Why do people not like range officers

Discussion in 'Rallying Point and Range Discussions' started by Russell13, Jun 3, 2020.

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  1. kmw1954

    kmw1954 Member

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    I mentioned this previously that as RO's we are just employee's, we do not make the rules we are there just to ensure people follow them. Try and keep everyone, including ourselves, safe. Many, many novice shooters these days and they don't always realize exactly what they are doing could get someone hurt.

    Most rules are designed to keep people safe and others are to keep the range and surrounding areas safe and operational. We do not allow rapid fire, mag dumps or double taps. Again because we are an open public range with patrons of all skill levels. Many would not know or understand a squib if they experienced one. Lately I have been paying closer attention to eye protection after I seen an AR10 explode and come apart. The shooter had his face peppered and a couple cuts on his hand, otherwise he was not severely injured.

    We are allowed some latitude with the rules at times such as the other day. It was cold and lonely on the 200/300yd range and about mid-day I finally had my first customer. He had a couple of rifles with him and asked if he could set up a target at 200 and one at 300. As a rule that would be a NO because the 200yd target is directly in-line with the 300yd target so you cannot shoot the 300 w/o shooting thru the 200.

    Instead as a solution and my own judgement I allowed him to set up two benches, again which is normally against the rules and I told him that. During his visit time there were no others showing up and he shot both benches, had a good time and accomplished what he wanted to do. He left happy.

    Now was that the correct thing to do? No. Was it against the Rules? Yes. Was anyone hurt of displaced? Not to my thinking. No harm no foul? If there would have been just one other person there at that time I would not have allowed it. I played a hunch that no one else was going to show so I accommodated this one shooter..

    Later I explained to my manager what I had done and he pretty much felt the same way I did. I broke a rule to accommodate a customer and used the discretion that is given to me. One of the biggest concerns for doing this is that next time he wants to do it again he will use the excuse, "Well the other guy let me do it!"
     
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  2. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    Yeah, I can imagine your response.
     
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  3. kmw1954

    kmw1954 Member

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    Being an RO and a shooter that reloads I can appreciate the feeling of ownership for ones brass. At our range there are clear signs that a shooter is also a reloading. Most have ammo boxes that are other than factory while others are doing the best they can to keep it close and gathered up. Those people I also go out of my way to help them keep their brass. Others I also offer them what may be in the buckets at the end of the benches. The ones I find irritating are the ones that walk off and leave the bench and the floor littered with their spent brass. I just hate bringing the next customer to a bench only to find it covered in spent 9mm or 22LR cases and then they have to wait so that we can clear it off.
     
  4. armoredman

    armoredman Member

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    Private range. RO is the owner. He hasn't told me anything other than clean up when you're done. I always leave it looking nicer than when I arrived.
     
  5. zeek96

    zeek96 Member

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    Kmw1954 did you read my post when we paid I did have to show the cashier both shotguns and there was no problem with the office and no language in the range rules of type of fire arm allowed. It all came down to an over zealous power controlled purist who wanted a certain look and prestige on his range. Even the office manager agreed after watching the video. Other rem 870s were there and semi auto shotguns. It’s not like I had a Keltec 12 gauge with 14 rounds blasting away ment for self defense.

    I myself have been a range officer for Olympic 3p matches all over this country and know to follow rules both for the sport and range. They are not the same when competing vs open range shoots. Weather I was visiting another range or my own there were about a quarter of ROs that are pure control freaks and over step preferring certain clients or Guns.

    Safety issues are one thing to be strict on and type of ammo allowed in a range but many older ROs think you have to have a specific gun type or accessories and make shooters feel alienated from the range and sport. Not all can afford an Anschutz 2013 as a first rifle but maybe a bolt action savage or cz to shoot, For pistol ranges they may only want or prefer Pardini or S&W model 41s but come to shoot with a Ruger mark#. In today’s climate shooters should be encouraged not gun shamed or alienated. I have seen this in many ranges across the country. Many ROs are nice and helpful but there are enough out there that need correction on their actions and control.

     
  6. kmw1954

    kmw1954 Member

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    Zeek96, yes I did read your complete post which is why I responded in my very first sentence the way I did. That RO is a jerk/fool and would never be hired were I am working. We as a group every morning have safety meeting and the subject of ad hoc rules which is widely disavowed by our management. If our manager was forced to refund money he would not be pleased about it and the reason or person would be much discussed at the next few mornings meetings.

    In 9 months I have only had one incident of real contention and that was one patron showed up dressed in full battle assault garb with a breast plate and a vest with about 10 fully loaded magazines attached to it. I tries as politely as I could that he could wear his equipment but he could not go down range with the loaded magazines.

    But I do agree with you about that persons personal preferences and instilling them on the range. He was completely out of order.
     
