At the range: "Can I see your gun?"

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Thread: At the range: "Can I see your gun?"

  1. #1
    Distinguished Member Array BadgerJ's Avatar
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    At the range: "Can I see your gun?"

    Had a person come up to us at the range and initiate small talk, asked what guns we had. I didn't want to discuss what I'm carrying with a complete stranger, but he persisted. Then he comes up next to me, it's an outdoor range and nobody else there, and says 'Can I see it'.

    I was taken aback a bit, and muttered 'No'.

    Am I out of line? Why would someone expect to handle stranger's HG, get their prints on it and soforth?

    Thoughts?

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  3. #2
    Distinguished Member Array alachner's Avatar
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    Yes, that is a bit suspicious but it could also be someone trying to start up a conversation about firearms. Nonetheless, it is best to keep it safe and not let any stranger know what you carry and much less hold your own gun. You don't want to be shot or held up with your own handgun.
    "If you carry a gun, people will call you paranoid. That's ridiculous... If I have a gun, what in the hell do I have to be paranoid for?" [Clint Smith - Thunder Ranch]

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    Array WHEC724's Avatar
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    I will not hand a loaded weapon to a stranger.

    That said, I've had this happen before. I generally am nice to just about everyone I meet. I'll clear the firearm and let them handle it under a cautious eye, with a quick reminder if they are careless with the muzzle.

    I'm not worried about fingerprints, I'm more concerned about idiots.

    I also always carry concealed at the range.
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    VIP Member Array Thunder71's Avatar
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    I welcome it myself, its a gun range, people there like guns. Maybe he was in the market for a new carry piece.

    To each their own, but I would have been a little taken back if someone acted like you did. Not like you were at a department store.

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    Senior Member Array adric22's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thunder71 View Post
    I welcome it myself, its a gun range, people there like guns. Maybe he was in the market for a new carry piece.

    To each their own, but I would have been a little taken back if someone acted like you did. Not like you were at a department store.
    On several occasions I have shot other's guns at the range, as well as allowed other people to shoot mine. Never been a problem. Maybe we're all just a bit friendlier in Texas?
    "Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws." -Plato

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    Member Array jon86's Avatar
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    I also always carry concealed at the range.
    Yes I ALWAYS carry a concealed loaded gun while I'm shooting. However if someone seems nice and genuine I don't mind letting them try out my gun. If they want to shoot a few rounds downrange with my gun it does not bother me. This usually means I get to shoot whatever they brought too!
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    Distinguished Member Array bigmacque's Avatar
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    I agree with WHEC724, I'll always try to be nice and accomodating, just watchful and a tad suspicious, clearing the firearm and carefully watchign how they handle it. From time to time I'm curious about some other shooters toys, and I'll ask about them, but never ask to handle or shoot the gun. If they offer, I'll take them up on it.

    I've had two incidences that speak to this: I was at the range once with my Springfield GI.45 Micro, and an older man was in there with his daughter shooting a Kimber. We were both curious about the others gun, so after some discussion and introductions, we both seemed friendly enough to allow the other to shoot our weapons. Nice casual, mutual admiration society. A second time I was watching a very young, brand new Marine, try to teach his equally young -- probably about 19 -- squeeze to shoot. She'd never handled any gun before, and he was trying to teach her with a .40 Sigma S&W that he probably bought cheap. I watched them for a bit, struck up some conversation, and eventually talked him into letting me teach her a few things with my .22 before we broke her wrist in with the .40. That session worked out just fine.

    I think the key in both situations was that neither time did I feel like there was an undue amount of unwelcome curiousity, and after talking to them for a bit determined that they were all okay folks. So ..... talk to them a bit. If you still feel uncomfortable, keep your guns to yourself.
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    It would depend for me. Is the stranger asking intelligent questions or is he just some mouth breather out to waste my time or steal my stuff? If the situation began correctly, like the example bigmacque gave, I'd be much more open to such an encounter.
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    VIP Member Array JoJoGunn's Avatar
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    At our local range, we see quite a few people total strangers most of them. Occasionally I have been asked about my particular firearm(s) by others who are shooting theirs. During breaks in shooting, when they/we are changing our targets, sometimes I do engage in conversation about the firearms. I would feel kind of wierd if someone just came up to me and asked to see a firearm without first being introduced. I would never do that, so I would not feel comfortable about someone just asking out of the blue.

    Being inquisitive about the firearms of others has led to me getting to shoot a different one and they getting to pop off a few rounds with one of mine. I would simply engage in a conversation first and would never just ask to see and or shoot a firearm that someone else has. It just isn't cool and is kind of creepy.
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    Distinguished Member Array deadguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BadgerJ View Post
    'Can I see it'.
    For the record, I will never ask another man that question.

    I'm with WHEC on this one. Clear it and hand it over IF the situation feels right.

    This wasn't at a range but three days ago I went to pick up a transfer and a guy was in the store and kept commenting on how he used to have a similar model when he was younger and missed it. I graciously extended it to him so he could hold it and see it. He checked it, kept it pointed in a safe direction, placed the empty mag on the counter, pretended to draw it from behind his back (said he used to carry it that way) and aim at the wall. never pulled the trigger. Shined a light down the barrel to check the rifling. Said he felt the need to just field strip it immediately upon holding it. I found joy in that. It was good to see the old timer reliving the good ol days. If it feels right, I say share the joy.
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    I go to a private range...people are paying good money to belong.
    It's a friendly place where people will usually OFFER to show you/let you shoot their firearms (after a friendly conversation), of course.
    I've never had anyone ASK to see my weapon, but I would be very careful if asked without extended conversation.
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    Member Array Justified's Avatar
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    As people we all have the ability to sense if someone is a "mouth breather" or another like-minded guy at the range. Usually one of the first things I do at the range is look through the glass and see who is shooting what. I hate to see some young G-uint kid trying to teach his girl how to shoot because I am always wondering how much safety training have they had because I will be standing next to them.

    That being said this is a also a good time time get a feel for people on the line so before anyone comes up to me I already have a feeling about them. Personally, I love guns-love to buy them, take them apart, shoot them and talk about them. So I would be more than willing to let someone see my empty, cleared and locked open firearm.
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    Are we talking about currently concealed guns or whats on the table?
    I enjoy allowing friendly like-minded people to shoot my firearms as much as I enjoy shooting theirs. however, the only show-n-tell guns are the ones on the table. I've adapted a rule not to pull concealment in public places.
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    VIP Member Array SIGguy229's Avatar
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    I've shared my guns with strangers...after talking to them for a little bit. I got to shoot an FnH 5.7 after letting a guy shoot my P229... There were other times where folks have never shot a SIG who ask if they an give it a try, but under the condition I shoot their stuff. Whenever we were shooting, I had them under direct supervision as others have said earlier.

    I see no problem with sharing a gun with a stranger....but it does depend on who they are, how they act, their maturity, and ultimately, how they handle a firearm.
    sigmanluke likes this.
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    Distinguished Member Array BadgerJ's Avatar
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    OK, thanks for the great replies. DC.com is a great resource for things like this.

    Had I known the guy, I would have unloaded and unchambered and let him heft the empty gun. I had a nice experience with a military type, whom I had met before at a club meeting and who was shooting old black powder revolvers. He freely let my gf try his and even shoot it, which was nice. It's just that I didn't know the guy and for some reason didn't think to unload it and let him hold it. He didn't have his gun(s) out at the time and just had driven up and parked. Normally, I'm pretty friendly but I didn't relish the idea of giving my personal carry gun to a stranger.

    Thanks again for the comments, guys.

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