Confusing Range Commands


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twofifty
July 9, 2011, 08:41 PM
Our club's outdoor range does not have a consistent way of declaring that shooting may resume or that it must stop.

Some folk say 'Range is Hot', some say 'Range is Open'.
To stop shooting, I hear "Range is Cold' and 'Range is Closed'.
Sometimes others things are said.

It ends up being a mish-mash and I've noticed the confusion on some non-member's faces. I think some folk think that hot and cold refers to the weather. No accidents yet, but I'm thinking the head scratching will eventually lead to a scare or worst.

A few questions, but only for those who are members of member-run, members and guests only, non-commercial outdoor ranges:

- What does your club do, if anything, to standardize range commands so that everyone is on the same page?

- Does your club post the range commands & other rules in conspicuous places?

- Does your club have a formal 'range orientation' process?

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happygeek
July 9, 2011, 08:50 PM
They have red lights over the firing line which are on during cease fires.

Yes

Yes

twofifty
July 9, 2011, 08:54 PM
Good idea with the lights.

My post was prompted by my own experience, and by
Sigchick88's post in the "What stupid things have you..." thread.

quote: "About 2 weeks ago we went to the range and every one was having a good time. While we were there a couple came up and were strutting around, thinking they were hot <removed>. Well the range went cold and the woman was strutting right up to the lane to start firing! There were people on the range! She loaded one into the chamber and took up aim! We are ALL yelling COLD at them but they weren't listening so a friend ran over to explain what cold and hot were.... Needless to say they left and I haven't seen them since!"

ZeSpectre
July 9, 2011, 08:55 PM
Our club has a siren that sounds briefly and amber warning lights that flash until shut off.

The orientation and the signs all specifically state that the range is cold when the lights are on and also tell what a "cold range" means.

bigfatdave
July 9, 2011, 09:02 PM
1 What does your club do, if anything, to standardize range commands so that everyone is on the same page?

2 Does your club post the range commands & other rules in conspicuous places?

3 Does your club have a formal 'range orientation' process?

1- not a thing
2- nope
3- nope, other than a proficiency demonstration to get an indoor range "key"

It isn't rocket surgery, if you need a RSO for basic "hot range" and "cold range" then maybe you need a less crowded club or better range buddies. When I take friends to my club's range, there is an ultra-basic safety briefing, generally consisting of the four rules and getting acknowledgment for going hot or cold. Go cold, get everyone to clear their weapon and put it on the table or in a holster ... Go hot after making sure everyone has ear protection in.

Lights imply someone to run lights ... who does that?

happygeek
July 9, 2011, 09:36 PM
Lights imply someone to run lights ... who does that?


The members do. The red lights serve a very useful purpose as the range goes out to 200 yards and has baffles every 25 yards plus a rather large berm at 100 yards (the range slopes upwards a tad after 100 yards so you can see the 200 yard targets over the 100 yard berm). Say you're the only one there and you're going downrange to put up a target at 150 yards. You turn on the red lights so that when someone else drives up while you're behind the 100 yard berm they know someone is downrange even though they can't see you. (The members turn the lights on every time they're going downrange though, not just when there's only one person there.)

They run over all this during the new member orientation and there's numerous large signs on the range. It's a rather simple system and seems to work pretty well. No one touches a gun while the red lights are on.

bigfatdave
July 9, 2011, 10:05 PM
and you're going downrange to put up a target at 150 yards. You turn on the red lights so that when someone else drives up while you're behind the 100 yard berm they know someone is downrange even though they can't see you. (The members turn the lights on every time they're going downrange though, not just when there's only one person there.)OK, I like the idea of a switch to flip on your way down, actually. I was picturing someone dedicated to running lights, and that sounds like no fun at all for for someone ... or a salary I don't want bundled into my club membership (which is a STEAL at $75/yr for unlimited 24/7 access indoor and anytime daylight access outdoor)

Zak Smith
July 9, 2011, 10:30 PM
Hot vs. Cold is ubiquitous. Open/Closed is not accurate because the range is open for use, just not shooting. When a range is closed, nobody can be there, IE, it's "open" 8AM to sunset, and "closed' otherwise. While it's open a particular range/berm can be hot or cold.

CmpsdNoMore
July 10, 2011, 08:58 AM
I rarely go to official ranges, but when I'm shooting with people on private land where I can go over safety I teach them "hot" and "cold or I just use "commence firing" or "cease fire".

12131
July 10, 2011, 09:04 AM
just use "commence firing" or "cease fire"
Nothing could be clearer than this.

To me, "hot/cold", or "open/closed", is just dumb.

Mags
July 10, 2011, 09:09 AM
But hot and cold is what it is.

Creature
July 10, 2011, 09:11 AM
"commence firing" or "cease fire"

The simplest solution right there!

Zak Smith
July 10, 2011, 10:02 AM
I would add to my prior post that "cease fire" is the command used to enter the "cold" state. Hot and cold describe the condition of the range. Cease fire is the command to transition from hot to cold.

ironhead7544
July 10, 2011, 10:34 AM
"Cease fire" is the correct command to stop shooting. Once everyone on the line is cleared the command is "The Range is Cold" which means it is safe to go down range. Once everyone is back from down range the command is "The Range is Hot" and then "Commence firing".

AirForceShooter
July 10, 2011, 11:05 AM
Don't red lights mean STOP????
That's confusing to me.

Hot and Cold are what we use

AFS

Nushif
July 10, 2011, 12:28 PM
The range i go to has automatic target runners ... So it is alays hot. And to get behind the line you would have to climb the benches.
At the quarry the "Cease Fire" command with the funky face wave always works, with a thumbs up afterwards to recommence firing.
At a certain point I do have to agree. If there is problems with people unable to both communicate and understand the simple concept of "do not shoot" I think the problem lies with several factors. Let me talk about them.

One is this need to "mean something" ... So any new member of the range is clearly not as meaningful as someone who is better at listening to standardized commands ... Such as a less new member.
The other is the RO god complex. I understand ROs enforce the safety of the range. However last I checked they do not control every minutae of the range. They do not control my rate of fire, my target, my reloads, my stance or my ammunition consumption. Their job is safety. Not control. And as some of us so nicely believe safetyis not achieved through control. Until our conditioning kicks in and the RO is the god of the range.

And that is my opinion here.

If every last shooter is hanging on to every last standardized word of the RO at every second, I fail to see where there is room for individual safety awareness and clear thinking. Sounds like drones emptying their guns to me.

alienbogey
July 10, 2011, 01:48 PM
Different ranges have different needs, but just to give another example:

Ours is a private range open to the public and surrounded by litigious neighbors. We get a lot of off-the-street shooters (and welcome them) and the day we let a round off the range or have an accident on the range is the last day the club will be open.

Our cease-fire/cold range and cleared-to-shoot/hot range commands are scripted and posted right next to the RO's microphone and they are read verbatim every time. Shooters new to the range are given a safety brief which includes the commands and what they mean. No ambiguity, no different phrases and, hopefully, no confusion.

I used to think it was overly anal until I became an RO and saw the kinds of mistakes people are capable of at a range.

A change to the script came about a few years ago when a shooter taking his time changing out his targets at 100 yards didn't get seen behind the berms and ended up making himself really flat and hollering until he got someone's attention. As a result speakers got installed all the way to the end targets and the RO script to resume shooting begins with "Is there anyone down range? Is there anyone down range?

animator
July 10, 2011, 01:54 PM
The range I use is very consistent when it comes to a cease-fire.


Bullhorn siren, followed by "cease fire. Unload your weapons, open all actions, and step clear of the firing line."


Someone walks down the line and checks every weapon, and then declares that it is safe to head down range to check and post targets.


Once everyone is back, the "firing line is hot, you may commence firing" command is given, and it is safe to resume shooting.


No ambiguity, and is very consistent. And people aren't afraid to yell at someone handling, or even appearing to handle a firearm while the line is called...

whalerman
July 10, 2011, 02:03 PM
If you read this thread, you will understand why I shoot by myself. Alone. When the yahoos come, I watch or leave. I'm fortunate enough to live in a rural area where this is always possible. Ranges have become too dangerous for my liking. I do shoot some competition stuff now and then. The ranges are usually well run and consistant for those proceedings. But each club has it's own game and it never seems to be predictable. Shoot alone, it's safer.

GCBurner
July 10, 2011, 02:16 PM
All new members have to take an orientation class that includes gun safety and range commands before they get their membership ID.
Day shooters who are non-members get it explained when they sign in. If a Range Officer isn't present, regular members take the responsibility for calling the firing line Hot or Cold, and ensuring that empty-chamber indicators are in place, and all guns are down and unloaded before anyone is cleared to go down range.

Walkalong
July 10, 2011, 03:00 PM
If a Range Officer isn't present, regular members take the responsibility for calling the firing line Hot or Cold, and ensuring that empty-chamber indicators are in place, and all guns are down and unloaded before anyone is cleared to go down range.
Our range only has a RO during competitions. Other than that we communicate with each other. We are all responsible for unloading/opening the action of guns before going downrange. Sometimes that is a bit "awkward" when an idiot is present, but everyone understands "Hot" and "Cold". Some of them just don't seem to understand what a "safe" gun is. Arghhh..

Kliegl
July 10, 2011, 03:13 PM
While all that is nice, sometimes there are discrepancies to the particulars. For instance, I don't leave actions open. It lets crap get in them. Also, I'll often load some mags, and insert one in a gun for shooting after my current gun. Note that I, categorically, did NOT say chamber a round, so all my guns are always completely safe until I pick one up and chamber a round.

However, that isn't good enough for some range police and is one of the reasons why I don't shoot at ranges with range officers. Too many of them try to touch/check your guns without your permission.

45_auto
July 10, 2011, 03:54 PM
For instance, I don't leave actions open. Also, I'll often load some mags, and insert one in a gun for shooting after my current gun.

Interesting. So it doesn't bother you to go downrange with possibly other people's loaded firearms with the chamber closed behind you? You really don't mind if you're downrange and people are handling firearms with the chamber closed and possibly loaded, and putting loaded mags into weapons like you do? You have that much trust in the gunhandling skills of everyone else?

I hope you like looking down the barrel of a loaded gun. You start loading a gun when people are downrange around here and you'll quickly find out just how many are carrying concealed .....

Good luck!

dagger dog
July 10, 2011, 04:36 PM
The one range I shoot at had to go to empty chamber indicators ,the little plastic orange or yellow flags that are slipped into an emply chamber, it is mandatory for ALL weapons.
When the RO declares the range cold all, every one is given time to clear his weapon, weapons must be out of hands and on the tables, then he makes a trip down the firing line to check all uncased guns, if it is out of a case and does not have the empty chamber installed you are asked to leave.

