If you’ve just purchased a new handgun, you may be wondering what else you need. Here are some gun accessories to consider purchasing in addition to your handgun.
Eyes and Ears
A good starting place when shopping for shooting accessories are your eyes and ears. You will need ear and eye protection of some sort, as these are both safety requirements for shooting. Eye protection is fairly straightforward. You can find goggles that have interchangeable lenses to accommodate the time of day you are shooting – clear lenses, yellowed lenses, and a darkened lens for bright sunlight, for example. If you’re shooting at a range and you wear eyeglasses, they will often allow you to use your prescription glasses as sufficient eye protection. Goggles do provide more coverage, however, as they tend to wrap around the side of your face more than a traditional pair of glasses.
For ear protection, you can choose to simply get the soft earplugs that you insert into the ear canal, or you can get headphones. Noise-cancelling headphones are especially nice. They are battery-operated and have adjustable volume, allowing you to be able to hear and carry on a conversation with your shooting buddies while still protecting your eardrums from the popping noise of the gun firing.
If you are planning to carry your handgun at all, take the time to shop for a holster that fits your needs. Consider where you want to carry your gun as well as style and comfortability when searching for the right holster. Belt, shoulder, and pocket holsters are all options. Choose the type of material your holster is made of based on how you’ll be using it, as well. Some materials, like leather, will be stiffer (and more durable) than others. If you choose to carry your gun in your purse, a pocket holster can be a good option as it will protect the pistol from bumping up against other items in your bag and potentially getting scratched. You may also want a tacky material with more give if you’ll be holstering your gun in your pocket or inside a bag. You’ll want to make sure the holster is the right size to fit your particular handgun. Also, make sure it accommodates the hand – right or left – with which you’ll usually be pulling your gun out of the holster. You can even get bedside holsters that attach to a nightstand.
Patches, a rod, a bore snake, lube, and a cleaning solution are all necessary for cleaning your handgun. Be sure to choose the right size rod and bore snake for your caliber of gun. Patches and a rod together or a bore snake are for cleaning the inside of the barrel. Q-tips and old rags make convenient cleaning tools, as well, especially for accessing grooves and other hard-to-reach areas.
Packing all your range gear into a bag is the best way to keep everything in one place and ensure you’ll always have what you need. Keep your eye and ear protection in the range back at all times so you don’t forget them. A good range bag will have pockets in the inside lining for storing additional magazines and ammo.
You can also choose to purchase additional features to attach directly onto the gun itself. Flashlights, laser pointers, sights, additional magazines, and grips are all examples of handgun features that could be added or changed out. Flashlights mount to the bottom of the barrel and are nice, should you find yourself shooting in darker conditions or at night. Lasers help you with aim and steadiness – simply point the laser where you want the bullet to land. If you want specific sights on your gun, you can change out the ones it came with for night sights that glow in the dark, for example. Some people prefer white-dot sights for lining up aim with the target, as well.
It can be handy to have an extra magazine or two if you don’t want to be constantly refilling your magazine with ammo. If your gun doesn’t come equipped with a grip to your liking, you may choose to get one with more tackiness so it’s easier to hold onto, or you may simply like a different style or design of grip other than the one your gun came with.