Every year, millions of people visit shooting ranges. Whether they want to try out shooting for the very first time, learn how to use a weapon for protection, hunting, or sports, shooting ranges offer the opportunity to practice in a controlled and supervised environment. As a novice, there are some essentials you’ll need to prepare before heading out to shoot. In that spirit, here’s a practical guide with everything you’ll need to pack for an exciting and safe shooting experience at the range.
Shooting Range Types
There are two common types of shooting ranges, namely indoor and outdoor. Indoor ranges are enclosed, have reinforced walls and ceilings, and allow you to practice shooting on fixed targets. They are well-ventilated to evacuate smoke and lead particles. There, you’ll only be allowed certain types of firearms, so be sure to inquire in advance. In contrast, outdoor ranges are ideal for-long range shooters (hunters, athletes) and provide the chance to fire at moving targets, such as flying disks or clay pigeons. The only possible drawback is that they are weather-dependent, given their open environment.
Naturally, shooting enthusiasts are expected to supply their firearms. Don’t expect to be allowed to bring in a bazooka, though; you’ll only be permitted certain weapons and calibers. In any case, your firearms must come unloaded and be encased at all times, except when you’re shooting. Load safely inside your booth and handle your gun responsibly to avoid slip-ups and serious accidents.
Don’t forget the bullets, as you’ll also be expected to provide your ammunition. Shooting ranges follow strict protocols and are subject to tight supervision from the authorities, so again, you can’t just bring anything. Give the venue a call beforehand to ask about local regulations and what’s permitted. Then, ask your local gun store owner for suitable recommendations and make your purchases accordingly.
If you’re visiting an outdoor range to get some rifle practice, it goes without saying that you should have a rifle scope handy. It’ll allow you to aim and fire at long distances with great ease and accuracy. If this is your first time, finding the best scope for your weapon can prove to be an arduous task. However, Augmented Reality (AR) optical scopes are a great choice for hunters and long-range shooters. Some online research should point you towards specialized reviews and purchasing guides that allow you to find the scope you need for optimal practice and the best shooting experience possible.
Your local shooting range might provide you with a complimentary target upon signing up and paying your range fee. That said, making your targets at home will be far more convenient. All you need are standard A4 paper sheets, a Sharpie pen, and some tape to hold it up—alternatively, a stapler will work just fine. Don’t forget your camera to immortalize your performance and progress!
Regardless of whether you’re a first-timer or a firearms pro, safety gear is a must-have at the range. We’re specifically talking about eye and ear protection. While these pieces of equipment are usually offered for a minimal renting fee, investing in a pair of sturdy goggles and ear defenders will be worth it if you’re serious about your new pastime. Those provided by ranges are usually unfit and uncomfortable, which is why it’s highly encouraged to spare the extra buck for quality gear. That way, you’ll be in a better position and mindset while shooting, meaning you’ll get better much faster. Don’t forget to come wearing adequate clothing and footwear, too.
Firearm Cleaning Kit
Keeping your gun clean will extend its life and improve your performance significantly. Particularly if you plan to go down to the range frequently, let’s say every week or so, it’s essential that you carry a decent cleaning kit. They’re widely available and affordable and include a full set of tools to keep your firearm spotless.
Range Bag or Case
By now, you must be wondering how you’re supposed to carry all this stuff. To that end, look into acquiring a reliable bag or case to store and transport everything, including your weapon(s), ammo, eye, and ear protection, cleaning kit, and targets, along with a water bottle and some snacks. Pay attention to the size, capacity, and number of compartments, and be sure to scour the web for purchasing options.
There’s a reason why shooting ranges are so popular; they provide a safe, comfortable, and fun activity for enthusiasts of all levels. With our recommendations for essential gear, you’ll guarantee yourself a pleasant and memorable shooting experience, alone, or with your friends and family!