Sunday, September 21, 2008

Guns: Range Equipment

Aside from the basics, a trip to an outdoor shooting range benefits from having a few niceties around. Here are some that I've found are particularly handy:

Spotting scope - This is a monocular scope with a huge amount of magnification and a tripod for resting on a range bench. It's almost essential for shooting at a large public rifle range, since you simply can't call the firing line cold every time you want to check how your three-shot group looks, especially when people are in the next lane emptying mag after mag from their EBRs.

Staplegun - Most of the ranges I go to have low-tech target stands - simple frames made of wood and cardboard, essentially. If you want to put up a paper target that isn't a "Shoot•N•C" style sticker, you need a staplegun. Scotch tape will work in a pinch, but any light-duty staplegun will be better.

Benchrest - A good amount of the shooting I do isn't actually for testing my aiming skills, but for testing out the rifle and the rifle loads I've cooked up. You can improvise a benchrest using anything from your hat to a rifle case, but the real thing works the best. The cheapo kind can be found at Wally World, but if you want something fancy, it'd be best to hit a specialty shop somewhere.

Sundries: mosquito repellant, sunscreen, baseball cap - Shooting outdoors in Florida in the summer can be brutal - without some DEET on your epidermis, you're going to get sucked dry. Suncreen can be important if you're in a place that doesn't have covered shooting positions. A baseball cap helps to absorb sweat (that would otherwise go all over the rifle stock), shade your eyes, and deflect spend cases.


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