Top 3 Ways To Piss Off Other People at a Gun Range

Any gun guru worth his or her salt will tell you to avoid stupid people in stupid places doing stupid things. As someone who’s been to more gun ranges than the average bear arms guy, I reckon we should modify that adage to account for the risks involved when shooting guns next to complete strangers. Avoid stupid armed people in stupid places doing stupid things. Oh and don’t be that guy! But if you are, here are the three surefire ways to really piss off other people at a gun range . . .

1.  Muzzle someone

The Four Rules of Gun Safety direct us to “keep all guns pointed in the safest possible direction.” Pointing a gun at someone — whether loaded or not — violates this rule. And, thus, social etiquette. Why wouldn’t it? Most shooters like to shoot without worrying about being shot. Muzzling someone at a gun range isn’t the best way to win friends and influence people, but it is a terrific way to become a pistol persona non grata.

2. Offer Unsolicited Advice

Speaking of influencing people, don’t do it! I’ve made the mistake of stepping into a nearby lane, tapping a shooter on the shoulder and warning them that their support-hand-over-strong-hand grip was about to result in a bloody slide bite. What thanks did I receive? Death stares. The same thing happened — and then some — when I made the mistake of correcting a young lady’s reared-back stance.

After complaints to management, I learned that it’s best to leave well enough alone. What’s a suitable definition of “well enough” ? See point 1. It’s a low bar to be sure, but not one where you’re likely to be bounced.

3. Commit suicide 

Suicide is a waste of human life that takes a terrible toll on survivors. If you’re feeling suicidal, please get help! But if you’re really determined to commit suicide, don’t shoot yourself at a gun range.

I know it sounds callous to say that committing suicide at a gun range makes people angry — inconveniencing shooters and costing the range time and money. So consider this: anyone who’s witnessed the immediate, traumatic aftermath of a firearms-related suicide (as I have) goes through the DABDA grieving process. Anger comes right after denial. And it ain’t pretty.

You meet the nicest people at gun ranges. Except when you don’t. If so, remember that you always have the option to leave. Or, if you’re angering other customers, not to go in the first place.


  1. avatar pwrserge says:

    0. Shoot somebody by being an ignorant jackass. There’s a reason why I wear a vest and plates to competitive shooting events.

    1. avatar Nate says:

      I do the same if there are unknown peoples at the range when I show up.

    2. avatar twency says:

      I think that’s basically the worst-case-scenario subset of the “muzzle someone” category.

  2. avatar Prudiikal says:

    so far i’ve only met one ahole at a range. he was being a jerk to me and my friends assuming that we really didn’t know what we were doing. he kept giving us dirty looks when we were having fun and cracking jokes (and still being safe on the range). we were also down on the other side of the range.

    1. avatar eremeya says:

      I was at a range with a friend of mine using a pair of .22 pistols and there were a couple of OFWGs with Blackwater t-shirts next to us that acted like they were so much better then us with their MP .40 and .45. They were like “you should try a real gun” and I was like “OK” picked up the MP .45 and emptied the mag with much better shot placement than they had and said “just because I’m using a .22 doesnt mean I don’t know what I’m doing” then left them with somewhat surprised looks on their faces.

      1. avatar Cliff H says:

        “I said I never had much use for one, not that I didn’t know how.” – Matthew Quigly

        1. avatar eremeya says:

          My EDC at the time was a full size Argentine 1911 so his M&P was a breeze to shoot.

      2. avatar Wiregrass says:

        Nice. I shoot in a .22lr gallery match league. Every guy I know in the league owns and shoots centerfire pistols also and some are quite competitive with them.

  3. avatar TommyinKy says:

    Walk in front of my rifle as i was about to sqeeze off a shot to police your brass. She still didn’t understand what almost happened even until her husband yanked her off the firing line.

    1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      This is a really important point … and one that I instilled in my children.

      When a person is concentrating on a target, there is an excellent chance that they have basically ZERO peripheral vision. That means they have no idea if someone is about to walk in front of their barrel/muzzle. A shooter who has gone through the effort to observe all the safety rules (including cease fire periods) and has set up to shoot an obvious target at an obvious gun range (while the range is “hot”) cannot be responsible for some dumbass who walks in front of them.

      My children know that they must NEVER walk in front of someone’s barrel/muzzle. My youngest child had already mastered this at the age of 9 which means EVERY teenager and adult is capable of mastering this as well.

  4. avatar JasonM says:

    1.1 Do not go near the tables during a cease fire. And ESPECIALLY do not touch the firearms on the table.
    I’ve seen a lot of people finish fiddling with their targets, and then go back to their guns on the table, while the rest of us are walking back from the 200y line.
    It’s bad enough that at a public access range, I will make sure to leave one of my group behind to watch the people at the tables, while the others fiddle with targets.

  5. avatar bLoving says:

    Hee, hee, hee…
    Slide bite and improper grip; I (try to) show the noob customer in front of me the correct way to hold a pistol…. but lacking an actual shooting range at my shop theres only so much I can do.
    Having done what I can, I’ll leave them with the encouraging warning that they’ll (likely) only make that mistake once… I hope…

    1. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

      If they make that mistake twice it’s time to pick up revolvers.

      Of course if they’re that dumb they’ll probably stick their thumb up by the cylinder gap.

      1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

        “Of course if they’re that dumb they’ll probably stick their thumb up by the cylinder gap.”

        Was going to say the same thing!

  6. avatar Specialist38 says:

    This is not really an areticle. Just sayin…

    1. avatar Ing says:

      Please continue. What is it that makes this “not really an areticle”?

      1. avatar MLee says:

        Boy… kidding this isn’t an “areticle”
        BTW, what the hell is an areticle?

        1. avatar Ralph says:

          Areticle is a series of fine lines or fibers in the eyepiece of an optical device, such as a telescope or microscope, or on the screen of an oscilloscope, used as a measuring scale or an aid in locating objects.

      2. avatar Specialist38 says:

        Sorry didn’t know the spelling police were out in force today.

        Seems like they were more interested in spelling than this “aretical”.


        Its not really an article either.

        1. avatar PW in KY says:

          Lol you tried to get petty, but are now surprised with others being petty. Gold.

    2. avatar Curtis in IL says:

      It’s an article. Just not a very good one.
      Don’t commit suicide. Seriously?

      Mr. Farago could have written something useful, but instead he goes from the obvious (rule #2 violation) to the ridiculous.

