6 Must-Have Accessories For Shooting Sports

There are all sorts of shooting sports out there. Musket hunting, bullseye shooting, and benchrest shooting are a few examples. Although each sport or activity involves different firearms, there’s one similarity among them, and that’s the presence of accessories.

Shooting sports accessories are something you can't go without since you’ll be handling dangerous weapons. A small blunder can lead to tragic accidents, and you certainly don't want to face the consequences for those. So having adequate gear to protect your eyes, for example, is extremely helpful. Furthermore, certain accessories provide convenience and improve your efficiency, so buying and using accessories is never a bad idea if you enjoy shooting sports.

Unfortunately, if you're on a budget, you can't splurge your money on accessories that only offer aesthetic appeal. You need to go for accessories that serve a purpose. Read on to learn about the six accessories you should always have when participating in shooting sports:

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1. Holsters 

If you're using handguns, having a holster is a must, and for several reasons. One, holsters allow you to carry your gun without holding onto it all the way. Two, storing your handgun in a holster is one way to protect it against harmful elements that would lead to wear and tear. Lastly, carrying a gun in a holster reduces the possibility of you accidentally firing it. If it does fire all of a sudden, it will do so downward, and it will only shoot the ground and not you or anyone nearby.

Since there are several types of holsters, choose one that fits your preferences. If you prefer wearing the holster on your hip, for instance, you can get a belt holster. If you'd rather conceal your weapon, you can get an inside-the-waistband (IWB) holster instead. But if you're not fond of holsters in general, there's an alternative way to store your handgun safely, and that’s by installing a belt clip on it.

2. Belt Clips 

Belt clips are precisely as their name suggests: they’re clips that can hang on a belt. What makes a belt clip an appealing alternative is that it doesn't add a lot of extra weight to your lightweight firearm, unlike holsters. One problem you might encounter is that belt clips aren't universal, so if you have a Glock 19, for example, you need to find a Glock belt clip since it's designed explicitly for that. The same goes for other types of handguns.

3. Eyewear

Eyewear is one of the must-haves when it comes to any shooting activities, considering how you'll be placing your firearms close to your eyes. It also prevents any small projectiles and fragments from getting into your eyes. However, you have to make sure that the eyewear you choose meets OSHA, U.S. civilian, and U.S. military standards. You can accomplish that by considering the following factors:

  • Impact resistance: This is perhaps the most crucial aspect to look into. When purchasing eyewear, the manufacturer typically indicates the product's impact resistance on its label.
  • Coverage: The eyewear must cover the entire eye area, including the sides.
  • Frames: The frames of the eyewear should be made with suitable materials. These include plastic, titanium, and aluminum.
  • Color: If you're particular about style, you can choose from different lens colors.

4. Ear Defenders 

When using any type of firearm, your ears are exposed to deafening sounds. As such, wearing an ear defender such as a pair of earplugs or earmuffs is a must. Just like eyewear, there are a few factors to take into account when choosing an ear defender. These include:

  • Noise reduction: Every ear defender has a specific noise reduction rating (NRR). The higher this rating is, the less sound you’ll hear after wearing the ear defender. Your aim is to go for the product with the highest NRR. This number should be found on the label.
  • Fit: Of course, you have to ensure that the ear defender fits you well. So when looking for one, it's best to try it out first.

It's also worth noting that there are several types of ear defenders, from foam earplugs to electronic earmuffs to passive earmuffs. Earplugs are the most affordable and effective, while earmuffs are generally more comfortable. It's up to you which type you’ll go for.

6 Must-Have Accessories For Shooting Sports

5. Cartridge Bags 

The accessories mentioned up until now are designed for protection, but sometimes, it's also great to have an accessory specifically designed to provide convenience. Cartridge bags are one of these accessories. These can contain cartridges when you're shooting. They come in different shapes and sizes and can be made from different fabrics.

Cartridge bags are best for those who’ll hunt for a long time since you no longer have to return to your campgrounds to reload your firearm. You might want to consider looking for a waterproof cartridge bag so you can protect your cartridge during rainy seasons.

6. Shooting Stick 

Another excellent accessory for hunters is a shooting stick. This is a foldable stick that can be turned into a tripod from which you can attach your firearm. It’s quite helpful since you no longer have to get into a shooting stance whenever a potential target passes by. Simply set up the shooting stick at the ideal location, place the gun on the shooting stick, and get ready to shoot once a creature you're looking for appears.

Word Of Advice: Do Not Modify Your Firearms 

Although it's true that you can modify your firearm by changing the stock or grip or adding sights, it's not recommended, especially if you're an amateur. Firearms involve complex mechanisms, and one slight change can lead to a hazardous result. Furthermore, modifying your firearm voids your warranty, so it's generally not a good idea to alter it.

If you feel like your firearm isn't performing as well as it did in the past, this is a normal occurrence. The best you can do is to perform periodic adjustment and inspection.

Conclusion 

Although accessories may not be required for shooting activities, they bring a lot to the table. Convenience, efficiency, accuracy, and protection—these are just a few benefits of shooting accessories. While some accessories are generally not practical, the ones mentioned above should always be in your kit every time you go out to shoot.

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