Range Qualification?


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burnt09
March 25, 2011, 03:32 AM
Our club recently instituted handgun qualification requirements: to shoot a handgun on either the main range or pistol range, a member must complete a short safety procedures class, and pass a fairly easy practical test.

The practical test includes demonstrating safe handgun handling, as well as placing 10 of 10 shots onto a 24" x 24" piece of paper at 15 yards; slow fire, off-hand, one or two-handed hold.

There was much bitching and moaning about this qualification. You know, "I've been shooting for the past fifty years and nobody is going to tell me, blah, blah, blah....."

So what are your thoughts? Is such a qualification requirement a good thing?

I, personally, think that a person can always benefit from recurrent training. It also makes me feel better when I know that the others on the firing line have demonstrated safe handgun handling procedures at least once.

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ObsidianOne
March 25, 2011, 03:38 AM
The question is, if one cannot pass said qualification test, where are they going to practice to learn to shoot better?
Why should you need to qualify if you're shooting for your own enjoyment? Is there something I'm missing here?

Nushif
March 25, 2011, 05:37 AM
Mixed feelings on the implementation.

I do agree about the part where the aspirant has to show they can safely handle a gun. Because that affords the trainer a chance to show the aspirant on how to safely handle a gun ... but I'm not sure what can be gained by a test on well they actually shoot.

I don't think you have to be a good shot to be safe at a range. You have to be well ... safe. And whether you can group or not has nothing to do with that.

Patriotme
March 25, 2011, 06:09 AM
I think the safety thing is a good idea but I don't know about the accuracy portion. I would have said yes, it's not unreasonable to expect someone to at least hit a 2'x2' target at 15yds, until someone pointed out that you can't improve if you can't practice.

Ala Dan
March 25, 2011, 06:18 AM
Yes, the safety class is a good thing~! Qualification gives shooters a lot of
> bragging rights amongest competitors. Separate them into class'es with
novice shooters grouped together, for more or less the instructional phase.
Better shooter's next, that need little supervision; and the best shooters at
the line competing against each other. That way, all participants will have
fun, and hopefully gain a little knowledge. As you know, learning is a type
of experience that NEVER ends~! ;) :D

russ69
March 25, 2011, 07:16 AM
Waste of time. A dude that's a hazard at the range will always be a hazard. Let's face facts, not everyone can grasp even the simplest instructions. Do you think you are going to revoke memberships?

Comanche180
March 25, 2011, 07:29 AM
A club I belonged to had similar rules but they only applied to the indoor range. Unqualified people were known to shoot throught the walls, ceiling and light fixtures. They were allowed to shoot at the outdoor ranges until they could qualify for inside shooting.

ATBackPackin
March 25, 2011, 07:36 AM
I too do not see the purpose of this "qualification". What goal will this accomplish? Other than safe, what else does one NEED to be while at the range?

Since this is a private membership in which you have to contribute, I.e. dues or work, and a not previously required tends to make me think that members complained and this is the result.

As long as one is safe I could care less how accurate they are. Even further if it is obvious they are struggling, I may ask if they need some assistance. However there are probably some people out there who think, "oh he/she can't hit the broad side of a barn, they have no business shooting a gun". The ONLY way to get better is to practice. That's my feelings anyway.

Shawn

Ramman911
March 25, 2011, 07:41 AM
Would it really matter if you failed the qualification part? I mean, your at the range to practice and get better right? Then what would be any point of punishment or restrictions of shooting bad?

Paladin38-40
March 25, 2011, 09:00 AM
If a shooter can not demonstrate standard range safety procedures a Range Officer needs to work with them until they can. Any time someone balks at demonstrating safety procedures because they "have been shooting 40 years" I take a dose of Rolaids. All too frequently they have been doing it wrong for 40 years and got by on fools luck. Unlearning bad habits with a know-it-all attitude is virtually impossible. If they are competent they should take pride in correctly demonstrating any time.

The marksmanship standards are too strict for many beginning shooters. Too many bring 2" barrel Airlite revolvers which are quite a challenge for all but accomplished shooters.

hirundo82
March 25, 2011, 09:12 AM
I seem to agree with the consensus here--the demonstration of safe handling makes sense, but as long as you can keep the shooty end pointed where it is supposed to go I don't care how bad of a marksman you are.

Hangingrock
March 25, 2011, 09:18 AM
I have my thoughts on this subject.

Safety & Orientation classes yes along with mandatory requirements of Safety Eyewear with Side Shields and Earing Protection.

Qualification limited to safe handling of weapons and understanding and employment of standard range commands (all clear does not mean it time to shoot).

Older established outdoor ranges have 25yd and 50yd lines for the most part. I argued the merit of that with the club officers of a sportsman’s club that had a 1200 membership. I simply pointed out that most people do not utilize the 50yd line targets.

