Would you obey this range command?


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parsimonious_instead
June 3, 2012, 08:59 AM
Interesting situation two days ago at a county run shooting facility in lower NYS...
I rarely go there, because my usual range is much closer and less expensive.
However, the county range allows big-bore shooting at more challenging distances, up to 200 yards.
It also has a reputation for much stricter rules, like only 1 round at a time in centerfire rifles, and also for range officers that aren't especially nice.
I shot a .357 levergun for a while, then switched to my .22 Savage. I got bored after finding my sight picture and consistently nailing the bits of scrap steel they had hanging out beyond the 100 yard line.
I wanted a new challenge - try for the steel with my Ruger target pistol - no scope. Now, pistols aren't forbidden in writing on the so-called "big bore range" but I'm a big fan of asking for permission, rather than forgiveness, just in case there's some sort of issue with doing so.
So I asked the two RSOs if I could give it a try. They didn't seem especially happy about it, but they did let me try - and I took the shooting position they indicated, which was a bit isolated from the other shooters - which didn't bother me.
After taking some "ranging shots" at an exposed part of the berm, I began hitting the steel pretty consistently. They did call a cease fire and while ambling around I caught the eye of one of the RSOs, and said to him with a smile, "Well, I'm hitting the steel" and he sort of looked through me with no reply.
When we resumed shooting I found my sight picture again and was scoring hits, when I heard a voice say something like, "OK, now, time to stop."
I looked around, and the only person close enough to be audible was the young grim-faced guy. I had a feeling he was talking to me, but I resumed shooting, because he was facing 180 degrees away, and sitting down while issuing the order. I wasn't doing anything unsafe, and for all I know he was addressing someone further down the line.
After another mag full of shots, I heard someone behind me, and this time, while standing up and facing me, he told me to call it quits with a throat-slashing motion. I nodded, cleared the gun and packed up my gear, since I had accomplished what I came there for.
My feeling is this: unless someone is directly facing me, why should I assume what they're barking out is meant for me? There were other shooters on the line that he was facing. In addition, I just think it's plain rude to operate that way. If you need to tell someone something, face them and make eye contact. If their hearing protection is too "thick" then tap them on the shoulder and address them.
Come to think of it, if someone is doing something they shouldn't on the firing line, it's just poor "tactics" to try to command them with your back turned - you need to see what they're doing in case you need to back up what your saying with a hand gesture, or even to intervene physically if their muzzle is pointed in the wrong direction.
If my shooting the steel with a pistol was such a problem for this guy, he could have said "no" to begin with, or responded to my comment during the cease fire with "OK, that's great. Switch to a rifle now or leave."

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camar
June 3, 2012, 09:07 AM
Ok, I'll be the first to jump in. I am a RSO and I have never heard a range command of "Ok, time, to stop" ??:fire:

If it was me I would look to my right and left to insure no one was going down range then I would continue to keep shooting.:)

hso
June 3, 2012, 09:25 AM
I don't think an instruction (not range command) that isn't delivered while looking at the person you're giving it to can be assumed to be heard.

Texan Scott
June 3, 2012, 09:28 AM
Sorry, what? -->earmuffs<-- were you talking to me? i couldn't tell, cuz you weren't looking at me. you're still not looking! how can you tell i'm mumbling at you, if you're not looking! RUDE!:mad:

EddieNFL
June 3, 2012, 09:47 AM
I'm in almost complete agreement.

If their hearing protection is too "thick" then tap them on the shoulder and address them.

My range has a hands off policy UNLESS you must physically intervene to prevent an unsafe situation. Some folks tend to "go on the offensive" when unexpected contact is made. And before all the overly sensitive types start recommending anger management, that's not what I'm talking about. It's never a good idea to startle someone holding a loaded firearm.

jcwit
June 3, 2012, 10:05 AM
I also am an RSO and never have heard that as a command.

I am a RSO and I have never heard a range command of "Ok, time, to stop" ??

I do wonder what the SOP's are for that range are tho.