      1. avatar Ralph says:

        If you feel that way, you can always ignore Rule #3. 🙂

      2. avatar Wood says:

        I was on the range when a depressed guest of another member committed suicide. Not pretty, and my guest was probably turned off forever to gun ownership. When I thought about how the individual did it, facing the berm, gun in right hand to temple, I realized my guest and I were directly in his line of fire. I question the wisdom of taken your alcoholic depressed friend to the range to cheer him up. That won’t ever be my go-to choice.


        Traumatized guest
        Traumatized friend
        Endangered me and guest
        Made for a messy cleanup for the range, which is member run and maintained.

        Did it with his friend’s gun – a SIG P210, a fine SA-only 9mm. So if the owner ever got it back from the police, do you think he kept it? Do you think it has sentimental meaning? Or maybe that Sig or any other P210 for that matter, is attached to this terrible memory. How might he be dealing with life now knowing he provided means and opportunity for his friend to commit suicide? Ugly reality.

        1. avatar Curtis in IL says:

          Just to be clear, I am not trying to minimize the very real affects of suicide, nor the very real mental illnesses that lead up to it.

          I think it’s in poor taste to include “Don’t commit suicide” in any list of ways to piss off people. Suicide always seems like a selfish act to those who survive. It’s pretty obvious that any concern over annoying other people is not going to deter those so inclined.

        2. avatar Wood says:

          I get your point. I’m not sure the best way to bring up this topic, but it seems like it needs to be said some way. Suicide is hard enough in those left behind without making a gawdawful mess for others to deal with.

  7. avatar Shawn says:

    I’ll add one, start shooting without giving everyone on the line a chance to cover eyes and ears. I always announce to others on the line “going hot” before clambering a round and then giving them a few moments to don ear protection.

    1. avatar Curtis in IL says:

      ^ Yep.

    2. avatar Badwolf says:

      Yes this

    3. I did that to a cop one day. He was pissed off but, fuck him. My wife and I were the only two non LEO’s at the police range. One Saturday a month, the public had access to it with a paid pass.
      We shot our 9mm and I pulled out a friend’s EAA Tangfolio Witness .45 to test for him. Before I had the mag loaded, a cop stepped forward and put two rounds on his target. He started talking to his fellow officers as I started shooting the .45. I didn’t know he took off his hearing protection.
      I just think it’s redundant to call a hot range hot. If you’re on the line you need eyes and ears all the time.
      We were there to practice. Not socialize.

  8. avatar Mark says:

    I want to bring my SCAR 17 to the range, but I’m concerned the muzzle blast will piss a lot of people off. Thoughts?

    1. avatar bLoving says:

      If you’re outdoors you’ll be no more of an a-hole than everyone else shooting with a muzzle brake. What gets me ugly looks are the clouds of smoke from my muzzleloaders obscuring other shooters vision. 🙂

      1. avatar Craig says:

        What gets you more than dirty looks is shooting a flintlock with the next shooter to the right being closer than 6 ft. Just sayin……

    2. avatar Warren says:

      After trying to introduce my daughter to shooting with my old Winchester 67 .22lr (her first experience shooting a real firearm, at that) and having it interrupted by some jackass firing off his .50 BMG 3 lanes over with zero warning, I’d say you’re fine.

    3. avatar Bill says:

      Who cares? It’s a freakin gun range!?!? If some gets mad at you for shooting at a gun range they aught to pack em up and hit the next Hillary cry in. Which brings up what should be point number four.

      #4. Don’t go to a gun range and cry about too much shooting. Same type of people who go to a bar and cry about drinking and loud music. Or go to a football game and cry about yelling.

      1. avatar Isaac says:

        It may be a gun range and yes an experienced shooter is going to expect a certain amount of noise. But deciding to start playing with something exceptional loud (like in my experience an AR pistol with about a 7″ barrel, right next to us… when there are 12 other lanes and a whole other bay to choose from) while I’m trying to teach my now ex-wife how to be safe around and safely operate a .22 pistol is a dick move!

    4. avatar Sc says:

      I have an AR pattern rifle chambered in 450 bushmaster with a monster brake on it. I always mention this to the range officer assigning lanes and suggest he put me somewhere as far as possible from other shooters. The reply I’ve consistently gotten is that this is a gun range and other shooters have to realize it can get loud.
      What I usually do then is warn the shooters to my left and right that it’s going to get noisy, and that they should let me know if the muzzle blast is too much for their ear pro. in which case I’ll switch to another rifle. Most times I usually end up offering them a couple of shots with the 450 and they don’t complain about the noise, just the recoil.

      1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

        Sc for the win!

        The only rule that we need to observe at gun ranges: consider how your activity could seriously mess up other people and don’t do whatever would mess them up.

        1. avatar Warren says:

          I feel like this is the more considerate response than “F that, it’s a gun range, it’s gonna get loud.” Consideration of other shooters’ experience goes a long way to continued participation in the gun community, especially for those just starting out.

  9. avatar AlanInFL says:

    The fastest way to piss anyone off. Shoot right next to them with a Barret Fifty.

    Hell, I get looks when I shot my .338.

    1. avatar anonymoose says:

      Or anything with a muzzle brake at an indoor range.

      1. avatar Texylvanian says:

        Yeah I was going to post this too. I’m sure the “hey it’s a gun range, it’s loud, stop being a pussy” crowd would disagree. And I am not anti-muzzle brake, just anti-brake in an indoor range due to the amplification.

        If you’re the guy using a brake indoors and you disagree, no problem. I will allow for the possibility that half the issue here is me being a pussy about the concussion. But while I might be a pussy, consider that you might an inconsiderate asshole whose whore mother didn’t raise you right. Cheers! 😀

        (Don’t delete it, I didn’t flame anyone)

    2. avatar Defens says:

      What’s particularly irksome is when the muzzle blast from your braked .50 blows all the fancy benchrest gear off your neighboring shooter’s bench. Oops. Profuse apologies followed…. (I was the culprit, unfortunately… First shot ever from my .50)

      1. avatar Warren says:

        I watched a fellow set up his Barrett last fall, along with a few ARs. It wasn’t until he was just about to shoot when I realized the blast was going to knock his guns right off the table. Which they did, and broke the scopes to boot.

