I’ve spent an unprecedented amount of time at gun ranges. It goes without saying that there are a ton of personality who find themselves at a shooting range at some point in their life. However, some characters stand out more than others so here’s my list of the seven types of people you’ll see at the range that stand out most to me.
1. Mr. Rapid Fire
There’s nothing wrong with shooting fast. Hell, I love to shoot fast too, but Mr. Rapid Fire can’ t seem to shoot any other way. Everything is rapid fire. Give him a Glock 17, rapid fire. Give him an AR-15, rapid fire. If you give him a “Bolt Action rifle” he’s going to try to rapid fire that it too, he can’t help himself. More often than not, Mr. Rapid Fire is also a bully. He’s typically a younger guy who knows too much or too little about guns but doesn’t have access to tactical ranges, so he’s forced to go to indoor ranges where he gets bored quickly. So when that group of first-time shooting housewives who found a gun range Groupon show up, Mr. Rapid Fire will strategically place himself in the next shooting bay and start mag dumping with his AR-15 to scare them.
2. The Safety Violator
For obvious reasons, the Safety violator is a terrifying personality at any range. They habitually and effortlessly break every safety rule known to man. In their personal life they can be the most competent and brilliant person in the world, but put a gun in their hand, and it’s like they become remedial. They’re flagging people like they’re playing laser tag. And you can forget about trigger discipline, to them the trigger is a finger rest. And when you correct their involuntary suicidal ways, they get mad at you and say the most four most infuriating words you can say to a gun person, “What, It’s not loaded”.
3. The Poser
Stay at a gun range long enough, and without a doubt, you’ll see a Poser. The poser is obsessed w/ looking like a good shooter but not as obsessed with actually being one. Everything this guy has is tier 1. He’s got the badass Oakleys, the shooting hat with a curve so perfect they teach college courses about it. He’s got his shooting shirt with his shooting pants and Solomon boots even though he’s shooting indoors, and he’s laced to the “T.” He walks in like he owns the place pointing at people as he walks in like he’s at a nightclub. He gets to his bay, pulls out the latest and greatest guns, prepares to shoot, pulls the trigger, and this guy can’t hit the broad side of a barn. He’s groupings look like the before picture of a proactive commercial. He’s tea cupping his gun like he’s in a bad action movie and he manages recoil like a 6-year-old walking a pit bull. But let him tell you he’s the guy. He’ll even go so far as to give you instruction on what you’re doing wrong.
4. Can I Shoot It, Guy
The “can I shoot it guy” is the crack head of the gun range. He’s the guy who seems like your typical friendly guy at the shooting range but don’t be fooled; he just wants to shoot your gun and waste your ammo because he doesn’t have anymore and he hasn’t scratched his shooting itch for the day. They’ll come up to you and small talk you to death until you feel obligated to ask them if they want to shoot your gun. The messed up thing about it is, they don’t even have the courtesy to shoot just a couple rounds, you hand them a full magazine, and they think its mag dump time. As soon as they finish, they’re on to their next victim, and you’re standing there with an empty gun and an empty Federal box trying to figure out what just happened.
5. Mr. Social Media
A lot of people love to post their time at the range on social media and they should. However, there are those who instead of going to the range to shoot, they go to the range to “selfie.” There has always been a provocative allure about guns that some in the fashion industry and Hollywood exploit to seem edgier. Now with social media, people are doing all types of things to stay relevant, and that’s where Mr. Social Media comes in. At first, you might mistake him as a new shooter coming to the range for the first time, and it’s partly true. They’re usually new to guns and have never shot before, but they have a huge following on social media, and they think going to the gun range will give them some edge. Except instead of shooting, they’re snap chatting and taking selfies. They barely actually shoot the gun if at all. Sure, they’ll pick it up and take pictures of them holding it like they’re about to shoot, but for them, it’s nothing more than the cultural appropriation of the gun world to make them look cooler.
This woman who goes to the range by herself on her own accord with the gun she picked out for herself. It’s honestly kind of easy to spot her if you know what to look for. Most guys mistake her for the tactical damsel in distress and end up getting embarrassed when they try to hit on her with the, “hey, what do you got there” pickup line. She’s usually really sweet and approachable and doesn’t project the fact that she likely knows more about shooting than you do. She’ll smile and entertain your tactical humble bragging and wait for you to go back to your bay, then get back to shooting. Then you’ll get the bright idea to go back and make one last attempt, only to walk to her bay and realize her groupings are light years ahead of your’s and that you played yourself with the, “If you want me to teach you a few things sometime let me know” line.
7. The Hipster
And finally the hipster. They treat the gun range like a social experiment. They’re nice people, but you can tell they find the gun range more fascinating than cool. They’re usually the guys who don’t bring a gun of their own and end up renting the oddest guns available for rent. You might confuse them for the, “Can I shoot it” guy because they’re always talking more than shooting and asking questions about what everyone is shooting like they’re conducting a Vice documentary. And God help you if they see you shooting a CZ, hipster types loooooove CZ pistols and they’ll talk your ear off about them, and all you want to do is shoot.