Firearms Training Range Safety Rules and Procedures
*These may not be all of the rules and procedures required to safely run you're range, or firearms training.
(1) Be consciously aware of where the muzzle is pointed at all times.Keep the muzzle of the firearm pointed downrange. This includes loading, unloading and while experiencing malfunctions. This also includes shooting drills that may require turning. For example, the handgun is removed from the holster while facing down range and returns to holster while facing down range even when turns are incorporated.
(2) Be aware of the firearm Safety not engaged when it should be engaged and as instructed. If not actively shooting, or anticipating an imminent threat, the firearm should be on Safe, and trigger finger long & straight.
(3) Keep your Trigger Finger long & straight, and outside the trigger guard until you can safely fire.
(4) Only shoot at things intended to be shot at, such as designated targets. Do not hooting at anything other than the intended target.
(5) Failure to immediately respond to range commands.
(6) Failure to follow the lead instructors/ trainers instructions, the line coach instructions, the RSO, or anyone else appointed to supervise safety.
(7) Firing after the "cease fire" command has been given.
(8) Never shoot a firearm if you have consumed alcohol, or any drugs that impair cognitive abilities, balance, or vision, including prescription drugs with warnings that impair cognitive ability, or with warnings such as, "do not operate a motor vehicle, or machinery." within the last 12 hours.
(9) “No one shall shoot or participate in firearms training, or shooting sports if they have consumed alcohol, or THC within the previous 8 hours.
(10) Never load the firearm with dented cartridges, cartridges with loose bullets, or otherwise damaged rounds. Only approved ammunition is acceptable for use on the range.
(11) If any unsafe condition is observed, immediately call “cease fire” or repeat the command if initiated by another shooter. Anyone may call a cease-fire on the range.
(12) Hearing protection is required at all times when firearms are being discharged during training and qualification. Approved hearing protection such as sound attenuators that reduce noise levels to 84 decibels or below is required. Double hearing protection should be considered for unusually loud weapons, or conditions, such as indoor shooting ranges.
(13) Shatterproof eye protection is required when shooting.
(14) For ranges and other facilities utilizing FX marking cartridges or equivalent type cartridges for force on force training, never fire FX marking cartridges at another person unless they are wearing the proper personal protective equipment approved for use.
(15) After completion of live fire training or whenever handling ammunition, shooters should wash their hands prior to eating in order to avoid ingestion of lead or other toxic contaminants.
(1) All live fire shall take place at the firing line as designated in the COF.
(2) Weapons shall not be handled at the firing line until specific instructions are given by the lead instructor/ trainer to do so.
(3) No one shall move downrange (forward of the firing line) unless instructed to do so.
(4) Before any personnel move downrange, all shooters shall bench or holster a clear and safe weapon, After the lead instructor/ trainer has verified the firing line is safe, the command Down Range is given. All shooters repeat the command.
(5)All personnel returning from downrange shall return to the rear of the firing line. Once all personnel have returned to the firing line, the lead instructor trainer shall declare, the firing line is Hot. This indicates that live fire shooting may commence again.
General Pistol, Rifle, Shotgun, Machine Gun
(1) Pistols shall be clear when not in use. The muzzle shall be pointed downrange, the safety shall be engaged (if applicable), the magazine shall be removed, and the slide shall be locked to the rear, or the cylinder left open. The weapon shall be checked to ensure it is clear.
(2) Handguns and pistols remain in the holsters until at the firing line and facing downrange. Shooters may draw, or remove handguns from the holsters when the line is Hot and when instructed to do so.
(3) Retention devices, i.e., thumb breaks, locking systems, will be used at all times during pistol courses of fire unless specifically outlined in this instruction or stated by the RSO.
(4) Pistols are always re-holstered while facing down range. No exceptions.
(5) Pistols always remain in the holster when behind the firing line.
A hot range verses a cold range. If the instructor states “we are running are hot range” magazines may be ejected and inserted behind the firing line while ensuring the pistol remains completely in the holster. If the holster covers the magazine release button, or the shooter cannot otherwise eject and insert a magazine while keeping the pistol seated in the holster, the shooter will perform all loading and unloading at the firing line.
If the instructor states we are running a “cold range”, pistols will be made clear & safe before leaving the firing line. The pistol will be re-holstered and will not be dislodged, or removed from the holster when behind the line.
AR15 Rifle Safety
(1) Rifles shall be carried on and off the range in a case, or pointed down, muzzle pointed within 2 feet of the person carrying the rifle, with the bolt back and on safe. Maintain positive control. When training is being conducted its common to remove weapons from cases at the same time and in an organized fashion.
