A day at the shooting range is just that. A full day. At least it is for people who are serious about training with their weapons or for people who just love guns so much that they want to get their full amount of time that they could with them. The most bang for their buck if you'll excuse the pun.
For today I wanted to write about how best to transport your guns and gear from your place to the range, at the same time giving you a look at a checklist for items you will need, once there. Just so you can have that all prepared and packed away before you even walk out the door to go to the range.
First, we will talk about the range bag itself. You're going to want something that is not only going to carry everything that you need for the day, but you will need a piece that will be comfortable to you, easy to transport, while still maintaining the size needed to fit your whole day at the range needs and something that is going to have a storage style making it simple to find anything that you may need. You're also going to want a piece that is going to work solely as your range bag. Something that is not going to be confused or used as a backpack, or taken anywhere but to the range.
For us, the G Outdoors Handgunner is the top available range bag for the job, because it fits all of the criteria as best that we at USA Firearm Training have seen.
But What Should Fill the Bag?
Now we are getting to the actual contents of the bag itself. What will fill out the range bag and fill out your day at the range? Let's see some of the staples.
RESOURCE: For our complete list of items you should include in your range bag just click on the following link to get the download for free so you can print it off: Range Bag Checklist
You're going to need them at the range unless you just love the smell of gunpowder and the sound of shots being fired. Not that there's anything wrong with that. Make sure that when heading to the range you are bringing not just your carry gun, but your home defense gun, hunting firearms, as well as any other firearm that you wish to practice with.
You'll probably need quite a bit of ammo. More than you would think. Especially if you are going to want to make a full day trip of it and don't want to buy ammo at your range, if they even offer it.
Always remember that when picking ammo to bring to rotate out your oldest and use that first. It's also smart to bring ammunition that is a full metal jacket.
Unless you are going to pull from your range bag, which I don't know why people would, you'll need your holster with you. Not to mention, if you are carrying concealed you are going to want to get some reps in from drawing from the holster since you'll be carrying that around more than your range bag in your day to day.
Some places may require you to bring a hip holster. Not all gun ranges allow concealed holsters, so to be safe it is best to look up or call the range before your first trip so you know what what rules the range may have.
Most of this is stuff that you are going to be doing at home. Keeping everything clean and ready to go before going to the range is the best idea, however as many of you may know, things may not always go exactly to plan and emergency maintenance is a possibility. In situations like that, it is best to be prepared.
Blowback, powder, brass, and all sorts of things may be flying at the range. And any time that something is flying that may cause damage, you're going to want your eyes covered. Let all those memories of shop class come back to you.
Always have multiple pieces of eye protection, as well. You never know when a pair may break or you may just be with someone who forgot theirs and then you get to be the hero for them.
This one may be the most obvious bit of gear to have besides your guns and ammo. You need ear protection to avoid trauma and tinnitus to set in. They've even mocked the lack of hearing protection in TV and movies on the show “Archer” for this very reason. Action heroes who fire guns next to unprotected ears are fake. Your ears are very real. Protect them.
Just like with eye protection, it is also nice to have to have an extra pair of ear protection around, as well.
It's going to be a lot cheaper for you to bring your own targets to the range as opposed to buying any once there. As long as you have room for a few sheets in your bag, it definitely makes sense to bring them along.
You should also bring whatever you need to attach the targets (Staples/staple gun, tape, staple remover, etc.)
It's smart to have a little cash on hand anywhere you go, but unless you are a member of the range you are heading to, carrying a couple of bucks in your bag is smart to pay for entrance fees. And if you do happen to have your membership, who knows if you will want to buy a few extra targets while there and keep the fun going?
So that's a good starter kit of items to have available on your trips to the range. But that is just scratching the surface, honestly. If you would like a copy of USA Firearm Training's in-depth PDF click here for a downloadable version that we here have created for you.Download Our Comprehensive Range Bag Checklist