Fear & Loading: The Other Range Safety Measure

by
posted on June 13, 2017
sunscreen_range.jpg

Got sunscreen?

Responsible firearm enthusiasts focus on safety 24/7, 365-days a year. Yet, there’s one thing that goes ignored altogether too often—minimizing exposure to the sun’s potentially deadly ultraviolet rays while at the bench or shooting a match.

No, violations of what should be a primary safety rule for anyone outdoors aren’t as obvious as a muzzle pointing in the wrong direction, but the long-term consequences can be disastrous. The Skin Cancer Foundation estimates 5.4 million cases of nonmelanoma skin cancer are treated every year and 20 percent of Americans will develop it in their lifetime. Once an hour someone dies of melanoma.

National Safety Month is a great time to consider tossing a tube of sunscreen in your range bag. If nothing else, it’ll minimize the chances of winning a California Raisins-lookalike contest.

Too many of my good friends, who also spent years as part of Search and Rescue in Arizona, have succumbed to the disease. We had sunscreen available, but it was messy, smelly, annoying and nothing like today’s high-power products that are water- and sweat-proof.  

And before you claim it’s just too greasy to dole on when working a trigger, I’ve covered shooting competitions for a long time and every professional shooter I’ve had the privilege of interviewing uses sunscreen liberally. I’ve never heard one of them blame it for a bad stage.

Bear in mind, though, SPF 15 and lower doesn’t cut it for prolonged outdoor activities, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation. “…[If] you work outside or spend a lot of time outdoors, you need stronger, water-resistant, beachwear-type sunscreen that holds together on your skin,” its website explains.  The organization recommends everyone apply some version in the morning, even if they aren’t going outside—which, of course, means even covered shooting benches don’t provide sufficient protection.

Latest

Smith Wesson Logo Stacked F
Smith Wesson Logo Stacked F

Smith & Wesson CEO Issues Strong Statement In The Face Of 2nd Amendment Attacks

Amid an unprecedented and unjustified attack on the firearm industry, Smith & Wesson Brands, Inc. President & CEO Mark Smith responded Monday with the following statement.

Preview: Talley Mfg. Anti-Cant Indicator

An easy upgrade for Talley’s factory scope rings is the company’s anti-cant indicator, a simple accessory that helps shooters get on target—especially distant ones.

Easy-Packin’ Powerhouses: The Taurus Defender 605 & Model 327

This latest pair of double-action revolvers from Taurus, descendants of its Model 856, represent an effective blend of quality and value from a maker with deepening roots in American manufacturing technology.

The Armed Citizen® Aug. 15, 2022

Read today's "The Armed Citizen" entry for real stories of law-abiding citizens, past and present, who used their firearms to save lives.

New For 2022: Stevens Model 555 Sporting

Stevens Shotguns has introduced a new addition to its lineup of over-and-under shotguns, with the Model 555 Sporting.

Preview: Rock River 20" Stainless Steel Varmint Barrel Assembly

Stabilizing standard and heavy-for-caliber bullets, Rock River’s Varmint Barrel Assembly is designed for high-volume shooting at pesky critters.

Interests



Get the best of American Rifleman delivered to your inbox.