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December 3rd, 2020

Shooting Indoors — Stay Safe and Follow the Rules

Gun Range Safety etiquette NRA Blog Eye Ear Protection Rules
Photos courtesy

With winter here, many gun enthusiasts are switching to indoor ranges. There are important safety and behavior rules you need to follow when shooting indoors. Sometimes bad range etiquette is simply annoying. Other times poor gun-handling practices can be downright dangerous. The NRA Blog has published a useful article about range safety and “range etiquette”. While these tips were formulated with indoor ranges in mind, most of the points apply equally well to outdoor ranges. You may want to print out this article to provide to novice shooters at your local range or club.

8 Tips for Gun Range Etiquette

Story by Kyle Jillson for NRABlog
Here are eight tips on range etiquette to keep yourself and others safe while enjoying your day [at the range]. Special thanks to NRA Headquarters Range General Manager Michael Johns who assisted with this article.

1. Follow the Three Fundamental Rules for Safe Gun Handling
ALWAYS keep the gun pointed in a safe direction.
ALWAYS keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot.
ALWAYS keep the gun unloaded until ready to use.

This Video Covers Basic Gun Range Safety Rules and Etiquette

2. Bring Safety Gear (Eye and Ear Protection)
Eye and Ear protection are MANDATORY for proper safety and health, no matter if “required” by range rules or not. It is the shooter’s responsibility to ensure proper protection is secured and used prior to entering/using any range. Hearing loss can be instantaneous and permanent in some cases. Eyesight can be ruined in an instant with a catastrophic firearm failure.

Gun Range Safety etiquette NRA Blog Eye Ear Protection Rules

3. Carry a Gun Bag or Case
Common courtesy and general good behavior dictates that you bring all firearms to a range unloaded and cased and/or covered. No range staff appreciates a stranger walking into a range with a “naked” firearm whose loaded/unloaded condition is not known. You can buy a long gun sock or pistol case for less than $10.

4. Know Your Range’s Rules
Review and understand any and all “range specific” rules/requirements/expectations set forth by your range. What’s the range’s maximum rate of fire? Are you allowed to collect your brass? Are you required to take a test before you can shoot? Don’t be afraid to ask the staff questions or tell them it’s your first time. They’re there to help.

5. Follow ALL Range Officer instructions
ROs are the first and final authority on any range and their decisions are generally final. Arguing/debating with a Range Officer is both in poor taste and may just get you thrown out depending on circumstances.

6. Don’t Bother Others or Touch Their Guns
Respect other shooters’ privacy unless a safety issue arises. Do NOT engage other shooters to correct a perceived safety violation unless absolutely necessary – inform the RO instead. Shooters have the right and responsibility to call for a cease fire should a SERIOUS safety event occur. Handling/touching another shooter’s firearm without their permission is a major breech of protocol. Offering unsolicited “training” or other instructional suggestions to other shooters is also impolite.

7. Know What To Do During a Cease Fire
IMMEDIATELY set down your firearm, pointed downrange, and STEP AWAY from the shooting booth (or bench). The Range Officer(s) on duty will give instructions from that point and/or secure all firearms prior to going downrange if needed. ROs do not want shooters trying to “secure/unload” their firearms in a cease fire situation, possibly in a stressful event; they want the shooters separated from their guns instantly so that they can then control the situation as they see fit.

8. Clean Up After Yourself
Remember to take down your old targets, police your shooting booth, throw away your trash, and return any equipment/chairs, etc. Other people use the range too; no one wants to walk up to a dirty lane.

This NSSF Video Covers Basic Gun Range Safety Rules:

BAD RANGE BEHAVIOR — Five Things NOT to Do at the Range

Here are the five worst behaviors we’ve seen at indoor ranges. These behaviors are both dangerous and inconsiderate. Any one of these behaviors can get you permanently banned from an indoor range.

1. Sweeping other individuals after loading a weapon behind the firing line is very bad. All your weapons should be empty until you reach your shooting station.

2. Turning the handgun sideways while trying to clear a malfunction or insert/remove a magazine. This will point the muzzle at a fellow shooter. Or, after shooting a gun, the shooter fails to clear the weapon and then places the gun somewhere near the shooting station with the muzzle in an unsafe position.

