This article comes to AmmoGuru from George Dorbert.
Set yourself up for success, dedicate a range practice bag and a separate range bag. Adjust your items depending on the style of shooting you do, whether it be personal defense, IDPA, USPSA, 3 Gun, Steel Challenge or any of the rifle disciplines that are out there. Organize your bags to accommodate you and the region you shoot in. There are certain items in my range bags that I will not take out other than to make adjustments for match days.
I have a general purpose bag that I will use for range practice. I keep items in this bag that I would consider to be important tools for a successful range day. Depending on your shooting discipline you may want to add or remove items. Here is a list of the items that remain in my range practice bag at all time.
- Staple gun, extra staples, large binder clips and push pin tacks
- Timer (great for USPSA, 3 Gun, Steel Challenge may not apply to all shooting disciplines)
- Pasters or a roll of brown paster type tape if you’re shooting cardboard
- Package of white, black, green, blue or red round stickers (office supply isle of local stores) for no shoots or to cover targets with different colored engagement zones
- Package of 6” shoot and see style targets (just in case you forget to bring targets)
- Roll of 3” orange circle targets or similar targets (great for pistol and rifle drills)
- Paint cans in White, Grey, Blue and Orange to repaint the club steel after I’m done practice.
If you use your own cardboard or the range cardboard as a backer, or as a target they may vary in thickness. I will use the binder clips or push pin tacks to attach the cardboard to my target upright sticks. By having these inexpensive items in my range practice bag it gives me multiple options to solve a problem.
I have a range bag that I will take to practice and also to matches. Like my range practice bag I have items that I will keep in my range bag and will not remove. Once again you may change your bag to suit your shooting discipline or needs. Over the years I’ve always thought “Oh I wish I remembered to bring this…” Items that I have in my bag at all times are a minimum of two 20 round rifle mags, three 30 round rifle mags and at least one 40 round rifle mag. The 40 round mag is the perfect height when shooting prone for me. I will add a second 40 round mag and two 48 round mags for matches that I shoot. Minimum of 4 pistol mags along with pens, a paint pen, Sharpie markers and also chamber flags. Choke tubes are a must and are always kept in my bag along with a choke wrench. Ear protection and also ANSI Z87.1-2010 approved safety glasses. I personally use the ESS Crossbow Photochromic, as I can use my eye prescription with them. In a side pocket, I keep a small tool kit set to include Allen wrench set, punch set, small brass hammer, small pliers, and a set of screw drivers. There is always a cleaning kit inside with Lucas Oil Gun Grease, Gun Oil and CLP. I keep an old tooth brush and cotton swabs for cleaning emergencies. In addition to these cleaning items I keep shower caps. Don’t laugh they work great for dirt/dust kicked up by cars on the range and also for rain. It always rains! Gloves for resetting steel and Pro Grip for those summer time matches. I keep a first aid kit and depending on the match if I have to travel I will add essentials like allergy medication, eye drops, prescription medication. Two final items that are clipped to the outside of my range bag are a small brass bag and a lenses cloth, it does double duty for my safety glasses and also my rifle optic.
In closing you need to ask yourself a couple of questions. What is best suited for me and my shooting discipline? Will I need to rely on my bag for one day or multiple days? What items should I have at all times? Answering these general questions will allow you to tailor your range bag and also a range practice bag to help set yourself up for a successful practice or match.