For beginners and experts alike, the gun range is the perfect place to hone their skills in a safe and supportive environment. Even for those who’ve never shot a gun in their lives, going to a gun range can be a fun and educational experience. But before hitting up the range, learn a few basic safety and etiquette tips that are essential for wannabe gunslingers.
While ranges feel safe, keep in mind that you’re holding a loaded weapon that could kill an innocent person if safety procedures aren’t strictly followed. There are a few safety guidelines that always must be followed, regardless of the gun or situation.
Even if you’re positive that the gun isn’t loaded, treat it as if it was. Don’t point it at people or treat it like a toy. At best, it is disrespectful to a dangerous weapon; at worst, you could make a mistake and seriously injure or kill someone. It is just not worth it. Also along these lines, keep your finger off the trigger until you’ve lined up your shot and are moments away from firing. An itchy trigger finger is bad news for everyone at the range.
This usually isn’t a concern at established gun ranges, but always remember to consider what is behind your target. Bullets can go through many materials, so it can be easy to injure someone if the target is in front of another structure.
Bring a Mentor
Beginners should considering bringing an experienced friend along to show them the ropes. Many ranges have a range supervisor who can show beginners the basics, but having an experienced friend allows you to have their full attention in case you have questions or concerns.
Function Over Fashion
Usually beginners don’t put much thought into the clothing they wear to the range, but some outfits are less functional than others. For instance, don’t wear open toed shoes, as it keeps the skin protected from falling hot brass that will burn bare skin. This is also why its recommended to not wear tank tops or short shorts either.
Another less intuitive fashion faux pas is a v-neck. This is considered a no go, as it creates something of a funnel that allows a round to fall backwards down the shirt.
Of course, it is always important to wear appropriate hearing and eye protection. Hearing damage can easily occur after even one trip to the gun range without hearing protection. Shooting glasses prevent anything from falling backwards and damaging eyes.