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Range Safety & Etiquette, Part II

Range Safety & Etiquette, Part II

Last week, we covered some of the basics of range safety and etiquette. However, that's not the end of the story. There are a number of additional common sense rules which, though bearing but indirectly on safety, nonetheless promote mutual courtesy at the range.

  • Do not handle any firearm while other shooters are downrange checking or changing targets. This includes cleaning, adjusting sights, moving the gun on the rest, etc.
  • Do not handle any other shooter's gun, ammunition and/or equipment without his or her permission.
  • Be aware of the firing cadence of the shooters next to you and try to avoid firing simultaneously with them.
  • Avoid starting up unnecessary conversations with other shooters while they are firing, particularly if they are sighting-in, testing loads or engaged in some other activity that requires concentration.
  • Police up all your brass, targets, empty ammunition boxes and other trash.
  • Do not pick up another shooter's brass; he or she may intend to use it for reloading. 
  • Do not engage in boisterous, loud or distracting behavior that might annoy other shooters.

We've also recently discussed hangfires and misfires. When a suspected hangfire or misfire occurs at the range, the shooter should: 

  • Keep the gun pointed downrange or in a safe direction.
  • Wait at least 60 seconds before opening the action on a modern cartridge firearm and two minutes with a muzzleloader, in case the problem is a hangfire.
  • Raise the non-shooting hand to notify any range personnel of a problem and to summon their assistance. 

When a suspected squib load occurs at the range, the shooter should: 

  • Stop firing immediately.
  • Keep the gun pointed downrange or in a safe direction.
  • Raise the non-shooting hand to notify any range personnel of a problem and to summon their assistance.
  • Unload the gun and make sure the chamber is empty.
  • Insert a cleaning rod down the bore from the chamber end, if possible, to make sure there is no bullet lodged in the bore.

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