Ear and Eye Protection
Ear and eye protection will come up in a few other areas, but it’s worth giving them their own section because they’re a crucial part of gun safety.
Even when using a suppressor (also known as a silencer, though this term is misleading), a firearm’s discharge is loud. Suppressors do exactly that – they suppress the volume.
They certainly don’t silence the firearm.
The average firearm’s discharge is loud enough to cause permanent damage to the ears, especially if multiple shots are fired and with extended exposure.
Even with a suppressor, emptying a clip without ear protection can be enough to cause lasting damage.
When shooting at an outside range (or while hunting, for example), inner-ear protection – like earplugs – are generally considered enough.
However, you should invest in a good quality pair, as cheaper ones will still let enough sound in to cause discomfort.
At a later stage (especially if you’re considering competing), more expensive custom-made earplugs make more sense.
For shooting indoors, however, whether at the range or during tactical training for civilians classes, it’s always recommended to wear earplugs as well as over-the-ear headphone-style ear protection.
It’s tempting to go for noise-cancelling headphones, but bear in mind you still need to be able to hear range commands when they’re called. Eye protection can be just as tricky.
Different lens types are better suited for different shooting conditions – polarized options to protect
you from the sun as well as the toxic gases emitted when a gun discharges, contrast glasses for enhancing target sight far downrange, even glasses designed to accentuate the color of a skeet bird.
There are also different sizes, lens material, polarization, and even styles. You might end up wanting to get more than one pair; one for outdoors and another for using indoors at the range.