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Old 11-15-2004, 05:28 PM
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2TransAms 2TransAms is offline
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Range etiquette - Loading magazines

The range I shoot at is an outdoor range,and the benches at the pistol range are just that,benches under a pavilion.When someone wants to set up a target,they just make the line safe and SOP,magazines out,slide locked back,facing downrange,don't pick it up til he calls the line hot.
Last time I was there,I received a completely well-intentioned but rather stern scolding from an older gentleman about not loading my magazines while he was downrange.I've seen plenty of guys load while someone was downrange,range regulars who wouldn't let something unsafe fly if they saw it happening.
So,is it really rude or even dangerous to do it,or should I just not do it if he's around again?Nobody's said anything before.The sign at every station says to unload the weapon,but nothing about loading magazines.
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Old 11-15-2004, 05:36 PM
k1mri k1mri is offline
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At the club I belong to, not only can't we touch anything (weapons, ammo, mags. etc.) we have to stand 3 feet behind the firing line (marked by a line painted in bright red paint) until the all clear is announced.
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Old 11-15-2004, 05:37 PM
master gunner master gunner is offline
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You may want to write Ms Manners, but I think he is in need of a class in manners.

And I'm an old fart myself.

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Old 11-15-2004, 05:40 PM
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AZ Husker AZ Husker is offline
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Both ranges I shoot at keep us off the table and away from the ammo too.
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Old 11-15-2004, 06:14 PM
jasonj jasonj is offline
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Location: AZ, phoenix
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I agree, no touching anything while peole are down range. I know my abilities, but I have seen too many people at the range that scare the poop out of me. I belong to a provate range in the west valley. It would be to easy for some one to have a brain fart and put the mag in the weapon, and the all you need is an AD and the person down range better have been wearing brown pants when they went down because they will be when they come back.

I think this falls under the better safe than sorry rule, and it is a good one.

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Old 11-15-2004, 06:16 PM
ranger ranger is offline
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If anyone's downrange, don't touch anything on the bench.

This is not a rule because YOU'LL do something wrong, it's to protect you from THE OTHER GUY who is not as smart as you.

If you want to save time and reload then, pick up everything you need as you're making the line safe. Then if you can find a spot at least a few feet back from the bench, you should be able to reload magazines safely. Just don't do it at the bench when folks are downrange.
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Old 11-15-2004, 06:18 PM
steveno steveno is offline
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I don't see any problem at all if somebody wants to load the magazines while I'm down range.
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Old 11-15-2004, 06:46 PM
j_a_espo j_a_espo is offline
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Location: Pennsylvania
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We never touch anything when anyone is foward of the line. I do think it's rude. Actually. I take a few steps back from the line too. Personally I really don't like when anyone is fumbling with anything when I am forward of the line.

As much as I belive in this it's no excuse for someone to give you a hard time unless you violated a posted rule. Even then, a reminder would most likely have been sufficient. Sounds like this fella was a bit rude.

Get clarification from your range officer so you will know. Follow the rules and if this fella has a problem you can then choose to accommodate him or not, but at least you'll be informed.
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Old 11-15-2004, 07:01 PM
1911a1fan 1911a1fan is offline
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as long as the guns are unloaded and show clear ,i personally think it is a good time to get loading a magazine out of the way ,while handling ammunition most people do not point the mag down range anyway ,and it would do no good ,if there was a safety issue with loading a magazine ,being down range could be the safest place due to the distance away from the ammo ,I would rather be 25 yards away then right next to the guy
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Old 11-15-2004, 07:21 PM
fxntime fxntime is offline
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It's more that while they can see you doing something, they can't tell what it is. While YOU know it's a mag, others might not. And I agree, all it takes is a brain fart to insert the mag while others are down range. And quite frankly if I was down range and saw that..........[an accidental insertion] well lets just say the air would be turning blue, while I would be turning red. Safety first always.
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Old 11-15-2004, 07:48 PM
silvercorvette silvercorvette is offline
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Originally Posted by fxntime
It's more that while they can see you doing something, they can't tell what it is. While YOU know it's a mag, others might not. And I agree, all it takes is a brain fart to insert the mag while others are down range. And quite frankly if I was down range and saw that..........[an accidental insertion] well lets just say the air would be turning blue, while I would be turning red. Safety first always.
I agree, even though you know it is only a mag the guy down front doesn't know that it is only a mag. In the grand scheme of things the time you save by loading the magazine is almost insignificant. Even if the rules say it is OK to load why donít you use the time to relax, clear your head use the time to clear your head. You may even improve your score if you spend the time relaxing between target changes.
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Old 11-15-2004, 07:52 PM
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Kruzr Kruzr is offline
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Nobody should be within reach of a firearm on the firing line during a cease fire at every range I shoot (and work) at. I have no problem if someone wants to take their mags and ammo to the rear bench or anywhere behind the firing line to load during a cease fire but it shouldn't be at the bench where the guns are.
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Old 11-15-2004, 08:58 PM
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Range Safety

