Range Bag Essentials

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Headed to the gun range, and wonder what to pack? First, your range bag essentials will depend on the type of shooting you’ll be doing at the range. Furthermore, everyone’s shooting range kit will be different, so customize yours to your needs. The idea is to enjoy your time at the range by being more prepared.

A few essentials to have in your shooting range kit are:

  • First-aid kit:
    • Tourniquet
    • Band-aids
    • Gauze
    • A coagulant
    • Gloves
    • Medical tape
    • Anti-bacterial ointment
    • Trauma shears
    Accidents happen! Keep your first-aid kit easily accessible. You don’t want to have to dig through your stuff looking for it during an emergency.
    • Reasons for a first-aid kit:
      • Staple mishaps
      • Puncture wounds
      • Slide bites
      • Cuts & Scrapes
      • Burns
      • Magazine bites
  • Ear protection:
    • Ear plugs:
      • Allows more comfortability with long guns.
    • Ear Muffs
    Quality ear protection is important for preventing hearing damage. I sometimes double my hearing protection by using ear plugs and ear muffs. I keep extra foam ear plugs in my bag just in case.
  • Eye protection: Make sure your glasses are rated for impact to help prevent vision damage.
    • Sunglasses
    • Clear protection glasses
    • Prescription glasses
    • Yellow-tinted shooting glasses
  • Chamber flags to indicate an empty chamber
  • Shooting gloves:
    • Protect hands from cuts and scrapes.
    • Provides a better grip.
    • Prevents burns from hot firearm parts such as the forend of a long gun.
  • Ammo:
    • Range ammo appropriate for your firearm.
    • Dummy rounds:
      • For running malfunction drills.
      • To help diagnose problems like the anticipation jerk.
    Check with the range for specifications. For example, some ranges don’t allow steel casings.
  • Ammo Can:
    • To keep your ammo in.
    • If you reload, to collect spent casings
  • Spare magazines for practicing shooting drills or for less loading at the range.
  • Speed loader
    • Maximizes your time at the range. Less time loading means more time shooting.
  • Targets:
    • Paper:
      • Plain computer paper
      • Regular bullseyes
      • Holiday themed
      • Challenges
      • Splatter targets
    • Steel
      • Spray paint
    • Pen, marker, and/or stickers can extend the life of your targets by marking or covering the bullet holes.
  • Stapler, staples, & extra staples.
  • Range finder:
    • Let’s you know the distance of your target.
    • Don’t forget extra batteries
  • Binoculars allow you to evaluate your shot placement more efficiently without going downrange to retrieve the target.
  • Shot timer if applicable to your drills.
  • Multitool in case you need to make adjustments to your firearm, sights, scopes, etc.
  • Cleaning Kit
    • You should at least bring the essentials, especially depending on how much you’re planning to shoot.
    • If nothing else, you should at least have gun oil in your bag. Moving parts jam. The oil can help increase the longevity of these parts.
  • Snacks, preferably high protein to help maintain energy.
  • Notebook & pen to take notes and to keep track of progress.
  • Lead wipes
    • You should clean your hands before:
      • Eating
      • Drinking
      • Smoking
      • Applying chapstick, lip gloss, lipstick, etc.
  • Extra batteries to match your viewfinder, sights/scopes, or any other accessories.
  • Solid range bag to carry it all in.

For outdoors dress and prepare for the weather, and consider packing:

  • A hat
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug repellant
  • Water to stay hydrated

What are your range bag essentials?

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April Iser

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