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Thread: Shooting Range Etiquette

  1. #1
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    Default Shooting Range Etiquette

    I picked up my very first firearm last month- a 4" XD 40S&W. I've done hours of reading, have gone through the very brief manual two dozen times so far and dry-fired it a couple dozen more- but it's time to get some experiential education. I may have found some time to get to the Rabbit Creek Range this coming week or weekend to finally try it out for the first time. Besides the obvious rules of handgun safety, is there any firing range etiquette or "unspoken" rules that I should know about? I'm not too worried about looking like a newbie cause I am what I am and understand that I've got to get through the learning curve, but the more information I have before I go the more comfortable I'm going to be with the whole process.
    Second question: if my work schedule does not allow me to get to the range during open hours, my patience is not going to last. Is there anything wrong with hiking into a part of the Chugach that is not frequented by people early one morning and squeezing off a dozen or so rounds just to get my first time out of my system? I don't want to break any laws, but don't know what they are in regards to that. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Member JOAT's Avatar
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    Default

    Search "rabbit creek" on the shooting forum and you'll find the rather extensive list of range rules (and much debate about them). That will give you a heads-up as to what you're going in to. You're other option is Birchwood where they run things in a less formal fashion.

    I would strongly suggest that you team up with an experienced shooter for your first time out. The book won't teach you the proper way to hold the gun, pull the trigger, align the sights, etc. You need someone to show you and then help you perfom these actions correctly. You can most likely find someone from this forum who will be more than happy to meet you at the range. If not, when you do go to the range, look for somebody who is shooting a similar pistol as yours and just walk up to them and say, "Hi. I just bought my first gun and I've never shot it. Would you help me?" Most shooters will be more than happy to help you out.

    As for the Chugach, you need to be careful about National Parks/Forests as they often have very restrictive firearms rules. While we've all done "gravel pit" shooting, you just need to make sure the area is legal for discharging firearms and that your backstop and downrange areas are completely clear.
    Winter is Coming...

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  3. #3

    Default Rabbit Creek

    Another thing to consider is if you go during off hours during the week, you may have the range to yourself. I did not understand all the hub bub in the Rabbit Creek treads until I finally went to the range mid afternoon on a weekend. If there are more than 3 or so parties, the range gets rather formal in the approach and controlled by the range officer. Its all about safety, which is a good thing, but I much prefer shooting when it is less crowded.

    -hiker
    "Happiness is a warm gun - bang bang, shoot shoot!"
    -Lennon/McCartney

  4. #4
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    Oct 2007
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    Default Patience and communication

    Those two words will take you far when shooting you new gun and going to the shooting range. Find the rules for the range your going to and follow them as closely as possible (rules try to, but never cover every situation). I agree that taking a friend who has experience with firearms and range etiquette would probably be the best idea. It's never a bad idea to go to a gun safety class too. I've been to several and have always walked away with some new ideas or insight into gun safety. Please remember this at all times- A gun isn't dangerous until someone loads it and picks it up! Have fun your new hobby!

  5. #5
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    Default thanks

    I appreciate all the advice offered. Time is definitely an issue here. There's no chance I'm able to get off work to go in the middle of the day when it's less crowded, which I'd much prefer. I don't get off work early enough to make it there before it closes, and often have to work weekends this time of year- that's why I made the comment about getting impatient and just going somewhere remote enough in the evening so I wouldn't bother anyone. I'll just have to figure out a way to get to the range. Thanks again.

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