(courtesy pksafety.com)

Over at satireworld.com the floridly named Bargis Tryhol offers The Top 20 Things A Guy Should Never Say at a Gun Range. Many of his suggestions seem a little  . . . homophobic. An impression that’s not contradicted by a pic of Richard Simmons in a tutu. Something to do with his last name? Anyway, let’s right set Mr Tryhol straight (so to speak). What shouldn’t you say at a gun range? I’m going with “Nice 1911. Too bad it’s not a GLOCK.”

179 Responses to Question of the Day: What Shouldn’t You Say at a Gun Range?

    • …says a guy who probably hasn’t owned one for a decade.

      Brings up a good point… anyone caught disparaging other people’s guns based on brand at a gun range should be pilloried.

      • What is it with Sig guys? They can’t bear the sight of a Beretta 92 without spouting off how much better they think their Sigs are than Berettas. I’ve just started conceding that since they cost 50% more they aught to be better or else they got ripped off. That usually shuts them up. You can argue the nuances of design all day long, but I’ve yet to come across a Sig guy who thinks they’re cheaper.

        • This little convo was tailor made for my story.

          I almost posted something over in the Sig 2-for-1 thread about how, when I first started looking at 9mms back in the early 1990s, the best two I found when trying a bunch at a rental range were the Sig and the Beretta 92 (I don’t recall if they had a CZ or not). I did think the sig was a TINY bit better, but not enough to justify the huge price difference. So I bought the Beretta. I still have it; I even shot it recently. Neighbor’s son has been lusting after it for over ten years. I promised him he could have it in 2148, if he’s still around.

          About six years ago, I decided I didn’t like the double action first pull enough to consider switching, so I did, to the CZ-75B (with no “D”). I now own three variants of that (full size. compact and in .40) and would love it if they made a 10mm. So now I carry a wonderful little bit of Czechnology with me all the time.

        • I’ve never shot a CZ so I can’t speak for myself, but I’ve never heard anything bad about them. Personally I like the DA/SA trigger AND safety of the Beretta. If you don’t like safeties the Sig would be fine and if I’m not mistaken you can carry the CZ either cocked and locked or DA. These options are probably far more important to most of us than anything else. All three are workhorses and pretty accurate for semi-autos. Still, the Sig is 50% more than the CZ too.

        • And there was a time when the Beretta was far more expensive than the CZ, but sadly those days have passed in most markets. Frankly, if I had an unlimited budget, I would own a Beretta, a Sig, and a lot of CZs. Fwiw, the CZs actually come in two flavors: a safety model that works as you describe (B model) and a decocker model (BD model).

        • Just to clarify, I like safeties; I don’t like different DA/SA trigger pulls. The CZ 75B (with no “D”ecocker) gives me that, and the option to do DA if a round ever fails to go bang–I can just pull the trigger again to give the primer another chance. (This happens a lot with my .22 conversion for some reason; I actually don’t mind in that context as it’s practice anyway.) Then I can clear the dud and continue.

      • I can go along with that, Hannibal. My whole thing at the range is, you do your thing, I’ll do mine. Where I do draw the lines are at safety, braggadocio and poserdom. If someone gets those right and adheres to the DBAD Rule, then pretty much everything else falls under the heading of live and let live.

      • So I came back here to say,

        “Nope. Never have. But almost did.”

        But then I realized that was wrong. I shot my friend’s Circuit Judge. We had a great time, although we seemed to do better with my 870 on the clays 😛

        I meant it in jest, moreso because people do make fun of caliber/brand choices. We almost bought a Taurus 1911. It was perfect for its price. We went with an RIA instead, though. I have no problem with Taurus, and don’t understand the rap they get.

        Your post brings up something I seriously don’t want to hear at the range, though. Probably worse than anything else (other than the unsafe stuff, of course) posted here. Firearms should be accessible to all, regardless of economic background. If all they can afford is a Raven… so be it. If someone can’t handle the recoil of a 45 and chooses to carry a 22 instead, good for them. That’s only one person’s business, and it’s not mine.

