P320 Entry: My Top Ten Shooting Range Pet Peeves

courtesy imfdb.org

By Eric L.

I’ve been a shooter for almost 20 years and these are my top 10 pet peeves about shooting range etiquette (your mileage may vary):

1) If you see a parent teaching a child (especially a little one) how to shoot, have some consideration about what you do. We agree your .308-muzzle-brake-enabled-tacticool-rifle is the bomb and the cyclic rate of your booger hook is impressive, but do you have to shoot right next to us? Really? Have a heart – move down the line, or do it later! Do it for the children! . . .

2) Suppressors are civilized and if you can own one – get one. You can do without one more cool gun – get a silencer instead. Plus it’s a great way to get new shooters started and focused on marksmanship basics. When you shoot suppressed you start to realize how much nicer a range experience can be. An added benefit is that you don’t keep yelling at your buddies after the hearing protection comes off.

3) The range signs say “EYE AND EAR PROTECTION AT ALL TIMES” for your benefit. So, put them on before you get to the bay. Don’t walk up to the range without them just because it happens to be quiet. And keep them on when you’re there. There’s really no good reason to take either off. If I care about your eyes and hearing (and you’re a stranger) more than you do, you’ve got a problem.

4) At a self-policed shooting range, calling “CEASE FIRE” once then walking forward of the firing line immediately is stupid. I kid you not, I’ve actually seen guys bleat once then start walking while the firing line is still busy. Bonehead, you’ll be getting a Darwin award shortly. Common practice and courtesy is: a) loudly call for a cease fire, preferably a few times, b) give everyone a moment to unload actions and remove magazines, c) gather items needed from the bench, d) step back and away from the firing line, then e) announce the range is clear…before anyone walks forward.

5) At a self-policed shooting range, when there is a cease fire and the range is cold, it doesn’t mean you can touch the bench, anything on the bench, anything near the bench, or anything remotely next to the bench. Back it up and stay back. I recall a few years ago an older teenage boy was sitting at the bench during a cease fire. He had his lever gun action closed and pointed skyward while the rest of the line was down range completely OK with him sitting there. Crazy!

6) When sighting in a rifle at a public range, do everyone a favor and buy/bring/borrow a spotting scope or, minimally, a pair of binoculars. It never fails to amaze me when the new rifleman brings his rifle, targets, and ammo, but not a means to visualize his hits. You may think it’s totally legit to call a cease fire every five stinking minutes so you can walk out and check your bullet holes, but the guy who’s got only an hour to shoot, well, he’s not thinking highly of you. Maybe somebody will sell a super cheap pair of throwaway binos someday that you can give to these types; kind of like that advice to have a few bucks wrapped around something heavy and kept in your pocket so you can toss it at a potential robber.

7) I understand there may be times when shooting a mag full from an AK or AR at pistol ranges needs to be practiced or maybe as a starting point for a newbie…but aren’t there diminishing returns after an hour and a case of ammo? Sure it’s your right but seriously? Get thee to the rifle range already and then show everybody what you can really do at distance; if you can that is.

8) Call me crazy, but if you have an equal number of holes outside of your primary target as you do inside it, I think you may want to work on the basics. Just a tad maybe? The same applies if the target stand is more wobbly after you shot than before. Similarly, I never understand shooters who keep shooting at a target that has more holes than paper on it. I’m a tightwad, but perhaps you could spare another target once in a while?

9) The guys who think it’s funny to have their unsuspecting female counterparts (particularly those who’ve never shot before) shoot a .500 S&W revolver, a .50AE Desert Eagle, or any belted magnum rifle offhand. Are these guys just not the lowest of the low? Correction. They’re actually one small step above those who do the same, then record it and post it on YouTube.

10) During a CHL shooting test is not a great time to be asking the instructors how your gun works.

In all seriousness, let’s be safe, let’s exercise our rights, and let’s be considerate to our fellow shooters (and soon-to-be-shooters).

comments

  1. avatar Lucas D. says:

    In full agreement, especially about the “Watch my untrained girlfriend shoot a .50 Deagle!” douchebags. I’ll even go the extra mile and strongly advise new shooters against ever dressing like Borat up there, at the range or anywhere else.

    1. avatar Max says:

      This. Not too long ago, one of these douchbags did this at a range here in Missouri. The outcome was way worse then just some embarrassment or a chance to laugh at the wife/girlfriend…she pulled the trigger the recoil flipped the gun back into her face and since she still had her finger on the trigger, she managed to blow her brains out.

      http://www.mrcolionnoir.com/news/woman-dies-after-accidentally-shooting-herself-in-the-head-at-missouri-gun-range/

    2. avatar VinsonR says:

      I did my CHL test next to a woman who had never shot the pistol she had and did not know how it worked. I showed her how to lock the slide back in a right-handed manner because she said she was right-handed when I asked. Two minutes later I see her firing it left-handed, and poorly at that. Her boyfriend was a douche for loaning that .45 ACP XDs for her range test.

  2. avatar Jon in CO says:

    I think #9 is absolutely the best one. I’ve seen this on more than one occasion, and from people I know personally. It’s the quickest way to get people to NOT shoot ever again.

    1. avatar Zach says:

      And maybe I’m just an old-fashioned softy, but it’s just not kind. Nor is it chivalrous.

    2. avatar Thanks says:

      “It’s the quickest way to get people to NOT shoot ever again.”

      Literally: http://www.komu.com/news/shooting-death-at-gun-range-believed-accidental/

  3. avatar Charles5 says:

    Keep your hands off my Brass.

