It is estimated that there are over 300 million legally owned firearms in the United States.
About 44 percent of Americans have reported to either own a firearm or live with someone that does.
Many men and women across the country take their handguns and rifles, like an AR-15 or AK-47 to the range to practice shooting and master firearm safety.
More and more people purchased firearms due to COVID-19 this year. In fact, there were 17 million guns purchased this year alone.
Due to this record number, there is a lot to learn and pass onto others about gun ownership, gun safety, and range etiquette.
We have created a complete guide for all your safety tips, tricks, and gun etiquette ahead of going to the range. Keep reading to find out more.
Gun Ownership Is About Safe Ownership
Our Founding Fathers made sure that it was a constitutional right to be able to legally own a firearm for self-defense and protection against tyranny. They also wanted to ensure that gun owners were well trained in proper firearm safety habits.
George Washington most notably said in his first State of the Union address that, “A free people ought to not only to be armed, but disciplined.”
Gun safety is of utmost importance and should be the number one priority for every single gun owner.
What does this mean for you and others you may bring to the range?
How can you practice good firearm safety habits when you take your AR-15 or AK-47 to the range?
Gun Ownership Etiquette You Need to Know
Whether you are a proud new gun owner or have a lifetime of range experience with an impressive inventory of firearms to show for it, it never hurts to get a refresher course on gun ownership etiquette before you take your AR-15 or AK-47 to the range.
Here are some basic range tips and tricks to remember ahead of going to the range.
Always Follow Basic Gun Safety Rules
From the moment you step onto the range property to the moment you leave, always be following basic gun safety rules.
These are common sense rules, like do not point it at anyone, always keep your finger off the trigger when not shooting, and make sure the gun is unloaded until ready to use.
Firearms are inherently dangerous items. Treat them with respect and use common sense when handling them.
Keep Your Finger Off the Trigger
This is among the most important piece of information to remember whenever handling a firearm. Always keep your finger off the trigger until the moment you are shooting it downrange at a target.
This is known as having good trigger discipline.
As soon as you are done shooting, immediately take your finger off the trigger. Never have your finger on the trigger when pointing the gun down toward the ground or in the air.
Instead, rest your finger on the side of the gun, away from the trigger and trigger guard.
It is much more difficult to have an accidental misfire if your finger is not on the trigger.
Because it warrants repeating, always take your finger off the trigger.
Know What Types of Guns the Range Allows
Every range has slightly different rules on the types of firearms you are allowed to bring, depending on where you go and whether you are going to an indoor or outdoor range.
For example, some indoor ranges do not allow for high powered rifles and try to limit individuals to shooting handguns only.
Before you go, make sure that the range allows you to take your AR-15 or AK-47 to their range.
Learn the Range Commands and Common Terminology
There are basic range commands that you will hear at every range you go to. Here are some common examples:
- “Hot” means the range is active and you are allowed to fire your firearm.
- “Cold” means that the range is inactive, no shooting is allowed, guns must be unloaded, and all individuals except the Range Safety Officer must be behind the firing line.
- “Cease Fire” means to stop firing your firearm immediately, put the gun down, and unload it
- “Firing line” is the area from where you are allowed to shoot safely.
- “Range Safety Officer” is the range employee in charge of enforcing the rules of the range.
These are the general meanings of some common terminology and range commands. Check with your range to learn the exact definitions of these terms.
Watch the Training Video
Most ranges will require individuals to watch a safety and training video the first time at that specific range.
You are usually also required to sign a waiver stating that you watched the video and understand the gun safety habits discussed in the video.
Use a Bag to Transport Your Firearms
Bring your firearms to the range in either a gun case of duffle bag. Not only will this help keep all your shooting supplies like ammo, scopes, and targets in one place, it is considered proper etiquette to do so.
Do Not Bring a Loaded Gun to the Range
Most ranges require that you do not bring a loaded firearm to the range. In that case, your firearm must be unloaded prior to arriving.
You may only load your firearm at the shooting bench prior to shooting.
Treat Every Gun as If It is Loaded
Firearm accidents always seem to happen with unloaded guns. Why is that?
Many people will wrongly assume that a firearm is unloaded. They will carry out unsafe gun handling tactics, such as pointing it in the air, at another individual, or themselves.
Or they will place their finger on the trigger when they are not pointing the gun safely downrange and prepared to shoot.
These most unfortunate tragedies can be easily prevented by treating every gun as if it is loaded.
