Setting own targets.


April 24, 2011, 05:34 PM
I have never been to a range that allowed you to place your own targets, whether it's paper or steel and soda cans whatever. I've only been to ones with little keypads to send the target out and back and stuff.

When I buy my first rifle I'll be forced to use the one and only public range my state has and I was wondering when and how you set up your targets. I don't know the procedures at all for range commands and such. The range I go to you just get your stuff walk in and shoot as you please because the targets are on a rail that go back and forth.

Excuse my lack of knowledge for what I'm talking about. Just wondering how people set up cans and stuff to shoot at.

If you enjoyed reading about "Setting own targets." here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
April 25, 2011, 12:06 AM
At the public outdoor range I go to on occasion, after most have fired their magazines or have gotten their fill (usually 5-10 minutes or so), there is a general consensus that everyone is finished firing for the moment and it is okay to go out on the range and reset or set up targets. Usually the consensus is obtained through everyone cross checking each others' thumbs-up or nod that they are finished and all weapons are on the tables and someone finally shouts "range is COLD". After everyone gets back from setting up their targets, we all nod to each other again and someone usually shouts "range is HOT" and people resume firing.


April 25, 2011, 04:09 AM
I belong to a private club and am one of the Range Officers. Our procedures are as follows: When you come to the range and there are people shooting approach the range officer and he will give you time to make up your target, when this is done he will call a cease fire and allow you to go down range and place your target. Most times the other shooters will take this time to either replace their targets or paste the holes.
When all have returned to the firing line and at their firing station the range officer will make the range hot.

April 25, 2011, 04:24 AM
Up here at oroville we can go out to 550 yards, quite a walk! but when a break in the shooting happens like stated above, someone will yell "CLEAR" and hold up a hand, and as a courtsey, everyone will lay down or holster their weapon and acknowledge that request, usually by yelling back "CLEAR" and holding up their arm and hand... and I personally open the bolt and drop the mag and usually do something else, like write in my data log book or mess with a snack or cup of coffee or even walk out with my next target(s).

Takes a little getting used to but I prefer it over a "managed" range.

Sav .250
April 25, 2011, 07:28 AM
My local gun club/range lets you set up your own targets on a....cold range!

Hot range for about 15-20 minutes then cold again to check/change/add

April 25, 2011, 05:35 PM
Ok. That's what I assumed the procedure was, but I didn't want to show up and be oblivious. I want to find a range that let's you shoot bottle and cans and stuff. Killing paper is fun, but I'm getting the urge to see something break when I shoot it. I'm sure that makes sense to some of you. haha

Thanks for the info.

April 25, 2011, 06:00 PM
Make sure to get in the habit of dropping the magazine/empty the internal mag and locking the bolt/slide to the rear with the chamber visibly empty. Place the firearm on the bench and step away and stay away until everyone is back from downrange and the range is hot again. This might not be the requirement or even what most people will do but it's by far the safest and most reassuring for everyone else. Other than being flagged I hate nothing more than walking back from downrange and seeing people at the bench messing with their firearms.

Arkansas Paul
April 25, 2011, 06:03 PM
The range I shoot at, there's rarely anyone at the rifle range. It's great. The rule is, if you bring it with you, take it with you or throw it in the trash cans. The only rule they're anal about is that all shots must be into a berm. No shooting anything on the ground. It's a good rule too, because here in the Ouachita Mountains, it's very rocky. So I guess you could shoot cans and such if you wanted too, as long as the bullets end up in the berm and you clean up your mess.

At this range, there's a flag that you raise when the range is hot. If the flag is up, no one downrange. When the flag comes down you go check your targets. I've never been to any other real "ranges" but I imagine they're all similar.

Tim the student
April 25, 2011, 06:05 PM
I shoot exclusively at public ranges. When we want to go check, we just ask for a cease fire, and everyone will clear their rifles and set them down, bolt open. Go down, do your business, and come back. Just don't be the guy that wants to do that every five minutes.

Even a public range may only allow paper targets. Every public range near me outlaws other stuff. Too many unhighroaders ruined it for everyone else. Better plan on bringing your own target stand too, unless you know they have them provided. Yard signs work great, FYI.

If your range does allow bottles, please use plastic ones and not glass.