Friendly, Don't Fire!
June 3, 2012, 10:13 AM
To me, it sounds as if this 'person' might have some kind of issues himself, possibly some kind of authoritative issues in addition to issues of perhaps feeling like no one listens to him :neener:

I wonder why.:uhoh:

There are people who talk to you who never make eye contact. It is something they have inside all the baggage they carry around with them, who knows from what or from where, it doesn't really matter, it is an issue, though, to those who are :supposed: to be listening or hearing him but AREN'T!

hAkron
June 3, 2012, 10:26 AM
I'm still confused as to why he had any objection to you shooting a pistol on a rifle range?

parsimonious_instead
June 3, 2012, 10:53 AM
I'm still confused as to why he had any objection to you shooting a pistol on a rifle range?

Not sure either. Both he and another RSO said OK, albeit reluctantly, and I'm quite sure I wasn't doing anything unsafe.
As noted earlier, if it was such an objectionable thing to do, they could have said no from the beginning, or told me to knock it off during the cease fire.

Gtimothy
June 3, 2012, 10:55 AM
Were there other shooters waiting to shoot the longer range? Were you paying by the hour and close to being out of time? Was the RSO paying for your ammunition? Maybe you were offending the RSO's ability to make the same shot! Some people just can't take being shown up! Sounds to me like the RSO had his "Hanes in a knot" and was just looking for anything/anyone to take it out on. :cuss:

My range has no policy against using handguns on the longer distances. In fact I lay my CCW pistol on the bench when I'm shooting and the RSOs regularly joke about me using it out to 100yds and beyond! :neener:

Prince Yamato
June 3, 2012, 11:04 AM
You have a jerk for a range officer. That's all there is to it. See if you can find a different range.

Friendly, Don't Fire!
June 3, 2012, 11:18 AM
I agree with those who are stating simply that the guy was jealous. He was probably getting infuriated just by watching you hit each piece of metal offhand!

I think the guy has a lot of growing up to do, that's for sure!:o

Shimitup
June 3, 2012, 11:51 AM
jcwit brings up a point, perhaps you could have asked if your long range pistol shooting was against range SOP's. I concur with Gtimothy, his shorts were in a twist and he had nothing better to do.

HGUNHNTR
June 3, 2012, 12:15 PM
The guy has an ego problem, and is giving a bad name to the range. His juvenile, ego driven behavior needs to be reported in writing to the range owner.

Rollis R. Karvellis
June 3, 2012, 12:18 PM
At the range I, go to you are expected to atlest try the 140 yard plate with your handgun.

lobo9er
June 3, 2012, 12:25 PM
sounds like a wierd place

OurSafeHome.net
June 3, 2012, 12:31 PM
A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds,
adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.

Dan "Shoot Different" Nafe

rcmodel
June 3, 2012, 12:34 PM
I had a similar if differant experience once at an indoor range.

I was shooting a .45 Colt SAA.
The RO came over and ask me if he could shoot it, as he had never fired one.

I told him sure, loaded five rounds and laid it on the table.

He picked it up, cocked it on the way up over his head like Roy Rogers "throwing bullets", and promptly ND'd one into the concrete ceiling.

After the smoke cleared and both of us checked for bullet holes in our hides?
He declared my Colt SAA had an unsafe hair trigger, and banned it from "his" range!

I never went back again.

rc

CountryUgly
June 3, 2012, 12:36 PM
He was just jealous of your mad marksmanship skills. His girlfriend was on her way to the range and he was worried that there was a better shooter on the line who would make him feel like he didn't measure up. So he figured he would make you respect his authority and boot you before you had a chance to make his GF realize she was getting short changed. Just be thankful you have other options as to where to shoot and you don't have to deal with this guy every range trip.

Nushif
June 3, 2012, 12:58 PM
I am always surprised at the culture we shooters somehow managed breeding both in how ROs are regarded, how someone at a range should be treated and what we let some of these businesses get away with.

How did it get this way?!

My experience must be super, super relaxed, I shoot at a tiny indoor range with four lanes for pistols only and have never had a horror story, or have been so harshly micromanaged in my time there.
On public land, wile some people are more pleasant to shoot near than others, I've never felt actually threatened or endangered beyond some "hmmm, what *are* they up to" point and finally, even on a base here on Ft. Gordon, the ROs who are arguably quite authoritative and restrictive don't coanywhere near these levels.
Even in my "dangerous tactical courses" our RO and instructor never even raised his voice and was always quite amiable.

