Come on, seriously?

11-Jun-08 – 22:36 by ToddG

We’ve all seen some wild stuff at the range. The photo, left, was taken in 2006 at Ken Hackathorn’s 60th Birthday “Party” match, of a local shooter who, yes, uses spent cartridge cases for hearing protection.

Tonight at the range, there were two incidents that are really just too crazy to be made up.

First, a gentleman came in with a brand new flatop AR15. No sights. He got the gun into some kind of weird position with the stock under his armpit and his support hand riding along the top of the foregrip. He just sort of point shot … aiming for a bullseye but hitting the ceiling five feet above it. When a Range Officer approached him to correct the problem, the new rifleman simply packed up his bags and left.

But — and I swear this is true — the best of the night was the “instructor” in the lane next to me right before I finished for the night. He had three students, and was teaching each of them to shoot various pistols and revolvers. One of the students wrapped both thumbs behind the slide of every gun she picked up, and used both index fingers simultaneously to pull the trigger for each gun. How did the instructor address her shooting technique? He told her she needed to widen her stance.

So, tell us your favorite YJCMTSU range story!

Train hard & stay safe! ToddG

  1. 20 Responses to “Come on, seriously?”

  2. very recently I was at the range at the same time as some new Mounties. Two of them were complaining about their thumbs and how much it hurt to shoot. I couldn’t help myself and wandered down to see what was up. Sure enough, just like the woman in Todds story, they were wrapping their thumbs behind the slide. every now and then the slide would bite them, and they’d lower their grip a bit. I asked who showed them that, and they told me the grip is one of 4 they still teach at Depot in Regina. They weren’t interested in changing their grips as they’d both qualified with Cross Pistols doing it that way. sigh.

    By rob on Jun 12, 2008

  3. i’ve never seen anything like that but i have a major problem with people standing behind me at the range loading their pistols then using them to gesture with while talking or sweeping the entire range with their LOADED gun.

    By David on Jun 12, 2008

  4. I witnessed an “instuctor” try to help the security guard who couldn’t figure out why his Glock wouldn’t fire. After about 5 minutes of field stripping, etc, they realized he had 9mm loaded in his .40S&W.
    Yes, they laughed about it.

    By chefdogq on Jun 12, 2008

  5. When I was going through firearms training at my police academy one recruit loaded a .357sig round into a MP5 magazine and it got stuck in the barrel when the gun tried to cycle the round. The FI had to use a cleaning rod to push the round out.

    By MikeB on Jun 12, 2008

  6. David — If someone is handling a gun in an unsafe manner in your presence, you have a responsibility to call them on it. Be polite and professional but there’s nothing wrong with saying, “Sir, you’ve got to keep your muzzle downrange and not pointed at the other shooters … especially ME.”

    By ToddG on Jun 12, 2008

  7. Watching hubby and wife shoot their muzzle loading rifles. Watch wife load and tamp hers, leave ramrod in bbl, lean it against bench, talk to hubby at next station, then pick it up and get ready to shoot. Was tempted to just watch, see what happens, but I stopped her and pointed out the ramrod was still in the bbl.

    BF showing GF how to shoot w SNS .25 auto. She fired a few rounds, hit the target every time, was so excited she jumped up and down w her hands clutched to her chest and the muzzle pointed at her chin and finger on the trigger.

    Friend got a great deal on some surplus 9×19 ammo. Cardboard boxes w Arabic writing. Pretty stout stuff. Blew the extractors out of his Llama and Taurus, bent the ejector on the Taurus. Let ’em sit for a few weeks before cleaning, discovered it was corrosive, had pitted the bores. Taurus repaired/replaced bbl no charge, no questions asked.

    Shooting at an indoor range in Sin City. Gunsmith brings in S&W 629 he was working on for test fire. KaBoom! Dazed look on his face, sting in my arm and some blood. Not exactly sure what happened, but I got a free case of ammo from the store and 10 free passes to the range.

    Hubby rents pistol to shoot, wife sits in viewing area to watch. Hubby raps on window to get wife’s attention, shoots himself in head. I was walking in door to shoot as she started screaming.

