Biggest Newbie Mistake at Range?


July 29, 2007, 08:06 PM
What gives away the newbie shooter at the range more than anything else? Is it something he/she says or asks? Is it the gun used or the way the gun is brought in?

What say you?

At a range in Denver once, a guy brought in a scoped rifle from his car wrapped in a moving blanket.

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July 29, 2007, 08:09 PM
Gun, no ammo.
or even more often Gun, wrong ammo.
Guy couldn't figure out how to load his .357 Magnum. Actually it was a Glock 32 (in .357 SIG) and yup, he had bought a box of .357 Magnum rounds.

And of course a complete lack of "four rules".

Jorg Nysgerrig
July 29, 2007, 08:11 PM
Pointing the muzzle in every which direction as he tries to load, unload, inspect, talk, whatever.

Black Adder LXX
July 29, 2007, 08:11 PM
Covering people with the muzzle of his gun with that 'blank' look... you know... the one that says "what???"

El Tejon
July 29, 2007, 08:12 PM
Not following the Four Rules.:scrutiny:

Of course, I've had Cleduses tell me "I've been around guns all my life . . . *bang!*. . . owww, Uncle Dad, I'm hit . . . sorry, Billy Ray.":D

July 29, 2007, 08:16 PM
Of course the four rules. I would say we could assume that those always come first, but common sense isn't all that common.

Next up would be knowing when to ask for help. Whether its range policies, marksmanship, or reloading, most gunnies are really nice and would love to help/mentor a new shooter. You just have to get up the guts to ask.


July 29, 2007, 08:48 PM
Not putting on hearing or eye protection.
Not following the four rules.
Asking neighborly shooters to not be so loud (happened to me once!)
Looking VERY surprised at the number of people shooting pistols or rifles.

July 29, 2007, 09:07 PM
Newbies always look around a lot!

July 29, 2007, 09:24 PM
well, i look around a lot too, but that is just to admire the , er, uhm....scenery...haha

July 29, 2007, 09:24 PM
Not following range procedures.

Poor muzzle control.

Trigger, trigger, trigger!!!!

No ears or eyes.

July 29, 2007, 09:28 PM
If somebody comes to the range and seems uncomfortable about their own weapons, then they are newbies. It is the job of those of us who shoot more frequently to help these people into the gun culture.

July 29, 2007, 09:49 PM
The guy that shows up and tries to look like everybody else shooting off a bench. The eyebrow bleeding usually stops by the time he can find his car..........

July 29, 2007, 09:55 PM
Gun, no ammo.

Newbies ain't the only ones who make that mistake. I showed up at a rifle shoot with the wrong ammo box. Embarassing. ;)

July 29, 2007, 09:56 PM
Oh the best one was when I saw blood drops on the floor of my indoor range. Newbie got his finger caught in the chamber opening when forwarded the slide.

July 29, 2007, 10:04 PM
Gun but no ammo, been there done that...and to make matters worse, i even forgot the magazines...:banghead::banghead: :o

July 29, 2007, 10:05 PM
Gun, no ammo.

I did that a couple of weeks ago. Had to by rounds at the range.

July 29, 2007, 10:06 PM
forgot the magazine, i've had that happen to me once. :banghead:

July 29, 2007, 10:08 PM
well, I look around a lot too, but that is just to admire the , er, uhm....scenery...haha

or, to make sure no-one is pointing a barrel my way... :uhoh:

Yup, it happens.

July 29, 2007, 10:08 PM
I don't know about newbies, they generally look a little "shell shocked" after a few minutes of the intense noise. I do know to leave the range when anyone claiming to be a retired New Jersey Police Chief walks in with his wife/new GF? to teach her how to shoot... True story never been swept so many times by a loaded pistol in my life...and it wasn't the one being taught...thought I was going to die. Happened to me on Fowler Avenue at Shooting Straight last year.

July 29, 2007, 10:11 PM
Wondering why someone said the range was cold? Heard that once.

Bazooka Joe71
July 29, 2007, 10:17 PM
I am always forgetting my eyes...I don't know how they get out of my bag, but it seems like they are missing out of there way too often.

I've forgot targets a couple of times too.:)

July 29, 2007, 10:26 PM
Arrives at the range and expects an immediate cease fire so he can put up his targets.

Has no pins or staple gun to put up his targets, so he has to borrow from his neighbor.

Didn't bring a spotting scope, so he either wants an immediate cease fire after three rounds or wants to borrow his neighbor's scope.

Failing to borrow a spotting scope, he causes an immediate cease fire by walking down a hot range.

Is mystified when his newly installed scope is not on the paper at 100 yards. After throwing away his twenty rounds and failing to zero his scope, he wants to borrow or buy ammunition from his neighbors.

It goes on.


