Testing your skills at the gun range can be a lot of fun. However, if you are new to using firearms, visiting a shooting gallery can be intimidating. You have to follow several safety rules when at the firing range, and it can be a lot to learn. Whether you are a seasoned gun owner or want to shoot for fun with friends, it's good to know some essential gun range tips before going to hone in your skills.
1. Always follow the Four Rules of Firearm Safety.
- All guns are always loaded.
- Never point the gun at anything you are not willing to destroy.
- Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on the target and you have made the decision to shoot.
- Be sure of your target and what is beyond it.
2. Take a gun safety class. While most ranges give a quick rundown before you shoot, it's a good idea to take a safety class, especially if you are new to using firearms. A safety course will help you learn the basics of gun safety and improve your shooting mechanics.
3. Bring your gun unloaded and in a case. Many range patrons choose to practice with their firearms. If you decide to bring your gun, bring it unloaded, and in some form of casing. Ranges have strong policies against individuals who come with a loaded or uncased firearm.
4. Always listen to the range master. The range master is the individual in charge of all activity across the firing area. This person's top priority is to keep everyone as safe as possible. If the range master tells you to do something, do it without question.
5. Bring well-fitting eye and ear protection. Eye and ear protection is essential for every person in the firing range. Shooting eyewear will protect your eyes from being hit by shell casings, ammunition particles or other fragmentation that might occur. Hearing protection will keep your ears comfortable from the loud gunfire and protect you from permanent hearing loss.
6. Wear appropriate clothing for the range. When using a firearm, you want to be as protected as possible. Make sure to wear shirts with a high-cut, fitted collar to keep any hot bullet casings from entering your shirt and burning your torso. Close-toed shoes are recommended to avoid the same problem for your feet.
7. Always ask for help if you need it. The staff at any reputable firearms range will be helpful and won't belittle your questions. It's their job to help keep you and the other patrons safe. Trust us; they want to help you before an accident occurs, rather than after. If you can, try to go with someone who has experience with firearms.
Whether you are shooting for the first time or the 50th, practicing gun range safety and etiquette is always a must.
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