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Range etiquette?

Discussion in 'Rallying Point and Range Discussions' started by d-dogg, Dec 30, 2012.

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  1. d-dogg

    d-dogg Member

    Dec 29, 2012
    In addition to the pretty common range etiquette which ensures safety to all, do any of you have any practices you observe to ensure a friendly atmosphere at the range?

    I suppose my question pertains to public ranges and clubs versus shooting ranges at gun shops.

    Bearing in mind, we all have different reasons for hitting the range, I'm just curious to know what others feel is common courtesy. I realize there are folks who are all-day types, 50 rounds in an hour and done types, bring the wife and friends and a picnic lunch types, etc.

    For example:

    Do you notice if there are a number of shooters waiting and consider how long you have held that position on the line?

    Or do you and your shooting partner maybe double up on a position if there is a line?

    Do you, without remark, pick up way more brass than you shot, for the sake of leaving the range clean?

    Do you try to get one more target into the trash barrel, or just take them home because the barrel is full already?

    Good for you, bringing that gun-curious colleague out with you - beyond range safety, what to you impart for courtesies?
  2. soloban

    soloban Member

    Sep 8, 2009
    Madison, AL
    My $0.02: I shoot at an outdoor public WMA uncontrolled (no Range Officer) range so the line has to go "cold" for target changes, target retrieval, etc...

    Be aware of the other shooters on the line. I stop every 10 minutes or so and visually check to see if other shooters are ready to go "cold". I usually stand up from the bench when I'm ready to go cold and will open the action and lay it on a bench as a signal to other shooters that I'm ready to go downrange. When going hot most folks will holler out "going hot!" and check for nods and thumbs up from the other shooters on the line.

    I've been shooting before and waited rather impatiently while a whole family of bubbas showed up with their AK or SKS and giant tin of ammo and took turns blasting away at the dirt and hip firing it like a bunch of Somali pirates. Meanwhile, the nine other shooters on the range were waiting to change targets. I've learned to avoid the range on weekends and holidays.

    I will usually pick up a few pieces of trash from down range on my way back to the bench after a target change. The same bubbas like to leave their shot up boxes and pop cans and other garbage down range.

    Same goes for brass too. If I'm lucky I'll find brass in a caliber that I reload, otherwise I'll chuck in the collection bin for someone else. .22 LR and Steel Cased stuff I just leave lay.

    If the range is fairly light and I'm shooting one of brass chuckers like my M1 or 1911 I'll try to make sure I'm away from other shooters since my 1911 has a habit of raining spent .45 ACP cases on the shooter to my right.

    Other things I'll do for folks is help out with spotting. Example is that I've got a 18x scope on my 700 and I some shooter next to me with a 4x or irons and can't see where he's hitting at 75 or 100 yards I'll take a quick glance over and let him know where he's hitting.
  3. Still Shooting

    Still Shooting Member

    Mar 27, 2010
    Lake George, NY
    Range Rules-Range Etiquette

    I belong to a private club; we have an outdoor range (only), and do not assign/employ RO's. It is a 200 yd. range, with fixed target stands for about 20 of the 50 benches on the line. Benches are all on concrete, and under roof. We are encouraged to meet and greet fellow members while using the range, which is open from 9AM until 1/2 hr. before sunset all year, with the exception of 2-3 weekends in Feb. and Mar. when benchrest competitions are held. We also host Appleseed, and while we do not engage RO's, when Appleseed is on the range, the Appleseed Instructors are the RO.

    I do usually collect more than my own brass, specifically stray .22 and steel-cased .223 cases that a few members leave lying around the line. Most are pretty good about the club rule that you clean up your brass when done shooting.

    I have met many really great people on that range during the 4 years since I joined the club, and most shooters are willing to take 5 during a Cease Fire order and talk with others on the line.

    In order to make range safety rules clear, and to keep insurance rates reasonable, some recent changes have been made. We have TV cameras installed overhead and forward of the benches, one for each 2 benches, and recording equipment in the clubhouse. -None of the "He did..." "NO! He did..." arguments if there is a problem.

