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YOUR biggest range goof

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by brashboy, Aug 4, 2007.

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  1. brashboy

    brashboy Member

    Jul 9, 2007
    Gainesville, FL
    What's your biggest mistake on the range? Whether you were a newbie or not. Understand, I am not picking on newbies. In fact, I suggest you avoid that word entirely. You might, as an alternative, consider relating goofs you pulled on the range when you were, um, younger. [Unless you own a time machine, in which case I'm betting that all of us would be delighted to hear about goofs committed when you were older.]

    Here's mine: when in college, shooting indoor, I hit the target frame at least three times, and it wasn't at 25 yards, more like 5, max! The RO standing nearby said, "Son, shoot the paper. This hardware costs money." (Chuckles all around from other shooters. I didn't have the gear others had and, well, looked like a new shooter. Very embarrassing.)


    HR shut down the former thread on "biggest newbie mistake on the range." Good thing, too. It's unfair to suggest that people ignorant of proper range behavior, or basic safe gun handling, should be held to ridicule for range mistakes just because of not knowing them. Assuming, of course, that it was ignorance - more on that below.

    Anyway, I realized my error. If I had simply left out the word "newbie" it would have been a very successful - nay, even enlightening - thread. Maybe, just maybe, newer shooters reading such a thread would think to themselves, "Golly, I don't ever want to do THAT." Couldn't I just kick myself now! Omitting the word newbie in the other thread might have, in short, avoiding setting off the PC alarm, which I note was in no way mollified by the confessions that many posters (including me) made of their own behaviors when, um, younger. But this new thread, which omits any references to the "n" word, hopefully will provide just such educational accounts; assuming it is not locked.

    But then, something else, something important, occurred to me: who's who? After all, when we see people sweeping loaded guns around, shooting at the ceiling or other people's targets, shooting with liquor on their breath (I've seen all) or whatever, we don't actually know if they're newbies or not, as noted above. While it is natural to assume they are new shooters, we must remember what the military says about assuming. Could be, they're just jacka$$es. But - what if they were afflicted by a mental or physical infirmity that led to the behavior? I've probably got a bit of that myself; runs in the family, according to my Grandmother. I think that the decent sorts among the HR membership share with me a good-willed intent to avoid taking cretinous part in chuckling about the behavior of anyone who might not be responsible for their behavior, however untoward or even dangerous it might be. Point is, you never know.

    Should you laugh at any of the posts, that must be a matter between you and your own conscience.
  2. sm

    sm member

    Dec 22, 2002
    Between black coffee, and shiftn' gears
    I broke a promise

    I promised some kids I would be in town and watch them shoot, and the next day they would come watch me shoot.

    These kids were victims of abuse, and the mom's too.
    I hate to break a promise to anyone, especially a kid, and really these kids did not need "another broken promise".

    The kids were really excited when plans were made early, and they marked off the weeks , then days until this special range times

    I was involved in a serious incident, one I was hurt and kept for observation and other things.
    I was "out of it" and not able to think clear enough to contact anyone ( not that I wanted to upset anyone either).
    They in turn could not "find" me.

    Later when I was stable, the day after all all this was to happen:
    Oh boy the kids were hurt. Moms too.
    I mean I had broken my promise, and this "trust" I had earned was not looking very good at the moment.

    It was explained why I had not been able to make it, or contact anyone.
    Emotions changed as to how I was, concern and all, still deep inside I had broken a promise.

    Seeing this bunch at the first chance I was able was real Odd.

    Life lessons about Making Promises, and how sometimes Life is Life and promises get broken.
    For both me, and these kids and mom's.

  3. JP from Phoenix

    JP from Phoenix Member

    Jul 30, 2007
    that is my biggest concern as a newbie, I have little range experience spaced over many years and I got nervious and got a little spooked due to my lack of experience. I just want to make sure i do everything right and not look like a jack***
  4. TnShooter83

    TnShooter83 Member

    Apr 4, 2007
    Picking brass off the floor.
    I had some 357 given too me, but in return
    I had to bring the brass back.
    I saw a few other shells there on the floor, and picked them up too.
    The range master blew his whistle and asked me to stop.
    Then pointed at the "It hit the floor, It ours" sigh.

