Saturday, July 21, 2012

What's In Your Range Bag?

What’s in your range bag? If you’re like me, your range bag has your “core” items for your time at the range, whether you’re competing, plinking, or practicing drills. I try to keep my range bag packed with the bare essentials that apply to every gun I own, as well as most accessories. Keep this in mind as you read through the post.

No ammo - Due to space constraints, besides, it’s just too danged heavy otherwise.

Tools – I try to keep an assortment of screwdrivers and allen wrenches in case something comes loose. I keep a pair of fencing pliers in the truck 24/7, and they can be used as a hammer if need be. I also keep a tape measure in the truck. That will come in handy laying out targets at varying ranges. It’s also nice that you can replicate USPSA or IDPA classifier stages.

A cleaning kit – Just in case I need to clean a gun while at the range. (This includes all your favorite solvents and oils.) Who knows, it might be the cause of that failure to eject. I can also use the rod for clearing a squib should one occur. My favorite gunsmith also swears that a 2 or 3 second shot of Rem Oil down an AR barrel while it’s still hot will make cleaning much easier when you get home. I haven’t tried this yet, but when I do, I’ll let you know how it worked out for me. If it works, I’m going to try it on other guns as well.

Clean rags – Whether it’s wiping my gun down or wiping my sweaty brow, I can’t go wrong carrying these.

Spare magazines – Because nobody likes reloading every three minutes

Spare holster – Just in case my primary has a malfunction during a USPSA match.

Sunscreen – Whether you’re fair skinned and easily burn or not. I happen to be pigment challenged.

Bug repellent – Not for the skeeters, but for the no-see ums. (If you don’t know what a no-see um is, consider yourself lucky.)

Magazine loader – I take my MagLula UpLula everywhere I shoot.

A Sharpie – You never know when you’ll need this. I use it to number magazines and write on targets. One day I’ll get the numbers etched on my magazines and I won’t have to keep re-marking them.

With the exception of spare magazines and a spare holster, which never leave my range bag, all of these items can be used no matter what gun I take with me to the range.

 If I can’t address any issue that comes up with the tools I have with me, then I’m packing up and heading home. Since my local range is just 7 minutes from the house, this doesn’t necessarily end my day, but if it were an hour away I’d have to call it quits. For this reason, I don’t carry more in my bag. If your range is a considerable distance, you might want to carry more tools for when Murphy rears his ugly head.

Edited to add (ETA) - Eye and ear protection - Don't skimp here. If you lose either sense, you won't get it back, EVER!

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