    There is a red light mounted on roof supports at the firing line every 2 benches, and a switch behind the Cease Fire line for every 2 as well. Anyone calling a "Cease Fire" and "Range is Clear" is responsible as RO until he calls "Ready Right/Left" and "Commence Firing. Any switch behind a bench will turn on ALL of the red "Cease Fire" lights, and members are required to clear weapons immediately when "Cease Fire" order is called, and stand behind the cease fire line, touching nothing on the bench.

    During a "Cease Fire," there is another safety mechanism. Above every bench there is a yellow light with a pull cord. If you go downrange during a Cease Fire, you turn on the yellow light above your bench. When finished downrange, as you return through the line you turn off the yellow light. When all yellow lights are dark, the temporary RO examines the line, requests to Commence Firing, and Declares the range "hot."

    If someone arrives to shoot, most of us observe as they set up during a "hot range". When they look ready to put up targets, someone will usually call a "Cease Fire"; if there are only 3 or 4 benches in use (often on weekdays), I will usually walk behind the "Cease Fire" line after I set up and ask other shooters for a "Cease Fire" as soon as it is convenient for them. Others do the same whn I am shooting.
  4. Double Vision

    Double Vision Member

    Dec 26, 2010
    NJ USA
    I belong to a private range. It aini't cheap, but it's well-run. Compared to what it would cost me to go to a pay-to-shoot public range, it's worth it.

    The ROs are great folks and help keep things under control without being overbearing.

    Cease fire target changes are on the hour and half hour so there's no disputes. Most folks seem to know to arrive before change time so they can get set up. On a slow day, there's a lot more flexibility with that.

    Almost everyone I've met at the range has been great. I always make a point of talking to other shooters during target changes and I always learn something or share information from the friendly folks there.
  5. ACP

    ACP Member

    Dec 29, 2002
    I shoot on a private range.

    we all must wear photo ID's with our name on them

    We have a limit as to the number of shooters on the line until someone sits in the Range officer's perch to maintain safe gun handling. swithcing off every 30 minutes in the norm.

    i like to wear amplified hearing protectin so i can have normal conversations with fellow shooters.

    we go cold when someone has opened all their gear, affixed their targets to a stand, etc. and is ready to go place them in the field.

    I think sweeping your own brass is not only common courtesy, that stuff is worth a lot of cash at the metals recycling facility!!
  6. Ehtereon11B

    Ehtereon11B internet infantryman

    Aug 20, 2012
    Always ask before you pick up brass. Some ranges won't you police brass. Or the shooter next to you wants to police their brass.

    Let people know when you start/stop firing. Not so much a safety thing but some of us back out our ear plugs a bit and like to put them back in before the bangs start.

    If you are teaching a friend/family member etc how to shoot. Pay attention to them. I learned this one the hard way when my friend shot a .327 into the ground in front of him and scared the crap out of everyone.
  7. guyfromohio

    guyfromohio Member

    Nov 23, 2011
    Although totally unnecessary, I will hold my shots if a "serious" target shooter is firing in the lane next to me. I'm sure they have no expectation of this.
  8. txnative1951

    txnative1951 member

    Dec 31, 2012
    I shoot at a nearby sand pit that they dug a few years back when they were extended our levee system. We haven't had our usual amount of rain for the last year or so, so usually it is just a big dry pit instead of the lake that they probably thought that it was going to become. It's like having a 360 degree 30 ft berm around my shooting area when I'm down there. I lay out a tarp and police my spent cartridges, even when they are the steel ones that I'm just going to throw away. I've never found anyone else shooting down there, but I usually listen for awhile to see if anyone is hunting in the nearby river bottom land.
  9. col_temp

    col_temp Member

    Mar 14, 2012
    Seattle Metro Area, WA
    Good Idea, Will pass it along.

    As to the thread. I find myself usually cleaning up a lot of extra brass.
    Will engage in conversation to see what everyone is firing and ask questions.
    I am always conscious of a line. Only time I've run into that is on a weekend but I usually got during the middle of the day (Joys of running your own business!)

    Too everyone else like to hear what the various ranges do.
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