        1. avatar Red in CO says:

          Holy shit. Ok, I now REALLY need to fire a rifle chambered in .50 BMG (largest gun I’ve fired is a .375 H&H, and yes, I know I need to experience more in the way of firearms).

    3. avatar RidgeRunner says:

      When I used to go to ranges (I now have a home range on the back 40), I’d get looks when I’d shoot my Ruger Alaskan .44 with maxed-out Buffalo Bores. And I didn’t care. It’s a range. BTW, in this particular place black powder was not allowed, to my disappointment.

  10. avatar mike oregon says:

    I’d like to add don’t be disrespectful of shooters with a different focus. A few years ago I asked someone if he wanted to switch lanes so my flying brass wasn’t a nuisance and heard a 5minute rant about useless inaccurate junk, I then shot a .75″ 100yr. Group, he shot a 3or4″ group with a nice 30/30. He left pissed.

    1. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

      3-4″ at 100 yards ain’t bad for an open sighted .30-30. However if it was scoped he should probably learn to keep his mouth shut about other shooters.

    2. avatar Anner says:

      I appreciate folks that remain considerate of their brass flying at other benches. Some ranges have small netting setup that drop the brass at each lane’s feet. It’s a handy way of not burning your neighbor.

      1. avatar MattG says:

        I intentionally dont put the brass screen up to discourage someone from sitting next to me. I admit it’s an a-hole move though…

        1. avatar RidgeRunner says:

          Liking staring into your reading material on the plane as others board so as not to make eye contact, to keep the seat next to you unoccupied and whomever may be sitting next to you from attempting to engage in conversation . Raises hand.

      2. avatar Prudiikal says:

        I’ve had quite a lot of people hit me with their brass. usually a .22 pistol and it’s the type of guy who doesn’t really watch the line to see if people are waiting to go downrange or not. or they think they got the best SD handgun in the world

      3. avatar justin says:

        It is my AK that gets me those looks, but it slings it’s shell casings 3 or 4 stalls down so they have some time to cool down so it is just annoying and not painful. I usually end up tilting it at least 45 degrees to try and mitigate the issue.

        Out in the country, it did let me develop a little game I call AK ping pong. you stand about 20 feet away for a friend shooting the AK and try to bat the brass back towards him with the palm of your hand.

  11. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

    #4 – Asking the person in the next lane to hold your beer and telling him/her to ‘watch this!’

    1. avatar jwtaylor says:

      Wait, is that like a new rule or something?

      1. avatar Tom W. says:

        I always thought shooting targets in other lanes was acceptable.

        1. avatar Wood says:

          I love it when that happens to me. More than once during a high-power match, when your neighbor shoots worse than you do, and there are too many holes on your target. You get the lowest scores to record. Unless your neighbor is using a different caliber and you can tell which shots are his.

  12. avatar PROUD chicano says:

    I prefer to go when they first open and when they are generally not busy.

    1. avatar No one of consequence says:


      Or at any rate, know when your range is usually busy.

  13. avatar Mark N. says:

    4. Don’t shoot a rifle with a muzzle brake on a crowded range.

    1. avatar Curtis in IL says:

      There really should be separate ranges or specified hours for muzzle brakes.

  14. avatar Kendahl says:

    Here’s number four: Warning someone, no matter how politely, that he just violated number one.

    1. avatar Troubled Soul says:

      I’m willing to piss someone off before I let them do that twice.
      And I really am a mostly nice guy.

      1. avatar jwtaylor says:

        Yup. Solid eye contact and “Excuse me, please do not point a gun at me again” is always appropriate.

        1. avatar Defens says:

          How about, “Point that at me one more time, and I’m pointing mine back at you!.”

          I’m an NRA instructor, and have had to accept the fact that amongst a group of beginners, I’ll likely get muzzle-swept accidentally sometimes. It’s happened a few times. The first occurrence gets a polite warning. Second occurrence gets the student safely unloaded and escorted out of the class. It’s happened once in several dozen classes.

    2. avatar Tex300BLK says:

      Haha, nice try… if you are behaving in a way that may get me or someone else shot because you can’t follow basic rules of firearms safety, I’ll let you know, fuck politeness.

  15. avatar HP says:

    A guy at the one range I always go to committed suicide with a .22. Put all of the rounds in his magazine down range, then put the last one in his head. As far as I know, it did him in instantly. I guess a .22 is enough. Not sure if anyone else was on the range with him at the time.

  16. avatar jimmy james says:

    Declare the range cold every few minutes so you can check your target to see if you hit anything. Blow up your gun. Fire your gun while range is cold and no one else has hearing protection on. Let your pre-school age kids run around behind the firing line unattended while you handle firearms in the parking lot in violation of range rules. Fire a 50 bmg at a cinder block 100yds down range and rain cinder block fragments on cars in the parking lot behind the firing line. I could go on and on and on.

    1. avatar JimBob says:

      These are the things I was expecting from this article. TTAG has done better work than this.

      1. avatar Cliff H says:

        In RF’s defense (and he seldom needs any from me), the article was only a way to “prime the pump”. All, or at least many, of the resulting comments covered all of the things you claim the article itself didn’t cover. How is that a bad thing?

  17. avatar Ragnarredbeard says:

    The guy who shoots once and gets up to walk to his target to check it, without telling anyone. Had a guy just wandering out to the target line one day, nearly shot him.

  18. avatar Curtis in IL says:

    Unsolicited advice – I recommend giving it to a new shooter who is about to permanently scar his hand with slide bite and take a trip to the emergency room as a result of an improper pistol grip. I have seen such advice given, just in the nick of time, and it was appreciated.

    The rest of the range etiquette guidelines have been covered above. The great thing about gun ranges, in my experience, is that they tend to have a lower percentage of ignorant a$$wipes than the general population.

    1. avatar Defens says:

      Unsolicited advice is often appropriate – just needs to be handled properly. I seldom do so, but if I see a dangerous or potentially injurious activity happening next to me, I’ll typically ask, “Do you mind if I give you a tip?” or something equally innocuous. IOW, ask permission before you go all pedantic on them. If they want advice, fine – if not, that’s okay as well.

