Make the right clothing choices for range time.
There is a joke that says “They said you should dress for the job you want….Now I am sitting in HR dressed as (insert super hero here) waiting for the disciplinary meeting to start.”
While that is funny, part of the joke is very true. Dressing appropriately is important for where you want to succeed. In the office, at church, or even at home you wear different things. Clothes really can help make a man or woman.
Dressing for the range is the same thing. Not only can it make a day of shooting more comfortable, but it can help keep you safe and protect you from harm. Some clothing choices are better then others, but sometimes you even need to dress based on range rules. Some indoor, and even some outdoor ranges, require certain shoes to be worn or pants instead of shorts. This is to protect you from hot brass flying around.
When outdoors, dressing to stay cool is important, but should be tempered with the fact there is hot brass laying on the ground and flying through the air, in addition to bugs and dealing with the sun. Catching brass in an unexpected place can lead to unsafe shooting practices while you dance around trying to free the brass.
Here are some suggestions on what and what not to wear at the range:
When it comes to shirts, choose a shirt that is not low cut (ladies) and has a high collar. Ladies, catching a hot piece of brass in your cleavage is about as fun as it sounds. It can burn you and leave scars. A high-cut or collared shirt will help to deflect the brass away. A polo is great with its high collar, as well as a crew neck T-shirt. Light-colored cotton or looser fitting shirts will help to keep you cooler in the summer.
Long pants, while hotter in the summer, are better than shorts or skirts because they will protect your legs from falling brass, tall grass, sticker bushes, and other hazards. Blue jeans are fine, but if you wear a khaki or Docker-style slacks, this will help to keep you cool and allow you to move easier when running through stages. Plus they can offer the advantage of more pockets in better places.
For your footwear, you need to wear a closed toe shoe of some kind. Something sturdy is better than not. Gym shoes and hiking or work boots are the best choice. They will protect your feet from brass and other hazards on the ground, as well as help prevent you from turning your ankle and providing support. Flip-flops, sandals or any other open type shoe is not recommended and a very bad choice for shoes, as these do not protect your feet.
In addition to your usual eye and ear protection, remember that choosing your clothing for the range needs to be functional and safe, as well as fashionable. Safety is the number one priority and if you follow these recommendations, you will have a much more enjoyable day on the range.