How does this happen? I mean why do we let this kind of thing happen? How do these people get away with this kind of stuff?

kb58
June 3, 2012, 01:51 PM
...There are people who talk to you who never make eye contact. It is something they have inside all the baggage they carry around with them, who knows...
In the animal world, direct eye contact is considered agressive. Some peole look off into the distance as they talk. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

THe Dove
June 3, 2012, 02:01 PM
I was shooting a .45 Colt SAA.
The RO came over and ask me if he could shoot it, as he had never fired one.

I told him sure, loaded five rounds and laid it on the table.

Maybe you should have rotated the cylinder where the hammer would be on the fifth round and the next cylinder was the empty one..... HAHA Glad you didn't get hit that day RC.

The Dove

loose noose
June 3, 2012, 02:18 PM
Hey RC, what the heck was he doing with his trigger finger inside the trigger guard in the first place before he had the arm pointed down range? If it were me I'd get a hold of the head RO and have that guy repeat his safety class over again.

rcmodel
June 3, 2012, 02:19 PM
See, thats the trouble.

He is the head RO.

rc

Manson
June 3, 2012, 02:25 PM
I agree with most of the responses thus far. You had no way to be certain he was speaking to you. One thing confuses me though. And that is your statement about believing in asking permission rather than forgiveness. If this is true and you were unsure why didn't you simply ask?

We can only guess as to whom he was speaking. He was the only one who could give you the correct answer.

Not that I disagree with your actions.

Skribs
June 3, 2012, 03:00 PM
Manson, he said he did ask, and they okayed it. Then later they told him to stop.

Sounds like someone with an ego to me.

Cosmoline
June 3, 2012, 03:04 PM
I'd obey all commands on the line, but they must be breeding a different group of RSO's these days because far too many give MUMBLY commands that are NOT CLEAR. Just yesterday the RSO was chatting into a microphone in a soft voice. I could barely hear anything he said with protection on, and it turns out he was calling for a cease fire!

I blame microphones. In the old days the range master had to bellow commands and couldn't chit chat. You have to respect the RSO for obvious reasons, but I'm often tempted to throw their mic down range and teach them to YELL properly.

rcmodel
June 3, 2012, 03:07 PM
I'd guess there are a lot more RO's that never ever served in the military then there used to be too.

Speaking in a command voice comes naturally when giving commands, if you were ever trained to give commands in the military.

rc

academy
June 3, 2012, 03:49 PM
I'm in almost complete agreement.

My range has a hands off policy UNLESS you must physically intervene to prevent an unsafe situation. Some folks tend to "go on the offensive" when unexpected contact is made. And before all the overly sensitive types start recommending anger management, that's not what I'm talking about. It's never a good idea to startle someone holding a loaded firearm.

Wish my range had a similar policy. I made a mistake on the pistol line the other day, and the range officer practically gave me a hug while explaining it to me. I didn't know the guy from Adam, and he felt comfortable enough to put an arm around me and a hand on my other shoulder in the 90 degree heat. I deserved the lecture, but I didn't want a hug from the RO.

Should I have said something to him about it? I don't like hugs from strange men, even on a cool day, and it just seemed inappropriate for him to hang on me while lecturing me.

gbeecher
June 3, 2012, 04:12 PM
I agree with you completely. A live fire range is no place to be casual or unprofessional. The range office must be direct and communicate clearly. This RSO is simply an idiot! He has no place in that position.

twofifty
June 3, 2012, 04:40 PM
I would throw in that if there is any ambiguity about what an RSO is saying, or whether the RSO was adressing one person or all, it is wise to clear things up before proceeding to sling lead downrange. No matter how ineffective the RSO, we might be missing an important part of the overall picture and the idjit RSO might just be onto something.

jcwit
June 3, 2012, 04:47 PM
See, thats the trouble.

He is the head RO.

rc


I would say at the least he needs to go thru the NRA training course again.

beatledog7
June 3, 2012, 05:51 PM
"OK, now, time to stop."

The OP's question was whether we would obey this range command. Trouble is, it's no command; it's more like Miss Winny chiding her Romper Room class.

In this case, though, the OP says that he sensed the RO was asking him to stop; therefore, he should have stopped and gotten clarification. At the range, any sense that you should stop means you should stop. The RO was wrong in his manner, but he was still the RO.

