List of 10 Range Bag Contents and Essentials
When heading out to the range, a range bag plays a huge role in the overall outcome of your visit. More than just the type of bag used, more emphasis is usually placed on the contents of the bag itself. Range bags these days come in all shapes and sizes and are built specifically to cater to shooters, containing many purposeful pockets and sections for all your range bag essentials.
The main issue is that all shooters should be as prepared and as comfortable as possible, without the need to ask any unnecessary favors or to disturb other shooters on the range. There are certain items that are of absolute necessity, while other auxiliary items may just come in handy and should not be left out of the range bag.
Top Range Bag Essentials
Follow along below and you’ll never be missing the range bag accessories you need the most.
Guns, Holsters and Ammo
As obvious and redundant as it may seem, these are the main components of your bag, since they are the main reason for visiting the range. Guns are either carried in their holsters for added safety or inside a provided gun rug that are included in most range backpacks. In addition, the ammo is usually kept in their trays or boxes for easy access and to prevent them from mixing, should there be more than one type of caliber in the range bag.
Reloading magazines at the range takes away time from practice and can be tough on the fingers. As a result of this, most shooters usually carry extra loaded magazines for quick reloading of the weapon. Many range bags have locations inside the bag strictly for magazines and these are a very smart range bag content inclusion.
Ear and Eye Protection
The value of ear protection and eye protection cannot be over emphasized due to the increased risk one is taking by not taking and using them. Advances in technology have made the development of electronic ear muffs possible and most shooters take full advantage of them, starting with the two industry leaders, Peltor and Howard Leight. In addition to this, most shooters even carry ear plugs that come in handy especially in hotter environments where the use of ear muffs may become too uncomfortable.
Eye protection is also essential since shells are always flying (literally). The ideal eye protection covers both the front and lateral sides of the eyes.
First Aid/Trauma Kit
Another essential range bag item is your first aid and trauma kit. Being prepared for the unforeseen is the best way to manage trauma and injury on the range. Since guns are involved, these kits must be equipped with items ranging from band aids and antiseptic for minor cuts and abrasions, to wound packs for gunshot wounds. You never know when an incident can occur and having a kit on hand can mean life or death.
Targets, Stapler and Staples, Masking Tape, Pen
Although targets are usually provided at the range, most shooters would find it very convenient and comfortable to carry their own. In fact, certain customized versions with different color patterns and designs are preferred by shooters on their own schedule. In addition, every shooter should carry his/her stapler and staples for setting up targets. A roll of duct tape or masking tape also comes in handy for erecting targets, patching target holes, or taping up target overlays and should be carried along as well. A few Sharpie’s are helpful for marking up targets with notes.
Looking down the barrel or chamber can be a big issue, especially in an enclosed range. A flash light can make all the difference and can help to run a quick check for any dirt or cracks in these hard-to-reach areas. Special LED lights are presently available for this purpose.
Auxiliary Range Bag Items
Auxiliary range bag items can help to enhance your shooting experience at the range and are also of great importance. The following are a few of these auxiliary items that would add the finishing touches to a well-packed range bag, covering you at every turn.
These come in extremely handy when shooting in colder areas, bearing in mind that gun metal also cools down even faster than the surroundings. Likewise, a decent pair of gloves can be worn for reloading magazines and cleaning up the firearm (including disassembling/reassembling) after use. The gloves are used for cold-weather outdoor shoots or just when I want to practice with gloves. I shot my first competition in 30F temps and high winds and was very glad I had gloves AND had practiced with them several times before.
These consist of a wide variety of items including pliers, Allen wrenches, screw drivers, bag locks and others that are usually found in a firearm toolkit. They are particularly important for disassembling, reassembling and cleaning up firearms. Cleaning rags are self explanatory and without them, the process can be somewhat cumbersome. Gun oil should also be carried along for lubricating moving parts within the firearm. The rag is something I use for wiping off my hands and forearms after shooting, as well as wiping down magazines and pistols before putting them back in my range bag. A screwdriver set for guns is also a must to troubleshoot problems. A set for scope rings and mounts should also be considered.
Small Pouch and Range Specific Materials
For shooters who are interested in reloading their ammo, a small pouch or ziplock bag can be used to collect the spent brass to take with you. Having a range key, membership ID, range rules, and gun manuals are also worth considering.
Some other items to keep in mind are an old hat, water, aspirin, bug spray, suntan lotion, eye wash, chapstick, backup ear plugs, Leatherman multi-tool, gun mat, rain gear, stopwatch, binoculars, and cell phone. Your range bag may not have enough room to hold all of these gun range accessories, but stored in the trunk of your car for easy access is ideal.