Range etiquette? First time shooter

Discussion in 'Training & Safety' started by jtrain, Jan 5, 2010.

  1. jtrain

    jtrain New Member

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    Basic Background: 21 Year old visiting friend in military.

    Question: what is some basic etiquette to remember while at the gun range? I highly respect firearms and dont want to make anyone feel/be unsafe. I used to paintball (although that is something completely different) there were basic firearm rules. However, bullets are much more different then paintballs.

    Also, what can I expect if firing higher caliber weapons. To be honest, I'd feel much more comfortable shooting something with a shoulder stock so that the recoil may be more manageable (I just personally feel more comfortable if the shock is sent through my entire body rather than my forearms)
     
  2. gorknoids

    gorknoids New Member

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    The first and only thing is safety. The range will have their safety rules posted, and they are just the bare minimums. If you observe every single one of them scrupulously, you will JUUUSSSTTT be permissable.
    Muzzle etiquette is the biggie. Do not let the sparky end of the bang-stick point at another person at any time unless you have the rest of the gun disassembled in your other hand.
    Understand what needs to be done in the event of a problem arising which you aren't familiar with. They all start with putting the gun down, pointed down-range.
    If you are shooting more than one gun, it's good form to load mags/cylinders while the other person is shooting. It's also a good policy to separate the weapons and ammo by type to reduce the odds of the wrong ammo winding up in the right gun.
    Some ranges don't permit rapid fire and double-taps. If that's the case, just shoot slowly, and work on accuracy versus volume of fire.
    Clean up after yourself. Pick up the spent brass, stack your targets, etc....
    But have fun. Talk shizznit if that's what y'all do. Talk to the people waiting in line and the people working at the range. Aside from people like Tango, most folks are really nice, so make it a social event, but one where you never, ever sweep anyone with the muzzle. Bear in mind that everyone there is happy to be there, so don't feel intimidated. Just don't accidentally shoot any of them.
     

  3. cpttango30

    cpttango30 New Member

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    Watch where you point that thing.

    Keep your booger hook OFF the bang switch until you are ready to fire.

    There are the three basic rules.

    NRA Gun Safety Rules

    and lastly

    Have fun!!!!!!!!
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2010
  4. JonM

    JonM Moderator

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    totally new to firearms go seek a tutor preferably take a beginner hunting course or firearm safety course. those two are usually free or nearly free and will offer very good safety instruction for first time shooters.
     
  5. Dzscubie

    Dzscubie New Member

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    Hey Tango, don't you mean "keep your booger hook OFF the bang switch until you are ready to fire? :confused:
     
  6. montveil

    montveil New Member

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    I find that asking someone that obviously experienced for advice and guidance is a good idea. Most folks on a range will be more than willing to be helpful.
     
  7. cpttango30

    cpttango30 New Member

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    thanks for the catch on that one. Not sure how I did that.
     
  8. hunter Joe

    hunter Joe New Member

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    Keep the action open and the magazine out of the firearm until you are on the firing line. Show open and empty.

    See ten commandments of firearm safety.

    1. Watch that muzzle
    2. Treat every firearm with the respect due a loaded gun
    3. Be sure of your target and what is in front of it and beyond it
    4. Keep your finger outside the trigger guard until ready to shoot
    5. Check your barrel and ammunition
    6. Unload your firearm when not in use
    7. Point your firearm only at something you intend to shoot
    8. Don't run, jump, or climb with a loaded firearm
    9. Store firearms and ammunition separately and safely
    10. Avoid alcoholic beverages before and during shooting
     
  9. SHSBulldog06

    SHSBulldog06 New Member

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    Also Jtrain, I'm not sure what type of range you are going to. Make sure everyone is on the same page. By that I mean, When changing targets(if you got to walk to it) make sure everyone knows, and also before you begin your session of firing make sure everyone has their hearing protection on.
     
  10. Yunus

    Yunus New Member

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    Make sure you tell your friend this is your first time at a gun range. Don't be scared to ask questions of the range officials if you are unsure about something, even if you think its a stupid question, it's not, everyone there would rather you be safe than try to look like you know what your doing.

    Specifically as a first timer I would add these suggestions.

    When a cease fire is called, do not be the first one to enter the field to check targets, follow the lead of others who have more experience.

    When firing begins again, do not be the first one to start shooting, follow the lead of others who have more experience.

    Don't forget eye protection and hearing protection.

    Always think safety but remember you are out there to have fun.
     
