The Real "Scoop" on What to Bring

#1 most important thing.... A teachable attitude. If you already think you know everything, then don't go yet, wait until you grow-up and mature and when you are ready to listen and learn then and only then will you learn what you need to know to be a rifleman. (a sense of humor is a good thing too...) [And a desire to persist - Fred]

#2 Bring 5 empty magazines. Don't try to get ahead of them by loading in advance, you will just have to unload. They have a bad habit of telling you to load 5 mags with two cartridges each in them. Ideally, Mags should have a 20 cartridge min capacity. That's Ideally, they will take you anyway they can get you, but this would really be helpful. [The last statement is true: bring what you got, we'll help you get it done on the line - Fred]

#3 A ground cover. This is really important, you will spend a lot of time on the ground, it may be rocky or in the case of Worland, infested with fire ants. Ok, we stayed away from them, but still this will make your life easier. A carpet remnant works great. We went to Walmart, got a indoor/outdoor area rug 8'X6' for $20 and cut it in two. It worked great, people were envious. There are lots of shooting mats around and those worked good too, but they really weren't big enough for spending 8 hours on teh ground. And, the shooting mats blow away, the carpet stays put and keeps your rifle and gear out of the dirt. Deal of the century. [The carpet is a good idea - it will prob be big enough to fold over your rifle to keep flying dust and grit off it... Fred]

#4 Elbow pads These were life savers. I bought them at Walmart for $6 they were the soccer Knee/elbow pads. Measure around your arm before going so you know what size to get. Another guy had hockey pads, and I'm sure they make specialized tactical models. But get something to protect your elbows. [Appleseeders have told me to stay away from elbow pads with hard outer protection, as they make a 'ball' that makes your elbows wobbly - instead, get elbow pads that are soft on both sides - Fred]

#5 A hat, it would be best if it covered your neck. My other half is still suffering from a bad sunburn, even though he used sunscreen. It was so bad, he stopped on the way home and bought a floppy hat. ["Boonie hats" are the thing, and maybe a neckerchief for neck protection - Fred]

#6 A little note book and pen. I'm talking those little spiral notebooks about 2.5" x3.5" approx. The ones that will fit in your back pocket. And of course, a pen. No time or space for a big one. Great for taking notes of sight settings and scores.

#7 The standard list of no brainers... Sunscreen, eye protection, hearing protection, both the muffs and plugs used together are recommended, but I found I couldn't hear the instructor with both. Lots of Water!!! Lots of sunscreen. One guy said he went to Gurnsey and got burned so bad he blistered!!!!!. Lots of sunscreen, put it on throughout the day. esp on your neck and ears. [And nose - but don't forget reflected sunlight, so hit under your chin, and the backs of your hands... Fred]

#8 Lots of water, yes, this is so important, it's worth mentioning twice. It's real easy to get dehydrated out there and not drinking enough.

#9 A light lunch. You will need to feed yourself, but I wouldn't recommend anything too heavy. It's too hot (of course it might not be where you are) too much getting up and down, and in the case of Worland, the bathroom was too far away. Fruit worked well for us. It was easy to keep and eat and helped rehydrate us also.

#9b Snacks. Especially if you have a blood sugar problem. Sometimes the lunch break is later than you usually take it. I had 2 cereal bars in my range bag, that helped. Other suggested ganola from Sam's or Costco, that has the fruit and M & M's, Just something to help you not get through, and be sure to clean your hands with #15 before you eat. Too much lead dust floating around on the range, we don't want anybody going home dumber than they came

