Essential Gun Range Gear Guide for Beginners

You got your first firearm, congratulations!

Before you head out to go shooting, you should learn the gun range lingo. For instance, commencing fire means that the firing can start as soon as the shooter is ready. Saying the range is cold means that all shooters have stopped firing, and it’s safe to check your targets.

As a new shooter, every little thing you learn can help make you safer and more efficient. For instance, you should learn how to pack the perfect range bag.

What type of gun range gear should you bring with you on your first trip? Read on to find out.

What Range Bag Is Right for You?

Where will you put all of the gun range essentials that were going over in this article? In your range bag.

If you plan on going to the range frequently, then you’re going to need a convenient bag to carry your gun and gear. Your choice of range bag will include a variety of practical issues.

For instance, how much time do you plan on spending at the range? How big is your firearm? Are you packing for yourself, or others too?

Another thing to consider is how discreet you want your shooting hobby to be. Some are big, bulky, and obvious, while others are sleek.

Construction and Capacity

When it comes to range bag choices, there are a lot of different options to choose from. The bags are going the very as far as construction, size, and capacity go.

You’ll also have different features to consider, such as an assortment of small pockets or large divisions of the primary area. We find that a simple design that’s specifically designed for the gun range will work best.

Even though you have to pay a little bit more upfront, you’ll get in the habit of putting your range gear in the same compartment every single time. Having the same dedicated range bag year after year will help you become a more efficient shooter. As you progress as a shooter, you can get a more complex bag too.

Laptop Bags and Backpacks

Don’t want to splurge on a range bag? Not a problem. You’re welcome to improvise with other options, such as a laptop bag.

Many laptop bags are a great alternative because it’s discrete and convenient. When you’re just starting out as a gun owner, not having to buy a dedicated range bag can be a great way to save.

Using your laptop bag, you’ll be able to fit all of the functional pieces of equipment into one easy-to-find area. Laptop bags also benefit from the padded compartment, which is great for segregating your gun.

Another improvisation would be to use a backpack. Backpacks are also great for carrying guns in public, and they make great range bags.

The only drawback would be that many backpacks are larger than what you’ll need. You’ll also want to look out for a backpack that has a padded compartment for your pistol.

Types of Gun Range Protective Gear

What’s one of the golden rules of shooting a gun? Always wear eye protection.

Around 2,000 workers suffer eye injuries every day. When you walk onto a gun range, the risk of injury becomes even greater. It doesn’t matter what you’re doing if you’re around any type of shooting, wear eye and ear protection.

Picking Process

Picking out the right pair of safety glasses or ear protection can be a detailed process. For instance, the glasses need to be comfortable to wear, but they also have to offer the best protection for your eyes.

To narrow down your choices, there are 3 specific factors you should look for when picking out any type of gear protection. Consider the ballistics, fit, and customization abilities. Putting it all together; the fit, ballistic rating, and customizable factors will help you find the right gun range protective gear.

Eye Protection Tips

How can you be sure you’re getting the right pair of safety eyewear? For starters, you want the glasses to be tight enough that they won’t fall off but not so tight that they’re uncomfortable. You can always add an eyeglass retainer to perfectly position the glasses on your face.

Does the nose piece sit too high or too low on your face? Is there a way to customize the nose piece? The more customizable the glasses are, the better off you’ll be.

The same line of thinking holds true if you have a prescription for eyeglasses. There might be companies out there who offer eye protection while also letting you customize the lenses based on your prescription.

Ear Protection Tips

About 1 in 8 Americans have hearing loss. Oftentimes it’s avoidable and the result of acoustic trauma (loud sounds).

We find that earmuffs are a great way to avoid acoustic trauma on the range. Be sure to bring your earmuffs with you to the store when you try on the new safety glasses.

Check that the muffs and glasses fit comfortably, so you won’t be hesitant to use them. You may have to try a few different types of ear protection before you find the perfect fit.

For instance, you may find that muffs aren’t you’re preferred style. Don’t worry though. Thankfully, you’ll find that ear protection at has a lot of different options.

Best Gun Range Gear Cleaning Kits

You’ll also want to find a portable gun range gear cleaning kit. Taking care of your gun properly means that it’s not going to show signs of old age as the years go by.

A lot of people make the mistake of believing that they only need to clean their firearm and store it before putting it away. The truth is, your firearm needs to be cleaned periodically if you wanted to stay in pristine condition. That includes after using it at the gun range.

What type of gun cleaning gear will you need to bring to the range? That’s going to depend on what you’re shooting with.

Caliber Check

One of the biggest issues that gun owners face when it comes to buying cleaning kits is that they buy the wrong caliber of cleaning kits. Another issue is that some cleaning kits come with cheap plastic cases. Double-check what caliber of cleaning kit your gun requires, and ensure you’re getting high-quality kit parts.

What Goes in a Gun Cleaning Kit?

After ensuring you’re getting a quality kit for the right caliber firearm, you’ll want to make sure the kit has all the tools you need. For instance, there should be brushes.

A good cleaning kit will come with bronze brushes that you’ll use to clean the barrel of your firearm. Some of the larger kits will also include nylon brushes for the sensitive parts of your gun.

The kit should also have a cleaning swab, jag, and patches. Sometimes kit will use a slotted patch holder instead of the cleaning jag.

Finally, your kit should consist of double brushes, cleaning rods, solvent, and hopefully, a bore snake. A bore snake will be customized to work with the exact caliber of your gun.

Choose the Best Shooting Targets

Did you know that it’s up to you to bring your own firearm, ammunition, and shooting targets to the range? To choose the best shooting target, there are a few things you want to consider, like the material.

Common target materials include clay, steel, cardboard, and polymer. Of course, there are paper targets too. Each shooting target material will help with a different goal.

For instance, paper is one of the most versatile materials. Paper’s an excellent material for tracking group shots. You can also use paper targets to adjust your scope or sites.

Steel targets have the best life. We find that steel targets work great for ongoing training, and they provide a fun PING sound when you hit them!

Clay targets are exciting to watch explode. When you hit your brittle clay target, it’ll break up an explosive dust cloud. Of course, clay targets are a one-time use item.

Finally, polymer targets will let the bullet pass through while causing the most minor damage. Polymer targets aren’t going to last as long as steel targets, but they can still put up with many rounds. The best part about polymer targets is that they jump when you hit them.

Target Layouts

Are you looking for a target to help improve your accuracy? Then we suggest finding a site in or bullseye layout.

If you’re working on a specific shooting skill, a feedback target would be a great choice. Steel targets make for great feedback targets because of the fun ping sound when you hit them. For skill-based targets, we find that clay materials work well.

Get Out to the Range

What are you waiting for? It’s time to go to the gun range now you know what to bring.

Of course, you’ll need a bag to pack all of your gun range gear into. Will you be going out to buy a customized range bag? Or are you going to improvise with the laptop bag or backpack? Once you decide, head out to your local gun range and have a great afternoon practicing shooting.

What other ways can you have fun? Take a peek around the rest of our blog to find out.

Written by Patricia

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