    I was embarrassed to say the least.
  5. Regolith

    Regolith Member

    Jul 2, 2007
    Nevada & Oregon
    I wouldn't go back to that range, if I were you. To me, what they did was theft. There's not a single good reason they should get to keep your brass if it hits the ground. They didn't pay for it; you did (or in this case, the guy that gave it to you and asked for his brass back).
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2007
  6. The Deer Hunter

    The Deer Hunter Member

    Aug 20, 2006
    Chairborne HQ, MA :(
    I would have taken the brass, packed up and left. Thats not a range goof on your part, although I can definitely see that as embarrassing.
  7. Two Cold Soakers

    Two Cold Soakers Member

    Jan 22, 2007
    West Michigan
    First time I shot indoors, I figured I didn't need ear protection.....

    One shot and one shot only, I was back upstairs, buying plugs.
  8. Guitargod1985

    Guitargod1985 Member

    Jul 11, 2007
    Yeah, I've done the same thing before. The first time I went bird hunting I didn't use ear protection and I regretted it for nearly two days.

    Another time, after that, I went to the range with a buddy of mine and shot his AR-10 in .308. using nothing more than ear plugs. I bought a pair of muffs that day. I later decided that I needed both plugs AND muffs.
  9. Finch

    Finch Member

    Dec 25, 2002
    Lo$t Wage$, Nevada
    It wasn't a range, but the desert. When I got shooting, I like to make a day out of it. I'll spend a good four hours out shooting so I bring a lot. Plenty of targets, water, sunscreen, guns, music, food, chair, camera, etc..

    So I pack up all my stuff, grab my AR, AK, XD-9, Kimber 1911, and G23. I get all the way out there, set up my targets and go to load my magazines when I realize....

    NO AMMO...
  10. Nomad101bc

    Nomad101bc Member

    Jun 14, 2007
    I was trying out a new magazine that had been giving me problems. So i fire a round through my .40 S&W CX4 without looking through my sites. Well the first round just so happens to hit the target holder head on and my target gets knocked off. Now I was not trying to even aim just test a mag that had jammed twice already; but no one else knows that and was probably thinking wow what a newbie! It knocked my target right off and left a huge burn mark on the target apparently the round caused the metal to heat because .40 S&W is a hot round. When I wheeled it back in this was confirmed by a large dent with a blackish silver outline...
  11. Mantua

    Mantua Member

    Jun 5, 2007
    Central Florida
    Hitting equipment. It's only happened once, and no one seemed to notice, but boy was my face red:eek:
  12. MPanova

    MPanova Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    Houston TX
    This happend when I first starting taking my wife to the range. I keep my ammo in one tackle box and the pistols in another, I asked my wife where the takle box was and she said she already loaded it in the car, We drive about 45 minutes to the range and to my surprise she loaded up all the ammo and we had no guns to shoot :D needless to say we had a good laugh and went on home
  13. MP5

    MP5 Member

    Jul 19, 2004
    I think that was an unfortunate overreaction on the part of the mods: I didn't read those posts--at least the majority of them--as mocking newbies, but rather pointing out dangerous mistakes or judgment errors that everyone could learn from by reading about. (And some of the arrogantly foolish and dangerous--versus just plain inexperienced--behavior discussed there deserved to be derided.) Just like they closed a few recent threads in the political forum that were discussing the civil liberties/RKBA stance of a certain presidential candidate as "off topic". What??

    My one goof:

    During the one-on-one training class I paid for at a local range before shooting for the first time, the instructor goes over the four rules with me, has me read them and tell him I understand them, then hands me an unloaded pistol so as to teach me stance and sight picture. Well, immediately after having discussed the four rules and telling him I understand them, I take the gun and put my finger on the trigger :what:

    A good example of how people reflexively seem to want to put their finger on the trigger because it either feels natural or is what they always see in movies. Now when I instruct others on the four rules, I take the time to explain that it might feel natural to put that index finger on the trigger, but you need to train yourself to do otherwise. Of course, now, even when I pick up my nephew's toy guns, I hold them the proper, safe way without even thinking about it.

    I also mentally recite the four rules before every trip to the range to keep safety foremost in mind and visualize the safe methods of gun handling.
  14. Black Adder LXX

    Black Adder LXX Member

    May 2, 2007
    South Florida
    For me, it was at an indoor pistol range. At that time, most of my experience had been ARs in the Army, and I had little pistol experience. Well, shooting a 9mm, I had hot brass go right down the back of my shirt and *STICK*. I had been burned by brass before, but it had been a while and never down the back of my shirt. So here I am, trying to shrug my shoulders and get it to fall out the bottom to the floor, and it's stuck good. So I turned around in the stall, pistol in hand, hammer cocked and everything and used my weak hand to get the brass loose. I had the presence of mind to have my finger off the trigger and point the gun at the floor, but the fact that I had not kept that thing pointed downrange was inexcusable. There was a couple of kids in the area with their dad, and I could have been dnagerous. Needless to say, that has not ever happened again. And I dress differently, too. Recently I forgot my hat when I was headed out, and I had a piece of 22 brass come down behind my safety glasses and start to burn my eyelid. Same pain, same sudden surprise. Strong hand keeping the pistol downrange, weak hand removing the glasses. I'm still kicking myself for forgetting my hat, but it was nice that I didn't have that problem again.

