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Basic Shooting Range Etiquette

There aren’t many things as enjoyable as strapping on your holster with your favorite pistol and grabbing your rifle with its new leather sling and heading to the shooting range. There are standard safety procedures regarding firearms and the following safety and operational policies are in effect at most shooting ranges. It is incumbent upon you to read and follow the local rules that are in effect at your particular shooting range. Most shooting ranges have rules that are for your safety and are very strict about the adherence to those rules. So please check with the Range Master for local rules and etiquette.

Cooperation is expected by all shooters.

The Range Master usually has the final say in all disputes regarding range operations. This rule is in effect for the safety of all concerned and I have found most Range Masters to be fair and easy to work with. We all must be willing to work with the people in charge of our safety and well being. Ear and eye protection are required of all shooters and spectators at the firing line at all times (except during cease fires).This is jut common sense! When anyone is shooting either on a range or just plinking out on a ranch you will later appreciate your decision to take this very important step in protecting your sight and hearing. Anyone on the firing line should understand that during normal shooting situations your hearing is at risk. Always wear ear and eye protection.When anyone wishes to go down range, they must first call a cease fire among those shooters using that range.

Again, this is a common sense rule and should be observed by all on the firing line. When a cease fire is requested it then must be OK’d by the Range Master. He then will make the call for the cease fire.

The line is to be made safe before anyone goes down range to service targets. Prior to ANYONE proceeding beyond the firing line the Range Master must declare the line to be safe! Do not go beyond the firing line until this declaration is made. A safe line is usually a result of, but not limited to, the following steps.

All firearms are to be cleared and benched when anyone is beyond the firing line. For rifles: The bolt action, lever action or receiver is opened, open bolt indicator is placed in chamber, the magazine is emptied of any ammunition (if attached) or removed (if detachable), and the rifle is either set upon a table or placed in a gun rack.

For pistols: The action is opened by opening the loading gate (single action), positioning the empty cylinder open (double action), or slide back (self loading), the magazine is emptied of any ammunition (if attached) or removed (if detachable), and the pistol placed on a table or bench. There is no handling of firearms permitted when anyone is beyond the firing line. If anyone observes an unsafe situation they are to immediately declare a cease fire!

The cease fire command is to be obeyed by all shooters on that specific range—immediately. The unsafe situation is to be addressed and rectified before any gun handling or firing continues.

All shooting shall be done from the firing line.

Do not go beyond the firing line to discharge firearms! This is allowed only during regular scheduled match competitions. Don't take the presence of spent brass beyond the firing line as an invitation to venture down range to shoot.

Shoot only at authorized targets that are down range.
Every target on the range is not yours! In most cases you will be assigned certain targets. Shoot only at those targets. It is not good shooting etiquette to shoot other people’s targets. If you can’t resist, you’d be better off just leaving your handgun in its holster!

Shoot only at right angles to the target.
Shooting at targets that are not at right angles to you will increase the chance of ricochet. That means there can be uncontrolled projectiles. Not a good recipe!

Going to a shooting range can be a time of fun and excitement for you and your family – a good excuse to show off your new handmade leather holster. The rules at the ranges are very important and vital to everyone’s safety. With the help of all those involved, shooting ranges can be as safe as any hobby you can become involved with. So observe all the range’s rules and follow them for the most enjoyable time possible.

Billy Willis http://www.lonestarholsters.com

Source: www.isnare.com