If I’m taking a friend to the range, I tell them “first time’s on me” and pay the range fee and ammo… and most of them argue… “no, I’ll get it!”
But, first time’s on me. Typically after that, if they want to shoot, they can buy ammo, and I’ve pre-set the expectation already. If I’m getting a new shooter started, I might carry the ticket a couple times.
If it’s just someone random at the range ogling our guns (and who wouldn’t be… we have awesome guns ) and if they’re drooling or making puppy eyes, we usually offer to let them try. A mag or half a mag or one round in a mag like a new student… depending on how we’re feeling about their competence.
After that, if they give me puppy eyes the next time I usually just go with “yeah, it is a pretty sweet gun.” If they offer up a trade, cool, but otherwise we don’t usually let them borrow for free after that first time.
The exception is if it’s a guy trying to teach his wife or girlfriend and I can see it going south, I’ll just offer to help her and let her shoot with me, on my guns and ammo, to salvage the situation. I’ve seen too many women walk away from the range never wanting to go back, and if i can intercept that and turn it around. its worth as many boxes of ammo as it takes.