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Old 05-29-2012, 07:50 PM   #1
Svt4me
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Default Shooting in the desert

This weekend I went shooting in the desert with my 14 and 11 year old boys. As we're driving out I see a party of 8 or 9 with a few younger kids shooting. I noticed a 50 cal on a table and thought cool. Would it have been ok to stop and talk/ask questions? I know am always cognizant out shooting in the desert for safety concerns, people sneeking up and strangers.
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Old 05-29-2012, 08:08 PM   #2
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I'd say that could either way, and probably best just to go with what your gut tells you. Just based on what you observed it sounds like it would have been an ok group to approach.

If you ever see a guy shooting by a dirty(hopefully I'll make it to the car wash soon) silver fx35, it's probably me. Stop and say hello!
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Old 05-29-2012, 11:58 PM   #3
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I agree with Sigkoala and I have had the same thoughts at times. You really got play it by ear. Say hi as you go by and see if they are friendly or not. I've seen some good guys out there and some real but heads.
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Old 05-30-2012, 01:30 AM   #4
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I have had few guys stop to chat me up when I am out shooting.

I am OK with it but am hesitant to do it myself since last time it seemed like I was talking to a bunch hillbillies with newfangled guns. Seems there was just enough idiocy going on for me to NEED scoot out of there BEFORE a flesh wound.

They seemed so nice at first.......
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Old 05-30-2012, 02:02 AM   #5
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I can't speak for that group, but I'm always ok with friendly people approaching. I've personally gone up to a few groups who were shooting in some of our more popular spots up here, and it's never been a big deal. Be friendly, smile, and you'll probably be met with the same attitude.
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Old 05-30-2012, 02:22 AM   #6
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I usually DON'T want to approach or be approached when I'm out there, and I keep my sixth sense pretty keen for the first little bit. So far, at Sloan, I've only met friendly people, except for those who charge into an area where I'm alone, and commence to setting up their little program, where I already was. The desert is big enough that no-one should need to intrude on my peace. If they just want to talk in the fashion of good ol' boys, that's fine.
There are some general "rules" that some don't seem to understand.
for one: Never invite yourself to shoot MY guns and ammo. If I don't extend the invitation, it doesn't exist.
for another: DO NOT approach me if you're drinking. PERIOD.
The list could go on, because it just defines simple decency. In your case, you were fine, and your boys would be invited to shoot whatever they could handle.
I think it bears repeating that MOST of us are genuine sportsmen who enjoy sharing the company of other good people and helping to pass on the traditions of freedom to younger folk. There certainly are some certifiable jerks out there though, and we have to be always prepared to deal with them as well. I was talking to a Metro cop who shoots near the liteweight pit. He told me that a group of total morons actually took a few shots at him and his cop buddies, even tho the cops were firing full-auto. Always be friendly, but always be careful.
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Old 05-30-2012, 03:15 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Regular Joe View Post
Always be friendly, but always be careful.
I think you made a lot of good points. The one I quoted above is one worth repeating: be friendly and be careful. I make it a point to keep a minimum of one gun fully loaded and accessible just in case someone thinks they can come screw with me while I'm between reloads. "An armed society is a polite society" comes to mind.
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Old 05-30-2012, 04:20 PM   #8
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I think it's important to stress this "sixth sense", because it's a part of our survival awareness,

from the lowest animals up to we humans. It's an important part of what we teach to kids

who are learning to deal with the world in general. I get angry with people who just barge in

on me when I'm shooting because it's obvious that they don't even suspect that caution is

warranted. Someone failed to teach it to them, and they failed to ever learn it. There's a kind

of ritual we go through that is best described by an encounter I had with an old guy at the

Lovell Canyon range.
He was already there when I showed up. He was just hanging out, casually picking up brass.

He carried a holstered sidearm. I parked in a spot a little way off, respecting his "space",

then started looking for brass myself. It took a little while, but we crossed paths and started

talking. That went well, and we ended up exchanging sidearms, magazine removed and

action open. It's the process we go through in moving from wondering if I have to keep my

back covered, and trusting that my back IS covered.
Another time at Lovell, I wandered farther back into the lower group campground. There was

an old boy back there, plinking with his .17 HMR. I paused and remarked: "that's an awfully

big scope you have on that little ol' rifle". He said "the better to see you with". I moved on.
In these encounters, we engage in a process of critical discernment that is important in our

dealings with virtually every other living thing. We might like to believe that it isn't necessary

in a modern civilized world. That isn't THIS world. I just read a news story about a wacko in

Florida who ate the face off of a 65 year old homeless man. Really, down to the bone, from

the forehead to the jawline. A passerby flagged down a cop, and the cop ended up killing

the attacker, because he wouldn't stop. That is THIS world, in a modern "civilized" city.
It's a very good thing to get the kids started in figuring out how to approach an armed camp,

and finesse their way into finding out if they have to keep their back covered, or if these

other armed citizens can be trusted to cover them.
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Old 05-30-2012, 04:45 PM   #9
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Around my favorite spots it can become very congested at times. I always make it a point to confront and discuss a few common rules when someone gets too close to where I have set up. Usually I have found that everyone is pretty nice when doing this. Especially those that bring children. I always confront them when they set up near me, that way to set a common goal of "NO ONE DOWN RANGE WHEN FIRING" which can be a hassle at some paces I go. I do ensue that when i am alone that I have a loaded weapon available at all times, as when i go down range I leave my gear open and available. I think the best advice is just to use common sense. I would think that someone shooting a 50bmg would be a person that would see some one approaching as a curious person not as an enemy, but he would most likely be cautious as well.

I do not aproach and stay far away from those who seem to not feel right. Usually the ones wasting ammo and shooting random crap they brought and usually leave out in the desert.

I have had good experiances from those who are level headed and on the same page. Once I approached two men and their children to set a common guideline as to where to keep a line of fire and to signal each other when going down range. I ended up shooting with them, he was a Washoe Police Officer out with his brother and kids. Real nice experiance. They were not collecting their brass, so I asked and they willingly placed there spent cartridges in my bucket, they even helped clean up some of the crap out there in a few garbage bags I brought when we were done.

I have had a few folks pull in next to me and immediatly start shooting. Even when we sighted each other out to alert each other that one was going down range, he fired a few off at an angle off of where I was walking torwards one of my targets. I packed up everything and left as fast as I could.

You never know though. So like said below. If it feels right to say or confront the other shooters. Do it. If not don't and possibly head away or call it a day if it starts feeling off.
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Old 05-31-2012, 01:37 AM   #10
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I guess my spidey sense was on high alert because it was only me and my boys. It looked like they had a neat set up for shootin with all the gear. Range scope, table with all gear laid out with the 50 bmg. I had my Glock 19 concealed on my person for use only if needed. However my boys would be defenseless if someone took me out.
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