First time to hit the range? It could be intimidating but millions of other people have gone to the range for the first time before you did, so take comfort in that. What do you have to bring? What are the rules? And how do you correctly pack up your gear? Continue reading to find out what you should expect in a shooting facility!
Preparing for a Shooting Session
Take note of these things before going to a shooting facility.
Setup and Gear
Most shooting facilities have a gun store attached with available ammo, targets, guns (for sale or rent), and other accessories. That said, you don’t need to have all the right gear yet, especially if you’re a beginner. You can even get professional advice if you’re unsure about the gear you are getting.
In most ranges, you don’t even need a gun. That, however, doesn’t mean that you could just go in, rent one, and take it with you anywhere. The range has an assortment of pistols and rifles that you can borrow to use inside for practicing. What a great way to try out different models!
In some facilities, you will be charged a fee for range time by the hour. Make sure to be a member with a monthly or annual subscription at a flat rate instead of paying for by-the-hour rates tallied every time you visit the range.
It’s always better to have your own gun and ammo. But bringing your ammo with you will make most ranges check it before allowing you to shoot.
Most of the time, you’ll need to sign a waiver that says you understand and will abide by the range policies. It’ll also waive the range’s liability should you hurt yourself or someone else.
Always double-check the rules since most facilities have some specific things that they may or may not allow. Here are some of the most basic policies to remember.
- Act responsibly and with respect
- Tracer or any ammunition considered to be incendiary or explosive is prohibited on the firing range
- Keep your firearm pointed downrange in a safe direction.
- You can only uncase or remove your gun from the holster at the firing line. Load and unload all firearms at the bench in the shooting booth.
- First time, unaccompanied individuals will not be allowed to rent a firearm.
- You must ensure that your firearm is in good working order before entering the range.
- All shooting must be conducted in a safe, controlled and accurate manner
- Never consume alcohol or take drugs before or during shooting.
Packing up After a Shooting Session
After a practice session, you’re ready to leave the range but make sure to do it with proper gun etiquette. Here’s what you need to do when packing up.
Your Gun is Your Priority
The gun takes priority over all the other items when you’re packing up. First, you need to remove the magazine from the pistol and ensure that the firearm is clear of all ammunition. Lock the slide back first if you need to set the gun down.
If you do not have a pocket for your pistol in your case, then you should slide it in a holster before packing it for transport. Moreover, a safe muzzle direction is highly recommended even when the gun is inside the case already.
Only pack up your ammo, loader, and other gear once your handgun is safely stored. Keep your eye and hearing protection on until you leave the live-fire area.