Range Etiquette



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  • Range Etiquette

    With this warmer, break-uppy weather, I've been making it down to the range to resume dialing in some handloads for my new mod. 70, ought-6. A recent phenomenon I have noticed more of at the Snow Shoe Gun Club is the appearance of younger adults, showing up with ******* rifles, spraying a good deal of ammo down range then abruptly leaving. They usually show up in small groups, never set up targets and only hit snow and air. They seem to be trying to master the "recoil auto" thing that kind of makes it sound like a wannabe machinegun and have no use for accuracy or safety. The last time, a guy with a litter of very nice, respectable kids were doing some family shooting when these sappy dudes with some skanky females showed up and started waving ak's around literally forcing us all to cease fire and move to the rear of the firing line. Yikes! One good comment came from the whole affair as we agreed that if we ever were in a gunfight we'd want these guys on the other side.

    Does this make a valid thread? Is anyone else seeing this happening? Can this be a good thing? As I stated, this isn't the first recent occurance, only the weirdest.
    Last edited by Murphy; 03-18-2009, 08:10.
    If anything is going to happen, it'll happen out there.

  • #2
    Dumb folks all over. Gun range is no exception. Not that it is an excuse. It is the last place dumb folks should be. Especially if they are being disrespectful. But to be honest, a gun range is the last place I would pick a fight. Just depends on how out of line they are. Perhaps posting a sign with some basic range rules would be in order. Likely, the kids just don't know any better. Probably never had anyone take them to the range and show them how it is supposed to be done. But that won't change the negative reaction one might give you if you embarass them in front of their chronies. I say let it go unless it just bothers you that bad. In which case, give them some of their own medicine. Even dumb folks can take a hint.
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.


    • #3
      That happens alot here in Fairbanks at the only public range we have. I have had to get my boys and just leave on several outings to the range before somebody got hurt. Anybody can hit the ground 10' in front of them and shooting from the hip well I'll leave that one alone. Not trying to pick a fight but most of the ones(90&#37 I have sent here have been military. I was in the military for 15 years and I know they get better training then they are showing in public. The last time I was out at the range it was 2 Officers shooting at a angle across the range with a .50 cal using tracers. They were shooting across 7-8 lanes(mine and my two boys lanes)and you could watch those tracers bouncing off everything. We picked our stuff up once again and left. Sad world and people want to blame the firearms.


      • #4
        First if these folks are at a boni-fide public range, they are in violation of range rules and the normal etiquette of social gather, armed or not. A word to them should be adequate. If this fails and it has with me a call to the the troopers with license plate numbers usually net the trooper a couple of felony arrests for the guns, alcohol and driving mix. I have no tollerance for gross stupidity or public behavior of disdain and will not hesitate to end it in what ever way I can. (The latter, I can't do much about the former.) If it is at a shooting spot and not a range the options are less obvious but just like shooting up road signs it is considered misconduct with a firearm. (Shooting in an unsafe manner)

        Secondly if you are unsure of the definition of a particular type of rifle and want to use the TV talking heads definition and jargon you may be at the wrong forum. Alaska state laws have few restriction on full auto guns but they must be used safely, they are fun to shoot. NFA classified guns are legal but unsafe behavior with a firearm is not. Semiauto AK's, a misnomer anyway, as they are called type 56 rifles, are legal for all without an NFA tax stamp. I doubt you will encounter a full auto capable AK type rifle.

        Regardless of caliber or rifle type range rules and range etiquette must be followed and we owe it to ourselves and the rest of the safe shooting community to stop stupid behavior with guns where we find it.
        Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?


        • #5
          Can't say that i have ever had problems like those, thank ggodness, but my own pet peeve is someone showing up with a rifle with a muzzle brake, and just firing it. Man:eek: It is a pain. IMO, guys should let everyone know that they have one, and would the others mind if they fired it. If not, just put it away and shoot something else.
          My $.02
          Fighting gravity is never cheap.


          • #6
            With all due respect, please allow me to retort.....

            I don't exactly fit into the age demigraphic that you describe per se, but I do own some military style semi-automatic rifles (or "uuh-salt rifles" as you call them) and enjoy shooting them regularly.