July 29, 2007, 10:41 PM
Pilgrim, ROFLMAO

July 29, 2007, 10:43 PM
Handling/touching your firearm during a cease fire.

Not locking the bolt in the open postion during cease fire.

At the range a few days ago, the moron 2 lanes down from me not only handled his gun during cease fire but also proceeded to lock one in the tube. RO gave him and ear full for that. The same guy also took a few shots at MY paper, but i didnt say anything.

July 29, 2007, 11:04 PM
He is usually the dummy getting an ass chewing from the range officer for going to, or touching his bench during a cease fire.:scrutiny:

July 29, 2007, 11:09 PM
Gun- wrong ammo. I did that a couple of months ago. Bought a box of clays. Told the wallyworld dude behind the counter I needed a case of 12 Gauge #7.5. Like an idiot I did not check it just tossed it in the cart. I shot up the box I had on hand and the boy hands me another box from the case. It is 20 gauge. Doat!

Fear in the eyes. Nervous giggles or (worse) no sound at all. Looking around all over the place but avoiding eye contact. Staring at the EBRs, the Glocks. Dropping the weapon. Pointing it at people. Looking confused and too fearful to ask a question. Newbies are easy to spot.

July 29, 2007, 11:16 PM
The handgun noobs always lean waaaay back as if they're trying to get their heads as far away from the blast as possible.

The way you transport guns isn't a good estimate of noobness.
The first time i had a gun I got a nice case.
I always appreciate good cases or a good range bag.
My boss, who's been shooting and reloading for years, doesnt even cover his long guns up.
If a range requires it then he'll wrap it in a bed sheet.

July 30, 2007, 12:36 AM
pointing the muzzle at everything including me!

July 30, 2007, 01:10 AM
What Jorg and vis-a-vis said: sweeping, sweeping, and more sweeping! I instigated a range trip last March involving a few fellows who've shot, but rarely, before, and several who never had. Most gun ranges have paranoid owners who insist at least on a lecture on the four rules; this one's owner was less vigilant. I had to give (and keep giving) the "Guns point DOWNRANGE and NOT THROUGH PEOPLE" harangue a few times.


July 30, 2007, 01:23 AM
I've always noticed that people who don't know how to handle firearms always put their finger on the trigger when they are holding a gun. Additionally, they never seem to understand why that's not a good idea. "But it's not loaded!" is what they say when you tell them not to. :rolleyes:

The other clue is muzzle sweeps, but most people have the common sense to know that's the end the bullets come out of.

Experienced shooters place a finger inside the trigger guard only when they are about to acquire the target and fire.

July 30, 2007, 11:33 AM
shoots, looks around like something's wrong, shoots again, looks around again, puts gun down, picks it back up, messes with it a bit, shoots, looks around like something's wrong, finally I can't take it any more and ask him how he's doing...

Big Calhoun
July 30, 2007, 11:55 AM
Sweeping with finger on trigger while trying to explain safety to whoever they brought with them. :what:

Asking everyone, "What type of gun is that?"

Their target...

July 30, 2007, 11:57 AM
"shoots, looks around like something's wrong, shoots again, looks around again, puts gun down, picks it back up, messes with it a bit, shoots,..."

been there done that.

Matt King
July 30, 2007, 12:22 PM
Blasting through a magazine/cylinder like it's the end of the world. Also, I sometimes wonder if people know what proper sight picture is. If you want tighter groups:

Line rear and front sight up so that top of rear and top of front are even,
and front is in the middle of rear. Target circle should be like the moon
on the horizon. Sights should be clear; but the circle, fuzzy.

Squeeze trigger very slowly, correcting sighting as needed. When the gun
fires, you should be somewhat surprised.

July 30, 2007, 12:32 PM
Gun handling skills is my criteria. Poor handling indicates (to me) either new to shooting ot excessively wreckless.

At a range in Denver once, a guy brought in a scoped rifle from his car wrapped in a moving blanket.

I've transported a rifle a couple of times using a pillow cover. I did not have enough rifle cases for the guns I was taking to the range at the time.

July 30, 2007, 12:32 PM
when I was a kid we had bb guns. My dad had a shotgun and some 22's...which we were never allowed to fire. We were ok with it.

I discovered guns at age 20, with a very good friend. He bought a taurus 40 cal, which we shot off of a bridge on the county line on tuesday nights. Nobody cared (rural Kansas, I love it!). We got tired of driving out there so we called up a range and asked how the process worked. Fella was nice and described it... and I asked him when the range was the least busy. He said "mornings, but monday night isn't bad... we run a special on tuesday so monday is less busy" so we went on a monday to an empty range and violated every common gun rule known to man. The fella at the gun shop and range politely explained how to use the range "don't load before you get to the lane unless you have a holster...always point the gun downrange to clear a jam...never ever point the gun anywhere but the floor or downrange...ever" Didn't know any of that.... never been to the range before.

