Almost a nightmare at the range

Discussion in 'Training & Safety' started by Shoobee, Jan 26, 2015.

  1. Shoobee

    Shoobee New Member

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    On Saturday 1/24/2015 after lunch, I got my gear and headed over to the local outdoor shooting range to practice with my 45ACP. When I got there, several stations were open, so I chose the one that was open the furthest to the left, on the pistol side, which is closest to the range master's booth. It seems to me that it is safer at one of the two ends than stuck somewhere in the middle.

    During the next ceasefire, I posted my target as usual, noticing that the next two targets on my right were free.

    After a short while of practice, a male shooter in his 30's arrive with two female shooters in their 20's -- a blonde and a brunette. He was apparently showing them how to shoot, which they had never done before. They took the position directly to my right.

    The brunette was pretty good, instinctively doing everything right and paying attention. She shot about 5 times, had good form, and did everything the guy told her to do. No problems.

    When it was the blonde's turn, she gripped the pistol in the two handed position like the brunette had done, and aimed at the target. But then she for some reason turned around to her left, and looked behind her, at the guy who had brought her, and started talking to him, which swung the muzzle of the pistol she was holding right at me as she turned.

    I immediately noticed the hazard, so I ducked backwards and dodged out of her line of fire, shouting "Jesus!" as I did so.

    She then looked at me, which swung the muzzle even more to her left, now pointing it directly at the guy to my left, who did not notice it because he was engrossed with shooting his 22LR AR-15 left handed -- so she was now pointing the pistol at his back.

    Everyone in our section of the range was shocked, and all the shooting stopped, while we all backed away from the stations and away from her. Finally the guy who brought her, who had been paying attention to the brunette and not to her at the moment, turned back to her and saw what was happening. Then he jumped forward and grabbed both her hands and turned her back towards downrange, and told her, "No, no, no -- you need to keep the gun pointed downrange always."

    She then said, "Oh." Then she commenced firing, so obviously there were rounds in the chamber and magazine, and her finger had been on the trigger the whole while.

    The guy later came over to me and apologized. I did not say anything. I just shook my head. But I waited for them to finish, before I advanced back to my station.

    Fortunately, they left soon afterwards, to move over to the rifle section with their encased long gun (which looked like an AR from a distance), when the guy's name was finally called for an open station on the rifle side. After they left the pistol side, I resumed practicing.

    The guy who did not notice she had pointed the pistol at his back came over to me and asked me about it. I replied to him that, yah, although he had not noticed, she had pointed her pistol first at me, then at him, squarely at his back, and her pistol was loaded and chambered, and her finger was on the trigger. It unnerved him, and he packed his gear and left all upset.

    This experience illustrates that everyone at the range must always be aware of everyone else there and of what everyone else is doing. The guy on my left could have been shot dead, and he would never have known what hit him.

    This experience also illustrates that it is never safe to bring two inexperienced guests to a shooting range with you. Bringing one is borderline, if you are not a certified instructor. Bringing two beauties like that and ignoring the one who was starting to shoot for the first time in her life while he was flirting with the other one was hazardous and could have been fatal for someone at the range.

    The sensation that I got while her muzzle was pointed right at me from less than 2 feet way was like someone swinging at me with their fist. That's why I ducked and dodged backwards instinctively the instant I saw it happening.

    Then that little voice inside of us all told me there was no way that I dared go back up to my shooting station while she was standing there holding a gun. I fully expected her to kill someone at the range before very long.

    I don't know what it is about some blondes. But this is why there are so many jokes about them. Even so, negligent manslaughter at the shooting range would NOT have been a joke.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2015
  2. GTX63

    GTX63 New Member

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    Glad everyone is ok. I can't say I have a lot of experience at ranges as I have land to shoot on at home. I have used our local range for popping clays with a shotgun, and I can say that everyone I was with seemed to be aware of their surrounding and very safe in their practices. That said, as I read your post, I halfway expected you to write that they responded rudely. I have heard of jokers muzzelsweeping and behaving stupidly and then being too thick headed or ignorant to realize how serious handling a firearm is. Might have been a good idea to inform the range officer.
     

  3. purehavoc

    purehavoc New Member

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    Another reason I rarely go to any ranges , unless its just to muddy here or the weather only permits us to shoot indoors.
    Took both boys out Saturday, 12 and 16 for some 100 yard shooting at 4"x6" ar500 plates using a 1-4 scope . I think they did pretty well . This is the furthest they have shot out to . I usually have them shoot at 50 yards but its time to open it up a bit .

    [ame]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7OgKs1-aNME[/ame]
     
  4. JimRau

    JimRau Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I am truly blessed. I have a 'range' 30 feet from my back door!!!:D
    Their is a 'public' range just a few miles away and I have built a FOP Range just up the road so I, and those who live here, are very blessed in this regard. :)
    Sorry to hear about the 'problem' but keep up the 'instruction' and 'education' of EVERYONE you can, especially the young people of all genders and races!!!:cool:
     
  5. danf_fl

    danf_fl Retired Supporter

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    And this is from the President of our range:
    "All,
    Had a report to the Range Safety Officer that Saturday, 24 January 2015, between 3:30 and 4 pm, a hunter north of ERGC's range had several bullets go by him while he was in his tree stand.
    ERGC's land ends at the north berm and sometimes, there are people in those woods north of the club so it is very important that we all make a special effort to ensure all rounds stay inside the range, hitting the berm.
    Bullets hitting the sand will ricochet and need to impact a berm.
    Please check your target placement to ensure all rounds, even those that hit the ground, stay inside the range.

