Range Bag Dump
What you keep in your range bag could be the sole deciding factor to how successful your training day is. Take it from personal experience, it’s good to have a dedicated range bag with things already stocked in it, instead of getting there only to find out that you’re missing staples or targets.
My range bag is nothing special. This was a Walmart purchase that I made about 8 years ago. I can’t remember what I paid for it, but I’m sure it was inexpensive because we couldn’t afford a lot back then. Several years later, it still works excellent and has minimal damage.
It should be said here that I travel about 40 minutes to my shooting location. There are others closer, but I’m willing to drive far for a place that isn’t as crowded and actually presents a challenge for me. The rifle range goes out to 200 and 300 yards, whereas all the others in my area only reach 100.
Here’s what I keep in my bag:
I’m way too cheap to actually buy real targets when 9” paper plates do the trick just as well. I can go to my local dollar store, buy a pack of 200 plates, and only spend one buck. What I really like about the plates, other than the cost, is that I can stage them however I want to.
So, if I want to practice shooting center mass on a human sized target, I can form the targets to replicate a human body with a head. Or, if I’m bulls-eye shooting, I can draw the lines on the plate with a marker and just place one plate as my target.
Plus, it leaves little room for error. If I’m shooting at a single plate at 15 yards, I know that each shot will be a kill if I’m hitting the target.
Staples and a staple gun:
I need a way to put the targets–err, plates–up. So, I use a stapler. Just make sure don’t you run out.
I’ve made it all the way to my range in the past, only to find out that I didn’t have my staples with me, or that my box ran out. As a backup, I always have a set of thumbtacks in a very small pocket on my pack.
This should go without saying. But, make sure you bring enough ammo with you for each gun you’re planning on taking. For me, a lot of the times, I bring several different kinds of weapons. So, I need to bring several different kinds of ammo. I always inventory it before I leave, as well, to make sure I’ve got enough.
It’s always a good idea to bring some tools with you to the range, in case you need to pull something apart. On the minimum, you should have a multi-tool with you that does everything you’d hope to need. There are also gun specific tools out there that you may want to look in to.
I always have a knife with me. Sometimes, I have several knives with me. But, this is my range knife. A knife is like a screwdriver or hammer … a tool that can also be used to kill something if needed.
Pen and marker:
It’s always a good idea to have something to draw and write with. Ya know, in case you need to make your paper plate targets look more human like. You can draw a little nose, a couple eyes, a mouth.
Or, you could use it to draw on your target to group shots. Either way.
Listen, I don’t clean my guns as often as I should. I prefer guns that run no matter what condition they’re in. However, oiling them isn’t something that is negotiable. Some guns need it more than others, but it can’t hurt to have gun oil on hand.
Sometimes it is extremely beneficial to write a range-day experience down on paper. So, let’s say you’re sitting at the 200 yard line and are dropping shots low and to the left. Tracking that information is a great idea because it helps you troubleshoot it for a later date. What are the conditions? How are you squeezing the trigger? What does the trigger feel like when being squeezed? How are you breathing? Write down anything that may be pertinent.
I’m fat and need to eat often or my body begins to eat itself in retaliation. To combat this, I bring granola bars and water (usually coffee, actually) to the range to keep me sane. Speaking of coffee, I always drink coffee. Every day of the week, and I never skip it, even for the range.
Sometimes my hands shake from the amount of caffeine I take in, but it’s more realistic for me that way. If I need to defend myself in the real world, chances are good that I’ll have an elevated amount of caffeine in my system so I train for that.
Those are my basic range bag items. What do you keep in your range bag? Let us know in the comments below.