Going shooting isn’t as specialized as going rock climbing or scuba diving, but what you wear is still important. Having the right attire makes all the difference in having a safe and enjoyable shooting experience.
So, what’s the dress code for going to the shooting range? What can you wear that’s both safe and comfortable? What do you bring to the range with you? We’ll answer all those questions and more in this brief blog post.
Do gun ranges have a dress code?
Whenever you’re visiting a gun range for the first time, it’s a good idea to call the facility to ask whether they have a dress code. Some ranges are strict, while others don’t have any requirements. It’s still important to wear proper clothing even when there isn’t a specific dress code in place.
Ultimately, what to wear at the range is a matter of comfort and protection from the elements.. Next, we’ll dive deeper into exactly what type of clothing makes for the best gun range attire and the perfect range bag setup.
What should you wear to the gun range?
When dressing for a session at the range, focus on protecting yourself from spent cartridges and debris. It’s a good idea to wear a long-sleeve shirt that allows you to move freely. You want the neckline of the shirt to be as high as possible to prevent hot brass casings ejected from the gun from falling into your shirt from the neckline. Alternatively, especially for women wearing lower-neckline tops, it should be loose enough that casings can fall freely through your shirt and onto the ground.
Pants or jeans are both good options for lower body wear, cargo pants or ‘tactical’ pants are great too. Anything that will cover your legs and prevent brass and debris from falling into your shoes works well, and at least some shooters believe that the more pockets you have, the better.
Shoes should be closed-toe and fully cover your feet. As comfortable as they are, we do not recommend something like Crocs for a day at the range. Full boots with a steel or safety toe aren’t necessary, we’re just trying to keep brass and debris from getting into our shoes.
Finally, we recommend wearing a brimmed hat. A basic baseball cap works well, the idea being to protect your face and eyes from brass or debris bouncing down into your eyes behind your shooting glasses. Cowboy hats, boonie hats, whatever Indiana Jones wears or anything with a brim that can deflect something falling in between your eye protection and your eyes.
What’s best for an outdoor range?
When going to an outdoor range, you must dress for the elements while still maintaining firearm safety as your top priority. You can wear shorts if you find it to be unbearably hot, but it’s still better to wear long pants and a long sleeve shirt. Long pants are an absolute must if you plan on shooting from the prone position.
For an outdoor range keep in mind that you will be exposed to the elements, so dress for the weather. Depending on where you are, that may mean extra layers, gloves, waterproof boots or an extra big hat to block the sun. Check the weather before you go and dress appropriately.
You’ll also want to keep in mind that being exposed to the elements may mean that you’ll get dirtier at an outdoor range than an indoor range, so don’t wear clothes that you’re concerned about getting dust, dirt, debris or other detritus of the great outdoors on.
What do you need to bring with you?
As you’ve likely noticed, firearm safety is a recurring theme in this blog post, and it’s something you should keep at the forefront of your mind when packing your range bag. If you don’t have a range bag, you should start there.
You don’t have to spring for a top-of-the-line pack. Just something large enough with enough compartments to store and separate your gear. Also, make sure it’s rugged and durable enough to bear the weight you’re going to put on it over time and terrain.
Now, here’s what your range bag should include for a safe, fun, and successful shooting experience:
- Electronic Headphones with noise-reduction capabilities and extra batteries.
- Unmitigated exposure to gun blasts, especially indoors, can damage your hearing and cause tinnitus.
- Proper eyewear to protect against debris.
- A toolkit for making adjustments to your firearms.
- Gun oil to prevent your firearms from drying out.
- More ammo than you actually need and enough of the correct backup magazines.
- A first-aid kit.
- Sunscreen, if you’ll be shooting outdoors.
- A pen and pad for taking notes and tracking your progress.
Is there anything to avoid wearing?
So, now that you know what you should wear (and bring) to the shooting range, you might be wondering if there are any clothing don’ts. Here are some things to avoid wearing to the gun range:
- Baggy, bulky clothing
- Open-toed shoes/sandals
- Dangly jewelry (chains, long earrings or large hoops, loose hanging bracelets, and watches)
Be especially careful about wearing jewelry to the gun range. You don’t want to damage any of your valuables or worse, create a safety hazard. Even a ring that doesn’t fit properly could compromise your grip on your firearm, so it’s best to leave your jewelry at home.
Having the most enjoyable and productive shooting experiences depends largely on knowing what to wear to gun range sessions and what to bring to the gun range. Remember, comfort is king — or queen — when at the range.
If you’re looking for the perfect range to hone your skills or just enjoy blowing off some steam while burning through a few mags, look no further than The Range 702. It’s a great gun shooting range for beginners and experts alike.
We provide concealed carry training, 1-on-1 training for beginners, and state of Nevada-mandated armed guard training.
We also offer a wide variety of full auto experiences, including “Couples Therapy” and the MG42 Machine Gun Experience.
We even have a real Black Ops Experience for all the gamers that want to test their mettle in real-life scenarios. The Range 702 truly has something for everyone.
Visit our Experiences Page to see more of the unique, adrenaline-pumping shooting experiences you can’t get anywhere but The Range 702!