  11. tiberius10721

    tiberius10721 New Member

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    Watch out for A holes who dont follow the rules everybody above mentioned. Remember there are a lot of new shooters out there not only you! The only time Ive been shot is by another shooter who had his shotgun pointed towards me while we were hunting. Dont take it for granted that other people at the range are experienced. Be paranoid its worth it.
     
  12. montveil

    montveil New Member

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    The last post suggesting eye and hearing protection IS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY. I remember when I was 21 and invincible and others looked down on safety.
    YOU ONLY HAVE ONE PAIR OF EYES AND GUNS DO BLOW UP ON RARE OCCASIONS EVEN THE GUY NEXT TO YOU can wipe out an eye

    We loose our hearing by destroying little sensing hairs in our inner ear.
    ONCE THEY ARE GONE THEY DO NOT REGENERATE EVER.
    So when you get my age the loud music, gunshots, work related noise, chainsaws and age accumulate to cause significant hearing loss
    PROTECT BOTH YOUR EYES AND EARS AND IGNORE THOSE WITH MORE MACHO AND LESS GOOD SENSE.
    By asking about range etiquette you seem like a responsible person and just listen to other responsible shooters
     
  13. gorknoids

    gorknoids New Member

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    Aside from the gun blowing up, a surprising amount of really hot metal can make it back to the firing line with an awesome velocity. I picked 2 pieces of lead-smeared copper out of my face and neck last year, one half the size of my pinky fingernail, and so hot that it burned my fingers when I pulled it out.
     
  14. hunter Joe

    hunter Joe New Member

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    Even though are bullet traps are 25 yards away from the firing line on the indoor range, I pick up pieces of lead and copper near the firing line every night. "Eyes" and "Ears" should be a no brainer, although, that's not always the case.
     
  15. fixdeluxe1

    fixdeluxe1 New Member

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    When I first started attending ranges(when I was about 11-12 years old) the first and foremost teaching was SAFETY and that's the big thing.If your wondering around the range with an AK-47 pointing the muzzle at every human body within the building,they are NOT going to like you.Whereas if you practice basic firearms safety rules,and associated range rules,you should be fine.If you have never handled a weapon before,I suggest a firearms safety course and that you purchase a firearm for yourself.
     
  16. wild800

    wild800 New Member

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    Everybody here has already given you great advice on firearms safety, and I second the motion on taking a basic firearms safety course if you can before you go out to the range.

    I wanted to chime in regarding your preference of shoulder fired weapons vs a pistol.

    The recoil from some shoulder fired weapons can be much greater than that of say a .38 caliber revolver or a .40 caliber pistol, but if you get the chance to shoot a variety of weapons, go for it! Ask for advice on the proper grip and stance or shooting position for each weapon, don't worry about or "anticipate" the recoil, and you should do fine.

    p.s. Have fun!
     
  17. Troy Michalik

    Troy Michalik Is it Friday yet? Supporter

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    J,
    Lots of great advise posted. The one thing I would add that hasn't been listed yet is be absolutely sure you wash your hands WELL when you're done shooting. It is incredible how much lead gets on your hands when you handle ammunition. I never realized it until I took an NRA instructors course and the teacher handed out anti-lead hand wipes when we came off the line. That little handi-wipe was filthy, and lead is not something your want to add to your diet.
     
  18. jtrain

    jtrain New Member

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    UPDATE:

    Since last time I posted here, I hadnt gone to a range - however, I have since went (twice actually) and absolutely loved it.

    I followed everyone's advice and was very respectable of each firearm.

    I had fired both a Baretta 9mm and a 7.62 AK-47. Each had its unique characteristic which I liked.

    I am actually considering buying a .22 rifle to bring to the range and practice - I never really knew how much skill it took to shoot. Because of this challenge, I've become interested in target shooting.

    If anyone has any requests for .22 rifles (NJ legal) please PM me, otherwise I will be looking around the .22 cal section of this forum.


    Thanks for the advice!
     
  19. zhuk

    zhuk New Member

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    Think starting off buying a .22 is an excellent idea, jtrain. You'll learn accuracy and handling without any recoil, so if you can shoot it well, larger calibres should come naturally. I would have also started off this way, but the way my club (and the national laws) are structured I had to start out competing straight away using .223 rifles, as no plinking/practice allowed.

    We are quite lucky that safety courses are compulsory here & range vigilance is extremely tight; so I concour with other members on getting into some form of training.

    You shot an AK your first time out? My envy knows no bounds :)
     
  20. montveil

    montveil New Member

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    Like most things- you have to determine what you want to do first.
    If you want to go plinking and some hunting a Ruger 10-22 is a great first autoloader.