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Indoor range "Concerns"

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Palladan44, Nov 12, 2020.

  1. .38 Special

    .38 Special Member

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    Never been to a range that didn't have multiple holes in inappropriate places. Makes you think.

    I've been hit by ricochets countless times. The seven yard falling plate stage in Bianchi Cup shooting... Never been seriously injured by it, though.

    One of our indoor ranges has a terrible air handling system. It actually pulls smoke back towards the shooter. Nothing like the sweet tingle of aerosolized lead in your sinuses.

    The same range allows rifles of up to .338 Lapua. There just isn't anything practical you can do to protect yourself from that level of sound pressure. Maybe a motorcycle helmet or something.

    So yeah, indoor ranges are not ideal. We have an outdoor range about 30 minutes away, where each shooter gets his own 5x25 yard lane, separated from the other lanes by 10 foot tall dirt berms. It's essentially ideal, but you'd better get there early in the day, and getting a lane on a weekend is like hitting the lottery!
     
  2. Pat Riot
    • Contributing Member

    Pat Riot Contributing Member

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    I shoot at an indoor range every week. I have never been hit by splatter, ricochets or anything else. I have shot at indoor ranges in Southern CA, Oregon, Northern CA, North Carolina and Virginia.
    I will not shoot in an indoor range that allows long guns. That’s pure idiocy to me.
    Also, I have my lead levels checked annually. I always wear a dust mask when transferring brass and media when cleaning brass and I think even after the CoVid settles I will continue wearing a surgical mask at indoor ranges.
     
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  3. Palladan44

    Palladan44 Member

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    Great idea. I think inhalation of that material is the greatest hazard. I asked my doctor if I should get my lead levels checked and she said unless you have a house with lead water pipes or use or have lead paint, then she said im fine. What an erroneous and incomplete knowlegebase.
     
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  4. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    I have shot at indoor ranges on and off for years but started shooting weekly matches at one back in ‘02 after many months of this, the lead levels in my blood tested elevated. So I stopped shooting indoors except for a few sanctioned matches but continued to shoot out door matches, reload and cast bullets and my levels went back down over time.
     
  5. wiscoaster

    wiscoaster Member

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    I think the main improvement that should be made is more and better supervision. You can't be an effective RSO while you're also out in the retail area selling guns. New shooters need to be watched more closely for safety violations because they're still struggling to learn them as automatic habit patterns.
     
  6. kidneyboy

    kidneyboy Member

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    The only indoor range shrapnel I have been hit with is parts of bowling pins during a winter pin shoot. Always someone there with the biggest magnum, with the heaviest loads possible.
     
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  7. BLACKHAWKNJ

    BLACKHAWKNJ Member

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    Indoor ranges pretty much the norm here in NJ. No problems with ricochets and splatter, one time I had a 45 ACP shell wedge itself between my shooting glasses and my cheek-OUCH ! Plugs and muffs for years, I wear muffs when I use power tools or even the vacuum cleaner. At one range-12 firing lanes-they will allow a shooter to fire a 44 Magnum or 500 S&W until the range starts to fill up, another range has a 22 section, a center fire section then a rifle section.
     
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  8. Bennj

    Bennj Member

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    For different reasons I usually only get out to shoot about once a month. Here in NJ we have some very nice outdoor facilities, but I can't justify the initial cash outlay at this time so I go to two indoor ranges. Both have been recently renovated inside and out, so ventilation is not much of a concern. I wear plugs and muffs, since I have had hearing loss since birth (don't wear hearing aids on the line). The only issues I have had is someone's brass coming over the divider, and the occasional 460/500 revolver or shotgun/AR15 blast. I always make it a point to go mid-week and get there when it opens, so there's usually only several of us shooting. I have to admit I'm responsible for an errant shot myself once. I had my new CZ75 out for the first time and on the first mag I pulled the trigger but nothing happened. I thought maybe hang fire and as I lowered the gun to the table, keeping it pointed downrange, the round went off and nicked a ceiling tile about 7 yds. out. It all happened in a second or two, almost soiled my pants. The RO was watching and after checking everything out, I continued. Haven't had a misfire/malfunction since (knock on wood).
     
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  9. Alex Clayton

    Alex Clayton Member

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    I have lost track of the times Wife had one go down her cleavage. :rofl: She does handle it well, never waves the gun in hand around. I will tell her wear a T-shirt, she will for a while then one day not. I too have had one get me between the damn safety glasses a couple times. Amazing that such a little opening seems to be able to "catch" brass that if I am outside seems to manage to vanish into thin air when I want to keep it :rofl:
     
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  10. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    My Lady student had that happen once. After that, she got real good about wearing high necked shirts. And STILL managed to catch another one. She was very safe about it both times, keeping the gun downrange with her finger off the trigger until she could lay it down and deal with the Wardrobe Issue.

