Shooting Range Safety For Beginners: Important Dos And Don'ts

Spending a few hours at the gun range can be a great way to sharpen your shooting skills and let off some steam in the process. However, if you're a beginner when it comes to handling a firearm, there are some basics of shooting range safety that you'll want to review and keep in mind while you're there. This way, you can keep yourself and other shooters safe while avoiding the embarrassment of being asked to leave by management.

DO Use Only Approved Ammunition

Check with your local gun range to find out what types of ammunition are approved versus which are prohibited. Most ranges will have signs posted explicitly stating which types of ammo are prohibited, but you shouldn't rely on this. Ammunition restrictions are especially common at indoor shooting ranges where using the wrong ammunition could actually pose a serious fire hazard to the building.

DON'T Point the Gun Anywhere But Downrange

Any time you're handling a loaded gun at the range, it should be pointed downrange. Never point the gun anywhere else, even if your finger is off the trigger. And if you're shooting a handgun that's not a revolver, be careful about what you wear; low-cut shirts are a bad idea because you'll likely end up with hot brass falling down your shirt. If that does occur, set the gun down before retrieving the brass from your shirt; don't panic and flail your gun around as you strive to retrieve the brass.

DO Load Your Gun at the Shooting Line

Never bring a gun that's already loaded into the shooting range. All guns should be unloaded when you arrive, and you should only load a gun when you're standing at the shooting line. Don't step back behind your shooting stall to load your gun, and be careful to keep your gun aimed downrange as you do so. It is always better to be safe than sorry.

DON'T Forget Ear and Eye Protection

Finally, be sure to bring your own ear and eye protection if you have it. Otherwise, you may be required to rent or purchase it from your gun range. Also, keep in mind that some ranges will have different rules when it comes to ear and eye protection; for example, one range may allow you to wear your prescription glasses in lieu of goggles, whereas another range may require you to wear a pair of goggles over your glasses. For more information, contact a professional like MTM Arms.