Once the RO has checked the line then and only then does he give the clear to go down range and set targets.

Nushif
July 10, 2011, 04:58 PM
Something just came to mind here:

When exactly does the RO call for a cease fire?

Here's a scenario:
I am a very, very slow and precise shooter using a 10/22 with a "banana clip." Next to me is sitting some guy who shoots really fast and only has a five round mag. Does the RO call a cease fire every single time the fast guy is done with his five rounds or is the guy next to me stuck waiting or me, as I sit there and take my time with all of my fifty rounds, three sandwiches and two sodas?

I think that really is my gripe with these RO controlled ranges. As a member, I feel like I go there and suddenly lose all control over what I shoot, how I shoot, etc. It's up to go- the RO who really micromanages my shooting for the day. Makes me feel like a military run range. Useful for getting a slip signed that I "qualify" ... but not much else.

I stand by my assertion though that overemphasis on RO commands, or any "routine" tends to make every other shooter, or usually command-taker shut off their brain. Wouldn't be half surprised if the RO doesn't see someone downrange and calls the range as hot again ... half the people open fire, just because they're on autopilot.

Kliegl
July 10, 2011, 06:01 PM
Interesting. So it doesn't bother you to go downrange with possibly other people's loaded firearms with the chamber closed behind you? You really don't mind if you're downrange and people are handling firearms with the chamber closed and possibly loaded, and putting loaded mags into weapons like you do? You have that much trust in the gunhandling skills of everyone else?

I hope you like looking down the barrel of a loaded gun. You start loading a gun when people are downrange around here and you'll quickly find out just how many are carrying concealed .....

Good luck!

Wow man, your reply has it all! Out of context quoting, hyperbole, implications of enjoying suicidal behavior, veiled threats, and insincere wishes of good fortune. You even threw in a quintuple dot!

I'm not sure I should even bother trying to set you right, but here goes. There's a difference between a gun with a loaded mag, in a rack, pointing safely UP, then a gun with the action open pointing downrange at people changing targets. Personally, I don't want even an unloaded gun pointed at me. Also, when a range goes down, people aren't handling guns; they're changing targets.

Yeah, I have faith that a guy isn't pointing a gun at my back when I change targets. I go to good ranges, with decent people that don't have to follow a drill sergeant's Pavlovian commands to safely have a good time. And, they know the difference between administrative loading/racking and making like you're going to be unsafe/shoot somebody.

I don't know about where you're from....thought the Army collected all your guns back in 05? Maybe that was because, based on your statements, that people carrying concealed are crazy enough to draw down on someone for simply holding a gun at a gun range? Personally, I think trying to out-man someone at a gun range by pulling your CCW piece is about the worst thing you could do, since, chances are, the other guy is already holding a gun, and thus, has you beat to the draw by default.

jbkebert
July 10, 2011, 06:15 PM
When I am acting RSO at our range this is what I do.

If the line is crowed I watch when people on the line stop shooting and kinda start looking around. I will walk down to the station they are firing at and ask them if they are ready to go set targets, have a problem or what's going on.

If there is a malfunction of some serious nature I will call cease fire and walk up and down the line and tell each station to drop mags, if applicable, safety their gun and place on the bench with bolt open facing upwards. Then I will handle or try and handle the malfunction or problem.

If the group or station is waiting to set targets I will tell them that I will close the range in a few minutes and just hang out until I do. I will walk the line telling folks that I am about to close the firing line and to finish there magazine, and to please stop after doing so. Then when people are finishing up I will call that the firing line is closed. Please make sure that your firearms are unloaded, safety on, bolt open and facing upwards. When that is done I will say the range is now closed you may step forward of the firing line replace targets, let new shooters come up to the line. No one is allowed to touch their weapons while range is closed.

When everyone is back I ask if everyone is ready to reopen the line. If no problems I instruct everyone to put thier eyes and ears on, no one is allowed in front of the firing line. Once that is accomplished I call that the firing line is now open. You may pick up your firearms load and fire when ready.

Pretty simple and everyone seems to get it. Yesterday I was the only RSO and had 28 shooters on the line at one time. I had one grandfather trying to show his grandson something about his new rifle while folks were down range. I just went over and firmly told them to lay the gun down and step back. The just calmy exlpained why. No one was offended no foul just a honest mistake. No other problems is 6 hours so not a bad day.

Zak Smith
July 10, 2011, 06:17 PM
I stand by my assertion though that overemphasis on RO commands, or any "routine" tends to make every other shooter, or usually command-taker shut off their brain. Wouldn't be half surprised if the RO doesn't see someone downrange and calls the range as hot again ... half the people open fire, just because they're on autopilot.
Not at all. USPSA has global, standardized range commands and it does the opposite. It makes it clear to everyone when they should or should not be doing something.
When exactly does the RO call for a cease fire?
Every 15-25 minutes or when a couple people want to set/get targets.

Nushif
July 10, 2011, 07:52 PM
Not at all. USPSA has global, standardized range commands and it does the opposite. It makes it clear to everyone when they should or should not be doing something.

There is a bit of a difference between a line of shooters of mixed skillsets, ages, and most importantly intensity and a USPSA match. I'm sure we've all been there, after a long day, at the range plinking away and just kind of at Zen, wasting away a brick of .22 and time.
Not the same mindset as a USPSA match, where your nerves are up, you're hypervigilant, etc. Not to mention that last I checked a USPSA match doesn't have up to 28 (highest count I've seen yet) on one line shooting for different purposes.

Treating the average firing line like a USPSA match would be interesting to see, and I do mean in that trainwreck-can't-look-away type.

EddieNFL
July 10, 2011, 08:32 PM
Every (organized) range I can remember firing on (mostly military) had/have standardized range commands.

If cease fire is called (which can be called by anyone, not just the RSO), shooters stop firing and wait for further instruction.

Walkalong
July 10, 2011, 08:33 PM
While all that is nice, sometimes there are discrepancies to the particulars. For instance, I don't leave actions open. It lets crap get in them. Also, I'll often load some mags, and insert one in a gun for shooting after my current gun. Note that I, categorically, did NOT say chamber a round, so all my guns are always completely safe until I pick one up and chamber a round. That seemed to be a response to my post about opening the guns action when people go downrange. I stand by that. I also think that the excuse for not wanting to leave your gun in a condition that is not only safe, but shows folks at a distance that they are as well, because you might get crap in the gun, is simply ludicrous. I am not at all surprised that you have a problem with RO's who insist on safety.

In Benchrest competition we not only opened actions, but we removed the bolts. No one ever went downrange without every single bolt removed, ever.

Some people are simple too casual about safety. :)

Nushif
July 10, 2011, 08:42 PM
Removing the bolt?!

That sounds kinda odd to me, to be honest. what is next? Lock it up in your (mandatory) portable safe anytime a ceasefire is called?

EddieNFL
July 10, 2011, 09:44 PM
In Benchrest competition we not only opened actions, but we removed the bolts. No one ever went downrange without every single bolt removed, ever.

My club requires ECIs.

Some people are simple too casual about safety.

We escort about six "casuals" off the range each year.

twofifty
July 10, 2011, 09:53 PM
[Nushif, the Protektor Model company in PA makes a nice leather 'Rifle Bolt Sheath' that is used in benchrest circles]

Right now, I am in the process of trying to improve range communication for my club. I am very grateful to all who share their experiences and POVs here. The discussions and disagreements are useful too.

There is more to this than I had first considered. Am thinking that for general rifle and handgun shooting, something simple is most likely to be respected consistently = an increase in overall safety.

For activity specific events, such as formal practices or matches in IPSC, Silhouette, Trap, etc., then whatever are that sport's standard rules is the way to go. Participants in organized competitions practice, imo, very safe gun handling whether there is a RSO around or not.

More descriptions of how your club or range goes about dealing with the fundamentals of going hot and cold would be appreciated.

jbkebert
July 10, 2011, 10:04 PM
Some of the clubs I have shot at require chamber flags. The range I work at does not require them. I use them out of habit and think they are a good idea. It is easier for the RSO to just look down the firing line and see a row of orange or yellow plastic flags sticking up than to walk the line to visually check each station.

Some guns can't use a flag and that is fine but for about a buck apeice flags are cheap insurance.

oneounceload
July 10, 2011, 10:06 PM
It isn't rocket surgery, if you need a RSO for basic "hot range" and "cold range" then maybe you need a less crowded club or better range buddies.

No kidding.........

Goin' Hot! was frequently heard as was "Get your ears on, Fire in the hole!"

Isn't rocket science, just common sense

test drive
July 10, 2011, 10:10 PM
in the army "range is hot" is a general statement that live fire has started at that range. "range is cold" means live fire has stopped for that day or the range is shut down for whatever reason. when a fireing interation starts the command "range is NOT clear" is givin. after the fireing interation and the safetys show "clear" the "range is clear" is givin.

Walkalong
July 10, 2011, 10:21 PM
Removing the bolt?!

That sounds kinda odd to me, to be honest.
I was surprised at first, but hey, you can't get shot with a gun with no bolt. The guns are left on rests pointed dead at the target when people are pulling targets. They have 2 ounce triggers. Folks would still be sitting at the benches by their guns. I understood right away why it was done. We used a bolt sheath (http://www.sinclairintl.com/.aspx/sid=75041/pid=39326/Product/PROTEKTOR_BOLT_SHEATH___LIGHT_LEATHER) to carry it around. It becomes second nature. They would call cease fire, then call remove bolts, & only when the RO was positive all bolts were removed, the target crew would go downrange.

Nushif
July 10, 2011, 10:36 PM
Sure ... You also can not get shot with a gun without ammunition. Or trigger. Or firing pin, but that does not mean the average competition needs you to detail strip your gun before you are allowed to change a target.
I should delete this though. Safe people may get ideas and make me do a starting and ending round count next time I go to a range, pat me down for brass and tell me how much ammunition I get to put in my magazine, as a private shooter. 8)

jbkebert
July 10, 2011, 10:39 PM
Nushif it seems you have a little problem with RSO's

I seem to recall a post of your when you had a run in with one.

Some of the other post against RSO I don't understand.


The nice thing about having a RSO on the range.

When I am shooting I am trying to focus on what I am doing not the guy beside me.

If a problem arises on the range its up to the RSO to deal with it not patrons of the range.