If anyone on the range sees something unsafe or for any reason needs a shooter--any shooter--to stop shooting, the standard command is "Cease Fire, Cease Fire!" It applies to everyone, without question or debate, no matter who calls it. Only the RO can make the next call once a Cease Fire is called.

The right way to have the OP stop shooting his pistol on the rifle range would have been to wait for a normal-course-of-business cease fire or to call one.

A range officer who issues a non-standard "command" and expects it to be followed is not effective and therefore not safe. Still, a shooter is accountable to comply with the RO's instructions (unless compliance would be unsafe), even if that RO is ineffectual.

Clipper
June 3, 2012, 07:33 PM
I agree, he's probably a crummy shot that couldn't hit with a handgun at 100 yards to save his life, and so he gets back by booting you off 'his' range. I have seen men at the range do this when some of the women I have taught to shoot outscore 'em. They get huffy and leave...

parsimonious_instead
June 3, 2012, 09:44 PM
I appreciate everyone's input. I'm always looking to improve my shooting abilities, my safety and my overall range conduct. If I had the frame of mind that "I'm always 100% right and the world is automatically 100% wrong" I wouldn't have even posed this question on THR, and I certainly wouldn't have bothered asking ahead of time to let me shoot the Ruger target pistol on the rifle range.
Just to clarify, the order for me to stop wasn't delivered over the range PA system, simply spoken by this person, faced completely away from me, while he was still seated.
Part of the problem is that the two fellows running the firing line are so grumpy and unapproachable. Usually the way to get people like that to treat you a bit better is to be proactive and say, "hey, I need something clarified" or "hey, I need a bit of a favor" - it reassures them that you are a rule-follower and recognize their dominion over the range.
I considered asking the fellow to clarify his remark, but I was offended by the way he didn't even bother to face me while saying it, in addition to not even being sure it was directed at me. It was NOT a PA-system call for everyone to cease firing.
Unfortunately, he was so standoffish that he made me feel like I was bothering him when I asked him to clarify some other detail from earlier in the visit, so that was my main reason for simply letting him come to me to repeat the "command."
When he did, I put the gun down, cleared it and cleaned up, without any further comment.

Nushif
June 3, 2012, 10:36 PM
Part of the problem is that the two fellows running the firing line are so grumpy and unapproachable.

and

Unfortunately, he was so standoffish that he made me feel like I was bothering him [...]

would make me find another place to shoot. For good. There is no reason to support practices like that, unless it truly is the only place to shoot within any kind of reasonable distance. Maybe let us know where this is about so we can tell you some better places to shoot?

Ragnar Danneskjold
June 3, 2012, 10:43 PM
How old would you guess the RSO in questions was?

parsimonious_instead
June 3, 2012, 10:45 PM
@nushif:

Thank goodness, my usual local range is closer, infinitely friendlier and much less expensive.
It's the polar opposite of the place I had this bad experience at, and every day I thank my lucky stars that it's there - even if I don't shoot I'll just stop by and hang out and chat with the guys.
The only bad part is the max distance is only 25 yards, and no centerfire rifleshooting - only because of noise issues with the neighbors.
The county facility with the dour staff has 100 and 200 yard paper targets and some hanging scrap steel in between - that's what I went after with a .22 bolt action and a .22 Ruger target pistol - with permission ahead of time.

parsimonious_instead
June 3, 2012, 10:49 PM
How old would you guess the RSO in questions was?

There were two very dour RSOs - an older fellow about 50 yrs old, and a much younger fellow - he was the one with more of an "attitude" issue - perhaps all of 25-27 yrs old.
I forgot to mention that a couple of times throughout my visit to that place, I felt eyes on my back, and turned around to see him just standing there, motionless, staring at me.

Deltaboy
June 3, 2012, 10:52 PM
Here is your problem " young grim-faced guy" He is like some young LEO's I have delt with. He got a big head and ego cause he is the RO and he wanted to show you he could order you around. As a Sheriffs Dept Chap I try to get to the young ones ASAP before the Sheriff gets an earful from a Local Citizen.

I would call the owner and file a complaint and never go back.

skeeziks
June 3, 2012, 10:53 PM
Next time you go (if you even bother with this range anymore) start calling him "Junior."