I explain the same thing to teenagers with enthusiasm now. I want more folks to be excited about shooting, and do it safely. If you call someone an idiot or are condescending then they won't get to know the nicest folks in the world for what they are.... the fellas who support our right to keep and bear arms. Remember, we want more folks supporting the NRA, getting CCW's and teaching their kids...not less. I have some friends who go to the lake all the time, and no matter how bad the weather "you never have a bad day at the lake" I follow that... "you should never have a bad day at the range." Besides, being nice to folks makes you feel better at the end of the day.

Big Calhoun
July 30, 2007, 12:33 PM
Forgot one...shooting the target holder...I guess those dull metal clips just catch new shooters eyes.

July 30, 2007, 12:41 PM
Blasting through a magazine/cylinder like it's the end of the world. ...

I do that from time to time. Why?

1) It is fun I don't need a better reason but...
2) It isn't easy to fire that fast and keep it on target. I can't see that it hurts to try it some times. After all, you want to keep pulling the tigger until you abate the threat. If you are doing so you will abate the threat more quickly if you can keep on target.

July 30, 2007, 12:49 PM
Usually, they don't follow the rules. Not just the Four Rules, but the range regulations.

When I took up shooting, I did my darnedest to learn and follow them. I guess that with guns, some folks just feel that everything should come naturally so they don't feel a need to ask questions or learn. Well, it's either that or the folks are so individualistic (to the point of being completely self-absorbed) that they can't imagine why they are expected to follow any of the range rules. That's why I try to go at off times- if I go on Saturday, there's sure to be one booth with yokels who, even if they are experienced with firearms, just can't be bothered or expected to be good range citizens.

July 30, 2007, 12:55 PM
Trying to figure out where the magazine goes in a revolver.

July 30, 2007, 01:41 PM
The range near me has a 3 board fence at every yard line (25, 50 and 100)
The posts and a foot of board closest to the posts are painted red. One rule is 'Do not shoot or post targets on the red'. Seen a few do that.

July 30, 2007, 03:29 PM
Call me ingnorant, but I don't frequent a range, I'm rural...

What are the "Four Rules"?

July 30, 2007, 03:33 PM
Call me ingnorant, but I don't frequent a range, I'm rural...

What are the "Four Rules"?

1. A gun is always loaded.
2. Don't muzzle sweep anything you can't afford to destroy.
3. Keep your finger off the trigger until you're ready to shoot.
4. Know your target and what is around and behind it.

July 30, 2007, 03:38 PM
Call me ingnorant, but I don't frequent a range, I'm rural...

What are the "Four Rules"?

1. Consider that all guns are always loaded
2. Finger off trigger until target is sighted
3. Be sure of what is beyond the target
4. Never aim at something you do not want to destroy


July 30, 2007, 05:05 PM
Possible sign of a noob: practicing with an obvious defensive or duty pistol without a holster. Not having a holster is understandable if you're shooting a Hammerli .22. It's not understandable if you have a 1911. (This especially applies in states with CCW.)

July 30, 2007, 06:07 PM
I guess we are all noobs at the range I go to. We are not allowed to carry pistols in a holster, or have a holster with us. Needless to say, we also can not draw from a holster to shoot. In fact I don't know of a single range around me that lets you draw and shoot from a holster, unless it is during competition.

July 30, 2007, 07:31 PM
I was at the Sporting Clays range one day when an IPSC three-gunner came over to try it. Nice enough guy, brought an 870 (IIRC) w/mag tube slightly longer than the barrel, all parkerized and synthetic.

Signs all over the range say "Action open, gun unloaded!". Anyway, he hooks up with a squad, walks out to the first station, watches some shooters, then it's his turn, so he climbs up the platform with his gun. The following ensues:

Sporting Clays Chairman (SCC): "We're shooting pairs here, so you need to load two shells."

New IPSC Shooter (NIS): "Umm, what?"

SCC: "A pair - two targets. You need to load to shells for them."

NIS: "Umm, (lowers voice) I....I can't."

SCC: "It's a pump, it will hold two shells."

NIS: "No, I mean I already have EIGHT in there."

I thought our sporting clays chairman was going to have a seizure.

Wild Deuce
July 30, 2007, 07:52 PM
Had a friend accompany me to a "Intro to Highpower Rifle Competition" clinic. They did an excellent job of explaining everything to all of the new shooters ... including sight alignment and sight picture. There were about 25 new shooters and we were split in half (firing line and pit duty). All firing was from the 100 yard line.