    Anecdote Alert:
    A friend was RO at a CAS shoot when a Saloon Girl dropped a hot round from a vertical ejecting lever action down her décolletage. She screamed "Get it out, get it out!" The RO said "Hand me the rifle and you get it out, my wife is watching."
     
  11. alfsauve

    alfsauve Member

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    I was hit square in the chest with an expanded .44. Created quite a welt and bruise. A few minutes later I saw another bullet skidding across the floor back towards me. Seems the backstop had a "sweet" spot and the shooter next to me happened to hit it, twice. Not his fault, he didn't know. As he was packing up to leave I asked if he'd like some of his bullets back. He was surprised, had no clue and was very apologetic. It was a fluke but it happens. Even outdoors you get steel splatter and sometimes a bullet will strike a rock or other hard spot just right and bounce back.
     
  12. gonoles_1980

    gonoles_1980 Member

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    Our indoor range only allows pistol caliber rifles, though a 44mag can make a loud bang. There are plexiglass dividers between each stall, but still I get hit with brass occasionally. The RSO's have windows into each of the two range rooms so they can watch and they usually have an RSO inside each of the rooms. I also wear earplugs under my ear muffs, but some calibers can still get loud.
     
  13. Mars5l

    Mars5l Member

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    Has anyone worn a full face racing style helmet with ear plugs in? Just wonder if it would be better for hearing as well as light richochets
     
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  14. Alex Clayton

    Alex Clayton Member

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    Never tried it yet. Couple times when someone next to me was shooting an AR pistol it was tempting :rofl:
    Damn those things are loud inside.
     
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  15. Palladan44

    Palladan44 Member

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    A guy ripped off his .450 marlin with his "heavy loads" at a salt block (large salt block, not an animal salt block, but a large like 12"x15" hard white softner salt block) A small peanut gallery of maybe 2 other fathers and their maybe 2 or 3 other 12 or so year old sons were adjacent or maybe ever so slightly behind the shooter as this was about to unfold.... I was about 30 or 40 yards away, but was still paying attention to what was about to happen.

    I think they were expecting a white "poof" and the salt block to be disintegrated...it appeared they were 10 yds away from the block but possibly a little closer or further....as the guy opened the lever action Marlin 450 and dropped one in the chamber, and took aim..... Booom!!

    Saw one of the kids drop to the deck hunched over like he had just been shot, and one of the bystanders an older man possibly one of the dads crunched over covering his face.... the salt block from where i could see looked undamaged...

    I quickly ran over there to see what was the problems. The slug, a big mushroomed .45 rifle caliber bullet probably over 400 grains had hit the center of the block, cut out a crater the size of a small fist maybe 1.5" deep and 3" wide out of the center of the salt block, then came straight back and hit one of the younger boys square in the chest. Did not draw blood or break the clothing, but guessing was like getting hit by a golf ball doing 180 mph off the tee. The boy was traumatized and in serious pain. He recovered fine though. I firmly believe if hit in the head, neck or if the slug had been travelling any faster, it could have been a fatal hit. The other father had been hit in the face and eyes with salt. The block barely moved. Moral of the story...dont do dumb ****!!!! Salt block: 1. 450 Marlin and bystanders: 0
    These guys are lucky. When shooting for fun always think twice and its never worth risking safety. Ive gotten away with a few close calls in my younger years. Stay safe and healthy everybody!
     
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  16. Alex Clayton

    Alex Clayton Member

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    Tannerite, some nice social media hold my beer and watch this moments with that stuff. To the point I am kind of surprised they can still sell it.
     
  17. Terry G

    Terry G Member

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    I do not go to indoor ranges. I have my own outdoor range and if I nee to shoot farther than 100 yard I go to a public (Free) state range. I don't need a self professed "expert" giving me unasked for advice. I was a Federal Firearm Instructor for 18 years on, revolvers, semi-automatic handguns, shotguns, M-1 Carbine, M-14, M16 A2, and M-4. As far as advive? I keep my mouth shut unless asked something. Range Officers should do the same unless there's a safety violation.
     
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  18. Meeks36

    Meeks36 Member

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    RO saved my wifes bacon when she first started shooting handguns. Wasn't watching her. She had her thumb against the back of the slide. Yeah he screamed stop. She did. I thanked him.
     
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  19. wiscoaster

    wiscoaster Member

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    I disagree. RSO's are there to teach as well as to supervise. Of course, learning should never be forced upon someone who's not open to it. Some RSO's aren't up to the task, no more and no less than in any other situation where authority can be misused. Give them the benefit of the doubt.
     