    1. avatar Anmut says:

      ^^ That.

    2. avatar Dave says:

      Atleast ask permission first, that’s what I do if someone’s shooting near me. I’ll politely ask if they’re keeping their brass, odds are they’re not, I thank them & help them gather it. If they say they are, I just go back to shooting.

      The two things that chap my ass are if people shoot across lanes or load up more ammo than permitted (6rds in pistol, 3rds in long guns). I immediately police that shit; mostly for my convenience & that if the wardens catch you, you will be heavily fined and/or asked to leave.

      1. avatar Dan A says:

        I’d like to know where you shoot that limits the number of rounds you can load at a time, so I know not to ever shoot there.

        1. avatar drew says:

          The Pennsylvania Game Commission, which operates the State Gamelands including the Gameland shooting ranges have this rule in place. 6 in a handgun 3 in a long gun and single projectiles only (only shotgun slugs). And since these douchebags started charging an annual $30 fee to use the range, I decided to join a sportsman’s club or two so I can have as much fun as I want.

      2. avatar paulWTAMU says:

        Why the hell would a range want you to have that tight a limit on your ammo?
        I can get not wanting someone to dump off 100 rounds with a slide fire stock, but 6 rounds in a handgun? really?

        1. avatar rosignol says:

          Rules like that tell me the range is basically a Fudd Reservation.

          If a range has problem shooters, the solution is kicking them out, not imposing annoying rules on everyone.

      3. avatar Yellow Devil says:

        I shot my AR at a PA range a couple of weeks back but checked the range rules before hand. I saw that 3 round per long rifle rule in writing and was flabbergasted so I called up the county office to verify. The person who answered it actually had to ask someone else to verify this, as well as the use of standard round magazines (3 rounds in any size mag was fine). I asked what was the point of this rule, and he replied it was something in regards to hunting, but he didn’t sound too confident.

    3. avatar Nassion says:

      At the range I shoot at its common to pick up other people brass, but no one keeps it. You always hand it to the shooter when they are done or set it on the bench by their gear.

  4. avatar John Boch says:

    I have a problem with #10 – at least as far as the classroom and practical aspects of CCW training. On the qualification itself? Well better late than never.

    As an instructor, I’ll say that if you don’t know how anything works, don’t be afraid to ask. Better to ask a silly question than remain forever ignorant. And what better place than at a class.

    (Unless your instructor is a jerkwad that makes you feel dumb for asking a newbie question, in which case you shoulda done your homework better and not gone to a piss poor instructor.)

    John

    1. avatar Lucas D. says:

      Educating one’s self as much as possible before range time is sound advice, but yeah; don’t ever be afraid to ask questions if you’re not sure what you’re doing. They’re called “instructors” for a reason.

    2. avatar mirgc says:

      I think the author was pointing more towards interrupting a class and distracting the instructor away from their students to get help with your own issue.

      1. avatar Dan says:

        I think it’s more of an issue that by the time you’re ready to take a CHL class you should be past the basics of ‘how does my gun work’ if you’re preparing to concealed carry. Obviously asking questions is always encouraged, but the ‘how does it work’ should be answered at the gun shop before the purchase or shortly thereafter.

        1. avatar Peter says:

          In my experience CHL training is pretty much teaching newbies how their gun works. Other than the legal knowledge, it’s just a NRA safety class.

        2. avatar TxGal says:

          Actually, reading owner manual will tell you alot about how your gun works. My pet peeve is people who take their new gun to the range without cleaning and lubing first. It’s sure to jam, and if you have not learned how the gun works, how are you going to know how to safely clear a gun and get back on track.
          Maybe I’m just anal but I practice clearing jams on a regular basis at home. When I picked up most recent pistol from FFL. Took it home, read owners manual, cleaned, lubed, loaded mag with snap caps and practiced clearing drills. Took a while to be able to lock slide back smoothly/safely but worth it to know how to do it if jam occured.. I’m not one to have to learn that on a range during live fire. I’m not a newbie with handguns so have learned each pistol is going to have little different feel. I’ll even clear a gun handed to me by a buddie at the range and do a clearing drill before loading ammo into mag for live fire. Maybe that it’s just overlycautious me, but in many years, many rounds shot, have never had a neg. dischage,so theres that.

  5. avatar Jumbie says:

    TTAG should have a bot that automatically reposts this article once a year for worthiness.

  6. avatar Spencedaddy says:

    I love giving my female friends the Desert Eagle to try, however, it is a gentlemans duty to start them off on little guns, make sure they have good technique and arm strength, and then demonstrate how to handle the beast. I think that they think it’s fun, but just handing it to them and walking away is super crappy.

    1. avatar Zach says:

      Yeah, nothing wrong with shooting a big gun, and I think ANYONE would have a blast shooting a fat old Deagle once they’re ready for it. But it’s a lot more fun and less intimidating to start with a little Walther or Ruger .22 and move on up from there.

    2. avatar John Butler says:

      The new MkXIX Desert Eagles are pretty easy to swap calibers on. I got a .357 barrel for mine and let several folks who had never shot Magnum handguns shoot the big ‘ol boat anchor in .357 Magnum. It’s still loud, and there’s still an impressive muzzle flash, but recoil is about like 9mm out of a 1911. One lady went through two magazines and enjoyed the heck out of it.

    3. avatar Karen Dombek says:

      It’s a Douchebag maneuver to hand ANY newbe a large cal. weapon.