    2. avatar Craig says:

      As an RSO at our club (open to the public) I’m charged with keeping people safe. Unless it is an emergency situation I generally will walk up to the side of a person who has their thumb behind a slide and politely say “please don’t get blood all over my range…” That usually gets their attention and I can go on to explain WHY they are about to make a trip to the ER. And yes, I will do that even if I am not the duty RSO that day. I have yet to have anyone get mad at my approach. Most shooters are appreciative of the reminder. With some people I have to remind them numerous times, but no one so far has gotten mad about it, even guys who were in the service long ago.
      As far as rule #2 violations, I usually make that a part of my safety instructions at the beginning of every hot range session. And I tell them up front that I will ask anyone to leave that can’t remember it, and I have had to send people home, but I try to do it without making a scene unless they force the issue, in the hopes that it will make them remember the next time out. Most go willingly, but I’ve come close to calling the sheriff to remove a couple of belligerents.
      Usually I stay VERY close to newbee shooters until I am certain that they are routinely practicing safe habits. And if they are willing to learn I will offer shooting advise and recommend a good safety course. It can get challenging if I have too many newbees on the line at one time.

  19. avatar Paul B says:

    I wouldn’t mind someone tapping my shoulder and giving me advice. It’s all about community, right? I’ve been shooting for over ten years but i’m only 21, I still have plenty to learn. Everyone has room for improvement.

    1. avatar Prudiikal says:

      this^^^^ im in the same boat as you (except a little older)

    2. A lady was being taught how to shoot a handgun and I was shooting my AR in the next lane. She set her gun down and said “I’ll wait til he is through shooting his cannon”. I stopped and smiled at her. She asked me what it was. I sad it was a smooth shooting rifle and handed it to her.
      After about five shots center of her target, she turned to her husband and the instructor and said “I want one of these!”
      I normally leave people alone but it is a community and if a conversation comes up naturally, I see that as a good thing.

  20. avatar jwtaylor says:

    In the same vein, don’t be the jackass that spends an hour trying to sight in a rifle, when there is an obvious wait for a lane. If you don’t know how to sight in a rifle, please ask.

    1. avatar Craig says:

      When someone tells me that they are sighting in a new scope I’ll start out by asking if they plan to waste 2 boxes of ammo getting it zero’d or would they rather just spend 2 rounds getting to within 1″ of zero and spend the rest of their ammo having fun. That usually gets a positive response from those that don’t know the technique. Nobody likes to waste money and get frustrated.

  21. avatar strych9 says:

    Related to #2: Unsolicited advice may not win you friends but unsolicited loaning of tools will. If someone needs a screw driver, Allen wrench or other tool and don’t have it it puts a crimp in their day. Showing up in their booth with exactly what they need puts smiles on faces.

    Also, unsolicited advise may not tick people off if they’re new, don’t understand something and are getting frustrated by it. In that case it’s all about presentation.

    Also, suicide at ranges happens. A few years back two Australian girls showed up at a local range, rented pistols, put some rounds downrange and then turned and shot each other. One died, the other lived. An investigation found they were obsessed with the Columbine shooters and even had a scrapbook about them in their hotel. I was never a big fan of that particular range but what they did was, at the least, discourteous.

    1. avatar Katy says:

      You’re in CO? Just looked up that story. They didn’t shoot each other but shot themselves together.

      What makes that story especially tough is that were twin sisters. They were 29 when they did it in 2010, which would have made them 18 in 1999. I wonder what their school experience was like and if they saw a bit of themselves in [redacted] and [redacted].

      1. avatar strych9 says:

        Yes, I’m in Colorado.

        A friend of mine was working a UCD mental health and got the lovely task of interviewing the survivor about a week after that happened. The story I heard from him was that she said they shot each other. I didn’t really follow the story after that (or before honestly).

        The girl who survived was, in the opinion of my friend and the doctors who took care of her, completely off her rocker so I guess I’m not surprised if her version of events was incorrect/a lie.

  22. avatar Tom says:

    In addition to the things already mentioned, deliberately shooting someone else’s target comes to mind.

  23. avatar Mr. AR says:

    Don’t leave unboxed unholstered firearms on the floor/ground muzzling folks who cannot know if the weapon is loaded. Don’t be an ass when I point out to you (and later the Range master) this dangerous action. Also, don’t be surprised when you are ejected from the range for showing your ass.

    And if the range puts up BIG SIGNS about only loading mags in the shooting stall, don’t be an ass when you have the sign pointed out to you (right in front of your stupid nose) as you jam rounds into your mall ninja hate stick — and we eject you from the range as undesirable and unsafe.

    1. avatar Hoth says:

      Serious question. Why would loading your mags away from the line be an issue (so long as they aren’t inserted in the gun)? I would think that you’d want to have everything loaded up before you got to the line so you’re not holding up the show.

      1. avatar Isaac says:

        Some ranges don’t allow the loading of mags behind the line… it’s an old way of thinking but near as I can tell some states (California for example) consider a loaded mag as a loaded part of the gun hence the same as a hot gun behind the line or in a motor vehicle… and some ranges either followed suit because of reasons or are required to by law.

        1. avatar Wood says:

          It’s just a way to maintain safety with a large number of people with varying degrees of proficiency. Funny how impatient we all are these days.

    2. avatar Scoutino says:

      Seriously? Guns laying on the ground are muzzling people when no one’s touching them? Loading my magazines is a problem (wherever it may happen)? Mall ninja HATE STICK? Which range are you at? Just to make sure that I will never go there.

  24. avatar former water walker says:

    Don’t kill yourself…brilliant! I’m guilty of giving advice. So sue me. And don’t muzzle me. I expect the range to be loud…

    1. Yeah I can’t stand there and watch some hot chick rip her hand open with her wigger boyfriend’s Glock 29. I see that as a warning more than unsolicited advice.

  25. avatar Lucas D. says:

    Seriously, people, let’s not be gauche; have the decency to commit suicide behind closed doors, and that goes double for those looking to hang themselves via autoerotic asphyxiation.

    1. avatar bLoving says:

      Well, that’s why we often point out that suicide is not only cowardly, but incredibly selfish. I suppose there may be a way or two to off yourself that won’t entail some poor slob having to clean up the mess you made or at least cart off your carcass before(or after) you stink up the place, but I really can’t think of one that doesn’t involve the open ocean.

      1. avatar strych9 says:

        There are half a dozen methods you could employ while in the morgue…

      2. avatar Lucas D. says:

        Well, there’s always the option of homemade rocket set at 0° azimuth, but at that point we’re probably creating more problems than we’re solving.

