You’ve seen it in movies, and TV shows, but nothing beats being in an actual shooting range. If you’re a newbie, prepare for a lot of noise, a lot of people, and a lot of questions! Any first-time visitor is going to feel intimidated when left unguided at a shooting range – but the reality is that there really is nothing to worry about.
All professional shooting ranges make safety their top priority. Most of the time, you’ll find everything you need there – ready to be rented or bought. Still, it pays to prepare, and with a high-risk sport such as shooting, you’re better soff well-equipped – regardless of what rank you are.
Table of Contents
1. Your Know-how
By the time you’ve stepped onto the range, you should have done all your research already. There are numerous websites and sources for you to look up about shooting in general. Be sure you’ve covered the ins and outs of firearm safety, the things that could go wrong, and how to handle them.
2. Your Firearm
This is by far the most obvious. This isn’t at all imperative on your first day, as you may want to practice with the firearms at the range first. However, having your own firearm will allow you to grow and improve with it – and eventually, you’ll get used to the sound and feel of the whole experience.
If you haven’t got around to buying your own firearm yet, most shooting ranges do rent out their pistols for you. You can practice with these for a while, just to see if you’ve got a knack for it. Once you do get your own firearm with a holster to match, by then you’d have mastered the basics of gun handling.
3. Your own Eyes and Ears
Hearing things go bang bang for hours on end isn’t good for your hearing at all. What more, shell casings flying in all directions could cost you an eye. With that said, be sure to pack your own heavy-duty ear mufflers and protective eye goggles.
Pre-COVID19, it was pretty normal to rent protective gear from shooting range personnel. Nowadays you’re better off buying your own set of “eyes and ears” to avoid cross-contamination. This is standard shooting range gear, and should always be in your designated “range bag.”
4. Your own Ammo
Shooting is just like any sport, and to get better you’re going to need to practice a lot. While most shooting ranges sell ammunition, it’s way better to pack your own. Not only are you more in control of your rounds, but you also save a lot of money.
There’s a big chance that bullets cost more at the range than at your favorite gun shop, so be sure to pack up those loads because you’re going to need them to get better at your stance, aim, and reloading.
5. Your own Targets
With all that ammo, you’re going to need something to shoot at! Like ammo and other gear, a variety of targets are also available at the range. These are great, but if you want to add your own spin to it, try printing out a picture of a zombie, your least favorite vegetable, or your ex-lover.
Bringing in your own personal targets will motivate you to improve your aim, and will also be a sight to look at. Hopefully, whoever’s picture you’re aiming at isn’t actually at the range with you!
6. A Mask and Hand Sanitizer
This probably goes without saying, but we all need a gentle reminder every now and then. Sad to say, COVID is still at large and your greatest protection is still a good anti-aerosol mask and basic hygiene.
If there are a lot of people at the range, be sure to socially distance and sanitize often. There’s no use getting better at shooting when you’re struggling to breathe, so always remember to keep safe against the virus – even when others are lax.
7. A Friend
Shooting at the range doesn’t have to be a solitary sport. As long as your buddy is over 18, you can have them tag along with you at the range. Over time, both of you can monitor each other’s improvements and even make up for your own challenges.
While it may seem intimidating at first, shooting is a fun discipline to get into. Just remember to keep safety a top priority. Bring your own personal gear, keep inventory and sanitize. Stay safe and stay on target!