What to wear?
Let’s face it ladies, we ask ourselves this question WAY more then the men. I will be the first to admit that 99% of the time I live in jeans and a t-shirt, it’s just easy and comfortable. But, there is that 1% of me that is all girl, likes to wear heels, get my nails/hair done and to be, “all done up” every now and then. So when it comes to picking out what to wear to the range, believe it or not there are some tips I can give you.
First, two things you are going to need to invest in are: hearing protection and safety glasses, aka “eyes and ears”. Now most ranges will provide these to you (free) with your range fee, but keep in mind that they are “public use equipment.” They will clean/disinfect them, but do you really want someone else’s ear sweat on your head if you don’t have to? These are also items that you can pick up fairly cheap.
These safety glasses are from Walmart and cost $1.89 Want to order them online? Here ya go: Safety Glasses
Next, you will want to invest in some hearing protection, (remember we don’t like other peoples ear sweat)! There are many options out there. The foam ear plugs work just fine, but I find that after awhile they make my ears hurt. (I don’t like things stuck in my ears!) But these are cheap and often times come in bulk so you get more “bang” for your buck. Sorry, bad pun! You can buy a pack of 200 pairs for $23.00 – that’s lots of trips to the range. Foam Ear Plugs
My personal favorite, and what I would recommend to you is what is called, “electronic hearing protection.” These offer more loud noise protection to your hearing then the foam plugs. And when you are shooting, they allow you to be able to still hear people talking, and when the noise reaches a certain decibel they will “remove” that noise from what you can hear. These come in all sorts of options, pink, grey, blue, leopard print, zebra print etc. I found this cute pair of purple ones online for $21.99. Electronic Hearing ProtectionOkay, now that you have your “eyes and ears” for the range let’s get back to the all important question: What am I going to wear? Let’s start from the bottom and work our way up.
Your feet: You are going to want to wear shoes that COVER your feet, no flip flops, no sandals, no open toed shoes. You are just asking for a piece of hot brass (the spent casing coming from your gun, or your neighbors) to land on your foot/toes. This casing is HOT, I mean really HOT and it will burn you! Keep in mind that the floor is also going to have empty casing, these could cause you to slip, lose your balance to just slide/roll underfoot, not he time to be in your favorite 3 inch heels. Personally I wear my tennis shoes, easy on/easy off and if I want to bring my “cute” shoes with my I can just as easily change in the car.
Next, your legs, WEAR PANTS!!! I can’t tell you how many times I cringe when I see a lady at the range in shorts, or a short skirt, you are just asking to get burned. I understand that in the Summer not everyone lives in jeans like I do, but this is not the place to leave your legs exposed. I will even give you a “pass” on wearing Capri’s, but please don’t wear shorts!
Lastly, you are going to want to make sure that the “girls” are protected. This means NO tank tops, low cut shirts or v-neck style shirts. You think a hot piece of bass hitting your foot/toe or leg is going to be bad; I can tell you from personal experience that hot brass down your shirt is MUCH, MUCH worse!!
I was at an outdoor range, it was a beautiful Summer day, the sun was shining, I was shooting and life couldn’t get much better. But, I was in a tank top, (actually 2 of them, I like the layered look) not spaghetti straps and not over exposing the girls, just a run of the mill Target tank top. (the one pictured below) I was covered up, or so I thought. You see ladies, even if you are covered, when you put your hands together and drive them out in front of you (pretend your holding a gun), you are automatically pushing the girls together and creating a “valley” for things to fall into. And that is exactly what happened to me. I had already fired about 200 rounds that day, everything was going fine, until . . . .a piece of hot brass hit the side wall bouncing off and by some freak chance, landed right in that “valley.” Now I will be honest this whole situation only took about 2.5 seconds, but to me it was a life time. Here I am, loaded firearm in hand, and I can smell my own flesh burning. As fast as I could, I dropped the magazine out of my firearm, racked and locked back the slide, dropped my firearm on the range table and went to retrieve that hot piece of brass. But sadly, it was to late, I was burned and not just burned, I already had a blister!! Well, two to be exact, one on each of the “girls”. Needless to say this was the first and last time that I went to the range in a tank top. See why I love my t-shirts so much?
Here is what you want. To be covered, plain and simple.
Any exposed skin you leave will run the risk of being hit with hot brass. I know some of you are thinking to yourselves, “If she is in a t-shirt, her arms are exposed.” And you are right. I am taking that risk of being burned, but I can also quickly “shake off” brass on my arm, other places not so much! And hot brass hitting my arm is going to tend to bounce off me, minimizing the amount of heat that my body can absorb. This may seems silly, but what you wear to the range can and does affect your safety. It is a natural reaction when you are in pain (hot brass/being burned) that you do what you can immediately to fix/remove that issue. The reality is that you have a LOADED firearm in your hand, this is NOT the time to forget the 4 universal safety rules.
I hear and read stories all the time about people who get hot brass somewhere is shouldn’t be, and their natural reaction is to get it and quick!! They forget they have a loaded firearm in their hand, and end up shooting something they don’t want to. You don’t have to take my word on that, here are just a few articles I found by Google-ing, “Hot brass and accidental discharge.”
Now, I am not saying that you have to go to the range looking like a bum, or covered from head to toe so that the only thing seen is your eyes. I am saying, “DON’T BE THAT LADY AT THE RANGE!!” Make sure you take steps to keep your skin (and the girls) from getting burned. Save the cute new heels, blouse and skirt for girls night or a hot date. Stay safe and “carry on!”
PS I will share a secret with you, all the guys at the range already think you’re hot in jeans and a t-shirt. Your a lady, you are at the range and you are shooting a gun. No man can resist!!