When someone is down range I allways set my pistol down on the bench and step back a few feet from the bench. As a courtesy to my fellow shooters I do not approach the bench or pick up my pistol until the range is hot. i expect the same from other shooters. Accidents can be prevented if shooters follow rules. A perfect example is an accident that happened at a local gun shop. A police officer brought his pistol in for some work and the employee proceded to pull the trigger and accidently shot the officer. Now the clerk pointed to a sign in the door that staes no loaded guns are to be brought into the store. But then when I am handed a gun I allways check it and clear it before I pull the trigger. In other words all these rules and precautions are only in place for our own protection and they dont bother me one bit. I have seen another accident at a trap club wher a shooter didnt clear his autoloader and it went off hitting the sidewalk and injuring another shooter. Better safe than sorry.
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Old 11-16-2004, 08:44 AM
KAS KAS is offline
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Every time I've shot at a range like that, the firearms had to be either holstered or action open, no ammo or magazine in firearm. Loading magazines or speedloaders was considered allright. Loaded magazines could be inserted into weapon only if the weapon was left holstered. But I've only shot at a range like that with only a few people and at least two qualified rangemasters present.
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Translation: Constant practice devoted to one subject often outdoes both intelligence and skill - Cicero
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Old 11-16-2004, 09:18 AM
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XavierBreath XavierBreath is offline
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At the outside range where I shoot, when a cold range is called, everyone is expected to open chambers, take out magazines if an auto, and step back behind a red line ten feet back. The chamber should be viewable from the redline. If that necessitates having the muzzle pointed other than downrange, the viewable open chamber takes precedence. A loud buzzer is used to alert to a cold or a hot range. This range also has berms at 25 yards, 50 yards and 100 yards.

Someone remaining at a table/bench is a no no.
Unopened chambers are no nos.
Inserted magazines are a no no.
Guns behind the red line are no nos.
Guns downrange are no nos.
Anyone can call a Cold range at any time and these rules must be obeyed.

Reloading magazines behind the red line is fairly common, IF the shooter remembers to take the magazines and ammo behind the redline when a cold range is called. He cannot return to the table to get them. The combination of reloading magazines with a gun at hand is the problem. I, myself, have practically trained so much that if there is an empty gun in my right hand and a full mag in the left, it will go in without my thinking about it. It's an automatic action for me. All it would take would be one brain fart and I would be dangerous. Therefore I appreciate those rules.

That being said, the range rules should be posted and be explicit. Everyone should follow them. If a person does not agree with the range rules, he should find another place to shoot, or seek to change the rules as posted. This idea of "All us regulars always do it thataway" is what gets people killed.
Often we get pretty worked up over stuff like this, when if we simply talk to the offender instead of trying to make them get our brand of religion, we would arrive at a safe understanding. Arguments with strangers with guns about are dangerous as well. The key to safety is that everyone understands and abides by the rules, no matter what they are. Loading magazines is not a problem. The problem I see is people with guns at hand while others are downrange. When I'm downrange, I want to be able to look back 50 yards and see that nobody is touching a gun. The only way to see that is to have them a goodly distance away from the guns.

I remember one day when I was out shooting and we had all gone out to change targets on a cold range. We all returned to the redline, and the hot range buzzer buzzed. We all stepped forward of the redline to shoot. I noticed that there was one young man still at the 100 yard mark and called a cold range. The Rangemaster, a crusty old Deupty Sheriff, immediately buzzed a cold range again, as the young man started jumping up and down on top of a berm waving his hands. If it had not have been for that red line and those rules, he could have lost his life. Thankfully, I have always looked for myself when returning to the line. It's amazing how many people will just walk up and shoot without looking at anything but their new target. When I go downrange, a whistle is around my neck now. My personal rule is to always let the other guy take the first shot on a newly hot range. I figure that first shot will get the straggler's attention if the buzzer does not. In this instance, the young man was a regular, and the Rangemaster was extremely apologetic, but it was a stiff reminder that the four basic rules should be in place, always, even under the watchful eye of a old timer Rangemaster.
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Last edited by XavierBreath; 11-16-2004 at 09:28 AM.
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Old 11-16-2004, 09:40 AM
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Rosco Benson Rosco Benson is offline
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There are complexities to running a "cold" range that can be avoided by running a "hot" range. I am philosophically opposed to cold ranges. However, I understand that they are a fact of life in some settings.