I was in the pits running a target with my younger son while my friend and older son were on the firing line. After the first string of fire, I noticed my friend's target had hits all over it. New shooter ... it's to be expected, right?. They adjust his sights (no idea why since he didn't have anything close to a grouping). Anyway, another string of fire (more rounds and more time) and this time there are no hits anywhere on the target. They call the firing line and someone says it's ok since they will do another string of fire and we can just watch the berm for impacts. Next string of fire and once again there are no hits anywhere on the target. We (this time the safety officer was there to help watch the target and the berm) didn't notice any impacts on the berm either. However, there were extra hits on the adjoining target. They figured that he must have been shooting at the wrong target.

I asked him what happened (during the switch) and he said that he was just having a bad day. On our way home I couldn't let it go so I asked him to explain what kind of trouble he was having. He told me that he had trouble seeing the sights so he "corrected it." When we got to my house I asked him to explain what he did to "correct" the problem. He said that since the rear peephole sight was fuzzy anyway, he just looked over the top of it instead and aimed with the front sight only. I spent the next hour drawing diagrams and demonstrating the geometric relationship of the sights and target. A down and dirty ballistics/aiming course. This time I made sure he understood the relationships between the rear sight, front sight, and the target. I told him the rear sight is supposed to be fuzzy. I made him explain the whole thing back to me too.

I never heard of any dead farmers or dead cows in the news over the next few days so I'm assuming the rounds he launched over the berm landed safely somewhere.

July 30, 2007, 08:17 PM
I always watch for the guys with slide bite.

July 30, 2007, 08:29 PM
Well...against my better judgement, I'll post the nooooob boner that I pulled when I first got into shooting.

I was going to a local indoor range. It was the first time I had been to a range and I was extremely nervous. Until that point, I always just shot out on my property (a great benefit to living in the country.)

I paid for my lane and nobody told me what to do. So I meandered down the hallway. I didn't bring shooting glasses or muffs/plugs. I was told they would supply them.

So I ease down the hallway. I don't hear any shooting going on inside the range. Thinking that maybe they give me my "ears" inside the range, I opened the door and stepped about 3 yards inside when someone touches off a freaking handcannon. *KABOOOOOOOOOM* It was as if my eyeballs had vibrated out of my head.

The RO just shook his head (rightly so) and pointed me out the door. Before I could exit, another round was fired. Needless to say, my ears were ringing and hurting.

I stepped out the door and saw that I had walked right past a big bin full of muffs.

Talk about feeling like a moron.

Since then...I always carry my own gear and always make sure it is in place before entering the range.

Lesson learned.

July 30, 2007, 08:54 PM
Omigod, I've done some of these, too. I've shot the target frame (not any posts, though) in rapid fire, have brought the wrong ammo, even brought a S/A with no mag in it.

A lot of ranges don't allow holstered guns except for specific competitions. I usually carry several guns in a box I've designed that will hold 6 guns in high density foam, so I don't even bring a holster now, unless just one gun - and I never bring just one gun.

July 30, 2007, 09:28 PM
In fact I don't know of a single range around me that lets you draw and shoot from a holster, unless it is during competition.

What state? All the ranges around here allow you to holster your weapon, but then, this is Northwest Arkansas. They don't allow fast draw practice unless they know you very well. Hmmm.

July 30, 2007, 09:51 PM
The biggest new guy mistake, is not asking for help and not applying what you know. I've seen guys ask questions that revealed ignorance, but you have to commend someone who is not afraid of looking ignorant in the interest of gaining an education.

The more entertaining answers would be attempting to load 357 in a 38 special "because they are interchangeable," and watching a guy huck his handgun down the range in a fumbled "quickdraw" attempt.

July 31, 2007, 06:03 AM
The more entertaining answers would be attempting to load 357 in a 38 special "because they are interchangeable," and watching a guy huck his handgun down the range in a fumbled "quickdraw" attempt.


Common Tater
July 31, 2007, 07:19 AM
All of the above, plus ......

Calling a magazine a "clip". :banghead:

July 31, 2007, 07:49 AM
My biggest newbie mistake happend when I was 18 (about 25 years ago). I went to the range and there was an older man there with an old Reminton 870 (no recoil pad). I'd never shot a shotgun before. The man told me to make sure that I tucked the shotgun real tight into my shoulder. I was a big tough guy and I said "yeh yeh no problem" (thinking to myself this guy doesn't know how strong I am :rolleyes: ) I don't remember what I was shooting - probably 3" slugs. I shouldered the gun and of course didn't listen to the man (because I was 18 and knew everything :rolleyes: ) when he said to tuck it tight. I was wearing a long sleeved thermal under shirt - the old kind that had the square checkered type material. I shot the gun ONCE, only once. I thought my shoulder was broken. I was trying to be cool and handed the shotgun back to the man and not show him how much pain that I was in. I remember my eyes started to well up and I said how nice the gun was and thanked him for letting me shoot it. I think he saw what I did and how much pain I must have been in. He winked at me and said "no problem".
I went home and took off my shirt and there was this nice purple, red, and blue square checkered patterned welt/bruise on my shoulder. I couldn't lift my arm all the way up for about 3 days!
It was a long time before I shot a shotgun again after that!

