When going to the gun range for the 1st time or 100th time, these tips should be kept in mind:
- Always keep the gun pointed in a safe direction. This typically means the gun is pointed towards the targets or “Down Range”. This can vary depending on location.
- Always keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot. Index or hold your finger along the side of the gun frame or slide/action.
- Always treat every gun as if it is loaded until proven otherwise. Always check a gun to see if it is loaded even if you just saw someone unload or check the gun before they handed it to you.
- Always know what is behind your target or targets before you shoot. Know what you are shooting into or towards.
- Do not use alcohol or drugs before or when shooting a firearm. Stay sober and alert.
- Never point your gun at anything you’re not willing to destroy or kill. Watch what you do when holding a gun such as “muzzle sweep”.
- Know your gun, how to use it, and the proper type of ammunition for it. Study the owner’s manual before you use the gun. Use a Gun Cleaning Kit to make sure your gun is clean.
- Understand the commands that are used at a particular facility whether indoor or outdoor. Read the rules of the facility and understand what you can and can’t do, etc., prior to going on the firing line. If you are not sure or don’t understand, ask!
If you are looking for a firing range in your area, the NSSF has a wonderful directory here https://www.wheretoshoot.org/. You will want to look for a 5-Star range if possible, to meet NSSF’s criteria of a Five Star facility, a range must demonstrate excellence in all aspects of management and operations. Ranges are rated on appearance, management, customer service, amenities, customer development and community relations. View all of the details taken into consideration for this top honor.
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