Happy New Year! Thinking about jotting down those resolutions for 2012? Here are five things all shooters should consider adding to their lists:
1. Take the time to look over the basic rules of firearms safety. Hang them in your gun room, on your safe and at your range. As a gun owner, firearms safety is your responsibility. Just click, print and post:
2. Inspect your eye protection. Some people don’t even realize that the eye protection they use on the range is not American National Standards Institute (ANSI) rated. Even if your glasses are rated, make sure they are still serviceable, have no cracks and if they are scratched up, you might want to invest in a new set of lenses.
3. Shooting without proper hearing protection can create long-term damage. Consider doubling up with both foam ear plugs and ear muffs, especially when shooting centerfire ammunition. Foam earplugs are also inexpensive. Buying several extra sets and stashing them in your glove compartment, shooting bag and purse is a great way to make sure they are always handy.
4. Resolve to be aware of the dangers of lead. Surprisingly, many shooters don’t think about how much lead dust they ingest when out shooting. Indoor ranges can pose even greater risk. Regardless of whether you shoot indoors or outside, at the very least, get in the habit of washing your hands and face thoroughly with cold, soapy water or use D-Lead wipes when you are finished shooting and leave the range.
5. SHARE! Bring a friend or coworker to the range and help them get started. No matter if it’s just plinking fun or a formal shooting sport, introduce someone to the world of shooting. Safety is always first, but get out there and share the fun!
Julie Golob is one of the most accomplished professional shooters in the world and captain of Team Smith & Wesson. She has won more than 120 championship titles in international, national and regional marksmanship competitions in seven different shooting disciplines. Learn more about the champion, author, veteran, hunter and outdoor television personality at JulieGolob.com. View all posts by Julie Golob