How to Choose Right Shooting Safety Gear at Any Place
Shooting is fun. No matter whether it’s for hunting, simply target practicing or paintball gun playing. But it’s more important to ensure better safety to all over your body, especially the sensitive parts like ear and eye.
That’s why safety gear is a must have item in the range for you if you are shooting lover. Now, choosing the best and most suitable shooting safety gear is the most important task before putting one. Here you will get a complete guideline.
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Why does any shooter need to have a protective gear for his ear or eye?
Well. You have one set of eyes and ears. You will face a lot of things in the shooting range from which you may need to save the pair of your eyes and ears.
If you shoot at a very close range, you will have some real possibilities of getting bombarded with the spall of the lead bullet of yours or that of anybody in the range. Ricochets or the target fragments also may be deadly for your eyes and ears.
Moreover, expelled brass, propellant gases, the shrapnel shell or ejected parts of ammo, etc. are also threat to them. Apart from all of them, wind, bugs, dirt, and debris are very usual to cause troubles for your vision. You need a safety gear for protecting all of them.
Eye Protection for Shooting Range
Now you may start with the eye protection gear first. Eyeglass is the simplest eye protection shooting gear that wraps around your eyes and protects them. These glasses are commonly known as Ballistic Shooting Glasses.
They are a bit different from normal safety glasses. Simple safety glasses mostly used by bikers, divers or factory workers are suitable for protecting your eyes from dust and dirt.
But as a shooting gear, you need a safety glass that offers more resistance capacity and have more solidity to even protect eyes from impacts due to higher velocity as well.
You will also get some glasses available which have met US Military and NATO Army specifications. The lenses of the eyeglass are also capable of protecting your eyes from harmful UV or UVB ray of sunlight.
Shooting Eye Protection Over Glasses
Apart from the protection features, there are some other factors you may look for while picking an eyeglass.
Some models have PRIZM attached to their body. If you are intended for long distance shooting or require more accuracy, you can pick one of this eyeglass models.
Models with PRIZM technology will provide you better clarity or contrast and also ensure the fine-tuning of the surrounding. Besides, PRIZM will also lessen your eye strain.
A lens is another very crucial part of an eyeglass. There are so many different versions of the lens like HD Medium, HD Light, HD Dark, CMT, Max Light, and of different colors also.
Apart from style and textures, there are some other useful features offered by the lens of eyeglasses. It’s important to get an improved and wide ranged field of view from the lens for experiencing better shooting.
Clearer vision, defined objective view, and ease of targeting depend on the wider field of vision.
The lens needs to present a clear vision in all circumstances, whether it is dark or broad daylight. The non-obstructed vision of the surrounding is a foremost requirement of shooting.
The upgraded version of lenses also has a unique feature of interchangeable lenses of the eyeglass. This feature can provide more optimized performances.
As a shooter, you need to choose the model of eyeglass that holds the perfect lens as per your requirement.
If you are a regular shooter and give most priority to the comfort, then you can look for models with O-matter technology.
Is that something new to hear?
Okay, O-matter technology is famous for ensuring the maximum durability while keeping the body of eyeglass lightweight.
So, you will get an all-day comfort. There won’t be any obstacle to your performance even on a long tiring day.
Nose Pad grippers and anti-slip Ear Socks can also ensure better comfort for you. You can also look for them while choosing the right shooting eyeglass for you.
Some models of Oakley offer customizable, interchangeable and secure fit nose pad for offering more ease. Some models like Pilla Outlaw Xalso come up with the anti-fogging coating as they have vents on the rubber sweat bar.
Moreover, these models are also free from getting smudged due to this rubber made sweat bar.
If you want to cut your budget and go for some cost-friendly eyeglass, you can have many options.
Pilla, Ranger, Wiley are the very popular brand to provide you budget-friendly eyeglass. Beginners can go for Beretta eyeglasses. Beretta Trident Shooting Glass is considered as one of the finest for the beginners.
Ear Protection for Shooting Decibels
Let’s come up with another very crucial organ to protect while shooting and that’s your ear. EarPro helps your ear by protecting the eardrums from the high-frequency sounds produced due to ricochets or explosions during shooting.
There are two available types of hearing protection for shooting. Plugs and Muffs. Before going through the details of them, you need to learn some basic things first. First of all, what is the term NRR?
