There are a few obvious and essential skeet shooting accessories that you are going to need to have before you go to the skeet range, no doubt you will be unlikely to go without your shotgun unless you are sharing one with a friend or planning to hire one whilst at the course. You will however want to ensure you have the following with you;

Ear Protection

It is mandatory to have ear protection with you when you enter the skeet range and it is essential you wear it at all times when shooting in taking place – not just when you are shooting. Don’t take it lightly at all – that ringing sensation in your ears may go away the first few times that you fire shots without protection but after a while you will find that you can still hear that ringing in your ears (albeit at a lower level) permanently and sadly there is nothing that can be done to eleviate it.

Good ear protection should not be overlooked. Don’t just go for those soft foam ear inserts because they are cheap and can be thrown away. Spend the money on a really good set of in-ear ear protectors. These are moulded to fit into the ear rather than just pushing into the main cavity – at a professional level these can be custom made for a custom fit. Some of the high quality ones can actually filter out the bang from the gun (acoustic filtering) but let in the frequencies of speech so you can still have a conversation with those around you. Over ear-defenders are also good but again – don’t just buy the cheapest pair. You want to choose ear-protection that won’t interfere with the gun stock or gun mounting and something that will be comfortable for long periods of time.

Eye Protection

Again, this is mandatory on most skeet ranges and can benefit you in some respects also. Getting a high-quality pair of eye protectors can help filter out some of the harse sunlight that may make it difficult for you to see the target on the skeet range. If you are serious about your sport you will probably come to the range with several different pairs with different light filtering capabilities. If you find that you have difficulty picking out the targets sometimes then you may want to try changing your skeet eye wear to another brand to see if that helps solve your problem. Eye protection will protect your eyes from stray pieces of broken targets, falling lead and even rare gun malfunctions to some degree.

Ammunition Carry Bag

This can be useful for a number of purposes. A good carry bag or holster for your shotgun shells can be preferable over filling up your pockets and making for uncomfortable movement when shooting. It can also keep your ammo dry in damp conditions and prevent the embarrassment of the bottom falling out of your cardboard ammo box and having to pick the shells up when you are moving from one station to another on the skeet field. These are also handy for storing shells between shoots. A good pointer here is to only fill it with multiples of twenty five shells. A large carry bag can be used to carry the ammo inside their original cardboard cartons so you can simply replace the boxes as they are used up.

Footwear
Buy good sturdy comfortable footwear to take with you to the range. There is nothing more uncomfortable than shooting with a pair of damp sodden trainers whilst at the same time trying to keep your focus on the shot. Military grade boots are not essential – you will want something that still feels comfortable to move around in, but they should be good enough to keep the damp out.

Gun Case

You need to ensure you protect your investment and a good sturdy gun case is essential for long term storage of your firearm whilst not in use. A good gun carry sling or slip case is OK for carrying your gun from your home to the car and onto the range and for short term storage. Make sure it doesn’t have the opportunity to move around too much in the back of your vehicle. The case or sling should be used whenever you are not on the range.

Gun Cleaning Kit

Finally, once your shooting is over, you should at least clean the insides of the barrels before putting the gun back in its case or holster for the journey home. Then once back at home or as soon as possible the next day you can do a full clean and polish of the gun and the mechanisms to ensure you keep it in pristine condition. Do this regularly and you will get great service from your firearm. When storing the shotgun for long periods, take it out of its case from time to time and examine it for signs of rust or other degradation – if you find any make sure you clean and oil that part again.

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