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Posted: 8/18/2002 5:54:36 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/18/2002 6:07:22 PM EDT by Jim_Dandy]
I went to this public range today with the idea of sending a little lead down range. This particular place (in El Reno, OK) is largely unsupervised and not a favorite of mine due to the lack of safety. At any rate, at 11:00 in the A.M., when I arrive, every swinging dick for a hundred miles seems to be there. That's all of the incentive I need to leave.

As I'm starting to back out of the parking lot, some guy who's shooting a muzzleloader touches off a shot and KA-BOOM!!! A big flame erupts where he's sitting and an extremely large cloud of smoke literally engulfs him and another guy (who was not with him) to his left. I jumped out of my pickup and ran up to where he was sitting along with everyone else. The shooter stands up and takes his hat off and begins wringing his hand as if in pain.

Other than being powder burned across the right side of his face, shoulder, arm, and hand he was remarkably unhurt, just very dazed. I spoke to him, but only received a response of, "Oh shit! Oh fuck! Oh fuck!"

This is exactly what I hate about unsupervised public ranges. You can follow all of the safety rules and do everything right, but some other asshole can get you killed. I don't think I'll go back.

Oh yeah. No one was wearing any eye protection. Just something to think about before you all elect to shoot at a place like this.
Link Posted: 8/18/2002 6:00:19 PM EDT
So what happened? I am so glad I belong to a private range where I must say I have never been in fear of my life there. This is not to say that it can't happen and I carry two pair of safety glasses and I wear the one's for the prevailing conditions.
Link Posted: 8/18/2002 6:01:24 PM EDT
Did you stick around long enough to figure out what he had done?
Link Posted: 8/18/2002 6:06:00 PM EDT
First off, I'm not an accident investigator by any means. The rifle he was shooting appeared to be a Lyman Great Plains rifle in good shape and he had fired a couple of shots during the several minutes that I was looking around.

I did not handle his rifle or gear, but the breechplug appeared intact. I'm just guessing he may have had a bore obstruction and the nipple blew out. That's only a guess. Overcharges in a muzzleloader generally just blow out of the muzzle. BTW, he was shooting regular grade Pyrodex.
Link Posted: 8/18/2002 7:33:43 PM EDT

Jim_Dandy wrote:
...
This is exactly what I hate about unsupervised public ranges. You can follow all of the safety rules and do everything right, but some other asshole can get you killed. I don't think I'll go back.
...



Hold on here a second.

What do you hate?

Someone got hurt (NOT killed, thank God) KB's are something one does not "plan" on doing (I can only hope!).

Before finger pointing is done, gather a few facts.

What would have been different had a RO been there?

enquiring minds want to know!
Link Posted: 8/19/2002 2:07:54 AM EDT
Unsafe loading practices, lack of safety gear, etc.
Link Posted: 8/19/2002 4:14:43 AM EDT
I was shooting in a indoor public range. I could hear yelling in the next stall. I backed up and looked at 3 urban youth fight over what looked like a 380 pistol and yelling about its my turn. They were all try to get a hold of it when I noticed a finger on the trigger and it was pointing to were I was standing 2 seconds ago on the firing line. I yelled " what the fuck do you think your doing "
They looked at me and I walked out to report it to the range babysitter and then left, thinking how Lucking I am because only thin plastic sheeting separates the lanes . I spent the next 90 days getting into a GREAT private range.
Link Posted: 8/19/2002 5:47:00 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/19/2002 5:51:06 AM EDT by PINGi3]
I watched someone do a similar thing at a public range in Pennsylvania. In PA muzzleloader hunters had (or have) to use flintlocks. This fellow was sighting in his flintlock from the bend. His uncapped and leaky powder horn was laying right under his hammer / frizzen / flashpan. When he touched off his first shot a spark jumped from the pan to the table to the spilled powder to the powder horn.

KABAAAAAM

You're right about safety glasses. I used to hunt with a Thompson New Englander percussion 12 gauge muzzleloading shotgun. I always wore eye protection, because those percussion caps often spark and spit.

Oh yeah, I've used public ranges all over this country and they all have one thing in common: serious safety violations. After watching some nut run out in front of the hot firing line only to throw himself down in prone position to empty his AK wildly over the birm I vowed to never use another public range again.
Link Posted: 8/19/2002 8:54:46 AM EDT
Jim Dandy...

I fail to see how supervision would have changed anything in this situation... That is, unless the dumbass had his powder horn close to his rifle when shooting. A SMART range-bitch (range officer) may have caught that.

Link Posted: 8/19/2002 9:29:28 AM EDT
Well, if the safety rules had been enforced, he'd probably have been turned away for no safety gear and/or booted for other safety violations.

Point is, public ranges are just a hazard, especially when safety is approached with a casual view.
Link Posted: 8/19/2002 10:37:44 AM EDT
What I think is sad, is that common people can't police themselves. When we all go to the range we go because we want to and think it would be a fun time, or great way to spend some time. We all want to come home in one piece, they way we went to the range with the exception of a dirty gun and a bag of empty hulls or brass. Most people don't invision blowing up one of their favorite guns or worse themselves or those in close proximity

While most would like to have fewer gun laws, it is actions of a few that ruin it for the rest of us. Self policing is vital to the image of our sport. Tact must be used to educate others about the dangerous behaviours at self policing range.
Link Posted: 8/19/2002 11:04:20 AM EDT

Originally Posted By P226:
What I think is sad, is that common people can't police themselves.



