What’s in the bag, man? All jokes aside, serious shooters are also serious about their support gear, and so everyone has a go-to set up for their range. These are the tools that live in my range bag no matter where I’m going, or what I’m shooting. Let’s do a range bag roundup and see what’s in my bag.
Eye Protection and Sunglasses: Gatorz Delta Ballistic
We’re kicking off this range bag roundup with one of the most important pieces of gear. Eye protection. The Gatorz (pictured in the header image) have skyrocketed in popularity recently. They’re extremely popular in the military and special operations community, and that’s spread to the civilian population. One of the reasons these are my new go-to eye protection is because they’re actually impact rated. News flash: your Ray-Bans won’t protect your eyes from high velocity fragments. It’s popular and common to wear regular sunglasses or prescription lenses as eye protection. However, those lenses won’t protect the eye from anything moving faster than a spent piece of brass.
That’s why I like the Gatorz Delta. Their purpose is to protect the eyes first, look cool second. Thankfully they do both very well. Gone are the days of dopey shooting glasses. Also, their aluminum construction makes them quite durable. The Gatorz Delta retail for around $200 depending on the options selected.
Clear Eye Protection: Venture Gear Tactical Semtex 2.0
We’re not going to spend a lot of time on clear eye protection. However, it is important to have a pair in your range bag, especially if you shoot indoors a lot or if the weather conditions make tinted eye protection a bad idea. My personal favorite pair of clear eye protection is the Venture Gear Semtex 2.0, which is an update to the 1.0s that I’m still wearing.
Hearing Protection: In the Ear
Last week I reviewed the ISOtunes SPORT Caliber ear buds, and I’m sticking with that recommendation. These are probably the best ear buds I’ve ever used for hearing protection, especially for working media events or attending matches. The fact that I can have music or a podcast going while I’m on the range waiting for my turn to shoot is a game changer as far as I’m concerned. Plus, they’re comfortable enough to wear for hours on a plane or at a match. Lastly, the Caliber retail for $200.
Hearing Protection: Over the Ear
Over the ear muffs are an important part of this range bag roundup. I use earmuffs (over the ear) hearing protection when I shoot on an indoor range, or when I’m shooting particularly loud guns and I want to reduce the concussive effects. In these environments, I’ll put regular foam plugs in my ears and then the over the ear muffs over the top of those. My go-to for over the ears are the Work Tunes by 3M. The Caliber ear buds, the Work Tunes muffs have bluetooth connectivity. They’re also rated for 24db reduction, and retail for about $50 on Amazon.
Tools: FixIt Sticks Compact Pistol Kit
My range days are primarily pistol range days, but I do occasionally bring a rifle to the line. The FixIt Sticks Compact Pistol kit lives in my range bag no matter what I’m shooting. This kit has everything in it. A 1911 bushing wrench, a Glock front sight tool, as well as bits that fit most common Torx screws you see in firearms. Additionally, its ratcheting t-handle makes tasks easy. Plus it has a torque wrench, which is perfect for adjusting optics on the line. At $180, it’s more than worth the money for the use you’ll get out of it.
Miscellaneous Items that Make Your Life Easier
There are a lot of other things that are part of my range bag roundup. I keep Bore Snakes in there in case a barrel needs a quick cleaning, for example. I’ll always have a couple pairs of foam ear plugs in there, just in case. I also have 3M spray glue for putting paper targets on cardboard backers at an outdoor range, and a staple gun with plenty of staples for stapling backers to target stands. Most importantly, I keep a notebook and several pens so I can keep track of my shooting. Whether I’m testing a gun for this website, or tracking my personal performance on a drill, if I don’t write it down, it didn’t happen, did it?
Lastly, I do always take a comprehensive medical kit with me to the range. Especially if I’m going to be shooting by myself, at an outdoor range, I’m my own first responder. My medical kit consists of the following items:
- PHLster Pocket Emergency Wallet
- North American Rescue CAT Tourniquet
- Adventure Medical Kits Trauma Pack – Supplemented with a liberal supply of band-aids
Regardless of the situation, I feel like my range bag is pretty well set up for a day at the range, and to take care of someone in case there’s an incident. So…what’s in your bag?