In Part 1 of “A Day at the Range” we explored some of the items you’ll need to pack in your range back. Part 2 focuses on safety equipment.
Ear Protection for Shooting
There are some techy solutions available for hearing protection. There are electronic headsets that can accentuate sound but clamp down the volume if the decibel exceeds safety levels, thus allowing you to hear and protect that eardrum. Other, less expensive options just passively protect by lowering all audible feedback. Many opt for plugs, the point is that the over-pressure sound wave can destroy your hearing. It must be protected.
Some glasses have a polycarbonate lens. Many like a smoky yellow lens as it increases contrast in low light conditions. Regular sunglasses preferably can be either non-polarized or polarized, but polycarbonate is the best protection against bounce-back ricochets. UV protection is another must, but the color of the tint is up to you. Don’t become nonchalant when you are protecting your eyes. Most prescription lens are polycarbonate lenses and will suffice.
Gun Range First Aid Kit
You can pick up splinters from the shooting bench or post. You can also pick some slight injuries from slipping tools to ‘who knows what’, therefore a small first aid kit is a must. Make sure it includes tweezers for those splinters. If bugs are a problem, you may want some ‘skeeter repellent’. It pays to be prudent and prepared.
The biggest con is that gloves change your grip and weapon feel. Unless it is winter and you wear your gloves all the time, it is best you shoot with your bare hand. As with all suggestions this is up to you and what works for you.
Gun Cleaning Kit
In carrying for our guns, we know they must be cleaned after we shoot them. For the concealed carry it is important to clean your carry-gun at the range. If an incident goes down and you don’t fire, you don’t want your gun smelling like it was just discharged. Though most ammo has non-corrosive primers, some of the surplus stuff may have corrosive primers. If you were using cast lead bullets you will want to get rid of any lead fouling, for that matter any copper fouling from jacketed bullets. There are many compact cleaning kits that should have a place in your range bag.
Shooting Range Tools
A Leatherman combination tool is handy for shooters. You may also want a rear sight adjustment tool for your Glock. You don’t need a toolbox worth of hand tools, but a good multitool should handle sight adjustments and simple maintenance. Solvent; one of the best and probably oldest is Hoppes No. 9 bore solvent. It removes lead and copper. Just put it in a metal or plastic container for the range. And you don’t need the pint size at the range, figure about 8 ounces in a squeeze bottle. Thirty-eights are .357 inches in diameter, 9mm is .355 inches, meaning the same jag and patch sizes can be used on both the revolver and the Glock. If you’re a 1911 fan you will have to pack some .45 patches. If you use a 40 S&W these patches should work with the .38/.357 guns as well. Oil; you will need some gun oil and a rag to wipe down your shooter.
Shooting Range Targets
If you obtain your targets at the range, they will probably loan you a staple gun. If you use your own targets, you may want to invest in a staple gun and a box of staples, it can make life easier. The range staplers may be tied up with other patrons. Another handy item is Gaffer tape, looks like duct tape but is stronger and stickier.