3. Reacting unpredictably when firing a high recoil handgun. We’ve seen people take a second shot by accident with the muzzle way off target.

4. Not obeying range commands — in particular continuing to shoot during called cease-fires.

5. Poorly aimed shooting that hits target frames or carriers, causing ricochets.

Double-Up on Hearing Protection When Shooting Indoors
When shooting pistols indoors we recommend quality muffs with earplugs underneath, offering double protection. When inside an enclosed range, with other shooters blasting away right next to you, you really need effective hearing protection. But you also need to hear range commands and be able to communicate with your fellow shooters. That’s why we recommend electronic muffs with plugs underneath.

Howard Leight Impact Pro Electronic Muffs NRR 30

For pistol shooting indoors, we like the latest Howard Leight Impact Pro Muffs. These offer an impressive 30 dB Noise Reduction Rating (NRR). In addition, these muffs are pretty comfortable and offer Headphone Functionality so you can connect to your smartphone, MP3 player, or other audio device. These muffs are a good value. They are currently offered for $62.55 on

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December 3rd, 2020

AR Tool-Time — Great Wheeler AR-15 Armorer’s Tool Kits

Wheeler ar15 AR-15 Ultra armorers essentials kit tool delta series carry case

Let’s face it, AR-15s run dirty. With the direct gas impingement system, combustion by-products blow back into the upper receiver through the bolt carrier. And there many small parts to worry about — gas rings for example. We have seen AR failures also from bits of brass combined with lube and carbon getting in the ejector spring recess. So, to keep your ARs running well, you need to do a lot of maintenance, employing the right tools. You also need some specialized tools to assemble an AR-15 properly — that’s important for guys building their own lowers and uppers.

Wheeler ar15 AR-15 Ultra armorers essentials kit tool delta series carry case

That is where the new Wheeler Engineering Delta Series Ultra Armorers Kit comes in — this kit provides pretty much all the tools you need to keep an AR15 running well. As you’d expect you get an AR combo took, Torque wrench, Strap Wrench and Delta Ring Tool. In addition, there are special clamps/mounts that make it easier to assemble uppers and lowers, such as an Armorers Vise, Vise Block Clamp, and Armorer’s Bench Block. And then there are key maintenance items such as AR Bore Guide, and Bolt Carrier Brush. Supplied in a large, well-constructed carry case, the Ultra Armorer’s Kit $218.69 at MidwayUSA, contains ALL the following:

AR Armorer’s Vise
AR-15 Combo Tool
Torque Wrench
AR-15 Armorer’s Bench Block
AR-15 Roll Pin Install Tool Kit
Upper Vise Block Clamp with Gas Tube Alignment Tool
Pivot Pin & Roll Pin Installation Tool
AR Front Sight Tool
Delta Ring Tool
Strap Wrench
AR-15 Bore Guide
AR-15 Adjustable Receiver Link
Bore Brush, .22 Cal.
Bolt Carrier Brush
Chamber Brush
Magazine/Upper Receiver Brush
Nylon Brush Handle
Double-ended General Cleaning Brush
Cleaning Pick Set
PLUS: Maintenance Mat with AR-15 Exploded View Parts Diagram and Custom Carrying Case

AR-15 Armorer’s Essentials Kit

If you don’t need all the tools and components from the Ultra Kit, Wheeler Engineering also offers a smaller “essentials” Kit at less than half the price. The Wheeler Delta Series AR-15 Armorer’s Essentials Kit allows assembly of most basic AR components.

Wheeler ar15 AR-15 armorers essentials kit tool carry case

This is more a builder’s kit than a maintenance package. This Armorer’s Essential Kit, $89.09 at MidwayUSA, includes the following tools and specialty products, all contained in a nice, fitted carry case:

Upper vise block clamp with gas tube alignment tool
Pivot pin and roll pin installation tool
AR-15 adjustable receiver link
AR-15 Armorer’s Wrench
Mag well vise block
Torque wrench

Build Your Own AR-15 Videos

Here are three videos that provide helpful guidance on constructing a modern AR-15 lower and upper. The first video explains all the components you’ll need. The second and third videos show the step-by-step process of building an AR Upper and Lower.

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