            But I have since stopped going to the range simply because of people like "you!" You know what I'm talking about too, I show up with 3 or 4 AR-15's and an AK variant and there you are.... 3 tables down looking at me like everytime I pull the trigger, a kitten dies!

            "You" complain to the RM about my shooting style and force him to make rules like "No more than 10 rounds in a clip" (yeah, "you" call it a clip, you know you do!).... :rolleyes:

            "You" get up and move and make it very obvious that "you" don't like me or my guns. Thanks fellow shooter and gun enthusiast for making me feel unwelcome and looked down on.

            Here's an idea, why don't you take off your "Elmer Fudd" hat for a second, lay down your Grandpappy's Winchester Model 70 and approach "me" with a smile... ask me about my rifles. Ask to shoot one... maybe discuss range safety rules with "me" in a way that makes "me" feel welcome and part of the family? Instead of calling my girlfriend or wife a "skank" why don't you try talking her into shooting your kid's .22 rifle?

            Why don't you try to build up other shooters?

            I can tell you, that "we" are probably just as apprehensive about approaching a middle aged fat man with a "sniper rilfe," but I digress...

            - Clint


            • #7
              Well said Clint and if any or all of that was directed at me in any way I apologize for any defamation I may have categorically yet unintentionally espoused.

              I don't mind folks shooting rapid fire or even full auto fire and will always approach folks at any and all ranges and shooting spots in a positive and we're all on the same team kind of way. I was responding to what I perceived to be improper behavior with a firearm, and as I have said I have no tollerance for it. I also especially like to be safe and courteous when folks go down range and I expect the same behaviour from them. I see no reason why reason cannot prevail and we all have a safe and fun shoot. We do need to police our own ranks.

              I don't turn my nose up to anyone and certainly would not because of the type of guns they shoot. I like meeting folks at shooting ranges and engaging in conversation about guns and shooting. I also encourage young folks (hell, everybody I meet nowadays is young.) to shoot and have offered my guns and ammo to many here in at all the shooting spots. Many have used my chronograph when I have it out, also, wanting to check a hunting load or a handload they are trying out. There's room for all of us at all the ranges, as ask only for common sense and common courtesy.
              Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?


              • #8
                Originally posted by mmusashi2k View Post
                with some skanky females

                Does this make a valid thread?
                Heck yes it does. We all want to hear about skanky females and guns.

                Is anyone else seeing this happening?
                No, but I'm hoping next time you'll call me.

                Can this be a good thing?
                For you, yes, for those that have to pay for a website to see it, maybe.

                Seriously, I'm thinking no one probably said a word to them, including you.

                Maybe a friendly reminder of the rules would have been in order?


                • #9
                  My comments were not directed at you Murphy...

                  - Clint


                  • #10
                    I'll weigh in a bit:
                    looks, type of rifle, potential employer etc pretty much irrelevant to the discussion.

                    what did catch my attention is:

                    "and started waving ak's around" because muzzle sweeps violate the fundamental safety rules.

                    Rounds not impacting the berm is a very serious safety hazard as well. Where are those rounds going?

                    I would have said something to them. I have many times on many ranges.
                    If I am down range and they are handling the firearm, I use my outside, Chief Boatswain Mate voice, leaving out many of the magic words. On the line, I often ask nicely. People have alwasy complied. If they did not, I agree, I would pack my kit and depart. Birchwood and MVS ranges both have had those violators, and those ranges are semi controlled.

                    Why: Range safety is everyones responsibility.

                    Perhaps those folks were not aware of the fundamentals, please allow me to post them: Thank you.

                    1. ALWAYS keep the gun pointed in a safe direction.
                    This is the primary rule of gun safety. A safe direction means that the gun is pointed so that even if it were to go off it would not cause injury or damage. The key to this rule is to control where the muzzle or front end of the barrel is pointed at all times. Common sense dictates the safest direction, depending on different circumstances.
                    2. ALWAYS keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot.
                    When holding a gun, rest your finger on the trigger guard or along the side of the gun. Until you are actually ready to fire, do not touch the trigger.

