User Malfunction

Here are some common reasons people ask range staff to fix their guns (or other miscellaneous range items), and what the range staff is actually thinking when they do:

“It’s shooting low and left, I need to adjust my sights.”
No you don’t.  You need to stop slapping the trigger and flinching at every shot.  Here’s a .22.

“It’s all over the paper, your ammo sucks.”
No it doesn’t.  The factory Winchester I just sold you is fine.  If you had listened to the range officer that just recommended you not use teacup Hollywood weaver while leaning backwards and rapid firing “the ammo” would be a lot more accurate.

“The gun is jamming a lot, you need to clean your disgusting rental guns.”
No I don’t.  I do that every week.  You need to stop limp-wristing my rental gun so the slide can cycle correctly.  Here’s a .22.

“The rifle is hitting low, your scope is way off.”
No it’s not.  Stop trying to shoot a .223 with a scope at a 10 yard target.  Move your target out to 25 yards and it will hit spot on.

“The rifle is hitting high, your scope is way off.”
#@$*%& I wish people would stop adjusting the sights on the rental guns!

“Your gun bit me, now I’m bleeding.”
Gee, you mean you received slide bite from wrapping your support thumb behind the beavertail like I just told you not to?

“I’ve put 50 rounds through my 1911 to break it in and it’s still jamming.  You sold me a bad gun!”
No we didn’t.  Shoot it more.  If you didn’t have the patience to wait for the tolerances to loosen up a bit you should have bought a polymer gun.

“I can’t hit a T2, I need a larger target.”
No you don’t.  Shoot your target at 3 yards instead of 10.  Here’s a .22.

“I’ve put 300 rounds through my Taurus and it’s always runs fine!  You’re just telling people to try the SW M&P because it costs more!”
First of all, stop putting SW before M&P, either just say Smith & Wesson or assume I work at a gun range and know what an M&P is.  Second of all… No, forget it, I’m not talking to you anymore.


  1. Gee, you mean you received slide bite…


    I always gave them just the one warning; I reckoned if they kept it up, it would become a self-correcting problem. 😉

    1. Except… a lot of them get away with it. They just get a grip low enough to avoid the slide. And then of course the recoil has a lot more leverage, and shooting becomes a really unpleasant experience. Not painful, but still not fun.

      I tell them to do it right for their own safety, but it’s really advertising. If you do it right, you have more fun. If you have more fun, you’re more likely to come back, buy more ammo, a gun, and vote the same way I do when anti-gun bills come up.

      1. True, and if I was actually spending time on the range, I’d usually ask politely if they wouldn’t mind a pointer or two.

        But that’s different than just cutting through the range on the way from the office to gunsmithing and tossing a “Watch that thumb!” over your shoulder as you go.

  2. Putting their support hand in front of the cylinder of the .357 was our self correcting problem.

  3. That is SO funny. It’s the first time I’ve seen in print almost verbatim what I am everyday telling shooters on the range!

  4. I had my first hint something was wrong at Bullseye when they handed me a rental gun and said “May not function properly, wee haven’t cleaned it in a while…”

  5. Oh, I have to correct what I said above, I meant to say that it’s what I HEAR from shooters on the range everyday. And I do give them some of the same responses 🙂

  6. *ring *ring *ring

    Me: Hello?

    Customer: You sold me a gun and it is not extracting the rounds.

    Me: How many rounds have you fired through it?

    Customer: Fired it? Oh no, I haven’t shot any rounds through it yet. I’m just operating it manually in my living room and it won’t extract the rounds.

    Me: *facepalm* I would be more than happy to look at it, but I have a hunch that it will work once it is under normal operating conditions.

  7. I think all the scopes need to be taken off the rifles! No optics other than eyeballs are necessary for distances 100 meters or less.

  8. Now I get it.

    I have wondered for years why the staff at the local gun shops have had such poor customer service skills.
    Too many new gun customers.

  9. This would make a great cartton vid. Shelley if you put together a few more of these, you could do an video!

  10. And what we’re thinking is:
    “Gee this chick behind the counter with the gun on her waist is kinda hot, maybe I should come up with an excuse to talk to her later”

    then later….

    “Um, Hi. Yeah, I just bought this SW M&P .40 Gauge can you help me with my grip?”

  11. ““It’s shooting low and left, I need to adjust my sights.””

    What’s funny about this is that I just ran into this with my Glock 26 the other day. I’ve been using my 1911 and 625JM primarily for the last few months. So when I was grouping about 4″ left with the Glock @15 yards, I initially thought I had gotten really sloppy with the long trigger…except I don’t have the same problem with the 625JM.

    After I shot it from a rest, and a friend did the same, it became obvious that the rear sight had drifted somehow.

    But it’s generally a safe bet to start off in those cases by assuming you’re doing something wrong.

  12. Hi Shelley Rae: Love your gun blog. This one really rang true: people blaming their equipment, instead of improving their skill level. The same thing happens in Information Technology (IT) support: people blame the computer, the software or the website, instead of thinking it through and coming up with their own solutions. Keep up the good blogging.

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