The RSO is there to watch over the safety of the range and the folks shooting their. To make sure no one is messing with firearms while others are down range. Loaded magazines laying on the bench are one thing. Having a loaded magazine in a firearm laying there pointed down range is completely unacceptable. Even if it is pointing skyward in a rack. NOGO I would warn that person once. The next time I would escort them off of the range.

No it is not the responsibilty of the RSO to limit your rate of fire or how you are shooting. Now if like Saturday I have two young shooters who are blowing through mags as fast as possible. If there is not a single hole in the target at 10 yards. Yes like it or not I am going to stop you. I told the young men to slow down and hit the dang target. Accuracy is part of safety and yes I will enforce that.

RSO are there for the better of everyone on the range.

As far as reloads go it depends on the range you shoot at and their by-laws. If the by-laws state no reloads then it means no reloads. Don't like it build your own range or buy some land.

RSO are in place to make sure everyone has a good time and does it safely. I do not see what the problem with that is.


As far as the god complex goes I have met plenty and it is not acceptable.
A RSO has no right to lay a hand on you or your weapon. To touch any of your belongings for that matter. If they are doing this they need to be reported to the range master or the committee who runs the range. Then they need to be removed from serving in the capacity.

If you are just upset because someone dare tell you to cease fire. Grow up and get over yourself and quit acting like the man has his boot on your neck.

Friendly, Don't Fire!
July 10, 2011, 11:00 PM
I have personally never heard of cold and hot at the range until I saw a video of the Secret Service shooting some popups for target requisition speed and another one by the New York State Police showing the power of a 50 caliber rifle. Until those two times, I NEVER heard anyone say the range is HOT.

When I grew up going to the range as a kid, it was "Ready on the right? -- ready on the left? -- Commence Firing!"

Then, when time to stop "Cease-Fire, open all bolts, secure all weapons!"

Whenever I go to the range, I like to be alone, that way I don't have to wait for people to walk out 100 or 200 yards to retrieve their target, change target, walk out to see if a shot had hit or not, etc. If there is anyone else there, I am typically the one who is kind of the "spokeperson" if you will, and I am not so orderly as ready on the right, ready on the left, however I do shout "are you ready?" - or, "is it OK to shoot now, I am about to take a shot?" While shooting, I try to be observant of what is going on with the other person/people, and they are typically on my right, as I tend to pick a middle to left bench and anyone there or showing up naturally tend to set up, perhaps five to ten benches down, to my right.

Any way you look at it, commands should be simple enough for those who have never heard commands and who are not used to how to treat a range when other persons/groups are present and all are firing or about to fire.

It makes no difference what is said, it could even be all hand motions, just as long as everyone is ON THE SAME PAGE!

Only once, a few years ago, some guy way over to my right, there with his family, was walking out to 25 yards to get his target while I was to the left about ten benches or so, shooting my target at 50 yards. He never yelled, he never asked, nothing. Had he said something I would have stopped shooting, however, the way he acted, it was like he owns the place and is not going to be told what to do. It was like, I was concentrating on working up my magnum pistol loads and I suddenly happened to notice him nonchalantly walking out to look and retrieve his targets. I asked if he wanted me to stop first, and he shrugged his shoulders. Some bumkin, I suppose.

I packed up my stuff and told them to enjoy the rest of their shooting. I never saw him again.

Kliegl
July 10, 2011, 11:10 PM
The problem with the concept of an RSO is that it's someone regulating your shooting experience. Part of exercising the right to bear arms is the freedom to do it your way. As we can see with the current government, while a little authority may be fine, it never stays that way.

For instance, why can't you touch a gun while people are down range? What if I have enough targets up and I want to load mags? I don't need others to tell me how to be safe, nor the proper handling of my gun. Plus, if I were peacefully loading mags and someone came and SHOUTED at me, that would be bad. And, heaven forbid actually grab anything of mine; there's no way that could ever end well.

Yes, there are morons out there, but, at least 50% of the time, it's the range officer who is said moron. You don't need to clear chamber, remove bolt or whatever, there's a reason the rack is there, put the gun in it and be safe. The utter stupidity of leaving a gun, in any condition, pointed downrange when people are immediately going there, is beyond me. Point. It. Elsewhere.

Thank God that most ranges don't have range officers. It is absolutely systemic of the problem with America that gun clubs can't even trust people to safely use guns on their own, but every one of them cries about governmental invasion of their lives. Hypocrites.

And usually, on range officer ranges, there is the presence of one or more of the Stupid Rules. We've all seen them before, they're rules like this:

-Must wait 2 seconds between each shot.
-Must shoot using the bench.
-Cannot shoot buckshot or slugs.
-Cannot load more than 5 rounds into a magazine.
-Cannot shoot a rifle any closer than 100 yards, nor a pistol any closer than 25, or sometimes further than 25, or maybe even both.
-Cannot shoot any rifle bigger than .30 cal or pistol bigger than 9mm.

It just goes on and on.

bigfatdave
July 10, 2011, 11:28 PM
The problem with the concept of an RSO is that it's someone regulating your shooting experience. Part of exercising the right to bear arms is the freedom to do it your way. As we can see with the current government, while a little authority may be fine, it never stays that way. do you shoot at federal government ranges?
the range is not the federal government in most cases, you know.

Not to imply a need for a RSO, I don't have or want one at my range and don't find it that hard to establish a firing line with 2-8 shooters (I think eight is the most I've seen out there for informal non-event shooting)

You don't need to clear chamber, remove bolt or whatever, there's a reason the rack is there, put the gun in it and be safe. The utter stupidity of leaving a gun, in any condition, pointed downrange when people are immediately going there, is beyond me. Point. It. Elsewhere. Now this assumes a rack.
Most ranges don't have a rack, some don't even have benches. I don't see the need for the bolt out, but action open and maybe a chamber flag can't hurt - if you have a rack then use it, but the rest of us don't.
In a perfect world we could all leave our weaponry in a clearing barrel behind a sound baffle when going downrange ... until then obviously disabled by opening the action and removing ammo doesn't hurt.

GCBurner
July 10, 2011, 11:28 PM
When the "line is cold" command is called, guns are left with magazines removed, the action open, and an open bolt indicator with an orange or yellow flag inserted, so anyone can see at a glance that the guns are in a safe condition. Until all shooters are back from downrange, nobody touches a gun. Anybody who fiddles with their gun, or starts loading magazines while other people are down range, will be asked to leave; anybody who sticks a loaded magazine in a gun while others are downrange will be asked to leave immediately.

jbkebert
July 10, 2011, 11:39 PM
I will allow folks to load mags while waiting for others to return to the firing line. This does not require handling the gun.

It's just common courtesy what the heck is wrong with that.

I have worked for 5 gun clubs and all of them had a little list of by-laws. Each and every year each club had at least 3-5 members review the by-laws. That panel of 3-5 members who could not review the by-laws two years in a row. This panel could make proposed ammendments to the by-laws which were then voted on by the whole of body of members who bothered to show up to the meeting. Just like any organization those who complain the most do the least.

Some of the by-laws have to do with NRA sponorship others have to do with insurance. Even other have to do with local ordinance's and cannot be changed. If you have a problem with your ranges by-laws and rules speak the heck up and get involved or shut the heck up and find somewhere else to shoot. Like I said there is land for sale all over this great country. Perhaps you can find some and shoot on your own place where the man is keeping you down.

How long does it take to insert a mag into your firearm once the range has been cleared and declared hot again. Why in gods name do you need to insert a loaded mag into your gun before that time. Chambered or not?? My lord the overzelous RSO is delaying your trigger time by at least 2 1/2 seconds. I can see why they are such a bother.:barf:

A strange person
July 10, 2011, 11:43 PM
My local outdoor range is usually devoid of activity. Of course, I do alot of shooting in winter and in bad weather. If I see more than two people there when I drive by, I just shoot behind my house and hope my neighbors don't call the cops. So far, they have not. Sometimes I practice with my .22 in the woods. Yup.

jbkebert
July 11, 2011, 12:11 AM
What I am trying to get across.

It is harder than heck in this day and age to have ranges in the first place.

Someone decides to build there home a mile away from a range and then decides that it should be shut down because it interfers with there tea and crumpets.

Insurance rates are through the roof

EPA will clear cut a forest for enough paper to write up a enviromental impact study on how your poisoning something or other.

No one take repsonsibily for there own actions. Its always someone else's fault.


The fact is having RSO at the range.

Decreases insurance premiums
Decreases liabilty
Allows that range to hold sanctioned events and actually make money for a change.
Allows opportunities for teaching and learning like holding APPLESEED events
Lets the patrons of the range enjoy shooting instead of playing range officer.

There are a couple ranges I shoot at that I can't shoot my Contender or Encore handgun past 25 yards. Heck they are chambered in .35 rem, .22-250, and .308 win these belong on the 200 yard line not the 25 yard line. Yet is the rule of that range for whatever reason it is what it is. I don't agree with it but hey I just don't take those guns to that range.

There is no acceptable reason for a RSO to have a god complex. Yet if that RSO is just enforcing the by-laws of that range just go with it. Try to understand why its the rule instead of taking it as a personal attack.

I have the same problem with being a cub scout leader and a hunter ed instructor. People are quick to judge without understanding why. Like Kansas law says you have to be 11 years old or older to take Hunter Ed. I didn't write the law but if you want your 10 year old to take the class. Well they can attend but I can't issue a certificate untill they take it at the age of 11.

I am sorry to be blunt I have just had this argument way to many times with way to many people. Folks that volunteer get crapped on for trying to make things better.

twofifty
July 11, 2011, 12:19 AM
Thank you both.
Now let's get back on topic!

Nushif
July 11, 2011, 12:39 AM
Alright, let's put up some base facts before I continue:

In the past five years the only time I have been at a range that even had Range Officers was when I was with the military. And at all of those times I was either the Range Officer or the XO.

That being said, I am quite aware of how unsafe novice or unwilling shooters can be.
So, stuff like this is simply uncalled for:

Nushif it seems you have a little problem with RSO's

I seem to recall a post of your when you had a run in with one.

[...]

If you are just upset because someone dare tell you to cease fire. Grow up and get over yourself and quit acting like the man has his boot on your neck.

As such, I don't recall ever having a run-in with one. Because while my personality may be complex, I don't fight with myself. Often.

Here is where my problem comes in with some of the "safety" practices I hear preached very often here.

The RSO, the "Range Safety Officer" is still very much a human. As such their judgement of what is safe or not safe depends on a lot of factors that have *nothing* to do with your behavior or how safe it is.

