What's In Your Range Bag?

Advice from experts to make your shooting kit even better

Brent’s new favorite range bag is the huge Hackett Equipment “Big Bertha Four Pistol Range Backpack.”
It’ll hold more gear than you really need but humping all this equipment is still comfortable due to oversized
padded shoulder straps. Other gear includes a Lyman Digital Trigger Pull Gauge, an assortment of Shoot-N-C
self-adhesive targets, Howard Leight ear pro and a new pair of Leupold Katmai shooting glasses.

Range bags — almost everybody has one and they span everything from battered old tool boxes to the latest high-speed, low-drag Ballistic nylon duffle with integrated Bluetooth wireless and a cappuccino warmer. Regardless of how they look, their function is the same — keeping all the stuff you need for the firing line in one place.

There is no “right” or “wrong” when it comes to range bags and the contents therein but there is always another great idea or tool to make your personal kit just a little bit better and more functional. In fact, most shooters keep certain must-have items in their bags but otherwise rotate gear in and out as needs, situations and whims change.

So let’s take a quick look at some great new shooting accessories, several old favorites and add in a few words of wisdom on the subject from our unmatched staff of firearms experts.

This is Roy’s “range bag,” a re-dedicated tool bin with all his shooting supplies kept by the back door.

Roy Huntington — “My range bag is really a sort of open-top tool kit. Inside are the bits and pieces I need at-hand to make sight adjustments, do a quick clean, knock a squib out of a barrel, tighten a grip screw and even file a front sight. Pliers, screw-drivers, Q-tips, lube and other goodies fill it. I suppose you could tote all this in a range bag, but I just keep mine on a shelf near the sliding door leading to the porch! Ha!”

Hearing protection is a must for all shooting and more shooters are choosing electronic muffs.
One top-of-the-line digital hearing protection system that won’t break the bank is the Howard Leight Impact PRO.

Massad Ayoob — “Goof-Off liquid paint remover is important! You get fresh white paint all over your hands at steel matches when you reset targets, and don’t want to get it all over your guns on the next run. Other things include Boresnakes in appropriate calibers, RemOil wipes and D-lead wipes. Screwdrivers of course and staple removers. Since we take targets back to class after qualification to verify student scores, this keeps staff from getting fingers cut.”

John Taffin — “My Range Bag is the back of my 4×4 Chevy PU with a locking metal tonneau cover! I literally have everything to keep me shooting — every possible tool, every possible accessory, even a barrel vise which goes into the trailer hitch! Target stands, all kinds of targets, Lab Radar chronograph, notebooks, extra plans, rulers, rubber bands, paperclips, wrenches, screwdrivers, Allen wrenches, pistol rests, wire baskets for holding spent brass, sandbags, earmuffs, first aid kit, gloves, shooting glasses, stick-on target rectangles and circles of various sizes, duct tape, regular tape, cleaning kits, several toolboxes, Uplulas, binoculars, heavy duty slip on recoil pads, cleaning kits, oil, cleaning rags, bottled water, snack crackers, TP, hand cleaner, spray cleaner, paper towels, ammo cans for both .22 Long Rifle and 9mm, clamp-on extension for the top of my custom-built bench.”

While Taffin has a giant self-powered “range bag” which can achieve 60 mph, a few of our “regulars” go a step further —

The Big Bertha, as its name implies, holds four pistols safely along with 15 magazines, 12 boxes
of ammo and a myriad of other vital stuff. Best of all, its low-key exterior design doesn’t look like a gun bag!

Will Dabbs, MD — “I hate to sound like ‘That Guy,’ but I live on my own 100 acres of heaven and shoot out the back door. My gun room is my range bag! However, I do keep a small trauma kit handy just in case.”

Mike “Duke” Venturino — “I don’t have a range bag, I have a range house, with targets to 300 yards. Everything I need is always there except for the particular gun to be fired and usually the handloads to go with it. In the house are shooting glasses, scope, tripod, screwdrivers, targets, staplers, chronographs, sandbags, etc. Before I bought this place 33 years ago, I did have range bags and range trucks (sort of). What a pain it was to forget something!”

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