We added a 7yd line by reducing the number of firing points on the 25yd and 50yd lines. With the addition of the 7yd line usage of the pistol range increased to the point that the pistol range was widened to accommodate more shooters.

Sam1911
March 25, 2011, 09:21 AM
Not a bad idea, but with entirely the wrong focus -- as others have said.

Perhaps a written safety test. Perhaps an oral safety test, with a demonstration requirement. A live-fire "test" that illustrates the basic safety protocols would be helpful.

But an accuracy test at that level is rather absurd, unless you're looking simply to thin your ranks. If this was my club and I heard of such a requirement (10/10 at 15 yds) I'd immediately assume the BOD wanted to push out the new and less 'serious' shooters in favor of becoming more 'elite' and exclusive.

I wouldn't be pleased.

Ironically, I would have NO problem with a mandatory safety refresher and test.

answerguy
March 25, 2011, 09:30 AM
Why did this subject come up at your range? Did something bad happen?

It makes sense to make sure new members know the basics of safe gun handling but I'm not sure I understand the logic of testing current members if they haven't shown any problems.

oneounceload
March 25, 2011, 09:37 AM
But an accuracy test at that level is rather absurd,

2 foot by 2 foot target -anywhere on it is an accuracy test?

Sounds to me more like they have had enough of the "spray and pray" crowd shooting up equipment, crossfiring onto other targets, etc. Besides, you never know what their insurance company is requiring, especially after the recent gun range suicides.....

And if the "I been shootin' for forty years" crowd can't pass it, maybe they need some more safety practice - those folks tend to be the most complacent about safety - and the most dangerous

deadin
March 25, 2011, 09:38 AM
A range I used to belong to had a similar rule,but it was slightly different.
The range had a "public" rifle range and a "public" pistol range on weekends. It also had several other "members only" ranges, both rifle and pistol.
The "public" ranges were run by a Range Master. When a member met the qualification requirements, he was allowed to use the non-monitored ranges otherwise he had to used the ones with the RM. The public rifle range had some pretty strict rules (single load, no prone, etc.). the public (weekend) pistol range was also strict. ( at least 2 sec between shots, etc.) Also if a shooter couldn't keep all shots within the target frames (app. 2' x 3' at 25 yds.) they had to take instruction from a RO until they could.

mbopp
March 25, 2011, 10:18 AM
After a long hiatus from shooting I re-upped my membership at the private club I used to shoot at. When I first joined there was an orientation and qualification course and after I re-upped I had to go through it again. The only shooting requirement was at a downrange target, the qualification director was only interested in your gun handling and safety rules rather than if you actually hit the target.
The club recently installed fencing around the range access points and went to key cards. And there's a requirement to display your membership / key card while shooting. Besides keeping any non-members off the range I'm told it reduced their insurance rates. And I was told a number of (non-members) were upset, they thought it was a free range even though signs on the driveway clearly state it's a private club!

answerguy
March 25, 2011, 10:29 AM
And I was told a number of (non-members) were upset

Well now, that's a darn shame. :)

M2 Carbine
March 25, 2011, 11:13 AM
There was much bitching and moaning about this qualification. You know, "I've been shooting for the past fifty years and nobody is going to tell me, blah, blah, blah....."

So what are your thoughts? Is such a qualification requirement a good thing?

Some sort of proficiency qualification is not a bad thing, ESPECIALLY for the guy that claims to be such a teriffic shooter. I especially watch that type because many times they can't shoot worth a flip and they are dangerious.


On my range I only have two rules, other than the normal safe gun handling rules.
1. Under no circumstance are you to allow a bullet to miss the bern.

2. Do not shoot me.

When someone I don't know shoots for the first time on my range they start out at about 7 yards, just for a magazine or two. Then when I see they are safe and have good sense they can do most anything they feel they can safely do.


New shooters get all the free instruction they need.

mokin
March 25, 2011, 11:54 AM
I would not mind such a "qualification" and it would make me feel better about those who also use the range.

md2lgyk
March 25, 2011, 01:01 PM
The club I belong to has a required "new member orientation." The main purpose is to familiarize them with the various ranges and range rules. But it also includes demonstrating safe gun handling - they fire about 50 rounds but there's no scoring. New members don't get the gate combination until they've completed it.

The club is pretty inflexible about this requirement. Though I've been a member for the better part of 25 years, am a certified RSO, and have run probably 100 matches, I let my membership lapse when I moved away for a couple of years so I had to go through the orientation when I rejoined.

burnt09
March 25, 2011, 01:25 PM
The club actually announced the qualification requirement about 6 months before they implemented it. You can still currently go as a guest of a qualified member to practice.

Many have questioned the marksmanship requirement. As it was explained to us members, (I am not a voting member), there were far too many holes in the overhead beams, chunks taken out of the concrete forward of the firing line, etc. One overhead beam had to actually be replaced. Our ranges are in the middle of a densely populated suburb, and I think the powers-that-be were also worried about firing over the 50 yard berm.

