A reader of this blog and Sebastian’s blog emailed us asking what goes in our range bags, as he just bought a pimping range bag from MidwayUSA. Sebastian has his range bag stuff posted, so I’ll do the same here. Before I continue though, there is one abiding rule that I try to have for my range bag – 2 is 1 and 1 is none. That means if there’s something I’m likely to need, I try to have two of them. Just in case. Also remember that I’m a 1911 shooter, so some of the tools I have are specific to that platform.
- The Wilson Combat 1911 Versa-Tool – Seriously, if you’re a 1911 shooter, don’t leave home without this thing.
- My Leatherman multi-tool
- A set of Allan wrenches
- a small screwdriver set
- gun lube in a sealed container (ziploc baggies are great for this)
- ears, eyes, etc
- a few key spare parts (mostly springs)
- A few pens
- A sharpie (for blackening the rear sights)
- All my magazines
- magazine holders
- spare magazine holders (2 is 1)
- spare holster
- a knife (rule 9)
- spare ears and eyes
- A silver sharpie (this is for marking the basepads of magazines that may need to be cleaned or discarded)
- Snacks, in a separate ziploc baggie. If you’re shooting from 0900 to 1500, you’re going to get hungry. There’s nothing worse than trying to shoot with a splitting headache because you’re starving.
- Water – see above.
Now, unlike Sebastian and Sean, I don’t have a bitchin’ range bag. My bag is an old gym back from this place I used to work out when I was in college. It’s given me yeoman’s service as a range bag for 6 or 7 years, and I’m not about to toss it out now. The thing reeks of brass, powder, and Hoppes #9 – and I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.
The really great thing about that Midway bag is it has a little mini tote that goes into the main compartment. You can arrange it with the Velcro to compartmentalize for ammunition, or you can make it a vertical support for holding the barrel of a gun. I use that tote to move my pistol from position to position when I shoot IHMSA. It’s a really versatile bag.
The only downside, so far, is the Velcro is coming off the carrying handle.
Wilson Versa-Tools are getting a little tough to find. Factory doesn’t even have them…
What do people do for targets? FBI Q papers are what I tend to shoot indoors and I haven’t found a good way to carry them yet.
Those competition Midway bags are HUGE. I bought both the competition and the compact when they were on sale and I needed a new bag. The big one will get service during weekend grade shooting trips, but the compact model would be the first one I’d buy if I had to pick. Nice bags, especially for the prices.
The silver sharpie is a good tip. Black sharpie ink on a black mag is pretty hard to see… 😀
Small first aid kit.
You can have my MagLula loader from my cold dead hands.
I also carry an M16 cleaning kit with the steel cleaning rod, some CLP and a rag. I’ve had some really nasty failure-to-extract malfs that required disassembly and having something stout to pound the brass back out of the barrel. Yeah, that ammo doesn’t get used anymore.
“Seriously, if you’re a 1911 shooter, don’t leave home without this thing. ”
You cruel, cruel bastard. You describe it as an indespensible tool, and link us to a page that says “Out of Stock”.
Heh. You can try MidwayUSA, they might have some. They are getting hard to find though. The one I have was a gift from a friend.
If you can’t find one, get a bushing wrench, a Leatherman, and a set of allan wrenches. I keep all that stuff as well. Oh, and some screwdrivers.
I recently revised my range “bag” and bought the smallest one I could find. (Narrower is better in my opinion.) I missed out on other blogs with this topic, so here is my revised, slimmed down range bag:
* biker’s seat bag to carry sharp tools like screwdriver set
* staple gun
* mini hex wrench set
* specialty tool, depending on gun
* eye protection inside case
* compact ear muffs
* disposable ear plugs
* gun rug of appropriate size
* ammo boxes
* magazines or speedloaders
* stack of targets–large targets always stay in the trunk
* nitrile gloves for lead scrounging
I’m giving less-is-more a go for now. Or I will, when I have some time to go to the range. Rifles, smoke poles, scatterguns or hand cannons require the full kit with all the do-dads, whatsits and bric-a-brac.
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