        • Hi-Point is another one that gets a really nasty rap, though after you see the guys at Iraqveteran8888’s channel on YouTube torture test a Hi-Point 9mm, you might start to have some respect for the little things. They’re almost Kalashnikov level tough and reliable, but apparently since they’re all rated for +P ammo with a straight blowback action, they don’t cycle mild loads well.

          After that, I’ve held one (though not shot it), and while it was pretty much sci-fi levels of ugly with a giant fat slide, it pointed and balanced pretty darn well for something that you can pick up with a box of ammo for $200. On top of that, their warranty program has been described as “aggressively guaranteed.” If you break it, they WILL fix it.

          Still, I paid the extra $250 for an inexpensive RIA 1911.

    • I love my Sig and my 1911’s. Hate Beretta 92’s even though I shot expert with them in the army years ago. Detest the way they feel in my hand. I have a 1st gen Glock 19 that rarely shoot. Prefer a .45. However got to shoot a Glock 18once and it was a hoot but alas the cost of ammo to feed it and that pesky federal stamp got in the way of a lifetime of fun.

      • 92s are not for small hands, which seems weird being a service pistol used by people of all sizes. Also the first thing anyone who buys one should do is replace those $2 grips. They suck.

        • I don’t have small hands. Size Large. I just don’t like the way the weapon feels in my hands. Ditto balance etc, That said I’m glad people like other pistols and guns than I do. I’d never be able to buy anything:-) Just wish people could understand that just because I don’t like something doesn’t mean its not good for them. If its a piece of junk I’ll say that.

        • Different strokes for different folks, it’s all good. I know I found the checkering on the plastic grips to be irritating on the thumb, so I got a set of factory wood grips with oval checkering on the lower part only. They make the grip even fatter but I have large hands so it feels good to me, and look way better than the stock ones. If you don’t like the feel of a handgun, move on, there’s only so much you can do to change it.

        • DBM has the right attitude.

          The only gun that is *inherently* bad (as opposed to “bad for me”) is one that is unreliable or so poorly made as to be likely to kill the user even if he DOESN’T point it at him/herself. And even the unreliable gun has a place if you simply cannot afford anything better. (You just have to try your damnedest to place that first shot well–because it may just jam afterwards.)

          An unreliable and *expensive* gun, though, is something I can’t see a place for unless you are a collector and it’s a rarity (in which case you probably won’t be firing it much, if at all, anyway). “Why are you shooting that two thousand dollar jam-o-matic when you could pick a CZ, a Glock, a Beretta, an M&P, an XD…?” It’s hard to imagine HAVING to go with an expensive piece of junk. Oh there are scenarios like “this is a gift, I can’t afford to buy anything at all to replace it,” but those likely rather rare.

          Maybe someone can educate me.

        • I remember back in the “old” days of the late 70’s when even the best semi – auto pistols didn’t reliably feed until you had run about 200 rounds through them. Now a days feed failures are rare unless you are a little weak wristed shooting a Glock or bought a complete piece of junk.

    • Among other things I’m a journeyman framer and have done some cabinet making.

      The only semi-auto pistol I own or want is a nice little TT-30 made in Radom. Very sweet li’l machine.

      Narf.

  1. “Hey man…I think I have a bullet jammed in my gun. The slide won’t open…Could you look down the barrel and tell me if you see anything?”

    -Actually had someone ask me this, while he was pointing it at me. Not a happy camper.

  2. “Your gun looked so cool I tried it out when you went back to your truck for more ammo. You don’t mind, do you?”

    • I like the FiveSeven. And I don’t play first-person shooters. (Honestly the only thing I don’t like about it is the cost of the ammo. Yowch.)

      • There’s nothing wrong with liking it I was alluding to the call of duty players that come in to my local range rent stuff and have no clue what they’re doing and violate gun safety rules and get tossed out

        • This is an educational opportunity. Don’t turn them off of guns – show them how to be more responsible.

