Coronavirus – COVID-19 and the Shooting Season: How to stay safe at the shooting range?
In the past two weeks the amount of reported cases for Coronavirus (COVID-19) has skyrocketed. With approximately over 3,800 confirmed cases in the US and 175,000 confirmed cases worldwide. We as a society need to do what we can to minimize the spread of this pandemic.
To help do our part, Bullet Central has compiled some useful information and tips to help you protect yourself and others when out at the shooting range or when participating in shooting matches and how to keep your shooting range supplies clean from the virus.
Learn to spot the signs of infection from Coronavirus
People should take care when being around others regardless of whether or not they are showing any signs of infection. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the official incubation period for COVID-19 lies anywhere between 2-14 days after exposure.
After this time you will notice the following symptoms occur:
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- Bluish lips or face
If you find that you are exhibiting these symptoms please seek medical attention immediately. Doing so helps you as well as those around you.
How does COVID-19 spread?
As previously mentioned since there is a 2-14 day incubation period, it is possible for someone to become exposed to COVID-19 when in the presence of someone not yet showing symptoms of the virus.
Therefore knowing how it spreads is important in order to limit your exposure to the virus:
According to the CDC, it is believed that COVID-19 is spread between people who are in close contact with each other (roughly 6 feet) and through microscopic particles expelled through coughing or sneezing.
What can you do to protect yourself and keep your shooting supplies clean at the shooting range?
- Maintain a reasonable distance from anyone who is sick and avoid large crowds if possible.
- Ideally wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Since soap and water are not readily available at most ranges; carry with you a portable hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol.
- Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands.
- Do not handle ammunition or pick up spent brass that was loaded by someone else when at the shooting range.
- Avoid sharing the use of firearms that bring your face into close contact with the gun. Such as when shooting a rifle.
Cleaning and disinfecting surfaces
Cleaning your work surfaces and firearms will be a great preventative step to take in protecting yourself and others against the Coronavirus COVID-19 threat.
The CDC has recommended bleach as a powerful tool. Here is a solution that they believe will prove effective against the Coronavirus:
- 5 Tablespoons of Bleach per 1 Gallon of Water
- 4 Teaspoons of Bleach per 1 Quart of Water
Please note however that while bleach would be perfect to use on general surfaces, the corrosive properties of bleach can potentially damage the metal components on your gun and should be avoided at all costs.
An alcohol solution of at least 70% or greater would work effectively as a disinfectant for the external parts of your firearms.