What's in your range bag? Carry these supplies with you whenever you go shooting for a more enjoyable experience.
Whether you go to the range often, shoot competitively, or are a rare range visitor, there are a few range bag essentials every gun owner needs. Just as you have tools to go to work or at home in case you need to fix something, your range bag needs to have these as well. Let's go over what's essential for your range bag and a few items that are a good idea to have on hand.
While this may sound simple and obvious, always have a set of eyewear and ear protection in your range bag. It's a good idea to have extras of both in case one breaks or if a friend joins you at the range. When it comes to ear protection, consider investing in both in-ear protection and over-the-ear protection. You should always use ANSI-certified safety frames. Regular sunglasses or prescription glasses may not be rated for impact, so it's important to keep range-only safety glasses in your range bag.
No matter what, you should keep an individual first aid kit at a minimum in your range bag. Out of all of the range bag essentials, this is by far the most important. Just like a firearm, it's better to have a first aid kit and not need it, than need it and not have it. If you can fit a larger kit with more supplies, there is no such thing as being too prepared for a medical emergency.
I recommend keeping a set of Allen keys, a multi-tool, and a tool bit kit in your range bag at all times. I am a huge fan of Fix-it-sticks. They make simple tool bit kits for specific needs such as one dedicated to shooters, as I keep in my range bag.
Lead poisoning is real and can happen very quickly if you aren't careful. If you don't go to the range very often, you aren't as high at risk as regular range go-ers. Indoor ranges are more dangerous with lead exposure than outdoor ranges because of the ventilation of indoor ranges. I keep Hoppes Lead-B-Gone wipes in my range bag, my truck, and on my gun workbench. Like all solvents, always use them before eating and before touching your eyes, mouth, or face in any way so you won't ingest the chemicals.
The more you shoot your firearms, the more you'll need to replace parts. Springs on magazines are something people overlook most often. When spring tension isn't there, it can cause feeding issues. If your front sight is a fiber optic, it's good to have extra red or green fibers on hand if it needs replacing. Firing pins can break, cotter pins and gas rings are notorious for needing replacing, and more.
If you shoot a red dot or a scope with illumination, it's always a good idea to keep extra batteries as part of your range bag essentials. "If something can go wrong, it will" is my philosophy, so always be prepared. Not all your accessories will run off the same type of battery, so be sure to keep spares for everything.
I am a huge fan of UpLULA's by Maglula. I can load 3 magazines with a speedloader in the time it takes me to hand load one. Your thumbs will thank you. Don't that just because you're a former Marine or have strong hands that you won't need a speed loader. If you're shooting more than a couple of magazines worth, you'll appreciate the thumb-saving benefits of letting the speed loader do the work.
Every gun needs oiling regularly and is an essential item to keep your guns happy and running right. There are a plethora of gun oils on the market, so pick your poison. Always lubricate your guns properly and before shooting. Taking care of your firearms will help them last longer and perform better.
I'm about seven years into my shooting journey and I'm still adding things to my range bag. Sometimes I shoot just pistols and other times, I'm bringing a shotgun, rifle, and pistol to the range. My range bag essentials now span three different types of firearms and three different shooting disciplines.
Kenzie Fitzpatrick is a professional competitive shooter and an active blogger for many firearm websites. As an NRA-certified instructor and National Range Officer Institute Chief Range Officer, Kenzie trains new shooters on basic firearm safety, brings new shooters to competitive shooting, and works major matches across the country. She has a passion for teaching people how to concealed carry and is a positive ambassador for the Second Amendment.
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