Old judge creek
June 3, 2012, 11:02 PM
I have nearly 30 years experience as a Range Officer and most of that time I was the Range Master.

From what has been posted I conclude there the real problem is the gent with the authority was at best completely unprofessional. As was posted, a live fire range is NO place for less than professional conduct and communication from the guys running the show. Ambiguity is a recipe for pure disaster, IMO.

There's a reason commands are standardized. And if for some reason they are not, its 100% incumbent for the Range Master to make sure every person on the line understands what that is.

As well, I have to say that I've seen many instances over the years where Range Officers of all ages really enjoyed the power trip. While there's no excuse for that (and they should be reported) the simple fact is until they can be re-educated, they're still BOSS.

abq87120
June 4, 2012, 12:00 AM
I'm glad I belong to a very cool range. The commands STOP and CEASE FIRE can be issued by anyone who sees an unsafe situation. Everyone stops and/or ceases firing. Right now.

We had a noob in a competition who drew his weapon for some reason back off of the firing area a couple of weeks ago. I heard STOP and was impressed with every ones reaction. Even the guy who was doing his stage stopped firing. Many of the members are RSOs and all sprang to their feet and looked for what was going on.

The noob was instructed to put the gun back in his holster. He did so and then was escorted to an unused firing pit to examine the gun to make sure it was still unloaded. He was DQ'ed and very sorry. But allowed to stay and see how the shoot works. Strict but forgiving. He has done well since then, safety-wise, and is greatly improving his scores.

I live in Prescott AZ. If you are ever in the area and have your gun with you, stop in for a while:

http://www.prescottactionshooters.org/

.

spider 69
June 4, 2012, 01:19 AM
A few years back I was at our local outdoors 100 yd range. It allows firing both rifle and pistol on the same station and I had brought both my CAR-15 and PPK/S. That time they had instituted a new rule that all empty guns had to have the bolt locked back. A range officer was hovering over everyone, obviously enjoying his power. When I finished the magazine in the CAR-15, I laid it down for a moment. Sure enough that guy was right on me in a flash, telling me that I had to lock the bolt on an empty gun. I replied,"that gun's not unloaded," and he jumped back like it was a snake. Then I picked it up and locked the bolt open. "Now it's unloaded," I said. He left me alone after that.

45_auto
June 4, 2012, 08:23 AM
When I finished the magazine in the CAR-15, I laid it down for a moment. Sure enough that guy was right on me in a flash, telling me that I had to lock the bolt on an empty gun.

Get your gun fixed so it works like it's supposed to, and it'll lock that bolt back automatically for you when you finish the magazine.

j1
June 4, 2012, 08:56 AM
Walking over to you and facing you the command should have been "cease fire."

Just edited to answer your question better. Yes I would have but it was poorly phrased and delivered. If the RSO really thought that you were doing something dangerous he should have commanded "Cease fire." to the range and then walked over to you and dealt with the problem.

Sav .250
June 4, 2012, 09:22 AM
Range is HOT or The Range is COLD> Only two commands that are official.

Plus, no "sighting-in" on the berm itself. For what ever reason. J s/n. :)

mljdeckard
June 4, 2012, 09:23 AM
Range commands should be simple and unambiguous. I look at it this way. Once I got loaned out to translate for some Marines running a range in Africa. When you are talking about safety, you want everything to be as simple as possible. 1-2 syllables. There is a briefing before you start, where we translate the very simple range commands, and make sure that all the local leadership knows all of the commands as well. There can be no confusion about your intent when you give commands that are going to have to go through at least one layer of translation.

When you are running a range, you are talking to people who are wearing hearing protection, may or may not be native english speakers, and are concentrating on doing a medium-high risk activity, ann they don't reserve a lot of RAM for people yelling unexpected commands at them. There should never be any confusion about who they are talking to or what they are saying.

jcwit
June 4, 2012, 10:13 AM
A thought has occured to me, especially in regards to the younger RSO's. In this age where all the youngsters are brought up in a world where there are no loosers and even test scores are graded without red and blue pencils is it any wonder when getting slightly older and given a little power they go off on a power trip.

I may be way off base in my thinking, but its a possiblity, NO?

Now for the older RSO's, and being as I'm older, I have no excuse for them.