July 31, 2007, 07:56 AM
shoots, looks around like something's wrong, shoots again, looks around again, puts gun down, picks it back up, messes with it a bit, shoots,...

Heck, I do that, but that's so I can keep an eye on all the scary n00b/mall ninja behavior in adjacent lanes and can then run or duck as needed :)

July 31, 2007, 01:27 PM
I've transported a rifle a couple of times using a pillow cover. I did not have enough rifle cases for the guns I was taking to the range at the time.

I correct myself as the memories have return more clearly. One was a small Marlin 15YN that I had use a pillow case for. One other was my M1 Garand which I wrapped with a towel.

July 31, 2007, 02:03 PM
Another one, shoots with a scope, raises head to look at target down range, then looks through the scope for the next shot... :rolleyes:

July 31, 2007, 02:05 PM
Hell, I pack my Sharp's rifle around in a padded ski bag. None of my other bags/cases are long enough.

July 31, 2007, 02:43 PM
The only ones that bother me involve breaking the necessary safety rules (e.g. sweeping others with the muzzle, not paying attention to a hot/cold range, etc.). As for everything else, we were all ignorant of guns at one time or another, so it's generally nothing that a little bit of information can't solve.

July 31, 2007, 04:16 PM
If bench shooting, improper placement of the sand bag, towards the muzzle as opposed to as close as you can get it. I was guilty of it and watch for it myself now, 9-10 newbies to the range do it too

July 31, 2007, 05:43 PM
Call me ingnorant, but I don't frequent a range, I'm rural...

What are the "Four Rules"?

The Marines had a slightly different version:

1. Treat every weapon as if it is loaded
2. Do not point the weapon at anything you do not intend to shoot
3. Keep your finger straight and off the trigger until ready to fire.
4. Keep the weapon on safe until ready to fire (this obviously would not apply to Glocks ;))

"Know your target and what is beyond it" was a new one to me in the civilian world, but is also good.

July 31, 2007, 06:05 PM
I say the biggest mistake new shooters commit is asking 'experienced' shooters ANYTHING. More than likely, they will be asking a person that is full of bad information.

July 31, 2007, 06:12 PM
I think the first time I fired my 12 gauge and forgot to put my ear protection on at the indoor range. Me looking at the ceiling trying to figure out what the alarm going off was, when it was really the ringing in my ears, was probably a noob giveaway.

July 31, 2007, 06:52 PM
Several months ago there was a guy, was shooting a .22 match rifle prone indoors. It's a single-loader bolt-action, so he opens the bolt, drops the round into the channel, and then slams the bolt handle forward and down (Not ideal, can affect accuracy). At some point during the detail, he manages to have the round sit hanging over the receiver wall and doesn't realise until for some reason the bot won't go fully forward. Cue RO calling a frantic ceasefire and gingerly picking up the now wonky round. Apparently he saw it happen and was convinced the primer was going to be touched off...

July 31, 2007, 06:54 PM
Muzzle pointed where it shouldn't be

July 31, 2007, 09:24 PM
to shoot

August 1, 2007, 11:56 AM
I once saw a Trenchcoat Mafia wannabe shoot a pistol-grip shotgun on the pistol range - loaded with 3" magnum slugs, one handed at arms length - ganglang style.

The dancing and screaming he did just after that was priceless.

August 1, 2007, 12:01 PM
Bringing everything to the range but the key to unlock your gun.

Essex County
August 1, 2007, 12:13 PM
Yep, the four rules are everything. After that showing up with too much gun and poorly mounted, infrerior optics is a problem I've noted a few times. Essex

August 1, 2007, 01:43 PM
My biggest mistake when I was getting into guns was not wearing hearing protection or eyewear. I never really thought much of it at the time because none of my friends wore it, but after reading this site and reading about people that have decreased hearing, I started wearing hearing protection since I started going to the range. My hearing isn't exactly damaged now but sometimes I do have to have someone repeat themselves though that could be due to wearing earphones all the time as well while on a computer and listening to loud music.

B yond
August 1, 2007, 03:07 PM
"Keep your booger-hook off the bang-switch!"

August 1, 2007, 03:36 PM
Shooting rapid fire and rounds 6+ hit the ceiling of the building. That is visible in more than one lane at our local range.

August 2, 2007, 11:37 AM
Most common mistake? Handling a firearm when the range has been made safe.

"It's OK, it's unloaded!".

August 2, 2007, 11:50 AM
My friend catching .45 brass in her cleavage. lollll

August 2, 2007, 05:33 PM
Gotta be poor muzzle control.