      I fired a Desert Eagle once as an experienced shooter. Handed it back to its owner with the comment, “What ya gonna hunt, elephants?”

      1. avatar paulWTAMU says:

        The ones with muzzle breaks aren’t half bad as far as recoil goes….

  7. avatar LongBeach says:

    +1 on the binos. I can’t count the number of times I’ve let other shooters borrow mine to help zero their rifles. Works wonders for making friends, especially when those new friends have guns you want to shoot!

    1. avatar Bob Brown says:

      Be very careful letting others use your binocs… I got pink eye from that once!

  8. avatar Southern Cross says:

    The closest I’ll get to joking with a newish shooter is for me to fire a round from my 8mm M48 or the 7.62x54r M44, and then let them have a go but with an empty chamber. This way they get a feel for the trigger and I can watch them to see how much of a flinch they have. After the dry fire, I get them to cycle the action and take a shot. Usually they want another one.

    1. avatar Jonathan -- Houston says:

      That’s actually not a bad idea. I do something like that, when I’m training new shooters or when asked for tips from some experienced ones, to demonstrate that their flinching is a problem. I’ll take a standard magazine of, say, fifteen rounds and randomly intersperse several snap caps. Now, I don’t do it as a trick or joke — the shooter knows they’re in there somewhere and that this is an exercise — but the surprising effect revealing flinching is the same. It’s good for FTF practice, too, since you still have to clear the dummy round.

  9. avatar FUFOWG says:

    Open your own range.

    1. avatar Rambeast says:

      I really wanted to say something to this effect. Public ranges without RSOs aren’t a place for a new shooter, or those with thin skin. I will politely speak to someone being less than courteous, and leave if there is someone being unsafe, and refuse to hear any constructive criticism.

      In an indoor range, the owner/attendant can solve any issues that involve safety, but remember that the others are there to have fun as well. If you disagree with their rate of fire, speak to someone that can correct the situation, or (again) leave. Ask for a refund if you feel so inclined.

      Taking the kids to the range can be a wonderful experience, but don’t expect anyone to move 3 lanes down because you don’t agree with their choice of muzzle accessories. Ear pro is made for this. For those with sensitive ears, I suggest plugs and cans.

      Not everyone can afford a suppressor, or are willing to wait the criminal amount of time to take possession of it. Calling someone an ass for buying that next firearm, but skipping the class 3 items is inconsiderate at best.

      Range cold is common, and when called I have never seen anyone continue shooting. I often take this time to allow my fellow range occupants time to handle my unloaded and safety checked arms. “Nobody touch nuthin’!!” is for safety Nazi RSOs. If you want this behavior, attend a policed range.

      It’s a public range, if you don’t like someone calling range cold every five minutes, come during a weekday, and you can have the range to yourself on most occasions.

      Oh yeah…HANDS OFF OF MUH BRASS!!!1!1!!one

      1. avatar Gary says:

        Range cold means just that. It’s a basic practice of firearm safety. No one should be near the bench or handling any firearms. Calling people range Nazis for practicing basic safety is juvenile. You may be a firearms genius, however, you are also role modeling behavior for everyone else on the range, and possibly putting others in danger.

        1. avatar Rambeast says:

          That’s your opinion. Most people are reloading and socializing between rounds, if they’re not downrange checking/resetting targets. If you want an anal atmosphere, well, find a private range.

      2. avatar HotHotHot says:

        It’s not the sound so much as the blast. I always use plugs and muffs, but when a guy next to me cut loose with a .308 SBR with a muzzle brake I thought someone punched me in the face. I ended up just shooting while he was tweaking the weapon.

    2. avatar Hannibal says:

      Yep. Worry less about other people, more about yourself.

    3. avatar Anonymous says:

      Lets see… items 7-10 would fall under “none of my business.” Likewise if I was a person who could be categorized as falling into items 7-10 it would be “none of your business.”

      Item 2 – Silencer. Must be a pretty private range for the writer. The ranges I’ve been to – a silencer would be pretty useless as the noise from other shooters is fairly defeating. Likewise it is a little unreasonable for me to request all these other shooters to procure a silencer because they are disturbing me.

      Item 3. I know some people who are deaf already. I’m not going to bother them over hearing protection. Nor am I going to get peeved because someone else is or is not wearing hearing or eye protection. That is their business. If the safety guy spots them and scolds them or kicks them from the range – again their business. Why make a big deal about it – or allow it to upset you.

      I agree with the other points in the article.

  10. avatar Tina says:

    In addition to #9, I can’t stand when women come in with short skirts, low neck shirts, and high heels expecting to shoot a gun. It’s not much of a surprise when the cartridge goes down their shirt or hits their foot and burns them. So then you have an unexperienced shooter, waiving a gun around because they just burned themselves and are trying to get the cartridge out of their shirt.

    1. avatar Fernando says:

      I hadn’t given specific thought to the low blouse thing, perhaps because I don’t see it too much. But I have often wondered about the choice of high heels. You make a good point.

      While your pet peeve is relative to range safety, which I applaud, my one wardrobe pet peeve is just a social one.. when guys come into the range camouflaged and tacti-cooled out. No one cares if you’re wearing a camo hat, or some sort of boot. But camo utility trousers bloused into your boots and a boonie hat? Too much 🙂

      1. avatar Lucas D. says:

        As our page image shows, it can always get worse. So long as the dudes aren’t dressed in a Borat-style onesies, I say let ’em tacti-cool away.

        1. avatar Fernando says:

          Absolutely right Lucas D.! Hahaha. I guess it’s just one of those funny things, but they’re definitely not hurting anyone.

