Gear Guide: Pistol Edition

November 1, 2021

This is our Gear Guide, the pistol edition. It is for new shooters and is designed to answer common questions we often get. We'll cover the following topics:

  • Handgun Selection
  • Eye Protection
  • Hearing Protection
  • Range Belts
  • Holsters
  • Magazine Pouches
  • First Aid Kit
  • Lady's Clothing

Handgun Selection

Handgun selection is very individualized. Some guns will fit your hands better than others, affecting your ability to create optimal performance reliably. Further, how you intend to use the pistol will also influence which tool is best for you. For example, if you want to carry, where you will do so, and how you'll carry will influence pistol and holster selection.

On the other hand, if you are just a hobbyist, handgun size doesn't matter as much as how we will use the tool now carries fewer constraints. If you have questions about matching your goals to a pistol, get in touch, and we can set up a range session with multiple example pistols. Some options we generally suggest are listed here:



Eye Protection

Ballistic eye protection is suggested as it provides impact resistance that safeguards your eyes from any debris on the range. Your sunglasses are okay for shooting paper, but we recommend rated eye protection as soon as steel is in the mix.

Hearing Protection

Gunshots produce loud bursts of sound that can damage the middle ear's bones leading to hearing loss or tinnitus. We want to protect from these loud sounds while still retaining the ability to listen to voices and other soft sounds. Our recommendations are electronic hearing protection as they satisfy both of these goals.

Choose in-ear if you primarily shoot outdoors and don't shoot a lot of unsuppressed rifle. If you shoot indoors and/or lots of unsuppressed rifle, go for over-ear options. Over-the-ear options better protect the conductive bones around the ear, while in-ear is mainly blocking energy that's traveling through the ear canal.

Range Belts

An inner/outer belt combination for general range work is suggested and allows you to have a set "rig" for training adjusted to your specific needs. Either of the following options would work great.


The holster's purpose is to retain the pistol until you decide to deploy it. There are two components to a belt-mounted holster—the holster body, specific to a single handgun in most cases, and the belt attachment. We prefer the GCODE RTI system since it allows you to change holster bodies for different pistols rapidly. Even if you only have a single handgun, it offers a secure platform to mount the gun.

Belt Attachment

Holster Body

Magazine Pouches

Having three magazine pouches on you for practice sessions means more time shooting and less time going back and forth to your kit bag. It also means that you can practice discreet skills such as reload mechanics more efficiently.

Magazine Loader

Loading lots of rounds can be tedious and wear on your thumbs. Conveniently MagLula makes a tool to solve this problem.

First Aid Kit

A trauma kit, or individual first aid kit, is necessary equipment while training with firearms. Our instructors always have these on them or immediately available. It is essential to know how to preserve life when and if the time calls for it. Below are two great options and a list of items that we recommend if you want to put your own kit together.

Lady's Specific Rangewear

One question that has come up multiple times is what leggings have belt loops and are comfortable in Texas. We've had great feedback from the following companies!


Proven methods designed to help you master the fundamentals. Regardless of your experience level, we'll accelerate your learning curve and performance.
See Classes


From basic safety on and off the range to advanced application, we are here to significantly increase your skill level with a carbine.
See Classes

Medical Courses

For the medical novice and those wishing  to refresh or expand their knowledge. Real world applications and techniques to preserve life.
See Classes

Preparedness Courses

Land navigation, communication, off-road, and other uncommon skills to make you and your team, more capable.
See Classes
Be the first
Sign up to receive intel on courses and events before anyone else

Operating In:

Atomic Legion
Austin, TX
Copyright Atomic Legion
© 2024
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram