What to Wear to the Gun Range – Proper Shooting Attire for Women
The first time I was headed to the gun range it dawned on me that I needed to carefully consider my clothing. I wanted to be protected, follow the range’s clothing rules, and be comfortable in what I was wearing.
In addition, I didn’t want to wear what the guys are wearing. I wanted to keep my style while still meeting the requirements for shooting without winding up with a bunch of hot casings flying down my shirt.
What does a woman wear shooting or to the gun range? Here are the tips!
When choosing your clothing for shooting, check the range rules.
I love our local indoor gun range. Their clothing rules are simple.
- No open toe shoes
- No low necklines
- No loose clothing
- Proper eye and ear protection
Simple enough, right?
The local outdoor range requires the above plus a brimmed hat to keep the sun our of your eyes and shirt with a collar.
When deciding what to wear to the gun range, consider the environment of the gun range:
- Indoor or outdoor
- The ventilation system (this removes dust and debris from the air)
- Number of other shooters
- Level of lighting
- The amount you’ll be moving around
- The belt for your holster if drawing to fire
- Something to pull your hair back with longer hairstyles
Stupid things I’ve done – Learning the hard way about a low neckline.
Typically, I try to wear what I normally wear out and about to the gun range. I practice for self-defense with my concealed carry pistol and I want to shoot in clothing I may actually have to wear in a real-life situation.
A few weeks ago I had on a cardigan style sweater, high enough neck…or so I thought. I shot two rounds out of my 9mm pistol before I felt the first casing fly down my shirt. Wow, it was hot!
I carefully set down my pistol, facing downrange, and retrieved the casing as quickly and safely as I could. It left a small burn on my chest that lasted for a few days. Despite the fact that I also had a high neck camisole on under the cardigan, that small opening was enough to let in a hot casing.
I have not worn that same top shooting, I do like to wear a long sleeve tighter fitting shirt that can’t possibly have a gap at my neckline to prevent this from happening again!
No open toe shoes mean no openings at all. Period.
While the no open toe shoes rule may be easier for the guys to follow, I personally have many pairs of shoes, like ballet flats, that aren’t open at the toe but are open on top.
Any exposed skin on your lower leg and foot can be subject to burns from hot casings, like the one I experienced down my shirt. They come out hot and any skin they’re touching is at risk.
The boots are even better! Ever drop a double stack magazine full of cartridges on your foot? Ouch! It’s felt much less on a boot than on something soft and thin and one of the reasons I prefer to wear boots to the range.
Eyes and Ears.
Before the firing range gets “hot,” or open for shooting, someone typically yells “eyes and ears!” This is to signal to everyone on the range to check their eye and ear protection because shooting is about to start.
Eye protection is pretty obvious. You don’t want to get hit in the eye with a casing flying out of your gun…or the gun or your neighbor. However, outdoor shooters may also want to have some sun protection too.
Our local indoor range considers eyeglasses as eye protection. However, if your glasses are expensive and/or delicate you may not want them to get hit with metal. There are lots of eye options out there!
Ear protection is a bit more complex.
When shopping for ear protection you want to consider the decibel rating, higher is more protective, and also electronic vs standard.
I personally prefer standard ear protection with the highest decibel rating I can find. My ears are sensitive and many of the ear devices I’ve worn just aren’t enough for me. Luckily many of the inexpensive pairs meet my needs but don’t come with the frills of the electronic styles.
Women’s electronic ear protection styles have many benefits. I wore a set designed for use with a video game type program that allows quiet noises, like people talking, in and keeps loud noises out like shooting. They are also Bluetooth activated and can play music from my phone and/or the sound from the Ti unit I was shooting on.
However, with the electronic pair, I really felt the noise from the shooter next to me tearing through 45 ammo like they were actually preparing for the zombie apocalypse. My head was ringing the whole way home. I would personally rather wear Bluetooth earbuds under my higher-rated ear protection if possible.
For example, the pair on the woman below protects 34 dB and runs around $24.99 and comes in 10 colors, and is not electronic.
This electronic ear protection with Bluetooth and Walkie Talkie is offered at $249.99 today on Pinkgun.com and protects up to 26 dB and allows voices through and can connect to Bluetooth compatible devices, like your phone.
Tips for washability.
What you wear to the gun range should be washable. Many types of ammo contain lead and most definitely gun powder and other things that can get on our clothing. I shot Frangible ammo last night that turns to sand when it hits something solid like a steel target and doesn’t ricochet but goes through softer things like wood, and I was covered in dust because I was loading my pistol on the floor.
Make sure what you’re wearing can go right into the hamper when you get home and don’t need special care like dry cleaning unless you really like going to the dry cleaners.
If you’re outside, consider grass, sun, and dirt.
When in doubt cover it up! Keep it tight, long sleeves, long pants, sturdy shoes, and eyes and ears protected, and check your local range rules.
What do you wear shooting?