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Dangers at the range

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Old 02-27-2013, 03:00 PM   #1
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Default Dangers at the range

Last Sat. at a North Georgia public range a 12 year old girl supervised by her father, shot a 12 gauge double barrel shotgun and the harsh recoil caused her to drop the gun, as it hit the ground the other barrel fired hitting a lady and her spouse in the legs. They were taken to the hospital and expected to make a full recovery.
Several years ago, I was at the same range when a father who was X Army Captain was teaching his ten year old son to shoot a M1 Garand, when the son chambered the first round, for lack of confidence he started to hand the gun back to his father and in the process the gun discharged kicking up gravel about 2 foot from my dad and me.
After giving these instances a lot of thought, I finally concluded that all unsupervised ranges can be dangerous.
What can you do about it? Really nothing, if you feel you are in danger, you leave without saying a word. Thats my take, what's yours?

Last edited by blindshooter; 02-27-2013 at 03:05 PM. Reason: My spelling sux
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Old 02-27-2013, 03:10 PM   #2
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I don't think you leave without saying a word to whomever is on charge of the facility. Doing so lets someone take charge of a potentially deadly situation.
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Old 02-27-2013, 03:37 PM   #3
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Supervised or unsupervised, being at the range is just like anywhere else. You are primarily responsible for your own safety.

Frankly, I do not like it when I see people trying to teach kids to shoot with poor choices of firearms. I saw a father trying to teach his son, who was at most 8 years old, with a Springfield XD. I did not appreciate watching the muzzle wander although the kid did generally keep it pointed down range. However, he could barely get his hands around the grip.

I always watch shooters around me. The range officers where I go are generally really good, but they can't be everywhere at once. If I saw anything outright unsafe I would report it. I do my part by trying not to give the range officers grief and ask questions when I am uncertain. I have noticed the range officers would rather field "stupid" questions than have to bark at people for screwing up.

I used to shoot at an unsupervised range and basically if I saw someone doing something unsafe I would just leave. The range was cheap and I was out a few bucks even as a poor college kid. However, that only happened on one occasion.

Generally speaking, your idiot gun owners are fairly remote and usually a bigger danger to themselves. A little situational awareness can serve you well against them.
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Old 02-27-2013, 03:49 PM   #4
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I've been shooting supervised and unsupervised ranges for roughly 20 years now and was very fortunate to finally receive membership at my County's premier gun club where I now volunteer 4 to 6 Sundays as an RSO.

Our facility is open to the public on Sundays which is how I discovered it and the biggest factor for me was the level of knowledge and courtesy displayed the staff of volunteer RSO's.

Staff quality is something you can't really Guage without spending some time at any facility but the set up and cleanliness of any facility is a strong indicator of the pride these folks take in their facility and that is an indication of safety.

This experience has show me HOW an exceptional range should be run and it's an privilege and honor to belong to Clark Rifles.

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Old 02-27-2013, 07:29 PM   #5
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If I see unsafe behavior at the range I tell them as polite as possible, but with authority. I do not care if there is an RO or not. It is not my first rodeo and I will not stand by for unsafe behavior.
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Old 02-27-2013, 07:47 PM   #6
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I always operate under the theory that Anyone on the range is a Range Safety Officer. Just because I don't get paid for it and it I don't have a cute little hat does not mean I cannot help others or others cannot help me. Just as carrying gives me a level of responsibility. Showing up at a public range (supervised or unsupervised) means that I am responsible as well. Unsafe people need to be told. It isn't against them. But if i don't know something to the degree that others do and they never tell me, then stupidity is breeding again. Maybe they don't know. Maybe they have had no formal training. Maybe they are squeamish around weapons due to unfamiliarity and or other concerns( I didn't even touch a gun until over a year out of the Marine Corps, ranges made me too jumpy and I felt unsafe for myself and others). Everything adds up. And if someone gets butt hurt from an honest opinion or being told if a safety violation , I tried and ill notify someone who works there to escort then out. Most people can recognize genuine concern. But the joe shmo rso must also be respectful and approach the issue with some tact. Which I grant is very hard with a dumbass is flagging half of the range with a long barrel that he is firing. But. If we were all perfect I wouldn't look so ****ing amazing .
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Old 02-27-2013, 07:49 PM   #7
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Children, and first time gun shooters, need pretty close supervision at a gun range. IMHO

Before anyone uses a gun at a range, they should view and understand these videos.

This last video, is short, and to the point.

Last edited by AR10; 02-27-2013 at 07:58 PM.
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Old 02-27-2013, 07:56 PM   #8
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Wheeew that is a scary story for sure. Thats why I seriously cannot wait until warm weather up here in PA to hit my outdoor club. I only use the local indoor range between Nov-March and not very frequently. That Dad is kinda dopey for putting a DB shotgun in a 12yr old's hands who clearly had no idea what she was doing. A .22 sounds more suitable
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Old 02-27-2013, 11:05 PM   #9
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I have been shooting with my kids and grandkids longer than I like to think about. My current shooting partner is 16, began at age 10. Little bitty thing- will not hand her a K98 or a 91/30- but she does quite well with an AR.

Any parent that hands an unprepared kid a 12 g needs to get his headspace checked (space between the earplugs)

Kids require a high degree of supervision- as do new shooters. Responsibility of the mentor. Want the kid to LIKE shooting? Don't hurt them (Dur!)

Unsafe acts on the range by others? Yes, will call them on it- in a civil manner. Acts continue? I'm leaving- but so will they.

Game commission range- open to public, unsupervised. Shooter on point 1 had placed a target on TOP of the backstop berm. Shooters on the end point (10) had placed a carboard box in the woods at a right angle to the line, and were shooting at it. Put rifle back in truck. Drove 300 yards. Used cell phone to call Game Warden. 2 of the boys showed up with 2 deputies and cleaned the line off.

Should have charged them with Stupid in Public.
What we have here is... failure- to communicate.
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Old 02-27-2013, 11:34 PM   #10
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I personally would take charge and inform the people being dangerous that they need to either leave or start paying attention to the common sense rules.
”The world is filled with violence. Because criminals carry guns, we decent law-abiding citizens should also have guns. Otherwise they will win and the decent people will lose.”
~James Earl Jones
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