What Should You Know Before Visiting the Shooting Range?

Las Vegas is known for a myriad of attractions, including gun ranges. If you plan on visiting a shooting range in Las Vegas, there are some things you should know prior to booking a session.

The most important part of handling a gun is safety. Here are ten tips that help you successfully master the shooting range, even as a beginner.

1. Research gun range etiquette

When you decide you’re visiting the gun range, it’s wise to do some research on some of their standards and customs. Keep in mind, there may be different regulations depending on the location. For example, look up regulations for a gun range in Las Vegas for optimal results.

2. Hydrate

When you’re handling a gun, you need sharp focus. If you’re dehydrated, you’ll have a harder time focusing on the range and can harm yourself or others. Another problem with dehydration is that the process is already dangerous by the time you feel thirsty. The best thing to do is pack a water bottle or cooler, especially if you’re at an outdoor range and in a warmer climate.

3. Visit the range sober

In addition to drinking plenty of water to stay alert, you should avoid using drugs and alcohol. Substances further impair your judgement and vision, which subsequently makes you a threat. While it may be tempting to visit a gun range after partaking in some drinking-related activities in Las Vegas, do yourself a favor and go to the range when you don’t plan on partying.

4. Dress appropriately

While you may want to dress like you would for a night on the town, wearing the wrong attire can be a safety hazard. Open-toe shoes and your bare arms and legs can cause burns. The brass shell casings that come out when you shoot a gun that hurt when they come in contact with your skin. Once you burn yourself, you can also lose focus on the gun and accidentally shoot yourself or someone.

5. Wear protective gear

Also, you’ll need to wear protective eye and ear gear. Guns are very loud and regular exposure to them can lead to hearing impairment. You can either purchase your own or rent some from the gun range.

6. Learn gun range commands

To keep everyone at the range safe, the ranger on staff will occasionally call out commands. These commands include:

  • Cease fire: everyone must stop shooting.
  • Make safe: secure your weapon.
  • Range going hot: live fire will begin soon.
  • Commence fire: it’s okay to disengage your weapon and fire.
  • Range is cold: live fire has ended. You’ll need clearance to safely view your target.

Do your best to listen out for these commands, especially when there’s a myriad of shooters present.

7. Bring a friend

Most would agree that bringing a friend typically enhances any experience. Bringing a friend along that’s familiar with handling firearms will make you more comfortable and can also help you if they notice you’re making a mistake. Depending on how inexperienced you are, they can potentially save you from a life-threatening mistake.

8. Pack some cloth tape

When you regularly hold guns, your hands are prone to blisters. These are painful, even after you leave the range. Lightly wrapping your hands in cloth tape is a small gesture that can save you days of pain.

This is also a great solution in case you run out of staples to hang your targets. Best of all, it’s lightweight and can be carried on your wrist if you don’t want to carry a heavy bag.

9. Weigh all of your options

The beauty of going to the gun range is there are plenty of guns there. So, feel free to take your time and test multiple guns when you’re at the range.

Don’t assume that choosing smaller guns will result in less kick. In most cases, smaller guns have even more kick. Greater sized guns have less momentum and kick because there’s less acceleration. Therefore, do not rule out options like a 9 mm to suit your needs.

Of course, you’ll have the help of professional gun range workers to help you choose. Take advantage of their expertise, even if you have to make multiple trips before choosing the perfect weapon.

10. Always handle guns as if they’re loaded

Part of being a responsible gun owner is handling your firearm as if it’s always loaded. Understanding the potential dangers of mishandling a firearm will make you lead with caution.

This includes cleaning. Unloading your gun immediately once you finish shooting. This ensures the safety of everyone around you.

Also, make sure you only point your loaded gun at the intended target. Even if you do end up accidentally firing, the gun is already aimed at a safe target. Ask your instructor to help you find the perfect safe direction. They can help you account for ricochet bullets.

Going to a gun range can be an extremely rewarding experience. Safety should be your number one priority, especially as a beginner. Simple gestures like learning the appropriate etiquette and only loading your firearm when you plan on shooting can be the difference between a safe and fun time and someone being seriously injured.

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