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I sensed a problem at my club's outdoor range the other day. Something odd.

We have several ranges along a road. The ranges are separated by dirt berms and you can park directly across from each. They are somewhat secluded even when others ranges are being used. There are no real range officers and supervision is sketchy.

I like the very last range on the road. But, it's the furthest from people. When I arrived early evening, there were two people practicing at the second last range. I noticed no car.

I shot for a 10-15 minutes. Then, between reloads, the two people walked over to my range. They didn't look at me or say anything. They just picked up a piece of brass or two and talked to each other. No guns that I could see. They didn't appear to want to share my range. Very odd.

After reloading, I waited a minute, stared at them and finally got their attention. I asked them to put their ear plugs on. The one grumbled something and when I started shooting, they walked back to their range.

A new shooter arrived and I shared the range. While he was there, the two people came over again, but stood looking from a little further away. Just for a minute, then left again.

The new shooter left and so did I a minute later. As I drove past the second last range on the way out, I gave a nod and a wave. They both just stood there and stared at me as I drove by. Very creepy.

I am not a paranoid person. I just pay attention to my surroundings and I pay attention to body language. My senses picked up something and I listened. I sensed these guys were up to no good.

Was I in danger?
 

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Being in Condition Yellow/Orange probably prevented a dangerous outcome. Sometimes you just never know the intentions of strangers but by being aware and suspicious of them keeps you safe. Glad it turned out OK for you.
 

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As a woman, I depend on my perceptions of my surroundings, other people's body language & my "little voice" for keeping safe. I have been served well by using all of my natural instincts. Better safe than sorry. My husband has learned that if I'm having a "feeling " about something, don't question it, just go with it. I don't know if men in general rely on their little voices or talk themselves out of listening to them. I never second guess myself with safety. You did good to leave.
 

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As a woman, I depend on my perceptions of my surroundings, other people's body language & my "little voice" for keeping safe. I have been served well by using all of my natural instincts. Better safe than sorry. My husband has learned that if I'm having a "feeling " about something, don't question it, just go with it. I don't know if men in general rely on their little voices or talk themselves out of listening to them. I never second guess myself with safety. You did good to leave.


Sometimes my little voice is shouting at me don't do it and I:mad: do it any way and ALWAYS end up with a problem or in trouble....
 

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My little voice is usually saying you idiot what did you do that for. Actually I always listen to my "little voice" when it comes to reloading and firearms safety. If I think something is wrong it usually is.

Is your range public or private? With mine you are required to display your membership card. As to the two that were acting wierd it is tough to say. One of them may have gotten ripped off and thought something looked a lot like theirs. They may have been looking to rip you off and figured they would get shot if they tried. Maybe they were upset because you could shoot better than them. It is indeterminate but if it is a private club I would be sure to let someone in a leadership position know what happened.
 

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Sounds like the range I shoot at

in Beaver County. I'm a new member and stopped out there last Sunday and the place was jam packed with shooters on the trap range. Rifle ranges are sort of interspersed with the trap ranges, pistol range to the rear. No rules are posted, from what I can tell a board of Supervisors are not really that available, very informal setting, no RO. I asked around if I could talk to anyone as I had received my membership card and was wondering what the club's policy was on trespassers(non members using the facilities). I ended up talking with another club member who seemed a bit smug about the fact that on his personal property he had a 200yd rifle range, a pistol range, trap range. He said he was boycotting the meetings for the last year because of .........alcohol being drank by members at meetings. I fully realize there are 2 sides to every story but the implication that I got was that the monthly meetings were turning into an opportunity for a few members to get drunk and shoot trap. Nice. More danger at the range.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
My little voice is usually saying you idiot what did you do that for. Actually I always listen to my "little voice" when it comes to reloading and firearms safety. If I think something is wrong it usually is.

Is your range public or private? With mine you are required to display your membership card. As to the two that were acting wierd it is tough to say. One of them may have gotten ripped off and thought something looked a lot like theirs. They may have been looking to rip you off and figured they would get shot if they tried. Maybe they were upset because you could shoot better than them. It is indeterminate but if it is a private club I would be sure to let someone in a leadership position know what happened.
Yes, my range is private and we are required to display our membership card. I don't always see others display them. Sometimes I say something, sometimes I don't. I don't recall seeing cards displayed by these two people. I was a little busy and they were kind of lurking where I didn't have a real good look. I plan on telling someone about this next trip.

I sometimes do anyway, but plan to always CCW at the range now. I don't want to get caught with an unloaded firearm or be down range away from my firearm and ammo.

Hopefully all this was nothing at all, but it's better to be safe.
 

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As you all can see by where I am from I live in the city. There is an indoor range about 20 minutes from where I live and safety is questionable at certain times of the day. I have gone once and saw that the employees who worked there were not really paying attention to the range...supposedly if you were an employee at a gun range you automatically are assumed to be a range officer...correct me if I'm wrong. Anyways when I went for my first time there we had gangster wannabes next to us shooting guns like they were in the movies (One handed, palm down, sometimes 1 pistol in each hand), and when done shooting they were holding the guns every which way that I felt like I needed to duck every time. Well needless to say I didn't go back to that place. This was a few years back. I recently became a new shooter and with the help of Yelp it made me decide again not to go back there along with present shooters who told me bad place to be. So now I drive an hour to other ranges and rather enjoy their safe and friendly staff and safety conscious visitors.
 

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Got to follow gut feelings, yep, those guys probably were up to no good.
 