Noise Reduction Rating is known as NRR in short term. This rating means the ability of any hearing protection device to reduce the level of noise and measured in decibels (dB).
Earpros having the higher level of NRR provides better filtration of noise and ensures better safety of your ear.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) monitors this rating of devices. Both muffs and plugs have different NRRs and you can choose the devices following this rating.
But the tolerable range of NRR should be between of 22 to 33 dB. A single gunshot can produce a sound of up to 140 dB, but sound over 85 dB is really dangerous for your ears.
So all the muffs and plugs are designed in such a way so that they can block sound beyond 80 dB. So, considering the NRR rating all the ears will be a suitable match for you. So, you should consider other factors rather than NRR.
A very common dilemma you will face while choosing the ear defender is whether to choose an ear muff or an earplug.
Earmuffs are safer and offer more protection than earplugs. These are a great choice for indoor shooting. Even in the shooting range where the target is a stationary one, then ear muff will be a better option to go.
But if you are interested in wild hunting, then this bulkier and heavier ear muff might be a trouble for you. Again, these devices are made of plastic covered foam pads and can cause real troubles in hot weather shooting.
For some people, it is also tough to adjust the muffs accurately around their head. Women have issues with controlling hair, and muffs cause messing up with that. So, naturally, women shooters try to avoid the bulkier muffs in most cases.
There is another problematic issue with ear muff as it presses against the head where the temples of eyeglasses pass over the ear. Thus, a problem with adjustment arises. But, if the temples of the eyeglasses are flat ones, then you won’t face such problems.
Ear plugs are way lighter than the muffs and easy to carry and adjust. The simplest ones of them are made of foam but of a very thin layer.
Thus, they are small, easily disposable, and less expensive than other devices. The soft material used in the body ensures the greater comfort in any condition.
Some moldable plugs are also available which are made of wax and another good option for passive protection for the shooters. The reusable plugs are the great fit and secure ones as well.
But the problem regarding the ear plugs is their less capable of blocking the higher range of sound. The earplugs also have less lifespan.
The foam used in earplugs get elastically deformed sometimes after many squeezing and lose their consistency. But still considering the budget, comfort, and ease of use, I will recommend you to go for the foam earplug.
They can also reduce the sound level near to the ear muffs without making any smudge or sweat. Westone, SAS Safety, No Noise, etc. are good brands that offer the best earplugs. You can wear them all they long and even won’t bother with them.
After ensuring protection for your vision and hearing, now you can focus on other parts of your body. Sometimes, you may hit on your hand while shooting and a shooting hand glove can save you from such problem.
Shooting gloves tend to offer more protection to your hands from fire, heat or pressure than any other normal hand gloves.
Now the question is what to look for while picking a hand glove?
Well, while choosing the right shooting glove for your shooting purpose, you need to check some basic things- the padding and protection provided by the glove, flexibility, trigger finger gripping, comfort, weather friendliness, the design of the item, etc.
Some gloves are designed as half fingered or finger less so that you feel no problem while triggering the guns.
On the other hand, full fingered gloves are best used for pistol shooting. You need to check the padding of the glove if the protective layers are enough to absorb the shock, heat or pressure and protect your finger or skin.
The best shooting gloves are considered those which are compatible with weather and waterproof.
Last but not the least, the design of the gloves should be the one that can ensure the maximum comfort for you while handling the shooting.
The most popular models offering the tactical gloves those are suitable for all weather and condition are
- Hatch All-Weather Shooting Gloves
- Oakley Pilot Gloves
- 5.11 Tactical TacLite
- Pig FDT-Bravo Gloves
What about the other parts of the body?
Well, I have already covered the major portions of protection gears from my experiences. If you can protect all your eye, ear and hand/finger, you are okay with the shooting then.
But for more safety, you can add another gear to your cart and that’s the knee and elbow pads. Wherever you will go for prone position shooting in indoor, you will get the mat for protecting your elbow and knee.
But in case of outdoor shooting or wildlife hunting, you need to attach knee and elbow pad in prone position. Otherwise, you may come up with bloody knee or elbow.
There are so many famous brands available in the market, you just only need to check the softness and highly layered protection pad.
This might be a long write up for you, but trust me, your safety is much more important than this. The shooting range isn’t the place of thinking what safety gear you should have had. So, it’s better to make them ready before going for the firing and enjoy the thrill. Best of luck.