What Would You Do (spin off George16's Question)

So starting a new thread so as to not hijack George16’s original “what would you do” thread…….

Is going up to someone you’ve never met before at the range and asking them if you can try out their special gun poor range etiquette?

For me, it would be. I’m hesitant about (and frequently decline) firing off the regular guys guns even though they invite me too. I just don’t want them to think I’m expecting it, and I actually enjoy watching them enjoy their special gun. So I would never ask a stranger (with the exception being if maybe someone came out with a select fire weapon and then I would insist on providing the ammo :grinning: )

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In my eyes, yes it is.

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To answer the question you asked, yes it is poor etiquette. It would be about as poor form as asking a guy at a car show if you could drive his car or after complimenting him/her on his wife/husband and asking for a test drive.

Now that being said I have struck up conversations on the range out of pure curiosity on firearms that I am unfamiliar with or that have a place in my heart. The last most memorable one was a fella that had an African double rifle chambered in 50 OH MY GOD. I stood respectfully behind and to his right as he was doing his thing. When he finished and acknowledged me with a look, nod and grin I asked him “OK you are loading artillery shells in that. What is it?” He laughed and we had a great conversation about his rifle specifically and double rifles in general. I was completely uninformed as to how they “regulated” the barrels and learned a lot. The rifle was flat out STUNNING in fit, finish and craftsmanship and he handed it to me and pointed out several things that you would not notice looking at it. We probably talked for a half an hour.

Near the end he grins at me and says “Wana shoot it?” I declined initially telling him that it must cost $10 a round to load and I had already taken up too much of his range time. He laughed and handed me 2 of those monstrous rounds and said “Chicken?” Nope! I remembered what he said about the barrels being regulated and while the recoil was “stout” it was not unpleasant, the 2nd round followed the first and touched it. He looked at the target through his Swarovski spotting scope, shook his head and told me if I ever get to go hunting in Africa to call him and I can use the rifle. I still have his card.

Having a true curiosity will net you a good conversation and mebby a try. That is not poor etiquette.




Just keep in mind that any newbie on your range who might come up and ask probably has no idea that such a request would be considered poor etiquette in all likelihood.

I would see it as a chance to make a friend and educate them.

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While I can see myself liking you Charles I doubt you would feel the same about me. My lack of trust in people as a whole would not allow me to hand a loaded firearm to a complete stranger.

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I’m an instructor and have been for many years, I’m used to newbies with no clue.

Before I hand anyone a loaded weapon though I’m going to determine their competency.

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Ironically, that’s one of the reasons I became an RSO…so I could see all the different weapons brought to the range on a regular basis (and have a reason to go to the range regularly…oh honey, I’ve gotta work RSO this weekend…darnit, lol).

Like you I may engage them in conversation about the weapon (between cease fires), but that’s where I draw the line and even if they offer, I politely decline. Again, I don’t want to ever give off the impression that I was fishing for an opportunity to fire their weapon.

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I agree that it would be poor etiquette. That being said, if someone is shooting a gun I have a genuine interest in, and they appear to be approachable, I may try to find an opportunity to ask their opinions about it. I won’t ask to shoot it and would most likely turn down an offer.


A lot of people would love to talk about their guns with you! A lot of the time we do not talk about our firearms in general public because of the stigma attached to firearms. The range is a place where we can freely talk about our guns.

I work at a range part time (my second fun job) and LOVE talking guns with people. There will always be one or two who don’t want to talk or don’t have the time, but that’s OK. There will be others who are eager to talk!

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Yes, walking up to someone and asking to shoot THEIR gun is poor etiquette. I have no problem talking to them about said gun. Now, if they offer to let me shoot it, I’m game. I offer to let others shoot some of my stuff. Only my closest friends and family ever touch my carry gun. In the 3 years I’ve carried it, only 5 people, counting me, have put rounds through it.

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I would never ask a stranger to try their gun. I might ogle it a little and then try to find one I can try at the range.

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In general, yes. But… short story time. A friend related a story to me about being at the range with his vintage M1 Garand. A veteran of WW2 heard it and came to look at it. While the gentleman was too polite to actually ask, my friend could see in his face he desperately wanted to shoot it. So happy ending for all. Again, in general, yes, but let’s make room for those special times when etiquette can go get bent.

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Speaking for myself, there are standard caveats always in place, one of which is “There are always exceptions.”

At the range just this morning working on my pistol skills. A fellow in my age range showed up and started testing loads for his new 6.5 Creedmore deer rifle. During a break we got to talking and it turns out we were both at the same gun store last Saturday morning. Talked some more and found we knew some of the same people from back when.

After some “what are you shooting” questions, he offered me a few rounds through his rifle and I offered him a magazine through my pistol. Had a good time, learned a little something, and made a new range buddy.

There are always exceptions.

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I get this alot from my old Kel Tech KSG. I put a lot of work in on civilizing this gun so my wife would feel more comfortable with it.

Alot of people come up to me and ask me wth is that as it’s a barely legal firearm lengthwise. If they are truly interested I will offer to let them fire it.