ZCORR Jay
June 4, 2012, 10:47 AM
Sounds like if they wanted you to stop they should have said so during the cease fire. I guess you could have stopped and asked him if he was talking to you but honestly if he wasn't facing me I probably would have done the same exact thing as the OP.

I don't really see the issue with having a pistol on a rifle range especially when it's being handled in a safe manor.

oneounceload
June 4, 2012, 01:52 PM
Just to take a different tack on this - was there ANY cause for concern regarding ricochets from the plate you were using? IMM, that would be a legit concern to make you stop (by using normal commands as everyone has stated), otherwise, he seems to be on a Napoleon complex trip

russ69
June 4, 2012, 02:04 PM
I'm just guessing but it sounds like you were at the rifle only line where pistols are not usually allowed. You asked for permission to take a few shots and they let you. After a couple of mags, they felt like they had given you a chance to shoot and would have preferred you to move to the pistol line. Not an uncommon practice.
When I shoot my Contender pistol on the rifle line the ROs keep an eye on me until they can see I'm a competent and safe shooter. At some ranges they just don't like mixing rifles and pistols. Your story seems perfectly plausible and so does the ROs instructions. He gave you a chance to take some shots and after a while he felt like it was time to put the rifle line back into order.

parsimonious_instead
June 4, 2012, 02:12 PM
I'm just guessing but it sounds like you were at the rifle only line where pistols are not usually allowed. You asked for permission to take a few shots and they let you. After a couple of mags, they felt like they had given you a chance to shoot and would have preferred you to move to the pistol line. Not an uncommon practice.
When I shoot my Contender pistol on the rifle line the ROs keep an eye on me until they can see I'm a competent and safe shooter. At some ranges they just don't like mixing rifles and pistols. Your story seems perfectly plausible and so does the ROs instructions. He gave you a chance to take some shots and after a while he felt like it was time to put the rifle line back into order.

Exactly, and I never disputed that part... the core of my question was the fact that the RO was seated, with his face turned completely away from me when issuing the order to stop. I thought it was impolite, and imprecise - he was facing a line of about ten other shooters. So I continued firing until he did the right thing and stood up, faced me and issued me a clear directive, which I immediately complied with.

As for the plates, they were well over 100 yards away - I suppose that's enough distance that a .22lr wouldn't have much deflection risk? Curiously, when I first asked for this "favor" they reassigned me to a bench that was at a bit more oblique angle to the steel, and dismissed my concern that I was now shooting at them from more of an angle vs. nearly head-on.

Flopsweat
June 4, 2012, 03:17 PM
Wish my range had a similar policy. I made a mistake on the pistol line the other day, and the range officer practically gave me a hug while explaining it to me. I didn't know the guy from Adam, and he felt comfortable enough to put an arm around me and a hand on my other shoulder in the 90 degree heat. I deserved the lecture, but I didn't want a hug from the RO.

Should I have said something to him about it? I don't like hugs from strange men, even on a cool day, and it just seemed inappropriate for him to hang on me while lecturing me.
Students in the NRA RSO course are taught to ask permission before touching anyone. "If I may" or something similar, and then only between the elbows and fingertips if possible. I think it would be perfectly reasonable for you to ask him not to touch you again.

spider 69
June 5, 2012, 11:12 AM
Get your gun fixed so it works like it's supposed to, and it'll lock that bolt back automatically for you when you finish the magazine.
At that range the command was "fire what you have in your guns and cease fire." As I had 30 rnd mags I thought it was polite to remove the mag and fire the rnd in the chamber. No mag, no lockback

kd7nqb
June 5, 2012, 12:11 PM
from what I read I think you did just fine. I have never understood why so many ranges have rules against pistols on the rifle range. If you can hit a plate at a given distance what does it matter if your using a pistol or a rifle.

