For someone who has not held a gun before, sometimes it can be intimidating to get into a shooting range. The worst can be when you do not know the general etiquette when it comes to a shooting range. Well, the first experiences are always daunting for most people, so make sure to learn more from this guide. We get to share with you some of the important tips you should always know before you can go to the shooting range.
With these tips at the back of your mind, you will be in a position to know how well to adapt to the new shooting environment. Let us get right into it.
- Always listen to the range safety officer (RSO)
This is your first time at the shooting range, so the chances of knowing all the rules are slim. The RSO is in charge of the safety while at the range, so you might want to listen to what he says all the time. The office is your friend and always available to help whenever possible. This means that if you have any questions about how to behave while at the range, then he would advise you accordingly. With the rules in mind, you would know how to keep yourself safe and learn more in an environment where multiple people are shooting each time.
- Have your range bag packed
You will always need a gun range bag with you or else how are you going to carry your gear? You need to find a durable bag, as it would often be carrying a lot of heavy stuff for the shooting range depending on the number of accessories that you have. You could use a sports duffel bag or a specially made range bag for the shooting range activity.
You are likely to have 2 pistols at most for a beginner, eyes and ears protection, 2 boxes o ammo, masking tape, a multi-tool, notepad, pen, and a towel or rag. You can always check out various reviews on the bag you want to buy before getting one.
- Have a ball cap ready
Well, a ball cap is one accessory you will always find shooters wearing at the range. Some would have wondered why this is always the case. For someone who is shooting a semi-auto pistol or a rifle, the ejected brass might bounce more before settling on the ground. Sometimes it might bounce towards your face and that is something you do not want to experience on your face. With the ball cap on your head, it would help in deflecting it to other places.
The worst is when you try to dodge the hot brass while at the same time shooting at a target.
- Always stick to your lane
Each shooter would be assigned a lane where they get to practice the shooting. Make sure to walk into the lane, hang the target and start unpacking the ammo and gun. It is possible to have a range safety officer approaching where you are to see whether you are following the basic safety rules of the range. Where you are not sure, ask him rather than asking another beginner in the next lane.
- Always keep the gun pointed in the safe space
As part of safety, you need to keep the gun pointed in the safe space even when not shooting. The safe space, in this case, would be pointing downrange. Still, when we say downrange, it has to be straight and not pointing up or down. You should also keep the finger off the trigger until you are ready to start shooting as part of safety. You will only get to start shooting when you have focused on the target in front of you.
- Clean up after shooting
It is crucial that you get to clean after you are done with the shooting. During the time of the shooting, you would get brass all over your shooting lane. You might want to clean up that once you are done with the shooting. The RSO might do it for you or give you directions on how to do so. Whenever you are not sure, always ask to get directions on how to clean up your area.
- Always record the number of rounds fired
If you want to know that you are getting better at shooting, then you have to consider making some recordings. Take down the number of rounds you have fired for the day and how many have hit the target. It is also not just about knowing your stats but help in scheduling when to buy the next box of ammo and also clean the gun. Having a clean gun is always important so that it can keep firing correctly.
- Let the barrel cool
By the time you have shot 300 rounds through the gun, the barrel will be quite hot for you to just pack the weapon at that time. It is advisable to give it a few minutes for it to cool before packing it in the range bag. You could spend your time watching the other shooters or having a chat with the RSO to learn more about the safety rules while at the range since you are still new.
- Wipe down the gear
It is important to maintain cleanliness when it comes to handling your gun and magazines. This is where the work of the towel or rag comes in. These two will have gunpowder, so the best way would be wiping them before storing them in the bag.
- Wash your hands and face
You should also clean up after the shooting activity. Just washing the face and hands should be enough, as you will be having visible gunpowder on these body parts. Just using cold water should be sufficient to remove the gunpowder residue easily.
If you are new to a shooting range, you now know some of the things you have to always consider. The list does not stop there as some of the things you will have to learn them as you continue with your shooting at the range. Always listen to the safety officers and you should be fine.
Roy, Hunter and Survivalist
Thanks for stopping by to learn more about hunting and firearms. I am a dedicated and a full time firearm author, editor and blog writer on hunting. Keep on reading my articles and blogs to get the useful tips and guides important for hunting and firearms. Come back more often to my website to update yourself on the best new hunting and firearm tips.
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