Gun Range Etiquette
Why do you go to the gun range? To practise your shooting skills? To just unwind a bit? Whatever the reason, going to the gun range can be a sacred time for a lot of folks. It allows them to unwind, spend some time in their own thoughts or even just getting away from life for a little bit.
But don’t you just hate it when someone does not know how to behave at the gun range and completely ruins the experience for everyone? You end up leaving annoyed and angry. That is why we decided to put together a list of some of the behaviours and etiquette that we should keep in mind when visiting the gun range.
Besides making sure the gun range is a safe environment, we also need to respect each other and make sure it is an enjoyable experience for everyone.
Safety! Safety! Safety!
You do not want to be that person at the range waving their loaded gun around like a lunatic, putting everyone around you in danger. When you are at the range, remember the 4 basic rules of gun safety, namely ACTS:
1. ASSUME EVERY FIREARM IS LOADED
2. CONTROL THE MUZZLE DIRECTION AT ALL TIMES
3. TRIGGER FINGER OFF TRIGGER AND OUT OF TRIGGER GUARD
4. SEE THAT THE AREA AND TARGET IS SAFE
Always Listen To The RSO.
The gun range will typically have a Range Safety Officer (RSO), whose job it is to make sure safety is enforced on the range. So pay attention to the RSO and make sure you follow their instructions, and remember that the RSO has the absolute authority on the range. Importantly, if you are not sure about something, ask the RSO. They will be more than happy to give you the assistance you need.
Shoot The Right Firearm.
Not all gun ranges are OK with you bringing your high-powered rifle to shoot there, as it might damage their facilities as well as cause excessive noise (especially in an indoor shooting range). So if you want to shoot something like a high-powered rifle or a shotgun, just check with the gun range first to make sure they are Ok with it.
Do Not Bother Other Shooters
Going to the shooting range can be like sitting on an airplane next to somebody. You just want to be left in peace, but the person next to you wants to talk talk talk!
If someone is actively shooting, do not tap them on the shoulder or try to initiate a conversation. However, if you see something dangerous (e.g. a malfunction on their firearm) it is alright to let them know immediately.
If you want to socialise and make new friends, do it afterwards away from the gun lanes.
Use The Right Equipment
When you go to the gun range, make sure you have the right equipment with you. The gun range is a loud place, with pieces of spent shell casings potentially flying around. So you will need proper eye protection and hearing protection to ensure that you do not get injured on the range.
Respect Other Peoples’ Stuff
This should be a common thing in life, yet some people do not do it. If you are at the range, do not just go ahead and pick up someone else’s firearm without their permission.
If you are really interested in someone else’s firearm, ask them if it is alright that you pick it up. And remember, if you do handle someone else’s firearm make sure the weapon is safe to handle.
Do Not Coach or Correct If Not Asked
Unless you are the RSO at the range, it is best not to provide unsolicited advice while someone is shooting. If they are doing something that is really dangerous, then sure, go ahead and let them know what they are doing is dangerous.
Remember, no one likes a know-it-all!
Respect The Facilities
The gun range is a business. It is someone’s livelihood. So do not cause damage to the facilities by shooting at the target frames, supports or posts. These things all cost money.
Keep It Tidy
If you are finished shooting, clean up after yourself. Do not just assume someone else will come along afterwards and sweep up all your brass. Also take down your own targets once you have finished with them.
Be respectful of the establishment that you are in and clean up. The golden rule is to try and leave your lane in a better condition than you found it.
Lastly, remember to enjoy yourself! If you adhere to the rules of the range, you and your fellow shooters will have a great time shooting while also staying safe.
What Do You Think?
What are some of the things that you noticed some folks do at the range, that they perhaps should not do? If you have some thoughts on gun range etiquette, please share it with the rest of us in the comments section below. We would love to hear from you!
About the author: This article was contributed by Joe from SmokingBarrelUSA.com. Joe is a gun enthusiast that started his blog specifically to not only learn more himself, but to also share what he learned with others in the community. SmokingBarrelUSA.com aims to help promote gun safety, debunk some myths that exist today about firearms, as well as help folks to choose the right equipment to suit their specific needs.
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