What to wear to a shooting range? This question usually pops up if it is your first time to visit one, but you really should not overthink your outfit as all you have to ask are two questions, which are “Can it protect me?” and “Will it enhance my shooting capability?”
It is really as simple as that, but if you really cannot let it go and want some suggestions for specific items of clothing, then you came to the right place. Although outfit is not the most important thing to take note of when going to a shooting range, it is still an essential part of the whole experience.
Believe it or not, if you are wearing the wrong pieces of clothing, you just might end up failing at your shooting or worse, might get hurt fatally. Hence, we are going to go over some factors to consider when planning your outfit. At the same time, we will give some clothing suggestions and the reasons behind wearing them.
Lastly, we will give a list of don’ts so that will be able to know which ones not to wear. As you know, in a shooting range it does not only end in committing a fashion faux pas, but it ends really badly, even deadly.
What Are the Factors to Consider: Three Benefits of Proper Clothing
Again, if you really cannot justify what you are going to wear based on the two questions we discussed earlier, then knowing the three critical factors might help you out. Before we go through each factor though, do keep in mind that shooting ranges vary.
Some are pretty straightforward wherein you have a shooting line and an open shooting space which can be indoor or outdoor. On the other hand, there are open shooting spaces wherein they simulate abandoned buildings, forests, and the likes. Hence, just adjust how you view the factors based on the type of shooting range you are going to.
- Protection: First and foremost, you should dress in order to protect yourself. We are not saying that you should go on full battle gear with matching bullet vests, but think about covering your neck, shoulders, and legs. Not only that; your footwear should also be something that can protect your feet, including the toes.
- Enhancement: There are certain pieces of clothing like long-sleeved shirts that can enhance your shooting performance. At the same time, if you are wearing breathable and stretchy jeans, this can also help on the proper stance while firing.
- Movement: Make sure that you wear something that is comfortable. It should also not hinder any type of movement especially on your shoulder, arms, back, and legs. Therefore, the rule of thumb here is to wear something that has a snug fit but can also adjust to your movements.
What to Wear to a Shooting Range: The Dos and Dont’s
We are now going to discuss each piece of clothing that you can and cannot wear, and the reasons behind wearing them.
Some of the suggested clothing that you can wear includes:
- Shirt: Ultimately, it is your choice to go for short sleeves or long sleeves. That said, short sleeves are best not to restrict movement on your arms, but a lot of people gravitate towards long sleeves because it can protect your arms from hot brass or lead particles. Nonetheless, make sure to choose a shirt that covers the neck and chest area. The reason for this is the same as why you cover your arms, and that is the hot brass can ricochet towards you, and you do not want that to hurt your neck or chest.
- Pants: Your pants can either be jeans or jeggings, but just make sure to cover your legs. At the same time, wear something that really fits you and does not have excess bottoms. Do keep in mind that the bottoms should not cover your footwear, as doing so will ensure that you will not trip on something and you can move freely.
- Shoes: It does not matter whether you are wearing rubber shoes or leather shoes; just pick something that can completely cover your feet. However, it is good to wear a pair that has a breathable design and has safeguards against moisture. Shooting ranges can be very enclosed so surely, your feet might get sweaty, and you might find it hard to walk around in non-breathable shoes due to extreme wetness.
- Shooting Glasses: Glasses are needed to protect your eyes against any objects that might fire back towards you. Some shooting ranges have them on hand, but it is better to bring your own so that they fit you nicely. For indoor wear, opt for yellow or clear tints.
- Ear Protection: The sound of a gunshot can really be deafening, especially if you are in an indoor shooting range. Therefore, you should protect your eardrums by wearing ear protection. Some people go for just earplugs, but still, the best ones to wear are ear protection products made especially for shooting.
- Hats: This is not really a requirement, but it is also great to have with you a brimmed hat since it will protect your head against cartridges that fly back. Again, this depends on the gun that you are firing. Do note though that this can also hinder your field of view, so it is not that advised to wear hats.
The kinds of clothing that can compromise your safety are:
- Tank tops: If the shooting range is outside and it is hot, you might be tempted to do so, but just imagine the hot brass that will hit your skin while you shoot. Yikes!
- Short shorts: These are not really allowed in shooting ranges because you have to cover your legs completely.
Slippers and sandals: Not only do these kinds of footwear not offer some kind of protection to your feet, but they also hinder you from getting in the right firing position.
- Jewelry: These accessories are also not recommended as they can distract you. You might feel uncomfortable clenching a gun with a statement ring or with a bracelet dangling out of your gloves.
Now that you have a general idea on what to wear to a shooting range, you can now adjust the pieces of clothing based on the shooting range that you will go to. Just remember the two questions and the three factors, and you will not lose your way.