  26. avatar Justin says:

    How about shooting something like a 300 WM with a break right next to someone, without a heads up. I got my hat blown off and dirt all over my face because to guy next to me had one. it wouldn’t have been so bad but when I pointed it out the him after the string he said it was my problem and if I didn’t like it i could leave. the A-hole even started directing his muzzle blast right at me after that…. at least until the RSO threw him off the range because he was shooting way off the berm.

  27. avatar Joe R. says:

    Never creep around like you’re “shopping”.

    Don’t follow anyone leaving the tange for any significant period.

    Don’t leave your children unattrnded (especially if you’ve also left them armed).

    Don’t take puctures or video without asking. Paired with #1&2 above will get you cut and left to bleed out.

  28. avatar Jack Bremer says:

    I’ll add one. Many times I’ll go to the range to do some things that require some concentration. This could include sighting in a rifle, working on my stance with my handgun, employing new methods to improve accuracy, etc. And without fail I’ll get a couple guys next to me doing nothing but cracking jokes, being loud and boisterous(Holy crap dude…this thing KICKS! Oh man…I shredded that target!). They’re making so much noise and commotion acting like they are at some party that it’s hard to concentrate. Yes…I know guns go BOOM and make loud noises but those aren’t distracting like a couple of jackasses yucking it up. To me a gun range should be treated like a golf range. Be courteous and low key and respectful that those around you are trying to concentrate on improving their skills.

    1. avatar Scrote McGee says:

      Then build your own private range. You think shooting is a solitary pursuit of mastery. Other people think it is just fun to make things go boom. Neither side is right, but shooting ain’t golf. The only time it really matters how well you shoot, you will be under more pressure than just having some annoying bro types next to you.

    2. avatar Curtis in IL says:

      Sounds like Mr. Bremer needs to improve his concentration skills.

    3. avatar Just Joe says:

      If you want to avoid 99% of the jackasses…Do not go to the range on Saturdays or Sundays! I have avoided most public venues on the weekends for many years, and it has worked well for me. Take a vacation day M-F, if you have to, and you will not be dealing with, for the most part, the idiots and range Nazis which abound on the weekends….unless you’re into that, which many folks are… for some reason.

  29. avatar Geoff PR says:

    #4 – Show up at the range with over 1,000 rounds of .22lr and then proceed to have fun…

    1. avatar bLoving says:

      Well if I can’t make you jealous then why go at all? 😛
      Rimfire still a bit scarce in your neck of the woods, eh?

  30. avatar adverse4 says:

    Do not go to public firing ranges. Kiss up to anyone you know with a lot of land and plenty of places to shoot safely. The fewer people around the better. Just because they have a firearm does not mean they have good sense too. All the safety training in the world can not fix ingrained stupidity. (Did not say I was perfect, I said I was almost perfect).

    1. avatar TTAG Intelligentsia says:

      I second that! Thankfully were I live there’s a ton of desert and National Forest Land that anyone can just go shooting at. I try to avoid public ranges as I find I just highly dislike them.

    2. avatar strych9 says:

      “The fewer people around the better. Just because they have a firearm does not mean they have good sense too. “

      This also applies to RO’s and other range workers more often than I’d really like to think about.

  31. avatar No one of consequence says:

    Let’s see …

    Step 1: Drive your pickup down range to set up a target without bothering to ask the people on the line to cease-fire. (“Why is there a Firestone logo in my site picture?” is how I learned he did this.)

    Step 2: After driving back and setting up, loudly complain that your super scope has dead batteries, and ask everyone on the line if you have spare AAAs. Act shocked when nobody does.

    Step 3: Ask the other people on the line to hold your lane so you can drive the 5 miles to the hardware store to buy some.

    Step 4: when you get back, complain that the closer gas station didn’t have any, to the person who told you the gas station doesn’t carry batteries.

    Step 5: leave in a huff.

  32. avatar Dave Lewis says:

    Don’t criticize somebody else’s firearm. “Oh man I see that you’ve got a model 3 Thumbuster. You know that they’re crap don’t you? They were made out of used beer cans by a bunch of winos under a bridge. If you were a real tactical operator you’d be shooting this $10,000 Zombie Killer Magnum in .499 Super Atomic Destructo. Anybody who shoots anything less doesn’t love Jesus and his manly parts are way too small.”

    1. avatar Coolbreeze says:

      Well said. Very funny.

  33. avatar David says:

    What causes OFWGs to become an unstoppable hose of conversation when you’re trying to shoot? Please wait until I’m away from the line, putting up my protective gear at least. Our conversation is basically useless with 10 other guys shooting at our indoor range.

    Be friendly, but be serious and courteous. Save the in-depth review of TTAG topics for the lobby or parking lot.

  34. avatar Rolf says:

    1. Never touch someone else’s gun without permission.

    2. It is impolite to criticize someone else’s gun. It may be an inexpensive brand not known for quality, but that might be all they can afford.

  35. avatar Buster says:

    Not using a brass catcher if you are shooting an auto-loader. Not too many people like having hot, spent cases thrown on top of their head and/or their $2000 scope when sitting at the adjacent bench.

  36. avatar John Thomas says:

    photo looks like texas city municipal range

    1. avatar John Thomas says:

      yup. nice range, and cheap, but rifle lanes only go out to 100 yards.

  37. avatar Ryan Toms says:

    Thank god someone said it. Suicide is always is in poor taste and will never win you friends at the range.

    1. avatar Cliff H says:

      Whether or not your are successful.

  38. avatar gp says:

    Number 4: Pile up all your gear on the shooting line, then walk around and gab with people for an hour while your lane(s) are tied up. I swear some people come to the range just to talk and show off their stuff, but not to shoot.

    Number 5: Look for people who are concentrating intensely on their shooting, then interrupt them so you can say “Hi! How’s it going?” Talk to people ONLY when they have their hearing protection on, so they have to take it off to hear you.

  39. avatar Tex300BLK says:

    I have only ever broken rule #2 once and it was in direct response time some dope who was repeatedly breaking rule #1 because his AR was short stroking every 2nd or 3rd round and he kept swinging it sideways to inspect the chamber pointing the muzzle at everyone on the firing line to his left.

    I told him in as direct of a manner as possible to stop muzzling half the firing line and then offered my tools and assistance in maybe helping troubleshoot what might be causing his problems. He muttered something about taking it in trade from a private sale and how he knew he should just stick to bolt actions, then put it back in the case loaded mag and all and left.