#10 Bring a Rifle, this is extremely important. I have recommendations here, but I'll keep my mouth shut. They will take you anyway they can get you. Be sure you know how your rifle works and breaks down. I know all the pre-shoot things say "check your rifle" but there were multiple people who brought new to them rifles who didn't know how to break them down, nor how to adjust the sight. I brought a new to me gun, but we had gun out twice before and run a couple hundred rounds through it to make sure it worked and worked well. My husband also made me break it all down to clean it. He claimed it was so I knew, but I think it was so he could get out of cleaning it. There actually was somebody who didn't bring a rifle. Luckily we had a spare and lent it to him, but it would have really slowed up our group with two people shooting one rifle. Bring a spare rifle, even if it's a .22LR. I KNOW it says that on the what to bring to the shoot. It's going to be windy when Fred is around and that's going to get grit in the gun. Be sure you understand how to clean it and keep it clean and running. Good rifleman practice too. We had a MUCH better appreciation for what our boys in the sandbox are going through after only a couple hours in the sand and wind at Worland. ["Windy when Fred is around...??" - the spare rifle is a good thing to have... Fred]

#10B Know how to adjust your sights and bring the tools to do it. Know what a click on your rifle equals.... [But if you don't, we'll figure it out for you - Fred]

#11 I found a folding chair to be helpful. You stand and wait a lot and my feet don't like that.

#12 Bring a sling for your rifle, leather doesn't work too good, but any web style adjustable sling should do the trick. Any good gun store should have them for $10 or less. You really MUST have one. If you have never shot with a sling you will be amazed what a difference it will make. If you don't know how to use it, don't worry, they teach that! they will help you get it together. [The best sling is a surplus GI green web sling - Fred]

#13 Be prepared for any kind of weather. Dress accordingly, preferably in layers so you can change with the weather. We had blowing sand at Worland, something to cover your rifle to keep the dirt out is very helpful. [Be prepared for rain, too. If rain is in the forecast, bring large plastic bags to protect your gear - Fred]

#14 Stuff to clean your gun. I wish I had had a can of compressed air to clean the grit out at night. It was terrible.

#15 Wet wipes for your hands, were helpful too. (AtlasShrug recommends you store these in your cooler on warm days).

#16 Some kind of bug spray to kept the bugs off you if you are in a buggy environment.

#17 Bring plenty of the SAME KIND AND BRAND OF AMMO. If you are shooting Black Hills .223 55gr, then shoot that the whole time. Your impact area will change every time you change ammo. It will drive you crazy. This is a good argument for only buying the same kind of ammo. You can do it, but you will find that it changes where the bullet hits and that will mess up your scores. [If you don't have the same brand, etc., come anyway... Fred]

It felt like our truck was loaded, but we were prepared for anything. Most people showing up were prepared and ready to learn, but one person not being prepared, can hurt the pace of the whole group. It's not possible to be over prepared.

Oh, did I mention to bring a good teachable attitude? It's a must have.

Oh, here's an addition. #18 Ibuprofen for those sore muscles you are going to have, because you didn't do your exercises before the shoot. I didn't find it as bad as I thought it was going to be, but I was sore. My Chiroprator was happy to see me this morning. (Thanks Fordtruck for reminding me)

#19 As Spartacus said, getting Fred's Guide To Being a Rifleman in advance and practicing would be a great help.

#20 A shooting jacket could really be a help. I don't know, because I don't have one, and have never tried one, but they look hot to me. They also look like they could be great. I'd like opinions here since I was wondering.

#21 Know which eye is your dominate eye. This is really important, and not taught at appleseed, but could be a source of frustration to somebody who doesn't know. To find out which is your dominate eye, put your hands out in front of your face, arms outstretched. Put your thumbs and index fingers out, thumbs touching, forming a square. With both eyes open, view a distant object and focus it in the center of your square, (like a wall clock or something) Now, close your eyes one at a time, note with which eye the object remained centered in your square, and which one the object moved. The eye where the object did not move, is your dominate eye. So if you are like me, and you are right-handed, but are left eye dominant, (or left-handed and right eye dominate) you have two choices, 1. You shoot left-handed like I do, or you train your right eye to be the dominate eye. Which I don't know how to do. I just shoot left-handed and it isn't a problem for me. So, if you are trying to sight your target with the wrong eye, you could be very far off and not know why.