Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Range Bags

I’ve shot on many ranges in my time. As a boy in Arizona we would often shoot in the desert. This was convenient because we spent a lot of time riding mini-bikes, motor cycles, and four wheeling. So shooting out there was natural. But we had no tables, shelters, backstops, facilities, or much of anything. We were safe though and would find a hill or mountain to shoot toward. It wasn’t until I competed in the military when I felt the need for a range bag. This bag had everything and the kitchen sink in it. It was almost a go bag in that I was prepared for the end of the world with it. I’ve since learned different. More is often less.
When you go to build your bag think minimal. Not what you want, but what you need.
This is what I would suggest:

• Small bottle of CLP Breakfree or equivilant
• Cleaning Swabs
• Ear Protection
• Eye Protection
• Knife or Multitool
• Specialty tools
• Laser Boresighter
• Sharpie/roll of masking tape for Marking targets
• Small First Aid Kit
• Tourniquet
• Flashlight
• Bug spray (If you shoot mostly outdoors)

The bottle of CLP Breakfree can be replaced with your cleaner of choice, but who doesn’t like Breakfree when you need to break down your gun in the field and give it a once over. Some people may even clean their gun prior to returning home from the range. The cleaning swabs are a no brainer, but if you use an old oily rag for your gun cleaning then obviously that would replace this item on the list.
Ear and eye protection are key to have while shooting, thus they are a must have for this list. I keep a couple of sets of headsets and a bag of earplugs if I take someone with me to the range. I keep a few pairs of shooting glasses too.
A good knife or even a multi-tool made specifically for firearms is a great addition to add to your range bag. They will allow you to tinker with your firearm if any issues arise while on the range.
If your gun has any specialty tools, I would suggest adding them to the bag as well.
A laser boresight and a sharpie, along with targets, are the key to sighting in any firearm. Be sure to throw those items in your range bag so that you can make sure your gun is precise and accurate.
I keep a smaller bag in my range bag that I designate as my ammo bag. I keep in it ammunition of course, but also a small staple gun, extra staples, magazines, etc.
Safety and survival are of the utmost importance to me and I stress them in all situations. I have a tourniquet and a small first aid kit in my range bag. Maybe some quick clot would be a good addition to your first aid kit. Also, get trained on how to treat a gunshot wound and other first aid skills.
Last but not least, having a flashlight is essential to any range bag. Haven’t we all been in the situation where we are shooting and having fun, and night sneaks up on us? If you do not have a flashlight available, it becomes increasingly difficult to be able to collect your gear, targets, and brass.
This is a very limited list and yours may vary. Use this list as a starting point and come up with one that works for you.
When my wife asks where I am I usually text back, “Home, home on the range!”
She doesn’t think it’s that funny either.
Semper Paratus
Check 6