Feeling excited about rifle shooting and have never done it before? If you are seriously contemplating doing so, either for hunting or as a sport, you may start by putting together a beginner’s kit. Remember, guns are dangerous and not toys to fool around. Your personal safety is paramount. Protection to your eyes and ears comes first. It’s the most important of the essential shooting gear and for the same reason, mandatory for most ranges. You wouldn’t want to go blind from ricochets or deaf from hearing eardrum shattering gunshots, would you?
A set of foam earplugs would not cost more than $12 for a 50 to start with. They are good for your first few sessions but subsequently, you would need to actual ear muffs since lots of people at any range would have extremely loud muzzle brakes. They are great to keep sights on target, but terrible for those around. It's also highly recommended that you double up your ear protection especially when you move on to higher calibres. Another important and mandatory part of your kit is shooting glasses. It’s so that you don’t lose an eye out there. Sunglasses and regular prescription glasses are usually fine for all ranges, but it’s best to opt for those that are military rated, fit comfortably and don’t break.
With your ears and eyes taken care of, what you now need is a cleaning kit. For the range, you just need the bare essentials in a portable kit available for just about $10 for the infrequent emergency cleaning. It has everything you need and even a squeeze bottle to bring a small bit of M-Pro 7 gun oil. On any shoot, you need to have some basic tools handy. Something always comes loose or you need to change something on the fly. Pick up a sturdy screwdriver that would cost you about $5 and of course a set Allen/hex keys that should cost you roughly $12. Preferably pick up the long sets since at times you would need some extra torque and if you ever install/remove an AR-15 pistol grip, it would prove particularly useful.
A proper container for your ammo is useful. Ammo can cost you just about $10. It’s the best method to carry your ammo. Light and yet sturdy enough to handle anything, it can even serve as a gun rest if required. A range bag should become an important part of your kit. It should have the necessary compartments and straps. It should have adequate volume and accessible side pockets for your mags and other accessories. A good kit bag should cost you $28 onwards.
An essential part of your kit is the magazine loader. They really save your thumbs after a range session especially in case of the pistol. They work great especially for tighter loading magazine firearms where one always struggles with the last one or two rounds. This may cost a bit, but it’s worth it.
To handle reloads or even for drawing if you have a range that allows it, a shooting belt comes handy. A simple shooting belt could cost you roughly $25. It’s great for a pistol and two magazines or one rifle mag. Nevertheless, for multiple rifle magazines, you might need something more firm.