  3. ”What? It isn’t loaded.” While muzzle sweeping numerous people.
    Happens way too often, RULE 1 PEOPLE!

  4. I was at a range a year or so ago and there was a fella there who appeared to be renting a gun. He shot then racked the slide. Shot then racked the slide again. Each time he shot a round he dumped a live round on the ground. Let’s just say he probably watched too many action movies.

    Actions speak louder than words.

  5. I had an I had one of my more obnoxious friends tag along when I went shooting with someone else. He gave me crap about shooting a .40 S&W, and when my other friend shot a .45, he said, “now that’s what a real gun is supposed to sounds like.” I replied, “Ok, Dougle, I’ll load up my .40 and shoot you a couple times with it, and then let you tell me whether or not you think it’s a ‘real gun.'”

    He got real quiet after that, and said he’d pass.

    Moral of the story: don’t crap on another’s gun. I swear I’ve overheard more ridiculous caliber and brand fanboyism’s at my local range than I have visiting numerous online gun forums.

    • Yeah you win! But, I like it when I shoot my 12 gauge everybody else shuts up and just look at me with that WTF look on their face. 😛

      • I get a similar reaction whenever I take my KRISS Vector .45 pistol to the range. Usually the next couple of stalls on either side will stop, lean back and watch. Typically, a few of those have this “What, are you from the future, or something?” look on his face.

        I actually used it for the semi-auto segment of qualification for my concealed handgun instructor certification, too. I was up at the Tx. Dept. of Public Safety’s compound outside of Austin. When the DPS range safety officer made his sweep of everyone to verify their handguns and ammo were all legitimate, he stopped and stared at mine with a Hank Hill “What in the Hell?” look on his face. He had to get a ruling on its eligibility from the DPS Range Master, who promptly came over, looked it over and said “Well, it’s a monster of a handgun, but it’s a handgun!” After the qualification, a dozen or so other freshly minted CHL instructors gathered around to ooh and ahh over it.

        I try not to be either a gun snob or overly prideful, but that day, I did feel well-pleased with myself.

        • That’s kind of like the looks and comments I get when I take my SBR’s and suppressors to the range. Seems like half the people think the suppressors are fake and the other half think I am committing multiple felonies. It really surprises me how ignorant a lot of “gun people” are about the laws of their own states…

        • Kent, you are correct. I had a guy show up at my range with a genuine SBR MP5, and was shooting it with his kids. I took notice as SBRs are illegal in WA unless grandfathered pre-94, or owned by LEO.

          Talked to the guy, and he was not LEO and bought the MP5 “from some guy a couple years back.” I was the only guy at the range who even gave him a second look, which makes me wonder how many people out there are unknowingly (or knowibgly) shooting unregistered SBRs, especially in western states where ranges are often remote places, and people mins their own business.

          Oh yeah, the MP5 was sweet. Nailed paper at 100yd with no issue.

        • Have always been fascinated by the unique recoil system of the Vector, and wondered why it didn’t show up anywhere else. Is it noticeably softer shooting than a comparably sized weapon?

        • Nigel – Could you list a comparably sized weapon to compare it to? It’s a heavy sucker. It doesn’t recoil much at all, but I don’t have a point of reference to say one way or the other.

      • I have to drive a long way to find an outdoor range near me, so I have to go to a small indoor range and rent one of their private lanes to shoot. Their private lanes are actually one big room with each lane separated by a wall and each one with their own door. Their private lanes are used pretty much exclusively for things like shotguns and AR15’s, and so it can be rather loud. However, I got a small tinge of pride once when I pull out my grandfather’s Winchester model 70 in .30-06 and sent a round down range. In that small room it sounded like a bomb went off, and all the other lanes immediately fell silent for a few moments wondering what just happened. It may have been a waste to use a bolt-action .30-06 in there, but it was certainly fun.