Last week, Beetle and I were at the range when three guys brought three girlfriends to the range. The dudes kept bouncing bullets off the ground, so that was a major red flag there. (One guy actually skips a round off the ground and hits the steel gong anyways, then scream, "I got it." :p)

They just toss the girls in, no instruction whatsoever. First girl picks up a .44 mag, holds it about a foot in front of her face, then touches it off. BOOM! She literally comes within an inch of opening a gash on her forehead. I wanted to say something, but I didn't want to seem condescending. Next round skips off the ground, of course, so the guy says, "Sight's off. Aim higher." Yeah, like you'd need a 14" rear sight to fix that flinch, buddy. :rolleyes:

Anyways, bad shooting isn't really my concern, but the next girl picks up their Glock and starts shooting. Guy "instructing" her stands behind her left shoulder and says something. She says, "What?" and turns clockwise, almost all the way around, to look at him, covering me and Beetle in the process. :eek: :fire:

We both take a step back and keep watching. Maybe it was a slip. No, she does it again. :banghead: :fire:

So Beetle goes over to the boyfriend and gives him a piece of his mind. I don't care if you shoot like crap. If you cover me, twice no less, it's on.

Really blame the guys, mainly. Chicks didn't know any better and were nagged into stepping up to the firing line by those bozos. Blind leading the blind.

August 2, 2007, 06:50 PM
During a cease fire, someone pulls up to a lane and starts unloading there guns/ammo points it at every one down range finger on trigger. Takes RO 4 times on loud speak while walking towards them to get them to listen to his instrustions. No touching firearms, Drop the weapon. Stop playing with it. Leave it on the table.

And still dont understand why they have to.:scrutiny:

Spider Pig
August 2, 2007, 07:03 PM
trying to clear a jam with the magazine still in. the guy i saw was doing this with his dessert eagle.

August 2, 2007, 11:03 PM
Hey now, I stare at other people's EBRs all the time! I also look around quite a bit when at the range to make sure there aren't people handling their firearms improperly. Biggest sign of a noob for me is 1. Sweeping others with the muzzle (although I've seen plenty of older folks do this too) 2. Not knowing how to operate their firearm.

August 2, 2007, 11:48 PM
Not knowing that the sights on the 10/22 needed to be flipped up. (It was my first time :)).

August 3, 2007, 12:24 AM
lol I am guilty of the forget the key to unlock your case. I never violated safety because my first firearms experience was a range run by the boy scouts and the person running it was a real range nazi. She stopped the entire firing line to clean a barrel. But the range got all of its rounds donated by the NRA so we had to take a mandatory NRA safety course so i never did anything safety wise stupid.

I do recall trying to aim with only the front site my first few times lol. The ranges guys arent wild about when i dive into the can of collected brass and try to name off all the rounds. lol I just cant help it when i see an aluminium casing i have to no know what the person was shooting it with.

August 3, 2007, 01:01 AM
I've always noticed that people who don't know how to handle firearms always put their finger on the trigger when they are holding a gun. Additionally, they never seem to understand why that's not a good idea. "But it's not loaded!" is what they say when you tell them not to.

This is EXACTLY what I am trying to break my G/F from doing and that IS her response too.
COMMON SENCE GOES A LONG WAY but not all people have it.

2 wks ago we were at the lake. She wanted to show off her new PT 111. I went to the truck to get it, I removed the mag, triple cleared the weapon, locked slide open, walked over and handed it to her.
With about 8 ppl standing around she drops the slide, puts finger on the trigger, and starts to show it off....MUZZLE FIRST.....
I sharply told her NOT to point it at anyone again (as I placed my hand on top of the gun and her hands and forced the muzzle towards the ground....
My next words were...GET YOUR FINGER OFF THAT TRIGGER.....
She gave me that dumb puppy look and said.....everyone say it with me......
Its Not Loaded.......
I knew the answer to the next question cuz I watched her....
How do you know its not loaded...did you CLEAR IT FOR YOURSELF????
followed by......It IS loaded because you treat ALL guns as if they ARE LOADED.
I have been working with her for the last several months on the 4 rules but I am having to undo 28 yrs of wrong doing.

God....PLEASE grant me the Patients
to teach her the 4 rules...
and Please, for the sake/safety of all others,
give her the Understaning of the 4 rules
and the common sence to USE them.
Thank You Lord and Amen

August 3, 2007, 07:05 AM
Rimfire rifle range, firing prone
24"-square target 25 yards away
Misses target completely

20+ years later and I still don't know how I could have done that.

Other new guy mistake/annoyance is being a total fanatic about safety and screwing it up. I was once told I needed to clear my bolt action .22LR rifle after use by shooting the chambered round into a pile of dirt. Not firing an empty gun in that direction to ensure it's empty but specifically to get rid of a round that had been 'used' by chambering it. Wierd.

August 4, 2007, 02:15 AM
My friend catching .45 brass in her cleavage.

