Essential Items for Trips to the Gun Range

How to Prepare: The Basics

A trip to the gun range is not as simple as it seems. There are many steps taken to prepare and safely shoot at a range of your choice. Being sure to have a game plan before heading over is essential to a smart and productive trip. To start, make sure you have a planned time for your shooting session. Set a goal for your sessions and training to be sure no rounds are aimlessly wasted on unproductive shooting. Dry firing beforehand to help work on grip, aim, and sight picture can help when it comes to time management before you get to the range. Prepare your gun as well so there is no standing time messing around trying to figure out what is wrong with a gun if something is off. Having appropriate gear also contributes to a successful trip. 

This article will explain recommendations on proper attire and things needed for a trip to the range.

Let's dive in.

Essentials for Going to the Gun Range

This includes but is not limited to safety glasses, ear protection, different ammo, targets, and storage for all of these items. All of these items are necessary to ensure safety and smart shooting techniques. Safety is key when it comes to shooting at any range so use these items as often as you can to play it safe while shooting.

Safety Glasses

There are many different brands and types of shooting glasses used while at the range, from your standard clear lenses to tactical sunglasses. Finding the right ones can be hard, but hopefully this article helps give some insight on which ones are best to use for optimal safety. There is a lot of debris while shooting so finding strong and reliable glasses will protect your eyes from any accident. Unlike regular glasses, safety glasses provide a wider lense that goes all the way around the side of your eyes to prevent anything from hitting your eyes.

A top recommendation are the 308 Ballistic Shooting Glasses sold by FortKnight Optics. Equipped with HD lenses, these provide a clear sight while shooting, almost like you are wearing nothing at all. Equipped with ZEISS lenses, they meet ANSI Z87.1+ requirements for optimal protection against flying debris. They are lightweight and fit small to medium face shapes comfortably to ensure focus on shooting. By also providing anti-fog technologies, they are a must have in your gear bag as a top protection measure.

Ear Protection

essential items for trip to gun range

There are many varieties of ear protection equipment including earmuffs, earbuds, and ear plugs. The safest option are the earmuffs due to the full coverage of the ear to protect from the loud sounds at the gun range. Being sure to find the right size is essential to making sure your ears are protected at the range. Earmuffs allow for optimal protection and full coverage to prevent any injuries to your ears and eardrums.

Go Axil, an ear protection brand, has some of the best and safest earmuffs. The Axil Trackr Electronic earmuffs are very reputable and provide full coverage for the ears while shooting. They have a compact and lightweight fit providing comfortability at the range. While blocking the sounds at the gun range, enhanced technological ability allows for a conversation to still be held clear as day. They are also water and sweat resistant, a plus to the longevity of the earmuffs. They are multipurpose and can also be used outside of the range for daily activities that involve loud noises.


Having the right ammo while shooting provides a better experience on the range. Knowing what kind of ammo to have stocked for the range is essential to a better experience and ensuring safety on the range. There is a big difference between training ammo and defense ammo used for shooting.. Again, safety is absolutely essential while shooting and it is a top priority to be smart on the range or in any situation where a gun is needed.

Most defense ammo is a lot more expensive than training ammo, usually made with hollow point tips that expand on contact with the subject in order to provide a lethal shot. Training ammo is less expensive and is made with the intention of penetrating a target further than defense ammo which expands on impact when the target is hit. Target ammo is often FMJ (full metal jacket, which means it is encased in a harder metal with a softer core to help with speed and trajectory of the bullet. It also provides less cleaning needed for the gun being used to shoot with. 


Picking targets to use at the range will help give insight while shooting that corresponds to real-life scenarios. If you want to test your skills, finding the proper target is essential. The top three targets used are paper, steel, and ballistic gel targets. Paper targets are self explanatory. They usually consist of a bullseye or human figure on a target that can be set up indoor or outdoor. Steel targets come in many different shapes and sizes from animals to bottles, it is personal preference on what shape you would want to use to better help train you for your shooting needs. Ballistic gel targets are on the expensive end. They are primarily used to see the penetration of the bullet when you shoot. Usually they come in human shapes as well as simple blocks. It is really up to the person on what kind of targets they want to use but Do it all Outdoors has a huge selection to choose from for all of your target practice needs.

Backpacks/Shooting Bags

Depending on what kind of gun you are shooting with, there are many shooting bags to choose from. Ranging from backpacks to duffels, picking the right bag for your needs is needed for prime organization and safety of keeping your guns secure while traveling to the range. Ensuring you have a strong and weather proof bag attributes to the longevity of your bag and saves money on needing to continuously buy a new bag for your gear.

Osage River Tactical Range Bag is a top recommendation for optimal storage for your gun, ammo, and other range equipment. It has numerous compartments for storage and is weather resistant for whatever you may come across while on the range, hunting, or general use. It is lightweight and easy to carry making for a better experience when traveling with your gun. It comes in two sizes and comes down to personal preference and gun type. They also offer rifle/pistol storage bags for bigger guns at a decent price. With five different sizes of rifle storage bags, it will not be hard to find the perfect fit for your gun.


items for the gun range

Hopefully this gives you some insight into the essentials needed for a perfect trip to the range. Remember, safety is key and following these simple steps and recommendations will allow for a great trip to the range. Testing out and finding your perfect gear will take time but when you have it all together, going to the range will be a breeze. You will see exceptional improvement in your shooting skills and demeanor while using these tips.. Keeping yourself safe and anyone else safe who you associate with while training will give a better experience for everyone while shooting.

Be sure to follow FortKnight Optics on Instagram!