There are a myriad of different goals for shooters attending open range time, from sporting to competition to defensive practice. While there are different reasons for shooting, everyone wants to have a safe, rewarding and enjoyable session.
The Tactical Training Center employs Range Safety Officers but safety is everyone’s responsibility.
Firearms safety requires the shooter to be mindful, attentive and have the basic knowledge of your particular firearm. Knowing basic operation of your firearm includes knowing how to safely load, unload and check your firearm to ensure its condition. As a side note, a firearm’s mechanical safety can fail and never should be solely relied upon for safety. As the shooter, you are responsible for your actions and your firearm.
- Always keep your muzzle pointed in the safest direction. For our purposes, that is the downrange impact area.
- Keep your finger straight and on the frame of the firearm until just prior to shooting. A common violation of this is when the firearm in lowered to assess the target. When you assess, your finger must come off the trigger.
- Know your target and beyond. While this seems easy on the range, this is a common violation with projectiles impacting the ceiling. Prior to shooting, you should imagine the path of the bullet. If the target is too high for your position, then the bullet will impact the ceiling. A good rule of thumb is to keep your targets at eye level.
- Know the condition of your firearm. Is it loaded or unloaded? If not actually shooting, the firearm needs to be unloaded with the action open and facing upward so everyone can see it.
- Firearms must be cased or holstered, in the case of concealed firearm permittees until you are in your port. If you are shooting with others in separate ports and want to try each others firearms, shooters move to ports to try the firearm. Do not move firearms between ports.
Those are some basic rules for safety. While not all encompassing, following those will put you on the right path to safe shooting.
Along with basic safety, basic consideration of others in the range is important. Shooters are generally considerate of others but there are some unique situations that you may not realize.
When firing a semiautomatic handgun, if the shooter is very close to the bench, his or her ejected spent shell casings may enter his or her neighbor’s port. This can be distracting to your neighbor.
Be mindful of your allotted time and leave enough time to put away your firearms, gear and ammunition so the next shooter doesn’t have to wait.
Please do not put any liquid in the trash.
As stated, these rules and suggestions are not all encompassing. However following them will do a lot for safe, rewarding and enjoyable open range session.