        • I took a couple of semiauto .308s in to an indoor range just to sight them in well enough to be sure they’d be on paper when I went to an outdoor range… and I made sure to yell FIRE IN THE HOLE just to warn other shooters something REALLY loud was about to happen.

        • A guy I met at a local gun range a while back got pretty much the same reaction out of all the other shooters (including me) when he started shooting his .460 S&W Magnum revolver.

    • Yep! Whenever my friends start talking crap about my 9mm, I set my 9 on the bench and pull my .22 mini-auto out of my pocket and tell them,” I’ll do you one better. I’m going to start shooting you in the face with this .22, and you just let me know when you’ve had enough….ready….aim…”……by then they decline. Then I call them a trash talkin’ PUSSY! 😉

  6. “I just declared bankruptcy, my wife left me this morning, my dog died yesterday, and my daughter’s dating a White House staffer. Where are the rental guns?”

  7. The list was obviously written by someone who thinks gun culture is what he saw in the movies.

    I used to shoot USPSA with a couple gay guys. HILARIOUS! We all had a great time together. They were good friends and we loved them …. er in a heterosex-like way.

    I hate how the media falsely makes us out to be a bunch of homo-phobes

    • Isn’t there a group of shooters0 called the ‘Pink Pistols’ or something? Although straight, I’d have a lot more in common with them then the member of MAIG.

      • Yes there is and they always march in the SF Pride Parade. Somehow they never make into the televised portions tho…

  8. Where to I point this thing? My gun is jammed got some gun powder so I can fix it? What happens if I do this?

  9. Several jumped out at me…

    “That looks cool! Let me shoot it!!” No. You may express interest, even effusively, but then wait patiently for the other person to offer you the opportunity to shoot it. If they do not, be gracious.

    “Oh, that’s crap. I voted for Obama twice and he would never take away anyone’s guns.”

    “Can I borrow some ammo?”

    “Don’t you have any of those Muslim targets?”

    “Hearing protection is for pussies.”

    “Don’t or I’ll shoot you.”

    “The gun just went off!”

    “Watch this… I’ve been practicing.”

    • Heh, That “Watch this, I’ve been practicing!” comment made me laugh. I can imagine someone saying, “Oh, that looks cool, spin it like in those old western movies!”

  10. “Wow! You sure don’t practice much, do you?”
    OR
    “You should dump that sissy pistol and get a (insert brand here)”
    OR
    “Are you SURE I can’t interest you in a silencer?”
    OR
    Nope, that’s all I have right now

    • I was at an Academy once, and one young associate stopped and tried to make conversation with me. I made mention that I was planning on buying a new gun before too long, and eagerly asked what I was looking to get. I told him a Smith-Wesson M&P compact as a ccw. His face immediately scrunched up as he winced and made an audible “ewwwwww” sound. He then immediately tried to persuade me to buy a 5in Para Ordnance 1911. I almost punched him in his smug face.

    • While I was teaching my woman to shoot for the first time, the range babysitter said,” she’s doing well, but you should let her shoot a real gun.”: referring to my Glock 9mm.

      I just turned to him and said, “shut up, we weren’t asking your opinion.”

      It embarrassed the crap out of him, so he ignored us the rest of the time.

  11. Don’t brag about how “deadly” you are with your gun, especially after you just shot 5″ groups at 5 yards.

    Don’t curse like a sailor.

    Don’t tell the young lay in the next lane she shoots well “for a girl”.

    I personally witnessed all three of the above from the same idiot last week…

    • A 5″ group is just as deadly as a 1″ group if it is in the right place. “Deadly” and “precise” are not the same things.

      • I don’t shoot to be “deadly”, I shoot to stop a threat. And 5″ from rest at 5 yards is nothing to hoot and holler over. If he had been running a rapid-fire SD drill I’d agree with you. Take all three of the comments together for context.

    • Also don’t call the person in the next lane a “young lay,” not while she is armed at any rate.