(2) Rifles shall be clear when not in use. The clear condition of a rifle is safety on, unloaded, bolt open, and magazine removed. It is common during training to place all the rifles pointing the same direction, as directed.
(3) Upon the command “Lock & Load” or other similar command, first ensure the weapon is on safe, lock the bolt back using the bolt catch, keep the weapon horizontal and pointed downrange, insert a magazine of ammunition, release the bolt using the bolt catch and chamber a round. Close the dust cover.
(4) When carrying a loaded rifle on the range - keep the muzzle pointed down, within two feet of the person carrying the rifle and on safe. Maintain positive control. Beware of flagging when bending down to pick something up.
(5) Unloading an AR15 rifle - ensure the weapon is on safe, lock the bolt back using the bolt catch and while keeping the muzzle pointed downrange, then remove the magazine, and visually inspect the chamber to verify the weapon is clear. In low light conditions use a light. During training get a Buddy Check - Who will ensure there is no source of ammunition, and nothing in the chamber.
(6) Clearing malfunctions - it is best to receive formal training in clearing the numerous types of malfunctions that may occur.
(1) The clear condition of a shotgun is unloaded, action open, weapon on ”safe.” When carrying the weapon on the range, when benching it, or receiving it from another person or handing it to another person, make certain the shotgun is in a clear condition.
(2) When loading a shotgun, keep the weapon horizontal and pointed downrange.
(3) Shotguns shall be carried on and off the range in the vertical position or port arms position, unloaded with the breach open.
(4) On command of the instructor, the shotgun shall be brought to the firing position (i.e., leveled at the target), and the weapon placed on “fire” in preparation to fire.
(5) After unloading a shotgun, while keeping the muzzle pointed downrange, visually examine the chamber and the magazine or tube to verify the weapon is clear.
Machine Gun Safety
(1) Always check barrel bore and chamber before firing.
(2) Check ammunition for oil or grease. Oil or grease on cartridges will produce excessive chamber pressure and can cause personal injury or death.
(3) Before firing, make sure barrel is locked tightly to the receiver. If the barrel is not locked, threads in receiver could be damaged or cause personal injury.
(4) When extending and locking tripod legs, ensure they are securely locked in place. be sure to slide sleeve down to lowest position and hold.
(5) Always cock machine guns with palms facing up, with the exception of the MK-19 which must be cocked with palms down.
(6) Ensure that assigned/spare barrels have been head-spaced and tagged to their specific receiver. Rotate usage of barrels on their assigned weapon, typically after 200 rounds have been fired.
(7) Never interchange barrel assembly or bolt assembly from one machine gun to another. Doing so may result in injury or death of personnel.
(8) If a runaway gun occurs, always keep machine gun pointed downrange. Grab the belt of ammunition, twist and break (except with M2 .50 cal). Never reload a runaway machine gun until it is repaired.
(9) Always use heat resistant mittens on a hot barrel. A hot barrel can cause serious burns.
(10) When removing a stuck unfired cartridge, always stay clear of the muzzle. Do not allow the round to hit any hard surface or it may discharge. Dispose of live rounds per local regulations.
(11) Unload the weapon - 1) ensure the weapon is on safe. 2) Lock the bolt back using the charging handle, with palms facing up. 3) Sweep links and brass off the feed tray. Visually inspect the chamber, use a light if necessary. 4) During training, get a Buddy Check.
(12) Hot Gun Procedures - are not covered here and may vary per type of machine gun.
A weapon’s readiness is described by one of four conditions. These states of readiness are useful when describing to someone else what condition of readiness is appropriate. For example, a government agent might be required by instruction to carry weapons in a car, or on a helicopter in a specified manner. Knowing and understanding the weapon conditions is useful information when describing to other people how the weapon is to be stowed, carried or transported.
(1) Condition 1. [AR15] Safety on, magazine inserted, round in chamber, bolt forward, ejection port cover closed.
Condition 1. [Glock pistol] magazine inserted, round in the chamber.
(2) Condition 2. Applies to Single Action/Double-Action semi-automatic handguns. The magazine inserted, round in the chamber, hammer forward. For revolvers, rounds inserted into the cylinder, cylinder locked into place, and hammer forward.
(3) Condition 3. [AR15] Safety on, magazine inserted, chamber empty, bolt forward, ejection port cover closed.
Condition 3. [Glock pistol] Magazine inserted, chamber empty, slide forward.
(4) Condition 4. [AR15] Safety on, magazine removed, chamber empty, bolt forward, ejection port cover closed.
Condition 4. [Glock pistol] magazine removed, chamber empty, slide forward.