Part 3: Range Operation

Practicing personal safety

Eye and ear protection

  • Wear eye and ear protection before entering and while on the range at all times
  • Your eyes need protection from ejected cartridge casings and any firearm malfunction

Range entrance and exit

  • Honor the path for range entrance and exit using double door noise isolation plan
  • Separate entrance and exit doors prevent cross traffic and therefore ensure there is always a closed door noise barrier
  • Also, make sure that the door closes behind you before opening the next

Gun handling

  • All gun handling is done in the shooting booth beginning with opening the gun case
  • Any gun set down in the booth must be empty, open for inspection and pointing directly down range
  • Do not move a gun from one booth to the another while outside of its case or holster
  • When your session is completed, unloading and casing firearms is required to be done in the shooting booth

Target setup

  • Targets should be set at the each shooter's eye level to control the bullet path directly into the backstop and not the ceiling or the floor
  • The shooter should also center the shooting path within the lane to avoid the bullet crossing lanes or hitting side walls
  • Do not go forward of the firing line to retrieve dropped items. Some provisions may be made for reaching a dropped item with a broom, otherwise a cease fire would be required for the range office to retrieve your item

Range commands

  • Range is hot - Active range with individuals engaged in live fire
  • Range is cold - Live fire and gun handling is prohibited with shooters required to have set down firearms in cleared condition, and have stepped out of the booth until further instructions
  • Cease fire - Immediately stop shooting, clear your firearm, set it down pointed directly down range, exit the booth and wait for further instructions
  • Commence firing, bench your gun, load - There are other commands used such as these that the shooter should study 
  • Can anyone call a cease fire - Yes, in an emergency! You can also ask the range officer to call a cease fire for a non-emergency need

Ammunition and firearms

  • A range owner may limit the type of ammunition the shooter may use to avoid or limit range wear and tear
  • The range may also limit the type of guns used such as fully automatic
  • A firearm muzzle should be placed near the shooting line but not beyond for sound and safety reasons

Range cleanup and hygiene

  • As a courtesy, empty brass should be removed from around the shooting booth
  • Ranges generally allow the shooter to save their empty brass if desired 
  • Upon exit, wash your face and hands to remove shooting contaminants. Contaminants are airborne, so they will be in your hair and on clothing too

Part 3 practical exercise

Why does a range define an entrance and exit traffic pattern system

  • The system provides noise protection for those in the waiting area

Why is target setup important?

  • Improperly set targets allow bullets to travel into the floor or ceiling instead of the backstop

Can anyone call a cease fire

  • Yes, for emergencies that may impact range safety

Why should soap and water be available at the range exit

  • The process of shooting exposes shooters to lead and gun powder contaminants