Essential Gear for New Handgun Owners

Last updated on October 9th, 2023

Congratulations on buying your first handgun! Now let’s discuss the essential gear every new handgun owner needs.

Gear goes hand in hand with guns. That’s just the way it is. I don’t know a single gun owner without a box of goodies. While writing this article I tried to catalog much of the gear I possess and realized it’s probably time to purge some of my nonessential gear.

  • Range bag
  • Ammo can
  • Holster(s)
  • Eye Protection
  • Ear Protection
  • Cleaning Kit
  • Extra Magazines

Specific Products We Recommend for New Handgun Owners

Here are some of the specific products that we recommend for new shooters and new handgun owners. We feel these products are the best bang for your buck, and an excellent starting point for new gun owners.

Passive Ear Muffs are probably the best value in hearing protection. Pro Ears is known to make top of the line muffs to protect your hearing.

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Electronic Hearing Muffs are a game changer, and I’d recommend any serious about firearm training start with the Walker Razor Slim.

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Eye Protection is an absolute must while practicing or training with your handgun. Radian’s are a good bang for your buck because they are anti-fog which you need for indoor ranges in the summer time.

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Don’t forget a cleaning kit. There are many kits available, but we like Otis Patriot kit because it is caliber specific and has everything you need, except the liquids.

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Snap Caps are a must for dry fire and function checking your gun after cleaning or maintenance, and we like A-Zoom because they are metal and durable.

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Hoppe’s 9 is considered the industry standard for gun cleaning solvents. However be sure to use in a well ventilated area.

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Range Bag Options

A range bag is something that allows you to transport your gear and handgun to and from the range. I don’t recommend using a piece of luggage or a gym bag. Too many people have accidentally forgotten their handgun or ammunition and brought it to the airport. Use a dedicated range bag.

There are quite a few discreet range bags available. The Savior Specialist bags are ones that don’t scream “tactical”.

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A toolbox may be used as a range bag.

I like to be covert. I don’t want a range bag that looks tactical or says something like “NRA” on it. I actually use a Ridgid toolbox for my range bag. It’s durable, lockable, and most important it doesn’t scream gun. Anyone who sees it would assume it has tools inside, not full of guns and shooting gear.

Ammo can

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I always advocate for buying ammunition in bulk and storing it. Storing ammunition in ammo cans can last literally decades. Ammo cans are numerous in variety and affordable. You can buy genuine military surplus ammo cans or imitation cans which are slightly less durable. Plastic ammo cans are also available. The most important thing to look for in an ammo can is an air-tight seal.

Check out different ammo can options on Amazon.


I recommend a holster even if you do not plan to carry your handgun. I believe a holster is a required gear for any defensive handgun owner. Even if I were to store a handgun at my bedside, I would want it in a holster to protect the trigger. In addition, I highly recommend all shooters take one advanced training class per year. A holster becomes essential for any training class.

If you plan to carry concealed, get yourself a good quality inside the waistband holster. For open carry and advanced training classes, an outside the waistband holster is ideal. As a matter of personal preference, I always have an active retention holster when open carrying. Active retention devices make it nearly impossible for someone to snatch the handgun from your holster.

For concealed carry, I prefer inside the waistband holsters. Holsters which ride inside your waistband are much more concealable than the outside variety.

Learn more about Defensive Pistol training classes offered by Alpha Koncepts.

Vedder is a Quality Manufacturer of IWB Holsters.

Eye Protection

Howard Leight by Honeywell HL100 Series Shooting Glasses
Check out different shooting glasses for purchase.

Eye protection is a must. Eye protection is required Gear for Handgun Owners. That is if you enjoy your vision. Things are flying around the range, not just bullets. Obviously, eye protection won’t stop a bullet but will stop ricochet fragments, ejected ammunition cases, flying pebbles, and debris, etc…

Eye protection should be impact-resistant. Eye protection may be tinted which aids in shooting while in different light. Eye protection is even available in prescriptions.

Related Article: Shooting with Prescription Glasses

Ear Protection

You’ll go deaf if you shoot without hearing protection. Even if you shoot outside, your ears will be ringing. That’s a sign that you’re damaging your ears! Hearing protection can be as simple as plugs aka “twisties” that you roll up and place into your ear or muffs.

I generally prefer electronic hearing muffs. Electronic hearing muffs allow the shooter to hear their surroundings but still block the noise of the gunfire. You truly get the best of both worlds with electronic ear protection. As an instructor, I wish all my students wore electronic hearing protection so I didn’t always have to yell commands.

Seriously, get good quality electronic hearing protection. It’s an investment worth every penny, and doesn’t cost that much.

Walker's Electronic Hearing Protection

Cleaning Kit

Firearm Cleaning Kit

If you shoot it, you’re going to need to clean it. Even if you don’t shoot it, if you carry it, you’re going to need to clean it. Even if you don’t carry it, if you store it, you’re going to want to protect its’ finish. If you only own one handgun, you can get a decent cleaning kit for about $20. However, if you own multiple firearms you’re going to want an all-purpose kit.

I generally look for brass hardware and rods. Aluminum or carbon fiber is also acceptable. Stay away from steel rods and brushes as these can damage your barrel or the finish of your firearm. Nylon brushes are good too!

Extra Magazines

Get a few extra magazines. You should have at least 3 or 4 for each pistol that you own. If you ever take an advanced training class, you’ll need the extra magazines. Even if just going to the shooting range, magazines can become damaged or dirty, and having a few spares certainly helps.

I’ll usually place a marking of some kind of the magazines so I know they are mine and many shooters will number each magazine so they can track how old the springs are or if one becomes damaged, they know exactly which one to take out of rotation.

Check out Pricing for Extra Handgun Magazines at Brownells!

Summing up the Gear for Handgun Owners

This list will give you a head start on the Gear Handgun Owners will need. It’s not all-inclusive. As you progress as a shooter you might want more or different gear. Your tastes or needs may change and your shooting gear will change with it. Try to always buy quality gear for your handgun because it will last longer and need to be replaced less often.

By using the links on this page to purchase your shooting gear, Alpha Koncepts receives a small percentage of the sale. These affiliate links allow us to keep our training costs down. This means when attending one of our Defensive Pistol or Concealed Carry classes, we don’t need to charge nearly as much as our competitors do!

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