Despite some (loving) criticism of his work, NRA commentator Colion Noir and I are on speaking terms (which is more than I can say for the NRA’s PR team). Ever since ever I’ve been advising the firearms fashionista to return to his roots: humor. Coincidentally enough, he’s doing just that. Specifically . . .

an upcoming video entitled “The seven types of people you meet on the gun range.” (Promo above.) Ahead of that welcome return to form, what types of gun range folk have you ID’ed?

My favorite: Boys and their Toys. Guys who go to the range just to shoot cool guns, who couldn’t care less about marksmanship, self-defense training, competition or anything else except high fives. ‘Cause I like cool guns and they like to share.

You got a fave? And what type are you?

80 Responses to Question of the Day: What Type of People Do You Meet at The Gun Range?

  1. It’s been like a decade since I’ve been to a gun range, because I just use my back acreage. So I don’t meet many people back there. But it’s free, I don’t have to pay per visit, or per gun, deal with surly range officers or any of the like. Have to keep an eye out, not to shoot the horse though.

    When I did go to the gun range, the other visitors of the range were always friendly.

  2. I would probably consider myself to be the “curious student” type at the range. I’ve been shooting for less than a year, so I’m still fairly new to everything. I like renting different firearms just so I can be familiar with how they operate, and how they differ from other guns I’ve fired. If I had more free time, I’d probably also be a range rat, and go shooting every day just for the practice.

    • Your property? Try not to pay your property taxes and you’ll soon find out whose property this is.

  3. Private club with two benches per lane. Normally have the lane to yourself, but on a busy Saturday:

    While I’m in the middle of firing a string, a guy plops his stuff on the other bench AND STARTS WALKING DOWN RANGE!!!!!

    I immediately stop, call his attention to WTF! He shrugs and keeps walking. WTF!!!

    Left him with the RSO.

  4. When I go to the range, I meet all kinds of people. They’re all different, and yet they’re all like me.

    Except the range safety officers. They all suck.

    • I’ll have to disagree. If they know you — in a positive way — they’re chill and reasonable. They just want a safe range. If you’re safe enough that they don’t need to babysit you, they’ll appreciate it.

      But yeah, some are kill-joys. This one RSO told my brother that he’d kick him out of the range for not wearing eye pro (we were newbies and the office inside the range lent eye pro). One guy actually got mad enough at the RSO’s antics that he left. Anyways, later that day — during live fire — he took off his ear pro, which I thought was pretty ironic.

  5. Scariest is the CCW recertification student that does not know how to load their firearm. Really makes me wonder what they have been doing with their gun for the last 5 years.

  6. Massholes who have hopped the fence and act the fool. I’d ask how long they were members and try to make them uncomfortable enough to leave of their own volition.
    Old retired guys with no lives or time constraints who want to chat on and on and on about their tomatoes.
    Met a neighbor there once. That was kind of neat.
    A Ruger board member who was a total goober.

    I try to go when I can be reasonable certain I’ll be the only one there. Doesn’t always work out that way.

  7. I have never thought about “categories” of people at gun ranges. That fact that I rarely go to a gun range is probably part of the reason. (I rarely go to gun ranges because I prefer to hone my marksmanship skills at secluded locations where I can shoot or take a break at my own pace.)

    For what it is worth, all of my shooting seems to be utilitarian: verifying reliable operation of the firearm, sighting in, verifying the consistency (or lack thereof) of an ammunition and firearm combination, and determining how accurate I am.

    One of these days, it might be nice to just go shooting for fun.

  8. While I prefer heading into the woods so that I can move and shoot (and keep well away from the few idiots found at a public range), just about everyone I’ve shared a range with are there to have fun and enjoy the camaraderie, trying out each others guns and troubleshooting issues. The best experience was being asked if I could be this guy’s range buddy because he couldn’t rent a gun alone. Welcoming new shooters is immensely satisfying.

  9. I just try to outshoot Joe Grine at long range.
    I’ve never been beat that bad in my life.

    I’ve been fortunate to meet some really neat people.

    • “I just try to outshoot Joe Grine at long range.”

      I never seem to get any better than a 3 inch group at 100 yards. Thus I am still trying to figure out what causes such a large group size. Is it me? Is it the crown of my barrel? Is it the ammunition? Is it wind? Does my scope reticle move ever-so-slightly from one shot to the next?

      Full disclosure: I shoot inexpensive factory ammunition in inexpensive rifles with inexpensive scopes. One example would be an H&R Handi-rifle in .243 Winchester with a $200 Burris scope and shooting Winchester Super-X 100 grain “Power Point” (soft point) cartridges. For all I know, a three inch group at 100 yards is exactly what I should expect.

      • Try better ammo and go from there.
        It’s not the scope’s fault (provided it’s screwed on tight),
        It’s probably not the gun’s fault, either, but not all guns can do 1 MOA.

