Gun Range Courtesy

As someone who frequents the range as both staff and shooter I have noticed certain trends of not only what is expected but what is frequently missed that is annoying to those around you or the staff.  Here’s a list of things to keep in mind when you hit the range:

Watch what you’re shooting and what the person next to you has.  If you’ve brought your Desert Eagle and SCAR today don’t set up next to the woman teaching her daughter to shoot with a little .22, that’s just not nice, go to the other end of the bay if you can.  At the same time, if you’re teaching your daughter how to shoot don’t set up next to the guy playing with a Saiga that has a case of .223 on the back bench, that’s just asking for trouble.

Remember that paper isn’t bulletproof, your rounds keep going after they hit the target.  This means be aware that you’re hitting the berm.  Not the floor, not the ceiling, not the wall, not the poles and not the target of the person next to you.

Pay attention to where your brass is going.  There is always a chance that your brass is flying into the face of the person next to you.  If you need to take half a step back take half a step back.  On the same note, I frequently pop my head into the booth next to me to say “Excuse me, sir, could you please move back just a bit, your brass is flying straight into my face.” and have never encountered a problem doing so.

If someone is on the range obviously trying to practice don’t interrupt them.  If someone is there to talk to people and is chatting it up with the range staff or other shooters they are fair game, but if someone is clearly focused on what they’re doing they don’t need three different interruptions to help them.  The same thing goes for range staff who are out shooting on the range, a lot of time they are either on their lunch break or their day off and are probably struggling to avoid having to work during that unpaid time slot as it is, unless it’s a matter of safety let them shoot then bug them afterward.

Read the range’s rules.  Every range’s rules.  For some people it’s not even a matter of knowing the rules, but it is a matter of respect toward the range staff.  Scanning through as a reminder never hurt anyone and it will make the range officer’s day to see someone who not only knows what they’re doing but actually cares about how their range handles things.

It’s really not difficult to be considered an impressively well mannered customer or a perfectly likable range attendee.  Just respect those around you, think about what annoys you and then don’t do it to other people.  All of what I’ve just said may seem like common sense to some, but these are things that a lot of people don’t think about.


  1. Few thing as annoying as the guy shooting next to you whose brass is landing just *perfectly* into your face, goggles, head, what have you.

    Revolvers are so much more polite. 😉

  2. This is more for outdoor private club ranges. One membership card means you get to use one lane. Not setting up 8 guns on 8 different lanes and taking up the whole range.

  3. Don’t know if they still import it or not but don’t shoot Israeli Ammo indoors, they used to load a copperwashed steel bullet that often bounced right back in indoor ranges, i used to shoot at one that had a chip in the bullet resistant glass in the back of the bay, thanks to a guy shooting 9mm Israeli ammo there.
    Luckily the shooter was by himself and not hit, the owner was sitting at the counter and said he was hearing a “tick” sound a second or so after each shot, took him a few minutes to figure out what was going on!

    Scary stuff when your bullets start coming back!

  4. I’ve spent my fair share of time working as an RO at a busy commercial range and I have to say that this is spot-on. If I could add something, it would be this: Listen to the RO. If they tell you to do something, it’s probably because there is some sort of safety issue. They (normally) aren’t trying to be dicks.

  5. As another RO working at a range, let me add another neat: Clean up after yourself! Nothing shows your true colors as a complete jackwagon like leaving a mountain of brass on the floor, your shot to hell target hanging at 12.5 yards, and all the lights on.

  6. what about outdoor range targets? every so often I get someone who throws a few rounds at my assortment of targets for plinking. minor annoyance when they knock down a bottle or two, but my .22 spinners have 5.56 holes in some of the discs…..

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