Grab a red pen to mark a target on your calendar because National Range Day is coming on Saturday, June 4.
That day 2.3M responsible, safe, and licensed Canadian gun owners will be recognized as the Gunnies we all are. To celebrate, we will be posting a series of blogs all about shooting ranges, starting with this one.
A Glossary for Gunnie Noobs
Taking your first shot at a range can be both exhilarating and intimidating. And like being on vacation in a foreign country or trying to understand what a teen is talking about on Tik Tok, it can be overwhelming and confusing if you aren’t speaking the same language. It’s ok. We are here to help. Here are some popular shooting range terms and what they mean.
A backstop is a barrier constructed to stop or redirect bullets fired on a range. Built on the side of a hill, made of wood, dirt, clay, stone or rubber, the structure can be a single wall or three-panelled, around 16 to 20 feet high.
A baffle is placed overhead, alongside or at ground level to suppress sound, contain off-target shots, and interrupt stray bullets at an outdoor range. Indoors, they’re hungover backstops and referred to as an eyebrow when placed at the firing line.
Sort of like cubicles in an office space, berms are built to establish shooting lanes, usually 8 to 12 feet high. 🎵Gotta keep ’em separated. 🎵
As the name implies, a bullet trap is a specially constructed device to trap bullets. Like a backstop, it’s used to safely dispose of live rounds and capture fragments.
Made from chalk and resin, clay pigeons look like an upside-down plate. More brittle than peanut brittle, discs are spat out into the air – a flying target meant to replicate hunting. PULL!!!
If you’re going plinking with your buddies, it means you’ll be shooting at all sorts of unconventional targets. Tin cans, cartons, fruits, logs, or if you’re Joe Exotic, mattresses. When an impact is made, there isn’t much of an audible sound in competitive shooting or target practice. Yet, when aiming at a soda can, not only will you hear a sharp plink sound, but you get the satisfaction of the object visually bouncing, splattering or falling over.
If anyone refers to small arms, they’re not talking about being unable to reach the cookie jar on the top shelf. Though the definition isn’t carved in stone, the term generally refers to shotguns, rifles, pistols, and even machine guns. If it can be fired by one person, it’s considered a small arm.
A small-bore has nothing to do with a small boar. It’s the category of an officially sanctioned bullseye shooting event using .22 rifles.
Now, you’re cocked, locked and ready to talk-the-talk. There are so many things to take in about this sport, and we hope that our resources arm you enough to feel at ease when you hit the range. Just remember. Safety is the number one priority!
Did we miss any need-to-know terms you’ve heard while oot and aboot? Let us know.