While I'm sure the largest part of ROs are courteous, knowledgeable and even handed, take for example ROs who think nobody ought to have thirty rounds in a magazine. Are you going to tell me, that they are really going to sit there and not throw you off a range for practicing a fast follow-up shot with your M4? Especially if they have a mild headache?

Or for instance the RO who thinks that any gun older than ten years can't possibly be in good shape. Will they let you do a mad minute with an Enfield? How about a dedicated hunter? How about someone who doesn't like big bore guns?

My point is that these ROs as a whole are human and not infallible by any means. This means that their word isn't gospel, ever. Would I simply tell an RO "No" about ceasing fire? Of course not, why would I? But dare I question the RO who is so caught up in reading text off the wooden pillar next to his PA for the threehundreth time today? Yes!

That is where there needs to be a stronger emphasis on INDIVIDUAL SAFETY, so that the RO isn't so taxed with twenty-eight people on a range and forced to micromanage all of them, because they dropped their thinking hats and are drones on command, to a guy who is stressed out and overseeing the every small action of over two dozen people!

I feel, for some odd reason, that an RO should have better things to watch out for than the removed bolts, removed slides and dismantled guns of the entire line. I'd much rather my NCOs worry about PVT Soandso who keeps flagging his buddy than chasing thirty experienced soldiers behind an arbitrary line in the sand for their own "safety" with their assigned weapon.

I'm not "hatin' on the RO" ... what I'm doing is pointing out, that with a truly unsafe shooter, no amount of bolt removal, thirty second shot rules, one round per magazine rule or any such measures address the problem: The guy behind the trigger.

In my ideal world everyone mildly polices each other and themselves, leaves well enough alone and the RO can actually take aside an unsafe shooter and give them quality instruction. But in the world of standardized commands, warning signs, standardized commands, restrictive measures that make 90% of ranges unusable for 90% of the shooting world are the easier solution, it seems.

jbkebert
July 11, 2011, 12:47 AM
There was a thread not to long ago about a RSO with a god complex wanting to search someones range bag. For some reason I thought you had weighed in on that discussion. I was mistaken sorry for that.

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=530259&highlight=wanted+to+search+range+bag

Zak Smith
July 11, 2011, 01:43 AM
For instance, I don't leave actions open. It lets crap get in them. Also, I'll often load some mags, and insert one in a gun for shooting after my current gun. Note that I, categorically, did NOT say chamber a round, so all my guns are always completely safe until I pick one up and chamber a round.
There's a difference between a gun with a loaded mag, in a rack, pointing safely UP, then a gun with the action open pointing downrange at people changing targets. Personally, I don't want even an unloaded gun pointed at me. Also, when a range goes down, people aren't handling guns; they're changing targets.

For instance, why can't you touch a gun while people are down range? What if I have enough targets up and I want to load mags?

The preceding behavior during a cease fire will get you kicked off any organized shooting range I've ever been to. The cardinal rules during a cease fire are that: all firearms are completely unloaded; all actions are open; nobody handles (touches) any firearms; fully cased firearms may be placed on or removed from the line, but not uncased and not handled. These have redundancy just like the universal 4 rules of gun safety have redundancy.

I don't need others to tell me how to be safe, nor the proper handling of my gun.

Apparently you do from what you've posted.

that would be bad. And, heaven forbid actually grab anything of mine; there's no way that could ever end well.

If you show up at any range I'm present at, and insert a loaded magazine into a rifle during a cease fire, I am going to command you to stop, and if you don't, I am going to unload your rifle. You will be kicked out and most probably banned from coming back to that range. I'm sure that wasn't the "bad ending" your bravado inferred, but that's what's going to happen. Don't like it? Learn to follow the rules like everyone else.

Sam1911
July 11, 2011, 08:28 AM
Seems we're mixing up a whole bunch of our individual disagreements with various range rules with the simple question of how to make the line safe to go downrange.

...

It is always a very wise idea to read and understand the basic procedural rules of any range you might join or visit to make sure that those rules don't conflict with the kind of shooting you want to do.

Does the range allow draw from the holster? Does the range allow very close, or very far, shooting with various kinds of firearms? Does the range have some kind of capacity or maximum loading rule? Does the range have fixed firing points or does it provide bays for "practical" shooting exercises? And so on. Figure this stuff out before you go -- or before you sit down and start shooting, at least.

There's no reason to frustrate yourself -- and greatly worry/annoy the guys charged with range safety -- by attending a range that doesn't fit your desired shooting discipline.

If you feel the need to try and change those rules, take it up with the governing body of that range. DO NOT stand there like a goon and argue with the RSO about the rules the range owner has put in place. He's bound buy them just like you are.

...

As far as range hot and cold commands go, swallow your bull-headedness and do what the RSO says! They have a carefully determined way of ensuring that everyone leaves with no more holes than they came with. They've figured out what works for their facility, and what their officers are trained to look for so they can keep the "newbie" on your left and "rambo" on your right from hurting themselves, or you ... and to help you avoid an inadvertent lapse that might hurt someone else. LET THEM DO THEIR JOB.

Here's the thing: If you let them do their job, you can concentrate on your shooting with a somewhat diminished need to be personally inspecting what every other shooter on the line is doing just to make sure you don't end up shot. Of course you must remain aware and vigilant -- it is YOUR duty to call "STOP!" and "CEASE FIRE!" the instant you see anything dangerous happen -- just as it is the duty of everyone on the line. You are responsible for safety, but you can rest some of that burden on the shoulders of the GOOD folks who give up their time to carry part of that load for you.

(Unless you're diverting the RSO's attention from the line while you squawk and squabble like a wet hen because you're afraid you might get "crud" in the action of your gun if you leave it open for 5 minutes! Give me a BREAK! :rolleyes:)

My point is that these ROs as a whole are human and not infallible by any means. This means that their word isn't gospel, ever. When you are on a live firing line, with real weapons that can kill someone dead forever with a split-second lapse in judgment -- THEIR WORD IS GOSPEL. Sit down, swallow your gall, and do what the RSO said, like an ADULT.

If you have a problem with the instructions the RSO is giving, take it up LATER with the governing body of the range facility. Do NOT act like a child, squalling with the range officer and hogging up his attention over some petty issue (...but I don't WANT to leave my bolt open!...:fire:) while he's trying to make sure everyone leaves alive, no ambulances are needed, no lawsuits are being launched, and the range can stay open for the next day, the next year, and the next generation.

That is where there needs to be a stronger emphasis on INDIVIDUAL SAFETY, so that the RO isn't so taxed with twenty-eight people on a range and forced to micromanage all of them, because they dropped their thinking hats and are drones on command, to a guy who is stressed out and overseeing the every small action of over two dozen people!I do not disagree at all that individual safety is a must. I don't know how you're making the leap from, "Cease fire, unload, open bolts, no handling of firearms, the range is COLD," to "We're all mindless drones who will be LESS safe because someone is making sure we stay safe." That is beyond all logic. Might as well say that, because stop signs and traffic lights exist, we're all unsafe drivers with no ability to decide how to operate a car safely.

Checking a firing line for open bolts or chamber flags is NOT in any way micromanaging. That's just prudent safety practices.

I feel, for some odd reason, that an RO should have better things to watch out for than the removed bolts, removed slides and dismantled guns of the entire line.But this is exactly how safety is DONE. Day in and day out, for every shooter on the line, always. That's how folks are kept from making the little compounded errors in practice or judgment that cause DEATH ... like the permanent, no-coming-back-from-it kind.

I'd much rather my NCOs worry about PVT Soandso who keeps flagging his buddy than chasing thirty experienced soldiers behind an arbitrary line in the sand for their own "safety" with their assigned weapon.
Of course. Because YOU (or WE) are very safe and knowledgeable shooters who don't make mistakes. I trust you would never, ever have a "brain fart" or moment of distraction that could endanger anyone. Really, I do. But I don't trust the guy on your right, or on your left, or the one in the middle, either. ;) Why? Because I have been the guy on the line and I know that errors and forgetfulness happen -- to me, or to the guy next to me -- and I appreciate the extra bit of protection that comes from having an experienced extra set of eyes on every gun to double-check that I don't slip up, and neither does the guy on my left or on my right.

If you cannot be "big" enough to accept this exceedingly minor intrusion into your absolute freedom of action -- please do not come to a firing range and disturb those who can. Find a bit of desert land or wilderness where you can really just do whatever you like without any possibility of harming anyone, and no one will tell you what to do with your gun.

But if you come to a formal firing range, "put on your big-boy pants" as they say, and accept and follow instructions like a MAN.

(...or woman, as the case may be.)

LemmyCaution
July 11, 2011, 09:14 AM
Hear, hear, Sam. Thank you.

oneounceload
July 11, 2011, 10:46 AM
When the "line is cold" command is called, guns are left with magazines removed, the action open, and an open bolt indicator with an orange or yellow flag inserted, so anyone can see at a glance that the guns are in a safe condition. Until all shooters are back from downrange, nobody touches a gun. Anybody who fiddles with their gun, or starts loading magazines while other people are down range, will be asked to leave; anybody who sticks a loaded magazine in a gun while others are downrange will be asked to leave immediately.

How does sitting behind the line loading mags endanger anyone?

When folks go downrange, some of us find that to be the perfect time to run a few patches down the bore - not going to hurt anyone that way either and keeps the timing for all in better sync. I have also sat and stared through my spotting scope, checking shot placement and making notes - again, no danger to anyone, but I am not behind some magical line.

Safety is paramount, but so is common sense

Sam1911
July 11, 2011, 11:00 AM
How does sitting behind the line loading mags endanger anyone?It doesn't. Most ranges allow that. Take the mags with you as you step away from the guns and most ranges would have no problem. If they do, say, "ok," comply, and decide if that's a restriction you can live with before you come next time.

When folks go downrange, some of us find that to be the perfect time to run a few patches down the bore - not going to hurt anyone that way either and keeps the timing for all in better sync. I have also sat and stared through my spotting scope, checking shot placement and making notes - again, no danger to anyone, but I am not behind some magical line.This would make me very, very nervous. If I'm down range pasting targets, I can't see WHAT you're doing back 100-200 yds away. Of course, because it's YOU and you're very VERY good, I would trust you. But if I don't know you, you might be the kind of yahoo that would take things another step farther.

So, it is common to ask that everyone, from the grand old gentlemen who know what they're doing to the newbie who just unboxed his new gun, step away from the guns and don't handle them while folks are downrange.

I know you are special. But the guy next to you might be less special, and he might hurt someone. Play along and follow the rules so everyone feels, and IS, as safe as they can be.

