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Range Etiquette Question - Calling a Ceasefire

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by LoneStarWings, Feb 24, 2009.

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  1. LoneStarWings

    LoneStarWings Member

    Jan 27, 2009

    I recently joined a local outdoor range. It has about 20 pistol positions (7, 15, & 25 yards). I usually go when it's not very busy, and haven't ever seen more than 3 or 4 other shooters at one time. There is no range officer calling ceasefires during the time I've been.

    My questions:

    What is the appropriate and polite way to request a ceasefire? Do you simply step behind the line and sit there, hoping they'll notice or do you signal the other shooters somehow.

    How do you know if you're annoying the other shooters by requesting a ceasefire too frequently? I usually only like to fire 30-45 rounds at a single target before I change them out (10 minutes or so) yet I seem to be the only one who ever wants to go downrange and change them out.

    When everyone is back behind the safety line, what is the proper terminology to let everyone know you're ready to resume shooting? Do you shout "clear!", do you raise your hand, etc.

    Just curious.....I did have a lesson at the range with an instructor my first time out but somehow I missed out on this. He always just seemed to step away from the bench when he wanted a ceasefire.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. Rmac58

    Rmac58 Member

    May 23, 2008
    central Va
    30-45 rounds is a large number, I think.
    Folks can get caught up in their own little world sometimes. Stop firing, be patient, but eventually slowly approach other/s and politely ask for a cold range. I have yet to encounter a problem, but I shoot at private ranges.
    If there is someone in the front office, so to speak, inform them.
  3. mm1ut1

    mm1ut1 Member

    Sep 28, 2008
    Talk to your fellow shooters when you or they show up. A lot of guys come to the range to socialize, some just to shoot. Introduce yourself. I find myself shooting with a regular crowd. I also post multiple targets(get a scope so you can check them from the line) so my time can be flexible.
  4. Quoheleth

    Quoheleth Member

    Mar 7, 2007
    The Land of Bowie, Crockett, Travis & Houston
    Check the range's rules re. RSO, when to call CFs, etc.

    At my range, the first shooter there is the designated range safety officer (RSO). When he leaves - or, if he tires of it - he passes to another shooter. It is the RSO's job to watch for safety issues as well as call for cease fires.

    At our range, we just ask whomever is RSO for a ceasefire. Taking into consideration what the other shooters are doing, we will call a CF when we can.

    Our terms are "Ceasefire!" Called at least 3x: one, facing more or less straight-ahead, once to the left, once to the right. If people are at far ends of the firing line, the RSO will walk down the line and continue to inform people of the pending CF. When everyone is away from their weapons, the next term is "Range is cold." You may now move freely downrange. Thou shalt not touch a weapon during this time, but you may reload mags. The one exception that has been approved is if you are a precision shooter, swabbing your barrel between strings. YOu may pull your bolt and proceed to swab the barrel. Finally, when all are up-range, behind the firig line, the final term we use is "Range is hot."

    Try multiple targets.

    Ask other shooters "how often is too often?"

    Observe what others are doing.

    And, if you don't have a RSO, exercise range safety at a even higher plain than if you had one. Safety is *everyone's* concern, and not having an RSO does not excuse or release from liability anyone who is there.

    Good luck & shoot safe...

  5. evan price

    evan price Member

    Dec 7, 2005
    http://www.ohioccw.org/ Ohio's best CCW resour
    If your range allows it, double up your targets to get twice as much shooting in one session.

    I usually wait until I see other people either looking around or reloading mags then I just call out loudly,
    "Can I get a cease-fire?" and make sure everybody agrees.
    There is sometimes that guy that just wants to finish a mag and that's cool too.

    On the other hand nothing is more annoying than when I am trying to zero in a new scope and somebody wants a cease-fire every five minutes. That means pull the firearms off the line, unload, etc. and when I get things set up on a bench rest to try to zero a scope it's a PITA to start over. Usually it's because they have crappy targets and the wind blows them over or off the stand.
  6. woad_yurt

    woad_yurt Member

    Aug 23, 2007
    36° 31' 47.1742" X -87° 21' 34.0301"
    If there's no range attendant, just look around, assess and open your mouth when appropriate, like Evan said in the previous post. Each clump of folks is different.
  7. distra

    distra Member

    Dec 3, 2005
    A cease fire can be called at anytime for any reason. During my RSO training, they taught us to use a strong voice and walk down the line to call cease fire if there is a safety issue. Just changing targets, I wait for each shooter to complete their string, then ask them to wait until the next is complete and so on until all are done. Then make it known that a cease fire has been called and it is clear to go down range and change targets. Once everyone is back to the line, I say "Eyes and ears on, range is going hot!" I tend to be a bit formal, but you get more respect from individuals that don't know you if sound more professional. Just a quirk I have.
  8. heron

    heron Member

    Apr 26, 2007
    NE Ohio
    I occasionally use an outdoor rifle range which is unsupervised. It's casual and informal, but friendly. If someone wants to change targets, they wait until there's a pause in the shooting, and simply ask.
  9. waterhouse

    waterhouse Member

    Jan 7, 2005
    Round Rock, TX
    For target changing, I usually just walk down the line and ask people if they mind taking a cease fire at the end of their magazine, or something like that. Usually within a few minutes everyone is finished and they step back from the line, or go replace their own targets.

    If there is an emergency (you see someone down range while others are shooting), obviously you don't need to worry about etiquette anymore . . . just start yelling as loud as you can that there needs to be a cease fire.
  10. rscalzo

    rscalzo Member

    Jun 6, 2005
    Epping, NH
    When I run our open shoots, I let the shooters on the line determine the ceasefire frequency.

    I just have them make the fire(s) safe and step back. After a few out of the ten shooters see that occuring, they too get ready to go downrange.

    If that doesn't happen, I call one every ten to fifteen minutes.
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