It’s natural to want to put something new to use the moment you get it, no matter what the item might be: a shirt, a computer, a lawnmower, or anything else you can imagine. Guns certainly fall into that category, especially if it’s the first gun you’ve ever owned, and there’s no doubt you’ll want to head to the nearest shooting range to test it out. While that’s something you can (and should) do, heading to the range for the first time—whether it be indoor or outdoor—means more than taking out your gun, pointing, and shooting at a target. Before you head to the shooting range, here are some things you should be aware of both before and while you’re there.  


Use a gun case.


Whether the case is soft or hard, using a gun case is beneficial for everyone at the range. New shooters, in particular, tend to feel self-conscious when entering a place they’ve never been before while toting around a gun, so having a case will help make you feel more secure about doing so. Likewise, having your gun in its case will put the workers at the range at ease, since they have no way of telling whether someone entering the range case-free is there to shoot at the targets or rob the establishment at gunpoint. In fact, the only time your gun should be out of its case is when you’re actively firing at targets; otherwise, keep the gun in its case and have it pointed downrange.


Ask for help if you need it.


Some people are too proud to admit that they need help, but submitting to that pride can only lead to being injured—yourself or someone else entirely. This is especially important for new shooters who don’t know where to rest their hands, how to handle the gun’s recoil, and more. A gun is a weapon, and it’s important to remember that so you can shoot it safely.


Wear proper clothes.


With every shot you take, a brass case will eject from it. These cases are extremely hot, considering that it contained the ammunition for the shot you just took, and if you’re at an indoor range, chances are it’ll bounce off anything—the ceiling, the walls, you name it. To save yourself from a burning hot brass case going down your shirt or landing on your feet, wear a tight-collared shirt and proper shoes and socks to the range. Wearing a loose-collared shirt, sandals, or flip flops is only asking for trouble.