- No open carry holsters allowed on the range except by the Range Safety Officers. Heather had her CCW holster on, but took off her concealing garment. Of course, the holster was empty, and we were just using the shooting tables, in deference to the range rules. Still, this was apparently a no-no. I understand not allowing drawing from the holster to shoot as a safety thing; but just forbidding the wear of holsters altogether seems odd to me. I definitely got the vibe that the RSO's were really enjoying Displaying Their Authori-Tay to Open Carry (especially as Open Carry is not really an option for most people in this area), which is NOT a good reason to forbid others from having holsters.
- No more than 10 rounds per magazine. At the rifle range, the RSO was definitely up in my chili when he saw my standard 30-round AR PMAGs come out of the bag. I was being a good camper and downloaded the mags entirely and was fastidiously reloading them with only 10 rounds, and he gosh darn supervised me to ensure that an extra round didn't sneak in there.
- No Magazine Changes. This wasn't written down as a rule, but I got scolded for doing tactical and emergency reloads. It is kind of funny that they forbid more than 10 rounds per mag, which necessitates more frequent mag changes, but then also forbid mag changes.
- No Extreme Rapid Fire, described as more than one shot per second. Double taps are definitely not kosher. Apparently double shots are not "family friendly" (neither are mag changes).
- Only one weapon visible on the bench at a time. Heather was shooting her full size and compact M&P so had both out, clearly out there with actions open and unloaded. That was not allowed, but the RSO said it would be fine if she had one concealed in a range bag on the bench. So hang on... Instead of leaving firearms out in the open where the RSO can verify that they are safe, clear and locked open, you want those firearms stuffed into range bags where you have no idea what condition they're in? What could go wrong?
Meanwhile, there were some significant safety gaps, in my opinion.
- The range required ear pro but did not require eye pro. I'd say about half of folks had some sort of shooting glasses but many did not.
- There were some "fingers on trigger" that made me feel a bit edgy. I'm a bit of a nazi about FOT as it is a terrible safety habit to get into, even if the gun is pointed down range at all times.
- Guns in and out of bags on the line is also a terrible idea--you have no idea what condition they are in, and unlike a holster, there is nothing controlling the trigger.
- The RSO was also not verifying that all actions were open and guns unloaded before cease fires.
- The RSO wasn't making positive contact with both ends of the line at the start and end of cease fires. I've always seen both sides of the line step back, flash thumbs up, and make eye contact on this sort of range. The RSO wasn't even making eye contact, and we got looked at funny for flashing a thumbs up when we were clear.
- The RSO was shouting things like "CEASE FIRE!!!! In a few minutes..." In my opinion, the only time you should say the words "CEASE FIRE" are when you need all firing on the line to stop immediately. If you want to convey the thought that there will be a pause in firing soon, why not shout, "TWO MINUTES TO THE BREAK!" When you over-use "CEASE FIRE" or use an important command like that to mean things other than "STOP FIRING RIGHT NOW" then people get confused and start ignoring it.
The stupid fudd rules wouldn't bother me as much if the range was otherwise tight. However, there is a tradeoff to the fudd rules. If the RSO is busy watching me load magazines to ensure that I don't put 11 rounds in there, he is NOT watching people's fingers on triggers or checking to see if actions are clear and unloaded. The fudd rules do nothing to enhance safety in many cases -- they just take up time and attention that keeps the RSO from focusing on the really important things.
The place isn't the greatest range. However, it is close to home, and it is cheap. If nothing else it is a decent place to go do slow fire accuracy drills, zero rifles, and so on.