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  7. Caplock

    Caplock Member

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    Cherry Creek shooting range Colorado. I think I went there twice 20 years ago. Didn't take long to see they were a bunch of aholes. So bad you'd feel uncomfortable while they were chewing a guy three lanes down you'd never seen before.
     
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  8. wiscoaster

    wiscoaster Member

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    A lot can change in 20 years. Current characterization irrelevant, IMHO.
     
  9. Hugger-4641

    Hugger-4641 Member

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    When I go to the range, it is a public range with $10/2hr fee and you get free paper targets. The R.O. rarely bothers anyone unless its a blatant issue like the genius using his AR pistol on the pistol range recently. But,, the R.O. also knows me well and knows that me and some regulars will help others and call attention to mistakes if needed.
    Our range has a target progression from right to left. One 25yd target on the right, two at 50yd next, then three at 100, three at 200yd, and finally one 300yd on far left. There are only 8 benches, but rarely is the 25yd or 300yd target being used, and not often the 200yd is being used. So the R.O. will often let us put more targets up at 100yds if there is concensus among those present. This was the case one day when I was at the far left bench, but was actually shooting my own reactive target at 100yds as well as another at 300yds. The R.O. left to go check on something at the Trap range and
    some "out of towners" showed up and occupied the a bench in the middle. Then they started shooting at my 100yd target. So, a couple infractions here: first, they crossed shooting lanes of two other shooters to shoot my target and they were shooting my target, not the paper target supplied by the range. You are also supposed to call out "lane #X going Hot " before you start shooting.
    I had to be acting R.O. and correct their error. I advised them in a friendly tone that those targets were $5 each and advised them of their errors.
    They were totally clueless, but very appologetic.
    I called the range cold and some other shooters and I helped them set up their targets in the appropriate lane. I gave them another reactive target and let the young boy shoot my AR at my target.
    Told the R.O. about the incident when he returned and he made sure to give them extra help and attention.
    Hopefully what could have been a negative experience turned out to be positive for them and I hope they come back.
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2021
  10. starling

    starling Member

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    Depends on the range officer. I tend to treat them like LE and just avoid them all together. I have been doing the gun thing since I was a young child so I dont need a babysitter. They are necessary with a lot of these new shooters though who can disrespect firearms after watching too many jackass youtube videos where folks want to show off John Wick practices to get attention. I have to explain to my sons how such casual behavior around firearms can bite you in the rear. Lots of bad stuff on youtube thats very popular from well known people. Everybody wants to be "special" though.

    So yeah... I dont like range officers over my shoulder all the time but I have seen a lot of adult age children doing stupid things at ranges. They are necessary a lot of times. The good ones leave you alone once they see you know what your doing. Most interactions I have are just a social visit and gun talk.
     
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  11. kmw1954

    kmw1954 Member

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    Some of my best friends are Range Officers, but then I also work with them. :neener:

    We are just everyday people trying to do an impossible and dangerous job while dealing with the public. Our 1st priority is to keep everyone safe from one another. I daily see some real idiots and some very unsafe practices. For those with very high disdain for RO's, well maybe you need your own private range where you are your own RO.

    Merry Christmas everyone!
     
  12. Zerodefect

    Zerodefect Member

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    My public ranges RO's are actually cool.

    When the place reopened rangers rotated in there to help out until things slowed back down to normal.

    They've got all the annoying safety rules that take care of stupid people. Once I got used to them, it's been no issue. Way excessive if everyone is safe and seasoned.

    Only downside is waiting for a cold pistol range. Some people will shoot the same target for an hour. I bring my smartphone.

    I like to tape or replace mine every 20 rounds. I like the instant feedback of visible hits. Sunday mornings I have the $2.5 million improved range to myself. Which is priceless.
     
  13. AJC1

    AJC1 Member

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    I like my RSO's at the two ranges I frequent quite well. The more chill they are the better. Shoot point blank in Memphis deals with seriously stupid and dangerous people. They try and stay on top of it but I leave when they get busy. Mciver in Mississippi they are more present than involved. The people at that range seem on average way more competent or are brought by a shooter who helps them. I hear horror stories just like the next guy but havent experienced it yet.
     
  14. Gun4Fun90

    Gun4Fun90 Member

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    I mean I like the RO’s at the range I go to. I am a regular and have been going for years and am friendly with the RO’s, the owners, and their dad (the owners are brothers).

    but that doesn’t mean there aren’t people that are annoyed by them, it mostly comes down to following the range rules.