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No rules are posted, from what I can tell a board of Supervisors are not really that available, very informal setting, no RO. I asked around if I could talk to anyone as I had received my membership card and was wondering what the club's policy was on trespassers(non members using the facilities) ... He said he was boycotting the meetings for the last year because of .........alcohol being drank by members at meetings..
Upon joining your range, you should have been given or directed to the SOP ... Standard Operating Procedures. You should be able to find answers to all of your questions in the SOP.

It is not unusual for a club to allow alcohol to be consumed on the premises. But after that first sip, handling a firearm should be strictly forbidden. Also, no booze on the firing line at any time.
 

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It's hard to say what they were up to, but thier actions and demeanor were sure suspect. Kudos for following your instincts and staying alert, it may have saved you from a sticky situation. The old saying "Better Safe Than Sorry' surely applies here. The decision to CCW is a very sound precaution in my opinion and I'd say you handled yourself well.

Kenny
 

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When you're getting that 'funny' feeling...go with it until the situation proves otherwise!

I've had to pull my coat up over the top of my twice gun before, allowing them to see it (when I was living in Indianapolis)...they bugged out fairly quickly (within a minute) once they knew I was armed! I didn't do it directly in front of them...however, upon noticing them and getting that 'funny feeling' I turned sideways while standing in the open door of my truck and pulled my coat up over my gun, exposing it. When I closed the door to my truck and stepped around to the rear...they could see it! The second time, I was at a gas station and people around me were getting 'crazy' while I was pumping gas...pulled the coat up and over and finished pumping!

I didn't pull it either time...and it was more comfortable to wear the coat in that position anyhow! I'm glad I live in IN where we can legally OC if we want to. I prefer not to do that (you lose the element of 'surprise') however, it's not illegal to do what I did either!

Creapy feelings...go with them!
 

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The "little voice" you heard upon viewing suspicious activity is your intuition Intuition is there to be obeyed immediately. By nature of gender and smaller stature, a woman alone in the presence of unknown men should be alert.

Strange characters on a range are to be watched. Particularly as they may have walked through the woods to get there, have no guns or marksmanship focus, and cannot display common courtesy.

A private club should have strict safety rules in force at all times. Beginning and ending with MUZZLE CONTROL. Mandatory display of current membership. The club should have RSOs----range safety officers----and all present should expect to be challenged in a respectful, firm manner if they do not display membership. All members must have the authority to challenge another person for purposes of identification and safety No safety officer required for that.

Telephone numbers for local, county or state law enforcement should be posted. A person who fails to identify himself or show membership should be asked to vacate premises immediately. Be fair and firm, not obnoxious. Failure to comply warrants a call to police.

The two guys mentioned sound like thieves.
David Bradshaw
 

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As a woman, I depend on my perceptions of my surroundings, other people's body language & my "little voice" for keeping safe. I have been served well by using all of my natural instincts. Better safe than sorry. My husband has learned that if I'm having a "feeling " about something, don't question it, just go with it. I don't know if men in general rely on their little voices or talk themselves out of listening to them. I never second guess myself with safety. You did good to leave.
That "little voice" or "intuition" is usually the non-verbal part of your brain alerting you to things that the verbal part of your brain is telling you to ignore.

Body language, tone and expression not matching words and behavior that is not appropriate for the situation are the most common things that the "primitive" part of our brains tries to alert us to, while the more "advanced" part is trying to fool us with excuses and politeness. Also, it's much easier to lie with words than with actions, but we're (as a species) so obsessed with words that we often overlook people's actions because of what they say (think about the current President).

Over the years, I've learned (often by painful experience) to listen to that "little voice".


Jim
 

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Typically at the range I feel very safe in regards to dangerous people because everyone there is carrying it wouldn't be the smartest place for someone to go and start trouble.

The only time I don't feel safe is when they are unsafe shooters there (people not following the rules) That's when I leave.

I walked in to my LGS the day after the Colorado shooting and I chuckled to myself thinking this is the one place I know I wont get shot. Everyone knows everyone else is carrying.
 

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I always keep an eye on people near me, and if I get a "bad vibe" about them I follow it regardless of where I am. There are way too many bad folks around nowadays.
 

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This is why I always keep a loaded gun, on me, at the range. If I'm shooting one, another is loaded and ready to go. I don't frequent remote outdoor ranges, mostly because there are none, near.
A while back, I read a thread, somewhere, by a guy that was approached at a range, after his gun was empty. I can't recall exactly what happened but it wasn't good. The bad guy wanted the gun.
The lesson learned, from the OP, was to always be armed.
 

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I've had even creepier things happen to me while at the local range with my dad. One day we were shooting metal silhouettes with our Big Game rifles (roughly 150 yards away from the silhouettes), there was 3 inches of snow on the ground. We had just both fired 5 rounds at the big Ram, when all of a sudden there are 15 shots from what sounded like a .22 mag, every one of them pinged off one of the other silhouettes. We had checked 15 minutes before and nobody was there... I said to my dad," There is only one way down to those silhouettes and we are standing on it, where did he come from and why is he down there while we are shooting a .270 and a .30-06 basically right over his head.?" So we walked down the road 25 yards and all of a sudden there he was, walking straight towards us! He was in nearly all black, a jacket that went down to his boots and a cowboy hat pulled down real low. I noticed immediately that he wouldn't make eye contact with us. I pulled a cartridge out of my pocket and just held it, ready to load it at a moments notice... We backed up slowly, all the while he is walking towards us. We eventually reached the vehicle jumped in and LEFT IN A HURRY, we noticed there weren't ANY cars there other than ours, making it even weirder.

Next day, we went back to that spot... No tracks, no .22 WMR cases, no evidence at all. It hadn't snowed over night, there was little wind, nothing that would've covered up his tracks. We never truly figured out what happened that day, but we discuss it often.
 
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