  40. avatar Mack Bolan says:

    Reading this thread makes me thank god I own enough land that I can stretch out just about any caliber to wobbly distance.

  41. avatar MLee says:

    Too be honest. I don’t like going to any gun range. I hate having idiots around muzzling me. I worry about having people shooting guns a few feet from my head. I’m really really big on one rule in-particular. All rules for that matter, but there’s one I especially live by: ALWAYS keep your gun pointed in a safe direction.
    I have a long time friend and he doesn’t seem to have the concept over muzzling. Every time he touches his new LCP, he muzzles me. I hate to bark at him as he is a short timer with IPF (Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis) and doesn’t have long, so I try not to be anymore of a knob than I have to. Telling him to not muzzle me isn’t being a knob but there are those who are slow learners about things and as many of you know, if you don’t really hammer it in, some things don’t sink in real well. It’s like kids these days. They don’t listen! It’s damn irritating also. There is a reason I call them f—ing stupid kids.

    1. avatar Dave M says:

      ” I don’t like going to any gun range. I hate having idiots around”. Exactly why I have my own range. But I let responsible friends, under supervision, use it & teach newbies to shoot supplying the guns & ammo both on my dime.

  42. avatar RCC says:

    Numerous but firing your “unloaded” .40 next to me during a ceasefire by putting fresh magazine in after the range officer checked is high on the list. Thankfully no one had moved forward yet but we had all taken ear protection off.

    Letting kids run forward of the firing line as stated above.

  43. avatar Southern Cross says:

    What have I seen over the last nearly 30 years?

    At a range on the outskirts of western Sydney:

    Don’t grab live ammo off my bench and then try to pick a fight about it! Especially when my gun is 8×57 and yours is .30-06. I know they look similar but I have already seen the result of the former used in the latter. His question was “What are you going to do about it?” was responded with “Stand back and watch your gun blow up”. At least the RO’s backed me up this time.

    RO’s, don’t respond to a request to check if my rifles are clear with a WHY?. Just do it. I am used to having my rifles independently checked (TWICE) before leaving the firing point. And you wouldn’t want someone to have a ND behind the line.

    RO’s don’t criticize my M48 as “cheap military junk and not a REAL rifle”. It is a Mauser 98 action and will probably outlast your Remchesterby. It is what I could afford at the time and will be worth more than a commercial rifle if kept original. The 2MOA groups with a Leupold M8 scout scope quickly shut them up.

    At my regular range.

    DON’T drive over the firing mounds! The roads are there for a reason!

    DON’T run off into area behind the butt stop when we send vehicles to get you out. YOU ARE IN DANGER and it is in all our best interests to get you out of there! At best you will get a warning. At worst you will be handed over to the police. The signs are there for a reason (ie: Rifle Range! Live firing in progress when red flags are up. Unauthorized access may result in injury or death.)

    Don’t fire on a trial exposure! It is to show the target and the timing. And you should NOT have actioned the rifle unless instructed (Range commands are: LOAD (where the magazine or loose cartridges are inserted), Trial Exposure may happen after the LOAD command, ACTION (where the bolt is closed), INSTANT (release safety), WATCH AND SHOOT (you may engage targets when they are shown)).

    Keep your kids under control. Otherwise my son will have words with them. (He sees it as his responsibility to instruct other children on the range safety protocols. Usually they listen and the parents are grateful.)

    And don’t do anything else that is stupid. Having the range closed because a rock fisherman went missing (the range is on the coast and a rod and tackle box were discovered at the base of the cliff). Some people drive for several hours to compete and get a bit pissed off if the range is closed when they get there.

    1. avatar Scrote McGee says:

      Well holy sheep sheeeeit…

    2. avatar Southern Cross says:

      The first range is not only a FUDD range but they are generally known as “The FUDD’s FUDDs”. They’ve had a weird attitude ever since I can remember.

    3. avatar Cliff H says:

      Brings to mind an incident at REFORGER (Germany) in 1982. I was on patrol in the early afternoon looking for Orange forces trying to sneak up on our Combat Support Hospital when we heard automatic gunfire. Being in the midst of a major war game we were unconcerned but thought we should investigate in case their was a mock firefight we could get involved in. As we approached the sound of the firing we carefully climbed a burm and stuck our heads over the top to discover we were on the hot end of a German police firing range engaging in live-fire MP-5 practice! Beat a hasty retreat.

  44. avatar Isaac says:

    1. Don’t be a dick, this includes but is not limited to the guy with the super loud gun who enjoys taking the bay next to new shooters to mess with them. Seriously just don’t do it.
    2. No booze (not a joke I have seen it particularly when out on public land). If you want to have a drink while scrubbing a barrel ok but not while you’re actually firing guys, come on!
    3. Am I the only guy who got taught what “muzzles up and down” means or do we have that many people in need of natural selection?
    4. Safety regs are in fact written for a reason, what is so complicated about this? And seriously why does every dickweed dumb shit want to talk about “it’s no big deal” or “big boy rules” (when they’re no where near ready for big boy rules… like can’t keep rounds on a 2’x3′ target at sub-7 yards)?

    1. avatar strych9 says:

      In relation to your #2, I don’t support getting drunk while shooting. However, I’ve said many times before, if you’re the type to drink I highly recommend that you have a couple while shooting in a safe manner so that you know how the booze affects you should you ever have a DGU situation after you’ve gotten home and relaxed with a couple drinks.

      If people are being unsafe that’s one thing, if they’re have a beer while shooting I don’t see the problem. Can you explain to me what problem you see with have a beer or two while shooting, presuming the people are 1) not getting drunk and 2) not acting in an unsafe manner?

      1. avatar Isaac says:

        Well since you asked:
        1. The old saying about drinking and firearms not mixing is true because after about a .02-.04 BAC people tend to see a lose of motor coordination and judgment… it’s also what lead to one of my favorite public lands being closed to shooting last summer.
        2. I’ve never actually seen anyone drinking on the range and not doing something dumb and/or dangerous.
        3. I actually kind of enjoy having a few after I get home, but given 1 and 2 I walk away when things are at or approaching ‘hold my beer and watch this’ levels of stupidity.

        1. avatar strych9 says:

          Personally I’ve never seen someone drinking on an actual range because I’ve never seen a range that allows it. That’s why I like to shoot somewhere else (well that and restrictive rules and… some of the stuff other people have said on here).

