“And everyone was looking at me”

I was researching an article on running over-pressure .40 ammo in your guns (protip: don’t) I happened on this comment from a user of said OP .40 ammo which reminded me of something I’ve been wanting to write basically forever:

Incredible product. In a range full of .45s, .40s, 9mms, etc, the roar of this cartridge had people turning their heads and coming over to my port to ask what the hell I was shooting. The recoil was just the slightest bit more than standard .40 loads and the accuracy is phenomenal. For a cartridge that delivers more at the muzzle than any other auto-loader out there, you should not hesitate to try this round – thanks

Photo courtesy S&W Forum
Photo courtesy S&W Forum

That photo of course is the result of that sort of behavior, blown up guns and hurt hands. But what I really want to talk about is “That Guy” – every range has him, everyone knows him. He’s the guy at the public range with the SBR Mosin Nagant, or the bump-stock on his AR with the muzzle break. He can’t hit anything, but he’s content to make a considerable volume of loud noises and then wait for everyone to turn and look at him to see what he’s shooting because it’s SO LOUD. Then later he’ll go home and write this post on Arfcom: “Today I had my first rangetrip with the new .443 Loundeboomer AR kit! It was awesome, it shot a fireball 10 feet long, and when I finished two flawless magazines everyone was looking at me.”

I think we can all agree that we hate that guy and he sucks. And unfortunately, there really isn’t anything that can be done about that guy, so long as he’s obeying all the range rules and not causing any safety issues. I mean, there are little things – not paying attention to him is a start, but the internet has removed that as an effective deterrent, because derp will find other derp to commune with online (this is why places like Arfcom and Kotaku exist). That holy communion of derp will develop into a pretty severe “derp black hole” from which no reason or light can escape. But really, what are we to do about that guy?

Mostly, go about your business. I have a special set of ear pro that I use when derp is around, they’re Peltor ear-muffs that have 30 dB reduction. I’ll also keep a bag of earplugs in range bag, and will step off the line if necessary to double-bag my ear protection. Once, I decided that it just wasn’t worth it, and went home to dry fire instead.

That guy. What to do about that guy. Honestly, nothing. Let him have his fun, because as long as he’s not causing a safety issue, it’s all harmless. Then later point and laugh as his silly forum posts about his modified Mosin Nagant.


  1. I’m lucky to have a private range built with two friends on leased land. Everyone else is invitation only. A guy like that would be told to put his hand grenade away, Even if I’m not standing next to him when it goes off, I don’t want to have to help him look for his fingers on the ground or drive him to the hospital.

  2. alternatively, loud guns are giggle worthy. Me and my friends occasionally go out to the desert and spend a day doing stupid stuff, like dual wielding, or magdumping, or using Obrez pistols. its not for public ranges, but its not cool to hate on a guy for just liking noise.

    1. I totally agree that there are times when shooting something ridiculous is fun! I’ve done it myself. But the thing is to be conscientious of others. I was an indoor range a few months back, and this guy was shooting an AR indoors. Right next to him was a dude with small children trying to teach them stuff, and you could see the kids flinch visibly every time tommy tactical lit off his loudenboomer. Mind you, the guy with kids was there first, and there were plenty of open spots further down the line for AR-guy to use.

      1. There are a lot of different handguns chambered for a lot of different cartridges out there. Seems I hear about more blow ups with 40 S&W then all the rest combined. If you want to play with hand loads above SAAMI spec pressure, buy a Ruger Blackhawk.

  3. “That Guy” is the reason Smith & Wesson will no longer sell replacement barrels for their M&P’s. Apparently some jerk posted that you can change from 9mm to .40 just by changing barrels. S&W’s legal department directed their customer service to stop selling all barrels.

    Stupid as stupid does.

  4. I’ve been that guy a couple of times, when I take my 10mm to the range. It’s loud.

    Usually, when they hear something that loud, people (myself included) look over to see what it is. I know if I see a revolver, I figure “magnum” and go back to shooting.