    By MSO on Jun 12, 2008

  8. “…a local shooter who, yes, uses spent cartridge cases for hearing protection.”

    Todd – He’s shooting a 1911, what do you expect? 😎

    By Revchuck on Jun 12, 2008

  9. >>Friend got a great deal on some surplus 9×19 ammo. Cardboard boxes w Arabic writing. Pretty stout stuff. Blew the extractors out of his Llama and Taurus, bent the ejector on the Taurus. Let ‘em sit for a few weeks before cleaning, discovered it was corrosive, had pitted the bores. Taurus repaired/replaced bbl no charge, no questions asked.<<

    The Rangemaster who that had the job before me bought a bunch of this same stuff. Hard primers, numerous FTF’s and a few weeks later half a dozen new barrels. COme to think of it, I became Rangemaster shortly after that one.

    By RichV on Jun 12, 2008

  10. During my departments recent pistol quals, during a stage of fire, one of my departments “Range Officers” decided he was going to be a wise guy, and decided to start firing off rounds from his issued AR-15 while standing about two feet behind and to the left of a few shooters who were shooting the qual course in their assigned booths. As he closed in on my booth during the next few stages, I stepped out and advised him kindly that I would knock his teeth out if he tried that s**t while standing behind me unannounced. He stopped his shenanigans, and I finished my qualification.

    By NickD on Jun 13, 2008

  11. ok dude shooting himself in the head wins hands down! I think someone deserves a hat for that story. I got nothing even close to that.

    By rob on Jun 13, 2008

  12. I know of you enough to know that you weren’t kidding. BUT

    I don’t understand why you didn’t add a tad of correction to the instructor/student.

    BTW, PNG@mp

    By berkbw on Jun 13, 2008

  13. berkbw – I’ve learned the hard way that most people do not appreciate unsolicited help on the range. Unless someone does something to endanger me or others, I keep to myself. And yes, I just realized the png thing, shoot me an email if you’d like me to look into it.

    By ToddG on Jun 13, 2008

  14. How about off the range?

    On the way back from the range a guy managed to ND a round of 40mm HE from his M203 through the roof of the truck he was riding in. Didn’t go far, landed on the roof of the armory. Bldg evacuated, EOD called.

    A10 on the ramp, managed to blast the maintenance van stopped in front of it w 30mm round. Round continued off base looking for trouble, found a PNM substation and a black out.

    Off duty cop at party showing off his new Camaro and Beretta. Shoots new Camaro through trunk into gas tunk w new Beretta.

    By MSO on Jun 14, 2008

  15. @Todd

    It’s a shame people like yourself have been discouraged from speaking up in situations where somebody that doesn’t know better could end up hurt because the people they’re with that should know better don’t notice. Granted slide bite isn’t anything major, but, as someone who learned first hand because nobody pointed it out and I didn’t know better when first learning, it does still hurt. :)

    On the other hand, it’s been my experience that the people who *do* speak up at the range tend to be alpha male types who feel the need to demonstrate their expertise.

    I was at the range with a female friend of mine, who had only been shooting once before, a couple of months ago. She had some minor, beginner problems with her stance (like leaning away from the target) and after she fired off a few rounds, I gave her some gentle coaching to correct the problems and guide her toward a Chapman style stance.

    The large, mustachioed gentleman in the next lane over, who is there with a lady friend of his own firing over-sized six-shooters, sees this and decides, for whatever reason, that it’s an assault on his sensibilities. He steps in and informs my friend that what she *really* wants to do is assume a wide, straight-on isosceles stance. He thereby succeeded in confusing the hell out of the poor girl, making her so nervous that her shooting actually got worse, and basically ruining any fun she was going to have that night. I was just mostly glad that I had taken her a couple of weeks before that trip so that it didn’t ruin the shooting experience entirely for her.

    I’m the type that would have been thrilled to be given good, solid advice; I’m not perfect and I’m always willing to learn. I just think it’s somewhat unfortunate that those who really have something to offer feel reticent to speak up thanks to the loudmouths who have no compunction about sharing their preferences as fact.