Shadow 7D
April 25, 2011, 06:46 PM
AR Paul, Same here, the range I go has a minium distace rule, so that all shots go into the berm, and like Tim said, read the rules, most places either have a Range Safety Officer, or a list of basic range commands, look left, Clear Left, Look right Clear right, when someone's down range, all guns are down and 'cold' (mag back unloaded most places)

What bugs me is when someone new comes on the cold line and start handling guns when we are still down range. If there is a firing line, and people are down range (I have seen ranges with a yellow line to the back of the firing like and a red to the front) or just shooting stand/tables you should stay behind that if you don't gown down range.

Oh, and police your trash.

April 25, 2011, 08:23 PM
I dislike using public ranges. We have one indoor and a couple outside ranges.
Fortunately, there are several places I can legally shoot that are remote. I set my own targets, bench, etc. I create my own range breaks and use the same rules generally found at public ranges. I clean up my messes too. It's just nice to be away from the crowds and all the rangebreaks.

April 26, 2011, 04:08 PM
The best thing to do is use common sense. Its getting more and more uncommon in this day and age though. Would you want someone handling their rifle while you were downrange? No. So dont do it to them. And be on the lookout for the other people there if you see something going on that shouldnt. Overall its not hard to get used to using a public range. Most DNR ranges have an RO anyway that will tell everyone to stop shooting and go change targets so its easy.

April 26, 2011, 10:11 PM
It varies a bit with each range as to the particulars, but safety should be foremost. At one private range the shooter to the far right is the default range master. At that same range you can only shoot on their target backer or your own that matches their dimensions. This is so bullets impact the berm and not ricochet off the ground. Nothing other than paper targets. It is a great place to shoot. The guys I have encountered there have been awesome to share the range with. All guns go in a rack (vertical) before going down range.

I have also been to places where anything goes. Some of the danger of going downrange was what you might encounter in the debris field. Glass was a given. Metal was pretty common.

Either way none have a set schedule and cold range is called as needed. I try to handle the target chores quickly and keep the cold range to a minimum. Safety first, common courtesy second.

April 26, 2011, 10:26 PM
The range I belong to goes even a step further --- all rifles are racked, actions open, before anyone goes ahead of the firing line. In the beginning it seemed a bit anal, but if there are NO firearms on the benches it's totally obvious there are none even POINTED downrange while there are people downrange. No handguns, there is a separate range for them.

April 26, 2011, 11:19 PM
People who shoot up glass bottles, tin cans, and other assorted junk on firing ranges, and in our public forests, etc. give shooters the image of slobs who abuse the land and litter everyehere they turn. Invest in some good quality rifle-grade reactive steel targets, and you will be set to go for many years.

April 26, 2011, 11:28 PM
Good idea. I wouldn't shoot glass or anything I couldn't pick up of course.

April 26, 2011, 11:45 PM
probably not the info you're looking for, but...
open the back door, walk to desired distance, place desired target on the ground, return to back porch, take aim and open fire with desired weapon. :D

Tim the student
April 27, 2011, 12:44 AM
Most DNR ranges have an RO anyway that will tell everyone to stop shooting and go change targets so its easy.

Maybe in SC, but not in Iowa. I'm not aware of any public range that has an RO here. None of the five or so within an hour and half of my house do at least.

April 27, 2011, 01:12 AM
If you are going to shoot stuff that isn't bio-degradable (aka, plastic, metal, etc), put your stuff on a large tarp so it is easy to pick up the pieces. Soda bottles and cans I've never had a problem just picking up the remains, but if it going to spread little bits all over, just shoot over a tarp.

Oh, diet soda doesn't leave sticky residue, and still explodes nicely when pre-shaken. :D

Have fun!

April 27, 2011, 07:20 AM
Maybe in SC, but not in Iowa. I'm not aware of any public range that has an RO here. None of the five or so within an hour and half of my house do at least.

I do think it has something with living a little farther South than Iowa. You may have plenty of DNR ranges, but for some reason the ones down here usually have an RO. One doesnt that I know of, but they come by every monday and clean up and replace the target hangers and its well taken care of.

April 28, 2011, 09:29 AM
Public ranges in CT, that's a well kept secret!

If you enjoyed reading about "Setting own targets." here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!