    Different when you’re shooting what looks like a standard 1911 (my 10mm is a Colt Delta Elite). Then they want to know what exactly I’m shooting.

    Oh, and I hit with it. Love that gun.

  5. Those douchebags are most definitely NOT harmless. On a range outing a few years ago I was in the end stall at an indoor range (by choice – away from most other shooters). A gentleman came up to the stall next to me. I stepped back and watched him handle his S&W 686. Seemed safe enough so I continued my shooting. Little did I know that next to me he had unboxed his ported S&W500. As I was reloading mags he aimed, barrel sticking out past the stall wall, and fired. The concussive blast that hit me twice as it reflected off the block wall next to me left me dazed. Despite wearing 30db rated muffs AND foam plugs, I ended up with middle ear damage and ringing that persists to this day.

  6. Re; “AR indoors”. The guy was shooting an AR indoors because the owner(s) of the range invited him to. If they cared about the guy’s kids being comfortable, they wouldn’t allow AR’s.

    If the guy with the kids was serious about getting his kids comfortable shooting, he would take them out in the hills, not to an indoor range.

    I hate indoor ranges and stopped going years ago. Even without AR’s or over loaded 40 S&W’s and no matter what I stuffed in and over my ears, forty-five minutes there would leave me slightly disoriented with a mild headache.

    1. Robbie, first, not everyone lives close enough to a place where they can go shooting outdoors legally.
      Second, some range owners expect shooters to use some intellegence when they pick a lane.

      1. I understand that Joe. I’m not defending the AR shooter either. Just saying the range owner makes the range rules. He could at least designate far end lanes for AR’s and similar.

        Taking out kids or a new girlfriend as new shooters, I’ll drive an hour and a half or two, make a day out of it before I’d take ’em to an indoor. Just me, I hate shooting indoors.

  7. There is a time and place for most all things in life, unfortunately many things should not take place in all places. As has been mentioned here, if you plan to shoot a mega-bomb weapon at an indoor range; please be respectful to those who were there before you and next to you. The least you could do is to notify them of your intentions prior to blasting away. Being a 460V & 432 Pro owner, I know firsthand about repercussion wave. I rarely use these indoors and when I do, it’s usually for minimal amounts of ammo (a couple cylinders). Anytime I go to the range, I take a bay that is empty on either side if possible. I too shake my head at those who walk in to a range where there are 10 bays, 3 or less are occupied and they decide to camp next to you; no matter what they are shooting it seems odd to me. I also try to stay at least 2 or 3 bays from the sidewalls if possible.

    1. Ooops, 632 Pro, not 432. Most people think it’s a 357 Magnum when they hear & feel it; it’s only a .327 Magnum, but it is ported.

  8. This is the same kind of idiot that thinks it is funny to give a new shooter a .500 S&W or similar to try out for the first time.

  9. Amen!!!!!!!! lol People its a freakin GUN.. OMG, lets see. GUNS ARE LOUD and fun to shoot! Anyway. Put your ear plugs in and have a blast. Get over it:)

  10. I know that guy. Quite well. As in, that was me (http://blog.robballen.com/Post/1884/it-was-everything-i-had-hoped-for).

    Now, I assure you I picked the lane furthest away from the kids as possible, but the RO asked me to move closer because my fireball was licking the extinguisher doohickey above me.

    And to be fair, I didn’t realize they were going to be THAT loud. The following times I went out with the Sound & Fury loads I let others know near me that these were kind of noisy. I also offer the same people the opportunity to shoot them, because they are NOT massive recoil rounds. They just have a lot of powder and make a huge popping noise.

    So yes, I do intentionally make reeeeeally loud .357 rounds that have a giant fireball and shoot flat as hell because I enjoy it. I also shoot 10mm which tends to be loud. I’m not really trying to be a dick to anyone either.