Ryanxia
June 5, 2012, 01:15 PM
I would suggest trying to find a range without range officers, sounds like you have to beg for the privellage to shoot what you want when you want.

lloveless
June 5, 2012, 06:34 PM
Boy I love my range at home(my 33 acre farm) more and more.
ll

parsimonious_instead
June 5, 2012, 07:39 PM
Thankfully, my usual range is awesome - great people, no martinet RSOs, and pretty decent hours.
It's only lacking the ability to handle centerfire rifles (I shoot lots of .22 rifle and centerfire pistol there.)
I only went to this place because it's the only place reasonably close by to shoot centerfire rifles at anything resembling a challenging range.

twofifty
June 5, 2012, 11:28 PM
Guessing here, but one possible reason for no handguns on a rifle range is that the mix of arms makes the firing line harder to supervise.
It takes quite a bit more body and arm motion for a rifle to sweep the line, therefore the safety violation is 'easier' to notice. With handguns, sweeping can happen much more quickly, with less body motion; it is therefore harder for the RO to notice.

Another reason is that the firing cadence of handguns can often be out of sync with that of rifles.

Finally, rifle targets are much further out and so they take longer to walk out to.

It's like race cars on a NASCAR circuit: they all travel at more or less the same speed, and handle more or less the same. Throw in a Chevy Vega in the mix and see what happens...

russ69
June 6, 2012, 01:40 AM
...RO was seated, with his face turned completely away from me when issuing the order to stop..

If you hear an order to stop, or think you might have hard an order to stop, it's best to pause and make sure everything is OK before you continue to shoot. I wear double hearing protection so I often have to look around and make sure a cease fire wasn't called and I missed it. Safety first, proper politeness second.

GunnerShotz
June 6, 2012, 02:31 AM
1. It sounds like there was something going on from the get'go... some kind of miscommunication from the start. Pistols not usually allowed on the rifle lanes/range? Minimum/maximum caliber? Simply the way it was asked?

2. Range rules should be clear and never 'overlooked'. More importantly, range Commands should be simple and obvious as previous posts have indicated.... "Cease Fire, Cease Fire!".

3. If ever an RO was unclear to me about Any action in question, I would do my best to clear it up with them first immediately. If I thought their command still unclear or perhaps even negligent, then I would take it up with whoever I could find above them in position once off the range. If I couldn't get a satisfactory resolution, then I wouldn't go back to that range.

toivo
June 6, 2012, 03:00 AM
Blue Mountain? Just a wild guess. Don't answer if you think it's telling tales out of school.

I've never been there, partly because I've heard lots of stories like yours. It's almost like they go out of their way to be unfriendly bordering on hostile.

parsimonious_instead
June 6, 2012, 06:23 AM
Toivo: yup, Blue Mountain. Interestingly, the guys that run the pistol pits are a heck of a lot nicer than the duo up at the "big bore" range. I'm not likely to return to the "big bore" segment of the facility for a while, since I got to enjoy my SKS and the challenge of ringing the steel with my .22 rifle and pistol.
Russ, Gunner: I agree that I should have been a bit more proactive about clarifying this "order to stop" however - the fellow was still seated after I heard him say this. In addition, contrary to most of my experiences in life in which asking clarifying questions puts people in an authority position in a better frame of mind, these guys seemed irritated when I tried doing so.

russ69
June 6, 2012, 06:30 PM
...these guys seemed irritated when I tried doing so.

Yeah, some ROs go out of their way to be jerks. I have gotten the "fish eye" every time I shoot something out of the normal everyday firearm. I think they just want to make sure you are a safe shooter. Once they see I'm safe (and shooting small groups) their attention goes to someone else.
When I'm a RO, some guys will attract extra attention until they prove to be safe, it's just the way it is. It's best to just go with the flow and politely follow instructions, after a while, they will see you are no problem.

parsimonious_instead
June 10, 2012, 07:39 PM
I went to my first USPSA match today at that same range. The young RSO I had an issue with showed up to participate. (I couldn't due to lack of equipment.) That's OK since not shooting enabled me to get a better sense of the layout of the stages, some information on where to set up, where to load up, clear the weapon, etc. Having that sort of "non-firing preview" will probably make for a better experience when I actually do shoot.
In any event, he didn't recognize or acknowledge me. I didn't try to talk to him, but I observed him shooting a stage, and he seemed to do quite well.
I reviewed some of the YouTube videos of that shooting club's prior matches, and he seems to draw, present and shoot quite smoothly and quickly.
Looks like a worthy competitor (I hope that I am!), as do some of the other guys who participate. I don't anticipate spending the big bucks on those "clip on" style holsters and bigger bucks on turning my stock pistols into "race guns." :)

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