Unassembled gun and bullets sitting on wooden ledge with shooting targets in the distance

Four Pieces of Equipment I Never Go to the Range Without

  • Wesley Littlefield

Besides the blatantly obvious, I never go to the range without these four pieces of equipment. Most gun ranges won’t allow you on the range without hearing protection and eye protection for safety reasons. The other two items, a spotting scope, and screwdriver are for convenience.

Hearing Protection

My grandpa grew up running an open cab tractor, served in the military, and never wore hearing protection. Now, he wears hearing aids but still has trouble hearing his great-granddaughters. A gun range won’t allow you to shoot without hearing protection. Once you lose your hearing, it’s gone for good. Don’t just bring your hearing protection; use it!

Eye Protection

Once again, most gun ranges will enforce wearing eye protection. Sunglasses will work as long as they are shatter-resistant. Certain types of eyeglasses are not shatter-resistant. If you wear glasses, the best practice is to wear another pair of safety glasses over your prescription lenses. You will keep from scratching or shattering your prescription glasses. 

I was at the range watching a buddy shoot his AR-15 at a steel target 50 yards away when I felt a slicing pain in my cheek just below my eye. I lifted my hand to my cheek to find blood running down my face. I tapped my buddy on the shoulder to show him what was happening so he could help me.

A piece of the full metal jacket had ricocheted and embedded itself into my cheek. Thankfully, I could pull it out, and it only cut my cheek, not my eye. It could have quickly taken my eye out. I also learned not to shoot an FMJ at a steel target!

Spotting Scope

Image courtesy of Wikipedia user Thuringius

A spotting scope saves me from stopping everyone else from shooting so I can walk down the range and see exactly where I hit my target. Having a spotting scope handy saves a tremendous amount of time when sighting in a rifle.

Basic Tool Kit

A basic tool kit will include pliers, a screwdriver, gun oil, and an old rag. Sometimes you get to the range and have a loose scope or need to adjust it. Or you might realize you didn’t oil your gun very well before you put it away last time. Your tools can help you fix a minor malfunction, but a major malfunction should be taken to a gunsmith to fix. You definitely shouldn’t try to correct it at the gun range.

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