01 personal Protection
Eye and ear protection is critical when spending any amount of time at the shooting range. Some ranges won’t even allow you into the area of the firing line without wearing both forms of protection. We recommend electronic hearing protection if possible. It cancels out loud sounds while allowing you to hear voice commands and to converse without having to shout. If you plan on shooting in unconventional positions, a set of elbow and knee pads and even a cushioned shooting pad could be good ideas as well.
02 Prepare Ammunition
Having the correct caliber ammunition that matches the guns you intend to shoot at the range is obvious, but also having a varying selection of different types of ammunition in terms of bullet type and weight is beneficial to have on hand, especially when bringing a new gun to the range. Different firearms can be more reliable or accurate depending on which cartridges they’re fed. Trying out a varied array of ammunition by different manufacturers, even if they are of the same grain and bullet type, can help you zero in on which ammunition is best for your guns.
03 Tools and Maintenance
Remember Murphy’s Law: Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong. Being prepared for any eventuality will help you keep your range day going smoothly. Bringing the right tools for your guns and your favorite cleaning supplies will keep your firearms in good working order. At minimum, we’d bring a firearm-dedicated multitool, a bottle of CLP and a bore snake. Don’t let a dirty gun or easily fixed problem end your range day prematurely.
04 Targets and Accessories
Depending on where you intend to shoot, targets may or may not be available at the range. It’s prudent to pack your own targets, target stands, a staple gun with staples to help place paper targets, and a marker for marking targets so that they are available for you to use. Some shooters prefer to shoot particular types of paper targets while others enjoy shooting clay pigeons, steel plates or even bowling pins. Before using your own targets, be sure to check with the range staff that they are allowed at the range.
05 Range Optics
If you’re shooting at longer ranges or intend on zeroing in your optic, you’ll want to bring a quality spotting scope as well as a range finder. A spotting scope can help you clearly see where your shots land on the target and the range finder will allow you to properly place your target at the correct zeroing distance.