    By commandar on Jun 16, 2008

  16. commandar — You hit the nail right on the head. Guys who interject themselves into someone else’s “lesson” tend to be jerks. And so often when you try to help, you’re seen as a jerk. I get people making faces at me just for telling them to keep their muzzles pointed downrange. 8)

    The best approach I’ve seen is to ask the “teacher” away from the “student.” I experienced this first hand many years ago at the NRA Range. One of the ROs so me working with my wife, and he came over and discreetly asked me if he could help her for a bit. I was fine with it, my wife was fine with it, and half an hour later she was shooting much better. (coincidentally, this was one of those “enlightenment” moments for me … wives/girlfriends really should find someone other than their husbands/boyfriends to teach them how to shoot …)

    By ToddG on Jun 16, 2008

  17. Hrm, interesting stories Todd.

    I recently went thru Hunter’s Safety here with my friends stepson, as I had promised I would go thru the class with him.

    Lot of emphasis placed on safe gun handling thru the class, however there was never any mention of KEEP YOUR FINGER OFF THE TRIGGER until ready to fire. In other words, for whatever reason they omitted 1 of the 4 rules. I never really brought it up because we were told we’d get canked from the class for questioning the instructors.

    Anyway, neither here nor there, but fast forward to range day. With the exception of ONE very young students (lots of kids in the class obviously) everyone did a GREAT job controlling their muzzle. We had to hike, cross fences, hike some more, cross more fences, you get the idea.

    Last part of the day was firing various weapons on the rifle line and one of the instructors swept me and others behind the line with his 1911. Nice 😉 Then later on he put the weapon down on the bench and it was pointed directly at ME. Sooooooo, I walked up there and turned the muzzle downrange gingerly and sat down. Got chewed on a bit for that, but he he KNEW he had fucked up, so I didn’t get canked.

    Never really seen anything as dumb as what you described above thou. Thank god!

    By JLM on Jun 19, 2008

  18. I was range OIC with my, very rank heavy, Reserve unit when a Colonel alternated a round down range with a round in the tower behind him. Never quite understood why he was bringing the pistol back by his ear after firing at the target, but he did it twice before I could stop it. We had a long and rather heated discussion about relative length of service, differences in rank and some of my other personal failings. I think he got the message after I cleared the range of everyone but the two of us and closed the range. He ended up qualifying in a private session with m and two E-8’s giving him adult supervision.

    Recently I was laughingly telling another shooter that I’d never heard anyone in a safety situation yell “cease fire” or “check fire” (artillery)once, but they always did a real fast 3 in a high tenor voice. A couple of minutes later a shooter a few lanes down decided to change his target while everyone else was firing. Noticed him on the way down out of the corner of my eye and, sure enough, I came out with three “cease fires” in my best tenor voice.

    By greener on Jun 21, 2008

  19. I work for an armored car company. Let me say the biggest reason for wearing my vest is not the bad guys, but other employees. During one yearly requal, the instructor says “decock and reholster” guy next to me lowers hammer with thumb, hammer slips gun goes bang somewhat pointed downrange. Instructor say “what the f” guy says he doesnt trust de-cocker.
    Another guy, at the end of the day, who used a company issued weapon got his drop,rack,pull out of sequence. He did a rack drop pull BANG. Smart enough to use the clearing barrell though. I will not go into the number of times an employee will use bathroom at customer location and leave firearm on toilet. Customer calls up ” hey tell Jed to come back and get his gun off our toilet, by the way dont send him here anymore”

    By fordtuff on Jun 24, 2008

  20. I recently attended the NRA Basic Pistol class required for one to obtain their CHL here in Ohio. Never once in my class did our instructor ask us to point our handgun toward him as seen on this link advertising their high quality training. Just found the picture and the text ironic. View for yourself…

    By Big_Dave on Jul 15, 2008

  21. holy smokes! @ big_daves link! i’d refuse to do that and most likely ask for a refund. i won’t even point my own guns which i emptied / verified and reverified visually and with my fingers at anything other than the floor and this is just after i finished cleaning the things. paranoia can be good in healthy doses when it comes to weapons + human judgment. i trust the weapons, it’s the humans i’m worried about.

    By David on Jul 15, 2008

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