      • “I never seem to get any better than a 3 inch group at 100 yards. Thus I am still trying to figure out what causes such a large group size. Is it me?”

        If you know someone who *can* shoot, ask them to shoot yours and report on the results…

      • U.S. Try better ammo. Those soft point flat based pills aren’t going to give you good groups. Try some gold medal match, or some Berger 110grain VLD’s.
        Your handy rifle is a stout good shooting rifle.

        • + sadly. while usually more costly, better ammo is one of the cheapest ways to find out. However, not all really great ammo will be appreciated by your rifle so sometimes you have to try two or three (or more).

      • Find someone who is shooting 1/2″ groups under field conditions and ask them a few questions when you get a chance. Quality guns +match ammo +good scopes +solid shooting fundamentals + tight screws + good maintenance/ cleaning + reasonable shooting conditions + reasonable trigger pull weight = tight groups.

  10. While I prefer heading into the woods so that I can move and shoot (and keep well away from the few idiots found at a public range), just about everyone I’ve shared a range with are there to have fun and enjoy the camaraderie, trying out each others guns and troubleshooting issues. The best experience was being asked if I could be this guy’s range buddy because he couldn’t rent a gun alone. Welcoming new shooters is immensely satisfying.

  11. The old master. Usually some dude (occasional gal) that looks old enough to be collecting Social Security, walks in using a cane or walking stick, sets down one of two soft cases, cracks out some really old rifle like an M1 Garand or K98, and proceeds to shoot one hole groups at 100 meters with oversized spectacles. I’d sell some of my organs to maintain that kinda accuracy with iron sights and with terrible eyesight.

    • What you mean, “some really old rifle like an M1 Garand…..”

      That’s my rifle. Been shooting it for almost 60 years. mumble, grumble, g&%#@(&$n boot! 🙂

      • Easy there gruntpa. The world has changed since you stormed the beaches of Normandy while parachuting on top of Mt. Siribachi to take Moscow. See now we use the M4 and you have bigger problems like privates walkin on your grass and those asian kids on your lawn.

      • I’ve lost patience with the ‘perfect’ folks here that that are ‘all knowing’ or who immediately resort to vulgarity to get their point across.

    • “Regular polite folks here in Texas.”

      That’s my experience, too. Doesn’t much matter who they are or where they came from. The vato in the next lane teaching his girlfriend to shoot couldn’t have been nicer to this old white geezer. Basically, the people I encounter at my favorite range look and act like the people we saw putting boats in the water in Houston. Texas is indeed a wonderful place to live.

  12. I’ve been going to gun ranges since about 2000. The weird and welcome thing I’ve seen in the last few years is black women with their kids. 15 years ago it was only OFWGs. I like diversity, when the common factor is “GUNS, HELL YEAH!!”

  13. I only go to public ranges during winter months, however I see one type that stands out. ‘The social media blogger picture takers.’ Usually a female pack of 4 or more, sometimes a guy pack though, whose sole purpose is to pose with the firearms they just rented, class III included.

    Wish they would concentrate on training, practice, and shooting correctly as sometimes I’ve seen some questionable weapon handling.

  14. As long as it is an outdoor range I’ll go about once a month. I do collect social security. Got the handgun bug in my late 40’s, Grandfather had a ranch, all his granddaughters, were taught how to shoot. Meet a lot of nice people at outdoor ranges. Not so much at indoor ranges. Too many guys there trying to teach girlfriends to shoot.

  15. I’m not what you’d call a people person, so I’m in for “as few as possible”. There’s quite a bit of overlap between POTG and TFH wearing cranks. I go to the range to hone my shooting skills, not hear some crackpot’s theories about where all the ammo went or FEMA camps. Not talking largely mitigates the chances of that happening.

    If we can keep the interactions to coordinating cold ranges and pointing out what I keep to the brass bandits, I’m happy.

  16. In the last few years, I have to say it has been hard to meet anybody, usually all lanes are firing and there is a waiting list, too loud to talk. Most recent was a kid not much over 20, new guy, who wanted to discuss my suppressor until he found out the AR I was shooting was .308, then wanted to discuss that. He and a bud were in the next lane with an old military bolt of some kind (I’m not an expert), nice folks. In over 50 years shooting, I haven’t actually met a shooter who was an ass. I did once meet one who seemed to me and my kids to be a bit nuts, cut short the session and left.

  17. I have met all sorts of people at the range, the tacticool, the hunters, recreational shooters(thats me), almost too a person they have all been friendly and i’ve made a few friends.
    Only negative i have ever had was some guy that showed up to a range day some friends and i set up. He was a friend of a friend who was a douchebag. Had all this top of the line equipment, but couldnt shoot for shit. I was ahooting next to hime when his rifle jammed, i wasnt paying attention to him cause i was shooting. The next thing i knew i was on the ground after being tackled by a rso, cause he was trying to clear the jam with the mag still in it and had the rifle pointed at my head. Needless to say he was escorted out with an invitation to not come back.