That said, don't touch the gear during a cease fire. As far as the described scolding goes; let the punishment (admonishment?) fit the crime. The fellow who started this thread was only loading a magazine. Was the old grouch a bit too grouchy? Perhaps. It is said that an armed society is a polite one. Strive to make that so when interacting on the range.

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Old 11-16-2004, 11:26 AM
mmike87 mmike87 is offline
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I see nothing wrong with it. As long as there are NO magazines in guns, what difference does it make other than to take up everyone's time?

But that's just me. Others likely have very strong opinions on this, probably influenced by who typically shoots at their range. Some have better clientel than others, for sure.
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Old 11-16-2004, 12:15 PM
P7 P7 is offline
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It's a good policy...lots of morons out there....best to see no one at the bench when down range....loading mags can easily turn into putting them in the gun and from there, well...you know....the 1911 has more than one safety....and sadly, some people need more than one also since the one in thier skull fails quite often...
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Old 11-16-2004, 01:11 PM
Shottist1911 Shottist1911 is offline
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I just top off and re-holster....err...wrong range...clear and lock open.

Then as I traipse out to past the target I can pull ammo from one cargo pocket and an empty from another and have one or two mags reloaded while walking out to the target.

Pull the tape from another cargo pocket and then after taping, can reload another mag or two on the way back to the line. Can then stand around and shoot the breeze while reloading the rest while waiting for the 300-yd guys to get back.

Now, if _I_ heard a round go off while I was downrange my first thought would be cover or at least move while searching for the shooter. Assuming I survived to that point. Then if s/he puts another round in my direction with no one stopping them I'll likely assume the worst and return fire. Ooops, did I say that? Hopefully the RO would preclude that necessity by firing first.
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Old 11-16-2004, 01:39 PM
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tenntucker tenntucker is offline
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We can't even pick up brass if it has fallen inside the lines while the range is in a safe(clear) mode.
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Old 11-16-2004, 03:20 PM
kcarragher kcarragher is offline
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Are we in that much of a hurry that we have to load a magazine during a cease fire. My range doesn't allow it and I feel that if I'm down range, nobody should even be standing at the line.
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Old 11-16-2004, 04:46 PM
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2TransAms 2TransAms is offline
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First,let me say that I really appreciate all of your input.Second,the rules at this range are slightly more relaxed than some indoor ranges around here.Barely.But nothing to the point of being dangerous.You can still stand at the line when the range is safe,just can't handle your pistol.Which some of you think is dangerous,and I can't say I entirely disagree.
In my defense:I didn't know how long he was going to take setting up his targets,I figured I'd load some magazines real quick.That's not really a defense,I guess,that's just what happened.Like I said,plenty of guys here do it,and they make sure nobody touches a pistol while that line is safe.
In his defense:In case he's a member here or someone knows him,I have no complaint about what he said.He wasn't rude at all.
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Old 11-16-2004, 06:18 PM
ccguy ccguy is offline
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I could argue either side. First of all, in matters concerning guns, safe is ALWAYS better than sorry, even if it's ABSURDLY safe. On the other hand, what the hell is a loaded magazine going to do? Fling itself in the gun, rack the slide and start squeezing? The only time I've ever gotten irate with anyone at the range was when a guy started shooting WHILE my father was downrange. I just screamed everything I could think of while running to the guy's bench with my hand on my pistol(I don't remember which one, but I do remember that it was about the closest I've ever come to being prepared to shoot another human). He was just some old guy who was oblivious to what was going on around him and didn't understand why I was screaming at him.
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Old 11-16-2004, 06:30 PM
JohnSmall JohnSmall is offline
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The ranges that I frequent don't allow you to be even close to the bench while a cease fire is called. Must be behind the red line. Can't touch a thing. I wouldn't have it any other way. Occationally I see people playing around while I'm down range on a cease fire and is makes me VERY nervous. If people are playing around while others are down range they get yelled at. I've just seen to many screwy things happen at a public range, even a well run range.
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Old 11-16-2004, 06:38 PM
Jim Keenan Jim Keenan is offline
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I agree with those who don't want anyone touching anything while anyone is down range. No one wants to cause an accident and we do not need a death or injury on a range to give the anti-gun types a reason to close ranges.

So, when folks are down range, step back, away from the bench, and don't touch guns, magazines, gun cases, or anything else.

(I can hear it now: "I was just loading a new magazine, and I wanted to make sure it fit in the gun, so I put it in and then I had to make sure it would feed OK, so I dropped the slide and I guess that sear I worked over was too light and the whole magazine went, and gee, I am sorry about those three guys being dead, but I was just loading a magazine.")

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