Whether it is your first time visiting the shooting range or your hundredth time, safety always comes first. Inexperience might cause you to become conscious, panicked, and do a few things that are considered improper.
Below are a few things to remember when visiting a shooting range:
Keep your gun pointed downrange. If you are not shooting at a target, keep your gun pointed down. Even if a friend calls you suddenly from behind meaning you would have to turn around, you wouldn’t want others at the shooting range seeing you fling your gun around while they are within your shooting range. Not only is this extremely dangerous, but it is also inappropriate and may spark uneasiness and panic.
Stay within your line. At a shooting range, you have to stand at a certain length away from your target. Several other people are also lined up with you, shooting their own targets.
If you are trying to get a better angle or you feel you need to back up a bit for more leverage, do not go farther than a few centimeters. If you back up until you are behind other people and your gun could potentially misfire, the ones lined up directly beside you may feel alarmed and fearful.
Do not be the cause of anxiety at the shooting range. Always play it safe, even if you are 100% confident that you will be able to shoot straight.
Disable or empty your gun when not in use. If you plan to take a break and place your gun on a nearby table or bench, make sure to lock the slide open or empty and open the cylinder. Do not forget to take this precaution even if you only plan to be gone for a few seconds, because it provides reassurance both for you and the others around you.
Avoid putting your finger on the trigger until you are ready to shoot. If your gun is loaded, only put your finger into position once you are in front of your target and ready. Do not rest it on the trigger while setting up, unpacking, or moving around your space to gauge the target distance. It should only move towards the trigger while you are calm, prepared, and focused.
Overall, the proper etiquette simply entails making sure that those around you are out of harm’s way. Have fun and be safe!