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Range Qualification?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by burnt09, Mar 25, 2011.

  1. burnt09

    burnt09 New Member

    Mar 28, 2010
    Our club recently instituted handgun qualification requirements: to shoot a handgun on either the main range or pistol range, a member must complete a short safety procedures class, and pass a fairly easy practical test.

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

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

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

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

    ObsidianOne Active Member

    Dec 16, 2010
    Lake Havasu City, AZ
    The question is, if one cannot pass said qualification test, where are they going to practice to learn to shoot better?
    Why should you need to qualify if you're shooting for your own enjoyment? Is there something I'm missing here?
  3. Nushif

    Nushif Senior Member

    Mar 21, 2010
    Corvallis, OR

    Mixed feelings on the implementation.

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

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

    Patriotme Active Member

    Nov 13, 2009
    I think the safety thing is a good idea but I don't know about the accuracy portion. I would have said yes, it's not unreasonable to expect someone to at least hit a 2'x2' target at 15yds, until someone pointed out that you can't improve if you can't practice.
  5. Ala Dan

    Ala Dan Member in memoriam

    Dec 24, 2002
    Home Of The First Capitol Of The Confederate State
    Have Fun With It~!

    Yes, the safety class is a good thing~! Qualification gives shooters a lot of
    > bragging rights amongest competitors. Separate them into class'es with
    novice shooters grouped together, for more or less the instructional phase.
    Better shooter's next, that need little supervision; and the best shooters at
    the line competing against each other. That way, all participants will have
    fun, and hopefully gain a little knowledge. As you know, learning is a type
    of experience that NEVER ends~! ;) :D
  6. russ69

    russ69 Member

    Aug 1, 2009
    Waste of time. A dude that's a hazard at the range will always be a hazard. Let's face facts, not everyone can grasp even the simplest instructions. Do you think you are going to revoke memberships?
  7. Comanche180

    Comanche180 New Member

    Jan 11, 2008
    A club I belonged to had similar rules but they only applied to the indoor range. Unqualified people were known to shoot throught the walls, ceiling and light fixtures. They were allowed to shoot at the outdoor ranges until they could qualify for inside shooting.
  8. ATBackPackin

    ATBackPackin Participating Member

    Dec 10, 2009
    Valley Forge, PA.
    I too do not see the purpose of this "qualification". What goal will this accomplish? Other than safe, what else does one NEED to be while at the range?

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

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

  9. Ramman911

    Ramman911 New Member

    Jun 26, 2010
    Would it really matter if you failed the qualification part? I mean, your at the range to practice and get better right? Then what would be any point of punishment or restrictions of shooting bad?
  10. Paladin38-40

    Paladin38-40 Member

    Dec 26, 2010
    Florida's Great Northwest
    40 year fools

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

    The marksmanship standards are too strict for many beginning shooters. Too many bring 2" barrel Airlite revolvers which are quite a challenge for all but accomplished shooters.
  11. hirundo82

    hirundo82 Active Member

    Jan 16, 2006
    The Deep South
    I seem to agree with the consensus here--the demonstration of safe handling makes sense, but as long as you can keep the shooty end pointed where it is supposed to go I don't care how bad of a marksman you are.
  12. Hangingrock

    Hangingrock Participating Member

    Mar 10, 2010
    I have my thoughts on this subject.

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

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

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

    We added a 7yd line by reducing the number of firing points on the 25yd and 50yd lines. With the addition of the 7yd line usage of the pistol range increased to the point that the pistol range was widened to accommodate more shooters.
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2011
  13. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

    Oct 22, 2007
    Central PA
    Not a bad idea, but with entirely the wrong focus -- as others have said.

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

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

    I wouldn't be pleased.

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

    answerguy Active Member

    Dec 26, 2002
    Bay City Michigan
    Why did this subject come up at your range? Did something bad happen?

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

    oneounceload member

    Apr 24, 2008
    Hot and Humid FL
    2 foot by 2 foot target -anywhere on it is an accuracy test?

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

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

    deadin Senior Member

    Jul 13, 2005
    Ocean Shores, WA
    A range I used to belong to had a similar rule,but it was slightly different.
    The range had a "public" rifle range and a "public" pistol range on weekends. It also had several other "members only" ranges, both rifle and pistol.
    The "public" ranges were run by a Range Master. When a member met the qualification requirements, he was allowed to use the non-monitored ranges otherwise he had to used the ones with the RM. The public rifle range had some pretty strict rules (single load, no prone, etc.). the public (weekend) pistol range was also strict. ( at least 2 sec between shots, etc.) Also if a shooter couldn't keep all shots within the target frames (app. 2' x 3' at 25 yds.) they had to take instruction from a RO until they could.
  17. mbopp

    mbopp Active Member

    Aug 10, 2009
    Upstate NY
    After a long hiatus from shooting I re-upped my membership at the private club I used to shoot at. When I first joined there was an orientation and qualification course and after I re-upped I had to go through it again. The only shooting requirement was at a downrange target, the qualification director was only interested in your gun handling and safety rules rather than if you actually hit the target.
    The club recently installed fencing around the range access points and went to key cards. And there's a requirement to display your membership / key card while shooting. Besides keeping any non-members off the range I'm told it reduced their insurance rates. And I was told a number of (non-members) were upset, they thought it was a free range even though signs on the driveway clearly state it's a private club!
  18. answerguy

    answerguy Active Member

    Dec 26, 2002
    Bay City Michigan
    Well now, that's a darn shame. :)
  19. M2 Carbine

    M2 Carbine Mentor

    May 29, 2003
    Some sort of proficiency qualification is not a bad thing, ESPECIALLY for the guy that claims to be such a teriffic shooter. I especially watch that type because many times they can't shoot worth a flip and they are dangerious.

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

    2. Do not shoot me.

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

    New shooters get all the free instruction they need.
  20. mokin

    mokin Active Member

    Jan 13, 2007
    Western Colorado
    I would not mind such a "qualification" and it would make me feel better about those who also use the range.

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