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Range Day Best Practices

Whether its the first time going to the range or the 100th time going, it is always an exciting experience. In this brief article I want to cover the main things you need to bring to the range and how to best prepare. This preparation will ensure that you have fun and succeed in your purposes at the range. You don't want anything to take away from the fun and the needed safety when you are at the range.

So now you are ready and excited for range day to sight in a new firearm or get some good training in, so what do you need?

  1. Make sure you are completely comfortable and familiar with the 4 universal safety rules and know the expectations of the range before entering the firing area. (Firearm Safety Rules)

  2. Your clothing should consist of pants and long sleeves that are not too baggy. You don’t want hot brass finding its way into sensitive areas! Also, you should wear a durable shoe or boot. Even in an indoor setting it is good to have a hat. Wearing the same type of clothes every time you shoot will make sure you feel comfortable and have no unnecessary distractions while on the firing line. So think comfort, durability, athleticism and safety.

  3. Before arriving to the range you need to make sure you have the gun(s) you are wanting to shoot and the proper ammo and magazines for that gun ready to go in its proper carrying case and have it set up to be state legal for transport. Also make sure that you have gun cleaning gear as well. You may have an issue with your firearm and it might be as simple as a quick cleaning to fix the problem. This planning helps you in other goal planning you have for what you want to accomplish. Plinking and poking holes in targets is fun, but especially these days with ammunition issues, you want to make good use of your time while having fun.

  4. Bring purpose built ear and eye protection. I always have multiple options with me in case something fails while at the range and you should, too. A decent pair of electronic ear pro and passive ear pro is a great idea for all shooting environments. Being able to protect your hearing and still hear range commands and others around you on the range creates safety and awareness. The eye protection needs to be rated for shooting. This will ensure proper protection, but also that the plastic is high quality giving you optimal vision for ensuring good front sight focus and seeing your targets. The reality is improper preparation and poor quality gear could lead to mistakes on the range.

  5. Most range days are at least an hour long if not longer. Make sure that you bring some snacks and plenty of water to stay hydrated and fueled. Even standing on a firing line holding a hand gun can exert a good bit of energy over long periods of time. Even if you don't drink or eat while shooting, caring for your nutrition and hydration is never a bad idea.

  6. You should always have a small purpose built range medical bag with you at the range. Especially in an outdoor range as there may be some delays in medical services depending on the location. Being prepared with bandaids or even quick clot can make all the difference. You don’t want a minor cut to end your range day early. And of course you don't want major injuries occur without the proper gear to deal with it quickly.

I am sure you could add a few things to the list, but this is a pretty comprehensive overview. Shooting firearms in any capacity is a serious thing. It takes a mature and humble approach to be safe and prepared, and that is the best way to have the most fun and set yourself up for long term success.

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