    I was up there once and it was a busy day, all the stations were full and the guy at the bench next to me was an older gentleman who was not a regular at this range. The range has a rule that when the line goes cold you have to have your bolt open, magazine out, and guns down (not be touching them) when people are down range. I was chatting with the RO when the gentleman next to me started adjusting his sights (or it could have been his stock I don’t remember). The RO told him he needed to be hands off his gun while people were down range. The gentleman tried to protest saying he was just adjusting his sights and the RO basically just explained the rules. Needless to say the gentleman didn’t like being told what to do by someone who was probably less than half his age and grumbled a bit. Despite the fact the RO was perfectly polite and respectful when explaining the range rules to the gentleman (which are also on signs posted every few stations near the firing line) I have no doubt the gentleman went home that day complaining about the “annoying RO that wouldn’t let him adjust his sights”

    it’s a million reasons from people that don’t like following the rules, to people with problems with authority, to genuinely bad RO’s. But the real reason it seems that no one likes RO’s is people with something to complain about are generally a lot louder than people who don’t.
     
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  15. Metal God

    Metal God Member

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    I'm a RSO for a large range ( 6 ranges with 30 lanes each ) and get annoyed with range RO's all the time . It amaze's me how different each RO interprets the SOP . The one thing that is clear is that you don't get to argue with the on duty RO's even if you think they are wrong . The on duty RO's have final say period and you better do what they say . You'd think the SOP is clear which it is but we have something like 300+ RSO's ( all volunteer ) and there's bound to be a few that read it differently then the rest . Add on there are also some in that 300+ that simply have power trips and it can get frustrating .

    There's nothing super wrong on the differences on what they believe . Usually height of streel , angle of steel and conceal carry are the big ones that seem to come up the most when I'm there . There is NO open carry period ! The conceal carry is the worst because there is not rule saying you can't if you have a conceal carry license . However there is NO drawing of any firearm from a holster so if you are carrying it must stay concealed and as long as nobody notices it you can carry . However if somebody notices your firearm that means it's no longer concealed and you must remove the firearm from the holster and treat it as any other firearm you are using that day or leave the range .

    I personally give one warning to anyone conceal carrying . I pull them aside and asked if they have a license ( don't ask to see it ) if yes I say the firearm MUST stay concealed , if no then they can't have the gun on their person at all unless actively shooting it and it can not be put back in the holster loaded or unloaded it must be placed on the bench or case after use . I will say that there attitude towards my polite pulling aside to remind them of the rules matters a great deal on how our second interaction will go .
     
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  16. armoredman

    armoredman Member

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    A few people liked this post, so I thought I'd throw out that someone did something very stupid on that private range, (not me), and now it is closed to everyone except the guy who screwed it up, believe it or not. Back to the CG public range, which isn't too bad, honestly.
     
  17. webrx
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    webrx Contributing Member

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    my experience has been that if you follow the rules, the RO isn't a bad guy.
    Sometimes, they have to be a little aggressive aka somebody doing something dangerous so they yell stop, freeze, whatever to stop the dangerous thing.
    If you have never been in boot camp, I guess getting yelled at can make you feel picked on, or if you are a new gun convert, it could "trigger" you.

    Me, I try to follow the rules, and not do stupid things so I dont have the RO yelling in my direction.

    d
     
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  18. kmw1954

    kmw1954 Member

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    Thank you from an RO. Our range also has a couple of young ladies as RO's and they can get just as aggressive as the guys.

    Keep this in mind when at a large public shooting range. All range rules are in place for one of two reasons. They are not there to inconvenience you or limit your fun, 1. they are there to keep you and me SAFE form some one that may experience a metal lapse and do something unsafe. 2. they are there to protect the range, range equipment and the surrounding area.

    No one wants to be flagged on the range by someone handling their guns and not realizing that they just did it. On average I get a muzzle pointed at me at least one each day, I work most of the time on a rifle range with no pistols on it. So it is not that I am being flagged by a hand gun. I very often hear," It's not loaded!" and then I ask them to tell that to the guy 3 benches down that he just pointed his muzzle at. He doesn't know you and he doesn't know if your gun is unloaded. I am certain you would fell just as uncomfortable if he turned and pointed his rifle at you and then stated, "it's not loaded!".

    Some of our ranges biggest rules start before one even enters the range and I pay the most attention to. Short list which I have relayed before; All fire arms entering the range must be cased. All fire arms are to be uncased only on the bench with the muzzle pointed down range, Do Not uncase on the floor or the rear bench of the range. Only handle rife arms that are pointed down range so if you have a case that contains two fire arms then only handle the fire arm that is pointed down range and NOT the one pointed at the parking lot. If you want the one pointed the wrong way the close the case and turn the case around.

    This example above is the leading cause of people getting a gun pointed that them. People not following those simple easy to understand directions. I DO NOT want to see anyone on my range shot by an "Unloaded Firearm". Many of you may find that rule limiting or inconvenient because you have one of those cases with two rifles pointing in opposite directions. OH WELL. Work a couple days on these ranges and see for yourself how often people get flagged by this practice and then we get called all sorts of names because of it. Keep your muzzle pointed down range and you won't get scolded. This rule is not debatable.

