I have shot guns belonging to 'strangers,' and allowed them to shoot mine, many times. It all has to do with the rapport you establish with them while you are taking turns shooting.
I have only rarely met other shooters who were rude or 'stand-offish,' and I leave them alone. If they are friendly, safe, and show interest in one of my guns, I will usually offer to let them shoot it, and more often than not they will, and then let me shoot theirs.
I have met a lot of nice folks on the shooting line.
Do I know you? Are you here alone or with someone I know?
You ever shot 'one of these' before?
Have you ever shot anything before?
Are you certified? Or certifiable.
Last thing I'm doing is handing my Alaskan (or any of my guns) over to a stranger. Esp in SoCal.
I'd very politely decline. Hurt feelings are better than a dead me or...
If I knew you, no problem. Here's how it works. Blam away.
Also- If I am not on the firing line shooting, I have no biz in front of the big red line. I'd ask the range-master to deliver your question during a session break etc... at least that's how it works where I shoot and how I was raised. Wandering the line can get you the boot.
No offence intended.
Interesting topic. I tend to agree with talking to people and showing a genuine interest but let them offer to let you try one of thier guns instead of asking. By just being freindly and showing interest you should be able to pick up on their attitude pretty quickly. Judgeing from the multitude of different responses here I would think the same would apply on any typical shooting range. Some guys would look at you like you were insane for even asking and others would be thrilled to help you out. The rest would fall some were in the middle.
If I did not know the person I would tend to be more concerned about safety and can they handle it than my lord what if they damage my weapon or cost me a small fortune in ammo. Then again I'm not shooting a pair of custom Wilson Combats or Ed Browns worth as much as my truck either. Is it rude? I guess the best answer is it is situational.