          However, I bet Borat would definitely not welcome some hot brass to his bikini line LOL

      2. avatar Gunr says:

        I’ve got a one liner I use sometimes when I see a guy all decked out from head to toe in camo.
        “It’s not working, I’ve got you spotted”

      3. avatar paulWTAMU says:

        Bonus points if they’re 100+ lbs overweight right?

        I mean, it’s not a pet peeve in that it doesn’t bother me. But I do tend to chuckle.

        1. avatar Todd S says:

          Yeah, I’m 350lbs. Camo wouldn’t stop commercial imaging satellites from seeing me.

    2. avatar Gunr says:

      Short skirts, low necklines!
      What range do you shoot at, and about what time do these lovely’s , er, I mean ladies show up?

  11. avatar Jonathan -- Houston says:

    Nothing here I’d object to, though I don’t really consider a silencer to be even on the list of priorities, let alone in the top 10. There are other pet peeves I’ve heard others voice, which I share, that probably should make the list and crowd out some of these; but what’s here is reasonable for the most part.

    I was a little thrown off because I though the post would focus more on the traits of the ranges themselves, as in layouts, policies, professionalism, rather than the shooters themselves. That’s just what happened to come to my mind from the title, though, and isn’t a criticism of the article. Good job, Eric, and thanks for the article submission.

  12. avatar Mr B says:

    How about pointing a loaded gun down the firing line full of people (when you’re at station #1 none the less).

    OOOHHH and my favorite!!!!!!!!!!! I was recently shooting at a range with a buddy of mine and his girlfriend…never again ever….after shooting his AR-15 rifle, she “assumed it was empty” and pointed at him (muzzle swiping me and a number of other people in the process) and made a shooting noise and started laughing with her finger still near the trigger and safety off. Saying not to worry about it, it was empty. I stepped in and grabbed the gun from her, pointed it down range, pressed the trigger and BANG!!! Took the mag out, still had rounds in there too….I had a few choice words for her (she will probably never speak to me again)…I packed my stuff up and left. I was literally sick to my stomach thinking what could have been.

  13. avatar JasonM says:

    #4 needs some corrections.
    At a self-policed shooting range, don’t just call a ceasefire, period. Ask the other shooters if they’re okay with one, then call it.

    1. avatar WarsawPactHeat says:

      For a “target change/check” cease-fire I would agree, but there are emergencies when an immediate cease-fire is imperative.

      1. avatar rosignol says:

        Well, yeah, but “I’m gonna be late if I don’t get to check my target in the next 3 minutes” is not an ’emergency’, it’s just bad planning.

        ‘Emergency’ means ‘cease fire so the 911 operator can hear what I’m saying’.

  14. avatar Jm R says:

    #9, times a million. Those guys are total jerks. They give all of us a bad name.

  15. avatar David says:

    I got a lane next to a guy running draw and shoot drills from his horizontal appendix carry holster. There were 2 or 3 lanes in the line of fire every time he pulled it out.

    1. avatar Bob Brown says:

      There is absolutely nothing wrong with asking that guy to move to the far left (if right handed) or far right (if left handed). Nobody wants someone else’s muzzle pointed at them ever. This is exactly why I carry a designated pistol fully loaded under my shirt with 2 topped off mags in my back pocket. Even though we are all there to have fun and practice our craft, we also need to protect ourselves from the shallow gene pool of certain small towns.

      1. avatar Kent says:

        Yep, call me paranoid but I always have a carry gun, locked and loaded, when at the range. I have been at the local conservation area range a few times by myself, when some hinky looking folks have cruised through.

        I have to say that a couple of the authors points are not about etiquette at all, but more about his personal preference. If some guy wants to go out and put a hundred rounds through one target, so what? Why should that bother the author or anyone else? Also, why is the author worried about someone else’s accuracy or what range they are using. If they are being safe, let them blast away.

        I don’t really get the eyes and ears comment either. If I am at the range, shooting, and some knucklehead walks up with no ear pro, so what? None of my business. If he wants to lose his hearing, that’s on him. Why should I, the author or anyone else, care? I get the safety issues listed and agree 100%, but the other stuff just makes it sound like the author gets his panties in a wad over nothing.

  16. avatar mb says:

    my pet peeves are the looks and comments which some of my fellow range-goers give me when they notice i’m of middle eastern descent. fortunately, this doesn’t happen often but it’s occurred more times than i care to remember since i joined the people of the gun a little over a year ago.

    the fact that you’re american-born and speak english fluently doesn’t stop them from asking questions like “so when did you come to this country?” (in a hostile or condescending tone, of course) or glaring at you in utter silence with a cold, fearful stare.

    such flagrant acts of racism (though ironically my race is technically “white”) never fail to ruin an otherwise fun time at the range and it’s one of the main reasons my wife is often disinclined to join me.

    i love exercising my right to bear arms and enjoy the company of many like-minded individuals. however, i’ve never encountered racism and prejudice to the extent that i do in some gun shops and ranges. tsa may be the only exception to that statement.

    1. avatar Matt in Idaho says:

      That sucks tremendously. I hope you get to see that change a lot in your lifetime and especially when you start teaching your kids to shoot.

      1. avatar mb says:

        i hope so too. i believe that people are inherently good and that knowledge will always triumph over ignorance. i pray that one day things will be different.

