For those attending the shooting range for the first time, the prospect may seem daunting. Don’t be intiminated by those who seem to know it all, these simple tips can help you feel like an expert, even on your first trip to the gun range.

The Rules of Safety

gun holding a gun at the gun range

Go into the gun range with confidence, but not a disregard for safety. Make sure safety is always a top priority when going into the gun range. No matter how experienced you feel you are, never let your confidence get in the way of safety. There are a few main rules of safety that must be observed at all times:

  • Treat the gun as if it is always loaded. Even if you are confident there is nothing in the chamber, treat the gun as if it could go off. Too many accidents happen from an overconfidence that the gun is not in a position to shoot at any given moment.
  • Only point the gun down range. You should never point a firearm at anything you aren’t willing to shoot. While you are at the gun range, always be aware of where it is pointed, and what is in that direction.
  • Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot. You should have your sights on target and everything else aligned before touching the trigger.
  • Wear your protective gear. It may seem silly to those new to firearms, but safety glasses and earplugs are essential. always wear these while you are on the range. It doesn’t matter if you are shooting or just observing, you must wear eye and ear protection.

Know What You Need

handguns at the gun range

When you check in, a staff member will most likely ask you what you need. This person will be knowledgeable, if you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask. Some of the things the staff will most likely ask you before you head out to the range include:  

  • Have you shot here before? This is a chance for you to identify yourself as a first time shooter. Familiarize yourself with the rules of this range.
  • Do you have eye and ear protection? Often times you will have the option to purchase these at the gun range if you have forgotten.
  • What are you shooting? Sometimes ranges have separate areas for those shooting pistols compared to those shooting rifles. There’s a chance they may want to inspect your ammo as well.
  • Do you need anything else? This includes, ammo and targets. Make sure you have what you need before entering the range.

Go With Someone Experienced

outdoor gun range

If possible, go with a friend who has experience at the gun range your first time. Having someone there to show you the ropes will be beneficial, and can increase your confidence there. Attending the gun range for the first time may seem overwhelming, but these tips can help make it easier. Following the rules of safety, knowing what you need, and going with someone experienced can all make your first trip to the gun range a better experience.