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Discussion in 'Education & Training' started by twoclones, Jan 29, 2012.

  1. twoclones

    twoclones Tri-Cities, WA Well-Known Member

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    I've been taking extra Range Officer duty this winter and I'm starting to get a little jumpy. Muzzle control can be an issue with both new and experienced shooters and it seems there is no reliable way to correct unsafe habits :(

    Things I've experienced recently...
    - The 3/4 deaf old man misunderstood what I said and started walking down range while others were shooting. BTW he is far from being a newbie.
    - Guy repeatedly drawing from holster and shooting. I instructed him that was not allowed. He apologized and immediately started drawing from holster again.
    - Stepping in front of firing line to pick up a dropped piece of paper while range is 'hot'.
    - Setting handgun on table with muzzle pointing 180 degrees away from target area.
    - Shooters wife walking up to front of rifle barrel to get object from front of bench.
    - Relaxing and pointing muzzle at shooters own feet.

    And there are always people who do not know how to load, unload, cock, decock, or unjam their own {or borrowed} firearm. Yes they need help but I tend to spend more effort watching them than the rest of the line.

    It's safer down at the kid's plinking range!

    If you are a new shooter, PLEASE get some formal safety training!
    If you know a new shooter, recommend they get some safety training.
     
    Riot, Ironbar, ATCclears and 5 others like this.
  2. bruzer

    bruzer Grants Pass, OR Well-Known Member

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    I have a lot of respect for the Range Officers at my local shooting matches. They are always working with and instructing the shooters. It has to be demanding at times and requires FULL attention at all times.
    Good luck and stay safe,
    Mike
     
    ATCclears and (deleted member) like this.
  3. Aero Denezol

    Aero Denezol Salem Active Member

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    I've noticed similar things, often times from experienced shooters who get overconfident and lax about range rules. Handling guns at the bench/firing line during a cease-fire is a fairly common, unfortunately. I suspect some of these are guests of the range and not members... Members need to impart on their guests the importance of range rules. There are enough people in the vicinity who would like to shut us down as is. We don't need an accident to stoke the fire.

    I always respect the Range Officers. I've heard them catch their share of back-talk, and I don't envy you at all, but thanks for what you do.
     
  4. mjbskwim

    mjbskwim Salmon,Idaho Well-Known Member

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    Do you make them come to where you are seated? Do you stop them from shooting ,in any way to make sure they heard you?
    Do you make a spectacle out of them?

    If you answered 'no' to any of these,they will not learn.

    I would call them to your table and tell them that they will be asked to leave if they don't comply.

    I have had a gun pointed at my foot before,because a newbie wasn't trained right.

    Training isn't necessary,just a little respect for firearms.
     
  5. twoclones

    twoclones Tri-Cities, WA Well-Known Member

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    Seated? Don't really have that luxury because we have probably 10 stations on each side of the 100 yard rage. (One R.O. per side) I pace more than I sit.
    Yes I do stop them from shooting, point out the problem and try to be sure they understand the do and don't of the situation.
    Spectacle? I do all I can to avoid that.
     
  6. Riot

    Riot Benton County, Washington Well-Known Member

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    TwoClones, could you not discharge the individual from the range for violating the safety rules? Although I agree that discharging someone from the range should be a last resort- sometimes it's necessary. Especially for repeated safety violations.

    Also, I've noticed that there is a disparity from people who think that they are experienced with firearms. It's called Illusory superiority.

    When students were surveyed about their driving habits, 80% stated that they were "above average".

    So, what makes someone an experienced shooter- at least up to par by your standards? I think that for a person to be competant in their equipment, they have to know how it works, first.

    I know this is my military training kicking in, but people need to know how and why their gun goes bang and is able to feed in the next round. However, I'm not of the mindset of saying that any amount of training should be manditory- but this is also why I offer free ranges. For me, competancy enough to carry a firearm should be proven by (like you've stated) the safety rules. I, honestly, think that all persons owning a firearms should be able to site the four firearm safety rules by memory.

    1) Treat all firearms as if they are loaded.
    2) Never Point a firearm at anything you are not willing to destroy.
    3) Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to fire.
    4) Be aware of your target; what is behind it and beyond it.


    There are many variables to these, but the concepts are the same...RESPECT THE GUN is the message here. If you have no respect for the firearm, you will unintentionally kill or seriously injure yourself or another.

    Now, about function. Before I fired a single bullet in the Army I had to know the 8-cycles of function for the M16A2 rifle.

    1) Feed.
    2) Chamber.
    3) Lock.
    4) Fire.
    5) Unlock.
    6) Extract.
    7) Eject.
    8) Recock.

    *edit*

    Sorry, had to leave to work...moving on...

    So, having said that, although I fully agree that people should go to training it should never be government mandated (who is to say what the qualifications would be?). So, have you thought about providing free instruction or take the time to provide for instruction? When do you do your range sessions? If you want, you and I can schedule a day to go out. You, of course, would be the range officer and I could help out those you deem needing some instructions. This way you get in your range hours, the concern is being addressed and someone learns a valuable lesson about firearms.