    1. I get that you like the flame. Good reason to use Blue Dot. But flat shooting? How important is flat shooting when your target is 30 feet away?

      At ranges where trajectory really mattered, a heavier bullet with better sectional density ahead of W296 or H110 would probably shoot as flat and hit harder. But then you wouldn’t have all that flame.

  11. Well by me there is only a few places you can shoot outdoors and either the range is very short or they have some silly rules. So it is almost all indoor ranges, a few of them allow rifles and one even rents a .50bmg. However at all of the ranges I have ever been to here, they pick the lane for you, not you. Not sure if that is a option at the gun clubs though. I seen derp at all the ranges, and only a handful of them even know about Arfcom. If someone is near me doing something unsafe I say something, if they flip out and keep doing it Ill leave, usually they will say sorry and correct their behavior. Some of them just have not been taught properly. I have gone to the range while someone was shooting and it being the only lane left asked the old vet that was shooting his M-1 if he wanted to swap with us as the rifle cases would probably hit him, he basically told us to piss off and that he was there first. I think he only lasted 2 magazine’s before he packed up and left.

  12. The one time I really appreciated a LOUD firearm. Gent at the local range was plinking with a couple of new A%-15 Clones when two of the local FUDDS approached him and told that the Assault Weapon he was firing was not appreciated. There hunt club had all come to the range to, pretty much, go googoo over each other new bolt guns. Gent smiles and say he will put up the evil black rifles and get his bolt gun to plink with. Gent retrieves a Mosin M-44 from his truck with an AK-74 style muzzle brake fitted. You know the kind with the BIG side ports. After about 4 rounds of 54R Yellow Tip, FUDDS say, to hell with it, pack up and leave. Us other “Black Gunners” go back to plinking with our naughty rifles.

  13. What a bunch of whiners on both sides of the argument…
    “It’s OK.”
    “It’s not OK.”
    “He wasn’t being unsafe.”
    “One time next to me, it was really loud.”

    The “It’s too loud” crowd:
    These are the same people who complain about getting splashed in the pool.
    If you go to a gun range, expect loud noises. You have to deal with them. Buy a nice set of ear protection with electronic noise canceling and amplification capabilities. If it’s still too loud, go home.

    The rest of you:
    Don’t reply. Don’t you realize you’re justifying that it’s OK to make loud noises, sometimes just for the sake of it being loud, at the GUN RANGE! You don’t have to justify those actions.

  14. I was nudged into joining a private range after being subjected to the concussive blasts from a neighboring stall’s elephant gun. I had taken my son with me to get in some range time and we wound up packing up after a few rounds. We both had in ear and over ear protection and it was still causing us physical pain each time he fired. I feel bad for the guys with with those guns. Most of them don’t mean to cause the pain that they do. But pain it was. My ears still ring from it.

  15. It was not my fault and there was very little I could do about it. I was not trying to make a scene. When I woke from my coma, the OCP design team had replaced most of my body with cyborg parts and the Auto 9 was my assigned weapon. In hindsight, I could have reduced the attention given to me by not saying “dead or alive, you are coming with me”.

  16. Shooting combat course one time @ Hunt. Bch . Police Range. Beginner then had S & W Mod 39 pistol. Guess he liked Starstky & Hutch . Told me he reloaded for it and showed me a fired case. You couldn’t see or tell where the case ended and the primer pocket began. I told him; “Those reloads are way to over pressure for that pistol”. He ask why, I said to look at the case and see how the case and primer are squeshed together almost into one piece. He shrugged it off and walked away. Some time passed and I ask where “That guy Was”– some one who knew him said slide blew off gun and took off part of his cheek and cheek bone. Well, I said; live and learn.

  17. Caleb February 18, 2014 at 06:23

    You mean the jerk Fudds who wanted to chase the AR15 guys off the range? The “fellow shooters” who would likely sell out the AR15 guys in a heartbeat, and probably spend less time and ammo on teh range all year than teh AR15 guys do in one weekend?

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