Eyes and ears cleaning kit
spare magazine especially if gun only came with one—this allows for a more efficient gun range experience
Pistol lockbox—nothing fancy, especially if neighbor doesn’t plan to conceal carry
Ammo —minimum target ammo 50 rounds per range trip, 25 self defense rounds for the home so two mags are always full
Targets —print your own, buy transparent tape from Dollar Store (or, is it $1.25 now?)
Holster - When pistol is not in lockbox, I encourage carrying in the home, openly or concealed. If they end up getting a CCW permit, they’re almost there in terms of familiarity.
I have several holsters I don’t need. $$ I should’ve spent on ammo
I’m sure many of us get this question because we’re considered a " gun guy". I would say that I look at a large percentage of these people and think, " Jesus, I wouldn’t want anything more powerful than a rolling pin in this guy’s hands!" I then start talking about a German Shepherd as a good home defense tool and they make a great companion for your kids also.
I have my ccp but do not carry. I have seen holsters advertised but I don’t wear pants with belt loops so I don’t know what kind of holster to purchase. I have a S&W 9mm EZ rack. I have been to the range twice with an NRA instructor and did well hitting my target. Need someone to go with that has privileges and will be there to help me. I just purchased a laser set but have not put it together yet or set up the app. I have everything except a cleaning kit.
Good for you Dorothy. Maybe join a club of enthusiasts and you’ll find new friends to go together with, growing from there. Some gun range members get to bring guests for free.
Some gun shops have classes, in class maybe approach a couple folks you may be comfortable asking and exchange numbers.
I offered to drive one person who didn’t have a car.
Most gun shops have mini cleaning starter kits, store workers can talk about the different kits. It’s a must have, and I hear many a say it a “relaxing chore” – to clean a firearm. Lots of how to vids on YouTube, always triple check no ammo in the firearm or cleaning room please, when cleaning it.
Concealed cary for women is tricker than for men, because of both body design and clothing options. For excellent advice overall for women in shooting, check out the web site The Cornered Cat.
One popular solution for concealed carry for women is a belly band holster. That option is tricky based on how well the band covers the trigger and secures the gun.
A tremendous advance over belly bands is the Philster Enigma system. You all need some help learning about appendix inside the waistband (AIWB) carry and holster selection, but as you develop your skills the Enigma with a holster molded for the 9mm EZ may be right for you.
Thank you so much for the suggestions. I will check with the NRA and see what they have. I am a certified Constitution Coach and we have a class that is usually taught at the range. I have never taken the class, it was in Nevada but I have the course and was considering asking a gun range if I could teach the Constitutional course at their site and if they were willing to take the students for a hands on class. Not sure what the fee would be.
@Nathan57: would argue that a spare mag is quite important.
Not only is it a good idea to have a reload, but a spare is also useful for diagnostic purposes. A ran into a student of mine (no one was injured) and she was having an issue with the second round chambering. I asked her is she checked with another magazine, but she didn’t have one. I suggested buying one and testing. The pistol is fairly new and if it functions with another mag, she should contact the manufacturer.
For range use diagnostic a second mag may be useful, but from my perspective diagnostics at the range goes beyond minimalist home defense. In that case, a functional pistol is definitely part of the ‘minimalist’ so if a different magazine fixed it, then just the one mag that works would, to me, qualify as minimalist. A non-functioning pistol would certainly not count, gotta do something to fix that, might be exhanging the mag for a different one
How was her grip of the gun? Was it a light/polymer frame, and was she using relatively weak range ammo? The somewhat misnomer named “limp wrist” maybe? Or was it only the second round out of the mag and all of the rest consistently fed farther down the mag?
A reasonable point from a minimalist perspective. I would still encourage a second mag.
As for my past student, I’m trying to get her back to the range for observation. 8>)
The initial post had a good minimal list. My only addition would be range time and several boxes of quality JHP. Get training and find out which ammo works reliably in the pistol they choose.
One on one training classes from a USCCA certified instructor.
Continual training if critical, as is the mindset required to use deadly force if necessary. In addition to all of the required hardware, I would recommend becoming intimately familiar with your state’s firearms laws and/or penal code, the law of self defense, and get some self defense insurance. There is no minimal. Do it right or not at all.
Eye and Ear Protection. Basic gun tools, such as a Leatherman or Gerber multi tool, a set of small screwdrivers, pocket knife, appropriate punches, Allen wrenches, and Gorilla tape for repairs/stuck cartridges, etc.
At outdoor ranges, and/or backyard shooting, corrugated plastic political signs make great target stand/holders (and their free). They work well when using stick on or taped on splatter targets.
LOL on the political signs, BTW that is bi-partisan! My favorite is gallon milk jugs filled with water and food coloring, fruit or vegatables. Necco Wafers suspended by string is good when you get really accurate too!
There is always “minimal” — even if your minimal is 40 pounds of “battle rattle” and a basement full of ammo.
To my mind “minimal” hardware is a gun, two boxes of ammo, and a pair of ear plugs. After that, knowledge and understanding become more valuable than more stuff. Do today better than yesterday, and make tomorrow better than that.
A flashlight is vital hardware.
a couple more things to add to the range bag, a uplala loader and a first aid kit.
1st item should be the pistol. This is for HD so a good medium to large frame would be in order. Easier to control than a micro. What is the person comfortable with. My HD pistol is a G17 with a light.
2nd item is caliber. What can the person handle? How much can they afford to train and practice. My wife cant handle more than a 22lr but she goes through a brick a month. Her HD pistol is a G44 with a light.
3rd item is a light. On frame or hand held? Light only or combination of light and laser?
4th item is range gear. Eye and ear protection. I use push pins to hand targets. Silhouettes are best for HD training.
5th item is maintenance.
Now a big question. Is a pistol the right weapon? Would the person be better off with a rifle, pistol caliber carbine or shotgun?
I say the book is “software.”
But you’re right, it’s necesary.
Why minimalist? When it come to home defense, that’s not a good idea. You don’t have to go extravagant, but it’s their life and their loved ones at stake here. A couple of extra magazines are an absolute must.