    I guess the lesson in this is: 1. Know the rules inside and out so that when you're reacting to a surprise you react with the rules. 2. Proper dress and equipment at the range affects your safety and the safety of everyone around you.
  15. TX1911fan

    TX1911fan Member

    Mar 7, 2006
    Shooting my friends XD9 at the range. I had been shooting my CZ P-01, which has a 14 round capacity, so when I get to 14 in his gun, I hand it back to him. Probably covered him with the muzzle and everything. He turns and pops off the last two, to my astonished surprise and extreme embarrassment.
  16. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

    Sep 8, 2005
    Put a LOADED trap single in the range rack.

    Trap singles have no safety, BTW. And our clay range is very newbie-friendly, so it's customary for an experienced shooter to pick up various other people's guns from the rack and show them to an inexperienced shooter who is curious about what to try or buy.

    Someone saw me do it and told me, so I unloaded it. I felt stupid, and very grateful he'd seen it!
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2007
  17. silverlance

    silverlance Member

    Jul 11, 2005
    In my Foxhole
    Fell asleep at the bench.

    Woke up to racous laughter from everybody on the whole line, and the RO's withering glare.

    It was just such a nice day, with the wind nicely blowing, me all suited up and plugs and muff on... I just wanted to close my eyes for a little bit..

  18. Rufus Pisanus

    Rufus Pisanus Member

    Aug 26, 2005
    The first time I went to the range with my reproduction Colt 1860 black powder revolver I didn't know about chain fire...

    So I didn't top off the cylinders with lube or crisco and notice a bigger bang than I expected and a lot of torque. After the fact I noticed that I had shot two rounds at once: one through the barrel and the one next to it jut through the cylinder...

    It was very embarassing but nobody noticed or if they did they were kind to me...

    Another time something potentially worse happened. I was putting my rifles back in the trunk when I remembered that I hadn't checked that one of them was unloaded before putting it in its case. I thought what the hell sure it's unloaded but then I also told myself, well it's only 5 seconds to check. Sure enough there was a round in the chamber. From that moment on I check and double check. Thanks God I never had an AD so far.
  19. 230RN
    • Contributing Member

    230RN Marines raising the left-leaning Pisa tower.

    May 27, 2006
    Sock drop, Crescent Club

    About 55 years separate these two incidents.

    As an Oldie:

    On the way to the range, stopped at a gunshop to pick up a Ruger MK II I'd had my eye on.

    No case for it, so used one of my backup wool socks I keep in my trunk.

    Get to indoor range, signed in, proceeded to firing points burdened with guns, ammo, whatnot. Shifted hands to open double-door to the firing points.

    Ruger fell out on the floor from the open end of the sock.

    Each of the dozen eyes looking at me felt like a laser sight.

    Picked up gun, skulked to the firing points. Odd that the firing point next to me remained open throughout my session.

    As a Newbie (~1954-1955):

    Had never fired a scoped center-fire rifle before. Guy on firing point next to me offered to let me shoot his .243.

    Settled down, tried to see through the scope, got too close. He started to warn: "You're too close to the" BANG!

    Crescent Club Member at the age of 14.

    Taking the Band-Aid (TM) off your eyebrow two days later is not pleasant.
  20. ilbob

    ilbob Member

    Jun 14, 2006
    I did go to a range once to shoot a rifle and brought the wrong magazines. Plenty of ammo though. :)

    Fortunately, I brought plenty of other things to shoot.
  21. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

    Jan 3, 2003
    0 hrs east of TN
    I prefer to learn from other people's mistakes so I don't have any problem in sharing my own (in spite of the embarrassment).

    Not wearing ear plugs when I was younger. I'd never even be around shooting now without them (and muffs when shooting). Now I've got tinnitus and some loss as a result. :banghead: Lesson learned: Wear plugs and muffs for even one shot.