      (Yes I normally don’t pick on people for typos but that one was just WAY too perfect a screw up in its context to let pass by.)

  12. “The bullet comes out where?”
    or
    “Can I borrow some of your bullets?” (happened)
    or
    “I usually just shoot them in the eyes but I am trying not to make my friend look bad”
    or
    “I’m a former Marine I know what I’m doing”

      • Apparently either “former Marine” or “ex-Marine” is an acceptable way of denoting a Marine who is not on active duty any more. The other will get you corrected, hopefully politely. The problem is, I can’t ever remember which one is which.

    • I resent that remark. Some of us can actually shoot two pistols/revolvers at the same time (just look at the Gunslinger class of CASS if you need a more local example).

  13. Yesterday while visiting a gun store/range with the wife she asked, “Are we going to get shot while we are here?” I answered no. She followed up with, “Then why do you hear about people getting shot at gun stores?”

    Trying to explain the two recent range suicides she had heard about while standing in the lobby/showroom of a range was awkward.

  14. “I know you said no 50’s but I thought just one or two shots would be OK.”

    actually had that happenw hile I was shooting at an indoor range. Guy had one of those .500 mags with the short barrel and muzzle break. Even with my ears on that HURT and the range owner was pissed.

  15. ‘I need to practice at the 500 yard range, because I can never get within 100 yards of the President.’

    I’m guessing the NSA is particularly interested in gun range talk.

  16. I was the first one at the range one morning and had just fired off my first cylinder or .357 magnums. The range master hit the lights and called a cease fire. He came into the lanes and told me to hold up for a minute, he thought the cleaning person might be behind the trap wall. Yes, my patterns opened up for a while after that.

  17. While this isn’t quite on topic..

    A man shows up to the indoor range in all black, tacticool, 5.11 gear wearing Arnette tactical sunglasses and carrying a camouflaged duffle. He walks up to a lane, and puts the duffle down. He removes a B-27 police silhouette target, and attaches it to the clips. He brings it out to the 3 yard line. He unzips the duffle, removes a bright blue Nerf Alpha-Trooper. He inserts the translucent orange magazine, racks the pump, and grips the gun in a low-ready c-clamp.

    With a quick exhale and a scowl, he brings the gun up to bear, eyes unblinking. In a split second, he unloads a furious barrage of bright orange Nerf darts that harmlessly bounce off the paper target and plop on to the range floor. The sound of a dry fire alerts the mysterious operator that his weapon is empty. He brings the gun into a low ready, and does a quick search and assess; he checks his right, then his left, then his rear. After a brief pause, he silently places the Nerf Blaster back into his duffle bag and zips it closed. The eyes of all the stunned range patrons follow the figure carrying his duffle bag, as he moves towards the exit.

    He crosses the range parking lot, and walks into the sunset, never to be seen or heard from again.

  18. Some dood: “Hey there’s a guy down range”
    Me: *looks up from my sights and sees some guy down range*
    Some dood: “Yeah, I told him it was okay and I’d let you know”
    Me: “@#$^Q#$^@#$^$”
    Some dood: “No, it’s okay. I’m the gunsmith over in [some microscopic town I’ve never heard of]”
    Me: “How the @#^$@#@%^ does that give you the right to put his life in my hands?”

    This true story was the first and last time I used both plugs and muffs on a public range. I guess I can’t have both my hearing and not worry that some fool is going to just walk down because he can’t get my attention AT THE NEXT BENCH OVER before checking his target.

  19. Those are pretty mild and harmless, Robert. You could say those at a gay shooting range, if there were such a thing.

  20. Does this guy actually think these are funny, or is he just trapped REALLY deep in the closet?

    Only times I’ve ever had random people at the range strike up a conversation were always because of what we were shooting – first time I was shooting my 10mm Glock at a small indoor range (5 or so lanes)…one other person was there and came over asking “Jesus that’s loud, what the hell are you shooting?” I let him run a few rounds through it, he said it was awesome and thanks then went back to his lane. Second time was at a big outdoor range shooting my friend’s M44 carbine, someone came over and basically asked the same thing (he actually thought someone was shooting a .50 or something and wanted to check it out…good old Mosins).