Now, if your home range has worked out their safety practices so that if your bolt is removed you may handle firearms when others are downrange, so be it. (I've never heard of one that does allow this ... and on an informal range I'd be sitting out the session until you finished for the day.) But don't give the RSOs headaches because you don't like the way their range chooses to handle safety issues. If you can wait until folks have returned to the line to shoot another string, you can wait to clean your rifle or 'scope your target. Don't be in such a self-important hurry that you cause other folks stress, fear, or worry -- or get yourself kicked off the line.

Safety is paramount, but so is common senseCommon sense works great until someone's idea of common sense isn't quite a sensical as they thought. We've got stories ALL the time here of folks who felt it was completely sensical to go down range and change their targets (or send their CHILDREN downrange to do so! :fire:) while others were shooting.

We all hope that our common sense range habits are above reproach and above needing to follow multi-layered redundant safety practices. But a shooting range open to more than one person needs to protect and shepherd the actions of the shooter with the least skills and understanding. And it is our job as responsible, adult, mature shooters to work with the procedures that the range sets up which keep the shooters safe and the range open -- allowing us the pleasure of continuing to use that facility.

Kleanbore
July 11, 2011, 11:11 AM
Posted by Kliegl: For instance, why can't you touch a gun while people are down range?

Posted by oneounceload: When folks go downrange, some of us find that to be the perfect time to run a few patches down the bore - not going to hurt anyone that way either and keeps the timing for all in better sync.Most of us do not.

The problem is that it is not immediately obvious whether someone is running patches through a bore or doing something unsafe that must be dealt with immediately.

At the outdoor ranges where I shoot, and in fact at all of the ranges at which I have ever shot in my life, that kind of behavior will get one expelled permanently, perhaps after a warning.

And I want 'em gone.

Posted by Kliegl: What if I have enough targets up and I want to load mags?

Some ranges do have areas in which one can safely do that while others are firing or changing targets.

Part of exercising the right to bear arms is the freedom to do it your way.Not if one handles a firearm in such a manner that one creates undue risk to others.

I don't need others to tell me how to be safe, nor the proper handling of my gun. That would seem to be in question, given your question "why can't you touch a gun while people are down range?".

Plus, if I were peacefully loading mags and someone came and SHOUTED at me, that would be bad.What are you implying?

rbernie
July 11, 2011, 11:14 AM
How does sitting behind the line loading mags endanger anyone? I hesitate to jump into this spirited debate, but I'd like to point out that some of these rules have their origins in more than the desire for a RSO to act out their innermost JBT fantasies. For example, range rules that prohibit the use or movement of equipment during a cease-fire serve not only to ensure that nobody does anything unsafe but also help ensure that every shooter's kit is not molested or stolen while they are 100+ yards away hanging a new target.

One local range that I frequent has at least one theft attempt every year - all during cease fires when the owner of said kit has stepped away from their gear.

Plus, if I were peacefully loading mags and someone came and SHOUTED at me, that would be bad.There is one local range here in the DFW area that I will not frequent on the weekends because of the poor behavior of one of the four (4) RSO's on duty. He tends towards hysteria and shouting a lot more than I think is needed, and in general seems emotionally overwrought. That doesn't mean that the range is incorrect in its rules - it just means that I don't cotton to the manner in which this RSO manages the crowds. Having said that, this range sees upward of 400 shooters per weekend day and many of those shooters are quite, um, casual in their understanding of range and firearm safety.

And so I just shoot somewhere else on the weekends and only shoot there on the weekdays. Their house, their rules, their staff.

Sam1911
July 11, 2011, 11:21 AM
And, to reiterate the age-old saying... if you don't like the way they do it, (and you can't change the policies through the proper channels), find another range or start your own range and make up your own rules.

Neither the world, nor any range owner, owes it to you to be allowed to do whatever you want, however you want, with only those restrictions you agree to follow.

A mature shooter considers range rules just like the physical terrain, the weather, the target, the course-of-fire specifications (in a match), etc. -- all part of the challenge of shooting. Accommodate them so they can accommodate you.

BullfrogKen
July 11, 2011, 11:42 AM
Our range only has a RO during competitions. Other than that we communicate with each other. We are all responsible for unloading/opening the action of guns before going downrange. Sometimes that is a bit "awkward" when an idiot is present, but everyone understands "Hot" and "Cold". Some of them just don't seem to understand what a "safe" gun is. Arghhh..


Pretty much the same at my club. One of us will yell - The range is hot! Eyes and ears! for the benefit of those nearby but not shooting. Hot and cold is pretty ubiquitous anywhere I've ever been.

Our By-laws allow certain groups to run hot ranges at my club, meaning anyone not actually shooting can have a loaded firearm on their person. But guns stay holstered, or slung. Essentially, no one handles a firearm while someone's downwange. Works pretty well for those of us in a class or training event.

At IDPA matches or when the general public comes in, we all unload, clear, and either holster the firearm or bench it and step away from them.


Nushif,

Get over yourself.

Kleanbore
July 11, 2011, 11:44 AM
Posed by rbernie: For example, range rules that prohibit the use or movement of equipment during a cease-fire serve not only to ensure that nobody does anything unsafe but also help ensure that every shooter's kit is not molested or stolen while they are 100+ yards away hanging a new target.Excellent point!

oneounceload
July 11, 2011, 11:45 AM
The range I shot at mostly out West was a city park - NO range officer, no controls - just folks communicating with each other when the range was hot or cold - everyone understood what nods, hand waves, etc. meant - if you wanted to go check targets, you stepped back and sat on the back ledge and waited - everyone was courteous enough towards one another. All types of folks, all types of guns, all types of shooting - one common goal was courtesy and respect to all - it worked without all of the hyperbole seen today........wonder why?

In fact I have been downrange when someone fired shots - they were with their RSO from the pistol range and were warming up with double taps on the rifle side - so much for that RSO and safety

Us folks on the rifle side never had an issue - the vandalism and jackasses seem to come out late at night to cause damage

kludge
July 11, 2011, 11:48 AM
When there is a match or class going and everyone is doing the same thing, then we have and RSO giving range commmands. At other times, the members police themselves and it's up to them to communicate with each other/be courteous when people want to set targets, etc.

We use the hot/cold system and reserve "CEASE FIRE" for emergencies. All this is explained in the orientation meeting, and all rules are posted at the range.

Ready? --> Range is Hot! --> Clear? --> Range is Cold! --> Ready? ... and so on...

Ready?: Everyone checks eyes and ears, looks downrange, if not ready or someone is downrage say "Not Ready"

Range is Hot!: You may load and commence firing. You may case or uncase your gun at the firing line. No one allowed beyond the firing line for any reason.

Clear?: Not a command, basically you are asking permission to go downrange. If someone wants to shoot a few more, then the shooters will need to work it out and be courteous. When all have fired their last shot and the action is open and confirmed empty they call back "clear." When all stations have confirmed "clear" the "Range is Cold" command is given.

Range is Cold!: All magazines are out, actions are open, chambers are empty. No one is to touch or handle a firearm for any reason while the line is cold. Do not case or uncase any firearms. Do not adjust sights or scopes. This is the time to post your target or clean up/police brass if you are arriving/leaving. Pistols in holsters are considered safe.

Seems to work pretty well. If you are the type to shoot 5 shots on each target and you are shooting with someone who is putting 50 rounds on each target, then have a little courtesy (it goes both ways) and post multiple targets, and get yourself a spotting scope.

hso
July 11, 2011, 12:12 PM
The simple fact is that guns don't go off if they're not being handled and the mistake can't happen if the item isn't touched.

The fact that "you" as an individual may be thoughtful and careful and considerate of others doesn't negate the fact that "I" may be less careful.

These absolute rules, don't touch the weapon at all for any reason, are because of the catastrophic consequences of a failure if I fail to handle the weapon each and every time without distraction and fully focused on clearing the weapon before handling. Since we know these accidents do occur we know that failures to handle safely occur.

Why is my convenience more important than your safety? Or put another way, why is my convenience more important than your life?

kimberkid
July 11, 2011, 03:42 PM
They have red lights over the firing line which are on during cease fires.

Yes

Yes
Ditto ...

Single Action Six
July 11, 2011, 05:50 PM
No one here has brought up (or should I say answered), how one handles shooters who are DEAF/Deaf HOHI as to range commands and/or wearing hearing protection.

I know what I do, but before revealing what that is, I'm curious as to what YOU do.

Single Action Six

oneounceload
July 11, 2011, 07:14 PM
We get their attention with hand movement - the eyes pick that up quickly

SeekHer
July 12, 2011, 07:34 AM
I have probably shot at over a couple hundred different ranges in my 50 plus years shooting competitively (rifle and shotgun and 10M air pistol & rifle) and just about everyone is the same regarding range commands but I've only heard hot/cold in say the last fifteen years or so and them infrequently...Even open/closed weren't that popular until about twenty odd years ago

Cease fire, place guns with actions open (or make safe etc.), clear right/left, left proceed to targets, right proceed to targets...Upon return, check downrange and ask if everyone has returned, ready right/left, commence firing...Mexico City during the '68 Olympics they had the same commands but just in Spanish and at ranges in Norway, France, Germany, Israel and Italy in their native language and sometimes followed by English if they had a lot of competitors from English speaking countries.

Since I shoot a lot of benchrest and use unlimited class guns--some weighing 100+ lbs, I can not and will not remove the gun from the bench or from pointing downrange--that's what the action flag and/or removed bolt does...also while some are at the targets, I/we will run a patch through the barrel but then we're standing in front of the gun/bench.

You'll also see some guys pull out portable reloading presses and reload a number of empty brass with the same or different loads to match climatic conditions they hadn't anticipated...One guy uses a padded piano bench to shoot from and he stores his accessories in there--he'll take his little folding stool, set it up, open the piano bench and use that to reload his brass.

As to racking a gun, maybe 15% of the ranges had single racks available at the end of the bench and maybe 20% more had some kind of multi rack for five/ten guns about ten/fifteen paces back...The reason that mags are not allowed in the guns, in the racks is they might not be unloaded, fall over and accidentally go off...In California, where the semi auto rifle mags have to be pinned in place, bolts had to be locked back and a flag or other safety device inserted into the barrel, action and/or chamber.

The ranges aren't out to restrict your choice of guns/ammo but they have to protect themselves against frivolous lawsuits, to meet insurance requirements or just to protect their equipment from having to be replaced, frequently -- cost.

