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Range Candy

Updated: Jan 12, 2019

By Steve Zimmermann

The summer time brings the excitement of BBQ’s, family time and parades. Speaking of parades, do you remember as a kid, running to where, seemingly, hundreds of pieces of candy would be thrown from passing floats to the ground? My mom would panic every time I tried to dart out towards the road for handfuls of the sugary greatness!

Oddly enough we never grow up. Instead of risking life and limb for a 2-cent cavity maker, we shooters look for the leftovers from the previous lane occupant as he or she ejected un-spent cartridges on the range floor, endearingly referred to as “range candy”!

Let me be straight up and say, yes, I have pilfered the range floor for freedom fries. It seems like a great idea in concept, but in reality, it’s very dangerous to your well-being, and, could turn your firearm into an expensive grenade with a barrel!

Here are a few pictures to illustrate what exactly I’m trying to say, a picture says 1000 words you know…

Now, all these are examples of ammunition issues, and as you could imagine, there are many physical injuries that could accompany the firearms coming apart in the shooters hand. To save those who don’t want to see what could happen to the shooter, I wont post injury pictures.

Looking at the photos I could diagnose perhaps what went wrong, squib load, hang fire, double charge, even the wrong primer used could turn a mistake into a catastrophic failure!

For reloaders, please triple check your double check. I have seen what happens when “long time” reloaders forget where they left off while putting powder in the casings, only to double charge the load and have to deal with a costly mistake. Sometimes the powder composition is incorrect or mislabeled and the reloader did everything correct. Regardless, when you roll up to the range, eager to put lead down range, and you see some fancy looking 9mm cartridge on the floor, resist the urge and leave it there! We will take care of it, so you don’t have to.

To wind it all up.

We as shooters carry a huge responsibility, we represent a sport or industry that is under constant scrutiny, we are in charge of our firearms and those who we let use them, and we in some cases have invested a great deal of money into something we really love. As such, we need to resist the temptation of picking up loose rounds from the floor or ground if we do not know where they came from. I have seen reloaders dispose of several rounds on the floor because they felt that the load was incorrect, leaving the problem for someone else. Here at the range, we have DUD CANS to place unwanted cartridges, please utilize them, don’t throw them on the floor, possibly enticing others to scoop them up. Resist the urge to gather up the rounds that may be on the floor, its not worth the embarrassment or the hospital bills!

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