I've had this happen too many times, regardless of what semiauto I happen to be shooting (rental guns) or what I'm wearing.

I have no idea how hot brass manages to find its way inside a denim jacket buttoned all the way up.

So now I tend to shoot revolvers. Problem solved! :)

August 4, 2007, 04:28 AM
The cleavage thing made me think of this...

My step-daughter. Took her to the range for her first shooting experience. She was 16 and she did very well. Better than expected actually. Then... she caught some hot brass right in her cleavage and flipped. With her left hand she reach to remove the casing while the pistol was in her right hand. In the same motion she spun around towards me, who was standing right behind her keeping a close eye. As she spun she brought the pistol down to her waist level and actually POKED ME IN THE STOMACH WITH THE MUZZLE, FINGER ON TRIGGER!!! Without thinking I grabbed the pistol and forced it downward shouting "Watch it!!".

I didn't think much of it at the time other than noob mistake. No harm done. But later when I replayed the events in my head I started to sweat. Christ, she almost shot me.

This was about a year ago. She has since improved her awareness quite a bit. But damn. That's the closest I ever want to come to being on the wrong end of a mistake.


August 4, 2007, 06:02 AM
Trigger finger in the wrong place at the wrong time,pointing the gun at the wrong place,loading the gun at the wrong time.

August 4, 2007, 10:52 AM
rapid fire in a non-rapid-fire range followed by laughter by the shooter and a bunch of friends.

that's the one that ticks me off. Why? Because the range master comes walking in p/o'd and for some reason often ends up looking at me when saying, "No rapid fire." - as if I did it!?

Every freaking time I tell you!

August 4, 2007, 11:02 AM
the only ones that really matter are the violations of the 4 rules, and you don't have to be a noob to do that.

Art Eatman
August 4, 2007, 12:30 PM
I note that nobody was born an expert anything.

We all were once newbies.

Ya wanna be High Road? Tell stories on yourselves. Ya wanna be Low Road? Laugh at the guy who, today, is just like you were, yesterday.

It's been some 2,000 years since anybody walked on water, and I sure haven't seen his replacement here. :D:D:D


August 4, 2007, 12:50 PM
I didn't think much of it at the time other than noob mistake. No harm done. But later when I replayed the events in my head I started to sweat. Christ, she almost shot me.

This was about a year ago. She has since improved her awareness quite a bit. But damn. That's the closest I ever want to come to being on the wrong end of a mistake.

It's probably a good idea to warn new shooters that, from time to time, hot brass has a way of hitting faces, going down shirts, etc. so as to prepare them for it. I recently had a case land just above my eye, where it wedged under my glasses. Not pleasant. I had the experience and presence of mind not to shout an obscenity :cuss: or freak out, but to carefully lay the gun down, pointed downrange, and then remove the offending object.

August 4, 2007, 01:36 PM
I let a friend who shoots the cheapest .38 Spcl. in his Ruger
.357 shoot a cylinder full of my W-W 125 gr. JHP. I was busy
shooting his Para-Ordnance P14 WHen I got done He
said Wow in reaction to the kick of the mag. loads I then asked
him for my brass. He had tossed it into his paper sack with his
cheapo .38 Spcl. empties. SHeeish... I had him fish it out Some
peoples kids.

August 4, 2007, 01:57 PM
I'd say 1)muzzle control and 2) dicking around with firearms during a cease-fire.

August 4, 2007, 02:11 PM
What pisses me off is when newby's decide that they're going to bring kids a/o newby friends to the range on their 2nd or 3rd visit.

Once a group took the range hot on me while I was returning from the 100yd targets. Another time someone's kid, who was probably 4, ran across multiple lanes ahead of the firing line while people were firing. Then there was the time some 17yr old idiot decided he was going to threaten anyone who told him he couldn't control the firing line, we called the cops on that one.

August 4, 2007, 02:37 PM
I was at the range test firing and sighting in several rifles we had just finished for customers. The range officer called the range cold and we moved forward to check targets, the shooter next to us was looking at our targets and then back to his, he pulled his target and came over to us and asked us to look at his target, it had about 8 holes in it several were key holed, none close to the center. We went back to see if his scope was lose or broken, everything looked ok, we watched while he loaded three rounds of 270 Win. from a new box of store bought ammo into his rifle and watched him shoot at the target it made a funny bang when he touched it off so I thought he might have bad ammo but when he pulled out the case and feed a new round into the chamber I stopped him, the fired case neck was split. We checked the rest of the ammo in the box and it was new and shinny then as I picked up the rifle to check the chamber for a problem I noticed it said 30-06 Springfield on the barrel, wrong ammo! After questioning him we found out he bought the ammo from K mart but since he couldn't remember the cal. of the gun, him and the firearms expert / clerk opened up a few boxes of ammo and 270 looked pretty close to what he had at home so he bought it.