    Keep the range and the equipment safe and in working order.
    Our range uses wood framed target stands, they are consumables but they still cost a good deal of money to keep up so we try to control use to an extent. They also have 12"X12" metal number tags on them that are 30" below the bottom of the stand where the targets attach. We just replaced 44 of these on the 100yd range because you could no longer read the numbers they were that shot up. Again these are 36" below the center of the target stand. are these shooters really that bad of shots?

    Also each range has a 30' high dirt berm with a bullet catcher above it. These are there to keep the projectiles inside the range and the stands are mostly set just in front of the berm. Reason being that it reduces ricochets. Many times we see if the projectile contacts the ground before the berm it will ricochet and hit almost to the top of the berm. There was just a thread on here about a range in Michigan that was shut down because projectiles were leaving the range.

    I do enjoy working on the ranges, interacting with the customers, seeing some fantastic firearms, talking guns or reloading or just watching some great shooting. I am not there to insult or embarrass anyone. So if I approach you and scold you it is because you have done something that may have put someone else in danger. Then in all honesty I too have been corrected at times for things like forgetting to turn on the Safe Light or not seeing someone still down range and start to call a "Hot Range".

    Sorry for the rant but hopefully I have helped someone to understand what a Range Officer faces on a daily basis. Or at least the range I work at.
     
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  19. Metal God

    Metal God Member

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    The one that really erks me is the guy that puts his case down across the bench then opens it up flagging EVERYONE down the line . I can often see these guys coming before they even get to the bench . Not sure what I'm seeing but I'm already headed there way just in case my feeling is correct . If they don't I obviously don't even make contact with them .

    We have 3 ranges that you can put targets at 15 feet to 30yds , 50yds and 100yds respectively . The closer the targets are to the line ( paper targets ) the higher on the target board you must place your target which reduces the space available to place multiple targets on the backer . This is because at 15 feet you can place your target low enough on the baker board to cause every shot you fire to recache off the ground well before it hits the berm at 50 & 100yds . We even have a mountain back stop right behind the berm . However the mountain has large rocks and boulders we can get a second recache off of and then the bullet is leaving the range . Explaining to shooters yes your 4' target board at 15 feet can only have one target at the very top of the board upsets many . This is to insure your bullets hit the berm and means they need to change there targets out more often . This is actually one of those things some RO's don't seem to enforce the same as others .
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2021
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  20. kmw1954

    kmw1954 Member

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    I'm not trying to bitch, complain or accuse but rather help people to understand what goes on everyday at large public ranges. For many these are the only venues available to them so we need set simple to follow rules that everyone must follow just to keep everyone safe. More and more we see people with very little experience or training with firearms. As RO's we don't have time to become teachers, as much as we'd like to but there is just too much going on for us to become instructors.

    Our facility is set up with four enclosed ranges. Sporting Clays, 5 Stand, Novice Trap and an LE range.
    25 yard with movable target stands from 6yards to 30 yards if you push the stand all the way back to the berm.. There are 22 shooting benches on this range and on weekends we get waiting lists..
    50 yard range with 6 stationary targets set at 25 yards, 18 stationary stands at 50 yards and 6 lanes of 22 rimfire steel plinking..
    100 yard range with 44 stationary targets an again during the summer on the weekends we can get waiting lists.
    200/300 yard range with 12 benches and each bench has a drop down target stand at 200 yards and 300 yards.

    Imagine trying to control 44 shooter that are handling everything from 22 rimfire pistols to 300 Win Mag and some of these people have fired less than a couple hours in their entire life. Yes we also get people with those brand new guns and are first time shooters! And it is not just the new shooters at the 25 yard range that become oblivious to range safety I see it also from experienced shooters on the 200/300 yard range.

    Believe me I do my best to try and assure that everyone on my range has a pleasant, joyful experience and feels safe enough that they want to come back.

    If anyone is interested I can supply a link to the ranges website and you all can actually see many pictures of the facility.
     
  21. Metal God

    Metal God Member

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    Oh man been there done that . We have 30 lanes on each range except trap . We to can have waiting list to get a lane on weekends . I remember being under staffed one day and only had 2 RO's for a full 30 lane range . That's not 30 shooters , that's 30 lanes in use with half of them having at least two shooters sharing a lane and a few with 4+ sharing ( one shooter at a time ) but still .... REALLY busy . Got lucky for the most part that day everyone seemed good on the rules and safety . Even the larger groups had at least one guy keeping his own group in check . Still had my head on a swivel , a very stressful couple hours while it was that busy !
     
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  22. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    5 pages is plenty to cover all the issues why RSO's are loved or hated (and everything in between).
     
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