    I think “what not to say at the range” is a pretty simple concept…if it’s rude and uncalled for, then don’t say it! I’m okay with some jovial ribbing over gun choices if it’s part of a good conversation, but I really don’t want to hear about how much you hate “plastic toy guns” or Obama or that guy in lane 2 who looks like he might be gay/Muslim/a democrat, and if you keep standing there talking to me then I’m going to make sure to aim where all my brass hits you until you leave.

  21. “Thanks to the Gun Show loophole I picked up my first AR15 Assault Shotgun. It shoots .9mm Glock clips and has a Zombie Patrol sticker on the barrel.”

  22. “I didn’t know there were different kinds of Enfields/Mausers/Mosins/FALs/AKs”

    if said to the right person, say goodbye to a half hour of shooting time as you receive an impromptu history lesson

  23. One need not fear something – with or without reason – to make fun of it. This applies equally to air travel, firearms, French pastry and homosexuals.

    That said: “A Mosin? Those things were turkeys when they were new!”

    Or: “A revolver? How quaint!”

  24. “Safety? THIS is my safety!” (Displays a pointed index finger)

    “Wanna see me curve a bullet?”

    “You think that guy would get mad if I shot his target?”

    “I saw an old dude do this on YouTube. His name was Macalek or something like that. Hand me a mirror.”

    “Do you have a sniper rifle for rent?”

  25. “Can I get those sights mounted on the right side of the slide, I saw the picture on the internet, and I want to shoot like Ice Cube does.”

  26. True story. Once when I was at a local outdoor range I had a guy to my left at the 25 yard line shooting a pistol and a guy on my right shooting a rifle at the 100 yard line. The two make some sort of nonverbal communication, then the guy on my right starts walking down range while the guy on my left keeps blasting away. I’m speechless for a couple of seconds, because I can’t decide which one is the stupidest. I finally manage to yell at both of them, but then pack and leave, not wanting to be a witness to whatever idiocy was to follow.

    • I got one for ya:

      Normally I go to my private club (~ 2 miles down the road! Well worth the membership fees, work details, mandatory meetings…), but my friend wanted to go to his club ~ 40 miles away. At least it had a 200 yard range, compared to my 100 yard.

      We get there, and the entire range is in a quarter-circle shape. My friend and I decide to blast off to the right, while the other group finishes up facing front.

      The guys facing front yell cease-fire to check out targets. We oblige, and go check our own.

      While we are STILL DOWN RANGE THEY GOT BACK AND STARTED FIRING.

      Now, they’re firing at a little of an angle to us, but we’re still down range. Abso-effin-lutely unacceptable. We also didn’t have our earpro with us.

      My friend explained those are the reasons he usually carries down range; in case he ever has to return fire.

      Safe to say, I have never returned to that club.

  27. “I’m from the government, and I’m here to help you use your gun in a safe and responsible manner. With reasonable, common-sense restrictions.”

  28. @ MojoRonin: Some of those Hollyweird sideways-gun-holders are serious… I was at a gun show in FL a couple of years ago and quipped to a vendor (who, it turned out is a police officer) that I would prefer that if someone were shooting at me that they hold their gun sideways, not using the sights. He told me that there’s a guy who comes to his local range who is a known gang member (with no felonies probihiting him from owning a gun) who holds his gun sideways and up high like that and practices nothing but head shots for hours at a time. And is very, very good….

  29. @RF, you seem awfully sensitive regarding allegedly “homophobic” things… are you in fact a homosexual? Not that I give a rip one way or the other, but it would explain a lot the slant of your commentary.

    By the way, homophobic means fear of… Have you ever stopped to consider, its not so much “fear of” but rather the “dislike of” particularly the current crop of homosexual mafia types?

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