        1. avatar Fernando says:

          While my opinion of the inherent nature of people differs slightly from yours, I can say I whole heartedly say that I hope that people’s hearts and minds are transformed so that you and people of any ethnicity can freely enjoy the benefits of shooting, heck just to be able to walk anywhere free of judgement or ignorant comments. Keep your spirits up, and keep shooting 🙂

    2. avatar Doug says:

      As long as you’re not wearing a shirt that says “jihad now!” or something like that. Or handing out business cards which say you’re a “soldier of Allah”. Once bitten, twice shy.

    3. avatar DTAL says:

      This sounds incredibly like the cliche view of antis toward “southern redneck religious racist gun nuts.” Almost conveniently so. Which is funny, since white right-leaning gun owners are the only group left in the US that are racially and culturally discriminated against with full encouragement from society and the government.

      Not saying you’re lying. Just reminds me of the saying, don’t believe everything you read.

      Funny, really…I’ve never seen anywhere so diverse and so filled with people of all walks of life mingling peacefully and enthusiastically as at gun shows, ranges, and stores.

      1. avatar mb says:

        you’re right, it is painfully cliché. however, that’s just the reality i’ve been faced with. i don’t make the stereotypes, i just see them. 😉

        like i said, this isn’t just limited to the range either. i witness the same behavior in many gun shops as well. while i normally refer to yelp or google reviews before heading to the store, i find it surprising that some businesses which are praised highly online for their friendly customer service and informative staff treat me so coldly when i step in to their store. for example, they won’t make an effort to serve you or even give you the courteous “welcome.” if you ask to see a gun, they’ll hesitantly make their way down the case, take it out, give it to you, and create this awkward atmosphere where you feel disinclined to ask any questions. i’ve experienced this behavior in business as large as wally world and as small as a local hole-in-the wall gun shops.

        sometimes the animosity is verbalized or blatantly expressed while at other times it’s not made so obvious. it’s hard to describe but it can definitely be felt. i think the reason why most people no longer express their hatred openly is because it’s socially unacceptable to be racist – and that’s a good thing. i pray that one day that inner racism will also disappear.

        i do want to emphasize that these encounters involve a minority of the potg. however, i believe that as advocates of this cause, we should denounce this kind of treatment when we witness it and make an effort to diffuse a sense of welcome and solidarity. even a compliment on a nice shot at the range or a smile from afar would be appreciated by most.

        just my two cents…

    4. avatar Yellow Devil says:

      Obviously you were only there practicing for a Jihad field trip to Syria. I kid, I kid.

      Anyways that sux. I don’t know where you live maybe that’s part of it too, Ignorance can spread easily. However, as someone who is Asian, I would like to say I haven’t been to one Public ranges, shop or show in this nation where I get disparaging attitudes. Maybe it’s the sign of the current times, and if I went shooting maybe 50 years ago, it would be different.

  17. avatar matt says:

    Ya I say the people who stand behind your bench waiting for your brass to hit the ground and pocketing it. Ticks me off

    1. avatar Yellow Devil says:

      At least they let it hit the ground. They could be hovering over your ejection port and snagging the spent brass mid air.

  18. avatar Matt in Idaho says:

    I can understand safety being a pet peeve but beyond that,
    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=4A6Bu96ALOw&feature=kp

    1. avatar Rambeast says:

      Awesome!

  19. avatar John K says:

    Gun snobs! Not everybody can carry and own kimbers weathrbys and the such. I’ve shoot more deer with my trusty ’62 Montgomery ward’s (Marlin) 30-30 then I care to count. I also own some good stuff but I will choose to own a mid price range gun and have the money for ammo any day. So if yoy have the latest and greatest toys with a budget good for you doesn’t mean you need to be a dick! And mostly likely the other guys will out shoot you!!!!

    1. avatar Todd S says:

      Ah, the good old days, when Marlin made a quality product. I have Montgomery Ward Marlin by grandfather bought in 1963. It works like a charm.

  20. avatar Chad says:

    Brass theives.

  21. avatar Dana says:

    I was at the range before with my brother – he was shooting his .22 MP5 wanna-be rifle, and the guys next to us were just chatting away with no ears on (since it was only a .22LR). After my brother is done, I have one of my M4’s out and look over, and ask if everyone has their ears in…..I get “yup”. One of the older guys (a Vietnam vet) didn’t, so I ask again…..”got your ears in?” Same reply, they’re all set. I even asked a third time just to make sure (since this M4 is pretty loud). So I take one shot and pause….I hear someone yell and then a lot of laughter erupt from the other guys standing around. Apparently the Vet guy hit the ground, and then started sprinting away toward the pistol range. A few seconds later he comes back and said he thought I was shooting my brothers .22, so he didn’t bother putting on his ear muffs. Heh.

    It’s a good thing I didn’t have my 7mm Rem Mag out at that time…..or as I like to call it, my shoulder cannon.

    One thing I learned is if someone with an old flintlock rifle sits down at the bench next to you, it’s best to get up and stand back about 10 feet when they go to shoot.

    1. avatar Sixpack70 says:

      I pulled my PTR-91 out of the case and loaded it up. My friend and I had been shooting pistols and AKs. I asked if everyone had their ears in. The guy said he was fine. I popped one round of .308 and he went for the ear protection pretty quick.

  22. avatar Kevin A. says:

    Another thing- don’t touch my gun unless I tell you it’s ok.

    1. avatar jrunixadmin says:

      Love this one had this happen a couple of times and I was considered to be rude when I asked them not to touch.

    2. avatar Todd S says:

      No doubt. I’ll gladly show you my guns, just ask. Hell, I’ll let you shoot them.