Many people can and do police themselves, but you are absolutely right when you say it only takes a few to ruin it for everyone.

The range I frequented in college was an outdoor public range with no range officer (it was at a national forest, and was built by the local NG/Corps of Cadets). People were usually very good at observing safety rules and the like, calling "range clear" or "range hot" and eyeballing everyone on the line to make sure they heard and understood.

Of course, there was the occasional chump who would line up old paint thinner cans on the rocky soil at 30 feet or lose muzzle awareness when clearing a jam. Sometimes a friendly reminder of range rules and basic safety would clear things up. Sometimes that was the end of the day.

Even more sad, out of all the times I was there I probably saw only two or three other people (total) put money in the donation box. Funny, I heard more than three or four people complain about the lack of target stands.
Link Posted: 8/19/2002 4:23:56 PM EDT
PUBLIC RANGES ARE NOT A HAZARD, ignorant or unattentitive shooters are hazzards. I don't want anyone to feel they need to ban or restrict Public Ranges because they deem them a hazzard.

Pay attention to those around you. I am luckey I guess because the places I go are frequented by familiar faces. Still, being concerned, I always catch myself looking and observing at the "other guy" while I AM NOT shooting, especially younger shooters, looking out to protect myself and son.
Link Posted: 8/19/2002 10:07:13 PM EDT
You should have gone to that range before it was rebuilt and updated.

No one was even there to take your money, just an honor box and an old, rusty range. There were bullet holes in everything and more idiots than you could shake a stick at.

Believe it or not, it is vastly improved now.
Link Posted: 8/20/2002 2:14:13 AM EDT
I've been there many times in the past when the old bitch used to run it. I used to go there back when it was located to the west of its present location (over near the trap field). They need to start enforcing some safety rules, BIG time.
Link Posted: 8/20/2002 5:04:54 AM EDT
I usea public range here, and never have had any problems.

Of course, maybe the fact that it is 30 minutes back in the woods from any major civilization an dis hard to find keeps the yahoos away.
Link Posted: 8/20/2002 10:52:32 AM EDT

Originally Posted By PINGi3:
After watching some nut run out in front of the hot firing line only to throw himself down in prone position to empty his AK wildly over the birm I vowed to never use another public range again.



He was probably an Al Queida member. That is pretty much standard procedure for terrorists.
Link Posted: 8/20/2002 10:55:02 AM EDT
No, he was a member of Al Queefa.
Link Posted: 8/20/2002 11:03:18 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Squib:

Originally Posted By P226:
What I think is sad, is that common people can't police themselves.



Many people can and do police themselves, but you are absolutely right when you say it only takes a few to ruin it for everyone.

The range I frequented in college was an outdoor public range with no range officer (it was at a national forest, and was built by the local NG/Corps of Cadets). People were usually very good at observing safety rules and the like, calling "range clear" or "range hot" and eyeballing everyone on the line to make sure they heard and understood.

Of course, there was the occasional chump who would line up old paint thinner cans on the rocky soil at 30 feet or lose muzzle awareness when clearing a jam. Sometimes a friendly reminder of range rules and basic safety would clear things up. Sometimes that was the end of the day.

Even more sad, out of all the times I was there I probably saw only two or three other people (total) put money in the donation box. Funny, I heard more than three or four people complain about the lack of target stands.



Ahhh....yes. The Jefferson National Forest range on 460, west of Blacksburg? Know it well. It has a much lower "knucklehead coefficient" than most places I've been to.
Link Posted: 8/20/2002 3:30:21 PM EDT

Originally Posted By FatMan:
Ahhh....yes. The Jefferson National Forest range on 460, west of Blacksburg? Know it well. It has a much lower "knucklehead coefficient" than most places I've been to.



Yes.

It's coolness quotient was increased by 3 points when some gent from nearby brought his class 3 collection. AK-47, MP-5, German MK-42 (I think...).

He was happy to let anyone shoot, as long as they paid for ammo. I am thoroughly disgusted with myself that I didn't take him up on the offer.
Link Posted: 8/20/2002 4:46:43 PM EDT
I use a public range all the time. I have never had any problems there. though this may be because I live in a small town and there are usually only 1 or 2 other people there if any. I usually leave whenever the range master guy is there because I get about 4 shots off and the dumb ass is standing behind me telling me its time to go down range. Now whenever hes there or for about 2 months before deer season, when everyone is there sighting in their deer rifles, I go to my buddys field instead.
Link Posted: 8/22/2002 5:17:50 AM EDT
I've been going to our local Public range for about ten years, and have seen some serious safety violations. I soon learned that there are different types of shooters showing up at different times. The dedicated and knowledgable shooters arrive early. I get there usually at daybreak. Most of the "Regulars" do this, and we observe the safety rules. Most of us are ex-military and LEO's, and it's just second nature. About noon the families arrive. Some are range savvy, some aren't. We take the time to train these people, as they want to remain safe with their kids. Later in the afternoon is when the Rambo wannabe's show up. I'm usually gone by then. After seeing the antics of these folks, we give them a wide berth.
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