Range Bag Loadouts: Bringing a New Shooter to the Range
Here's what you need for a variety of range trips, and for bringing a newbie along.
For More Range Bag Load Outs, Go Here Most “range days” for me go something like this: find my eyes and ears, open my office door, start shooting. Such is the benefit of country living. Yet there are times when I want to shoot beyond 100 yards, or want to capture photos or video of the day, or have a new shooter that needs a more formal setup.
More often than not, I’m taking someone who’s never shot a gun before. For that, I’ve put together a bag, that’s really a box, which has everything I need for a basic, no-frills range experience.
HDX 27 Gal. Storage Totes can be found in home improvement stores and on amazon.com. photo from amazon.com
When it’s time to leave for the range, the tote goes in my truck bed, guns in the cab, and I’m ready. No thinking required. I keep a variety of rests and bags handy as different shooters and guns require different things.
- HDX 27 Gal. Storage Tote ($12)
- Caldwell Lead Sled 3 ($117)
- Caldwell Rock Deluxe Front Rest Combo ($75)
- Caldwell Shooting Bags ($20)
Cleaning Supplies and Tools
The Wheeler Space Saver Screwdriver Set is a great do-it-all driver the keep in your range bag. mfg photo
A cheap toolbox purchased sometime during the second Bush administration holds all my cleaning supplies If I wait to clean my guns at home they sit, and sit, and sit. My local range is private, and rarely busy, so I do everything there with a basic set of Tipton rods, brushes and jags, plus an assortment of solvents, rags and patches. There’s a Wheeler gunsmith screwdriver set and an old Leatherman should something go wrong.
- Stack-on PR-23 Plastic Toolbox ($14.50)
- Leatherman Wingman ($50)
- Wheeler Space Saver Screwdriver Set ($21)
- Tipton Carbon Fiber Cleaning Rod ($32)
- Tipton 13 Piece Rifle Brass Jag Set ($15)
- Tipton 13 Piece Bronze Bore Brush Rifle Set ($17)
Eyes, Ears, and Gloves
There’s assorted eyes and ears, most cheap and disposable. Not shown are my Smith Elite sunglasses. Those definitely aren’t cheap, but they’re very much worth it. The SoundGear Instant Fit in-canal hearing protection is also pricey, but a lot less so than eventual hearing aids.
The SoundGear Instant Fit in-canal electronic ear plugs aren’t cheap, but they’re effective at preventing hearing loss, and a whole lot cheaper than hearing aids. mfg photo
The SoundGears are about the size of a headphone earbud, like what came with your phone, and amplifies the world by 15dB but suppresses sounds over 93dB. I also run Sitka shooter gloves on all but the coldest days. They’re warm in moderate temperatures. Tend to wick sweat on hot days. Plus, you can swipe on your phone without taking them off.
- Smith Discord Elite ($240)
- SoundGear Instant Fit Shooter earplugs ($400)
- 3M Virtua Safety Glasses ($6.50)
- Sitka Shooter Gloves ($40)
Spotting Scope and Targets
Cabela’s Instinct Euro HD binoculars are a good choice for the range for distances that don’t require a spotting scope. mfg photo
For a spotter, I have an old Bushnell scope that was given to me ages ago. It’s long out of production, but even back in the day I doubt it cost more than $100. It’s good enough for spotting targets out to 300 yards if you squint real hard. It sits on a small Vanguard tripod. I also have a pair of Cabela’s milk jug binos that are crystal clear, and most range days if I’m not behind a gun, I’m behind those. Of course, there’s the requisite staple gun and an assortment of targets, plus odds and ends that could be fun to shoot: like the two crashed hard drives shown above.
- Bushnell Sentry Spotter ($75)
- Vanguard VS-82 Table Top Tripod ($25)
- Cabela’s Instinct Euro HD 15×56 ($1,700)
- Stanley TR110 Heavy Duty Staple Gun ($30)
- Targets ($8; link)
The RTIC 30 oz. Tumbleris a great way to keep the coffee going at the range. photo from amazon.com
My world runs on coffee, so there’s always an insulated cup of some kind nearby.
When sighting in a rifle or shooting beyond 100 yards, I run numbers in the Ballistic App, which is ideal for math-phobic shooters like me. There’s also Ziplocs for all my spent brass. Someday I’ll get around to reloading them.