Outdoor range etiquette?


I’ve mainly shot at indoor ranges where I sweep my brass downrange after I’m done shooting. They’re always live ranges with target systems that move the target for me.

Over the years, I’ve shot at a couple of outdoor ranges for classes. We’ve had to police our brass at some, but not at others. And target changes require a cease-fire for everyone.

What other outdoor range etiquette things should we keep in mind?


It probably depends a lot on the type of outdoor ranges (bunker/berm style, lanes etc). Our range is set up like a lot of indoor ranges, it’s just outside (so shooting lanes right next two each other).

Please make sure your ECIs are visible when cease fires are called so the RSOs can quickly assess the safety/status of everyone’s weapon and get everyone back to shooting on the line in a timely manner.

If you’re shooting next to someone, please use a brass catcher, we have them there for a reason. Nothing more distracting to the shooter on the right than brass flying at you.

We ask that you police the brass into buckets off the cement walk/shooting areas (brass hounds often police brass from the gravel area forward of the shooting stations during cease fires which we’re fine with, but it’s not required. )

Set up multiple targets downrange so you’re not needing a cease fire/cold range called every couple magazines.

Yes we’re outdoors, but conversations carry, if you and your buddy’s are chatting it up fine but do be respectful of other members trying to shoot.

It’s a family range so when kid’s are about, please watch your language.

From an RSO perspective, it’s mostly making sure we’re not doing some maintenance task while shooters are on the line (e.g. leaf blowing, shoveling snow, collecting brass from buckets) unless they say it’s ok.


@JamesR–good advice.
The club I"m a member of has 8 ranges with very flexible options for practicing everything from bowling pins to moving targets to IDPA style shooting. They also have a mandatory safety briefing for new members that’s an hour long.
I would recommend you always look for the range’s specific rules that should be posted on every range. If they’re not there, talk with someone in charge–the RSO needs to make sure they’re in place.
As far as brass goes, not every club will let you pick up brass–ask first if you can. Most places are cool with picking up your own brass.


Most of my outdoor shooting has been in Syria (Knob Creek, KY) and at Fort Knox (qualifications with the SO). The rules in Syria are very simple. When firearms are not in use, there must be a flag in the chamber, put enough targets down range to last 30 minutes to an hour and don’t shoot other peoples targets. There is nothing to clean up when you are done.
Fort Knox is an ordeal, In addition to SO range officers, there is an Army range officer. Policing brass is a must and everything with you is subject to inspection. After the first time, we switched driving our POVs on to the base to meeting at a nearby shopping center and taking the SO transport bus to the reservation.


At the outdoor one here…well about an hour from here in the sticks really is the same as you discuss. Cease fire must be called and you could not draw out your holster there (You could not even have a holster or you got kicked out) BUT IT WAS FREE!!! Still is I’m sure!

One of my old buddies though got his but chewed out for swigging his rifle in direction of people with live ammo. (Not purposely but still dangerous)

The way I just put that really is not what he did… but y’all know what i mean…right?

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i can’t explain it but its a big danger!

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The outdoor range I use is
No shot shells
No trash targets
Basic safety(eyes and ears)

The range we do 4H is
No centerfire rifle on metal pistol targets
Basic Safety(eyes and ears)
Use the designated area for magnum caliber rifles.


I shoot at a locally managed range situated on state property. The rules are posted on a large sign and are fairly simple.

Eye and ear protection required.
No full auto weapons.
No tracers rounds.
No exploding ammunition or targets.
No armor piercing bullets.
No alcohol.
No minors without adult supervision.
Police your brass and trash.
Range open from dawn till dusk.

That’s it. It’s run on the honor system since there aren’t any range officers or other supervision. The best rule to follow is the golden one. “Do unto others” etc,etc.


The outdoor range I used to go to had little red rubber blocks attached to the benches. When the cease fire was called you unloaded if needed and put the block in the chamber holding the action open and sticking up.

This made it quick and easy for them to check that all the guns were clear.


In addition to what was mentioned in previous posts, don’t setup your target on top of a wooden support post. Apparently this was a problem at the outdoor range I went to in MN, and made a lot of unnecessary work for the owner.

A side note… the indoor range in WI I went to a couple times made the shooters sweep their brass off the floor. Plus, the floor was carpeted in the shooters’ area which I don’t see very often.


Taken directly from their website: “The North Fork Wolf Creek Recreational Shooting Lanes is a public area open for recreational shooting during legal hours year round. This is a collaboration between the nonprofit Trash No Land, Oregon Department of Forestry and the public. The lanes are unmanned and free to the public. There are no bathroom facilities or garbage receptacles. Please pack in and pack out. These are managed and maintained by the public and Oregon Department of Forestry. Stewardship is appreciated at these lanes as is responsible behaviors.”

As one of the many people that helped to build/contribute/donate labor and money to the 4 shooting lanes at our public range, everyone I’ve seen up there does a great job with safety and cleanup. Cease fire is called when needed. Everyone that needs to, sets up targets, resets targets, etc. Absolutely NO glass targets allowed. In addition, it’s a great place to get brass for reloading.


Glass targets? I haven’t heard about glass targets before??


I guess that means you need to bring your beer in cans to shoot at when you’re done drinking them! :rofl:


… shaking my head, scrolling away from this sarcastic comment… (may be laughing a little)


Aim for the one in the middle. :grin:

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:rofl: :joy: :rofl: :joy: :rofl: :joy:


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I like to be as surprised as everyone else when I speak!


Exactly. But, someone else will have to bring them. I don’t drink.


Glass in general, e.g., bottles, jars, etc.

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If you bring em I’ll drink em and you can shoot em!

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