Don’t Get Kicked Off the Range [Range Etiquette]
Please, don’t be that guy. You know the one; the dude that’s whipping the barrel around as if it were no more harmless than a broom stick, his finger still on the trigger after firing down range (sometimes before), and you don’t want to take the chance on whether or not he still has an unfired round in the chamber. This unknowing fellow lacks what is called range etiquette, so to avoid getting kicked off the range for good, proper protocol will be listed here!
Remember, safety first! Nothing ever comes before safety when handling deadly weapons, and a very cautious and wary attitude must be used every moment at the range. Many ranges will even have a Range Master or Range Safety Officer (RSO) on duty to enforce all safety measures and keep the range running efficiently. Also remember the three most important points on firearm safety: always keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot; always point the gun in a safe direction (pointed up, if not pointed towards the range); always have the firearm unloaded until you are ready to shoot. As an additional rule when handling a firearm in any situation, always treat the firearm as if it is loaded.
Make sure you present yourself to the RSO on duty and let them know if you are new to shooting. If you are new to the range, make sure to ask the RSO what the range commands are on their range. Some of the most common commands are, “range is hot,” “eye and ear protection on,” “commence fire,” and “ceasefire.” Make sure you learn what the commands are at your range and what they all mean. Always listen to what the RSO says, and be prepared to stop firing as soon as any person at the range calls a ceasefire.
Of course, there are some other practices of common courtesy when at the range. Make sure to clean up your area with all immediate casings and leave the range cleaner than how you found it. Don’t grab any firearm that isn’t yours without asking first, and don’t bother any shooters actively firing down range. Bothering active shooters is not only annoying, but can be a potential safety hazard!
Remember, shooting at the range is supposed to be fun! Following the rules and etiquette means that you can have fun at the range time and time again!