THE FINER THINGS

YOU CAN SHOOT WITH THE BOYS WITH­OUT HAV­ING TO SMELL AND LOOK LIKE THEM.

Gun World - - Artemis Armed -

Let’s face it: Guys who go to the range don’t worry about their fin­ger­nails break­ing or their faces de­vel­op­ing a sun glasses tan that makes them look as if they stepped out of a blast zone. And they don’t worry about dus­ten­crusted hair that hurts to try to brush through.

But gals def­i­nitely do not want to deal with these lit­tle quirks of range life.

While women can en­joy the range just as much as men, un­der­stand­ing we might have ex­pec­ta­tions for a few of the finer things in life is per­fectly rea­son­able. You can shoot with the boys with­out hav­ing to smell and look like the boys.

Here are a few things I’ve learned at the range that I hope will help the ladies pre­pare and en­joy range time more, as well as help the guys un­der­stand where their gal pal is com­ing from when she has con­cerns.

THE LONG AND SHORT OF FIN­GER­NAILS

I’ll start this off with fin­ger­nails. No­body wants snag­gly nails—ripped, torn, dirty. I hate feel­ing that on my hands! Ladies and men do not want to catch their nails on their cloth­ing and rip them off or have bits of dirt stuck un­der them.

Shoot­ing is hard on the hands. From reload­ing mag­a­zines to pick­ing up brass and re­set­ting tar­gets, it can tear up your nails and skin, so do some plan­ning ahead. Pack gloves for set­ting up tar­gets and work­ing at the range. You don’t want to soak up any more lead than you do al­ready, so gloves can help keep lead dust off your skin, es­pe­cially with shot­gun tar­gets get­ting caked in lead from bird­shot.

Keep a nail clip­per in your bag to trim bro­ken nails. And I’d ad­vise go­ing with shorter nails to start with. I have seen fe­male shoot­ers who have longer nails catch them on a rail. It brings them to tears, and some­times, they even bleed. (This def­i­nitely sells me on not hav­ing a man­i­cure!)

I’ve seen a hus­band fail to “get it,” and I cau­tion you to re­al­ize that if you’re just plink­ing or hav­ing fun on the range with your friends, this isn’t a con­cern—go ahead and rock those long nails.

As for me, load­ing a shot­gun—es­pe­cially in years I am work­ing to­ward a world shoot and prac­tice load­ing fre­quently—I want to be sure I keep my nails short, es­pe­cially my thumb­nail. At least a cou­ple times a year, I have to su­per-glue split nails to keep them from split­ting even fur­ther.

A nail file in your bag is re­ally use­ful, too. I try to keep a cou­ple of those tiny, dis­pos­able emery boards in my range bag so I can ad­dress not only any nails that chip or tear, but some­times, I use them in lieu of sand­pa­per for my shot­gun lifter or other ran­dom gun parts. An emery board/buf­fer makes a great fine san­der and pol­ish­ing tool to keep in your tool kit.

TAME YOUR MANE

Dusty ranges make hair nasty. I tend to put mine in a braid if I know I’m go­ing to be in a lot of dust, partly to keep it out of my way, but mostly be­cause it will oth­er­wise be so dirty, I can’t comb it.

A hat def­i­nitely helps, be­cause it keeps your hair cleaner and your scalp from get­ting sun­burned. Some gals keep dry sham­poo in their cars. But cov­er­ing or se­cur­ing your hair will help you fo­cus on shoot­ing ... which is what you want to fo­cus on at the range any­way.

SHOOT­ING IS HARD ON THE HANDS. FROM RELOAD­ING MAG­A­ZINES TO PICK­ING UP BRASS AND RE­SET­TING TAR­GETS, IT CAN TEAR UP YOUR NAILS AND SKIN, SO DO SOME PLAN­NING AHEAD.

Hair out of the way— check. Hands that are func­tional and still fem­i­nine—check.

Adding a few help­ful pieces to your range bag can help you en­joy the range more. Many fe­male shoot­ers swear by gel nail pol­ish to help pro­tect their fin­ger­nails from crack­ing and split­ting when they’re work­ing hard at the range.

Us­ing guns doesn’t mean you have to scrap your man­i­cure, es­pe­cially when shoot­ing a pis­tol. I

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