In the firearms world, there is nothing more exciting than getting a new piece of steel. But that is closely followed by spending a day at the range. So what is a typical day at the range like? Well, the experience tends to be different for everyone. But, I’ll share what my day looks like, in hopes that maybe something I do will help you prepare for your own outing.
Currently, my arsenal consists of a Savage Axis .308 and a Sig Sauer SP2022 40S&W. Most of the time, I only take one of them with me to the range. I usually shoot my handgun indoors and the rifle outdoors. Why? Because the handgun is for personal defense, and the rifle is mainly to just plink off rounds and keep up my marksmanship. So, I shoot in the environment I’m most likely to use my weapon in.
Before Leaving for the Range
Since memberships and range time aren’t cheap, I start the day off doing function checks before I even leave for the range. That saves me from making sure everything works properly while the clock is ticking at the range. I spend about 30 minutes testing the weapon of the day, checking the firing pin, making sure it feeds properly, etc. I also take some time to do a light cleaning.
After that, I make sure my bag is ready to go. I always have at least one box of ammo per weapon on hand. Once I get that packed, I clean up my eye and ear protection and throw those in the bag. If it’s rifle day, I make sure to pack my flag. All outdoor ranges require you to have something to mark that your barrel is clear when the range goes green, so the Masters on duty know it is safe to send people down range. Next, I load up the car. I do a safety check, lock up my weapon, and stash everything away. I never bag my weapons with magazines in it. I’ve been to different ranges across the country where the personnel likes to check what you got (for obvious reasons). So, I find it best to just keep everything separate.
At the Range
Once I get to the range, it’s standard check-in. I might buy some more ammo, and I decide how many hours I want to pay for. If you’re like me and you don’t get out too often, it’s a good idea to brush up on the range rules. Every range has different rules, and some have very specific guidelines. I never keep targets, so I always have to get those. With the handgun, I shoot silhouettes. With the rifle, I mix up sight in targets, silhouettes, and whatever has the most targets on it. Usually, that ends up being the one with 12 on it.
Unlike scopes, iron sights don’t tend to move anywhere, so it’s straight to shooting for the Sig. However, with the rifle, I spend half a box zeroing. All the jostling in the car can knock things around, especially if you keep the rifle in a soft bag.
As far as actually shooting at the range, I’m really just working on the fundamentals. A lot of indoor ranges don’t allow draw practices, so I do high ready or from the lane counter. I focus on pulling the trigger, breathing, off eye, and strong eye. It’s always good to practice double taps too, just make sure you check with the RSO first. There’s no need to risk getting kicked off the range when you can ask a simple question first. The worst they can do is say no. After I’ve gone through a couple boxes of ammo, it’s time to clear and head home.
I hope my day at the range has given you some ideas for how you can make sure your range day is successful and fun.
Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.