Firearms | Silencers 101

8 Ways to Engage in Proper Gun Range Etiquette

8 Ways to Engage in Proper Gun Range Etiquette

The shooting range is a great place for anyone to go to improve their accuracy and get more comfortable with their firearm. It’s a place filled with people who are looking to improve their marksmanship and be around like-minded people who have an interest in firearms.

If you’ve never been to a shooting range before, it can be a little bit intimidating at first. However, once you understand shooting range safety and gun range etiquette, there’s nothing to be worried about! Read on for 8 great tips that will have you feeling more comfortable every time you set foot in the range.

Follow the Specific Range Rules

First and foremost, you’ll want to check the specific rules for the gun range that you’re shooting at. Each range will have its own unique set of rules, so before you even enter the range, take the time to read and understand the rules.

Shooting is obviously a serious affair, so a full comprehension and appreciation of the rules are crucial to the safety of everyone at the range. Going into the range and just “winging it” can be dangerous for everyone involved, so take the time to read the rules or speak with the range safety officer (RSO) before you get set up to shoot.

Limit Your Noise

If you’ve ever shot a gun, you understand how much focus it takes to hit your target. In order to be successful as a shooter, you need to zero in on your target, focus your energy and block out all of the outside noise — sometimes literally.

Many shooting ranges supply shooters with noise-canceling headphones, but if you want to take it a step further, a silencer is a worthwhile investment for shooters of all skill levels. A silencer is sure to make you more popular amongst other shooters at the range since it will completely muffle the noise coming from your muzzle. This will help shooters around you focus and shoot better, which will remove any potential irritation aimed towards your booth.

Melissa Bachman Shooting Rifle with Silencer

Not only does a silencer help people focus, but it helps protect the long-term hearing of everyone in the range. Shooting guns without ear protection can have long-lasting effects on the hearing of shooters and those who spend time around the guns, and the continuous and repetitive firing heard at a range can be incredibly damaging if not treated. Be sure to use the ear protection provided to you, and if you want to ensure your hearing is top-notch for years to come, look into investing in a silencer.

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Pay Attention to Range Safety Officers

Most shooting ranges have Range Safety Officers, also known as RSOs or Range Masters. These people have the job of enforcing safety at the gun range and handling any problems that may occur. They lay down the “law of the land” at the range, and it’s important to the safety of everyone that people respect the RSO and their authority.

If it’s your first time at a range, introduce yourself to the RSO and let them know that this is your first time visiting the range. They will let you know everything you need to know about the range and the range rules, including any range commands and any other specific things you need to know about. Needless to say, it’s worthwhile to form a connection with the RSO, as compliance with their instructions is mandatory.

Don’t Interrupt Active Shooters

When someone is in the middle of shooting, it’s always best to leave them alone. As mentioned before, shooting a gun requires an intense amount of focus, and any interruption from this focus can be jarring for everyone. If a shooter is locked in and is interrupted by a tap on the shoulder, they could instinctively whirl around with the gun and do something unsafe. If they are in their bay, it’s best to leave them be.

There is one exception to this rule, and it’s if you see someone who is behaving in an unsafe manner. Usually, the RSO will put a stop to this, but if they aren’t noticing something urgent, most ranges will allow shooters to yell out “ceasefire!” When this is done, everyone is instructed to put their guns down and step away so that the RSO can handle the situation — but more on cease-fire commands in a bit.

Be Mindful of Basic Gun Safety

By the time someone has made it to a shooting range, it’s probable that they already know the basics of gun safety. However, the range is the last place you want to let your guard (and fundamentals) down. Just because you are around other experienced shooters, it doesn’t mean that you can relax on the basics.

Here are some things you need to constantly be thinking about:

  • Focus on your surroundings. Be aware of where your gun is pointed at all times. Think about what you’re shooting at and what’s behind it. Be certain that you know what you’re doing every time you pull the trigger.
  • Stay aware of the trigger finger. If you aren’t shooting, keep your fingers far away from the trigger.
  • Treat every firearm like it’s loaded at all times. It’s always better to be extra precautious.

Shooter, aiming down range

Understand Cease-Fires

A cease-fire is a certain type of command that is shouted by RSOs (and sometimes other shooters) anytime there is something unsafe happening at a gun range. When this happens, every shooter needs to stop shooting immediately.

If a cease-fire order is called, here’s what you need to do:

  • Stop firing and unload your gun completely.
  • Set your gun down on the bench
  • Step back behind the line
  • Wait for the RSO to give the approval to begin shooting again

Stay Within Your Lane

Shooting ranges are divided into lanes. Each shooter is confined to their specific lane, and to ensure the safety of everyone, it is asked that the shooters remain in their lane as much as possible. When you unpack your equipment and belongings, try to keep them confined within your lane. The shooting range is the last place where you want people to trip and fall, so be sure to keep your space neat and tidy.

Stay On Target

When you start to feel accurate when shooting, some start to get excited and want to test out your accuracy in new ways — whether that’s shooting at someone else’s target or pointing out specific items in the room to shoot at. This is not allowed at all, and this behavior can have you kicked out of the range immediately. Stick to shooting at the targets that you brought and there should be no problems.

Be Safe, Be Respectful, and Have Fun at Your Next Range Session

If you’re looking to become a more accurate shooter, the gun range is the best place you can go to improve. As long as you respect shooting range safety and abide by the proper etiquette, you should be welcomed at any range.

If you have any more questions about gun range etiquette or suppressed shooting, feel free to reach out to our team at Silencer Central. We are passionate about the world of firearms, and we want to help you out in your shooting journey to become the best and safest shooter possible.

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