It has been a long time since I have been scolded at the range, but it happened yesterday. The ROs all recognize me and have seen me training many times, so I was caught by surprise to get called out.
My buddy has the same make and model gun as me. His has been having jamming problems with some ammo he bought 1,000 rounds of. It runs fine in my gun. Swapping shooters yields the same results. The simple solution would be for me to swap ammo with him but I like to find and resolve root cause.
I had adjusted the extractor tension on his gun the day before. At the range it was still playing jam-o-matic with the ammo in question. I was in the lane beside him and multiple empty lanes on either side of us. I had the idea to get the two guns together to make a subjective appraisal of recoil springs.
That’s when it happened. I dropped the magazine out of my gun, locked the slide open, pointed the muzzle up, stepped back and took two steps sideways to his lane. In that moment I had broken the range rule of NO Guns behind the firing lane. The scolding didn’t hurt my feelings, but it reminded me none of us is perfect. I should have put my gun in my range bag and carried the closed bag over a lane.
I am sharing this to let new shooters understand the range rules are there for the safety of all of us and don’t let a reprimand from the RO hurt your feelings to the point you don’t go back and continue training. Simple mistakes happen to all of us - it’s all part of the continuing education process.
The worst I have been scolded for was placing my gun back into my holster and not having a cover garment on.
Glad you highlighted this range practice. It’s common safety etiquette. Trainers from class have also told me the same, and some of the better ranges remind us. When I took some newbies with me, we practiced that rule, and I felt more at ease. Last week, SRO also taught us, that he did not want our rifle case protruding out past the lane, good advice for other reasons – but I figured to also prevent tripping. I did not mind his tone, because everyone there needs to hear that. Saved our "_ _ _ e s ".
At my indoor range you can move a firearm from one lane to another but it must be moved inside the case/bag you brought it in from one to another.
Besides the 4 main safety rules, all ranges make up their own rules. When you go to the range they should have them posted before you enter. Just take a few minutes to read them. Range Officers need to be firm but some of them just want to embarrass shooters to the point where they don’t return. As a RSO your job should be to teach and be as patient as possible. I don’t see what you did as a big deal to deserve a tongue lashing. Be that as it may you handled it very well and thanks for sharing that.
This is a good “learning from” story.
Whereas you describe a completely safe scenario, the range has their own rules.
At my range there are rules but I also blend it with some common sense.
For example, if you went from one lane to the other and there was actually no other guests at all, that would still have been an infraction. But, at our range we wouldn’t say anything. There are lots of little things like this example that we’d say nothing.