  23. avatar Fernando says:

    Similar to #9, my personal pet peeve is when people make a first time shooter child use a full caliber hand gun. I saw a guy making his son shoot a .40 cal pistol. But worse than that, the boy was having trouble just holding it steady, and he was being so mean to the boy, saying things like “Come on! Don’t be a punk, be a man!”. The kid was about seven years old, and I could tell he was not having a good time, but instead was distressed by it all.

    There were two women in that group that appeared to be grandma and dad’s GF. I knew I was taking a big chance, but I approached grandma at the ready line, and politely “hey there ma’am, are you guys having fun? Good! Is that your grandson’s first time shooting?” and tactfully asked if I could offer my 10/22 for the boy to shoot, as long as dad would approve.
    She called him over and passed on my offer, and the guy, glared at me, and although he was quite taciturn, he accepted. I introduced myself to all, and gave him a quick period of instruction, shot some as an example to him, and afterward he shot an impressive group! He was beaming, and I let him keep his target, and thanked everyone for letting me share with their family.

    It may not have been my business to get involved, but I think that was not just mean, but very irresponsible, not just from a parental standpoint but for range safety and as an ambassador of shooting sports/recreation for future generations. I was glad that I might have salvaged a bit of that kid’s first range day.

    1. avatar Frankster says:

      Fernando, we need more guys like you!

    2. avatar Rambeast says:

      +1 I run into guys like you on the range regularly. You are most welcome to many people, and always a pleasure to shoot with.

    3. avatar Kent says:

      Although there are unpleasant folk in every group, I have found that people I meet at the range are generally some of the most pleasant and interesting people you will ever meet. Especially the older vets, they have some great stories if you take the time to listen. I especially love to see dads out with their kids, teaching them (properly) to shoot. Nothing like seeing that big smile on a kids face when they are putting rounds on target!

  24. avatar Ardent says:

    Wow, I had honestly not thought about how horrible public ranges are in years. My condolences gentlemen.

    1. avatar Rambeast says:

      Most aren’t that bad. Some people can really make a mountain out of a mole hill.

  25. avatar iCONOCLAST says:

    You forgot to tell us to get off your lawn.

  26. avatar Gunr says:

    We have a very small self policed range here, only 6 benches, 100 yards. max. The one thing that ticks me off that I have not seen mentioned, is when the guy on your left ejects all his used brass all over your bench, and down the back of your neck.
    The 22 rounds are not so bad, but a magazine full of 223 the guy fired off in 5 seconds is a bit too much.
    Been thinking about getting a wide brimmed hat. Polite suggestions that the shooter should use a deflector shield, or brass catcher don’t seem to do much good.

    1. avatar Bob Brown says:

      If you drive a truck, you could make a shell deflector with a full sheet of plywood and some 2x4s to hold it up. Place the “temporary wall” between you and him to as to block all that hot brass from hitting you.

  27. avatar Bob Brown says:

    I can’t count how many times I have had some moron break 90 degrees on me (point their muzzle in my direction when I was left or right of them). I have also had people shoot after I called a “seize fire” (and everyone acknowledged it) while I was down range setting up my target. So… since then, I always pack one pistol fully loaded under my shirt designated as my get out of Dodge piece and two topped off mags in my back pocket. Dumb is handed down from generation to generation, and where I reside the gene pool is pretty shallow.

    1. avatar Skeptical_Realist says:

      Playing Devil’s advocate here:

      Now that you carry downrange, what would have to happen that would cause you to open fire uprange toward the bench?

      I understand the sentiment, but I think you’d be hard pressed to come up with a good reason to return fire at people that are either oblivious, or just idiots.

  28. avatar Frankster says:

    I’ve never shot at a range before since I have access to a ranch out in the sticks. However, I plan to go once I retire and this is really good information (to keep from making a fool of myself).
    The idea of handing a large caliber handgun to a girl who doesn’t know how to shoot is about as smart as me drinking a fifth of tequila and taking my Ducati out for a ride on the super slab.

  29. avatar Skyler says:

    Iconoclast for the win.

  30. avatar Ralph says:

    I would be delighted to shoot with suppressors. Unfortunately, the constabulary in Massachusetts looks down upon the use of illegal items, at the range or otherwise. Since suppressors are so, so illegal here, I guess I’ll just have to offend the OP’s tender sensibilities.

    1. avatar Gunr says:

      No disrespect intended, but I’m just the opposite. I like to hear the muzzle report, especially on my contender, and the muzzle jumps a foot off the rest.
      Makes you feel the power of the gun, it’s hard to explain, I used to shoot 35 Remington in the contender, and when that thing let go, you know you were really shooting something, thought about getting a 45/70, maybe someday when the old age starts going backwards.

  31. avatar NS says:

    one of your top 10 pet peeves is that more people don’t own suppressors? Um ok….

    1. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

      I’ve come around to this point of view, to a point where I’m going to take the plunge in the next year.

      There are two upsides to this:

      1. Gives my tinnitus a chance to not get any worse.

      2. Once more people see what shooting with a silencer is like, the social acceptability increases as well the demand for them increases, possibly bringing more manufactures into the market with attending price competition.

      The social acceptability is a big deal. There are plenty of pro-RKBA people here in Wyoming that think it is somehow unsporting and ill-mannered to hunt with silencers, and lots more people who think people using silencers are shady. I think once more people, even pro-gun people, get to see what REALLY happens when you shoot with a silencer, the acceptance rate will go way, way up.