I have NEVER EVER heard of a range that didn't allow reloads, EVER, anywhere--unless;

I have heard of no FMJs or AP (Armour Piercing) because they bang up the equipment too much, too quickly, especially on metal pop-ups or the berms/backstops cannot handle the loads--i.e. concern for innocent bystanders walking outside the indoor range...Of course no guns over a certain calibre since the backstops or equipment won't handle it--I have to shoot the .470 NE, .476 WR etc. at the farm where I have a proper regulator's (standing) bench...My friend has a 100M rimfire only range--bench, silhouettes, multi positions--and he enforces it...His silhouettes can't handle .17 HMR or .22 WRM--they will go clean through them or dent them but you can use those shells on all the target stands but nothing heavier, no centerfire whatsoever, as his berms won't handle it...If you want to give him $350 for a 40 pc. set of silhouettes, have fun with your .17 HM2, etc.

Some places have Federal or State/Provincial laws that prevent the use of detachable mags of greater capacity then X even if a rimfire (excluding tube feed) so they would restrict your capacity that way.

I have heard no fully automatic guns allowed--noise concerns, flying brass and/or local ordinances against them and rapid fire of semi autos with 25/30/40/50 round mags may be misconstrued as such--legal hassles...Other then for just the heck with it, what does it accomplish, really? C'mon, what realistic scenarios would require you to empty a 30 round clip in 10 seconds.

Some clubs require you to position a screen beside the bench or have a bullet catcher installed if you're going to be shooting semi/full auto...Ask the ladies what joy there is in having a hot shell fall into their cleavage or you must have at least two (2) benches between you and the other shooters, so if it gets crowded you have to stop or switch guns.

Most places couldn't give a crap about how long you're at your spot but if it gets really busy, I'll pack my BR or BPCR stuff up and probably leave or maybe switch guns--not because I'm such a terrifically nice guy, I just don't want to be bothered answering all the questions about the equipment and turning down requests to shoot the guns...Also, most shooters don't enjoy the smell of blackpowder smoke clouds blowing in their faces.

Range/Safety Officers are there for a reason--mostly for insurance purposes--SAFETY...Safety of you and the other shooters...Possibly to instruct novices in the proper usage of their firearms and etiquette but mainly safety...What's the first gun rule? "Consider all guns loaded all the time and act accordingly"...I couldn't care less if you were the top Olympic shooter in the world, you holding a gun to your shoulder and aiming downrange will get you kicked out very quickly for a second offence--I don't care if you're just looking at the targets with your scope--get a damn spotting scope, that what they're there for.

I saw one guy doing everything that you shouldn't and refused to leave--he got arrested and booked for attempted murder...I saw another arsehat flagrantly abusing his privileges and drinking alcohol (from a Coke can), get slightly drunk and was greeted with the RO and a couple of other patrons with handguns drawn and had his guns confiscated (until he sobered up) and banned for life and he was the club's vice president or a board member, something like that...He was waving a loaded AR10 around with his finger in the trigger guard and to make a point would point it at you--I got down behind the concrete bench frame and finished off my logbook entries until he was disarmed (a Glock to the side of the head works well) and escorted out.

Kliegl
July 12, 2011, 08:05 AM
Now, that last one is a decent reply.

I think, myself, I'll pass from any more comments in this thread, other than noting
the irony of being talked down to by 4 moderators (people who have been given a little bit of authority) on a subject of over-control / being talked down to by range officers (people that have been given a little bit of authority.) Of course, this comment will probably get removed....

Walkalong
July 12, 2011, 10:27 AM
You are passing because you have no viable answer to several people pointing out how unsafe and even cavalier your posted behavior is concerning something where death can be the consequence.

BullfrogKen
July 12, 2011, 10:47 AM
I have probably shot at over a couple hundred different ranges in my 50 plus years shooting competitively (rifle and shotgun and 10M air pistol & rifle) and just about everyone is the same regarding range commands but I've only heard hot/cold in say the last fifteen years or so and them infrequently...Even open/closed weren't that popular until about twenty odd years ago

I can remember being at Lejeune 20 years ago using hot/cold range lingo. Used it on the firing lines at the machinegun ranges. Used it over the radio to call the range status into HQ. The "ready on the right? Ready on the left? All ready . . . " commands were much more perfunctory rituals that we did during formal qualifications.

Hot and cold ranges was the lingo I saw used in the Fleet.


I have NEVER EVER heard of a range that didn't allow reloads, EVER, anywhere--unless . . .

I have. I've been to one or two for-profit ranges, usually operated in conjunction with a retail gun shop, that only let you use ammo they sold you.

And Sig Academy went to totally lead-free ammo some years ago. When they were faced with the cost of cleaning their indoor range from lead dust contamination, they demolished it and built a new one. The cost of constructing a new range was less than the clean up of the existing one. They now prohibit anything but totally lead-free ammo in it.

Zak Smith
July 12, 2011, 12:52 PM
I think, myself, I'll pass from any more comments in this thread, other than noting
the irony of being talked down to by 4 moderators (people who have been given a little bit of authority) on a subject of over-control / being talked down to by range officers (people that have been given a little bit of authority.) Of course, this comment will probably get removed....
You're being corrected because you are totally off base on the basic protocols of firearms and range safety and you've tried to justify behavior that is totally unacceptable at any range.

It is true that being a forum moderator alone does not confer any legitimate claim of expertise. However, the mods who have posted here, including myself, have extensive experience as match directors, range officers, range staff, professional firearms instructors, etc. That is the basis for the "authority" of our comments. But even that's not needed. The safety standards are out there and ubiquitous and anyone can point out when they're being contradicted and broken by an individual.

bigfatdave
July 12, 2011, 02:22 PM
I have. I've been to one or two for-profit ranges, usually operated in conjunction with a retail gun shop, that only let you use ammo they sold you. I've seen that policy for rental guns belonging to the range, I don't think I'd be back to a range that made me buy their ammo for use in my guns.

azmjs
July 12, 2011, 02:43 PM
"BZZZZT cease fire cease fire open and empty all firearms, remove all magazines..."

BullfrogKen
July 12, 2011, 02:44 PM
I've seen that policy for rental guns belonging to the range, I don't think I'd be back to a range that made me buy their ammo for use in my guns.

You might not want to sign up for a class at SigArms Academy then. There was a time when that was non-negotiable. Don't know if it still is or not. It was the way they'd ensure no lead ammunition was ever introduced onto their new indoor range. Ever.


Also, I'll often load some mags, and insert one in a gun for shooting after my current gun. Note that I, categorically, did NOT say chamber a round, so all my guns are always completely safe until I pick one up and chamber a round.


A cavalier, careless attitude around a firearm is how people get shot by unloaded guns. See Rule #1.


The problem with the concept of an RSO is that it's someone regulating your shooting experience. Part of exercising the right to bear arms is the freedom to do it your way. As we can see with the current government, while a little authority may be fine, it never stays that way.


You have the right to own a firearm. And I have a right not to get shot. You do what you want on your own property. You don't get to "do it your way" when you leave it.


the irony of being talked down to by 4 moderators (people who have been given a little bit of authority) on a subject of over-control / being talked down to by range officers (people that have been given a little bit of authority.)


Over-zealous moderators? Please. My wife knows better than to handle a gun when someone's downrange. She'd chastise you for doing it, as well.


I've seen children with better attitudes.

bigfatdave
July 12, 2011, 02:52 PM
You might not want to sign up for a class at SigArms Academy then. There was a time when that was non-negotiable. Don't know if it still is or not. It was the way they'd ensure no lead ammunition was ever introduced onto their new indoor range. Ever.I can understand the motivation to remain lead-free ... how much were they charging for that magic no-lead ammo?

Single Action Six
July 12, 2011, 03:08 PM
We get their attention with hand movement - the eyes pick that up quickly

Hand movements are only good when (and if) you KNOW who the particular person is AND you've already gained their attention. I defy anyone walking BEHIND 20 people to correctly identify (each and every time) the one DEAF/Deaf HOHI person out of those 20 just by observing the back of their head. Can't be done.

Which also brings up the point, hand movements aren't going to do any good then when the RSO is walking BEHIND the shooters on the firing line when the shooters all have their attention downrange shooting toward the targets.. which means the RSO is seeing them from the back (as explained in the above paragraph).

So.. once again I ask: "How do you determine (and what do you do) when you have DEAF/Deaf HoHI people on the line?

Single Action Six

azmjs
July 12, 2011, 03:09 PM
Why does the adolescent mentality that is opposed to authority present itself so often? :(

jcwit
July 12, 2011, 04:11 PM
Why does the adolescent mentality that is opposed to authority present itself so often?

I agree with you, the same holds true with parents when little janie or johnney is corrected at school, Not my child seems to be the 1st reaction. Mayhap thats where all this comes from, many many years of papa & mama way over protecting and lack of parenting. suppose?

Plus, no matter what happens its never them at fault.

El Tejon
July 12, 2011, 04:22 PM
Range commands? RSOs?

Wow, you guys have like . . . real ranges or something.:p

If I am at a range that has all that fancy stuff, then I ask the dude in charge or sometimes the dude in charge will give me a heads up or give me a sheet to read and sign before I am allowed on the range.

And just to totally confuse him, I read the range rules.:D

When in Rome, shoot as the Wromans do.:neener:

MEHavey
July 12, 2011, 04:23 PM
Our Situation
Range: 100 Yards, 25/50/75-yard target mounts
Weapons: Rife & Pistol
Firing Positions: 20
Restrictions: None (no 50BMG)
RO Microphone at center position/speakers up & down the line L&R
Red Flashing Light when COLDFiring Intervals: 30 minutes (when > 3-4 shooters present)

Going Cold Commands:
- Cease Fire, Cease Fire, Cease Fire on the Firing Line
- Unload all weapons, Open All Actions, Drop all Magazines
- Make the Line Safe and Step Back from the Line (White line ~2ft behind benches)
As R/O I walk the line first right, then left, to inspect all weapons on the benches, then back to the Mic at the center:
- The Line is safe.
- You may go forward and paste your targets
- While the line is safe, do not handle any weapons at any time for any reason (not even cased ones)
- Do not go forward of the White Line.

Going Hot Commands:
- Is the Range Clear ? (Literally "...everyone take a look....")
- The Range is Clear.
- The Range is HOT.
- Eye & Ear Protection is required at all times....

While COLD:You want to load magazines? Have at it on the tables behind the White Line
You want to clean weapons? Pull them off the line and take them out of the covered firing area entirely and before Cease Fire
You want something left on your bench? Ask me and I will gladly get it for you (except the weapon)
You want to handle a cased weapon behind the White Line (but still in under the firing line cover)? Nope.
You want to carry a cased weapon out of the covered firing area. Nope.