  18. I’ve met all kinds. My favorite had to be the goofball who said how superior his Glock was to my lowly Taurus. And pulled it put of his bunghole. I easily shot better than he did. I haven’t shot outside in 45 years so it’s just indoor ranges. None have what could be called a range officer. I try to go when there isn’t a crowd-much safer😆

  19. The Mansplainer — the dude who’s “coaching” his girlfriend/wife, but basically just talking the whole time and barely letting her shoot. The Mansplainer can also be heard spouting his boundless knowledge of firearms to other men, refusing to desist even if he ends up talking to veterans, armorers, or John Browning. Favorite tidbits include “you can convert an AK to full auto with a 39 cent spring,” “.223 is just as weak as .22 LR,” and “all the guns are now made in China.”

    • LOL! Hey, they’re everywhere! I had a hootchmate in ‘Nam who swore he was ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN that an AK could shoot M16 ammo, but an M16 could not shoot AK ammo. I pointed out the impossibility of shooting .22 ammo from a .30 barrel, he said “I don’t care, it is TRUE!” So I drop the mag from my M16 and pop a round out, pull an AK mag from a pouch of 3 I’d been given and popped a round out, set them side by side and asked him to explain how either round could possibly even be chambered in the other gun. He said “I don’t know, but it is TRUE!” I gave up. Before I went into the military, I’d been reliably told that the M16 fired a triangular bullet (I tried to imagine that, but never really could), and that the M16 bullet tumbled through the air to make it more deadly, which left me thinking it must be wildly inaccurate. There are nincompoops!

  20. The Deer Hunter — the good ol’ boy who brings his deer rifle and shoots his three rounds to sight in. He looks askance at anyone who brings a tactical rifle. Nope. Someone fires more than four rounds in quick succession, he’s goin’ to wait ’em out in his truck.

  21. Last one: Grandma Oakley — that lady in her 50s who shoots bullseye competitions and embarrasses you in front of your crew.

    • This is me also. I cannot leave good brass on the ground. Heck I’ll help someone police their brass so they won’t miss any. “You gonna take that with you?”

  22. Belong to a private club. Most of the members are riflemen or trap/skeet shooters. The pistol people like myself tend to be very chummy and gravitate to the guy with the most unusual handguns. I tend to shoot combat exercises and that attracts quite a bit of attention. Between that and inquiries about my Lionheart LH9N, I get to know almost everyone on the range when I’m there. I’ve yet to meet anyone who is not polite and wiling to share advice, jokes and “can I try that pistol”? I’ve yet to have a bad day at the range.

  23. Good video. Funny… and sadly, not much of exaggeration.

    Another character I’ve often seen at the range is who I’ll call, “the expert.” He’s the guy who HAS to prove to everyone else how much he knows about guns and shooting. But, he doesn’t spend much time shooting anything other than his “mouth off.” He (thinks he) knows everything about everything guns. He’ll regale you with his “street cred” and shooting exploits. Meanwhile, you just want to shoot. If you dare engage in any discussion, he’ll one-up you before you complete your sentence. When or if he leaves you alone, you can hearing him chewing the ears of the other folks on the range… and you smile to yourself.

  24. When I could afford membership, a lot of doctors and law enforcement, Border Patrol, people who work for some gugermint abbreviation. That was in TX.

  25. I generally don’t go to a range but rather go shoot out in nature.

    When I hear people say thing like (And I heard this recently) “Well it’s got a 150 yard zero on it so to be centered on that 4″ circle at 100 it’s like…. -0.1 mils” when they’re missing the target completely by about 3″ high… I just wonder how this species got to where it is.

    We’re these dudes wearing full camo covered in patches? Ya betcha.

  26. Does he mention the guy who wears a fatigue jacket in obscure European camo patterns (Flektarn-Alpenflage-Belgian Jigsaw) who shoots lots of old/unique firearms like an Inglis Hi-Power, ’03 Springfield, SMLE, Remington 513T, and FN FAL?

  27. I still see some shooters who look down with contempt upon every other person at the range. You know, all those other people carefully following the four rules but who aren’t shooting the same gun with the same type of ammo and using the exact same grip and stance.

  28. I usually shoot on my own or a buddy’s private outdoor range. (His goes to a mile, mine is only half that.) When I got to an indoor Range, about once a week, it’s almost always The Range at Austin. Most folks seem generally decent there. No one bothers me, no one talks to me, usually. Except for RF, who’s there to Facebook Live everything for TTAG. Which I hate.
    Because the personality I am at the gun range is, I fully admit, the asshole. It’s not that I don’t like people, it’s that I’m at work. See that ruler, the camera, the calculator, the data book along with the boxes of ammunition? Those are for work. I’m working. It is rare that I’m shooting for fun. I’m not there to meet people. I’m not there to chill. I’m there to work.