      1. avatar Kent says:

        I took the plunge last year and picked up several in various calibers, as well a Thompson Machine modified, Ruger 10-22 with an integrated suppressor. You will definitely not regret taking the plunge. My Ruger MkIII 22-45 with a suppressor is the perfect gun for teaching a newbie. Especially those with a fear of firearms. Near zero recoil, and the only sound is the action cycling. Lots of fun!

      2. avatar lolinski says:

        Suppressors are really useful and nice to have. If you can, get one. I think there is a 9mm pistol can that can also take 308 or was it 7.62×39? Anyways, would be useful if you can only have one or two cans.

        Also, couldn’t agree more with 1# and 9#. Muzzle brakes really annoy me since I have sensitive hearing and those push me over the limit. Especially when you are in a country where a suppressor costs as much as a muzzle brake.

  32. avatar 'Liljoe says:

    Don’t agree with #5… During cold range time I reload mags at the bench, my rifle is lying there bolt open, and I’ve never had a round fire off the magazine by itself.

    Can I add: don’t use tannerite in the pistol bays to blow siht up.. Was in a pistol bay and kept hearing booming in the pistol bay behind me, figured it was a deagle, until part of a tv landed near me… Packed up and was out of that range in about 3 seconds flat… Rednecks

    1. avatar Nassion says:

      Ditto at the self policed range I shoot at. We’ve never had problems with shooters reloading mags while someone is checking targets.

    2. avatar NS says:

      same. I’m not scared of someone touching or being “anywhere close to” a bench

  33. avatar sightpicture says:

    35 Remington is a terrific round

    Thanks for reminding me to be super wary at the public ranges

    1. avatar Gunr says:

      Just don’t forget ear protection.

  34. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

    1. Vehement agreement. It is a safety issue for all concerned, as well as probably creating a negative experience for the child. Their ears are more sensitive, and the first time a kid’s ears get to ringing, they’re often quite upset. I’ve seen several kids start crying after shooting when they take off the muffs and they realize their ears are ringing – and they don’t know what to do, or how to describe what is going on, etc. Since my ears now ring all the time, I empathize with them quite a bit.

    2. Agree, and I’m now looking into getting a can or two – for me first, then for the benefit of everyone else.

    The other thing I’d add to this: I hate muzzle brakes with a flaming passion on covered outdoor ranges, and indoor ranges where people have comps and brakes on pistols. There is no way you could make shooting at a range more loud unless you turned the muzzle backwards on the firing line. If you’re using a comp or a brake on anything but an uncovered outdoor range, think of your neighbors. Warn people who set up next to you what you’re shooting.

    3. I wear safety glasses so much, being in a shop with metal chip-making machines as well as around guns, my wife has to remind me to take them off when I’m eating or we’re leaving for a social function. Catch some metal chips in an eye a couple of times, and you’ll keep eyepro on religiously.

    BTW, make sure your eyepro is up to standards for resisting penetration. Z87.1 eyepro is OK for shop use, but for ballistic impact resistance, look into “Military Vo ballistic” standard lenses. I like Uvex eyepro because I get everything I want in one package – Z87.1 for welding/UV safety, wrap-around lenses, low price, high impact resistance and I can get bifocals with +2.0’s in them.

    4, 5 – big agreement.

    6. And learn how to bore-sight a bolt gun. Set up bolt gun on the bench, pull the bolt. Stand back and sight down the bore at the target. Get the bore aligned with the target. Now, without getting your face in contact with the stock, look down the scope. Is the scope even remotely on the target? If not, why not start adjusting the scope and the bore to meet at 50 or 100 yards before you start flinging rounds downrange?

    7. Yes.

    8. There are these little things called “patchers” that come in a roll of stick-on black dots that I use to get more mileage out of my targets. Alternatively, targets can be patched with masking tape.

    9. Absolutely yes. Let’s not really turn more people off of shooting – forever.

    10. I think most newbies should take a NRA basic pistol class before the CCW class. People need to know how a handgun works first, before worrying about packing it.

    1. avatar I1uluz says:

      Not only bolt rifles but AR’s can be boresighted by pulling the lower and BCG. Using a bipod and a rest to hold the upper level. Much cheaper and faster than where did that round go???

      1. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

        Yes, absolutely true.

  35. avatar Sean N says:

    I rarely use a range.
    When I do, the one I do go to costs 10$ an hour.
    Everybody who goes is polite, friendly, safe…

    Usually, I use the lane in my backyard.. but if it’s not an option (like church hours, or funerals down the road.) I would still pass on the frustration of a public range.

  36. avatar The Brotherhood of Steel says:

    Well, this one time I was at a range with a drunk 1st SGT. Civilian range and he was in full uniform, shooting. He came up to me to talk and reeked like whiskey and was drinking out a coke bottle that had to be at least a half and half. He was completely trashed just having a ball at the range.

    1. avatar Jay says:

      Oh boy, I pray for encounters like that! “C’mere, top!”

  37. avatar Jay says:

    Amen. I saw this guy with a Taurus 40 teaching his 7 year olds to shoot. It was obvious he was some toolbag staff sergeant who had about as much idea of how his gun worked as his kids.

  38. avatar Sock Monkey says:

    #3 has to be a joke. I have a very good reason to remove my ear and eye pro during cease fire. It is something called sweat. Perhaps sweat is something that does not happen to the author, but it may be a problem for some of the people around him, so he should be a tad more understanding.

    August is the cruelest month.

    And silencers, really? Not my fault they’re harder to obtain than they ought to be.