Offhand pistol shooting that we see putting rounds in the dirt/under the target instead of the 100-yard backstop are helped to see what they are doing/risking in richochet. If they can't get the hang of it we put then down on the bench w/ a barrel rest until they get things under control (and we watch them carefully). If there is resistance, we are politely firm. If there is defiance, they are gone.

No automatic weapons (on this range). Neighbors are too close/have been too good to take the risk of offense. Ditto repeated rapid-fire emptying of entire magazines only to be followed by another.

Sin Loi.......

We have really good bunch of people in this club. They are both responsible and a good number are ROs like me, assigned on different days. We absolutely respect each other and the folks who come out to play w/ us. The RO's decision is LAW. Got a problem?/Take it up w/ the Board. But on that day you obey the RO. We will help anyone. From neophyte to expert w/ a never-seen-this-before problem.

I have rarely/if ever had to ask someone to leave over the last 20 years. (Quiet/helpful authority does have its positive aspects that way.)

As a result we have a lot of women who come out because they feel safe, and thereafter they bring their daughters as well as their young sons. Like it or not, they are raising the future. Convince them, ...Make them comfortable,... Make them proficient, ...Make them advocates... then You might have a tomorrow.

Most everyone on board seems to see things in this light and are great folks.

Sam1911
July 12, 2011, 04:24 PM
So.. once again I ask: "How do you determine (and what do you do) when you have DEAF/Deaf HoHI people on the line?


The best answer to this is the same regardless of whether there are hearing-impaired folks or completely able folks on the line.

The cease-fire command is given and the RSO visually confirms that each shooter has opened their bolt and stepped away from the gun in recognition of the cease-fire BEFORE giving the "Range Cold" command to allow folks to go forward of the line.

No RSO worth their jack boots and swagger stick (to hear some tell it :rolleyes:) is going to give a "Range Cold--Proceed Downrange" command without assuring him- or herself that the line is actually COLD, i.e.: that all shooters on the line have received the message and responded appropriately.

It's somewhat of an odd question as everyone will be wearing hearing protection and some will be wearing doubled plugs and muffs, too. We're all deliberately hearing-impaired to one degree or another while on the line.

If someone does not respond to the verbal cues (and/or lights, if present), then the RSO's job is to physically contact them to alert them of the changing range condition -- BEFORE allowing another shooter to move ahead of the line.

Which all reiterates the "WHY" of how it is that each shooter is required to attain some level of visible safe condition with their firearm (bolt open, bolt removed, rifle racked, step back from the line, and/or whatever else is required by that range) before the line is actually declared safe to pass.

And it pretty demonstrably illustrates why the "I gotta be me" theme is so poorly received.

I mean, I hate with a passion that anyone would try to control how I enjoy MY car by telling me I can't drive down the left side of the road, but I play by the rules because such cooperation helps us all enjoy and use the facility together without too many deadly results.

Nushif
July 12, 2011, 04:26 PM
Mayhap thats where all this comes from, many many years of papa & mama way over protecting and lack of parenting. suppose?

Plus, no matter what happens its never them at fault.

Regardless of what's being said. Way highroad. Definitely not an ad hominem.

El Tejon
July 12, 2011, 04:39 PM
And it pretty demonstrably illustrates why the "I gotta be me" theme is so poorly received.

Absolutely. I mean, I'm a swaggering rebel and that's why chicks dig me.

However, when there are guns around, then you better pay attention to "we" rather than "me" and obey the dude-in-charge so no one adds any extra holes.

What's the line from Way of the Gun? "There are guns here!":D

MEHavey
July 12, 2011, 04:41 PM
"I gotta be me" theme is so poorly received.

Ignorance is curable.
Stupidity is terminal
Terminal leaves a bad taste in everyone's mouth (which your adversaries hit the survivors over the head with).

Such persons need to find another venue.

BullfrogKen
July 12, 2011, 04:41 PM
I can understand the motivation to remain lead-free ... how much were they charging for that magic no-lead ammo?

No idea.

The guys I know who took a class at Sig Academy weren't paying for it; their department or agency was.

No RSO worth their jack boots and swagger stick (to hear some tell it ) is going to give a "Range Cold--Proceed Downrange" command without assuring him- or herself that the line is actually COLD, i.e.: that all shooters on the line have received the message and responded appropriately . . . .


Which all reiterates the "WHY" of how it is that each shooter is required to attain some level of visible safe condition with their firearm (bolt open, bolt removed, rifle racked, step back from the line, and/or whatever else is required by that range) before the line is actually declared safe to pass.

And it pretty demonstrably illustrates why the "I gotta be me" theme is so poorly received.

I figure if I had a hearing impaired person on the line, I'd make sure I was close enough to make physical contact if I needed to call an immediate ceasefire. I don't know how I could be assured of communicating the message any other way.

As Sam points out just going through the motions isn't enough. When a range is declared cold, the R/O has to be sure it's cold.


And it's why those who think they know better, or think they're so special that they can be allowed to slide on that rule, really bother me.

I don't much like working from cold ranges either. But when I'm shooting a cold range match, I manage to suck it up and conform with it.

If I can do it then so can you.

jcwit
July 12, 2011, 04:44 PM
Regardless of what's being said. Way highroad. Definitely not an ad hominem.


I posted my opinion, take it however you wish, furthermore I do not speak or read latin and do not care to learn, no more than I care to learn spanish.

What is so hard with obeying the basic rules and any other rules at whatever range one wishes to frequent. If one does not wish to obey the rules, start their own range and get a good insurance carrier.

With the lack of rules that some here wish to abide by the NRA Insurance program will not qualify.

jcwit
July 12, 2011, 04:49 PM
I figure if I had a hearing impaired person on the line, I'd make sure I was close enough to make physical contact if I needed to call an immediate ceasefire. I don't know how I could be assured of communicating the message any other way.

As Sam points out just going through the motions isn't enough. When a range is declared cold, the R/O has to be sure it's cold.




I'm a Certified NRA Range Officer and have worked as such at the regional Bullseye matches and the above is absolutely, positivity true.

CapnMac
July 12, 2011, 05:20 PM
This would make me very, very nervous. If I'm down range pasting targets, I can't see WHAT you're doing back 100-200 yds away.

Having made the hike out to 300, 400, and 600yard targets, I always appreciate having some one on the firing line to point out that the range is not "empty" (having heard over-the-adjacent-berm rounds one too many times.

Having some one I have a reasonable reason to trust on the line while I'm on a quarter-mile hike (only 400m/440yd) is also a good thing, to my thinking.

Now, the "why" of "why'n we haffa do wha' HE says" has always been very simple to me. It's like being around kids. Every thing you do, every action, is being set as an example, and compared to other examples.

Sure, there are plenty of us who can be trusted to run a rod and patch down the bore. But what of the person who wants to ram-rod their BP smoke pole? What of those with less experience who think your actions are the same as loading a tubular magazine on a .22; one with little or no bolt hold-open?

Sure, none of "us" would do that, we know what we are doing. However, there are always people with less experience watching. This, even when you are "alone" (as that is precisely when newbs will drive up to the line very quietly).

Like all neophytes, they will observe, and absorb, the actions, the habits of those around them. It behooves the rest of us, to practice our "know better" that others learn from that, and not from our less-better habits. It's not a terrible thing, either, for those of us of experience and knowledge, to be reminded of "better practices" too.

That, or maybe I've reached an age where I appreciate being reminded of the limits of my humility, and that they can be dressed up and the rocks whitewashed every so often.

kd7nqb
July 12, 2011, 05:39 PM
Ranges I use generally do the Range is Hot/ Range is cold thing. Only one of my 3 ranges I use requires an oreintation. I kinda wish they all would, except that one ranges charges for it which I think is dumb.

BullfrogKen
July 12, 2011, 05:46 PM
Like all neophytes, they will observe, and absorb, the actions, the habits of those around them. It behooves the rest of us, to practice our "know better" that others learn from that, and not from our less-better habits. It's not a terrible thing, either, for those of us of experience and knowledge, to be reminded of "better practices" too.

That, or maybe I've reached an age where I appreciate being reminded of the limits of my humility, and that they can be dressed up and the rocks whitewashed every so often.

Extremely well said.

SeekHer
July 12, 2011, 07:08 PM
I can remember being at Lejeune 20 years ago using hot/cold range lingo. Used it on the firing lines at the machinegun ranges. Used it over the radio to call the range status into HQ. The "ready on the right? Ready on the left? All ready . . . " commands were much more perfunctory rituals that we did during formal qualifications.

Hot and cold ranges was the lingo I saw used in the Fleet.

I have. I've been to one or two for-profit ranges, usually operated in conjunction with a retail gun shop, that only let you use ammo they sold you.

And Sig Academy went to totally lead-free ammo some years ago. When they were faced with the cost of cleaning their indoor range from lead dust contamination, they demolished it and built a new one. The cost of constructing a new range was less than the clean up of the existing one. They now prohibit anything but totally lead-free ammo in it.

What the military says and does is for the military to say and do and if it happens to make it into common English--like GPS, ATV, Snafu, M16/M4 etc. that's all fine and good...On public ranges though it's a different matter.

In the Israeli army we called things differently from the Americans but that was semantics...Same as the Italian and the Germans etc. had different words for parts of a gun...Again, semantics--actually linguistics.

Follow the NRA Range Officer's manual or the ISU or similar organizations official rules and you can't go wrong.

What SIG is doing is just specifying what kind of bullet that can be used same as no FMJ or AP or tracer...Same as the government imposing steel shot for waterfowl, to reduce the amount of lead being shot...Same as some places won't allow blackpowder or pyrodex due to ventilation problems or such concerns.

I've never shot at a "for profit" range but I have tested out rifles and pistols at ones in store basements actually, I'd never heard the phrase until now--wait, actually that's not quite true; I have shot at ranges where they have requested you use their ammo (again an insurance and backstop thing) or have a "chrony" print out of the load you're using...Usually just by describing the load they can get an idea of what the end pressure would be like and if you "qualify", then you'd be allowed to shoot otherwise you'd have to buy their ammo...That's as close as I've ever gotten to one.

BUT there is a way around that; bring something they don't carry like a .225 Win or .224 Weatherby or .218 Bee or .219 Zipper which I do have and do shoot...Stuff like 10mm, .41 Rem mag, 5.7x28mm FN, .327 Federal aren't that common at major stores or they have a limited selection available since they're such slow movers...You can also demand certain brands or specific loads...I've never shot at one and if I'd ever encounter one they better have what I'm shooting (doubtful since it's 95% reloads and/or long obsolete cartridges) or they can go to Hell in a handbasket.

