first time to the range


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mek42
April 29, 2008, 10:24 PM
I'm planning a trip to the range with a friend who has never fired a weapon before. We're going to be doing long arms only. Calibers include 22 LR (of course), 223, 308 and maybe the M44 flame thrower for dusk. I might also bring along the 12 gauge for slug fun.

How do you guys go over the basic safety rules with a new shooter?

Is there a good safety site with a nice printable version of the rules?

Lastly, I ask my wife (who didn't shoot before we got together and now only shoots the 10/22) to put the safety on whenever she sets the rifle down. She does this - very good. I generally don't do this, knowing that if the thing is empty and the bolt locked back all is well. If I ask my friend to do this and get "caught" not following my own rule, how should I explain things to not sound like a "Do as I say not as I do?" type guy?

Thanks!

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Dksimon
April 29, 2008, 10:27 PM
Just lay out the 4 rules and explain how important they are. I have helped out a few novice shooters and if you explain everything clearly there shouldnt be too much trouble. May take a little reminding but dont freak out on them, it may turn them off to shooting.

btg3
April 29, 2008, 10:32 PM
I have copies of the following and we go over them in the car while driving to the range. When we arrive, we have a "test" to see who can remember the best. I tell them that these rules WILL be observed without exception and to expect to be used as an example (in good fun) if I can catch them in a violation! I keep it light, but firm and it seems to go over pretty well.

You can copy/paste these and format to suit.
------------------------------------------

RULE 1
ALL GUNS ARE ALWAYS LOADED

The only exception to this occurs when one has a weapon in his hands and he has personally unloaded it for checking. As soon as he puts it down, Rule 1 applies again.

RULE 2
NEVER LET THE MUZZLE COVER ANYTHING YOU ARE NOT PREPARED TO DESTROY

At all times, know where your muzzle is pointed. To allow a firearm to point at another human being is a deadly threat, and should always be treated as such.

RULE 3
KEEP YOUR FINGER OFF THE TRIGGER UNTIL YOUR SIGHTS ARE ON THE TARGET

This is the Golden Rule. Its violation is responsible for about 80 percent of all firearms disasters.

RULE 4
BE SURE OF YOUR TARGET

Never shoot at anything until you have positively identified it. Never fire at a shadow, or a sound, or a suspected presence. Shoot only when you know absolutely what you are shooting at and what is beyond it.
--------------------------------------

bensdad
April 29, 2008, 10:37 PM
I don't remember the last time I engaged a safety on a firearm at the range. Those are for hunting and carry.

When I'm at the range, the gun is either: A) empty and open, or B) loaded and firing/about to fire.

I haven't seen anything in the rules I use (4 rules) about a safety.

With new shooters, I go over the rules on the way to the range. I've never had one try to disuade me from going over them. I've always been afraid of that though. I guess if someone started giving me the old, "Don't worry, I know all about guns..." I'd say something like,

"Good. Then you know the importance of reviewing safety measures and keeping them in the forefront of shooting activities."

mek42
April 29, 2008, 10:43 PM
btg3 - Thanks for the text form. I'll make a print out before we go.

When I first took my wife to the range, I started off by showing her how to operate the 10/22, especially the slide release and then loaded one round into a mag and handed it to her while watching to make sure all is well. This (one round at a time) is how we did it when we first learned to shoot in the Boy Scouts and it seemed like a good idea.

I figure that I'll start with the 22, then the 223 and end with the 308. (If the M44 or shotgun comes along for the trip they'll happen after the 308). For a brand new shooter, is a dry fire or two recommended?

Starship1st
April 29, 2008, 10:56 PM
Pima County Range has the rules posted on the internet, and I assume yours too so you can print them out and review them with him. Explain that these rules are serious and that you and everyone else at the range is serious about these. :cool:

Justin
April 29, 2008, 11:14 PM
Before taking someone to the range who's never shot, I go over basic safety rules, range rules, and operation of a firearm AT HOME.

Waiting until you get to the range to explain this stuff is a bad idea, because you're likely to be getting interrupted by other shooters who are on the line, which puts you in the position of having to talk loud enough to be heard over gun fire and hearing protection.

I wouldn't recommend taking more than two or three guns at the very most.

Zedicus
April 29, 2008, 11:51 PM
Don't foget....

Rule 5: Don't try to catch a Dropped gun.

mekender
April 30, 2008, 12:13 AM
Rule 5: Don't try to catch a Dropped gun.

+1000

you beat me to it... i would much rather a new shooter drop my gun and get it scratched than them try to catch it and send a round off into bystanders

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