When you want to learn, practice, and eventually master shooting a gun, the gun range is the place to go. It is a place to practice and shoot. You don’t go to a gun range to show off.
Most of the fashionable dresses are not only inappropriate for a gun range but also hinder the comfort and functionality. So, what do you wear to a gun range?
Many of the shooting ranges or clubs have their designated dress codes. Even if not, there are some universal dresses for the shooting range that you can never go wrong with.
As a general rule, clothing that covers the majority of your skin does not hinder your movement and does not look boring as hell is good enough. As I mentioned above, a shooting range is not the place to go with stylish cute looking dresses.
You do not go there to meet your friends and show off your six-packs. You should rather focus on maximizing the time spent there. And professional shooting dresses will help at that exactly. But you do see your friends, don’t you? So, you also need to look not-boring-as-hell.
What To Wear To The Gun Range | The Dos & Don’ts of Shooting Range Attire
Here are some tips and tricks you can do to hit the sweet spot.
1. Check For Dress-Codes
Before you decide on the clothing on your own, it is always a good idea to call the range and ask if they have any particular dress-code. Some ranges have some particular codes like collared shirts only, long pants only, or so on. Knowing the limitations will undoubtedly help you plan.
2. Plan According To The Season
Always pay attention to the season and the environmental situations you are about to face. The season will always decide the overall clothing for you. If it is summer and it is likely going to be hot, you should wear loose-fitting breathable clothes.
Or you can go there in your regular dress and take the shooting set with you instead. The main idea is, play along with the weather, not against it.
3. The Universal Dress-Code
While many shooting ranges have their own set of rules, there are some dresses you can never go wrong with. It’s like the universal dress-code. These dresses are both fashionable for a range and functional at the same time, in general wear long-sleeve shirts and long pants. Basically, try to cover as much skin as possible comfortably.
Wear a long-sleeve collared shirt. Tactical shirts or cargo shirts are some of the best options. The color of the shirt is up to you. As a general rule, it is better to wear a light-colored set for the summer and a deep/dark colored shirt for the winter. The proper use of the coloring will help to maintain heat.
One thing you do need to make sure is that your shirt should be breathable. This will ensure proper air circulation and, as a result, will keep the sweat away and make it more comfortable for you.
Another great choice would be to wear your day-to-day shirts as long as it does not go against the dress-code of your range. It will help you train not only shooting but also safe concealed carry and fast drawing.
Ankle long pants are a great choice. While you can visit a range of shorts as long as it does not violate their dress-code, you still should wear long pants. It will not only protect your leg from stray bullet shells but also from ticks or other parasites.
Like the shirts, the color of the pants does not matter very much. Suppose you want to keep your phone or wallet, or some other accessories on you, you can easily do that with wear cargo pants as they come with plenty of pockets.
Otherwise, soft range pants work well. They are both stylish and comfortable for your stance. Similar to the shirt, wearing your day-to-day pants at the range will allow you to practice your movements, pull out, and other aspects of concealed carry.
At the range, regardless of the season, you should always wear closed-toed shoes. Trust me; the shot-off bullet shells love to hug the feet. Wear boots or sneakers. They will be your first line of defense from the hot burning brass and the blood-sucking bugs.
In addition to the protection, the majority of the ranges do not allow open-toed shoes like sandals or sneakers.
Choose the pair of shoes that goes best with the dress you chose. Generally, sneakers for summer and boots for winter are the best options covering both aesthetics and functionality.
Try to wear a hat all the time. A hat will provide sufficient shade when you are at an outdoor range. Honestly, I am not a big fan of hats. And I don’t always wear one. Here, I have the advantage of being a man; I don’t have to control my hair. Wearing a hat will support a lady greatly to prevent the hair from flying on the face.
Personally, I wear a wristwatch. It does not serve any functional purpose. It’s more of a habit. But it is harmless. Generally, any ornament that does not interfere with the stance, or the position of shooting, is okay.
But long earrings and big chunky rings are not in the category. They will interfere in aiming. Always wear safety goggles and ear protection. They are next to a “must.”
Some Pro Tips
What I discussed above are the fundamentals. They are the baselines. But there are more you can do. Such as –
- Keep a dedicated set of clothes for the range. You will be exposed to a lot more dust, dirt, and, not to mention, an excessive amount of lead. Wash the range set regularly and separately from the other clothes to contain contamination.
- Go to the range in a different, more fashionable dress if fashion is kind of a deal to you. You can carry the shooting set with you. Change after reaching the range and before leaving the range.
- Dedicate a set of everyday clothes for the range. This way, you will train your muscles for concealed carry and pull out without actually wearing the good clothes.
- Never wear wool or cotton clothes at the range. The excessive grease, CLP, and lead will soak in deep, and it will be a pain to clean them properly. Cargo dress is a smart alternative.
Clothing is an aspect of life that we can never ignore. It also concerns everyone, more so for some of us. Everyone, including me, wants to present ourselves nicely to others. But the gun range is a place where functionality is prior to the look.
To sweeten the deal a bit more, There are outfits available in the market that are not only functional but also fashionable. As more and more people are getting interested in carrying a gun on them, fashion is becoming more important, and the fashion industry is giving more and more love to this genre.
So stylish dresses should not be an issue either. The bottom line is you want to return safely from the range. Even if the chance of an ejected cartridge actually finding exposed skin is very low, it adds up given that you visit the range regularly. So, protection is something you should be aware of.