Improve your range time by taking a moment to consider what you have in your range bag. These 10 items will go a long way toward improving your next trip to the gun range.
Don't you hate it when you get to the ballgame only to learn you forgot the tickets? Nothing will ruin a session on the range more quickly than leaving something at home. A well thought-out range bag will go a long way toward an efficient, enjoyable session.
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1. Hearing Protection
I don't know if there is a gun range in the country that will allow you to shoot without hearing protection. I actually carry three forms of hearing protection in my bag; foam ear plugs, custom molded ear plugs and a set of Beretta earmuffs.
2. Eye Protection
Eye protection doesn't have to be fancy, a cheap pair of wood working glasses can work. You can spend as much or as little as you want, but make sure this is in your bag. I have a set of Remington Shooting Glasses with interchangeable lenses for a variety of lightly conditions. I now wear a pair of Oakley Flak Jackets with prescription lenses. My eyesight isn't bad, but the slight difference in vision has made a drastic improvement in my groupings.
I suggest carrying a variety of targets so that you can visualize different situations. Depending on the drill you are working on at the range, different targets can help.
4. Masking Tape
In order to save targets you can use masking tape to cover the holes from your previous round. This will help you keep your session straight by knowing exactly which shots landed where.
5. Markers, pins, stapler
I often will use a marker to divide a target into sections in order to work on certain aspects of shooting. And if you opt for an outdoor range you will likely need a method of posting your targets.
I guess this one goes without saying, but you will want to carry more ammunition than you plan on shooting in order to make sure you get your work in. On any given trip to the range I'll have 400 rounds of 9mm. A typical session is only 250 rounds or so, but I bring more ammo in case I need to drill down a little deeper.
7. Spare magazines
In order to be as efficient as possible I suggest four or five magazines which will allow you stay focused on shooting and not reloading. This will also allow you to work on changing magazine in the flow of shooting.
Malfunctions happen and it is nice to have a few tools on hand to handle the simple things that could go wrong.
9. Gun Cleaning Kit
It is not often I will actually use a cleaning kit on the range, but it is nice to have along for the ride for those days when outdoors and the dust is swirling.
10. First Aid Kit
This falls under the better safe than sorry category, but I have a first aid kit with me almost always. You never know when the need may arise and while I've never had to use it, it is there just in case.
It goes without saying that many things could be added to your range bag based upon the type of shooting you will be doing and the location of the range. Most importantly, be safe and have a good time enjoying your Second Amendment Right.