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Have you been thinking about getting a gun? Or did you just get a new gun and want to hone your gun skills?

Either way, you may want to go on a gun range trip to learn more about the gun and how to shoot properly. Shooting ranges have grown in popularity in the last few years and for good reason—if you have a gun, you should know how to properly use it! Even if you don’t have a gun, it is important to know how to properly use one.

However, before you go, there are a few things to know. A shooting range has rules and etiquette that you should follow just as many other places do. And in this case, they are there to truly keep everyone safe!

Keep reading to learn more about what you should know! 

1. Decide on the Location 

Although locations not the most important thing about your first shooting range trip, it can definitely factor into your experience. For instance, if you choose an outdoor shooting range, you want the weather to be good the day that you go. With an indoor shooting range, that doesn’t matter as much. 

You should also consider going to a members-only range. These are usually less crowded and will also weed out people who are not as serious about the sport. 

2. Plan to Get a Range Bag

If you do not already have a range bag, this is something that you should consider getting the first time that you go. This will have all of the necessary items that you have for the range to keep them organized. This will include:

  • Ear plugs 
  • Eye protection 
  • Grips or rail sections 
  • Cleaning kit
  • And more…

This makes it easier to pick up your bag and go to the shooting range whenever you want. You can even keep this bag in your car for whenever you decide to go on a gun range trip.

3. Know Range Etiquette

The most important thing that you need to know before you go and have your first gun range experience is range etiquette. Here are a few pieces of etiquette to keep in mind:

  • Always treat a gun as if it is loaded 
  • Never point a gun at someone 
  • Do not put your finger on the trigger until you are ready to shoot 
  • Always look beyond the target

These are the most important pieces of etiquette to keep in mind before you go to the gun range. However, there are also other important aspects of etiquette as well.

When you go to the range, you do not want to disturb other people who are shooting their guns. Keep in mind which target is yours as well. If you’re shooting at the wrong target, this can annoy other people at the range.

4. Clean After the Range

Before you go to the range, you need to clean your gun. This will ensure proper use of the gun in the future. 

If you’re not sure how to clean your gun properly, you need to learn this before you go to the gun range for the first time.

In addition to cleaning your gear after the range, you also want to clean your hands and shower. After the gun range, you most likely have lead residue on your hands and on your body. You do not want this to get on other items in your home or to stay on your body. 

5. Wear the Right Gear

While you are at the gun range, you need to make sure that you are wearing the appropriate gear for a shooting range. This can help protect your ears, your eyes, and your skin. 

You should always use ear protection and eye protection when on an active gun range, even if you are not yet shooting.  Others will be.. Additionally, wearing proper clothing such as close-toed shoes and high-necked shirts help prevent any burns on your skin from falling brass that may fall from the gun.

6. Keep a Good Grip

When you are shooting a gun, especially an AR 15, it’s crucial to have a good sturdy grip. When you squeeze the trigger, the gun is going to kick back. If you’re not holding onto it in the right way, this can slip out of your hand.

Depending on how the gun lands, this can be extremely dangerous.

If you feel that you have poor control over the gun, you can always try a glove to get a better grip.

7. Create a Small Margin 

If you’re just learning to shoot an AR 15, you want to create a small margin for error. This means that you should make your target smaller so that there’s less chance of missing. If you are creating a large target, there is more area to miss.

It may seem counterintuitive to create a smaller area to shoot at, but this will help you aim.

What to Know Before Going to a Shooting Range

If you were about to go to a shooting range for the first time to try out your AR 15, this can be really exciting! You may want to jump in your car and get there as soon as possible.

However, you need to follow these tips before you go. There is a correct way to go to the shooting range, and because guns are involved, it is even more important that you follow the rules.

Before you get ready to go, you may want to get your range bag ready. You can check out all of the products that we offer on our website at Dogtooth Tactical.