Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Range Etiquette

Range Etiquette
By Jana Kurrle

1.  Follow the Gun Safety Rules
Always treat all guns as loaded.
> Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to shoot.
> Keep your trigger finger indexed above the trigger guard, unless your sights are on target and you have decided to fire.
 Be sure of your target and what is beyond it.

Entering the range
> Make sure your firearm (pistol or rifle) is in a case or holster (walking into a range or store with a weapon in your hand is likely to cause unnecessary excitement and is just generally not polite.)
> Never take a firearm out of its case or holster unless you are at the firing line. *If you want/need your firearm looked at, give it in the case (or unholster where directed,) to a Range Safety Officer for them to clear and inspect.

First Time Shooters
> It is preferable that you bring an experienced shooter with you or get training before coming to the range. The Range Staff is there to insure general safety but does not have the ability to give you the one on one time & attention you will need as a new shooter.
> When you come in let the Range Staff know if this is your first time, or if you are a newer shooter, so that they can (as time allows) give you a bit of extra attention and answer any questions you may have.
> Pay close attention to the Range Rules – not just the Safety Rules, but range specific rules. For example: Rules about what calibers you can shoot, if you are allowed to draw from a holster, or if there are limits on rates of fire.

Listen to the Range Officer & Follow the Range Safety Rules
> The Range Safety Officer is present to make sure everyone is safe by enforcing the Range Safety Rules.
> Do not handle your firearms behind the firing line or while anyone is in front of firing line.
> Keep your firearm pointed directly down range (toward the berm) at all times.
> Insure that your angle of fire will cause all bullets to impact directly into the berm (not the walls, floor or ceiling.)
> Safety is everyone’s responsibility- anyone can and should call a cease-fire if they see an unsafe act. Report anything that you think may be unsafe to the Range Safety Officer.

If Someone Calls a Cease Fire
> Immediately stop firing.
> Put your weapon on safe and place it on the shelf in your booth.
> Step back, out of your firing booth leaving the firearm in place.
> Do not step back into your booth or touch your firearm for any reason.
> Await further instructions from the Range Safety Officer.
> Anyone can call a cease fire should they feel the need to. 

. Follow the Range’s Specific Rules
> Many ranges do not allow steel/aluminum cased ammunition, or non-jacketed lead bullets. Check with the Range Staff prior to using your ammunition.
 Some ranges have rules on caliber limits on firearms, or only allow single shots to be loaded at a time. Be courteous and follow the rules for each range you visit.

Don’t Interrupt Active Target Shooters
> If someone is actively shooting, don’t tap them on the shoulder or try to talk to them.
> The only exception to this rule: If you see that they (or someone else) could be in immediate danger, such as a malfunction you should call “Cease Fire” loud enough to be heard.
> If it isn’t serious enough to call a cease-fire you should wait until the shooter has finished their string of fire to talk with them.

8.  Don’t Hover Behind Shooters
> If you are observing, give some distance between yourself and the shooter.  It can be annoying having someone right behind you as you are shooting, not to mention it could pose a safety risk.

9. Never Touch Someone Else’s Firearm/Equipment Without Permission
> If you receive permission to pick up someone else’s firearm, make sure the first thing you do is clear the weapon, prior to handling it in any other way (always keeping the muzzle pointing down range, of course).

 Malfunctioning Firearm
> If you have a malfunctioning firearm, and are not comfortable clearing the malfunction; place the firearm on safe if possible, then set it on the shooting bench at the firing line, pointed down range and go ask a Range Safety Officer for assistance.  

11. Clean up After Yourself
> When you’re done shooting; take your target down, sweep your brass and pick up anything else left behind before you leave. Loose brass on the floor can be a safety issue. Each range has its own policy about what to do with brass. Ask if they do not tell you first. Do not throw empty ammo boxes down range. Place empty ammo boxes and used targets in designated receptacles.

12.  Shooting a new gun?
> If you have a gun you are firing for the first time let the Range Officers know.  They may be able to help out with any questions or issues you may have.

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