When asking ourselves what should be in our pistol range bag, we want to strike a good balance with helpful tools, yet not be Macgyver with every tool under the sun. At NextGenGlock we understand your range bag is something very personal, but If you have spare space in your pistol range bag, we think some of these items could prove their worth at the range. Deciding on adding new items to our range bags can depend on a few factors, such as what we are shooting (pistols, rifles or both), weather, distance to the range, etc. for example; if the range is a trek to get to, it may be good to carry a few more items, it would be sad if your range day ended from a squib load.
Before we dig into the more refined items, we will of course go over some of the more popular essentials, for what should be in your pistol range bag.
First Aid - First aid supplies, just like the saying goes; It’s better to have it and not need it, than not have it and need it.
General Safety Gear - The obvious essentials everyone needs
Well that’s pretty much all you really need in your pistol range bag to head to the range, but it may be helpful to carry a few more items for a smooth range trip.
First up is of course a speed loader/unloader. A loader is paramount for my pistol range bag, since it saves so much time, and makes reloading a lot easier. If you own a Glock, you may not need one since Glock’s come with a loader, but they are definitely not as smooth as the Maglula loaders. If you do not have one of these, your time and thumbs will thank you after a long day of shooting, so be sure to add one to your pistol range bag.
TIP: Always label your initials with a sharpie on loaders, magazines and pretty much anything that can get mixed up. I have mixed up mags and miscellaneous items too many times not to do this.
One pet peeve of mine is when the target has too many bullet holes, and you don’t know where your last shot was placed. So that’s where the cover up stickers come in. With 640 stickers you can cover up a lot of bullet holes for 7 bucks, instead of replacing a target every few shots. If you do not want to purchase the stickers you can get a roll of beige masking tape to cover up the holes. But the good part of using the stickers are they have a target print on them, so you can use the stickers as a target.
There are a plethora of targets you can get, our favorites are the AR500 plates, and the self-healing targets. The self-healing targets are nice since you can shoot at closer distances than the steel plates. As for the steel plates you may need to being some spray paint to see where your shots are hitting.
If you are the type that reloads your ammo, or want to in the future its a good idea to keep all your spent cartridges. There are a few options you can do to store all your spent cartridges, there is either an ammo can or mesh bags (this is definitely not exhaustive). The ammo can is a good option, especially since we usually have extras laying around. Ammo cans are great If you are only shooting one caliber, but if you want to keep your different cartridge calibers organized, it may be a pain to lug around a bunch of empty ammo cans for each caliber. Alternatively if you are shooting many different calibers, you can bring a few mesh bags. The mesh bags come in different sizes (much larger than the brass catchers), and are perfect for holding your brass, not to mention they are a lot smaller than ammo cans, and can fit very easily in your range bag. If you do end up going with the mesh bag, I would go with a small but if you shoot a ton each range visit, maybe a medium size to be safe (they are pretty large, and sizes are in the product description).
No one wants to do repairs at the range but, sometimes you just have to. At the range you typically don’t want to do any repairs on your firearm that can’t be fixed with a multi-tool and a screwdriver. So if you don’t already have one I highly suggest to add a multi-tool to your pistol range bag since it is extremely flexible, and you will always find a reason to use it. As for a screw driver, I like to carry a few attachments, specifically an attachment that will fit my front sight, for when it inevitably gets loose. Besides, who wants to replace a front sight. A front sight tool/screwdriver and a multi tool take up minimal space so there’s no reason not to carry them.
I don't typically clean my guns at the range but s%#t happens, and sometimes you may need to run your bore snake through the barrel, or maybe your gun has too much carbon build up and is misfiring. Whatever the cause may be, it’s always a good idea to be able to do a thorough cleaning of your firearms. I typically carry a small 1.5 oz. can of Ballistol cleaner/lubricant, patches, a cleaning brush, handkerchief or a small towel. This is the most space consuming items so, I typically look for the smaller cans of cleaner, and just a few patches in a bag. The cleaning doesn’t stop there, I typically carry a few different types of hand wipes. You can spend a little more and get lead remover wipes (this is the option I would go with), or you can get a simple and cheap hand wipes, but those are not the best to remove any heavy medals like lead. Having a solid cleaning setup in your pistol range bag could be a huge help at some point in time.
Depending on the weather you may want to bring bug spray, sunscreen, hat, water and other items you will need for the heat/rain/snow etc. If you go out to BLM land to shoot paper, you will need a staple gun and staples. When it comes to squib loads, there are many different opinions on how to remove the load. Some people say to use a wooden dowel, and other use a brass rod to push the load out. With that said it could be useful to have a rod smaller than the diameter of the barrel just in case you have a bad load, it won’t end your range day.
I’m sure we are missing some items that could be super useful at the range. Let us know what crazy things you have in your pistol range bag.