Thursday, January 29, 2015

What's in your range bag?

So what do you take with you every time you hit the range, besides ammo and your firearms; odds & ends, essentials, tools, lube, etc...? Generally, your gear will be dictated by your firearms, but for the most part you will have a standard setup.

I poured out the contents of my range bag today to see what I'd accumulated over the years. Turns out there was nothing of interest, only what I needed.


[Click on images to enlarge]

First, the bag. I bought this bag about 5-6 years ago. It has numerous pockets to allow me to stow and compartmentalize all the odds and ends efficiently. The handle is very basic, no extra padding, but the shoulder strap is essential to freeing up my hands so I can carry my ammo can(s) and rifle bags. I believe it cost me around $20 and it has held up well. LAPG sells a very similar one at about the same price - LINK


For the most part, I know where everything is in the bag and have grown accustom to making sure everything is put back in the pocket I took it out of. Let me try to break up everything carried in my range bag into categories for the sake of this blog post and in no specific order:

[1] Media


Media consists of:

- Writing implements. Sharpies are essential, but always carry additional pens/pencils.

- A range book for field notes. Even if it's a basic range book like mine, always take it with you and write notes about your day, date & location, weather conditions, how the ammo performed, how your firearms performed, how you performed, and build on it continually. I also include basic notes about my DOPE on different firearms, notes on zeroing for different platforms, etc.... If you are a long range shooter, this will definitely be in your bag, but even the casual weekend warrior should have one.

- Fog eliminator and lens wipes. You will need these for your optics & eye pro.

- Living in CA, I also carry all my documentation for my firearm's purchases and a flow chart regarding "evil features" for my evil black rifles. This is especially relevant when running a featureless centerfire rifle with 10+ mags. Owning 10+ mags is not illegal to own in CA but they are susceptible to confiscation in certain areas based on county or city ordinances.

- I also keep my range cards in my range bag, not in my wallet.

- In the pic above there are a few sticker target. Generally, I use large targets, but always have these on hand as they fit very easily in my small range bag.

[2] Cleaning Supplies / Lube


Cleaning supplies consist of:

- Lube! Always have some of your go-to lube with you.
- Some cleaning tools; an old toothbrush, a brass bristle brush, a rag, etc....
- Bore snakes for different calibers.

[3] Extra Parts



Extra parts for different firearms kept in a tupperware container:

- Back-up FCG for AR15 and AKM.
- Springs and small parts for AR15 and AKM.
- H Buffer.
- BCM extractor spring upgrade kit.
- Pin punch.

I was also packing an extra AR15 BCG but decided to shelve that a while back. However, it wouldn't hurt to carry one, especially if you are in a competitive circuit.

[4] Tools


Tools include:

- Tapco AKM windage & elevation adjustment tool.
- AR15 / M4 front sight, elevation adjustment tool.
- Screwdriver, flathead & Phillips.
- Pliers.
- Piece of leather.
- Hex wrenches.
- Random old knife. You never know when you'll need a blade, so even though I EDC a knife, I also keep one in my range bag.

[5] Ear & Eye Pro / Safety


Ear, Eye protection and safety include:

- Ear muffs and ear plugs. I always take extras, generally my buddies forget theirs, and I always double up, plugs & muffs, when shooting at indoor ranges. If I packed electronic muffs, I would have extra batteries.
- Eye pro.
- A monocular.
- Chamber flags.
- Tape & zip ties are pictured but in no way represent safety, merely additional range items to pack.

Don't forget your keys!


We have a child in our household and always keep the firearms locked up. It should be common practice and common sense to secure your firearms in the presence of young children, but don't end up at the range without your keys! All my second sets are secured to an internal shockcord in my range bag.

What wasn't in my range bag...


Although not in my range bag, I do carry the following items in my duffel bag, especially when I go shooting outdoors. When at an outdoor range or BLM I will have target stands, molle gear, tarp, folding table, etc....

- Stapler and staples (avoid Harbor Freight staples...).
- Tape measure.
- Some form of first aid care.

Final notes. That's what's in my range bag, so what's in yours?

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