Interactions on the Range

My wife and I went to an indoor range last night and another couple came in after a few minutes and started shooting in the lane next to us. I wasn’t seeing the girl do very much and at one point there was a conversation going on between them that made me ask her if this was her first time to shoot a gun. She said it was, and I could tell she was very apprehensive about it. My wife has had problems with her hand bruising when she shoots, so I just bought her a S&W 22 M&P 2.0 that we were trying for the first time. I encouraged the girl to step into our lane and try the 22. I assured her there was almost no recoil. When she picked up the gun, I realized she knew nothing at all about shooting, not even how to hold the gun. As soon as I realized that, I took the gun back, removed the magazine, racked the gun to remove the bullet in the chamber and showed her it was empty. I love helping people, so I really enjoyed showing her how to properly hold the gun and explained that the slide moves when the gun is shot, etc. It was difficult to get her to keep her hands in the right position, but eventually she very nervously shot one time. The boyfriend was there watching, too. I’m not sure how much he really knew either. I hated to see someone be handed a gun without any apparent training at all. I really believe in having someone new to guns do nothing but hold it, aim it, and dry fire with it several times before ever loading it.

My wife and I talked about it afterwards and we couldn’t tell that we violated any range rules with what we did, but I’m curious of what your opinions may be with what we did. Is letting someone else into your lane to fire your gun alright or is that taboo?


You guys ROCK for doing that! That’s one of the many ways we can be good citizens and remove the 2A fear that seems so pervasive. And kudos to the husband for bringing her.

I’ve often shared some targets (reactive splatter type) that I bring to the range with me. I prefer those over the paper targets because I can more easily see the hit location at further distances, as opposed to just a small hole in a black or beige piece of paper. And I carry sharpies that I have shared when others go to mark targets and have forgotten to bring one.


@Trmptr64, the range officers at the range I work at would thank you for noticing her inexperience and helping them both out! By stepping in you not only made it easier for the range officer to do their job, you may have saved a life.

And I’m not being dramatic about that either. I was in a lane at the range working with a student. As he reloaded the magazine, I was watching the woman in the lane next to us as she got hot brass down her shirt. The range officer was further away helping someone else and his back was to us. I watched as the woman swung her hand - finger still on the trigger - toward the range safety officer.

I grabbed her hand and jerked it back to down range. Luckily she didn’t fire at all during that time. After the incident I did go out and tell the range owners what had happened. They were very thankful for the extra eyes and safety on the range.

Shooting at a range with other people when you don’t know how to properly handle a firearm can be deadly. And you probably made the trip much more enjoyable for the new shooter!

Kudos to you for helping out!


Thanks for the feedback! I was worried that maybe I shouldn’t have done it. Your story is pretty scary, but I can see how that could easily happen with someone inexperienced especially. I think the range officer owes you lunch!

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I’m a NRA Certified Range Safety Officer and I volunteer at my gun club whenever they need extra help. And I also go and shoot as well. And I’m always looking at other shooters to make sure that everyone is staying safe and having fun. And I have helped people with issues that they were having from grip of gun to locking the slide back. And I’ve also taught new shooters as well. And the main thing for me is to make sure that everyone remains safe. And I’ve also let other people shoot my guns to let them see what they shot like. I use to have a gun that not many people knew about and it always drew a crowd. It was a Rossi RANCH HAND which is a LEVER ACTION HANDGUN. And I always had people come over to look at it. And in some cases I let them shoot it. I feel that it is EVERYONES duty to make sure that firearm safety is followed when around guns no matter where you are at the range, home, or out and about. It is EVERYONES duty to be safe.


It’s great to get that opinion from a Range Safety Officer! I’d love to see that lever action handgun! That would be an awesome gun!

I was covering a break for a RSO at the range (I’m an RSO, but work the gun counter and check in mostly) and had to stop a guy 3 different times from getting slide bite. Three (3) times! And he complained that I interrupted his shooting.

Have you ever seen someone with their thumbs wrong and had the overwhelming urge to correct them? Did you?



I have a Rossi also (44 mag) and it always gets attention when I take it to the range. If there are only a few people there and everyone has been shooting 22 I kind of let them know its about to get really loud so they dont jump (as much) when I fire that first round. When I first got it my youngest daughter (over 21) kept asking when are we going to the range so I can try it out.


That’s hilarious! I’m not sure you can teach anything to someone that can’t even learn from the school of hard knocks!

Dude, a lever action pistol… :drooling_face::drooling_face::drooling_face:

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You’d figure that doing that once would hurt enough to not do it again. :thinking:

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:joy: My wife has been bit twice. The lady at the range asks if we need bandaids when we show up. She’s a great shot and does a good job, but she’ll get excited (first time was over reactive targets, last time was her new gun) and for some reason she’ll cross her thumbs.

I handled my wife’s revolver one time, and right after that, I picked up my pistol and crossed my thumb over the back. Fortunately, I realized it before I pulled the trigger. It really made me nervous about going back and forth like that.

Rossi makes three models of the Ranch hand, 45 long colt, 357 mag and 44 mag.

Other companies make something similar in various calibers but call it a Mares leg (after the gun used by Steve McQueen in the tv series “Wanted Dead or Alive”).
They are just short enough to be hand guns so you do not have to get a special license for a short barreled rifle.


Yep, I’ve seen them.


It really does come down to focus, doesn’t it @JKetchem? And training can definitely help that.


I have a question , I was always told to hit right where u r aimed to put the front sight dot on what u wanna hit, so I have and made sure front and back was lined up it always goes way below my target. So I have to line up sights and raise my gun till my target is out of sight with the barrel then I hit right on. So is my sights off ?

It sounds like they might be off, @Gunpassion. Next time you’re at the range see if they have a gunsmith or possibly an RSO who could take a look at it. They should be able to see what’s wrong with it and help you out.

The RSO might not be able to help, but a gunsmith should definitely be able to help.


What gun are you using and how far out is the target? Some handguns use different sight pictures for aiming, shown in the pic I’ve attached.



Here is a picture of my Rossi Ranch Hand. It’s chambered in .45lc. I don’t have it any more. I trades it in for a Stag Arms AR-15 for lefties.