What Should I Bring To The Range When Qualifying For My Concealed Handgun License?
If you are a new shooter and are planning on taking your Concealed Handgun License class, there are a few things you will need to consider bringing with you on your trip to the range.
You might think that it's just common sense to bring everything you would need to test to the range, yet when dealing with new shooters and some people who have never fired a handgun, much less been to a shooting range, inevitably someone will not come prepared. Here is a basic list items that will keep things rolling at the range.
First and probably the most obvious, a safe and functioning handgun. Most people bring a semi-automatic pistol with them to the range, though occasionally there will be the odd revolver. If you are a new shooter and have borrowed a handgun, it would be a good idea to let the instructor know this before you get to class. This will give them a chance to make sure that the weapon is safe and functioning. Make sure it is unloaded and there is not a round in the chamber. Think twice before trying to qualify with an antique firearm since it may not be able to handle today's more powerful +P ammunition or may have corrosion damage that could compromise its ability to cycle or contain the pressure of today's ammo.
Next, bring good hearing and eye protection. These can be purchased at most sporting goods and gun stores. Your hearing protection doesn't have to be fancy, it just has to work. Foam earplugs always work and are inexpensive.
It is always a good idea to bring all your extra magazines and speed loaders. Invariably, someone will think they can test with just one magazine. Though you can, you will get dirty looks from the others in the class that have to wait for you to reload after every cycle. Bring your extra mags.
Bring plenty of ammunition that is specific for your firearm. You will need at least 50 rounds to qualify. It is always a good idea to bring more than that. You may want to practice ahead of time and having extra rounds will make sure that you won't run short during qualification. Your instructor(s) may want to run some extracurricular exercises, also.
A good holster that fits your firearm.
Though you probably won't need to bring your gun cleaning kit, it wouldn't hurt to have the tools necessary to make minor repairs on your gun should you need to. A leatherman, multi-tool or swiss army knife with screwdrivers etc., lubrication and a bandana or rag are good things to throw into your range bag.
It's also important that you dress appropriately when at the range. NO FLIP-FLOPS. Tennis shoes or boots are appropriate footwear. Pants, not shorts. Dress for being outside for several hours. If it's going to be cool, put on several layers of clothing. If sunny and hot, something that will protect you from the sun, including a hat or cap.
A few other things to include in your range bag: A Sharpie, pen or pencil, sunscreen, notepad, bottled water.
Finally, make sure you have all of your paperwork.
If you don't have some of these items, check with your instructors and they will probably be able to equip you at an additional cost. If you're in the West Texas area and would like more information about getting your CHL, contact Tactical Response Resources.
Have fun and come prepared!
Is there something that I might have forgotten? Leave a message in the comments section below.