What is in My Range Bag: A Complete List Of Things I Own
A prepared shooter is an efficient shooter. What do you carry with you when you go to the range? Do you have things that you never leave at home?
I do, and I thought I should share my list with you. Here are ten things I carry in my range bag when I go to the gun range. Eight of them are indispensable.
1. Eyes Protection
The eyes are sensitive organs. Make sure yours are well protected when you are handling guns at the range. Pack a pair of shooting glasses that meet OSHA standards to keep your eyes from coming to any accidental harm.
Ensure that these are proper shooting glasses, not just sunglasses. They should be made of shatterproof polycarbonate.
The great thing about eyewear is that it can be both functional and fashionable, making you look extra badass while keeping your eyes safe.
Also, shooting glasses can help improve your accuracy with certain lens tints. They enhance your view of your target in particular environments through the contrast and reduction of blue light levels which cause haze.
2. Ear Protection
Your ears are just as sensitive as your eyes. When you spend too much time at the gun range without ear protection, you are likely to cause impairment of your hearing ability.
So pack some ear protection in your range bag to put on when you get to the shooting range. When it comes to ear protection, you are spoiled for choice: simple disposable ear plugs, passive earmuffs, custom molded plugs, noise-cancelling muffs, and so forth.
Always ensure that you have one or two pairs of earplugs in your range bag (the extra one is backup). There are those who like to double up with plugs and muffs – to get maximum protection for their ears.
3. Trauma Kit
This is one thing most people don’t think of putting in their range bag, and yet it is so crucial. A good trauma kit is essential for when emergencies take place.
The trauma kit contains items you can use to administer first aid either to yourself or others if something happens. It will also help you deal with minor scrapes, scratches, or bleeds that may occur.
Most shooting-related injuries involve the use of antiseptic wipes, antibiotic cream, band-aids, and medical tape. These are the essential contents of a “boo-boo kit”. Shooting-related injuries are usually of the variety covered by basic first aid classes as opposed to major trauma such as gunshot wounds, a severe cut, or a fall.
In addition to packing the trauma kit in your range bag, it should go without saying that you should learn basic first aid skills. Know how to use every item in your trauma bag, and learn what you should do during basic shooting-related emergencies.
4. Properly-Stored Firearms
Ensure that you store your firearms in a safe and secure manner. For shooters, this is probably one of the most important rules. It is good etiquette as well as just good common sense.
One way to do this is by inserting an empty magazine into the empty chamber of your firearm. Some shooters do not like storing their magazines in their firearms. Whatever your preference, just make sure that you store and secure any pre-loaded magazines in a separate compartment.
How much ammunition you carry will determine how long you stay at the range. Bring less for a short visit, and more for a longer one.
When you go to the range, carry practice ammo rather than self-defense ammo. The ammunition you take with you to the range should be dependable, while being reasonably priced.
In most ranges, you can often get targets for sale, but at a premium. A complimentary target may also be included with your range fee. Why not carry your own targets with you in your range bag instead?
Targets come in all shapes, sizes, and materials. It all depends on your preferences and habits. You could use paper targets, chalk targets, splatter targets, and so forth. Some even wobble, spin, and bounce when your round impacts on them, to give you instant visual feedback.
Some targets are just fun to use, like those which burst into a cloud of dust when you hit them, again to give you visual feedback,
7. Spotting Scope
Spotting scopes are absolutely essential if you want to improve your shooting form. And especially if you are shooting at distances greater than 25 yards.
Using a spotting scope when shooting enables you to see where your rounds are impacting on the target, and this helps you know where you require improvement. Otherwise, you would shoot in a, more or less, happy-go-lucky fashion without real focus, which means you would not improve your skill.
In some shooting ranges, you have to wait until the other shooters have finished shooting before you can inspect your target at close range. You definitely need a shooting scope to make the best of your time at the range.
8. Maintenance Tools
Guns are tools, and like all tools, they get rusty now and then, they jam, and so forth. Don’t let a small malfunction at the range be the thing that makes you pack up and leave for home. Not if you can help it.
Just pack some basic maintenance tools in your range bag, just in case you need them. For instance, you will probably require lubricant to keep your gun operating in smooth fashion.
You should also carry a complete field cleaning/maintenance kit. Cleaning and maintaining your gun is for shooters what polishing and sharpening is for swordsmen. Do it often to ensure your gun always gives you the very best performance.
9. Masking Tape
While not necessary for all, masking tape is a clever way to make your shooting targets last longer. Carry a roll of masking tape in your range bag and use it to patch the holes on your target after shooting – doing so will prolong its life.
Also not necessary, but might be useful for marking on targets. You can also use it to take notes if you keep a shooting journal where you track your shooting progress.
Don’t let emergencies find you unawares. Always be prepared – the Boy Scout motto, also relevant for shooters. Consider the items in this list. Which ones do you think are most indispensable?