Range Bag Loadout: General Handgun and Long Gun Shooting

Keep this general all-around range bag packed, so all you have to think about is which handgun to bring.

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or More Range Bag Load Outs, Go Here For most handgunners, a range session simply means punching some holes in paper, indoors or out. If that's the kind of shooting you do most, it makes sense to keep a general handgun-shooting range bag always packed with the basic gear you need for a good day on the range with your favorite handgun so all you have to think about is which gun to bring and which ammo to use. Here's what Barbara Baird brings to the range for general handgun shooting.

What Barbara Baird keeps packed in her range bag for handgun shooting.
What the author keeps packed in her range bag for handgun shooting.author photo

The Bag - Brownell's Signature Series

I have been using a Brownell’s Signature Series range bag for a decade. It’s constructed of 1000 denier, Cordura nylon with non-scratching, self-healing, nylon YKK zippers and solid brass pulls. Top-grain leather straps on the pulls on the “high-use” compartments make it easy to open the bag while wearing shooting gloves, or if you’re in a hurry. A detachable shoulder strap is padded with non-slip, suede leather.

The bottom is made of 3/16-inch thick, corrugated panels that provide full support for heavy loads and retain the shape of the bag.

The author chooses Brownell's Signature Series range bag.
The author chooses Brownell's Signature Series range bag.mfg photo

The Signature Series bag comes in dark brown. It measures 15 inches long, 13 inches wide and 9 inches high. If you check it out at Brownell’s website, a photo of the bag rotates for you – so you can see all the sides. Retail: $ 129.99

You’ll see what I dumped from my bag in the photo, but here are 10 things that I would never be without in that bag:

Rudy Project Rydon Shooting Glasses

Rudy Project Rydon Shooting Glasses
Rudy Project Rydon Shooting Glasses have a number of colors and options.mfg photo

These Rudy Project Rydon shooting glasses with prescription inserts have several colored lenses, including clear. Why these shooting glasses? Professional competition shooter Julie Golob recommended these to me, and I have not been disappointed. I need a prescription, and it's nice to have the ability to switch out the lenses according to light conditions. Also, these specs are lightweight and you can wear them easily under a set of electronic muffs without getting a headache.

Howard Leight Impact Sport Ear Muffs

Howard Leight Impact Sport Ear Muffs are a great over-the-ear hearing protection option.
Howard Leight Impact Sport Ear Muffs are a great over-the-ear hearing protection option.mfg photo

Howard Leight Impact Sport electronic muffs with Cool Pads are an excellent choice for over-the-ear hearing protection. Supposedly, you can get up to 700 hours of use on 2 AA batteries with these muffs. Of course, the sound amplification allows a shooter to hear communication and alarms, but also protects your ears when the noise reaches 82db. These muffs are thin and don't get in the way of long gun mounts.

3M Peltor Tactical Ear Buds

3M Peltor Tactical Ear Buds
A set of 3M Peltor Tactical Ear Buds.mfg photo

These 3M Peltor Tactical ear buds provide up to 16 hours of continuous operation between charges. These are my go-to hearing protection, if I don't want to wear muffs. I even wear them hunting. The plugs come with three sizes of ear buds, so you can find a good fit, and what's really slick, is that they come in a portable charging case that needs either 3 AA alkaline batteries or a USB (Micro B) port.

Nail Clippers

Nail clippers come in handy more often than you'd think.
Nail clippers come in handy more often than you'd think.photo from amazon.com

Fingernail clippers come in super handy. I've rarely been on the range when I haven't broken or torn a fingernail. Also, most clippers come with a tiny tool that you can use as a crowbar, to get a cartridge case out of a chamber, if necessary.

Shower Cap

A shower cap is a great way to keep a handgun dry if the sky opens up.
A shower cap is a great way to keep a handgun dry if the sky opens up.photo from priceline.com

You know those free shower caps that you can still find in motel bathrooms? Collect them and keep a few in your range bag. They can easily cover a handgun and protect it from moisture or sand/dust.

Snow Fox Sports SFS Tactical Shooting Gloves

SFS Tactical Shooting Gloves
The author goes for SFS Tactical Shooting Gloves.photo from amazon.com

I've worn several models of shooting gloves, and these are my favorites, and also the favorite of an editor of another magazine, who borrowed them in the heat of an Arizona summer last year, when we had to work with black guns on a long range in high temperatures. Made of lightweight fabric, these gloves dry fast, and grip tight.

Fit-Over Shooting Glasses

These Allen Over Shooting & Safety Glasses
These Allen Over Shooting & Safety Glasses are made to cover prescription glasses.photo from amazon.com

I don’t know the brand of this pair and they are ancient, but they’ve been on at least 50 people’s faces over the years. I always like to bring spare shooting glasses, and of course, those don’t have prescriptions, so the fit-overs are for friends and family who need prescription glasses, but who don’t have their own shooting glasses.

Caldwell Women's Recoil Shield

Caldwell Women’s Recoil Shield
Caldwell Women’s Recoil Shield attaches right to a bra strap so it stays put under clothing.photo from amazon.com

You can attach this pad to a bra strap with its hook and loop closure system. It provides patented recoil protection, for those times when I don't have a vest with me, or don't want to wear a vest.

Lalaloopsy Pouches

You can pick up fancy or plain pouches at your local discount store. Use them to hold batteries, or maybe small bottles of insecticide, sunscreen, some lip balm – the comfort items that will keep your skin and lips protected while in the elements.

Tape Measure and Tape

A Stanley 24' tape measure
A Stanley 24' tape measure comes in handy.photo from amazon.com

You most definitely need to have a tape measure – for measuring target set-up distances and also, for measuring accuracy groups. Also, pop in a roll of masking tape, to use for targets or to tape up already shot targets so you don't have to change them out all the time.

Miscellany

Just in case you’re wondering about the other stuff I dumped out of my range bag, here’s the rest of the items on the list, the inclusion of which are pretty self-explanatory:

  • 2 packs hand warmers
  • Freedom Juice cleaner/lubricant in a package to clean a gun
  • Small tool kit
  • Quick reference card for Leupold RX 1200 rangefinder
  • Duct tape
  • Business card
  • Lens cloth
  • Lens pen
  • Lead wipes/hand cleaner wipes
  • Sharpie
  • Tape measure
  • Multi-tool
  • Essential oil – Deep Blue (good for an insect repellant)
  • Pens
  • Notebook
  • Toothbrush – to clean powder or magazines quickly
  • BC Powders
  • Foamies ear plugs
  • Glowlight
  • Water
  • Insect repellant
  • Sting stopper
  • First aid kit
  • Stocking cap
  • Bandana
  • Range towel