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Confusing Range Commands

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by twofifty, Jul 9, 2011.

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  1. twofifty

    twofifty Member

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    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?
     
  2. happygeek

    happygeek Member

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    They have red lights over the firing line which are on during cease fires.

    Yes

    Yes
     
  3. twofifty

    twofifty Member

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    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!"
     
  4. ZeSpectre

    ZeSpectre Member

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    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.
     
  5. bigfatdave

    bigfatdave Member

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    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?
     
  6. happygeek

    happygeek Member

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    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.
     
  7. bigfatdave

    bigfatdave Member

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    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)
     
  8. Zak Smith

    Zak Smith Moderator Emeritus

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    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.
     
  9. CmpsdNoMore

    CmpsdNoMore Member

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    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".
     
  10. 12131

    12131 Member

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    Nothing could be clearer than this.

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

    Mags Member

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    But hot and cold is what it is.
     
  12. Creature

    Creature Member

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    The simplest solution right there!
     
  13. Zak Smith

    Zak Smith Moderator Emeritus

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    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.
     
  14. ironhead7544

    ironhead7544 Member

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    "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".
     
  15. AirForceShooter

    AirForceShooter Member

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    Don't red lights mean STOP????
    That's confusing to me.

    Hot and Cold are what we use

    AFS
     
  16. Nushif

    Nushif Member

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    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.
     
  17. alienbogey

    alienbogey Member

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    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?
     
  18. animator

    animator Member

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    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...
     
  19. whalerman

    whalerman member

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    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.
     
  20. GCBurner

    GCBurner Member

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    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.
     
  21. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    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..
     
  22. Kliegl

    Kliegl member

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    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.
     
  23. 45_auto

    45_auto Member

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    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!
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2011
  24. dagger dog

    dagger dog Member

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    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.
     
  25. Nushif

    Nushif Member

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    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.
     
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