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6 Range Bag Essentials

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At the core, all you really need for a trip to the range is a gun and appropriate ammunition. We'd like to think that you'd have eye and hearing protection too.

This is for the next steps beyond that base. Over the years at ranges we've seen everything from Walmart plastic bags (invariably containing the ammunition they purchased there and some other small items) to a literal wagon full of gear. This is for that ‘in between' most of us live in. We don't want anything terribly large, but we want to avoid our range session from being curtailed from an unplanned issues and overall just make the whole trip more pleasurable.

Spare Batteries
For your optics, earpro, and anything else gun-oriented that happens to take them. Yes, even if you only use Aimpoints. Although Aimpoints can stretch a battery for a long time, they still get used bad. More than once we've witnessed someone pulling out a gun only to find their optic was dead.

Of of the many reasons a firearm will give you trouble is not having enough lube, or having lube in the wrong places. While you absolutely could just go to the dipstick in your car—why would you want to unless you had to? Put a small bottle of your lube of choice in your range bag.

Stashable Tools
This can be firearms specific, like the Leatherman MUT or Multitasker, or just be a plain generic one. No matter what you choose, it should live in the bag, lest you pull it out one day for something around the house and forget to return it. There always seems to be a regular use for a multi-tool at the range, from adjusting sights to pulling out stuck casings or removing splinters obtained from handing target stands. It may also be worthwhile to have a couple of appropriately sized hex and torx keys handy along with a sectional cleaning rod.

Old Shirt or Rag
When applying lubricant or working on guns your hands can get really dirty. An old t-shirt makes for an easy wipe up of excessive lubes and to give your hands a quick wipe. In a pinch you could also use it as toilet paper, though we hope it hasn't been covered in lube and grime first. This could also put that shemagh you bought back in 2003 to good use.

Lead Removing Wipes/Soap
At this point we should all know that lead poisoning is bad ju-ju. Thankfully we're beyond the days of drinking wine from lead cups to sweeten it. You get a lot of it on your hands from shooting and should always give them a good wash before eating or smoking etc. However, this isn't always an option. The popular D-Lead is available as a liquid or in convenient wipe form and is specifically made to take lead off. The wipes can be more convenient, as you don't need water, but the liquid is cheaper. If you don't want to bring the whole bottle to the range, a dollar store travel bottle or re-purposed hotel shampoo bottle works wonders.

LULA or other Loading Aid
Put this under the ‘nice to have category'. At a longer range session it can save your thumbs some ache, and they also help those without a lot of upper body strength get those last few rounds in there.

Of course here are a lot of other options out there too—what don't you go to the range without?

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