How to Sell More Range Accessories

Here’s how range accessories provide a range of options for shooters — and retailers

How to Sell More Range Accessories

Sales of firearms and ammunition provide all kinds of opportunities for sales of related range accessories such as bags, targets and gear for stable shooting, including benches, rests and pads. Here are popular range accessories and how to keep potential buyers not only aware of them but engaged with their usefulness for their times on the range. The key to selling is showing — getting your customers to be hands-on with product samples.


Range Bags

Most of your potential buyers understand the need for at least a basic range bag — something in which to carry the basics such as extra mags and ammo, eye and ear protection, and more. What you need to help them think through is the overall utility and organization of their range bag. Modern range bag designs offer more features than ever and add tremendous value to what is often a limited time on the range — whether a formal range with shooting stations and a range officer or a remote gravel pit with nothing more than mounds of sand for a backstop. The key is to get to know your potential buyer’s actual range use details and then demonstrate the value of a well-designed range bag. Start with an in-store demo: packing a sample bag full of sample gear and talking through a typical shooting session.

Keep in mind that your potential buyer may already have a rifle case or a pistol case. If they do, kindly show the limitations of those while you show the value offered by a well-designed range bag: more space for more ammunition, extra gear for a friend, and even a dedicated place to carry a water bottle and snack. Show how good range bags can actually help with the disciplines of gun cleaning, since they’ll likely have a place to carry a cleaning kit. Range time also can be a dirty affair for the shooter and brings some exposure to or contact with gunpowder. As such, a range bag can contribute to overall health and cleanliness with a storage area for wipes or other hand-cleaning gear.

Besides the ability to carry extra gear and keep it all organized, some range bags offer improved carrying straps and handles, potentially reducing shooter fatigue. Keep these value-added details in front of your potential buyers and demonstrate how their range experience can actually improve when they have the right bag to carry all their necessary gear.



While many ranges offer targets for sale, the selection can be limited and/or more expensive than a shooter bringing his or her own. The types of targets needed can run a wide gamut, depending on your potential buyer’s needs, so understanding your area and customers and offering a variety of targets can be a smart move. But don’t just stock targets. Consider bundling a variety of targets into a “range day pack” and include a roll of tape or other fastener and a marker.

As a bonus for your range customers, get a pre-printed roll of stickers with spaces for the following information: name, date, time, weather conditions, distance, caliber, firearm and whatever other type of info shooters might want to record. Give out several stickers so the shooters can record their pertinent info, putting it right on each target as they change them out, to help them remember the details of each trip to the range.

One more idea for your target-buying customers: Figure out a way to help customers get targets to the range that doesn’t require rolling them up or otherwise creasing them before they’re even used. Or, if rolling is the way to transport them, offer a means of attaching them to your customer’s range bag.



Shooting benches can be as simple as a typical folding table and chair to a small, portable unit with not only a table and seat but also a rest for a firearm, attachment points for a bag to collect brass, and a water bottle holder. If you offer the latter in your store, have one set up in the store and demonstrate the variety of ways it can be used to enhance the shooter’s experience. Show its stability, how it moves or adjusts, and how it folds up for storage or transport. Keep other accessories nearby that interact with or can be used with the bench as this will be a natural selling point for that kind of gear.


Rests and Pads

Rests and pads are not just for long-distance shooting with a rifle; they’re legit pieces of equipment for shorter ranges and handguns as well. Moreover, even if the firearm is not meant for precision shooting and/or hunting, rests and pads provide a way to establish the baseline accuracy of any firearm. But don’t just talk about this. Demonstrate it with a mock range station in your store where customers can interact with the rests and pads, experiencing the feel of these stabilizers. Even better: Have a laser-equipped, inert, non-firing firearm with a trigger pull that demonstrates how the muzzle moves with and without stabilization. Finally, because rests and pads are often similar to bags filled with sand, they can be heavy to haul around. Hence the need for a good range bag.


Eye Protection

Eye and ear protection (we’ve covered ear protection in a separate article in this issue) of course is critical equipment for any range session. Be sure the eye protection solutions you’re offering are rated appropriately for firearm use and always set a good example, encouraging your customers to do the same.

Eye protection usually means a pair of safety glasses, and these should be something your customers keep with them at all times. Ranges usually require them of anyone using the facility, regardless if that person is the shooter or just a bystander. Keep in mind that shooters have varying needs when it comes to their eyesight: they may need only the simple shield offered by a low-end pair of safety glasses. Some, however, may want safety glasses with a “reader” or “cheater” — a lens meant to provide clear, magnified sight for objects up close. If a shooter already wears prescription eyeglasses, he or she may need the larger safety glasses that can fit over a pair of prescription glasses. Shooters come in all shapes and sizes, and this goes for the measurements of their head, too — distance between eyes, size of nose, distance from nose to ears, and so on. As such, safety glasses are not necessarily one-size-fits-all; some customers might need the extra reach offered by extendable arms. In any case, your goal is to find a safe and comfortable solution for your shopper. As with the other range gear, you should have a variety of samples available (and wash them right in front of the customer with a cleaning solution and clean towel) to get the style and fit just right. Recommend to your customers that they consider buying two pairs of safety glasses since it’s easy to lose one or a friend might need the extra pair, and they’ll inevitably use the glasses for other tasks where eye protection is paramount.

In any discussion with customers about gear, don’t hesitate to tell them what you and the other staff use on the range — and why. It’s those honest conversations that help inform their decisions and help them see you more as a trusted advisor than a salesperson. But also keep in mind the usefulness of getting products into customer hands just to try out. Demonstrations will go a long way in helping customers visualize their own use of a product. And getting them to buy those range accessories will prove the power of show and sell.


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