Easy Tips For Your First Time At The Shooting Range
If you’ve never been to a shooting range, your first time can be a little intimidating. As is the case with any new experience, the unknown is sometimes scary so we’ve compiled a few tips to make this as stress-free as possible:
Whether you’re at the shooting range or simply cleaning your firearms, safety is always priority number one. Having some firearm knowledge is valuable but at the very least you should be aware of 4 fundamental rules for safe gun handling:
- The gun is ALWAYS loaded – period! Never assume otherwise and ALWAYS check for yourself especially if someone is handing a gun off to you.
- ALWAYS keep the gun pointed in a safe direction, downrange. In other words, only aim it at the target if you’re on the range’s firing line, and keep it holstered everywhere else.
- ALWAYS keep your finger off the trigger until you’re ready to shoot. Your trigger finger is your primary safety device. Unless you’re aiming at your target, your finger should never be
touching the trigger.
- ALWAYS be sure of your target, and what lies beyond it. Ensure that there’s a sufficient backstop because that paper target isn’t going to stop that bullet.
When attending a shooting range for the first time, it’s in your best interest to bring along a friend with experience especially if they are familiar with the specific range in which you are attending, you can relax and learn from them, not to mention a day at the range with some friends is a lot more fun.
Police Your Booth
The NRA calls gun range etiquette “a blend of common sense, courtesy, and safety.” Treat the range as your home away from home. Take down your old targets, pick up or sweep the brass casings that are on the floor in and near your shooting lane, throw away trash, and return bench rests or other equipment to their original position. The person who uses that booth next will greatly appreciate it.
And if cleanliness is next to godliness, make sure you wash your hands and face when you’re done shooting. Cool water and soap will help remove lead and gunpowder residue.
By following the rules, commands and basic etiquette, your first time to the shooting range is sure to be a safe and successful experience.
Not Sure What To Bring?
Are you unsure of what to pack in your bag for the first time at the range? First and foremost, you’re going to want to find a quality range bag that you can keep all your gear in, but we’ve created a short list of key items to bring in your bag on range day.