Gun Range Etiquette

Gun Range Rules of Proper Etiquette

Aside from gun shop etiquette, it is also nice to know all about proper range etiquette.

When dealing with any type of firearm, there are certain things all of us need to be aware of because firearms use in the target range has its own set of rules unlike anything else. Make sure you follow all range rules while in the range, and note that rules may vary greatly from each local range.

Rules of Etiquette for Gun Range:

1. Always follow the 4 Golden Rules of Gun Safety

You must follow these rules at all times. Other than the other things found in this list, the number one rule is to follow these 4 rules of gun safety, without any exception, always.

2. Listen to your local Range Officer

If more than one person is in the range, most ranges will have an RO or Range Officer on duty. The RO’s duties include telling you when it is okay to shoot as well as when to cease fire. A Range Officer is there for a good reason and that is to ensure that everyone is always on the same page in terms of safety. Pay attention to the RO at all times and do exactly as he says to keep everyone safe.

3. Do not touch any firearms when on a cease fire

Leave your firearms be and do not touch them until it is your time to shoot again. Others may be doing tasks that include changing targets during a cease fire, and the last thing any person wants to see while they are down there at the range is another person with a firearm playing at the line so don’t do it. Do not touch any firearm during cease fires.

4. Never pick up somebody else’s firearm without asking

We get that all you want to do is to nicely feel in your hands that beautiful 1911 that your fellow shooter brought along to the range, but ask first. It is okay to ask and most people will happily oblige. Again, always ask before picking someone else’s firearm by saying something like: “That is a handsome-looking (name of firearm). May I hold it?” And as always, if your request to hold a unit has been granted, make sure to safety check that firearm AT THE MOMENT YOU PICK IT UP.

5. Do not bother active shooters

If someone is shooting actively at the target, do not tap them suddenly on the shoulder or even try to talk to them. Only if you see that that person (or someone else) could be in grave danger, such as when you notice a malfunction with their firearm, should you do or say something to interrupt that shooter. Otherwise, contrarily, it could be dangerous.

6. Do not coach others or try to correct them

It is common courtesy on a target range not to interfere with a fellow shooter’s shooting techniques, that is, of course, unless he or she is pointing a firearm right at you. If the person is doing something dangerous, then that’s the only exception. In that case, it is okay to use your best judgment and say something.

7. Shoot only one firearm at a time

This doesn’t mean shoot only one AT the same time, rather, by ‘shoot only one firearm at a time,’ what we mean is: Have only one firearm out at any given time on the line.

8. Do not hover

When you are at a range, you will find that there is nothing more distracting and annoying than having another person RIGHT behind you or right next to you while you are in a position to shoot. This is not just irritating; it could in fact also pose safety risks. If you want to observe, give enough distance between you and the shooter.

9. Do not shoot any firearms that go against the pre-set range rules

For example, you are shooting at a 50 feet indoor range. Do not even try to bring your high-powered rifle to the range and think that it is okay to shoot. For sure, you will do damage down the range, as most 50-feet ranges are not geared to handle these types of high impacts. A lot of indoor ranges do allow you to shoot, for instance, .22 rifles, but of course, always check first before trying to shoot them in a range.

10. Clean up/ pick up after yourself

After you shoot, make sure you always pick up your own brass or any other thing you may have left behind before leaving the range. It would be frustrating for other people to arrive at the range and find that the floor is all covered with brass. Be respectful, have regard for the next range’s users and clean up after yourself.


Lastly, you are down at the range shooting so you can have a great time so embrace that moment. Enjoy it. But remember, do so safely.


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