          However, your #1 cuts both ways. Yes, drinking does affect fine motor skill and judgement, which is exactly why I recommend it if you’re a drinker. Most people are quite well aware of how a few drinks affects their ability to drive a car or operate machinery because they have experience having consumed alcohol and then driven.

          Now, that’s a gross motor skill and judgement operation. Firearm usage involves both gross and fine motor skill and judgement operation. Since they’ll be affected you should know how they’ll be affected. The idea that you’re going to go home, disarm and decide that no matter what happens you won’t pick up a gun to defend yourself is unrealistic. The BG isn’t just going to go away and come back when you’re sober. If you’ve had three fingers of that fine scotch and something does happen you’re going to need to know how to handle your business having had said scotch.

          I don’t disarm when drinking at my house or even having a couple while shooting pool at the bar with some friends. I see absolutely no need because I know exactly how that beer will affect me and affect my handling of a firearm because I’ve shot a decent amount while drinking a couple. That’s something you quite literally cannot know unless you’ve experienced it.

          Clearly, safety procedures have to be respected. You can’t just pound down a bottle of wine or smash a 12 pack and I’m not recommending that you do. The area should be safe, pre-scouted while you’re sober and legal. You shouldn’t consume more alcohol than you can handle and if you feel, even for a second that you may have, it’s time to put up the guns, eat something and wait to sober up (camping is a great time to do this because you can cook, shoot and drink all at the same time). Someone who is sober should be watching over you as a sort of RO too. This is most certainly not for beginners.

          Personally, unless someone is a total idiot sober I don’t really see much of a problem. You’re not getting drunk and if you’re going to forget the rules of gun safety after a couple drinks you’ll likely forget them sober. While fine motor coordination will be affected, which is kind of the point, gross motor skills like turning around and muzzling someone won’t be. What can happen is what happened to my friend. We went out and did this while camping. He’s had two beers (at like 9500 feet too so they’re a bit more potent than normal). He calmly draws, aims and, squeezes the trigger and nothing happens. The hell? He missed the switching off safety. He hit it but didn’t disengage it. After a few more tries he’s got it nailed down pretty well so we put up the guns and have a few more while making dinner.

          Nothing unsafe happened but he learned a valuable lesson that he hadn’t considered. Not even legally intoxicated you can make a fine motor error that could, in a DGU, cost you or someone else their life when your gun doesn’t go off when you expect it to. Train like you fight because state dependent learning is a thing. If you drink, and aren’t a drunk, you should train for the possibility that you might not be completely sober when you need to defend yourself and you should know how this affects your capabilities. Also, as a buddy of mine pointed out, alcohol does, in some ways, mimic the minor symptoms of certain injuries like mild shock, a mild shot to the head or a mild case of confusion by screwing with your reaction times and perception.

          Again, I’m not talking about going past a few and getting wild and stupid. Precautions, including a careful selection of who you would let do this are an order but really it’s not unsafe if you’re careful about it and what you learn from it is quite useful.

        2. avatar Isaac says:

          Well it’s one thing when it’s two guys… in a remote location… who have a bit of common sense… and depending on the two beers (assuming standard 12oz 5-7% ABV) and a standard 150-250 pounds male which means maybe a .02 BAC. Yeah that could be safe. However you need to realize:
          1. In a DGU the chemical dump will mess you up more than you think, look something as small as removing a finger (experience talking) will make things go weird… time goes screwy, pain is off or not noticeable, you’d think projectile bleeding would get you’re immediate attention/trigger immediate action (it didn’t when I walked the scene later I counted 10+ pulse beats before I figured out “hey I better clamp that off and call 911”) and your fine motor skills will be gone (like entering a security code into your phone).

          2. In my experience most people who do drink at the range don’t stop at two beers, in my experience it’s a couple cases for 2-6 people who don’t seem to understand don’t drink in/on a motor vehicle (usually UTV or ATV), basic muzzle/trigger discipline while sober.

          3. Carrying while drinking after maybe two beers is actually illegal where I live (probably because the guys from #2 in a bar is asking for a disaster).

          4. No DGU will happen under ideal conditions. So just plan on basic good stuff from the range not being realistic.

  45. avatar Red in CO says:

    Wow, reading all of these horror stories makes me REALLY glad I live in rural Colorado surrounded by National Forest. Legally, I can discharge a firearm anywhere on National Forest land, provided I’m at least 100′ from a road. And there’s no shortage of perfect shooting places around here, including a number of dry creek beds.

    1. avatar strych9 says:

      Make sure those creeks are dry. Dry as dust. Under National Park regs “navigable waterway” has redefined to include a trickle of water that’s flowing and shooting over/across it is a crime.

      Also, don’t shoot trees. The Forest Service and National Park Police can and sometimes will write you a ticket for $500 for each round they have determined hit a tree and was fired at said tree “intentionally”. Using a copse as a backdrop to your shooting counts as “intentional” in the eyes of some NP workers.

  46. avatar LKB says:

    (From an incident related to me by Steve Smith, Asgard NTG:)

    (1) Don’t let your kids runs around unsupervised at the range while you’re busy shooting an IPDA or 3-gun match.
    (2) If you do, and your kids start climbing the berms of the nearby tactical bays, don’t get all huffy when they get shouted at by the folks who had to call an immediate cease fire to avoid potentially shooting them.

    True story (happened at Best of the West, BTW) . . . .

  47. avatar David N says:

    On an unsupervised range, don’t ask every 15 minutes for a ceasefire so you can “quickly check your target”, then go down range with 3 of your buddies and have a 20 minute conversation about your girls, dogs, or that you can’t tell the difference between them because both bark at the moon.

  48. avatar B says:

    Rifle caliber pistol with a muzzle brake shooting slower powder lead handloads out of a 4″ barrel. Make sure you take the middle lane and have the barrel protrude past the wall for maximum effect. Smoke, sound, and fire. You’ll be the most popular guy there.

  49. avatar jwm says:

    I used to take my mosin nagant m44 to the range with me just in case somebody took the lane next to me that was a jerk. A few shots from the fire breather was enough to send them moving.

