So it's time to shoot! We got our firearm, and we are heading to the range to meet our friends. You end up getting to the range and setting everything up. The safety brief is over and you and your friends are ready to shoot. However, you forgot your electronic ears and you found out your optic battery is dead. If only you prepared a bag of some type to accommodate all these needs.
Well, good news! That is what we are talking about today, how to pack your range bag and what should be in your range bag to prevent these uncomfortable range days. We all have been there before, a day to get away and put some rounds downrange with friends and we end up forgetting something that is much needed. A simple range bag with dedicated items can prevent this very easily.
So let's start with the basics, let's start with the bag itself. A decent-range bag goes a long way. You want something that is duffle bag style, something that you can easily access and see what is in there but also something that can organize your items inside. You want at least a medium size bag that can easily fit your range items needs. Personally I try to keep my range bag an all in one bag for rifle and pistol so I have everything just in case. Here are a few pictures to give you an idea. Also sometimes a large Rifle bag works just as well.
So we have our bag picked out, now what goes in it?
Let us start with electronic ears or hearing protection and PPE (personal protective equipment) such as safety glasses:
We always have a tendency to forget our ears and safety PPE. So it’s a good idea to keep an extra set in your range bag, and also if someone else forgets their ears or safety glasses you can be the hero of the day!
I can not stress this enough. Whatever has batteries that goes to the range with you, keep at least two extra batteries per item. Be it AA, AAA, or CR123 batteries. Nothing is worse than getting to the range and finding out your electric ears are dead. Or shooting and halfway through the optic you are using runs out of battery life. Now you are stuck on iron sights the rest of the day. So, batteries, keep them in your range bag.
A small set of basic tools & specialty tools:
Nobody wants to work on their firearm on the range but sometimes things come loose or need an adjustment. Sometimes your firearm needs to be taken apart due to a misfire or malfunction. I can not tell you how many times I have needed a small screwdriver or Allen key to fix a problem and it wasn’t available. I highly suggest checking your firearms out and keeping a set of Allen keys, and a set of screwdrivers, including a jeweler's set of screwdrivers as well. A set of punches go a long way too. Keeping a small bottle of Loctite is a good idea too. Don’t forget if there are any specialty tools, such as sight adjustment tools, armorer’s block, and small armorer’s hammer. make sure you have an extra one of those in your bag as well. Now again, I am not saying pack a full set of tools, just the ones that are common on the firearms you take to the range. No need to pack a full heavy tool bag of tools.
CLP, Lube, & cleaning equipment \ cleaning kit:
I have been on countless ranges, and I can not tell how many times weapons failed or were unable to function due to a lack of cleaning or lack of CLP. Always have a small cleaning kit and brush in your range bag. It will save you a lot of problems with malfunctions.
A couple of extra magazines go a long way when you are on the range. Sometimes we forget our magazines at home, it's always a good idea to keep an extra magazine or two in your range bag if you can fit it. Most range bags do come with a few magazine pouches so take advantage of that feature if it does.
Targets & pasties:
Targets oh yes Targets. We always seem to forget the targets we need. Make sure you keep a small roll of Targets with your range bag. Also, keep a roll of pasties just to patch up the target you are shooting with on the range.
Staple gun & extra staples:
What else goes with targets? A Staple gun. A must-have in your range bag. Don’t forget to have an extra box of staples as well. Again, nothing is more annoying than not being able to put your target up because you forgot the staple gun or the staple gun is out of staples.
At the end of the day, these are all suggestions. You can always add more and adjust your range bag to fit your needs. You can even add other items such as a spare parts box. What we are trying to do here is give you a good base of what to always have in your range bag. We highly suggest having range bag dedicated items like the tools, PPE, and batteries so when you find out you need it on the range you have it. Always keep an eye on your items in your range bag and occasionally maintain your items in your range bag to ensure they are ready to go. In a perfect world, you want your range bag to be a grab-and-go kit, so you don’t have to worry about anything aside from shooting when you go to the range.