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Thread: Some observations from a local range this weekend

  1. #1
    Super Moderator LRRPF52's Avatar
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    Some observations from a local range this weekend

    Aside from a few muzzle sweeps of everyone, guns pointed to the rear from the firing line, and people ignoring posted range procedures for bringing guns onto the range (keep it cased, place it down at the position with the gun pointing downrange, remove from case, remove any magazines, open action and show clear), there were several AR's with mechanical problems induced during assembly.

    If you are having a mechanical problem with your firearm....

    ALWAYS keep the firearm pointed in a safe direction.

    If hot brass flies down into your shirt, jacket, bra, or wife beater...

    ALWAYS keep the firearm pointed in a safe direction.

    I saw the brass go down a scantily clad girl's shirt in the summer, and prepared to hit the deck before the impending 270 degree muzzle sweep that usually accompanies those incidents.
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    Warrior danm's Avatar
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    Great reminders, and thanks for the visual!

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    Warrior Savage Shooter's Avatar
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    I am a Safety Officer for some of our IDPA and Glock matches, where we have very experienced pistol shooters and sometimes even these guys inadvertently are pointing loaded weapons in directions away from the safe backstops. Clearing jams is a big problem for many shooters as the barrels are waved about in the air, well above backstop level. It really takes focus and discipline to not make these mistakes. If guys who shoot dozens of matches and fire thousands of rounds a year can make them, the newbies surely are going to and it's up to all of us fellow shooters to help remind and train them (and be appreciative when someone points out our safety mistakes as well.)
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    Guidance and counseling from rangemasters is critical for both safety and for enjoyable shooting experience. The enjoyability includes tips on clearing and preventing misfires snd jams, sight adjustments, and so on.

    At the same time the Rangemaster and RSO need to be masters of tact and diplomacy. I have seen too many use verbal abuse and intimidation to enforce safety procedures. The abuse frequently corrected the immediate problem but the range board became curious about low attendance numbers.

    The board subsequently instituted corrrective actions with both personnel and procedures. The good news for me is that the range is more pleasant and is even more safe. The bad news is the numbers are up and the range is more crowded -- even to the point of waiting lines on week days!
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    Guys:

    Sure enough -- everything posted here has been observed by us over the years. And at some time during our shooting careers we too did something unsafe with a firearm.

    So, what is the solution? "Keep it pointed down range" as my buddy LRRP52 said is correct but you can repeat this ten thousand times to someone and they probably won't do it because they never trained themselves how to do the right things at the right times.

    And here is how mental skills can be of value.

    Joe stated something of immense importance and that is how the environment can have an effect on safety procedures. It wasn't his imagination that things were safer. And they were made safer by changing the environment.

    So, how do you guys go about training yourselves to take the right actions when handling firearms?

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    Moderator bwaites's Avatar
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    It has to be constant effort, both unconscious and conscious. Mistakes will happen to the best of shooters, but if at least one of the 4 rules is followed each time, no one will get hurt.

    I try to make it a thought process every time I pick up a weapon. Some are easier than others.
    ”You seek escape from pain. We seek the achievement of happiness. You exist for the sake of avoiding punishment. We exist for the sake of earning rewards. Threats will not make us function; fear is not our incentive. It is not death that we wish to avoid, but life that we wish to live.” - John Galt

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    Warrior Savage Shooter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LR1955 View Post

    So, how do you guys go about training yourselves to take the right actions when handling firearms?
    I practice dry firing in my home (occasionally with a rifle using snap caps), but more often with Laserlyte's "blue gun" and laser activated electronic targets. I move them around my living room and practice from 3 ft to 7 yards. I try to consciously keep my gun pointed at the floor when I am not on target, especially when moving from one spot in my house to another. This way, I am ingraining the thought "keep the gun pointed in a safe direction" (which is the corollary to "keep it pointed down range" since, when out hunting or practicing tactical shooting, there isn't always a "downrange".

  8. #8
    Super Moderator LRRPF52's Avatar
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    I think one of the best things we can do is to teach from an early age. Every time I see the opportunity, where kids are running around with toy guns, I take the time to show them the basic NRA firearms safety rules.

    That way they can get into the habit of behaving responsibly with firearms, and not pointing them at people unless it's an organized and safe activity agreed to by the participants.

