Range Bag Essentials: A Guide for New and Seasoned Shooters

Jan 19, 2024 | News | 0 comments

If you spend any amount of time at the gun range, you are guaranteed to see all sorts of range bags – from the meticulously organized to the, well, let’s just say “chaotically creative.” Whether you’re a fresh face at the range or a somewhat seasoned shooter, packing the right gear can make your shooting experience smoother, safer, and more enjoyable. Let’s dive into what your range bag should have to ensure you’re prepared for anything the day throws at you.

Choosing the Right Range Bag

Factors to Consider

First things first, the bag itself. Size matters here – too small, and you’re playing Tetris with your gear; too large, and you’re lugging around extra weight for no reason. Look for something durable with enough compartments and pouches to keep things organized. A good bag should be easy to carry and have space for all your essential items. Also, consider if you are going to an indoor range or an outdoor range. Each requires a slightly different setup.

Firearm Safety Gear

Ear and Eye Protection

Your ears and eyes are irreplaceable. Ear protection comes in two main types: earmuffs and earplugs. Earmuffs are great for reducing overall noise, while earplugs are more portable. I recommend trying both to see which style of hearing protection is most comfortable for you. As for your eyes, any safety glasses should be ANSI Z87.1 rated to ensure proper protection.


Some shooters like to use gloves, especially if they’re shooting for extended periods or handling hot firearms. They’re not a must-have, but if you have sensitive hands, they can be a game changer. Also, if you concealed carry, it is a great practice! Not all self-defense events happen in June or July!

Firearms and Ammunition

Safe Transport

Your firearms and ammo should always be transported safely and securely. Use cases that protect your handguns and rifles from bumps and scratches. You don’t want your brand-new Rapid Transition Sights getting dinged or misaligned because you didn’t want to bother with a bag.

Use ammo boxes to ensure your rounds don’t end up all over the bed of your truck. Remember, safety is paramount.

Also, it is a great idea to check on local laws for transporting your firearms to and from the shooting range.

Ammo Types

Different shooting activities might require different ammo. For practice, cheaper, bulk ammo is fine. But if you’re getting into competitive shooting, you might want higher-quality rounds. If you are a CCW carrier and practicing with your EDC pistol, dummy rounds are a must! You want to know exactly what to do when you hear a click instead of a boom! Keep your ammo organized and stored safely in your bag.

Cleaning and Maintenance Supplies

Basic Gun Cleaning Kit

A jam or malfunction can ruin your day at the range. A basic cleaning kit with solvent, gun oil/lubricant, rods, brushes, and patches can save the day. Also, consider bringing a small mat to lay out your parts while cleaning.

Shooting Aids and Tools

Targets and Setup

Bring your paper targets and a staple gun or masking tape to attach them to the range setups. Also, a sharpie for scoring or noting hits can be handy.

Handy Tools

A multi-tool with various screwdrivers can help with quick fixes. For long-range shooters, a range finder or ballistic calculator can be invaluable, but it’s not necessary for everyone.

Personal Comfort and First Aid

Stay Hydrated and Energized

Shooting can be physically demanding. Bring enough water and some snacks to keep your energy up.

Dress for Success

Wear appropriate clothing for the weather. Comfortable, protective footwear is a must, and hats or sunglasses can be crucial on sunny days. Wearing a hat to the range isn’t just for protection from the sun though. Wearing a hat can often save you from hot brass going down your shirt or landing between your skin and safety glasses.

First Aid and Trauma Kit

Accidents happen, so a basic first aid kit is essential. Band-aids, antiseptic wipes, and pain relievers should cover most minor incidents. Sometimes bad accidents happen! A trauma kit with a tourniquet could be a lifesaver, literally!

Record-Keeping and Improvement Tools

Shooter’s Logbook

Keeping a log of your range session helps track progress and areas for improvement. Note down what worked, what didn’t, and any adjustments you made.

Extras and Miscellaneous Items

The Little Things

Extra batteries for electronic gear, spare parts for your firearm (especially if you’re experienced), and small containers or Ziploc bags for odds and ends can keep you from unexpected hassles. Chamber flags are always a good idea. This is a universal sign for safety, providing a clear and immediate visual confirmation that a firearm is in a safe state.

Tips for Packing and Organizing Your Range Bag

Efficient Packing

Think of your range bag like a puzzle. Place larger items first and fill in the gaps with smaller ones. This not only maximizes space but also keeps your bag balanced.

Stay Organized

Keeping your bag organized helps in finding things quickly. Use compartments for specific items and consider labeling them if your bag has many pockets.

Regular Check and Replenish

After each trip, do a quick inventory. This helps in knowing what needs to be replenished or replaced, ensuring you’re always prepared for the next session.

There you have it – a comprehensive guide to packing your range bag. Remember, being well-prepared not only makes your range day smoother but also safer. So pack wisely, shoot safely, and most importantly, enjoy the experience!


For those looking to dive deeper, there are plenty of resources available online for shooters. Look for forums, instructional videos, and articles for additional tips and tricks. As for gear, plenty of reputable suppliers cater to shooting enthusiasts. Do your research and choose what fits your needs best.

Happy shooting, and always remember, safety first!

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