Monday, March 9, 2009

Range Safety Rant

Range Safety, Etiquette, and General Firearms Safety

So, out of a range trip, how much time do you spend actually lining up the sights and pressing the trigger? Five percent maybe? So how do you handle your gun the other 95% of the time? That is what differentiates shooters from a person with a gun!

I don't care if you can shoot a 1000yd group that you can cover with you hand or can shoot 2 shots into 20 targets in 5 seconds and get perfect hits on each target, if you step away from the bench and point your muzzle at another person YOU ARE A GOOBER. The rules for gun safety apply all the time and unfortunately, common sense has become all to uncommon.

You do not handle your gun to change mags so you can top off the mag in your gun while standing around behind the firing line. While you may keep you finger off the trigger and have the gun pointed at the dirt near your feet and the gun is being used on the range so it is loaded, you still do not do this. If people are down range of you, even if you are on the firing line, you do not handle your gun. Even if it is "unloaded"!

You know what kind of gun most people are shot with accidentally? An UNLOADED one. Famous last words of "It's OK, it's unloaded" are all too often followed by a very load bang. Just as you should know what condition your gun is in at all times. If you "unloaded it, you should be sure that you cleared the chamber as well as dropped the mag. While that is common sense, it happens all the time and again leads to the gun going bang when it shouldn't.

If you got a new gun and want to show off how big your caliber is, do it on the line or at a safety area for handling guns. Don't just whip it out in the parking lot or behind the line thinking "it's OK, it's unloaded"! IT IS MOST CERTAINLY NOT OK!


No, I wasn't shot at class this weekend and no, no one else was. I did get to see a couple of muzzles and corrected improper/unsafe behavior. Hopefully lessons learned and I will never have to worry about these people again.

And a note for instructors and other range goers, DO NOT PANIC when something like this occurs. If you scream, jump, run or otherwise do something to startle the offending armed person, they may very well jerk the trigger in panic. Calmly, approach the problem quickly and get the gun into a safe position and walk the offending gun holder to a safe area and explain the error of their ways and that you do not appreciate seeing the muzzle of their gun. You may add that "If you show me yours, I'll show you mine" does apply in this situation and you would have been perfectly justified in pulling your loaded gun and taking aim at them while diving for cover. If they do not take the correction well, invite them to leave the range or leave yourself. It is not worth your life to spend more time on the range with them.


  1. One can never recite the range rules enough. Been taking that to heart. Both Alex and I really enjoyed the classes last weekend! Thanks for doing a great job!

  2. My take on the same: