Crucial points reminded to me yesterday at the range

This is a discussion on Crucial points reminded to me yesterday at the range within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I could not take it anymore. I had not fired any of my weapons since May, and was starting to get twitchy about it. A ...

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Thread: Crucial points reminded to me yesterday at the range

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array Sticks's Avatar
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    Crucial points reminded to me yesterday at the range

    I could not take it anymore. I had not fired any of my weapons since May, and was starting to get twitchy about it.

    A little about me. I refuse to go to an indoor range unless I absolutely have to, and that is generally to test some reloads. The only outdoor ranges in Denver CO open to the public are even more restrictive than the indoor ranges. Outside Denver you are down to "public" shooting areas where if you are lucky you will be one of the only ones there and get disgusted with the amount of garbage left behind and end up taking home 5 times more crap than you brought. If you are unlucky, there will be a pile of people there who really need to take a basic gun safety and shooting class. Beyond that it is getting on the two year waiting list for a membership range.

    A buddy of mine keeps telling me about a place he found about 45min outside of Denver where he goes. I finally buckled under, and got him to take me up there.

    Anyhow... Here is what was brought back to the forefront of my memory.

    1. Specialized training and skills are perishable. This spring I took 2, 2 day advanced carbine training classes and learned a helluvalot. I was no expert, but by the end of the second class, my shooting skills were in the top 1/3 of the people there, and they were mostly LEO and Military (post and active). After 6 hours at the range yesterday, my skill level had returned to the level I was at the beginning of my second class. I was quite disgusted with myself. I didn't use it, so I started to loose it. Accuracy was horrid, reloading was slow, transferring to support side was clumsy (darn sling), remembering to switch to "safe" when I was doing a transition, or switching to a different target, and the ammo that I reloaded that morning was giving me issues (4 to be precise - another thing that I had not done since May). Regrettably I did not get to do any movement shooting due to the other shooters present.

    2. I was unlucky. Although it was relatively uncrowded, there were 3 groups of people that came through to do some shooting. I was reminded why I hate these types of ranges. All three groups of people that came through were skirting that hazy line of dangerous to themselves and others (and given the 4 rules of gun safety lecture, since every one of them were breaking at least one of them all the time). No NDs, but made me uncomfortable to be on the line with them behind me. Only a couple of them I was so inclined to give them a little basic firearm shooting instruction.

    3. This was more of a revelation. Dressing like what my wife refers to as a "Fanatic Gun Nut" in my Propper A-TACs ACUs, Tactical Tailor MAV chest harness, and keeping my AR slung the whole time did seem to make the others a bit more passive, polite, and open to what I had to say when I approached them about the safety issues. All my my previous outings to places like this I wore the usual jeans and T-shirt, and people were either jackwads or just blew me off when I attempted to talk to them about their firearm handling and safety. I was not an a-hole about it. I was very polite, told them that they were making me very uncomfortable, and explained to them why those 4 basic rules are out there - to keep themselves and those around them alive and uninjured.

    4. Another revelation. All the way up to actually firing my first round, I was 99% committed to going out this weekend and buying one of the Troy Defense rifles that came out this month (presuming I could find one). I figure 1k on another basic AR as a foundation to upgrade down the road was not a terrible investment. By the end of the day, that itch to buy another rifle was scratched. It is still lingering in the back of my mind, but I doubt that I will follow through with it. 5 hours and 500+ rounds seemed to be a good treatment, and saved me about $850.

    5. Ranges like this mean you pack up a basic outing kit consisting of multiple target stands, and several heavy duty trashbags to do a little extra cleaning up at the end of the day.
    Sticks

    Grasseater // Grass~eat~er noun, often attributive \ˈgras-ē-tər\
    A person who is incapable of independent thought; a person who is herd animal-like in behavior; one who cannot distinguish between right and wrong; a foolish person.
    See also Sheep

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  3. #2
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    Array Rock and Glock's Avatar
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    Thanks for the post, Sticks. Some of the public shooting areas out here make folks like us want to sob. Our shooting club in Teller County has had several service project "Clean Up Days" where we get authorities to close an area for a day (with notice) and then load truck loads of trash and debris away. Some take more than a day.

    The Rampart Range west of Colorado Springs was finally closed by authorities due to conditions thereon. The Waldo Canyon fire finished that.

    While we won't be close to you, when our range is complete we will have certain days open to the public for specific purposes ("Sight In" days, 4-H days, BSA days, etc.).