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  20. Deanimator

    Deanimator Member

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    Other than being swept by the firearms of idiots, my only issue has been with poorly maintained ranges.

    The range in Brunswick Hills(?), OH used to run a plate and trough backstop with canvas screens in front. They'd let the screens go without replacement until there were gaping holes in them. One night somebody in another stall was shooting something like a .44 Magnum with jacketed loads. I felt a pain in the back of my hand and saw a chunk of jacket sticking out of it. I pulled it out, washed my hands, put a bandaid on it and went back to shooting.
     
  21. AK103K

    AK103K Member

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    I agree with Terry on the RO's. They need to keep to themselves and address actual safety violations. To many Ive seen at the different ranges Ive belonged to and/or shot at, seem to have no other power in their lives, and cant wait to correct you for any minor violation they can come up with. Personally, I think a lot of them are more of a danger due to being distracting.

    And I myself got sucked into being a RO at a couple of ranges, mainly because I was always there, and in about a decades worth of time of doing it, I only ever said anything to one person who was way off in what he was doing and actually needed talking to. People are there to shoot and enjoy themselves, and not to have to deal with you hovering, just waiting for them to do something you think is wrong or want to chastise them about. Unfortunately, from what Ive seen, that does seem to be the norm.

    Pretty much every range Ive ever shot at, had rounds hittting everything but what seemed to be the targets. As was mentioned, the more surfaces to show hits, the worse it looks. Wall, ceilings, floors, counters, you name it.

    The ones that tended to be the most disconcerting to me, are all the holes in the sides of the dividers between shooters at the indoor ranges that have them. I cant remember being at any indoor range that didnt have them shot up either.

    As far as getting hit with stuff, Ive been hit numerous times by splatter and in some cases, pretty much full sized rounds coming back over the years. Some drew blood, some left bruises, and this one, which was at an outdoor range I shoot at these days, could have been ugly, if I hadnt been wearing my glasses......

    enhance.jpg

    That was a spent round in the berm that came back a hit me. I was shooting up close to the berm, shooting fast, and thats the third time Ive been hit with stuff like that in the 15 or so years Ive been shooting there now.
     
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  22. Deanimator

    Deanimator Member

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    My experience has been exactly the opposite.

    There's a well known range here near I-77. The last time I was on that range there was literally no supervision AT ALL. Not only was there not a range officer actually on the range (which I'd never known them to have anyway), but the person behind the counter with a huge picture window behind her was ENTIRELY oblivious to what was going on behind her. The first five minutes on the range, a guy coming off the firing line swept me with his Ruger MkII. Five minutes later there were three guys at the other end of the range wrestling over a loaded Remington 870 while yelling at each other in Serbo-Croatian. I've never been back to that range since and barring DOCUMENTARY proof of a COMPLETE change in range supervision (and preferably ownership) I never will be.

    I go to the range to shoot, not to be shot.
     
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  23. AK103K

    AK103K Member

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    Were talking about two different things.

    Im talking about the overbearing RO's that hover over you waiting for, and a lot of times not even waiting, for you to do something they perceive as wrong, so they can correct you.

    To me, they are just as bad or worse, than a lot of the unsupervised ranges, and the RO's are just as much a safety problem, as those who might need talked to.

    The range I shoot at these days, has no supervision at all, and I have yet to see anyone doing anything that required attention. I can do pretty much anything I want, as long as Im safe. Things many ranges wont allow anymore, like draw and shoot from a holster, shoot as you move, shoot rifles and any type of gun for that matter, in a more realistic manner, shoot full autos, use realistic targets, etc, ect.

    I have shot at ranges where there were nut jobs too, and thats always a lesson learned and you pack up and go and you dont shoot there. Just dont assume a range with a RO is going to make things "better" for you.
     
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  24. Deanimator

    Deanimator Member

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    The only way range officers could make THAT range worse would be if they walked up and down the firing line pointing guns at the shooters.
     
  25. Alex Clayton

    Alex Clayton Member

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    YEP! There is a nice place here that suffers from this. The reviews of the place are 75% bad for just this reason. I at first thought maybe just idiots posting and was going to try them just to see. Then couple co workers went and took care of that. It was just as bad as the reviews. Wife signed up for a "class" there. I warned her it would not go well. The rest of the women (Women's class) were really bad off. Like could not even load the guns they brought. So Wife got completely ignored for the money she paid. That was the end of her wanting to go back. Which was probably good from what the co workers said of the place. Fortunately we have several ranges around us here. Would really suck bad to only have one choice like that.
     
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