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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, I didn't see this happen live, I was at the opposite end of a 24 bay range. There were 4 bays being used. A couple in their 50s at the 1st bay on the east, another guy about 3 bays down from them and me and another guy shooting 22s at the far west end.

Here I am doing my best to shoot 22s in a 10 to 15 mph wind. Range Officer comes running down the steps from the office calling for a cease fire. I table and chamber flag my rifle and step off the line.

Guy comes down from the opposite end and said that the man in the first bay just turned 180 degrees from the firing line and fired a 12 gauge pump shotgun backwards towards the office and parking lot. He said he was about 3 feet away stapling a target to a stand and saw it happen.

The guy and his female companion tried to quickly pack up and leave and didn't say anything to anyone there. There were two other range officers waiting for him in the parking lot. I am not sure what was said but they got in the car and left after about 5 minutes.

I talked to the RO and the guy who witnessed it to see what happened. The RO also let me go into the office building and watch the video from 2 angles at regular speed and slow motion.

Basically man loads multiple rounds into a 12 gauge pump. Fired once, turns to his left sweeping his wife/girlfriend with the muzzle with the butt by his hip pointed up at about a 45 degree angle. He has his finger inside the trigger guard and racked it. BOOM. Neither the man or the woman reacted like anything happened.

Very non chalantly puts his shotgun in the case and closes it. A few seconds later RO shows up.

He shot a high brass 7 1/2 shot 12g through the 2x8 eave of the covered area of the range.

Cloud Sky Azure Wood Watercourse

Brown Wood Flooring Floor Wood stain

The first picture is looking up and back from the firing line, the second is looking up facing the firing line.

Thankfully no one was hurt and no major damage. This could have been a life changing experience in many ways, none of them good.

I think in this case, he broke all 4 of the safety rules, and had an uncased firearm behind the firing line.

Regardless of your experience(or lack of) with firearms, please follow these simple rules everytime you handle a firearm and make sure everyone around you does too. I hate to be the safety police but I hate it less than getting shot or watching someone else get hurt.

1. Always keep it pointed in a safe direction.
2.Treat every firearms as though it isolated.
3. Keep your finger off the trigger and outside the trigger guard until you are ready to shoot.
4. Know your target and what is beyond.


Lesson 1 of this story...from now on when I go to a public range and there are people there that I've not shot with before, I will take a break and watch what the others are doing until I am comfortable with their gun handling. Nobody will do as good of job watching out for my safety as I will. If it takes longer at the range or I don't get to shoot as much as I would like, oh well.

Lesson 2...I need to get off my butt and buy some land.
 

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That is sobering. I've seen some messed up things at ranges over the years, but that is one of the worst. Hopefully, they are banned from returning. I used to go to a private range where you had to submit a scan of your license to carry or a release for the range to run a criminal history search, when you applied for membership. Not sure if it would catch stupid, but it was better than nothing.
 

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And I just got a job at the new local private range, hopefully this isn't what I have to look forward to. I see why my range owner doesn't want to go public. We got these kind of nut jobs down the street at the public forest service government range. I think I might have to tell the range owner he needs to invest in some cameras.
 

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Wow😖 Ive seen some dumb and dangerous things occur at my ranges, but never a discharge in the completely wrong direction . I always try and get an end bench / stall at the range, just so i only have to keep my awareness of others limed to one side. And if there any uber aggressive types on the range , I just step out to the picnic/ lounge area and wait for them to get kicked out or leave.
 

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There is a 7.62 hole in the wall of the office at the far end of the range we compete at. We are reminded of it every match.

No rifle is loaded until on the line in firing position, are stored facing back over a field when not being used, carried muzzle-up between there and the line, and have chamber flags in at all times except when loading to on the line to fire.

Any violation will get you an invite to leave, and every competitor is urged to police everyone else.
 

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Dumb stuff happens at private club ranges too. Last week we had a guy trying to zero an AR with a scope at the 100yd range instead of starting at the 25 yd range. This is a big violation of the club rules. He had no idea of where the rounds were going. He couldn't find them even on the two foot square target backer. Instead of stopping after not seeing where the first round went, he keep shooting and put over a dozen rounds into the roof of the covered target enclosure. The roof is a good 8' above the target stand. I don't know what the consequences will be for him, but most likely he will no longer be a member of the club.
 

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A number of years back, I was at a public range with a close friend who has since passed away and as I recall, we were checking the zero of hunting rifles prior to opening of the South Carolina deer season. The range still exists and is operated by the U. S. Forest Service but unfortunately, there are no range masters so dumbness can go unchecked.