Along with the qualification requirements, the pistol range was remodeled to include the installation of ballistic board, and a boiler plate to protect the forward-most overhead beam. I have to say, since the qualification requirement took effect, (about 4 months ago), I have seen only one impact in the ballistic board.

mt_goodrich
March 25, 2011, 01:29 PM
Just curious...but is this something brought about my the insurance company that insures the club?

ny32182
March 25, 2011, 01:57 PM
I would bet a very significant percentage of newbies would have trouble keeping all shots on a 2' square target at 15 yards. Whether that helps with the clubs goals I guess is up to the club.

wanderinwalker
March 25, 2011, 04:09 PM
The club actually announced the qualification requirement about 6 months before they implemented it. You can still currently go as a guest of a qualified member to practice.

Many have questioned the marksmanship requirement. As it was explained to us members, (I am not a voting member), there were far too many holes in the overhead beams, chunks taken out of the concrete forward of the firing line, etc. One overhead beam had to actually be replaced. Our ranges are in the middle of a densely populated suburb, and I think the powers-that-be were also worried about firing over the 50 yard berm.

Along with the qualification requirements, the pistol range was remodeled to include the installation of ballistic board, and a boiler plate to protect the forward-most overhead beam. I have to say, since the qualification requirement took effect, (about 4 months ago), I have seen only one impact in the ballistic board.
Ah, this makes the marksmanship test requirement perfectly understandable. I have shot at a couple of indoor ranges that are smaller and require members to pass an accuracy qualification before being granted keyed access to the range. And the test is 5 shots on a standard NRA 50-foot pistol target (not in the scoring, just on the paper) at 50 feet. In comparison, hitting a 2'x2' sheet sounds generous.

My range doesn't have a marksmanship test, just an orientation video and walk around of the range. We are very strict about muzzles DOWN and no rounds going over the berm. Safety always. And I do think our range use has increased with the addition of our 25-yard pistol range a few years ago. It's always busy up there on weekends now.

oneounceload
March 25, 2011, 05:00 PM
Sounds to me more like they have had enough of the "spray and pray" crowd shooting up equipment, crossfiring onto other targets, etc. Besides, you never know what their insurance company is requiring, especially after the recent gun range suicides.....


there were far too many holes in the overhead beams, chunks taken out of the concrete forward of the firing line, etc. One overhead beam had to actually be replaced.

Damn, I'm good...............:D:neener:

CelticArmory
March 25, 2011, 05:23 PM
Our club recently instituted handgun qualification requirements: to shoot a handgun on either the main range or pistol range, a member must complete a short safety procedures class, and pass a fairly easy practical test.

The practical test includes demonstrating safe handgun handling, as well as placing 10 of 10 shots onto a 24" x 24" piece of paper at 15 yards; slow fire, off-hand, one or two-handed hold.

There was much bitching and moaning about this qualification. You know, "I've been shooting for the past fifty years and nobody is going to tell me, blah, blah, blah....."

So what are your thoughts? Is such a qualification requirement a good thing?

I, personally, think that a person can always benefit from recurrent training. It also makes me feel better when I know that the others on the firing line have demonstrated safe handgun handling procedures at least once.
The range I'm a member at has a safety course that is mandatory to be a member, but no safety course is required for non members. The safety course does not have a live fire part though.

If I owned a range, I would make a mandatory safety course that included a "testing" method to prove people were safe enough to shoot. I like the idea.

mljdeckard
March 25, 2011, 06:09 PM
Is it possible that they have a particular.....PROBLEM CHILD in mind they are trying to weed out?

Sauer Grapes
March 25, 2011, 07:54 PM
Our club does an orientation for all new members. Of course safety is paramount on all the club's ranges.
If you needed to qualify on the pistol range, we wouldn't need half the range we now have. We have a lot of "casual shooters" at our club. Maybe they don't shoot very well but the ranges are for everyone to enjoy as long as they do it in a safe manner.
If your not safe, steps will be taken to guide you in the right direction.

I shot today with 2 guys that would have a problem with the 2' square. They were not doing anything dangerous or unsafe so I was good to go.

FROGO207
March 25, 2011, 11:23 PM
Our club was an open door to everything if you are a member. We have about 120% new members since the last change at the White House. The indoor 50 foot range was shot up really bad recently. More damage in the last year than the other 20 combined. People using AP ammo and 500 S&W JHP indoors and such.:banghead: They are enforcing a lead only, 1000 FPS limit, and safety orientation with a qualification of 10/10 shots on a standard 50 foot NRA target. It has helped the patching of the roof directly overhead to be eliminated. Outdoor range has few restrictions presently for those that can't control their pistols well--no full auto or 50 BMG.

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