I felt safe, knowing that I was behind a bulletproof glass on waiting my turn to shoot. It was then that I noticed a young guy stumble into the public range where he pulled out an inferior quality semi-automatic handgun with the muzzle facing backward.
I was hoping he had 223 Muzzle Brakes For Bolt Action Rifles fitted. Unfortunately, most shooting ranges do not allow it due to the noise it makes. The young lad soon retrieved a target and secured it to the cardboard target holder about waist high. With a tongue in cheek attitude, I observed what was about to happen next. It wasn’t long before I saw paint and debris fly all over the place as the first couple of bullets went through the target and buried themselves into the hardwood flooring of the 30 yards downrange. Needless to say, he found himself kicked off the shooting range.
Even though every one of his bullets hit the bull’s eye, he didn’t have a clue about the rules and regulations of shooting on a public range. There is such a thing as demonstrating proper range etiquette.
Follow along as we discuss some common public range rules and regulations:
- Do not place your finger on the trigger until such time that you are ready to shoot. Other shooters should be able to see your trigger finger straightened along the handgun’s frame as it will reassure them that you are a safe shooter. Also, shooters would never venture beyond the firing line. When you find yourself in an outdoor shooting range, then you need to walk downrange during ceasefires before hanging new targets. Only once the range officer gives the go ahead by shouting – “Range Hot, ” and everyone is safe and sound behind the firing line can firearms be handled again.
- Never give unsolicited advice to another shooter on the range. If they wanted your opinion, they would have hired you before they came. This bad habit seems to present itself when a woman come alone. The minute they fired a few practice rounds they already get told what they are doing wrong. She doesn’t want to hear this, so keep your nose where it fits.
- Do not ever shoot a shotgun that is loaded with anything except for slugs when on a public range. We all know that shotguns shoot a pattern of shot pellets in a wide swath that would increase in size as it makes it way down the downrange. No doubt, your neighbor’s target would be turned into Swiss cheese. Save the buckshot and birdshot for use on private ranges.
- Show respect to other shooters before you zero your large caliber rifle into the target. After all, most shooters visit the range to improve their shooting skills or to put a couple of rounds through their newly acquired 9mm gun. It is over here where new shooters are shown how to make the most of their new-found skills. However, it’s hard to focus on anything when the guy next to you suddenly screw on a 308 muzzle brake (hoping no one would see) and fire away with a huge bang following. Or, he opens up fire using a .338 Magnum as these guns deliver tremendous air pressure and shock waves, especially when it’s equipped with a recoil suppressor that propels the gasses back towards firing line where it will cause a big fright to those surrounding him.
Other ranges allow brakes, but it is up to the shooter to arrange with the range officer beforehand that he or she would fire their big bore or AR15 with silencers attached to it.
Also, be careful how you position your targets, especially when you are out on an outdoor range where these are generally set too high as it can result in the bullets landing who knows where. These situations can be avoided if you make it a point of placing your targets at eye level within the gun’s sights. This way, the target, the flight path of the bullet, and the backstop would all be on the same plane.
Companies like MadHouse Design are all for displaying proper etiquette at a shooting range as it’s one way of ensuring everyone’s safety. By adhering to the set regulations, you can prevent an unpleasant situation where you get booted out.