Besides a rifle, the necessary equipment for starting out is: eye protection, a shooting jacket, a sling, a hand-stop, a bipod, a glove, a CBI, stiff pants or shooting pants, and sturdy shoes with closed toes. Aside from that, suggested equipment includes a shooting sweater, earplugs, and something to keep long hair out of the marksman’s face. If competing, a backtag is also required.
- Eye protection is used to protect the marksman’s eyes in the case of ricochet or a pellet fired in the marksman’s direction by a marksman not following safety regulations.
- A shooting jacket is required to keep the marksman’s upper body stiff to shoot steadily and prevent shaking.
- A sling goes on the marksman’s forearm and is needed for kneeling and prone positions to keep you attached to the marksman’s rifle, helping you maintain position.
- A hand-stop is used to connect the sling on the marksman’s arm to the metal track on the bottom the marksman’s rifle.
- A bipod slides into the same metal track as the hand-stop, and is used to steady the rifle on the ground so that you’re not laying the rifle on its side. The bipod cannot be in the metal track when the rifle is in use.
- A glove is necessary to protect the marksman’s non-trigger hand while it holds the rifle.
- A CBI, or Clear barrel indicator, is required to indicate that the rifle is unloaded when the range is “cold” or the rifle is unloaded and not in use.
- Stiff pants or shooting pants are needed for kneeling and standing positions. They keep the marksman’s legs stiff and help to maintain the positions.
- Sturdy shoes with closed toes are required for keeping the marksman’s feet in position and protect the feet. The sturdiness keeps the marksman sturdy and relieves some pain. The closed toes protect the marksman’s feet from accidentally being shot if an accident occurs.
- The shooting sweater serves as a layer between the marksman’s shirt and shooting jacket, making the stiff jacket more comfortable.
- Earplugs block out unnecessary sounds and distractions around the marksman, helping them focus on the target.
- A hair-tie or hat can be used to keep the marksman’s long hair out of their face, allowing them to clearly see the target.
- Finally, a backtag is required when shooting competitively to indicate the team for which the marksman is shooting.
Learn how the author started a rifle club at her high school.