Never accept bad gun handling at the range. Tell the rso or leave or address it yourself. There are many bad gun handlers. Always look for them and address issues.
When making a gun clear to take home, always pull trigger pointed at the back stop.
Always follow the rules.
Always ask about rules which are unclear or seem wrong.
Always refuse to follow an unsafe policy...just leave.
Nathan is offline  
Old October 23, 2020, 01:49 PM   #19
T. O'Heir
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 13, 2002
Location: Canada
Posts: 12,266
On a range, be that commercial or club, there will most likely be posted range rules that tells you everything you need to know. Usually not a good idea to use the word 'weapon' though.
"...they’ll check my gun..." Not likely. Target shooters are expected to know and follow Federal, State and, if there are any, municipal firearms laws. In some places, your State hunting regs will apply too.
Having a loaded magazine in a case might be one of those. Up here, 'Loaded" is defined as the mag being in the firearm.
Keep in mind that the only stupid question is the one not asked. Most shooters will go out of their way to help a new shooter too.
What do you mean by "work on my grip"?
__________________
Spelling and grammar count!
T. O'Heir is offline  
Old October 23, 2020, 03:17 PM   #20
TailGator
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 8, 2009
Location: Florida
Posts: 3,713
Quote:
"...they’ll check my gun..." Not likely.
Not rare at all. There is a county owned range here where the RSOs check guns when they come out of the bag, and a private range near my daughter and SIL's place that does it, too.
TailGator is offline  
Old October 23, 2020, 11:10 PM   #21
jrothWA
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 11, 2006
Posts: 2,410
Took my daughter and boyfriend to range to get familiar with her LCP.

Arrived at the range and signed in and RO escorted us onto the line,
we first had to fire a group on a blank sheet @ 7 yds, firing first, I put a nickle =sized group out of the .22 Woodsman, Daughter fired second using my group as POA, and placed a quarter sized group off the side of mine and the boyfriend repeated, with his.

the RO simply stated "good to go"!

Call the range where you are going and talk with them first and follow thier instruction. They want people to be SAFE and learn adn COME BACK. ASK questions .

GoodLuck and when in doubt ASK.
jrothWA is offline  
Old October 23, 2020, 11:16 PM   #22
JohnKSa
Staff
 
Join Date: February 12, 2001
Location: DFW Area
Posts: 23,322
It depends. A lot.

Closest range to my house will want to look at the ammo to make sure it passes all their tests. No steel bullets, no steel cases.

Next closest will get highly irate if you walk into the clubhouse with a gun case in your hand. They are a bit gun shy and have bullet holes to point to if you ask why. There, you go in to pay, then go back to your car and take your gun/ammo to the line. One gun at a time on the line and they don't care about your ammunition.

I would call ahead and ask them what to expect. Or maybe drop by some time and ask them in person.
__________________
Do you know about the TEXAS State Rifle Association?
JohnKSa is offline  
Old October 25, 2020, 04:33 AM   #23
hemiram
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 6, 2005
Location: Toledo, ohio
Posts: 699
I've always loaded up mags before going and in 43+ years of shooting, I've never had a comment, except one time one of the range owners said, "How many damn mags have you got?" seeing the huge pile of them I had in a duffle bag. I had 18 15, 16, and 17 CZ and clone mags, all loaded up with the never bought again bulk 124g ammo I bought just before the last ammo nonsense hit. With all the jams and problems it caused, we were shooting a long time before we got through all of it. I had 1000 rounds of it originally, bought after a 100 round test buy I had no problems with. About the only problem that 1000 rounds didn't have was empty cases. True junk.
hemiram is offline  
Old October 25, 2020, 06:42 AM   #24
gaseousclay
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 4, 2010
Posts: 1,025
I contacted the range and they said loaded mags are fine, just not in the firearm
gaseousclay is offline  
Old October 25, 2020, 12:53 PM   #25
RKG
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 18, 2009
Location: Boston
Posts: 511
Perhaps the "etiquette" I see most often violated involves a "cease fire" or "cold range." When this command is given, all firearms should be on the bench, unloaded and locked open. Shooters should step back from the line a couple of feet, and no firearms should be touched until the cease fire is cancelled.
RKG is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

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 08:12 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2020 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.10336 seconds with 10 queries