40% of Americans live in a household with at least one gun. Guns are an ingrained part of our culture, and responsible gun owners know how to use them safely. Some claim that the best place to learn gun safety is at a gun range.
You should prepare before going to a gun range for the first time. These facilities pride themselves on being safe. However, the reality is that they’re only as safe as their customers allow them to be.
The best kind of gun owner is an informed gun owner. We’ll discuss some of the things you should know before going to a gun range in this article.
1. There’s a Shot Limit
Most ranges have rules about what kind of guns you can bring, what kind of ammo you can use, and how many shots you can fire. This often has to do with the gun range itself and the equipment it uses. Some weapons and rounds are too powerful. Most gun ranges can’t handle them.
This is why you should check the rules of the range before you go. Find out how many shots you’re allowed to take, and make plans not to waste them.
2. Bring the Correct Protective Equipment
After finding out the shot limit, do some research on protective equipment. Many ranges give equipment to their customers, but not all of them. If your range doesn’t offer the proper ear and eye protection, you must bring it in yourself.
The first thing you need is proper ear and eye protection. Our ears can only endure 120 decibels before suffering immediate hearing damage. A shot from an average firearm reaches at least 140 decibels.
You need a certain type of ear protection for your ears. This protection comes in the form of either earplugs or earmuffs. Health organizations recommend wearing both when at a gun range. For eye protection, you’ll need a set of goggles.
3. Don’t be Arrogant
Always remember that the people working at the range are experts. Whether you’re an experienced shooter or a first-time shooter, we suggest that you listen to your advice.
Perhaps they think you should take a course before shooting on your own. What could it hurt? They might want to inspect your gun before they let you shoot. That’s okay, too.
4. Gun Safety is Key
You should know the basic rules of gun safety before going to a range. There are many rules for gun safety, but the basics are simple.
Always assume the gun is loaded. This means that you should never point a gun at another living creature. There have been too many tragedies because somebody assumed a gun wasn’t loaded.
The next rule of gun safety is to keep your finger off the trigger until you’re ready to fire. We call this trigger discipline, and it’s a great way to prevent accidental discharge.
5. Cluster Your Shots
The best target shooters will tell you that the best way to hit a target is to focus your fire on a very small area. This increases the chances of at least one shot hitting its intended target.
Clustered shots make it easy to correct your aim, as well. This works because it increases the sample size.
One missed shot could be anything. One missed shot out of eight is likely a fluke or the result of a last-minute hand movement. 7 missed shots out of eight suggests that your aim is off.
6. Take Care of the Weapon
Using a gun properly also means keeping it in good condition. An unclean gun is useless. Neglect can lead to rust, jamming, and even the gun breaking.
Breaking a gun is the worst because then you have to repair or replace it. Gunsmiths often charge by the hour. They often have a backlog of jobs to do, so it can take a few weeks before they even get around to fixing your gun.
Buying a new gun isn’t any cheaper. The price for a new handgun is a few hundred dollars, to say nothing of larger firearms.
Lubricating before shooting is another important step in maintaining a gun. The proper amount of lubrication is what allows the gun to fire accurately. Too much or too little lubrication will affect the speed of the bullet. This, in turn, throws the bullet off of its trajectory.
7. Keep the Range Clean
Gun range etiquette includes basic etiquette. One of the key rules of basic etiquette is to always leave a place nicer than when you found it. This means picking up all your spent casings when you’ve finished shooting.
In addition to being the right thing to do, this helps keep the gun range safe. Nobody’s going to suffer serious injuries from tripping on a shell casing, but that doesn’t mean you should take the risk.
What to Know Before Visiting a Gun Range
Going to a gun range is often an intimidating experience, particularly if you’ve never been there before. It doesn’t have to be, though, as long as you know what you’re getting into.
We’ve discussed a few things to know about gun ranges here, but there’s more to know than we could fit in one article. There are gun ranges in every state, and each state has a few rules all its own.
If you want to know more about gun ranges, please visit our site. Are you thinking about getting licensed to carry a gun? We can tell you about some things to look into first.