Accessories, Guns

Essential Gear to Carry When Practicing at a Shooting Range

Most people think that practicing at a shooting range is a simple activity that does not require you to bring your own gear with you. Some indoor shooting ranges may offer the necessary gear for rental or purchase in order to help provide you with a safe experience, but outdoor shooting ranges usually do not offer any gear for target practice. Ideally, you would also want to bring your own personal firearm to the shooting range. Taking the extra step to carry some essential gear with you to practice also allows you to have a safe, relaxing, and enjoyable time while target practicing.

Generally speaking, a shooting range is set in a strictly controlled environment. Most people assume that nothing can go wrong when you’re practicing at a shooting range. However, there will always be hazards that can appear anytime a firearm is being used. Note that shooting at a fixed target in a controlled setting can only reduce the risks; it does not entirely eliminate the likelihood of an accident. Therefore, you should always be prepared and ensure you perform the proper safety measures when firing a gun. To achieve this, make sure that you carry at least some of the below items with you next time you head out to the range. 

Safety Glasses

Eye protection is a very important piece of gear to have with you regardless of whether you are practicing at an indoor or outdoor range. Safety glasses will protect your eyes from a variety of harmful factors that might occur when you fire a gun. For instance, muzzle flash and high-temperature gases are produced when a shot is fired and can be dangerous when coming into contact with your eyes. The excess powder from your firearm also poses a risk as it can always blowback towards your face and even burn your eyes.

Always make sure that you have the right pair of safety glasses in your shooting range bag. This means that you have purchased one from a reputable store or just renting one that is available at the shooting range. Remember that the safety glasses should stay on at all times during the firing of your weapon or when near someone firing a weapon in order to best protect your eyes and vision.

Ear Protection

Most firearms create a noise that is in the range of 140 to 175 decibels but will sometimes exceed these numbers depending on the setting. No matter the age range, all sounds that are above 85 decibels are considered harmful to our hearing and you should always have your ears properly covered when shooting a firearm. Always keep in mind that the level of noise created from shooting your firearm will also be amplified by the number of shooters practicing at the range, further increasing the decibel range of noise in your vicinity. The noise produced by your firearm can also be amplified when you are in an indoor shooting range, as the sound is reflected off the walls of the facility and begin to echo. Having quality ear protection becomes that much more important when you decide to practice in these types of facilities. 

When buying ear protection, always check its NRR (Noise Reduction Rating) to make sure that the product is suited to your individual needs. Just as it is with safety glasses, you should also buy a properly fitting earmuff to offer the best protection. In addition, you must also ensure that your product can efficiently reduce the noise levels to a range that will not cause any hearing damage.

First Aid Kit

All of the shooting ranges in the US are mandated to have a first aid kit available to attend to any unexpected injuries while patrons are practicing. However, it is still important that as a responsible shooter you should always carry your own personal emergency injury kit to the shooting range. Your first aid kit should include items such as gauze sponges, hemostatic agent, a small tourniquet, sterile gloves, EMT or trauma shears, antiseptic wipes, and a supply of bandages.

Ammo Kit

It is important that you bring your own ammo to the shooting range. Although many shooting ranges carry different types of ammunition for purchase, it is always more convenient to carry the appropriate amount of ammo for target practice alongside your firearm. By doing so you can ensure that you are using the best quality ammunition for your firearm as well as cut any additional expenses down when practicing at a shooting range.

Shooting Targets

If you are going to an outdoor shooting range you could also choose to carry your own targets to save on the extra costs. There are many different types of targets available for purchase at firearm accessories stores that suit a variety of guns and shooting purposes. By pairing your gun together with the appropriate targets you are more likely to have an improved experience when practicing at a shooting range. For those of you who enjoy hunting, it is even possible to purchase X-ray animal targets in order to practice with a greater sense of accuracy.  

Cleaning and Servicing Kit

By carrying your own gear to the shooting range you should feel prepared to tackle any emergency that may arise. Always make sure to carry a cleaning and repair kit in the case that your firearm may begin to malfunction. You should have some brass rods, copper brushes, cotton mops, gun oil, solvent, and multi-bit screwdriver in your gun cleaning and servicing kit. 

Regularly cleaning your firearm helps to improve both its longevity and reliability. That being said, most experts advise that you should perform your gun maintenance at home and not at a shooting range. By servicing your firearm at home and in a comfortable environment, you can maintain a level of attention and detail that is ideal for gun maintenance. In taking this extra step you ensure that you will always have a great target practice session at the shooting range.