What's the Best Time to go to the Range?
The range pictured above looks a lot like my local indoor range. It's pretty nice. In the last year, though, it's not the best place to go at 'peak times.'
There's a reason: Noobs and Knuckleheads.
During the last weapons/ammo panic, people were standing in lines to get a firearm...ANY firearm, and once purchased, had absolutely NO training, nor did they most likely get any, except on youtube.IAs many of you, I've seen it first hand. So, adapt, improvise, and overcome, right?
My range is small, only 10 lanes. The divider walls of all the lanes, save one, have multiple holes from negligent discharges.
So, first thing I do is start asking for Lane 10 when I pays my money. Why, you ask? Great question. It's because Lane 10 is on the far right, and most shooters are right handed. That means when they go to place a mag in their pistol and haven't been trained properly, they'll almost always point the barrel to their left (decidedly AWAY from Lane 10) from Lane 9 on down.
But what about a Lefty? Another good question. Lefty's seem to gravitate toward Lane 1, from what I've observed. I've been meaning to speak with the management about that, too (note to self - talk to the range management).
Takes care of that if the range gets busy while I'm there.
Second, and almost as important, is range arrival time. Be there when it opens. Grab the first 30 minutes or hour, do your shooting, and get gone!
As the ammo shortage goes on, I've found the first 2 hours are usually (during the week all the way through Friday) are very sparse when it comes to shooters. That means less of a chance of a negligent discharge in my direction, which I like.
The range does help out, too, in the way it sells its meager supply of ammunition: 1 box per customer per range session. Period. Not a lot of ammo for some wannabe hee-row to shoot up the place.
So, those three things together make it relatively low risk as 'amateur hour' seems to be getting more pronounced.
To be clear, I have nothing against anyone learning to shoot. I have a LOT against beginners (or those well-versed in shooting, for that matter) who are UNSAFE and put other shooters at risk! I've offered help to obvious beginners, and when they're receptive, will help get them on paper and teach safety at the same time. If they're not, I simply go about my business and if I judge it to be unsafe enough (like the time a young woman bought a micro 9mm and was waving it around with finger in the well) I leave. Period. Of course, I will tell the staff they have a shooting waiting to happen....
All things equal, getting to the range when it opens, staying as far right as you can if you're right handed; as far left as you can if you're left handed, doing your shooting and not loitering on the range will take you a LONG way in coming out the same way you went in.
Enjoy your range time!