  50. avatar Martin K says:

    When at the range I take position as range safety officer, even though I am shooting too. It’s recommended in the range manual everyone gets that someone do it when there are multiple people shooting. No one else seems to want to do it so I do. I call range hot , eye and ear pro. and cease fire, bolt open and weapons unloaded, always making eye contact with everyone. Even if I am not walking down range I still check the firing line for weapons clear. I don’t police or power trip but I do make sure everyone there is safe. All the range members are pretty friendly and don’t mind. I’ve been lucky not to run into an idiot yet, but I’m sure in time I will. But usually everyone here in Canada is pretty friendly eh !

  51. avatar ATTAGReader says:

    I guess I am lucky because the public National Forest range that I go to when the weather is decent usually has courteous people who are very careful to triple check down the line before anyone calls the range hot. Everyone is careful, I have never seen anyone drinking, and it seems everyone is genuinely concerned about safety. Fortunately I go when it is not too crowded so muzzle brakes (mine), Mosins, and .223 pistols don’t seem to both anyone. I find the flames coming out of the Mosins and .223 pistols quite a spectacle to watch after I am done with my shooting. I am more annoyed at the indoor pistol range when I have been pelted with hot .45 cartridges flung from 2 lanes over by whatever brand of handgun does it with consistency and precision..

  52. avatar TommyJay says:

    I was once muzzled by a guy with two uncased long guns. (May or may not have had actions open, I didn’t notice.) It was almost worth it to see the RO jump down this guy’s throat.

    On a more contentious point, I kinda think there should be some attempt to segregate the enormously loud shooters. I recall one day at the indoor range when some guy was shooting the pistol from hell. Must have been a short barreled .44 mag +P or something. I was wearing my triple seal silicon ear plugs, in the next lane, shooting a .22 pistol of course. The first couple rounds created a large concussion for my entire rib-cage. The third round actually blew one ear plug half way out of my ear canal. The fourth or fifth round was doing hearing damage. Yeah its a shooting range, but I like being able to hear.

    1. avatar Dave M says:

      At a public range when I still lived in PA a guy was shooting a TC Contender with a foot or more of visible flame (outside, daylight) coming from it. Didn’t shoot while he was firing that accident waiting to happen. Fortunately he decided that he couldn’t take any more abuse & quit. Asked him what it was; .357 Magnum hand loads with COMPRESSED powder charges. Admitted that it was huge mistake. I sure hope he dismantled those things; if some one shot them in a Taurus or Smith it’s hard to tell how far the shrapnel would fly.

      1. avatar Wood says:

        Why do people still do this? If you want to hotrod the .357 mag, you go to the maximum. Over cramming a case with powder sends the pressure through the roof. Hell in a TC use the .30-30.

  53. avatar Your Real Name says:

    Number 3 is bogus. I killed myself last week and nobody seemed to mind.

  54. avatar Phil LA says:

    This won’t make the list, but it was annoying.

    A guy parked his car close too (and behind) the rifle line, then spent his time on the handgun line 100 yds away. No problem, except that every time any one fired a rifle, the concussion set off his car alarm, just feet behind the benches. So obviously, the car alarm was being continually set off for an hour while he was too far out of earshot to notice.

  55. avatar Eddie says:

    #4 call me out for having a loaded holstered gun that I’m not using. It’s not going to jump out and shoot you.

    #5 having a barrel that goes out past your bay with a 45 degree brake blasting my bay.
    I can deal with noise but don’t like eating your hot gases and what not.

  56. avatar Hist_ed says:

    Wow. I’ve been shooting for 20 some odd years and I must have been pretty lucky about range choices. I might jump a little at the indoor range when the guy next to me is shooting a .44 magnum, but I can say I haven’t encountered a single jerk at any range I’ve been to. My only relatively bad experience was with a new shooter who very theatrically would bring a pistol up and then slowly lower it to shoot. He kept bringing it up higher until he started pointing it behind him (still mostly up, but maybe at eleven o’clock if you were looking at him sideways). Politely told that that he should keep it pointed at the big hill in front of him and that was the end of it.
    Mostly great experiences. Took a couple of of friends to an indoor range a few months ago. Was obvious they were new shooters-we had some lengthy discussions as they were shooting. Guy on one side asked me if they wanted to try his .22 rifle, guy on the other side let them shoot his revolver (I only brought semi-auto pistols). Might have been because my guest were young, cute and single, but maybe not.

  57. avatar Adam Selene says:

    #4 Don’t ask to see the NFA paperwork on someone’s gun–even if you are a volunteer range safety officer.

  58. avatar EJQ says:

    We use an indoor range nearby. 25 yards, but people can bring rifles. Two rooms, one for pistols, one for rifles.

    5. Don’t shoot the sprinkler head off. (Has happened, place flooded)

    6. If you must bring your children, too young to shoot, don’t give them five bucks apiece to use at their discretion at the candy vending machine, then ignore them for the rest of the time. The RO’s are not your personal baby sitters, neither are the other customers.

    7. If you must bring your children, old enough, but they won’t be shooting, there are chairs along the back wall. They are old enough to use them while you shoot fifty rounds, Make them use them, instead of peering into others’ gun bags, or stand behind others, while they shoot. There’s a yellow line painted on the floor, they must be behind that.

  59. avatar Adam says:

    3. If you are going to kill yourself, don’t use a gun at all. The last thing we need is another statistic that the gun grabbers can use to “justify” more gun control.

  60. avatar Kaban says:

    * Do not ignore rules of that particular range on premise of your Army/Police/I used to shoot for national IPSC team credentials. Nobody gives a fuck.

    * DO pull out a bottle of beer and take a few swigs. This way, everyone around will either get a treat of watching RO chewing yours, or know the range sucks and it is time to find another.

    * The walls around here are not parts of your personal tactical course, so please, keep your l33t tier 1 ass inside YOUR booth.

    * Bring supplies for your range session. I know it sounds ridiculous, but I’ve seen guys who run around the range asking for black marker, because they’ve had nothing else to put a point of aim on their cool cardboard targets.

    * See that guy shooting his wood-stocked, 6x scoped bolt-action .30x with a sling support? He probably knows that chassis rifle with premium variable-power glass can print groups four time smaller than his gun ever will, so spare the lecture.

  61. My pet peeves are a little milder than these.
    I like to shoot outdoors but I hate outdoor ranges. I don’t want to be on anyone else’s pace. There’s always a guy with three full AR mags and since they don’t allow rapid fire, he’s just popping off rounds two seconds at a time until all three mags are empty. I know I could call cease fire to go tape my targets, but c’mon man. Have some consideration.

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