If you are visiting the shooting range for the first time, you shouldn’t get intimidated; instead, you should strive to enjoy your day of shooting. But there is no doubt that visiting the shooting range for the first time can be quite scary, but it shouldn’t have to be.
Indoor shooting ranges are generally made for safe shooting practice for shooters. In addition to that, it is an ideal place for beginner shooters to learn more about, safe, responsible shooting. By learning how shooting ranges work and knowing what is required of you, you can easily put your anxiety to rest.
In this article, we discuss everything you need to know before you visit a shooting range. Knowledge is power, and equipping yourself with adequate knowledge of shooting ranges can go a long way in making the experience safer and more enjoyable. Let’s get started!
Before you go
- Know the shooting safety fundamentals
Before you head out to an indoor shooting range, it is crucial for you to know the basics of gun safety. Here are 10 key firearm safety rules to remember:
- Always assume that all guns are loaded
- Pay attention to the muzzle and make sure that it is pointed in a safe direction- it should point toward the sky or downrange
- Know your target and what is in front of it or beyond it
- Don’t put your fingers on the trigger unless you are ready to fire
- Keep your firearm unloaded until you are ready to use it
- Safely check the ammunition and barrel for obstructions
- Point your firearm only at something you want to shoot
- Don’t jump, run, or climb with a loaded firearm
- Store firearms and ammunition safely and separately
- Don’t take alcoholic beverages before and during shooting
- Learn the language used
At shooting ranges, you will find professionals who ensure that firearm safety rules are followed. They are known as range masters. Following their rules and directions will not only keep you safe but other shooters as well. So it is crucial to understand some of the most common commands and phrases they will give and use. These include:
- Commence firing- the shooter can start firing if they are ready
- Ceasefire- this means that the shooter should stop shooting immediately, unload their weapon, remove the magazine, leave the chamber open, place it on the shooting bench, and step back from the firing line. It is worth mentioning that nobody should handle a firearm during a ceasefire
- Firing line- this is a line that is parallel to targets. It is from here firearms are discharged.
- The range is open- shooting starts and no shooter is allowed beyond the firing line
- The range is closed- this means that all the shooters have stopped firing, made safe, and moved away from their firearms.
Do your due diligence when looking for a shooting range
With so many ranges available, it can be very tricky to find the right one for you. You need to research online to find the best one. You can read online reviews to get a better understanding of what other people are saying about that particular range.
Once you find your ideal shooting range, you need to research it more. That’s because each range is a bit different in terms of rules, restrictions, as well as procedures. You can find these rules on that particular range’s website. In addition to that, you need to find out if targets are provided or are only available for purchase at the range.
Plan your trip accordingly
You also need to check the range’s hours and days of operation. This can help you plan your trip accordingly. If the range you intend to visit is quite busy, you can give yourself some extra time. There could be no shooting bench available when you first arrive. Additionally, you can check if your preferred range is having any shooting competition or special event that may close or restrict portions of the range.
Wear appropriate gear
One of the few things you need to pay attention to when visiting the shooting range is how you dress. You need to dress appropriately. The shooting range is not the place to wear short shorts, a low-cut shirt, or open-toed shoes. The appropriate gear for the shooting range includes closed-toe shoes, high-necked shirts, fitting trousers, and a baseball cap, especially during summer.
It is also crucial to protect your eyes and ears. Wearing eye protective gear is a safety rule at any shooting range that cannot be overlooked. It can protect you from brass that may harm your eyes. It is not only for shooting but it can also protect your eyes when you are cleaning your firearm afterward. You also need to wear earplugs or earmuffs during firing to protect your ears. Some ranges, especially busy ones, can be very noisy, that’s why you need to protect your ears from all the noise.
It is also worth mentioning that some ranges tend to have their own dress codes, which you may find online. If you can’t find it or you are not sure about it, you can go ahead and call the range to inquire about it.
Make sure you have fun
Of course, you want to ensure that you have a wonderful experience at the shooting range. That is very much possible. As long as you are being responsible, safe, and following the range rules and the instructions and directions given by the range master, you will definitely have a great time at the shooting range.
There you have it, some of the things you need to know before visiting the shooting range. We hope that by knowing all these things, you can adequately prepare for your shooting range and become a pro-shooter.