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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 items should you carry with your pistol and/or what is necessary and useful gear? I have sat down and thought, what do I have to have in my range bag?
If you are in the market for a rifle case take a look at how to choose the best rifle case for your needs.
If you don’t know where to start when it comes to packing your range bag, we’ve got you covered.
Table of Contents
- Determine what to put in your Range Bag
- Do I need a Range Bag?
Determine what to put in your Range Bag
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. Remember that your local fire and rescue departments are great resources for recommendations when building first aid and medical kits.
Shooting Gear You Need
So what should you pack in your range bag? Here are 12 essential items to pack in your range bag whenever you head out.
A quick list:
- Hearing Protection
- Eye Protection
- Medical Kit
- Spare Magazines
- Staple Gun
- Paper/Steel Targets
- Hex/Allen/Trox Wrench Set
- Your Normal Carry Accessories
- Everyday Needs
Auditory damage can happen whether you’re shooting indoors or out, so proper hearing protection is a range bag must-have, in our opinion. Many options are available – from muffs to earplugs to electronic sound suppression — on the market today to suit your preferences and needs.
Hearing protection, even if shooting suppressed, is the most important thing on the range. Even if you aren’t shooting, you should be protecting your ears from permanent damage. Please keep safety in mind and always break enough hearing 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.
If you wear glasses, they will do, but keep in mind they aren’t ideal. People often wonder why eye protection is so stressed. It’s not because “you’ll shoot your eye out” rather because spawling and other debris could strike your eye, causing serious damage that can be easily avoided.
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.
While you might be the safest person in the world, you can’t control others like driving. So you may not need to save your own life with your medical kit, but you could save someone else around you in the event of an accident.
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.
This is a no-brainer, but it can happen to the best of us. Ensure you have an adequate amount of ammo packed in your range bag, so you won’t be stuck paying a premium to finish your shooting time.
Not to mention, make sure you bring all of the right calibers you plan to shoot that day—nothing like taking your dusty ole’ 1911 and forgetting your .45 ammo at home.
A staple gun makes quick work of mounting paper targets. I’ve forgotten my staple gun at home so many times I finally just made it’s home to the end pocket of my pistol range bag.
That way, I can staple my paper or cardboard targets up to hone in my shot groups—no sense in wasting valuable ammo or time on the range.
Permanent Markers are a cheap way to mark progress and consistency when running drills visually. It seems like such a simple item, but it’s one that’s often overlooked and forgotten. A marker can make a world of difference in cutting down your paper target usage.
Grab a whole pack. If your targets are black the metallic Sharpies work great!
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.
If you can take steel targets to your range you should absolutely grab some Shoot Steel targets and take them along!
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.
Having a non-weapon mounted light is always a good idea. Even if you aren’t shooting inside, you never know which way the shade may fall on the range or if the cover you shoot under makes it extremely dark.
Even if your lighting is perfect, a handheld flashlight makes it easy to see in chambers and magazine wells if necessary.
If you do use a weapon-mounted light with your trusty cloud defensive LCS then be sure to pack some extra batteries.
Hex/Allen/Trox Wrench Set
Nothing rains on range days 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.
Wondering what to put in your range bag when it comes to a hex set? My favorite hex set tool for the range is the Fix It Sticks. It’s a compact little kit that has a size that fits all.
Your Normal Carry Accessories
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 to prepare for whatever situation you find yourself in.
The range can be fun, but ensuring you are proficient with the firearm you carry is the most important thing about going to the range.
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.
The most important provision is making sure you have plenty of water. You don’t want to get dehydrated while enjoying the range.
Do I need a Range Bag?
With all these suggestions, keep in mind that your range bag essentials should be tailored to you. It would help if you took the time to think about what you need first and then build your setup around your needs.
Everyone is different and has different tastes, needs, and gun setups. It’s important that what you take to the range reflects those things.
If you are at your limit with using a bag that wasn’t made for the range? Or maybe you’re new to the range and don’t know what to put in your range bag and want to start with the best foot forward, we have you covered.
Whatever the reason, it’s time to ditch the duffle bag and give your gun what it wants. Here are three reasons why you need the Lynx Defense Range Bag in your life. Here are 4 Reasons why you need a Shooting Range Bag!
1. Protect Your Investment
If you’re anything like us, you don’t take buying a pistol lightly. You’ve done your research, and you’ve found exactly what you want. The Lynx Defense Range Bag helps you take care of that investment.
Made from durable Cordura fabric, our bags can handle any environment you throw at them and will keep your firearm safe and well-protected with its custom-fit pistol and magazine inserts. Plus, the built-in mat doubles as a cleaning mat when you’re done at the range, so you can keep your gear in top shape with ease.
2. Stay Organized and Prepared
Have you ever gotten to the range to realize you left your ear protection at home? Or maybe your box of ammo wasn’t as full as you thought it was. With a range bag, you can make sure you’re set up for a successful day of shooting because everything you need has a spot.
Once you’ve customized your kit the way you want it, you will know at a glance if your tools are packed, what safety gear you have on you, and when you need to pick up another box of ammo. Once packed, our bags will have you ready to head to the range at a moment’s notice.
3. Level Up Your Range Sessions
Talent makes the athlete, but quality-made gear never hurt anyone. Our superior, made-in-America bags signal that you take yourself and your sport seriously.
You want the safest and best shooting experience for everyone on site. You’ve invested in a quality firearm and also in proper gear to maintain and protect it. They won’t catch you fiddling with your firearm while the range is cold.
Choosing a range bag is all about personal preference, but it’s important that your preference is based on reasonable needs vs. wants.
If you are researching your first shooting range trip, look no further than our Beginner’s Guide to Shooting Ranges.
4. Backpack or Shoulder Strap
How you carry your range bag is personal preference and always will be. Standard range bags typically come with a shoulder strap, and many range bags are now backpack-style bags.
Many people will prefer backpack carry range bags because it’s easy to carry. Not to mention a heavy load evenly distributed on both shoulders is more comfortable than just one strap on a single shoulder.
So pick whichever one works best for you and grab a range bag and hit the range!