Public Range Etiquette??

Public Range Etiquette??

This is a discussion on Public Range Etiquette?? within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Wow, got through another public range session today. Wasn't as bad as I expected, but there were some really inexperienced shooters there. One of the ...

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Thread: Public Range Etiquette??

  1. #1
    Distinguished Member Array Tally XD's Avatar
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    Public Range Etiquette??

    Wow, got through another public range session today. Wasn't as bad as I expected, but there were some really inexperienced shooters there.

    One of the guy I know is a current U.S. Marine and exhibited excellent range manners and safety, other than letting these other bufoons accompany him.

    One of those other guys with him is another "aquaintence" of mine.
    Not a real buddy, just someone I know, who has several times now asked me to accompany him to this same range to go shooting. I never took him up on it and, as of today, am glad I didnt.

    He was sitting mostly but did get up to shoot a few times. This particular time, he came to my shooting rest with his Glock whatever .40SW.

    As he was inserting his magazine, I noticed him doing so with the muzzle pointed directly at the feet of this guy in the very next shooting lane!! I quickly got his attention and tried to instruct him to ALWAYS keep the muzzle pointed DOWNRANGE. I told him that it was concrete slab just below us and, if he had a ND, a round could bounce up and injure or kill this unsuspecting shooter next to us.

    I took his weapon and attempted to show him how he should do this maneuver and how to drop the magazine and clear the chamber before setting the pistol back on the bench with the action open and clear.

    He paid me no mind really and continued his negligent loading techniques all while swearing he wouldn't shoot anybody.

    I made sure the guy next to us heard my conversation and made certain he and I had eye contact (as a warning). Didnt take long for him to stand up and step back!

    There are no range masters at this range so you take your chances. I was hoping to actually instill some safety into this young fellow, but I guess its futile.
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  2. #2
    JD
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    You did the right thing.

    Usually, when your on a public range, you should "designate" a range officer.

    While everyone should be concerned with safety, there NEEDs to be one person in charge.

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    In my experience that just makes the youngins more beligerant and causes trouble... Honestly when I am on a range like that I get a spot at the end of the line and keep an eye open... When I see something like that and they don't want to behave better after a nice recommendation and pointer, I pick up and leave. Idots + firearms = accident waiting to happen so I just avoid it and come back at a later time. Hasn't happened often, but it has on occasion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JD View Post
    You did the right thing.
    +1

    I feel you should always attempt to instill awareness and caution in other shooters, if they are displaying obvious flaws in their range etiquette. Sometimes it's futile though, and if you can get someone to back you up, it would be helpful. Personally, I would just wait until another time to shoot, and would not want to stay around someone who is flagrant with the Four Rules.

    BTW, is there a sign posted (conspicuously) that show the Range Rules? Maybe this is something you can print out and have available as a hand-out to those in need.
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    I know it's hard sometimes when you aren't "designated" as the "range officer" and people disregard your advice because they don't think they are doing anything wrong.

    You did do the right thing, however. Good for you for stepping up to the plate (as it were) and at least TRYING to set him straight.

    Public ranges can be some scary places, but luckily no one was harmed.

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    You did the right thing.
    I'll third that notion. Some folks just don't want to listen plain and simple. All we can do is hope not to be around them when things go awry and warn others that being around them is rather risky.

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    A public range without an on-site rangemaster, or at least someone in charge?

    Who operates this range? Who owns the land? Is it private, city or county, etc.? Who would be responsible if a shooter's ND caused a death or injury due to lack of supervsion? (Besides the shooter, of course).

    I would shun this place like the plague. Hopefully, it's not the only place you can shoot in your area.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Crunch View Post
    A public range without an on-site rangemaster, or at least someone in charge?

    Who operates this range? Who owns the land? Is it private, city or county, etc.? Who would be responsible if a shooter's ND caused a death or injury due to lack of supervsion? (Besides the shooter, of course).

    I would shun this place like the plague. Hopefully, it's not the only place you can shoot in your area.

    This is a public range on national forest property out in the county. Its designated as a public shooting range, with fence and locked gate during off hours. It is patroled, but seldomly, by Federal Wildlife Officers. I thought there was one supposed to be present there today but there wasnt.

    It is the only place to shoot unless you know someone with private land or pay the $163 to join the local Rifle and Pistol Club. I am going to do this but there are requirements to be met before you can join and I have not yet met them all.

    There are NO RANGE MASTERS at this range. There are days when adults who care will designate a range officer, but today wasnt one of those days. It was mostly young kids basically. Most were fairly responsible but there were those that you could just tell had absolutely no idea what they were doing. The best we had today were, at least, all of us older guys would make certain that HOT and COLD range calls were made and adhered too.

    The range rules are posted on a very large sign posted at the facility itself, not at the entrance gate.

    The few guys I was with, or rather knew and paired up with, shot for about three hours and then packed up. At that time, there were even more kids with their girlfriends showing up. Time to leave!! Rambo needs to impress his woman!

    Back to this young fella I tried to help. He is a good boy I guess, a little annoying but he isnt a thug. He is just young and uneducated in gun safety and is bull headed and doesnt feel he needs to listen to someone else tell him what he is doing wrong. Dangerous I know. I just tried to help him without making him mad or making a scene.