This means that whenever you handle a gun, double check to make sure it is unloaded and removed of a magazine. After this, make sure there is not a round in the chamber.
Practice safe gun habits by never pointing a firearm at anyone or anything and keeping your finger off the trigger.
Bring the Right Ammo
It is considered proper range etiquette to bring the right kind of ammunition for your handgun, AR-15, or AK-47.
Some ranges sell ammunition in their shop on-site. Check before you go if you may need to purchase some prior to shooting. Some ranges do not sell any ammunition however. In this case, make sure you have enough.
Due to COVID-19 and other circumstances, there has been an ammunition shortage for several popular types of handguns this part year. Online retailers offer a wide selection of ammunition for all kinds of firearms, including AR-15 and AK-47s.
Online retailers are ideal for ordering ammunition as they ship it fast right to your door.
Make sure you have enough of the right kind of ammo prior to going to a range.
Always Point the Gun Downrange
The standard practice when handling a gun is to never point it at something you are not prepared to kill or destroy. Always point the firearm or rifle in a safe direction when handling it. Keep it pointed downrange or at the ground, if necessary.
Never, ever point a firearm at any individual while at a range. Never point it in the air or anywhere other than downrange when it is safe to do so.
To be safe, you should set the gun down on the shooting bench when not using it. Keep the barrel pointed downrange in this circumstance as well.
Listen to the Range Safety Officer
The Range Safety Officer’s primary job responsibility is to enforce the rules of the range and to promote safe firearm habits.
What the Range Safety Officer says goes. You must follow their commands at all times.
They are the ones who will label the range as hot or cold and call a cease fire. You must be paying attention to them at all times to do your part to promote a safe shooting experience.
If you do not listen to their commands, you will most likely be asked to leave the range and could possibly be banned from returning in the future.
Range Safety Officers can also help answer any questions you may have during the course of your shooting or solve any issues you may experience with your firearm.
Be Aware of Your Surroundings
It is critical to be aware of your surroundings. Always know what is behind the target you are shooting at. Be aware of the people who are around you as well.
Report Suspicious Activity
Accountability is an important part of range etiquette. If you happen to see someone not following gun safety techniques or being reckless, report them to the Range Safety Officer or range master immediately.
Your actions may be the difference between someone getting hurt or not.
Clean Up After Yourself
Throw away any trash you might have created or left. This includes used targets, empty ammunition targets, water bottles, and more.
You should also be sure to sweep and pick up the empty brass shell casings that you used or that are in your area. Throw away the shell casings in the appropriate container.
Some ranges will clean up the empty shells and keep them. They may use he brass for reloading or sell it to another reloading company.
As the famous phrase goes, “An armed society is a polite society.” Be courteous and respectful to those around you and everyone at the range.
You can do this by keeping your voice down, practicing good safety habits, and being a generally good neighbor.
Do not get into arguments with the Range Safety Officer or try to argue that another range you went to had different rules. Be courteous of the rules at the range you are at.
Why Gun Safety Matters
Practicing good gun safety tips is very important. Doing so can help prevent range accidents and accidental misfires from occurring.
Those who prioritize gun safety with the tips above when handling firearms are less likely to experience an accident.
Why You Should Take Your AR-15 or AK-47 to the Range
There are so many practical benefits of taking your AR-15 or AK-47 to the range. Like anything, shooting is a skill that you need to practice with regular frequency in order to become skilled and comfortable using the firearm.
Regularly shooting your handguns and rifles at a range can help increase confidence using it. It can also help you become accustomed to the nuances of your guns and highlight any problems your gun may have.
These common problems you can discover when shooting at the range include the gun jamming, trigger issues, inaccuracy, and more.
Most importantly, the best reason to take your AR-15 or AK-47 to the range is to learn and practice gun safety techniques.
Ranges prioritize firearm safety over everything and teach gun safety to every individual who practices at their range.
Contact Us Today for Your Ammunition Needs
It is your fundamental constitutional right as an American to own a firearm. It is also every American’s responsibility to practice good firearm safety habits every single time they handle a handgun or rifle.
If you are looking to order ammunition ahead of taking your AR-15 or AK-47 to the range, we have you covered here at BulkMunitions. We ship and sell bulk orders of ammunition for everything from handguns to rifles to shotguns.
Reach out to our knowledgeable team through email or phone if you have any questions about your ammo needs.