gun range

7 Tips for First-Timers Thinking About Going to a Gun Range

Shooting any gun for the first time can truly be an exhilarating experience. Yet, it can also be stressful and scary. There is an entire wave of emotions that go through a person, and their mind is simply trying to focus. But it’s okay to be nervous.

There are many things that you need to know before picking up your gun bag and going down to the range with your new pistol, or a semi-automatic. Take a look at these great tips that can make your first time experience at a gun range much better. 


Whether to Buy or Rent

Deciding whether to buy or rent a gun can be a huge decision. Especially if you’ve just decided to give it a try. 

If you buy a gun before getting to shoot one, it’s hard to say whether the purchase would be good or not. You will only find out after shooting it at the gun range. If you like it, then great. Otherwise, you can make a showpiece out of it. 

The rental gives an opportunity to try out the activity before you commit to it. It is a more sensible choice if you are not too sure whether shooting a gun is your thing or not.

Know the Safety Rules

Most first-timers skip over the safety rules and pick up a gun to shoot. However, it would be best to get educated before firing your first shot. Here are some common things you should know:

  • When you first pick up a gun, make sure its muzzle is pointed in the right direction. If you don’t know the term ‘muzzle’, that’s the part where the bullet comes out of. You need to make sure it is pointing down the range at all times, even when you are taking it out of the case.
  • When you are not using the gun, take out the magazine and make sure the firearm is not loaded.
  • Even if you cleaned the barrel at home last night, it would be best to do it again before firing the gun. If there are any blockades in the way of the bullet, let’s just say it’s not going to end well. A rental should already be cleaned by the staff members.
  • Just because the gun’s ‘safety’ is on, it doesn’t mean it’s safe to play around with it. You should still exercise precautions.
  • You should always wear all the protecting gear to be safe. These would include safety goggles and earplugs, among other items.
  • If you happen to have more than one gun, make sure you load it up with the right ammo. Every firearm has a specific type of bullet, and loading up the wrong ones is not advisable. 

Learn the Basic Rules of the Gun Range

There are primarily two kinds of gun ranges, the indoor and the outdoor. The indoor is typically meant for short-range shooting while most outdoor fields have targets with various distances. When you head down to one, make sure to ask their rules and regulations before heading in. The basics usually are:

  • The minimum age requirement for solo shooting is 21. But, some ranges do have certain exceptions, like the underage person is accompanied by a legal guardian or is in the military.
  • It is prohibited to enter the range under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • Certain firearms are not allowed in some ranges, which is why you should check with the one you’re headed to if you’re a gun owner.
  • There is a requirement to sign a liability waiver.
  • The firearm should be encased and unloaded, unless you are in the shooting booth.

Don’t Bring an Exposed Firearm

The way people tuck their pistols in their pants in movies might seem cool, but that is not what you should do. People may think you have the wrong intentions, and things can get really bad, really fast. The employees wouldn’t know whether you are there to rob someone, go on a killing spree, or just really excited about your new firearm.

You should check this post for the best gun cases, whether soft or hard. You should adequately pack everything in the case and only open after reaching the firing line. Set the bag right on the table, remove the gun pointing down the range, and everything should be fine.

Don’t Be Afraid To Ask For Help

There is a proper technique for firing every different kind of gun, and failing to follow that way might result in an injury. 

There are many cases where first-timers hurt themselves in some way. It could be because they weren’t holding the gun properly, or didn’t focus on the slide. Before heading towards the firing line, ask the guy at the counter for some tips that can help you use the firearm more safely. If you think asking the guy at the desk might hurt your pride, then ask anyone else in the range or look up some videos online.

Properly Cover Your Body

Semi-automatic rifles and pistols tend to eject the casings after every shot. If you know anything about them, they can be extremely hot. 

That is why you should adequately cover your entire body when at a gun range. The casings fly off and bounce on the ceilings and the walls, which is why a tight-collared shirt should be your best option. You should also wear a good pair of goggles to protect the eyes. While gloves can go a long way too.

Wear Proper Shoes

After bouncing around, the shell casings are most likely to hit the ground. If they touch your bare feet, you can end up with a nasty burn. 

That is why you should consider wearing proper shoes to the range, instead of slippers or flip flops that don’t completely cover your feet. A good pair of shoes can also help you maintain a proper stance, as the last thing you want is to fall after firing a gun.

Last Updated on March 4, 2020

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