For decades, women have had few choices when it comes to the clothing they can wear to hide that they’re carrying a firearm. They could wear baggy T-shirts or coats, or put it in a purse and hope it didn’t get swiped or that they didn’t have trouble getting it out in an emergency.
Men have it so easy! I’m serious, they could wear khaki pants and polo shirts with close toed shoes and be all set for the range, either in/outdoors! For women, there is much more to consider. Well, there may be some useful tips for men too…
Let’s take this Head to Toe…
Cardinal Rule: Comfort is #1 while shooting.
- Hats – Absolutely! Outside, it will protect you from the sun and elements; inside, the hat will limit the amount of lead and gasses that get into your hair. I prefer Velcro backs, that way I can take the hat on/off around my ponytail easily.
- Ponytails are IN! The less hair to get in your way, the better. Pull your hair back, up- whichever is the most comfortable for you.
- Makeup. Keep it simple ladies. Liquid foundations and indoor ranges do not mix well. Mineral makeup is best suited for indoor ranges. One you will look fresher and it is healthier. Liquid foundations will trap the air in the range on your skin (yuck) and I don’t know many women who like to wash their faces after being at the range before they leave the range. Waterproof mascara and eyeliner, and matte lipstick or a little bit of tinted lip balm. You want nothing that could be sticky on your skin. Best thing to do is wash your face after your range visit.
- Earrings. Studs are fine but dangles may dig into your skin. Hoops may pull as well. It is best to remove any earrings before putting ear muffs on. If using ear plugs, no need to worry about your earrings.
- Tops. Higher necklines are best for preventing the hot brass dance. Hot brass casings will eject from your firearm and travel as you are shooting. Gaps in your top are the perfect place for these scalding hot casings to land. You can change tops in the bathroom if you are dedicated to your cute blouse. Best range wear tops? Pro-gun, pro-women t-shirts!
- If you are going to an outdoor range, outdoor performance shirts are fabulous. Sun-protection is highly important.
- Bras. I think it goes without saying, you should be as comfortable as possible while handling firearms. Keep the restrictive, pretty, painful bras for another time.
- Pants/Shorts. Unless you are doing a ton of kneeling shooting positions, you do not need tactical pants. Lightweight pants with cargo pockets are wonderful for indoor and outdoor ranges. Again, comfort is key. If you are doing kneeling shooting positions, get a pair of tactical pants with reinforced knees and consider knee pads.
- Belt. The reason to wear a belt is to carry a holster. First, check with your range to make sure using a holster while shooting is allowed. A good gun belt is rigid and at least 1.5 wide. Most pants will accommodate 1.5 belts.
- Shoes. Close-toed is the only way to go. Remember the hot brass dance? Keep your piggies safe and burn free, cover them up. Do not get a pedicure then come to the range.