    He probably would have better listend to Roger (the Marine buddy I mentioned) but Roger was busy with another kid fixing a broken AK-47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Crunch View Post
    A public range without an on-site rangemaster, or at least someone in charge?

    Who operates this range?
    I'm not Captain Crunch, but I go to one quite often.

    Who owns the land? Is it private, city or county, etc.?
    In my case, US Forest Service.

    Who would be responsible if a shooter's ND caused a death or injury due to lack of supervsion? (Besides the shooter, of course).
    Doubt if anyone else would be responsible. How is this any different that hunting in the same US Forest land?

    Why is it we feel someone needs to be responsible our every act, needs to be "sue-able" (if there is such a word). That thought pattern is what leads to someone (the government?) needing to take care of every problem, every potential risk, every need, etc. That in-turn lead to oppressive laws and or Court cases (Oh she spilled Hot coffee, big payday).

    I would far rather assume responsibility for myself. I can and have walked walked away. OTOH, I have had some great time shooting there.

    I never, assume control. However, generally speaking when I ask, "How long before the range goes cold?" I get a quick read on who is doing what and the attitude of those who are there there that day. Once, I had a young guy say, "I was hoping you'd be here."

    (BTW -- I always have a bunch of those foam ear plugs with me. When I offer ear protection, it often starts more good things happening. Last time I was there, my gunsmith was with me. We ended up fixing a couple of long guns, and making recommendations on other "problems folks were having.)

    Often the situation is already under control.

    Some time, all it takes is the question to get discussion moving in the right direction and very cooperative process develops. There are usually others there that know the drill and quickly pick up the process. A bit democratic, but under control.

    I would shun this place like the plague.
    Less crowded, for me.

    [BTW2 This range is near Virginia Tech and it's best to do a little thinking about when it will be too crowded.]

    Hopefully, it's not the only place you can shoot in your area.
    Nope, but it is a reasonably good set-up, close, and free.
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    A public range without an on-site rangemaster, or at least someone in charge?
    None of our public ranges have supervision. All of them are on National Forest land and all of them are "operated" by the AG&FC.

    You are on your own when you are there.
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    I'd rather shoot at a 'pay and be safer' range than a 'free and be dead' range...
    I pay a good sum for a private outdoor range that is extremely safe...follow the rules or you're out. There are about 400+ members and 200-300 of them have passed the RSO course. Someone must always act as the RSO if more than two people are on line...

    Stay armed...stay safe!
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    My one trip to the public range south of me, someone left an AR15 on the bench, action closed, round in the chamber when the line went cold. Luckily, RO spotted it and properly unloaded the weapon. The Gomers that brought the AR were part of a group of Mall Ninja types, bringing an assortment of handguns and rifles, the weekend of the local gun show. SO many weapon jams with not a one of them able to clear the jams properly. Loading mags behind the firing line and dropping them all over the place while the line was hot. Having the weapons for those loaded mags BEHIND the firing line at the same time. Crowding the booth of the lane they rented as three of them tried to figure out how to clear the jammed AR.

    Joining the private club wasn't cheap, but luckily, Uncle Sam sent us some 'stimulus' money at the right time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by retsupt99 View Post
    I'd rather shoot at a 'pay and be safer' range than a 'free and be dead' range...
    I pay a good sum for a private outdoor range that is extremely safe...follow the rules or you're out. There are about 400+ members and 200-300 of them have passed the RSO course. Someone must always act as the RSO if more than two people are on line...

    Stay armed...stay safe!
    Amen. Club I just joined has a little over 1700 members. I'm not sure how many have some sort of RO/SO certification, whether it's NRA or discipline specific (i.e., IDPA). The club is offering NRA RSO courses this year, and club members get a really good discount. I don't think I'll be able to do the summer course, but I'm fairly certain I'll take the fall course.

    I also got my access to a separate 'action range' that requires it's own safety orientation and rules. It's a locked range within the locked range property that allows me to draw and fire from a holster. Basically, it's the shooting bays where the IDPA, IPSC, SASS, Class 3, etc. matches take place.

    While we currently don't have requirements for a SO/shooter ratio on the various practice ranges, the idea is that EVERYONE has the right to act as a SO and call anyone else on unsafe behavior. If the offender doesn't correct the unsafe behavior, they can be reported and get their membership revoked or suspended. From what I've seen from the club newsletter, they're pretty good about accountability and enforcement. I'll feel FAR safer there than at the public outdoor range.

    -JT

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by HotGuns View Post
    None of our public ranges have supervision. All of them are on National Forest land and all of them are "operated" by the AG&FC.

    You are on your own when you are there.
    Same here... Neither the public range nor the private range, that I am a member of, have ROs on site. The only time that we have ROs at the private club is during competitions.

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    When I read these post I realize how luck I am for ranges in my area. I have a public range 10 mins away, $5 for the day hardly ever anyone there to share with, I have a free range 5 mins from work never anyone at, A hunting camp, and twenty acres on parents land

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