What to bring to the Range with you

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Headed to the range this weekend? Then make sure you have everything needed.

Guns and Ammo

First and probably most obvious is, of course, your weapon and ammo.

If you would like to learn more about ammo take a look here: Choosing a caliber for concealed carry

Some may laugh, but I have seen people pack everything but the kitchen sink and still somehow forget to grab all the guns they wanted to shoot, or even enough or any ammo for the day. Secondly, you also will want to bring your “ears and eyes”.



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Eye and hearing protection

Make sure you have quality eye protection as well as hearing protection.

I strongly recommend going electronic when choosing your hearing protection, mainly because it offers ample protection while still allowing the user to maintain normal hearing ability.

No more yelling, no more asking others to repeat themselves while you take your hearing protection off.

Cleaning Kit

You will also want to bring a cleaning kit for your firearms. This does not necessarily have to be a full sized kit, as they make small cleaning kits that are usually geared towards a specific caliber or a small range of calibers. Just be sure that if you choose a small kit to also bring a solid cleaning rod.

If you would like to learn more about handgun maintenance take a look here: Cleaning and Maintaining Your Weapon



Experience one squib or stuck shell and you will quickly realize a cleaning rod can be worth its weight in gold. A decent cleaning kit can keep you from having to call it a day prematurely. The same can also be said for the next item, a nice multi-tool. I have personally had my day salvaged because of one of these.

There aren’t many things that can happen to your guns or gear that a cleaning kit, cleaning rod, and multi-tool cannot fix.

Another good suggestion is to bring a few rags and some gun oil and/or gun lube. Depending on range conditions or which drills you are doing, even how many rounds you go through, your gun can get dirty and dry fast. Fortunately, this is a very easy fix if you have a clean rag and some oil with you.



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Your Phone

Next, you will also want to remember to bring your cell phone. This may sound dumb, but you would be surprised at how many people leave their phone in their car when they get to the range. There are a few reasons for bringing your phone, such as time management, listening to music if you have electronic hearing protection with a headphone jack, using a Shot Timer app, or the most obvious reason, to make a phone call.

Lives have been saved on the range by a timely 911 call.

While it may be rare, there have been accidents that occur on shooting ranges, and unfortunately there will be more in the future. Any time you deal with firearms, there is always that risk. Do not rely on other people to call for help, make sure you have your phone handy.



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First Aid Kit

On this note, the next thing to bring is a good first aid kit. While a standard first aid kit might suffice, I also bring an IFAK (Improved First Aid Kit) which is geared more towards gunshot wounds than little cuts and scrapes like a standard first aid kit. As previously stated, accidents do happen. There could be an accidental discharge, friendly fire, or even a gun blowout. Almost everyone has seen videos or pictures of what happens when a gun blows up.

Recently I watched a video where a man was shooting a bolt action rifle from a bench, and when he shot the entire bolt blew back into his neck.

If not for some fast acting people at the range that day, he would not have made it. It’s horrible to think about, but these things do occasionally happen. Medical supplies are just like guns, it’s better to have it and never need it than to need it and not have it.



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Good Attitude

The last, and maybe one of the most important things to bring to the range is a good attitude. While this sounds cheesy, it needs to be discussed. There have been many people who have their days ruined by a stranger at the range with a bad attitude.

No matter how serious you take your range time, it should be fun. But if you get mad, throw a fit, start yelling, and generally make a scene, you will not only ruin your day, but also everyone else's day.

The shooting community is filled with some of the nicest, selfless, most polite and courteous people on the planet. But there are always downers and kill-joys out there. Make sure you are not one of them. A bad attitude is contagious so leave it at home. And if you happen to encounter one just give them some space, ignore them, and try to enjoy yourself.



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Sunscreen and insect repellent

There are also other things that while not necessary, can make your day at the range much more enjoyable. First and foremost for any outdoor range are sunscreen and insect repellent. These can save your skin, literally.

Nothing is worse for concentrating on drills than constant bug bites. Except maybe a sunburn.

Food and Drink

You might also want to pack some drinks and snacks. My first time shooting on an outdoor range was during the middle of a hot Georgia summer, and I had to pack up 45 minutes after arriving to drive to the nearest gas station and buy some drinks. Depending on your location, dehydration can set in fairly quickly, so be prepared. Bringing snacks can not only fend off hunger, but can have the added bonus of making some new friends.

Just offer some of trail mix or whatever you bring to the people shooting next to you, and next thing you know you have a brand new range buddy.

Lastly, while this is more of a courtesy than a necessity, it never hurts to bring a few extra pairs of eye and ear protection. This is just in case someone forgets theirs, or even if your primary ones are damaged. Now that you know what to bring with you, get out there, be safe, and most importantly have fun.



About The Author


Being raised in Georgia, Troy has been around firearms for most of his life. From the moment he unwrapped that Red Rider BB gun on his seventh birthday, he was hooked. He is an active 2nd Amendment advocate, and will often go out of his way to educate and instruct any person interested in firearms. When he’s not writing or managing his pressure washing business, he can usually be found on the range or in the woods.