Got to the private range, getting excited, go into the locker room and change into some better suited gear. I decide that first I'm gonna go to the 100 yard range to do a quick zero in of the rifle and find out what ammunition will work best with it (I do this with every new firearm). I test out different lines within Hornady, Black Hills, and Wolf. I settle on Hornady TAP 60 gr, it seems to have the best mix of felt recoil, and follow-up accuracy. So I go back to the from desk, see that one of the live boxes is empty at the moment, sign into it, and change my gear once again. I put on a thigh rig for my XD and attach a single point sling to the adjustable stock on the AR, load up 6 magazines, and take 10 rounds out of one of the magazines at random.
Note: At this point I am wearing a polo shirt that labels me as a youth instructor for this particular facility, aswell as a shooting jacket that has quite a few patches including, an old MOS patch, a usmc patch, the patch for the range I'm at, a CorBon patch, and among others, a patch for one of my former Contractor employers, this is the one that would get me in trouble...
I walk out to my new area, it is a 50X50 yard square with 12-15 foot high berms and a small shack in one corner with an assortment of different colored lights (to indicate whether it is safe to enter), a phone for calling the senior range officer, the entrance to the area, and racks of set-up gear so you can arrange your live shoot how you would like.
I go through the first and second magazines fine, still suprised at how low the recoil is, but at the same time finding realizing that the fifle is quite loud due to the shortened barrel. I load up the 3rd magazine, deciding to due a quick reload when I deplete it...I load up the 4th magazine, squeezing off the rounds as quickly as I can, and then it happens, it's the short magazine..I pause for what feels like an eternity, but in reality is less than a second, I drop the rifle, relying on the sling to catch it, I transition to the XD and pop 2 rounds into my current target, spin around and there it is, standing next to my newest target, a living, breathing human, my heart skips a beat, I hoster my pistol and I let out a round of Expletives at the new person and walk to the entrance shack picking up the phone, it rings two times and I angrily request the senior range officer on duty come to my live box. And I head over to talk to the man.
Let's call this guy Jimbo...
Jimbo,"I was in the Army."
"What the fuck are you doing in my box, I could have killed you."
Jimbo, "I saw your patch for generic contracting company, I'm not a big fan of you boys, damn mercs..."
(Enter range officer, it's the owner Chris)
Chris, "What's going on El Sid?"
"This guy walked into a box, almost shot him when I moved to a new target."
Chris, "Was the green light on?" (Green means safe to enter)
"No, red, I turned on yellow when I called you."
Jimbo, "Look at his insignia, he shouldn't even be in here."
I look at him confused.
Chris, "What the hell are you talking about?"
Jimbo, "He's a fucking mercenary..."
At this point my hearth sank, I hadn't been confronted with this demon in a long time, here was another misinformed, ignorant man confusing contractors and mercenaries. (I'll go into this further in my next post)
Chris, "Jimbo, go to the membership office."
Chris, "Just fucking go!"
I followed chris up to the front desk, and filled out some quick complaint forms, citing the ranges 3rd safety rule: DO NOT enter any range shown to be in use
Jimbo, who has only been a member for a few weeks is permanetly banned from the club, his entire first years payment forfieted due to breaking a safety rule. Chris apologizes and assures me it won't happen again.
I head home, and spend the next few hours cleaning...
*Names have been changed