On my last visit there, a young man and what may have been his girlfriend/paramour/squeeze were shooting an AK style rifle (blazing away, not sure if his sights were involved) and for some reason, the squeeze wanted to walk down range on a path on the right side of the firing line while the range was hot. My friend yelled "Ceasefire" and told the squeeze to get back behind the firing line, that her conduct was unsafe.

This apparently hurt her feelings and she was obviously peeved and also, the squeezer seemed upset as well.

I was able to join a local private club and if I time my range visits well, I often have the outdoor range to my self. The outdoor range is only 100 yards long but for my style of shooting/hunting, this is fine with me.

No more public ranges for this old geezer.
 

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We have 50/100/200/300 and 400 yard impact pits at the club I use most frequently, there is a 25 yard plywood frame at 25 yards that is torn to pieces and incapable of holding a target, I use one of my portable stands placed in line with the 50 yard pit and at a height that insures impact in the pit. I also use a laser to get a rough zero before I leave home. My old club had a 25 yard huge pit for initial sight in, a very good idea but you'd be amazed at the folks who wouldn't take the time and trouble to use it.
 

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All clubs should spend the money to have all ranges made "No blue sky" The NRA has a lot of information on that subject and is a good resource. It is costly, but the alternative is more costly. And it will have the effect of lowering the club's liability premium. A million dollar home hit by a bullet is not expensive. A child hit by a stray bullet and crippled for life is expensive.
 

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The one thing I can’t let pass on the range are the idiots who bring their babies & toddlers with them with no ear protection. Every time someone shoots these young ones leap out of their skin. Many cry. I can’t let it slide. I let them know what I think till they leave. The 2 weekends before the firearm deer opener are a circus you should avoid
 

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All clubs should spend the money to have all ranges made "No blue sky" The NRA has a lot of information on that subject and is a good resource. It is costly, but the alternative is more costly. And it will have the effect of lowering the club's liability premium. A million dollar home hit by a bullet is not expensive. A child hit by a stray bullet and crippled for life is expensive.
Our local (only) public range in RI was re-habbed recently, and has this treatment. I'm still amazed by how many hits the baffles took in just the first year...
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
All clubs should spend the money to have all ranges made "No blue sky" The NRA has a lot of information on that subject and is a good resource. It is costly, but the alternative is more costly. And it will have the effect of lowering the club's liability premium. A million dollar home hit by a bullet is not expensive. A child hit by a stray bullet and crippled for life is expensive.

This particular portion of the range has the overhead barricades. Unfortunately for every safety measure that can be taken, there is still someone reckless or dumb enough to get around it. And yes, there are bullet holes in the over the range wood baffles too. They are good though because every bullet hole is a round that didn't leave the range.
 

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All clubs should spend the money to have all ranges made "No blue sky" The NRA has a lot of information on that subject and is a good resource. It is costly, but the alternative is more costly. And it will have the effect of lowering the club's liability premium. A million dollar home hit by a bullet is not expensive. A child hit by a stray bullet and crippled for life is expensive.
For those wondering what "no blue sky" is...
When baffle is lowered at the bench, a shooter should (optimally) see no sky above these boards.
This is at my local club just before a RFBR match.
You would be surprised (or maybe not) at how often these boards (and the posts as well) need replaced!
Sky Plant Shade Tree Land lot
 

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My range has concrete baffles. Its a $50 fine if you hit a baffle. I have helped countless people zero their optics. Including a range buddy of mine who was having an issue with a Savage Model 10 in 338 lapua with a Vortex scope. He was there with his 12 year old son, and this was the sons science fair project, long range ballistics, and at $5 a round dad was so flummoxed that he cam and asked for help.
I pulled the bolt and looked down the bore found the target , adjusted the crosshairs to the target put the bolt back in put in a round and hit the bulls eye at 100 yards. He looked at me and” I forgot about that. “ He works at one of the Midwests largest fire arm distributors , and is way more experienced than I am, but he was in dad doesnt want to look stupid mode.

The point being, even the best of us can do something stupid, and so when we see stupid, it’s probably best not to assume evil, and to kindly offer our help, rather than rip them a new one.
 

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I most often shoot behind my house where I don't have to compete with others for space or worry about what others are doing. But sometimes I do like to go to the sportsman's club where I am a member. They have nice 50 yard and 100 yard ranges and solid benches. They have a few steel baffles set up so that you cannot see the sky from the benches. All shots are -- obviously -- supposed to go under the baffles toward the targets and berm. But you can see where more than a few people have managed to hit the baffles. There is a subdivision behind the club which I'm sure came into existence after the club. At any rate, I'm glad the baffles are there. Some of the hits on the baffles would have likely had a chance to hit a house or person in the subdivision.

Shoe Automotive tire Plant Wood Grass
 
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