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The Well-Armed Woman

Gear Essentails for the Range

In our last article we talked about the basics of range etiquette. In today’s article, adapted from Carrie Lightfoot’s article on The Well Armed Woman Blog, we’ll discuss the gear and equipment that you’ll need to make your trip to the range a safe and successful experience.

Firearm and ammunition.

These are obvious but essential items for the range.

Range bag

You need something to carry all of your gear around. You should have one bag that is dedicated to your gun and range gear that can fit everything you need for a day at the range. Pockets specific to magazines and ammunition are always a nice touch.

Ear and eye protection

You cannot go to the range without proper ear protection. Use both earplugs and muffs if you can to get the most protection, especially when shooting at an indoor range. There are passive and electronic earmuffs that you can use based on your preference. The electronic muffs allow you to hear conversations and instruction but shut out the loader, higher decibel noise of gunfire.

Many people forget about or ignore the need for good eye protection. Spent casings, gases and debris can fly anywhere while shooting and the last place you want to feel the hot metal is in your eye!

First aid gear

Keep a small first aid kit with you in your range bag. Whether it’s a “slide bite” or a bee sting, being prepared is a must. Accidents happen anywhere and being prepared is extremely important.


Lead and other unhealthy substances will attach to your clothes and skin while shooting. Have cleaning wipes designed to remove lead and other shooting debris to wipe down with to prevent transferring these substances to others or to your eyes and mouth.

Extra set of clothes

Ideally, when you leave the range, you should change your clothes to minimize lead exposure. Keep a clean shirt in your bag so you can change right away.

Cleaning kit

You never know when you’ll need to clean your gun! Guns work best when they are clean and lubricated. If you find that your gun is dirty, gummed up, or needs some TLC, you’ll have your cleaning kit at the ready. At a minimum carry a Bore Snake in your bag to give your gun barrel a quick swipe and cleaning.

Extra magazines and magazine loader

It’s always a good idea to have spare magazines with you. Ones that you can load prior to shooting to not only be efficient with your range time but to be able to practice re-loads. The ability to reload quickly will come in handy if you ever need to reload in a tense situation.

Magazine loaders can be game changers on the range, especially if you are shooting a lot of rounds. Your thumbs will thank you if you invest in one of these handy tools.

Training log or notebook

Keep track of your improvement with a notebook or training log. It can be difficult to know if you’re getting better without hard data. Get a notebook to keep in your range bag and write down the results of your practice drills.

To find out more about range gear, personal safety, gun ownership, and other methods of self-defense, please join us for The Well Armed Women (TWAW) Sterling chapter meeting on May 15th from 9 am to 11 am at Logan County Shooting Sports complex, 12515 Highway 61/2nd Amendment Way off Highway 61 Sterling, CO.

TWAW Shooting Chapters exists to educate and empower women in a safe and non-threatening environment for their effective and responsible self-defense with a firearm. Prospective members are welcome to attend their first meeting before joining. If you would like to become a member, you can join online at Women over 18 interested in learning more can contact Jennifer Everhart at [email protected] or visit TWAW Shooting Chapters, Inc. website at  


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