I know of many clubs, usually in Germany, that require you to order your ammo through them but that's so they can get a much better price for you and still make something for the club's coffers...Every March we order a pallet or two of trap/skeet loads--and a few cases of hunting ones--from our local Gun Country Club for their biannual cartridge order (Spring and Fall) which usually amounts to 1,200+ cases...The club will keep 400 or so for teaching and rentals and the rest is divided amongst the members...It's much cheaper and less time consuming to do it this way then reloading and I still don't have a set-up for 28 bore or .410 gauge but I will eventually.

BullfrogKen
July 12, 2011, 07:24 PM
What the military says and does is for the military to say and do and if it happens to make it into common English--like GPS, ATV, Snafu, M16/M4 etc. that's all fine and good...On public ranges though it's a different matter.


Actually from what I've seen in the world of shooting its the other way 'round.


The institutional knowledge of the military is young. Very young. 30 years is a long career in the military, and few make it that far. Most do one enlistment or two and they're out.


I've been shooting as a civilian for almost 20 years now. I've learned a hell of a lot more as a civilian than I did as a military man. Back when I was in we didn't even think about eye protection, and it was rare to see someone own a pair, let alone actually shoot using safety glasses.


There's a whole lot in the shooting world that the private sector develops first, and eventually . . . over a very long period of time . . . that gets considered, accepted, embraced, and finally institutionalized by the military.

bigfatdave
July 12, 2011, 07:45 PM
No idea.

The guys I know who took a class at Sig Academy weren't paying for it; their department or agency was.Sounds like a good deal for the guys taking the class ... and the academy.
I've been building up ammunition when I can snag a good deal for years now, buying specialized ammo of no particular value elsewhere would grate on me unless it was priced similar to what I can get at the cheapo-mart, and imagine the outrage if the sooper-dooper no-lead loads don't function in someone's over-tuned race gun designed to run on their personal handloads?

(I don't own such guns or have a desire to own them, but I know that someone out there has a racegun tuned up to run on 228 grain .45acp in one brand of brass over an amazingly exact amount of one lot of one brand of powder, loaded only at the full moon on nights after but not before a rainstorm)

BullfrogKen
July 12, 2011, 07:59 PM
I've never shot at a "for profit" range but I have tested out rifles and pistols at ones in store basements actually, I'd never heard the phrase until now

Probably ought to clarify that for you.

I find that the ubiquitous "places where I shoot" usually falls into one of four categories:


True privately-owned land - as in this is my personal property; my family's; my buddy's farm . . . you get the picture
A privately-owned, but for-profit place to shoot. Like SigArms Academy, or a gun store with an adjacent, hourly-fee rental range. Basically someplace to shoot that funds a business, i.e. - pays someone's costs to run it, plus some profit.
Public land. This could be any sort of government-owned land that has a range, be it just a pile of dirt to fully-improved shooting stations. Generally opened to the "general public" with very few restrictions on who can actually use it. In my state, the PA Game Commission runs these. It's different all across the U.S.
Or a non-for-profit membership club or association that owns land, or simply a range, that grants dues-paying members of that association the right to shoot on it.


I've been to them all.

Each has their own unique rules. And their own reasons for what behavior they allow to occur on them.

You can't assume why someplace specifies lead-free ammunition. It could be like the indoor range at Sig Academy, and they don't want the cost of lead remediation. Or, it could be because the backstop they use is very thin, and they'll only allow frangible rounds on it to reduce damage to the plate.



Too many variables. But this is getting in the weeds.



I've found the command "the range is hot!" used nearly any place where people who don't know each other gather to shoot. In fact, I've thought back on it, and at Lejeune we had red range flags we'd hoist to the entrance of ranges we were on.

Red. Hot. = Put your eyes and ears on. Don't go downrange.

Cold. Clear. = OK, we're done shooting. Everyone stop fiddling with your guns now so we can walk downrange for some reason until we're hot again.

SeekHer
July 13, 2011, 05:04 AM
Actually from what I've seen in the world of shooting its the other way 'round.


The institutional knowledge of the military is young. Very young. 30 years is a long career in the military, and few make it that far. Most do one enlistment or two and they're out.


I've been shooting as a civilian for almost 20 years now. I've learned a hell of a lot more as a civilian than I did as a military man. Back when I was in we didn't even think about eye protection, and it was rare to see someone own a pair, let alone actually shoot using safety glasses.


There's a whole lot in the shooting world that the private sector develops first, and eventually . . . over a very long period of time . . . that gets considered, accepted, embraced, and finally institutionalized by the military.
Yes, but I responded to a military man (yourself) stating his RO used hot/cold which is a US military phrase not an International one or a civilian one except for in the last 15, 20 years or so it started popping up BUT it still isn't used everywhere.

The cost of the tuition for the SIG Academy also includes the cost of all ammo; the same as lots of other training schools do...They do it for a number of reasons a) flying with 600 pistol and 500 rifle and 200 shotgun rounds is expensive excess baggage charges; b) they can get a bulk order price and makes it cheaper for the student; c) the course provides the firearms for them to train with; d) they are assured of a certain velocity or bullet weight etc. or e) in SIG's case, to meet a VERY specific metal content--According to their website, they will allow you to bring your own ammo, it just must meet their very strict standards!

Your statement was that you heard of places, "for profit", that didn't allow anything but their brand new ammo to be used--no reloads which I'd never heard of...I know that rental places require you to use their guns and ammo but then again not many people go into a rental range with boxes of ammo to try out...Sure, It's done, I've done it myself, as I wanted to try this hot load for a 9mm in a number of guns that I wanted to buy and couldn't decide on the make/model--I figured the one that handled the easiest with that load would be the one I'd buy but that seldom happens...but I've still not heard of a public range--whether you pay a per usage fee, a yearly fee, or it's free--where you bring your own firearms and ammunition disallowing your ammo reloads--excluding the aforementioned certain, specific, types of bullets for insurance, structural or environmental reasons...The rental ranges charge you for their employees wages by pricing their rentals and ammo high and by charging a membership fee and/or an expensive daily/hourly usage fee.

I belong to a Trap/Skeet, rifle, pistol, archery Country Club style range with gun store and full time gunsmith, shooting instructors, snack bar and beer/wine restaurant, club house w/lockers and showers et cetera, etc...It cost me $X.XX to join and costs me $X.XX per year family membership, $X.XX per year junior memberships (18-21 yrs old), $X.XX per month maintenance fee and $X.XX for each time I/we use the ranges--Just like a golfer's country club...What I pay per use is a lot cheaper then what Joe Public pays who comes by to sight in his hunting rifle or to shoot a round of clays...Courses of instruction are two tiered member and non, members get 20% off on store prices and can charge their restaurant and bar bills etc.

What we have done for 600 yard F-Class, 1K BR, 600, 800, 1k BPCR and HiPower silhouettes competitions is get a couple of teenagers using the clubs two ATVs to run out and change all the targets, for everyone, and each shooter slips them a few bucks per event--about $20 to $25 for a whole long weekend's competition...One of my daughters--couldn't shoot due to an injury--did it a couple of years ago and made $500+ for the weekend...Really big events we just get more ATVs and hire more teens.

dirtykid
July 13, 2011, 10:13 PM
1) No, my range is privately operated with a "caretaker" living on-site, we have old loader-tires piled between different ranges so effectively we have 6-seperate "areas". determining if the range is "hot or cold" is done by making eye-contact with other members and usually if they aren't dicks they will ask you if you need to go down-range,(sometimes you have to stand 15-feet away and burn a hole in the side of their head) before they do so.. it's all self-regulating
2) Yes, range rules and reg's are posted at every bench,every "lane",,, Ear and Eye protection required,pick up your own brass,your momma dont live here.
3) No, you pay the "caretaker" and walk down the hill to shoot,although He's a real nice guy and if you asked him he would give you a quick tour,and probaly offer to take your name for the newsletter.
I LIKE the idea of the lights, sometimes when im way-out at the 200-yard targets setting up and i see someone back at the bench arrive and start to un-case a rifle i get a little extra giddy-up to get the heck out of the way !!

Ignition Override
July 13, 2011, 10:23 PM
When firing stops at the private club here, you must remove ammo from your gun, put in a chamber flag, leave the gun on the bench if you don't want to go down range, then you stand behind the yellow safety line, where you can not reach it.
Everybody at this club tries to be cautious and conscientious.

Why not "Firing will stop", or "Firing can begin"?

What seems critical is to make eye contact with everybody when it begins or stops, and to be told that some guy is on his belly in a blindspot.

Despite the rules, this happened once: two or three of us stated and acknowledged that "the line is cold", put our rifles down, then began walking forward about thirty feet.
Suddenly, some guy yelled out "Hey-the range is hot!"

We never knew that he was there -on his stomach- out of sight, at the extreme left of the bench line.

twofifty
July 14, 2011, 01:17 AM
^ quote: "Why not "Firing will stop", or "Firing can begin"?"

Because both these commands start with the same action word, which can lead to confusion if someone hears only the first word but the modulating words are masked by a sudden noise such as a gun shot, loud conversation, noisy truck rumbling by...

In the above noisy situations, all that could be heard is "Firing". Some on the line may think a ceasefire is called. Others may continue firing, or worse resume firing while folk are heading downrange. Sometimes semantics have importance.

I would prefer commands such as -and this is just one example:

"Ceasefire-ceasefire" and/or "Range is cold", followed by 'clear firearms'...'step back of the line'...'go forward to set targets' or whatever combination is suitable to your particular range environment on that particular day.

and

"Range is going Hot" and/or "Resume firing". (yes, I know, the word range appears at the beginning of both commands, but the word 'range' has no hot/cold significance of its own so there is no chance of miscommunication.)

Analogy: Think of complicated control panels, like on a jetliner or in a nuclear station. The power on and power off controls are not beside each other, they are not the same shape, nor are they the same color. Visual semantics can be important.

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Lots of good suggestions in the thread. I like the idea of each person doing their own visual check of the line and making eye contact, before going forward or resuming fire. Nice when everyone is on the same page.

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At the local 500 meter metallic silhouette range, the practice when going downrange to set steel is to flip up a large "range is closed" sign that all can see from the firing line. This is not done during a formal match as for those the line is supervised at all times and not everyone goes forward. But it definitely is the thing to do is you are by yourself or if everyone goes forward. 500M is too loooong away to see that someone is bent over picking up a ram.

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