    Jeff Clites
    President, ERGC"
     
  6. Eagle1803

    Eagle1803 New Member

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    Public ranges Suck! Its bad enough the idiots are among us to begin with.
     
  7. gr8oldguy

    gr8oldguy New Member

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    I love my private range. I pay good money for the privledge of being a member. When I see something like that I get right in the offender's face. It's my life, my safety and I'm not going to let someone's ignorance ruin my time at the range.
     
  8. ScottA

    ScottA FAA licensed bugsmasher Lifetime Supporter

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    When the yahoos show up, the only smart thing to do is leave.

    Shooting with two inexperienced shooters can be done safely. You just have one shooting station. Have the one watch while you coach the other.
     
  9. Dakota1

    Dakota1 Active Member

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    A new shooter requires completely undivided attention. I also did the world's fastest duck when a guy next to me was showing his girlfriend where the safety was on the pistol, so he turned the gun sideways while she was still holding it to point to the safety lever.

    Even more stupid: At an indoor range, a guy was with his granddaughter, about 9 years old. While she was shooting, he went to chat with his buddies at another lane. When the girl wanted to ask him a question, she turned with the gun, sweeping everyone at the range to see where he was.
     
  10. TruggieTex

    TruggieTex New Member

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    I agree! On a private range now...self patrolled and ID required.

    Was sighting an Eotech at 100yds a few years back at a range just South of Ft Worth with my wife when she screamed and broke my concentration...2 idiots had made it about halfway to the targets with new paper and stapler in hand...


    Sent from my iPad using Firearms Talk
     
  11. danf_fl

    danf_fl Retired Supporter

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    These SCREAM the need for spending a couple of bucks on a qualified and certified trainer.
     
  12. JimRau

    JimRau Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Qualified OR certified. You do not need a certificate to be qualified.;)
     
  13. Dakota1

    Dakota1 Active Member

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    Actually, I'm not "certified" but I am qualified. I've taken many first-time shooters to the range on my own time for basic instruction when I was in retail sales. I went through some safety drills with an empty gun before we went to the range. Never had any safety issues.
     
  14. JimRau

    JimRau Well-Known Member Supporter

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    My point exactly!! There are MANY of us who are VERY qualified but have no current 'paper' to show that. I was, in the past, a NRA certified firearms instructor. I was certified and re-certified for MANY years when I was with the CSPD. But I have not been 'certified' for about 15 years now, that does not mean I am less qualified than a currently 'certified' instructor!;)
     
  15. Shoobee

    Shoobee New Member

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    I believe that if someone knows what they are doing and is careful, then a current certificate is not critical.

    I would have been very glad if the guy who brought the two ladies to the range had known what he was doing and had been more careful. Not being either, he could have gotten several people at the range killed.
     
  16. gearhead396

    gearhead396 New Member

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    I have seen more than a few , fine girls , with no gun know how, turn around holding the just fired ready to go gun at all the people around them. Finger on trigger. For some reason it's always the pretty ones. I took a lady friend of mine shooting , cute little blonde bombshell, I told her not to turn around with it , and she still did, I was able to hold my hand up and direct her back down range before she could point it at anyone though.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2015
  17. Dakota1

    Dakota1 Active Member

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    HEHE, blondes.
    I invited my dentist (nice-looking blonde) & her husband to my house for lunch on their day off. Remember, she's a dentist....educated, etc.

    She begged to see a real gun. Well, OK what harm could there be. I got my S&W 649 out of my safe, checked & rechecked it, then handed it to her. The FIRST thing she did was put it against her husband's head & pull the trigger several times. He didn't even react...it was just par for the course in their relationship. It didn't matter how many times I explained to her why that wasn't a good idea...she said, "Well, I figured it was probably empty."

    Educated, but zero common sense.
     
  18. gearhead396

    gearhead396 New Member

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    I had a buddy over one time and he asked to check out my ruger security six, as soon as I handed it to him he jokingly said I'm tired of this f#\% er (referring to another friend aimed it at him and pulled the trigger) obviously I had cleared the gun but I was still very upset, I made him leave, he called me the next day and apologized his ass off.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2015
  19. Dearhunter

    Dearhunter Supporting Member Supporter

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    Your experience at the range was a very dangerous situation. Glad you got through it safely. But, The very minute you see an unsafe situation at ANY firing range, you should yell out at the top of your voice "cease fire" or "hold your fire". Hopefully this will bring attention to the problem safely. and it can be addressed. Not only for your protection but for others also. Like the unknowing guy that was on the other side of her. I have done this twice at indoor shooting ranges, with no complaints afterwards.

    This is a good reminder that above all else, "safety" comes first and foremost at any shooting range.
     
  20. SB777

    SB777 New Member

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    Sorry to hear of your bad experience at the range Shoobee but open to the public ranges are not as regulated as private clubs. At a local (indoor range) club I belong to we can bring as many guests as we want but, we are allowed to have only one guests at the firing line at any time and, we must stand behind them and supervise while they are shooting. We have to sign a form upon every yearly membership renewal acknowledging these rules and the fact that we are responsible for the safe conduct of our guests. Safety is emphasized constantly and becomes a habit. Unfortunately at public ranges you can become exposed to those less concerned with the safety aspect but more interesed in impressing their friends.