According to a recent survey, about half of all gun owners in the US go shooting at gun ranges. For most, this is the only time they get to use their firearms, practice their aim, and learn proper gun etiquette.
If you’re new to gun ownership, hitting the gun range may be intimidating. How do you start shooting, and what should you take with you? Aside from grabbing your gun and practicing ammo, you need to have a few other gun range essentials.
In today’s post, we’ll be highlighting all the gun range essentials you need for a successful day at the gun range. Let’s get right into it.
We’ll kick our list off with what you’ll use to carry all your shooting range gear. The first thing you need to check off your list is a range bag. When in the market for a range bag, you want one that’s durable, comfortable, and the right size.
Also, make sure you specifically carry a range bag and not any other type of bag. Range bags have all the right fittings and pockets to ensure you carry all your gear safely to and from the gun range.
The right bag size depends on how many guns you plan to carry and the type of gun you own. Some range bags are small enough to carry pistols, while others are the size of duffel bags. These carry large firearms like assault rifles and shotguns.
Be sure to buy a padded bag, especially if you own a heavy gun and tons of gear. Unpadded bags can sometimes get uncomfortable, especially after carrying them for a long time. Find a bag with padded shoulder straps and one that distributes weight evenly on your back.
You can rent a firearm to use at your local shooting range. However, we advise carrying your own weapon to familiarize yourself with it. Put your gun in a gun case for maximum protection before plopping it in your range bag.
Also, consider getting a holster to help you improve how you draw your weapon. These days, you can even find gun holsters for sweatpants to hold and conceal your firearm. Because not all gun ranges allow holsters, call ahead to know whether you can carry yours to the gun range.
Aside from the actual firearm, firearm safety and protective gear are arguably the most important items to carry to the gun range. Firearms are incredibly dangerous, even in controlled environments like gun ranges. To protect yourself and others in the gun range, you’ll need the following protective gear:
Ear Muffs or Plugs
Guns are extremely loud, with a small Glock G17 pistol producing about 162 decibels of sound. Usually, the larger the gun, the louder it is. You’ll need some form of ear protection to shield your ears from the loud gunshot noise.
The three main forms of ear protection for gun ranges are:
- Passive earmuffs
- Electronic earmuffs
Electronic earmuffs are an excellent option because they allow you to hear normal conversations but filter out gunshot noise. Their only downside is that they’re a bit pricey for most people.
You need to carry adequate eye protection to protect your eyes from bullet fragments and spent brass. You’ll need more than your driving or swimming goggles for adequate protection. Find goggles with ballistic protection to shield you from gunshot debris.
Shooting gloves aren’t a must-have but are still worth mentioning. These gloves protect your hands from abrasion when you fire your weapon. They also improve your dexterity and help you handle your weapon better.
First Aid Kit
Regardless of how careful you are, there’s always a chance that something might go wrong. To be on the safe side, always carry a first aid kit in your range bag. This can help you take care of minor injuries or provide initial care in the case of severe injuries.
Cleaning and Maintenance Tools
Every gun enthusiast knows how important it is to take good care of their guns. As such, you must carry all your gun cleaning and maintenance tools with you to the gun range. They will come in handy when your gun unexpectedly malfunctions at the shooting range.
The only way to know whether you can bring your own ammunition to the shooting range is to ask. Most gun ranges allow you to bring your own ammo, but some might have restrictions on the type of ammo you can bring. Check with the gun range to avoid awkward run-ins with the gun range management.
When packing ammo, make sure you carry more than you need. Most gun ranges sell their ammo at a much higher price than gun stores. Save a few bucks and carry your own ammo to the gun range.
To keep your ammunition safe and organized, store it in an ammo box. Ammo boxes also keep your ammunition dry and protect it from the elements. You can buy metal or plastic boxes, but the latter won’t last very long.
Every time you have to stuff magazines with ammo, it is a lot of time down the drain. A better alternative is to bring a few spare magazines that you have already loaded with bullets. That way, when you run out of bullets, you can swap mags and get back to shooting.
Bring a couple of spare targets just in case your trigger finger gets a little too itchy. There’s no point in using a target that’s already full of gunshot holes.
Gun Range Essentials in a Nutshell
Make sure you keep these gun range essentials in handy the next time you visit the gun range for seamless shooting. Explore shooting range options and only settle for the best shooting range you can find. Good luck and happy shooting!
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