    Personally, I refuse to use "open" facilities unless I am the sole user. I am narrow minded.

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    VIP Member Array Harryball's Avatar
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    Good post sticks, more people need to realize what you have just said...

    1) Either use it, or loose it. Its true...

    2) When you are on a public range you WILL encounter the worst safety rules violators...

    3) this would be the only part that I would disagree with you on. I have always found that the way you shoot, and conduct yourself give you more credibility than the way you look. Thats just my take.

    4) buying another toy is always a good thing, I admire your patience....

    5)being a good keeper on public ranges keeps them open. Most of the yahoos do not understand this.
    Don"t let stupid be your skill set....

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    Good post, Sticks.

    I really like the freedom of going out in the desert to shoot, but the piles of junk and then the scary safety habits (more correctly, unsafe habits) of others makes me confine most of my shooting to my club range where the main range is under the watchful eye of at least 3 paid ROs at any time.
    Smitty
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    VIP Member Array blitzburgh's Avatar
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    I too would also like to say great post. I quit using public ranges years ago (now only shoot on my land or at friends who also have property) for the same reasons.

    You are absolutely correct about losing what you don't use. That's a great point for everybody from new to guns to those who were shooting while I was still a twinkle in my mothers eye.

    I hope this doesn't come off wrong but I wouldn't take a guy at the range decked out in full tactical attire seriousl if he tried to point or correct something. However I would if his conduct and shooting and show of experience warranted it.

    Sent from my palm device
    "Rebellion against tyrants is obedience to God." - Benjamin Franklin
    "Experience: that most brutal of teachers. But you learn, my God do you learn." - C.S. Lewis

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    Distinguished Member Array Hoganbeg's Avatar
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    Yep, use it or lose it. Actually, they higher your skill level and most importantly, the longer you have been at that high level, the less skill you will lose--but, lose it you will. In my experience, I find my body knows what to do but reacts way to slowly. In terms of my San Soo training, I find that I still react but more slowly and with lower level techniques.

    I avoid unsupervised shooting areas and ranges like the plague. There are too many people who don't know/follow the rules and make it dangerous for the rest. People set up firing stations without regard to where others are already shooting from, shoot at targets that create ricochet hazards, and wander downrange whenever they feel like it. If someone yells "CEASE FIRE" they take it as a personal challenge to their independence. Then there is the trash, litter, broken glass bottles, etc., that they feel it's OK to just leave behind. That's what gets shooting areas closed and sets the general public against us.

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    Ex Member Array PIMking's Avatar
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    I've actually asked younger 21 year old frat boys to either start practicing proper saftey precautions instead of trying to impress the skirts or hit bricks. The two other families with their younger kids stood behind me and the frat boys left. I did end up picking up almost 60 clays that they missed.

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    VIP Member Array Sticks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harryball View Post
    ...
    3) this would be the only part that I would disagree with you on. I have always found that the way you shoot, and conduct yourself give you more credibility than the way you look. That's just my take.

    Quote Originally Posted by blitzburgh View Post
    ...
    I hope this doesn't come off wrong but I wouldn't take a guy at the range decked out in full tactical attire seriousl if he tried to point or correct something. However I would if his conduct and shooting and show of experience warranted it.
    Like I said, it was more of a revelation as compared to past experiences when approaching others.

    If they know how to shoot safely, and are applying that, then I would have no need to approach them. Those people (like you) may or may not take me seriously, but keep an eye on me just in case since I may be one of those "unsafe" type people. You're shooting safe, I'm shooting safe, everybody's happy except neither of us are able to do any shooting on the move other than maybe some short lateral movements.
    Sticks

    Grasseater // Grass~eat~er noun, often attributive \ˈgras-ē-tər\
    A person who is incapable of independent thought; a person who is herd animal-like in behavior; one who cannot distinguish between right and wrong; a foolish person.
    See also Sheep

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    VIP Member Array rammerjammer's Avatar
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    Man I wish I could afford my own private range!
    "Was there no end to the conspiracy of irrational prejudice against Red Ryder and his peacemaker?"

    Revolvers, “more elegant weapons for a more civilized age.”

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    Senior Member Array Dennis1209's Avatar
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    Surely you can find a good private gun club and join with in convenient driving distance?

    I joined one in my county and it's great! If I desire, I could go there at 2:00 A.M., turn on the range lights, and shoot my AR, handguns, shoot trap or skeet. It's worth the $135.00 per year membership.
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