You don’t realize the importance of your range bag until it ruins your range day. When it’s the right choice, the range bag can protect your gear, ensure easy access to it, and allow comfortable carrying throughout the day. It should also give you plenty of pockets and compartments for your shooting gear so that you don’t lose any precious time while shooting.
But what do you need to pack when going to the range? If you’re a newbie and you feel overwhelmed with information, a list of things to pack for your shooting practice is more than helpful. Keep reading!
1. Ammo, pistol cases, and spare mags
You should always have the right ammo along with your firearms and gear. You should pack a pistol case, the ammo and the extra mags for a productive day at the range. You can keep the unloaded handguns in their case so that you have all the parts together. Go with a small pistol case instead for a gun that comes in a cardboard box.
When you lug the gun in a designated gun container, the firearm stays in place and reduces the risk for scraping/scratching from other tools you have inside the bag.
Unless you intend to overspend at the range, it’s always better that you go with your ammo. It’s wise that you plan and make an idea about the ammo you need and the type for straightforward shooting practice.
Loading mags isn’t the most beautiful part about a day at the range, but it gives you the possibility for mag change drills and longer stints of shooting. Should anything go South, you always have a spare.
Side note: Pack holsters, mag pouches, uplula, and belt too
A loader, holster, and a mag pouch with a spare magazine can take your shooting training to a better level. For instance, the UpLula helps a short load magazine friendly and comfortable. The holster and the mag pouches let you improve your concealment and drawing skills. If anything, mag pouches are also useful for keeping your spare magazine ready to go.
2. Eye and hearing protection
It’s better to be safe than sorry, which is why eye and ear protection should never miss your range bag. It sounds incredible, but there are many shooters out there that still don’t use ear and eye protection regularly.
Even if the foam inserts can work since they’re protective and affordable enough, you should look for the electronic earmuffs. They’re highly effective for protection, with the batteries draining out fast being the main pet peeve. Therefore, make sure that you always pack a spare of cells.
The diversity of styles and lens colors for eye protection is incredible, which is always a good thing. If you’re also wearing prescription glasses, you should look for models that work either way. Don’t forget to pack some eyeglass cleaner in the range bag so that you remove grime, dust, and oil before shooting.
Ideally, you want to keep an eye to your spending at the range, which is why you should also pack your very own targets and a stapler for the outdoor training.
Able to show you where your shots have landed precisely, the targets are incredibly functional. They come in all sorts of shapes and styles, so take your time when selecting. When you have a thin wallet, don’t hesitate to buy some templates online and print them at home before heading to the range. Paper plates and colored paper are quite handy DIY targets when your budget is tight.
As long as the range master gives you approval, you can also use household items for the outdoor shootings. Fruits, water bottles look impressive when shot, but you can also give it a go with some colorful balloons. Taking the practice out of the ordinary can improve your shooting skills.
4. Cleaning kit and multi-tool
A cleaning kit is a fantastic option for giving your gun some extra special attention when at the range. Brush, CLP, a bore-snake, and a multi-tool can be the only items you need for cleaning.
When you have to give your gun an emergency cleaning, the portable cleaning kit is what you need precisely. An excellent selection of brushes and rifle rods may be enough for emergency cleaning. Pack a small bottle of cleaning oil, and you’re all set for the emergencies.
Most portable cleaning kits are less than $25, which is a small price considering the money you paid for the gun.
Don’t forget to pack a multi-tool as you may never know when you need it while at the range.
5. First aid kit
A reliable first-aid kit needs to contain all the original items you need for an emergency. No matter if you buy a pre-made kit or you’re putting one together, you should always have a small first aid kit inside the range bag. Make sure that it has orange or red color so that you notice it in the nick of time. It should also be ready to use.
Here’s what you should have inside:
- Gauze pads
- Band-aids with various sizes
- Medical tape
- First aid cream
- Antiseptic wipes
- Tylenol and Ibuprofen
- CPR mask
Along all of these items, it’s wise also to pack a CAT tourniquet. It’s a simple device that may increase the chance for survival in case of a gunshot wound to the extremities.
Another side note: Even if we’ve listed the essential items to pack in your range bag, you should always remember that you may still add/remove some of the things, according to your specific needs. Hats, gloves, or sunscreen may be needed while shooting, which is why you should always do your homework before heading to the range.
Listing is fun! Here’s another one!
Organizing is life when it comes to shooting, which is why any experienced shooter is meticulous about his/her gear.
We’re ready to help you with another list of things to put in your range bag. This time, we also give you categories, so that everything is more evident for you:
You can never be too safe when shooting, so here’s what to pack:
- Eye& ear protection
- First aid kit
- Sun&bug protection
- A laminated notecard with personal info in case of an emergency
- Gun accessories and ammunition
- Chamber flags/empty chamber indicators
- Dummy rounds and ammo
- Gun oil
- Towel/gun mat. Some great range bag/backpacks can work as a table too
- Various tools
- Duct tape
- Staples and stapler for affixing targets
- Portable cleaning kit
- Set of screwdrivers
- Masking tape for patching targets and stick them to posts
- Timer for timed drills
- Electronic calipers/small ruler for measuring the shot groups
- More essentials
- Batteries for the automatic ear protection
- High-protein snacks
- Shooting journal (if you’re keeping an eye on your performance_
- Sharpie pen for marking the shot groups
- Empty trash bag for packing the range bag in a muddy area
- Empty freezer bag for your brass
What tips to use when packing your range bag?
Even though all the list we’ve made for you is essential for packing your range bag correctly, here are some tips that the pros are providing for the newbies. Don’t hesitate to give them a read:
- Always label your gear and range bag
It’s quite easy to fill out a luggage tag and to attach it to a zipper on your range bag. It’s going to take the use longer than a hook-and-pile nametape and even a permanent marker. Try to use it in a wet/muddy condition and see it for yourself.
Use a permanent marker (use a metallic color for the darkly colored gear) to label your equipment. It’s wise that you also have a copy of the range checklist in your range bag. This way, you can double-check before leaving the range. The list can also help you only replace the used items and not pack everything once again on the next practice.
- Hope for best, prepare for worst
When you’re packing for a shooting competition, a special event, or some qualification course for military or law enforcement, you may have to pack some mission-specific gear. Here are some examples:
- Range finder
- Blank firing adapters
- Wet-weather gear
- Folding chair
- Hand sanitizer
- Personal hygiene items
- Use plastic bags for all your items
All the things that you want to protect against grime, sand, water, or loss (ID cards and loose items) should be packed in plastic bags. You may prepare a large plastic trash bag and keep it within reach in a pocket. Should the weather worsen in a blink of an eye, it’s good to be able to put everything that may get wet in a large trash bag. It may not be elegant, but it’s better than everything stays nice and dry.
One last advice before you go shopping
No matter if you’re practicing outside, inside, or preparing for a shooting competition, the range bag should always fit your needs. You can create your list starting with our recommendations, without ever hesitating to add or removing from it. Whatever floats your boat!