  39. avatar DTAL says:

    Belonged to an outdoor “club” kind of range for a while, one of those self policing ones. I really didn’t like it. I’m a bit of an introvert and the forced interaction wasn’t welcome. The Cease fire calling, the brass scroungers, and really, quite a few regulars were snobs. I like the “pay for my own little booth where I can concentrate” of indoor ranges and belong to one of those now.

    Many of these are general snobbiness. Suppressors are expensive with tons of hoops to jump through and no purpose for those of us who like the report of a gun. No way I’d ever pass up another gun or even ammo to own a suppressor. For 7, maybe that’s what the person wants to do, who cares what anyone else thinks? Maybe he just wants to have fun and doesn’t care about showing off his leet skills at distance.

    If this was meant for general annoyances that could upset the entire range, like a drunken brawler at a football game, that’s something. The dangerous and mean ones like the girlfriend with the magnum are apt too. But many of these are just personal complaints.

  40. avatar Pat says:

    This has to be a photo contest entry. Is that Bruno?

  41. avatar CAGLS says:

    I had this macho asshole with his wife collecting what was obviously my brass to the right of me even after I said I collect my brass. Now I’ll keep my distance or get a brass net.

  42. avatar Joe says:

    I work as an RSO aka a bonified range nazi 🙂
    People who dont pick up after themselves.

    Guys who shoot 200 round strings then bitches when his brass gets swept up. Clean up as you go, bring a friend or use a catcher.

    People who spend $ on anything made in China and then slap it on a firearm. Then wonder why thier (insert accessory here) broke, isnt functioning, wont hold zero ect. You get what you pay for.

    People who pick up “unloaded”guns by the trigger. If I had a nickel….

    Shooters that cant follow stupid simple rules then complain when they get booted.

  43. avatar BigDinVT says:

    I’m a fan of #1. I’d also add that the same goes for any new shooter. My wife almost stopped going to the range because every time she did someone would pull into the lane next to her and start pumping out lead from their large caliber hand cannon — not really hitting their target but doing a pretty good job of destroying the target frames.

  44. avatar Illinois Minion says:

    As a Father teaching his child to shoot for the first time, I feel the “Barney Fife” routine of one bullet loaded/shot at a time is worthy.
    a) Minimizes chances an inadvertent trigger pull ending badly.
    b) Helped her understand the routine of making a firearm ready to shoot.
    c) Allowed me a chance to work on post shot critiquing.

    And I have to add, that those of you who step deep into the lane and shoot, be aware sometimes your casings will flip into my lane, and spook an noobie. Maybe step back a tad and let the wall keep the shells out of our face. Greatly appreciated.

    “For the kids sake™”

  45. avatar RichS says:

    RE Number 1:

    If I set up right next to you at any point, it’s because the range is crowded and I had no other choice.

    I’m open to reasonable arrangements to help out someone that wants a young shooter to be comfortable, but the whole idea that I’m rude if I still want to shoot a rifle I took the time to transport to the range in the first place, because ‘hey, I have my kid here’, is complete crap.

    Also, a lot of real busybody crap on here. If it doesn’t impact safety or negatively impact your ability to enjoy the range, mind your own F’n business & drop the idea that you know what’s best for everybody else.

  46. avatar mike says:

    Amen to #2 and silencers. Unfortunately the ATF process of owning one will always discourage most.

  47. avatar Clem says:

    #9 Shooting a rifle off-hand does absorb more recoil than off the bench.

  48. avatar SteveInCO says:

    The folks who finish their time at the indoor range by sweeping MY brass downrange. It’s all kind of jumbled together (the partitions between lanes do a great job randomizing where brass goes, sometimes). They COULD ask if I intend to keep my brass and ask me to sweep up after myself if I do.

  49. avatar Will in Oregon says:

    Maybe i’m just a country bumpkin, but i’ve only shot at a public range once in my entire life, it seems greatly preferable to shoot on public land. I dont think most public ranges would take too kindly to me sighting in my .338×378 KT or my Rossi .454. Also, i have tons and tons of friends who love to shoot and i dont think a single one of us owns a surpressor. What ever happened to the good old days of learining to shoot with grandpa or dad’s old .22 instead of the lastest and greatest in call of duty taciticool “i heard the SEALs carry these” BS?

  50. avatar IdahoPete says:

    Absolutely 100% spot-on.

    Can we add “be courteous”?

  51. avatar Tex300BLK says:

    You left off the asshole who brings his buddies to shoot his Mosin Nagant 7.62x54R at the indoor range only to blindly blast away at the 15-25yd targe. I leave when those guys show up, and make sure to let the range owner know why.

  52. avatar TJ says:

    I know you guys don’t see the sense in a woman wearing heels to the range, but if she’s gonna be carrying concealed, she needs to practice and run drills in her everyday attire. That includes business suits, dresses, and, high heels. Heels change your balance and center of gravity. If yoy don’t believe me, take a few pieces of 2×4 and 4×4 to the range next time and put your heels up on the boards and your toes on the ground to shoot. I’m not a fan of the low cut tops at the range either, but how your clothes fit does affect your draw and your stance, so practice in what you wear, but ladies, put a t-shirt over it to keep hot brass out of the cleavage and we’ll all be safer.

  53. avatar Dave s says:

    Guys, if you are that brass sensitive, perhaps you should get or build a brass catcher. most S/A and some bolt, levers will toss brass across several lanes!

  54. avatar jimmyjames says:

    My range pete peeve is muzzle brakes. They are gun blast magnifiers. They are banned at my local 1000yd range.

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