                    3. ALWAYS keep the gun unloaded until ready to use.
                    Whenever you pick up a gun, immediately engage the safety device if possible, and, if the gun has a magazine, remove it before opening the action and looking into the chamber(s) which should be clear of ammunition. If you do not know how to open the action or inspect the chamber(s), leave the gun alone and get help from someone who does.


                    • #11
                      Unfortunately this is a symptom of society in general:

                      I shoot everything from muzzle loaders to ARs.
                      I do not think for a minute the original poster was talking about shooters like myself.

                      We used to have a gravel pit range down here betwen Anchor Point and Homer that was used from the 1960s up until three years ago. For the last few years it was not safe to be there at times because of the various dirt bags who showed up to spray the ground (rocks) 6 feet in front of them.
                      They were usually the same types who are in the local paper as either burglary suspects or victims of accidental shootings at a beer party.

                      Now our only local range is a Club Range, which is only open when we can have a range master in place. Those of us who are real shooters can still enjoy whatever firearm we like , knowing that the guy next to you is not pointing an rifle into your ear while he tries to remember what planet he is on.

                      About 20% of these offenders will listen to reason and maybe accept a quick lesson in the use of their firearm. I dealt with many of the remaining 80% in an official capicity for 20 years and the majority only respond to being cuffed and stuffed.
                      Float-CFI, Photo Guide, Fishing Guide, Remote Kayaking
                      Guest Cabin, Flight Reviews, Aerial Tours


                      • #12
                        Nicely said.


                        • #13
                          Lot's of various responses here

                          Alaskacajun, that was scathing. And I do call it a mag, really I do. And for that matter I have lots of them and some quite nice "military style semi-automatic rifles" that I load them into when I often take them to the range. What I don't do with them is make others uncomfortable because I follow safe range habits and for that matter, since it is a firearm, I shoot at things rather than fire it just to make it go bang. I can't help being 50, it just kinda creeps up on you, ya know, but I don't consider myself to be "a middle aged fat man with a "sniper rilfe." Actually, I'm quite athletic and still do cliff drops and launches on sleds and I skin and ski Turnagain too. That's when hunting and fishing slack off for the winter. And I didn't glare at anyone either. A couple of guys around age 25 showed up, got out of their truck, watched for a moment then loaded back up and left as it appeared they wanted nothing to do with it either. The guy down the line from me was shooting a Weatherby while his kids were shooting rimfires two spots over and these guys moved in right between them. They all immediately got up and moved to the rear of the line where the kids went over by their dad and stood. There's a difference between this and folks out shooting AK's, or AR's or whatever. I want to be able to do whatever I want with my guns but there are a lot of people out there who wish to see me without them. There's a fine line right now between those who "see" and the emotional ones who perceive firearms to be more of a threat than an evil mind. Individuals like these could make a difference to some of those folks that are teetering on the edge of the 2nd and we need all we can keep on our side.

                          As for the PC media term, Murphy, that's my point exactly. This does not help our cause with those who wish to take our rights and the fix is not going to come from the media, or from the left, it has to come from within the ranks of the firearms owners. I wasn't unfriendly but I didn't say anything at all to them, as I wasn't comfortable with that either. In posting this what I was seeking is advice on just that or perhaps seeing how others might have handled it. As far as using the term "ak", well, I notice you have a penchant for nomenclature. I can recognize at a glance the different types and makes of most of these types of rifles (see what you got me doing now) but I often talk in generalities about certain things for the sake of not appearing to have a stick up my rear. In other words I just call a shovel a shovel and that works for me.
                          If anything is going to happen, it'll happen out there.


                          • #14
                            Range behavior

                            I was wondering if you were able to take any photos of the "Skanky Females" with AK's?


                            • #15

                              PM me your email address for photos. But really, I suppose "skanky" might have been a poor choice of words for these gals. They did, however, have the appearance that they had been partying all night and were a bit out of it. Not real lookers either. They only watched the guy shooting and seemed somewhat impressed with his skills. I guess judgement is not a good thing anymore whereas, once, forming an opinion of a stranger was considered wise.
                              If anything is going to happen, it'll happen out there.


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