If you’ve ever gotten to the range only to realize you left your ear protection at home, you know how having the right gear on you can make or break a day at the range. But what classifies as must-have range gear? We’ve got you covered.
Determine What’s “Essential”
Essential is a buzzword these days, but it’s much more than that. Identifying the difference between what’s a must-have item and what’s a nice-to-have item can really help you keep your range bag well-stocked and organized.
Let’s put this theory into practice: Picture a perfect day on the range. What items are around you? What items are you required to have on you to be on the range? Do you have anything in your bag that you haven’t pulled out two or three trips to the range? Would any of those items be crucial to have in case of an emergency?
As you go through our list of range bag recommendations below, keep asking yourself “Is this must-have range gear or would it just be nice to have?”
But first, a word about medical kits.
Prioritizing Medical Kits
At Lynx Defense, we believe medical kits are a must-have item no matter where you are. It’s why we designed an ankle medical kit and one that straps to your vehicle’s headrest. That’s how strongly we feel about preserving human life in the event of an accident or crisis.
If you’re building your own kit, we recommend including a tourniquet and gauze (to stop any bleeding) along with alcohol wipes, bandages in various sizes, medical tape and a safety blade or shears. Keep in mind that your local fire and rescue departments are great resources for recommendations when building first aid and medical kits.
Shooting Gear You Need
Here are 12 essential items to pack in your range bag whenever you head out.
- Hearing Protection — Auditory damage can happen whether you’re shooting indoors or out, so proper hearing protection is a range bag must-have in our opinion. There are many options available – from muffs to earplugs to electronic sound suppression – on the market today to suit your preferences and needs.
- Eye Protection — Keep stray casings from ruining more than your range day by packing eye protection. Ideally, you want ballistic-rated goggles or glasses but safety glasses will work in a pinch.
- Medical Kit — We never want to be caught without a medical kit on the range. We keep ours fully stocked so we can help in any situation until the professionals arrive.
- Spare Magazines — Having spare magazines on hand helps you focus on shooting instead of reloading, which is the whole point of your range day. Plus, you never know when a mag will break on you.
- Ammo — This is a no-brainer, but it can happen to the best of us. Make sure you have an adequate amount of ammo packed in your range bag, so you won’t be stuck paying a premium jus tot finish out your shooting time.
- Staple Gun — A staple gun makes quick work of mounting paper targets.
- Sharpie — Permanent markers are a cheap way to visually mark progress and consistency when running drills.
- Paper/Steel Targets — Most ranges provide targets for you to use, but in the off chance they don’t (or they’re fresh out), it’s nice to have your own backup targets.
- Flashlight — If you’ve ever tried to clean your gun or track down something you dropped in a dimly lit shooting stall, you know why we believe a flashlight is a must-have item in your range bag.
- Hex/Allen Wrench Set — Nothing rains on range day like a loose optic or holster. Having a versatile wrench set on hand helps you make minor gear adjustments on the fly without having to leave the range.
- Your Normal Carry Accessories — If you carry, we recommend practicing what you carry and knowing the ins and outs of any accessory, mount or holster you may use. The range is a great place to build confidence in how you carry so you’re prepared for whatever situation you find yourself in.
- Everyday Provisions — Only you know how your body reacts to hunger, sun, thirst and stress. Keep this in mind as you pack your bag and include snacks, water, lip balm and sunscreen how you see fit.