    Just trying to give you a third option, Two Clones. This way if they violate your rules and tell me to "bugger off" then you could just tell them they can take their firearms elsewhere.

    What do you think? How do you feel the range owners would think?
     
    Old Hick and (deleted member) like this.
  7. twoclones

    twoclones Tri-Cities, WA Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I can and am instructed to do so if the situation calls for it. I also have specific instructions on how to go about asking someone to leave. While I have heard stories of ROs being given a hard time and argued with, I haven't had that experience... Yet.

    I actually like running the range at Rattlesnake. It's a good opportunity to meet people, see unusual shooting gear, and at the end of the work day, do some shooting. I'm often thanked for my efforts as well.
     
  8. Bob D

    Bob D Oregon, Cascades Well-Known Member

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    Oh man, this reminds me of basic training... I'll tell you the most effective way to train people in range safety is to smack them in head and make them do squats for about 45 minutes, but I guess you can't really do that.

    When i take new people shooting, I give them a good solid ten minute speech outlining what will happen if they don't listen to every word I say, are careless or reckless, have their finger on the trigger when they aren't shooting, flag anyone or anything that isn't downrange with a barrel, or move away from the firing line while people are still firing.

    At the end of my spiel for each rule, I say "If I see you do {X}, I will take the weapon from you, I will yell at you, I will be mean, you will be scared. If I see you do {X} again, I will take the weapon from you, I will yell at you, I will be mean, I will put all the weapons away, drive home, and I will never go shooting with you again." I wind up saying that about ten times. Enough for them to start to think it's a joke, and then realize that I'm not being funny, I'm being incredibly serious.

    Still, best way is to butt stroke them in the side of the helmet.
     
  9. Riot

    Riot Benton County, Washington Well-Known Member

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    Meh, this approach should only be reserved for the real hard-headed...going to be scaring people away from guns this way.
     
  10. eldbillbo

    eldbillbo clackamas New world samurai and a redneck none the less Bronze Supporter

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    The range officer at douglas during hunters sight in does all that especially good at making a spectacle out of them .

    Some people may see him as a prick, but I think he is doing a great job.
     
  11. Bob D

    Bob D Oregon, Cascades Well-Known Member

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    That approach seems to work. If I'm taking first time shooters up into the woods with me, I want them to know more than just "oh you know, keep it pointed away from me, and pull the trigger. see, it's fun!" They need to know it's a weapon, not a toy. I've had people who I deemed were unsafe with no hope of recovery, scoffing at safety rules, and nearly getting me or others shot, and so I'm very serious about the rules. I've never seen anyone get scared away from guns, quite the opposite. Most people don't get it if you say "hey, i noticed that you just swung the barrel of my rifle that you're holding right past my crotch. I know you were just turning around and not paying attention, but could you try to avoid that in the future?" whereas "Hey! what the heck are you doing!? You could have just shot my friggin balls off!!" tends to get the impression across.

    Unless you're talking about the butt-stroke to the head. Yes. That's definitely a bit too much.
     
  12. MarkAd

    MarkAd Port Orchard Well-Known Member

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    I R/O a lot myself. And mostly a verbal correction works. 2nd time a little grumpier, 3 time your gone and I write a report.
    Marks Rule #1 - You can not leave with more holes than you arrived with.

    The old guy gets escorted to the other R/O and calmly loudly explained that he is done for the day and welcome to return when he is able to clearly hear the range commands.

    He is gone - Guy repeatedly drawing from holster and shooting. I instructed him that was not allowed. He apologized and immediately started drawing from holster again.

    He is gone - Stepping in front of firing line to pick up a dropped piece of paper while range is 'hot'.

    He gets ONE stern waning - Setting handgun on table with muzzle pointing 180 degrees away from target area.

    They are gone - Shooters wife walking up to front of rifle barrel to get object from front of bench.

    Very stern warning and closely watching- Relaxing and pointing muzzle at shooters own feet.
     
  13. Riot

    Riot Benton County, Washington Well-Known Member

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    The only thing I would every stress about and shout at someone over is the muzzle. If they have the gun pointed in a safe direction but the finger is on the trigger I'll just politely point out to "index". If continued I drive it home with "remember- 'always, always, always...index, index, index'". A third time will start with shouting. A finger on the trigger with a muzzle coming at me is an entirely different situation and I would probably grab the gun.

    Mind you before I take anyone out shooting they are first given a small block of instruction about the firearms that they will be handling, their safe function and the four firearm safety rules. People that have heard my instruction before are expected to phrase back at least one firearm rule. This is where I teach "always, always, always...index, index, index".


    I agreed with everything posted except not being able to draw and shoot...just stupid rules for liability. Like the local range stating you can't shoot steel cased or having to have seconds between shots. Just another reason why I don't like to go to organized ranges. If someone is being safe with a gun, why confront them? I mean, if he is drawing from a shoulder holster I can see problems with that, but on the strong-side hip? Come on! Are you going to tell me I have to wear a seat belt too?

    Whatever, your range, your rules....hope you like dealing with the noobs then because I don't know of any serious pistol shooters that will want to shoot there.