    Any time we are involved in a shooting activity, we should start with a safety briefing, read the range rules, and go over them carefully, rather than doing the guy thing where...we already know it all, can't be told.
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    Warrior TropicalVibe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LRRPF52 View Post
    I think one of the best things we can do is to teach from an early age. Every time I see the opportunity, where kids are running around with toy guns, I take the time to show them the basic NRA firearms safety rules.

    That way they can get into the habit of behaving responsibly with firearms, and not pointing them at people unless it's an organized and safe activity agreed to by the participants.

    Any time we are involved in a shooting activity, we should start with a safety briefing, read the range rules, and go over them carefully, rather than doing the guy thing where...we already know it all, can't be told.
    This is great advice! I am often asked by friends and family to teach their kids how to shoot. I ALWAYS tell them that shooting DOES NOT happen until they can demonstrate safety. We start with toy guns, then work our way up to air soft and pellet guns. If there is ever a rule violation, we stop and review the 4 rules. I can't tell you how many times I have heard a kid say, "it's only a toy".

    I have taught my kids that if you are at someones house and you see a gun laying around, immediately tell an adult. I teach every child and teen that come in my house, the same rule.
    Last edited by TropicalVibe; 12-02-2015 at 09:19 PM.

  10. #10
    Bloodstained GM2's Avatar
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    Growing up my dad ran the hunter ed course every year (he was one of the two conservation wardens for the county). Every day he would have the kids handle empty .22 rifles (after going through the safety rules) and get used to holding them and moving around with them pointed in a safe direction. He would watch everyone and correct what he saw and the kids would correct each other as well. He would end the course with a range and field day working on tracking, basic problem like what to do if an animal you shoot crossed onto private land and hunter ethics.

  11. #11
    Bloodstained
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    As I read all of these safety issues I chuckle a little in side. No because they are funny ,because that are not.
    But because of how I was trained to shoot. Let me start by saying I had the first rifle in my had at the age of 5 under strict supervision of. My Grandfather may he RIP, he was a WWII Mraine and a 30 year retired Cop. I learned quickly that being studied ( careless with a firearm ) equals pain. Your finger on the trigger when not on target and ready to shoot got you a flick on the. Ack of your trivet had from him. The muzzle of the gun any other then in then on target was follow by a sharp smack to the back of he head. And so on. But what i did learn and learn well.

  12. #12
    Super Moderator LRRPF52's Avatar
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    When I went to a local range last weekend, I was pleasantly surprised to not see any safety violations.

    It was well-run, with consistent observation and guidance from the RSOs.

    The biggest problem for them is if I get talking with them when they need to be running the range.

    They also had an end-of-day range debrief with the manager of the range, who went over procedures and how to deal with various circumstances that might arise.

    There is hope.
    Last edited by LRRPF52; 04-10-2017 at 08:12 PM.
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    Warrior Sticks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ten Ring View Post
    As I read all of these safety issues I chuckle a little in side. No because they are funny ,because that are not.
    But because of how I was trained to shoot. Let me start by saying I had the first rifle in my had at the age of 5 under strict supervision of. My Grandfather may he RIP, he was a WWII Mraine and a 30 year retired Cop. I learned quickly that being studied ( careless with a firearm ) equals pain. Your finger on the trigger when not on target and ready to shoot got you a flick on the. Ack of your trivet had from him. The muzzle of the gun any other then in then on target was follow by a sharp smack to the back of he head. And so on. But what i did learn and learn well.
    Yup. Pain reinforced discipline is a very effective teaching tool for humans. Especially young ones. Shame we have drifted away from that.
    Sticks

    Grasseater // Grass~eat~er noun, often attributive \ˈgras-ē-tər\
    A person who is incapable of independent thought; a person who is herd animal-like in behavior; one who cannot distinguish between right and wrong; a foolish person.
    See also Sheep

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    Agreed. How safe are public ranges? Does anyone know of any evidence showing that rages with safety officers are safer than ranges without them? Are public ranges safer than private ones? Does risk go up with any specific factors-number of shooters or time of day? We try and do our shooting when my family is the only ones shooting on a private range

  15. #15
    Warrior Sticks's Avatar
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    It's a different kind of risk at public ranges w/o safety officers - READ BLM Land.

    Given most of the controlled public ranges around here are strict to the extreme side, I would presume that you would be safer than w/o safety officers - regardless of the number of patrons.
    Sticks

    Grasseater // Grass~eat~er noun, often attributive \ˈgras-ē-tər\
    A person who is incapable of independent thought; a person who is herd animal-like in behavior; one who cannot distinguish between right and wrong; a foolish person.
    See also Sheep

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