The day you have waited for has finally arrived. You have the opportunity to accompany a friend to the firing range to take in a day of shooting off some ammo. However, your excitement turns to worry as you are not sure what you will need to bring. Not to fear, as I will walk you through the top five items that you will need for your first range day.
Those who consider themselves professionals will tell you that you will need more than what I am presenting. And, this may very well be true. However, for this article, I am going to outline the essentials that, as a first-time range visitor, you would best not to be without.
Before we start, keep in mind that when it comes to range equipment, do not skimp on quality. Most of these items will prove useful for many years to come, and as a result, the fact that higher-quality purchases will last longer will save money in the long term.
Okay, so let’s get this list started!
By far, next to your firearm, one of the most important purchases you will make is your range bag. The selection of the perfect range bag, for many, can prove to be a rather tricky process. Why do you ask? Because everyone has a unique way of shooting. It is also worth mentioning that even if you go the route of renting your firearm for the range, you will still need to make sure that you purchase a quality range bag. It should sufficiently accommodate your ammunition, a minimum of two pistols, your ear protection, your eyewear, and even a snack or two if need be.
Hearing and eye protection, while on the range, is a must! Many ranges offer protective gear to rent, at a somewhat minimal cost. However, if you are serious about shooting, it is in your best interest to invest in a good quality pair of both goggles and ear defenders. Most of the protective gear at the range, even though cheap to rent, is more often than not very uncomfortable. When purchasing your equipment, you will find that it is more comfortable and less distracting.
If you choose to take our weapon to the range, forgoing the rental of one, you will need to make sure that you have a gun cleaning kit. It doesn’t matter what type of weapon you have you need to bring a cleaning kit with you. Your cleaning kit will allow you to enjoy a full day of shooting, with only occasional pauses to clean your firearm. The cleaning kit itself need not be a significant purchase, as far as price, as these days there are cheap kits that get the job done but will not take up valuable space in your range bag.
Pen, Camera, and Tape
Those new to the range experience are prone to forgetting these three items, but those who are experienced shooters find them to be nothing less than staples for a range bag. The convenience of having a pen is that you may document and track your improvement. The tape is essential in the positioning and securing of targets, and a simple phone camera can preserve your memories for later playbacks
As with any sport or hobby, shooting requires the proper clothing. For utmost safety, make sure you are wearing a pair of sturdy, closed-toed shoes. Your shirt and pants should fit loosely enough to be comfortable, yet not so loose that they could catch on something. Most ranges are climate-controlled, meaning you will not have lug a heavy coat to your day of fun.
These five items will make your first range day an enjoyable success, and over time your items in your range bag will grow to your specific needs. However, personalization takes time, which is why starting with the essential must-haves is a good jumping-off point.