    Not wearing properly fitted safety glasses. Grabbed a pair of range glasses because I'd left mine in the car. Hot .45 brass can both pop up and back to hit you in the forehead and fit between the gap between your forehead and the badly fitting safety glasses AND still be hot enough to burn your cheek right below the eye. Lemme tell you it takes great will power to not drop/toss the gun and grab the glasses off. Lesson learned: wear glasses that don't gap and a hat with a bill if they do.

    Negligent discharge. Had the "last" round fire and the slide lock back. Dropped the mag, looked into the ejection port for daylight where the slide had been and eyeballed the chamber as empty. Dropped the slide and pointing the gun off the deck into soft dirt I pulled the trigger. Nothing. "Oh yeah, Hi Power mag safety!" Popped the "empty" mag back in, racked the slide and it locked back, thumbed the slide lock down and dropped the slide, pointed the gun off the side and turned my head and pulled the trigger expecting "click" and got "BANG" instead. Ramline mag locked the slide back with a round still in the mag. Not checking that the mag was empty was foolish. Good thing I had it pointed in a "safe" direction. Lesson learned: Check everything twice and make no assumptions.
  22. redneckdan

    redneckdan Member

    Jul 2, 2006
    my biggest goof is blindling following reloading data for .300 whisper from the internet. blew out the web of the case, took the extractor and charging handle with it.

    I hate ranges with the "it hits the ground its ours" policies. At the MTU range we have the policy that you can keep your own brass if its behind the line during live fire, stuff forward of the line gets left unless you stay till the end of the night and retrieve it during clean up, we can't stop the line every time some one leaves and wants their brass. Range officers get first crack at brass left at the range, we're a volunteer organization this is one of the very few perks of the job.
  23. Tinman357

    Tinman357 Member

    Jan 2, 2006
    Puget Sound
    Not new to the sport.

    Can’t believe I’m going to tell this story here…. But anyway, My stupid move on a range just might win me a “Dunce” award or something. Ya’ll don’t be to hard on me. :eek:

    I was getting into the cowboy action shooting thing for a while back in the mid-80’s. One evening I was working on my fast draw and pistol twirling. (yes, it was double checked unloaded) Getting good at the game and feeling pretty slick and full of myself.

    Next day I had range qualifications, ( I was in the Navy at the time working at Corry Station Pensacola as Navy Police. Good job with great people. ) You can probably figure out what happened next. I just finished a string of fire and twirled that old issue model 10 around my finger and dropped in the holster just as slick as you please. Right in front of my entire command, including my CO and a Marine Corps Master Gunnery Sergeant with a well earned reputation for being real blunt and to the point. A true Korea, Viet Nam vet that had seen the elephant.

    Just as soon as it hit bottom I winced at that hard, cold knot deep in the pit of my stomach. Gunny dropped down on me like a ton of bricks wrapped in the wrath of God himself. Ol’ gunny came completely unglued. No doubt the sheer volume of his voice raised the ghost of every warrior as far back as the Roman empire. Worst butt chewing I ever got in my entire career spanning more than 20 years and 2 services. I got to ride a desk for a while after that. :banghead:

    What made matters worse is that I wasn’t new to guns. I’d been raised around them all my life. I was teaching self defense courses on the side twice a week to rape victims and was well known for being a “Safety Nazi” The incident quickly ended any aspirations I might have had of being the next great exhibition trick shooter of our times. What a bonehead move.

    Lesson never forgotten Gunny. Semper Fi old friend.
  24. ilcylic

    ilcylic Member

    Sep 14, 2004
    Desert Southwest, USA
    Tinman: Ouch. I can imagine quite well that "Oh dear. I'm about to get dropped on." feeling.

    Mine own failures? Oh, there are plenty. I'll just pick out a few.

    Out at a *ahem* "wilderness range" with some friends. One of my buddies had a semi-auto 1919A4 with the pistol grip and very strange long rocker arm trigger pull. An extremely difficult trigger to trip the sear with. So, we're all shooting, and I get to what I think is the end of the belt, 'cause I can't see it any more, and pulling the trigger doesn;t do anything. So, we all shut down our weapons and walk down the line to set up more targets. We get back and my friend informs me that the 1919 was loaded the whole time we were downrange.

    Another foolish error on my part one time was going out with a group of friends, and not making sure everyone had their hearing protection in before I started shooting. That was pretty embarassing.
  25. SuperNaut

    SuperNaut Member

    Jun 19, 2006
    SLC, Utah
    Outdoor range, nobody around, so I figured it'd be okay to vaporize bottles with my Win 30-30 on the pistol range.

    Turns out, it wasn't okay.
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