Practicing at the shooting range is more than just simply shooting targets. Here you will want to improve your accuracy along with other maneuvers. In order to enhance your time at the gun range there are some essential gun range bag contents that you need to have.
Keep in mind that this is not an exhaustive list. These are some essential gun range bag contents that you should have. This could include just practicing your accuracy and even tactical skills. You could always be that guy with a ass load of guns and bags with ton of gear but I will keep this simple.
Range bag contents every shooter should have
Shooting outdoors you are really at the mercy of the weather elements. Rain can come unexunsuspectingly and affect your guns and gear. Having a great jacket would be essential to keep your guns and gear drive. This is really a no-brainer.
- Sun block
Time flies when you are having fun. It’s easy to spend three or four hours at the range without paying attention. If you live some place where you get a lot of sunny like I do then it is essential to have some sun block. Place I’m whiter than rice and burn just as easy.
Along the same lines, if you live in a humid area like I do then you are constantly wrestling with mosquitoes. This can affect your accuracy and of course experience at the gun range.
- Trauma kit
A lot of people brush off the fact that people get hurt at the gun range by saying that if it happens then you are at the wrong gun range. Of course, you should do your research of the range that you plan to visit but accidents happen. If something CAN go wrong than it WILL go wrong. Trauma kits are even great for deep cuts.
I like to keep the Ever Ready Trauma Kit on me at all times especially at the gun range. It comes with an IFAK, Quickclot and an Israeli Bandage.
- Duct Tape (preferably orange)
Duct tape has a whole plethora of survival uses. It is especially helpful to have orange duct tape around your LOADED MAGAZINES. That way if they drop in the dirt they won’t be hard to find. The bright orange will stick out.
- General purpose rag and cleaning kit
There may come a time where you have to clean your gun at the range. This should be done beforehand but guns can get jammed or dirty at any time especially when you have been shooting it quite a bit. I typically like to clean my guns immediately after getting home from the range. So having it ready and available in my range bag contents makes it convenient.
My recommended cleaning kit is the Hoppe’s No. 9 Cleaning Kit. It is good for .38/.357 and 9mm handguns. It’s the perfect size to fit in with your range bag contents. Generally I keep a bigger cleaning kit at home for rifles.
- Blue Gun or Demonstrator Gun
When going to the range it is not only important to practice your accuracy but you will also want to practice drawing and holstering along with other drills. To do this you shouldn’t use a loaded gun at the range for safety purposes unless you are the only one there. You can typically get demonstrator guns for the more popular guns on the market. That way you are practicing with something that you actually use. I typically use the BLACKHAWK! Demonstrator Gun.
Most gun ranges will keep a stapler on hand that you have to share with everyone else. Instead of waiting in a line like its Black Friday shopping I tend to bring my own staple gun. That way I can place the targets down field while everyone else is busying tackling each other for the shared stapler.
Multitools are also great to have in your range bag contents. They typically work well with rifles incase that you need to break one down during your session.
I typically use the Leather Wingman Multi-tool. It has never let me down when I needed it. However, you could also get the Real Avid Gun Tool Pro which are designed specifically for rifles.
- Target tape
Target tape is another great item to have with your range bag contents. This is good for if you want to cover holes on your targets. It can also be used to mark your shots on targets as well.
Most of the time I go shooting during day time hours and it is outdoors. Occasionally I will practice at indoor range. The lighting isn’t always the best. So having a flashlight is helpful in case that you drop something or if you need inspect your guns.
Duh dumbass! But your ammunition should already be loaded in your magazines. You don’t want to spend most of your time loading while at the range. Having loaded magazines is a must especially if you are getting some tactical training. Most instructors expect that you have enough loaded magazines. They don’t want to be wasting their time waiting for everyone to reload.
- Eye Protection
You also have to be prepared for malfunctions. If a gun malfunctions or blows up in your face then you could really fuck up your eyes and face. This is why I wear the Wiley X Black Ops Sunglasses. I normally wear these for everyday carry but they are ballistic grade which is accepted at all gun ranges. They are also polarized so it helps block the sun light and reflections which could affect your accuracy.
- Hearing Protection
Ear plugs don’t really work for me. I actually have some ear plugs that are used by construction workers but they do nothing from protecting the outer part of your ear. It also didn’t do much for the inside as well.
This is why I love using the Howard Leight Impact Sort Sound Amplification Electronic Earmuff. They do a great job from protecting your whole ear from the loud shots at the gun range. You can also adjust the volume. The other thing that I love is that I can still chat with my buddies while wearing them.
- Spotting Scope
At most gun ranges you typically have to wait until intermission so that you can check where your shots have landed on your targets. However, that doesn’t really help with adjusting your accuracy while you are shooting. Then if you are shooting long distances then really isn’t feasible to walk down to inspect your target after each shot.
This is why it is great to have a spotting scope. You can immediately check where your shorts have landed so that you can make adjustments. For this I use the Emarth Spotting Scope with Tripod. This spotting scope comes has magnification from 20x to 60x. It is also waterproof and fog proof so that you can shoot in type of weather.
Having good targets at the range also improves your experience. There are some really great targets that will assist with improving your accuracy. Pistol Targets Paper for Diagnostic are great to use to help improve your handgun accuracy. Depending on where your shots land they let you know if you are tightening your grip while pulling the trigger, jerking or slapping the trigger, too little trigger finger etc.
I prefer to use the Silhouette SPLATTERBURST Shooting Targets because they burst fluorescent yellow upon impact. You can see them plain as day even in the daytime. This way you don’t have to use a spotter or walk down range to see where your shots are landing.
- Pen/marker and a notepad
Having a pen/marker is important for taking notes and recording data. Of course it is always useful to take information from your buddies at the range in case you need to exchange numbers to meet up for a few drinks.
- Wind Meter
Wind meters are great to have for long range rifle shooting. Knowing wind speed gives you the ability to more accurately judge shot placement in varying wind conditions. I prefer to use the Caldwell Crosswind Professional Wind Meter because of the 90 degree rotating anemometer head that allows you to measure how much crosswind will be applied on the side of the bullet.
- Marksmen Data Book
Being able to record your experience is helpful especially when you are practicing Sniper fire. I prefer to use the Voodoo Tactical Marksmen Data Book because it comes with areas that you can enter shot results and add notes along with. This will help you to compare experiences with different guns or maybe the same gun in different conditions.
Altogether these would be my suggestions for essentials to have with your range bag contents. If you have any additional suggestions or feedback then leave a comment below. Your feedback helps the community prepare the smart way now so that we can all thrive later when SHTF.
Photography by Zorin Denu