Check your stash of safety equipment, ammunition, gun cleaning supplies and targets you’ll need for a successful day at the range. If you’re short on anything, some ranges have their own supply for sale, so check with them and you may be able to pick it up on site.
Check the range rules for any restrictions on the types of weapons you’re allowed to bring to the range. Additionally, steel cased ammunition (vs brass cased) is not allowed in most indoor ranges because of its potential to spark and the possible damage the round can cause to range equipment.
Similar to the military saying “train as you fight” you should train in attire that you might be wearing when you use your handgun (this includes your holster) or rifle. Dress appropriately by first checking if the range has a dress code.
If they don’t, then appropriate gear includes:
This one is extremely important. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. I used to shoot competitively so I feel pretty comfortable on a range, but it’s important to swallow that pride every time I shoot at a new range and take some time to acquaint myself with the layout and policies.
If you are relatively new to shooting or haven’t done it in a while, bring a friend who is experienced in the handling and shooting of the weapons you plan to use.
Don’t be offended or taken aback if the range officer inspects your weapon(s) and/or ammunition or observes your weapon handling/proficiency during your first few shots. It’s as imperative that he/she is comfortable with you being on the range as you are!
Find out what the rules are and read them. Some ranges have a video for first time visitors or a sheet they must read, agree to and sign. Some ranges just post the rules near the entrance. There’s no excuse for not knowing the rules on a range. Not following the rules can get you kicked off the range or worse: endanger you and your fellow shooters. Respect the rules and your fellow shooting sport enthusiasts.
Some common safety rules apply to all ranges. Always follow these when at the range.
Periodically picking or sweeping up your brass keeps your shooting lane tidy and less susceptible to someone slipping or mis-stepping on a pile of shell casings. Once you are done with shooting, clean up your space if the range requires.
Congratulations, you have had a safe and fun day at the range. However, it doesn’t end here. We recommend the following: