What’s in Your Range Bag?

I had a reader ask about a range bag he was looking at.  It’s actually the exact range bag I use.  He also asked, as a competitive shooter, what kind of stuff I kept in my bag.  I can tell you the most important thing that should be in your range bag is the item that you won’t realize isn’t in your range bag until you get ready to shoot a match and realize you don’t have it.  The thing I chronically like to forget is magazines.  But here’s what’s in mine.

  • A brick of .22LR, because I shoot it so much it never leaves, and is replaced when I exhaust it.
  • 4.5mm Pellets for air gun shooting.
  • CO2 cartridges for air gun shooting.
  • Peep sight aperture for the air pistol.
  • Hearing Protection.  Two sets.  In case something happens to one, or someone forgets their own.  If you’re competing, it’s great to have electronic muffs so you can hear range commands and talk to people without having to shout.
  • Spare set of eye protection in case someone on the range needs some.  I wear glasses with polycarbonate lenses.
  • Pencils to write down scores and various other things.
  • Clipboard for keeping your scorecard in place when it’s windy, and to have a hard writing surface.  Some matches provide these, but not all.
  • Scorebooks for NRA and IHMSA
  • IHMSA rulebook.
  • Spare money.  Nothing sucks worse than showing up for a match and having to run to an ATM machine before you register.
  • Staple gun to hang targets.
  • Masking tape  to tape targets up and for patching bullet holes in targets.
  • Tacks for hanging targets if staples or tape run out.
  • Spare batteries for red dot optics.
  • Kalashnikov front sight adjustment tool.  Not much cause to use this regularly, but I use the AK for cheap practice, since ammo for it is still cheap, relatively.
  • AR-15 front sight adjustment tool.
  • Multitool for fixing various thing.  Has bits for allen nuts, and various other things.
  • Magnetic tool for picking up silhouette animals without having to bend over.
  • Zip lock bags for collecting spent brass.
  • Various smaller targets that can fit in the bag, just so I always have something to shoot at on me.
  • Chamber flags.

That’s about it.  I don’t keep oil in my range bag, because it can ruin a bag and its contents if it leaks, and it always seems to leak.  Other items are transitory, like ammo, and magazines for whatever gun I happen to be shooting.  I always take guns in separate cases.  In my car I usually will keep a few targets, my shooting mat, my spotting scope, and a tripod for the spotting scope.

11 thoughts on “What’s in Your Range Bag?”

  1. My “range bag” is actually a tote that came with my set of suitcases. In it, I usually carry:
    *Two sets of earmuffs (I don’t usually shoot alone),
    *Extra foam earplugs, just in case I have more than one person with me,
    *two sets of shooting glasses
    *Ammunition for whatever I’m shooting that day,
    *Duct tape,
    *Leatherman Wave multi-tool for minor repairs,
    *choke wrench if I have my shotgun with me,
    *Range pass (required for my members-only range)

    And that’s about it for my bag. I also bring a field cleaning kit and a rifle bench rest for when I’m zeroing a rifle. Don’t have a spotting scope yet, but I’ll probably be buying one in the next couple of weeks or so.

  2. The wave is what I have too. Bitter got me a Charge a while back, which is what I carry with me at all times. I carry my range pass in my car. I tend to forget I’m wearing it, and sometimes forget to put it on when I show up for matches.

  3. I have three to five range bags. One contains things that go on the shooter, knee pad, elbow pads, holster, mag pouches, hearing protection, tube of handy wipes, shooting glasses, gloves. Second bag contains things pertaining to the gun: magazines, tools, oil, chamber flags, mag loader; third contains stuff for the range: targets, timer, pasters, staple gun, staples, tape. there’s a fourth for ammo, the fifth is a gun case – either a single if one gun is being shot or my three gun case that holds rifle, shotgun and handgun. Gun, Shooter and Ammo bags ride in my 3-Gun cart, case stays in vehicle, cart holds the guns. I find the separate bags keeps individual weight down and if it’s a gun problem, I don’t have to dig past pads, etc to find the “thing” to fix the problem.

  4. What’s an “AR-15 front sight adjustment tool”? I always used a nail.

  5. I have a small cleaning kit in mine, inside a plastic box (actually a clear plastic tackle box). I shoot Mosin-Nagants with surplus ammo, and although I clean them when I get home, I like to run an oily patch or two down the barrel before I even leave the range.
    Also, I have a compact set of 10x binoculars for spotting, beanbag-type rifle rest, and a first-aid kit (someone I read a while back made the excellent suggestion to add Benadryl, especially in the summer, for bee/ wasp stings, but I haven’t yet.)
    Ditto the extra ear/ eye protection, multi-tool, and sight adjusters.

  6. I also carry, a bottle of water, or two – I live in the desert – its dry out there.

    A couple granola bars, I can’t focus on shooting if my stomach starts rumbling and growling.

    Also a small first aid kit and a bottle of sunscreen.

    Some moist towelettes for cleaning the sunscreen off my hands before handling my guns.

    A spare pair of reading glasses. Thanks to Lasik I can shoot out to 600 yards again. But I can’t read the end of piece of brass.

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