August 4, 2007, 03:20 PM
Not being informed before attending.

Not attending with someone else , or not meeting with someone else as prearranged at the range.

As responsible firearm owners, we are not only responsible for ourselves, also in passing forward responsible firearm ownership.

I. Totally New to Firearms.

Before going to the range, sit down with someone you have invited and go over 4 Rules, Safety Eyes, Ears, Clothing (no low cut shirts/blouses, no sandels, etc), and again go over the type of firearm they will be shooting and everything about it works.

Share club/range rules, such as having to sign a Insurance form and pay a day fee for Insurance .
On a Skeet range, no shot sizes over # 7 1/2 allowed, shotguns are to have actions open, and there are gun racks where they can safely put a gun, with the action open - except do expect to see O/U and SxS Shotguns closed in gun racks.

Guns are dangerous. There are a lot of things "to remember".

We don't want a New Person to get more rattled because they did not expect to pay a day rate for insurance.
We don't want them to feel even more "New" by showing up with #6 shot shotgun shells they picked up at a box store and feeling really stupid when they see the signs "No shot larger than # 7 1/2 allowed".
For sure someone pointing this out and hopefully nice about it, still there is always one that has to be a fuss bucket about it and do this rudely.

II. New to Range, Club, or Sport.

Before going to the range:
Take a Skeet Shooter. They know pretty much how where they usually shoot does things.
They pretty know most Skeet clubs/ranges are run about the same...
Still when they show up at a New Range for a Shoot for the first time, there is an orientation for new folks.

Most times the Club Hosting does this, and members, and those that have shot there before, assist the Folks shootigng a Tournament there for the first time.

Common Courtesy and Respect.

(b) Take that same Skeet Shooter and he/she is going to attend a Bowling Pin Shoot.

Shotguns and Skeet fields they know.
Bowling Pins and all is totally NEW to them!

They may be a State Champion Skeet Shooter, but are totally clueless as to what one needs for a gun, the loadings, any restrictions for the gun and ammo, Safety concerns they have never had to consider.

They KNOW how clays are sharp on incomers and pieces that continue to come in after bit hit, will hurt someone.
They are not used to Bowling Pins "shooting back" [ricochets].

Go over this BEFORE heading to a Bowling Pin shoot, everything about the Sport, the Club, to bring snacks and sodas as the place does not have them, or they have vending machines, a concession, whatever.

WE all started out NEW and we all will continue to be NEW in anything we choose to do , as there is always a "first time".

A lot of "Us vs Them" stems from not accepting this and in order to feed our self esteems, talk down to another and their sport.

There is nothing in the world wrong with saying " Listen, I know nothing about Skeet, so I will show you the ropes about Bowling Pins and someday you can show me the ropes about Skeet".

You get all "huffy and puffy" and start being condescending with a Skeet Shooter , embarrass them in front of others and:
(a) Shotgunner is going to tell everyone how awful and snooty Bowling Pin shooters are.
(b) React, get defensive and start tossing out foreign stuff like pattern boards, LOP, pitch, drop, comb, cast on, cast off, sustained lead, pass through, hold points, LaPorte, White Flyer, Perazzi, Kreifhoff, Brister,...

I don't know - three little words that some are totally afraid to say.

I don't know, I am interested and willing to learn are words of a wise person, even if they do not know come here from sic 'em about guns.


August 4, 2007, 03:25 PM
Wasn't at a technical range, but I was up north with some friends shooting guns one day and my friend just got a new Ak47 and he had a mounted scope. I never shot a rifle with a scope on it before, and shot it while on my stomach and had my eye too close to the scope. Scope eye.

August 4, 2007, 04:37 PM
Years ago, being unfamiliar with shotguns (having only experience with EBRs in the Marine Corps, and pistols as a civilian) I failed to put the buttstock flat and firmly into my shoulder, instead only placing the bottom corner of it into my shoulder in order to achieve proper stock weld. Needless to say, after 10 rounds or so, my shoulder was in agony and badly bruised.

August 4, 2007, 04:42 PM
Poor Muzzle Control --- plus not following the range rules.


August 4, 2007, 04:49 PM
Thanks Art, for posting that.

Some of you who followed Art's post weren't paying attention, clearly. As somebody who actually got SERIOUS about shooting sports relatively recently, this really honks me off. You want to tell stories about your own stupidity, fine. But it is the antithesis of the High Road to be poking fun at people because they are learning the very thing you all will swear you WANT more people learning and doing :fire::fire::fire:

Besides, are you all seriously going to swear that ONLY "noobs" get their fingers caught in slides, forget their ammo, or even try on occasion to load the rounds backwards in their magazines????

This thread needs to buried six feet under.


Art Eatman
August 4, 2007, 04:52 PM
Yeah, buried. I'm sorta tired of all these newbs who came to the game after 1941.



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