  29. The range I go to is a outdoor DNR facility. Haven’t really seen many of the types portrayed in the video. Most of the people I’ve shot with are either hunters or just people who like to shoot. Everyone I’ve had contact with are polite,helpful when needed and safety conscious. Everyone must pass a DNR safety course before getting their permit to use the facility. There is no RSO so everyone cooperates in watching out each other. Unsafe acts can reported to the DNR officer who lives about 1 mile away. Which can result in loss of privileges I don’t know of any accidents at this facility and I’ve been shooting there for a number of years.

  30. Mostly tourists and Massholes wanting to mag dump AR’s or Glocks cuz john Wick, the RSO’s are generally good but there was one off duty with what had to be his 12 year old son and on the indoor range which is pretty much stand and shoot /no holster draw, doing draw from holster, spin back to front to face the target and I was just like W_T_F, and looked at him so hard he left pretty quick. Don’t see him working there any more, too bad, bet he was a real operator..
    Rest of the RSO’s and guests/members are pretty chill and professional, courteous and knowledgeable in safety.

  31. Met a guy once that wanted to film my weapons and me shooting them! Is all I said to him was, get the f_ _k outta here, and make it fast

  32. What type of people do I meet at the gun range? Nobody. No people at all, of any type, unless I brought ’em with me. And that’s just the way I like it.

    One of the many beautiful things about shooting on public land in the western US.

  33. Mostly polite folks who mind their own business, but I did meet one older fellow who thought everyone’s brass belonged to him (without asking) and thought no one should use any lanes close to him; he explained both points to me while screaming and nearly sticking his finger up my nose. I considered grabbing the finger to see how far it bent back, but the range has cameras.

  34. LOL. Many of whom I see is “Boys and their Expensive Toys.” I live in Scottsdale, AZ, which has lots of fairly to very wealthy people. I see a group of guys come in with “the dude” who has Noveske, LWRC or Daniel Defense M-4’s (select fire), a SCAR, a Thompson, an MP40 and an H&K (fill in the blank). All with suppressors (thank Christ). And they always park next to me on the line. Every carbine and rifle has a compensator so when the suppressor isn’t on I’m getting my teeth rattled and my targets are flying away from the concussion (indoor range). Not to mention every gizmo imaginable hanging off it – lasers, thermal imaging, red dots, scopes, infrared, etc., that they aren’t quite sure how to operate. They arrive with a few hundred rounds of ammo for each one so everybody gets to shoot.

    Here’s the FUNNY part: They ALWAYS hang the target about 7-10 yds away. ALWAYS. Then pat themselves on the back for for shooting a ragged hole in the target. If you want to get on their good side fast give them a compliment and then ooh and aah when they invariably tell you “This is about $40,000 worth of guns & gear here.” THAT, is the REAL REASON they are there – show of wealth. Yes, there’s a Ferrari, Mclaren or Lambo in the parking lot that also belongs to them. But once you show them you know a little about their weaponry (unlike their buddies) they will usually let you try a couple out. Must be nice…

    I suppose I’m a “boy with his toys” too but in a very different sense. Most all of my carbines I made myself and they aren’t Noveske receivers. I have a fair collection of pistols and revolvers I’m working on – installing new parts (I’m teaching myself how to gunsmith my own stuff). I’m there to test out my guns to make sure they work, practice marksmanship and to zero sights. I love my guns and care for them. And I am not in the “fairly wealthy” crowd unfortunately.

  35. For 20+ years have almost always found friendly, enthusiastic people shooting at every kind of range (shooter self monitored to those with hard ass rule driven range officers). Absolutely enjoy getting tips, sharing a few shots on firearms of interest, asking about new stuff never before seen. It’s why I go to ranges instead of just sticking to remote areas in the desert.

    Most all monitored ranges and range officers have been great as well. Some ranges and range officers are understandably more strict than others. But I’m not surprised that some comments remark about some exceptional dickhead ruining their day or facility. Only one range I’ve been to regularly has had what I’d consider a few out of control, abusive cowards hiding behind whatever petty mall cop authority they’re given. Unfortunately it’s in my current area of residence and otherwise the best range facility have ever had access to. While only a few officers it ruins the whole experience, even with friendly fellow shooters around. Fortunately one of them was fired and the other has been (hopefully permanently) reigned in by a responsive range director. But sometimes having to threaten legal action for harassment and assault is what it takes to ensure a safe and enjoyable range.

  36. Nice people. But I wish they would not try to strike up conversations when I have my hearing pro on, and I’m shooting a string.

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