Closed-toed shoes are a must. Even if you are just spectating - in order to step out onto the range you MUST be wearing closed-toed shoes. This is to ensure protection against hot brass.
Brimmed hats are also good to wear as they can offer a little more protection from hot cartridges that fly in the air after being ejected.
EYES - The more eye protection you have is determined by how much of your eyes are covered. The more they are covered, the less risk. At an indoor range, clear or yellow lenses would be optimal.
EARS - Guns are harmfully loud. There are a number of options to choose from that include ear plugs to ear muffs that offer different levels of protection. Keep in mind that the more time you spend on the range the more abuse your ears endure and you want to preserve your ears to the extreme.
We also have rentals at the range, check it out here!
When going to the shooting range, it’s so much easier to have all of your gear in one container - we suggest a range bag or backpack!
The shooting facility most likely to be near your home or work is an indoor range. While there are some private clubs, these are almost always for-profit businesses. Most of them have a gun store attached, of variable size, so they can sell range users guns (or rent them), ammo, targets, and other accessories like hearing and eye protection.
As a result, to shoot at a facility like this, you don’t need to have all the right gear before you arrive. If you’re unsure about ammo, targets, or other accessories you might need, you’ll be able to get some professional advice and buy what you need once there. In fact, at most ranges, you don’t even need a gun. I remember being completely freaked out when I first drove by a shooting range with a big “Guns for Rent!” sign out front. That was before I knew what that really meant. No, you can’t go in, rent one, and take it with to use about town. What it does mean is that the range will have an assortment of pistols, and sometimes rifles, that you can “rent” to use on that range during your visit.
This is a great way for someone to try target shooting even before they own a gun. It’s also a great way to try out a few different models or calibers before you decide on a gun to buy. Typically, there will be an inexpensive flat fee for gun rentals. Most ranges will also charge a fee for range time by the hour. You can get around this by becoming a member (at most ranges) and paying either a monthly or annual flat rate instead of a by-the-hour rate tallied every time you come to shoot. At some ranges, being a member gets a you a reduced rate, while at other the hourly rate is eliminated all together.
If you have your own gun, safety gear, and ammo, that’s all you need. If you do bring your own ammunition, many ranges will want to see it before you shoot. It’s OK; they’re just making sure that your ammo type won’t be unsafe with the type of target backstops at that facility. It’s all about safety. Before you can shoot, you’ll need to understand the range’s safety rules and procedures.
More and more ranges are using short videos to show you exactly what you need to know. You’ll also probably have to sign a waiver stating that you understand, and will abide by, all range safety policies. It’ll also waive the range’s liability should you hurt yourself or someone else. That’s all normal and expected. Pay attention to these lists of rules, as many ranges will have some specific things they may or may not allow.
Always double check the rules, which are usually posted somewhere prominent, or ask a range officer before trying something new or something you haven’t done at that range before. For example, some trap ranges do not permit pump shotguns with a pistol grip, some pistol ranges only allow the use of factory ammunition, and some prohibit any drills that include drawing from a holster.
The Basic Rules
As far as gun handling and shooting procedures, details vary, but you can expect some of the following rules to be on the list. These exist for your safety and that of your range neighbors, so make sure you understand and follow them carefully.
Many indoor ranges have a safety officer who’s responsible for watching the shooting line. If you’re unsure of anything, be sure to ask that person - that’s why they’re around, and they’re usually wearing something that designates them as the RSO. If they call you out about something you’re doing wrong, don’t get upset. Absorb what they’re telling you and correct your behavior. Safety is the number one goal.
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