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When you love shooting as much as we do, it's hard not to spend all your free time at the range. What you don't want is to spend half of your allotted range time prepping your gear. Our pro-tip is to build a range bag once, keep it stocked with ammo, and you will never waste valuable shooting time again. Stay tuned because in this blog post we’ll show you how to build your own range bag so that everything is organized, accessible, and ready for your next trip to the shooting range.
PICK THE RIGHT RANGE BAG
When choosing a range bag your prioritites should be centered around its size, organizational capacity, and toughness. A single range bag should hold all your gear securely and not be unwieldy. Outer pockets and inner compartments allow you to store important items in their own area keeping them organized and accessible. Lastly, range bags should be rugged. These are purpose driven tools meant to perform without failing, they aren’t bags for a day out at the mall.
Range bags come in different sizes, make sure the bag you choose is the correct size for your needs. If you’re not sure how much room you need, start with something bigger that you can grow into it. A range bag should hold all of your essentials comfortably and provide easy access without having to dig too much.
POCKETS AND COMPARTMENTS
Look for a range bag that has a lot of pockets and compartments to help you stay organized. This will make the bag a much more functional tool. Certain items like eye protection or cleaning kits are best served in a separate compartment for easy access when you need it, while larger items like ammo boxes and magazines are better served in the large primary compartment.
Range bags come in any number of materials, some better than others but certain aspects can be easily assessed just by looking at them. How tight is the stitching, are there multiple layers of material on the bottom side, and how big and heavy duty are the zippers. A tear along a seam or a broken zipper can turn your range bag from an asset to a liability.
Smith & Wesson Accessories have several offerings to meet the needs of a variety of shooters. M&P Duty Series Backpack, the Smith & Wesson Recruit Tactical Range Bag, and the M&P Officer Range Bag.
M&P Duty Series Backpack
The M&P® Duty Series Small Backpack is designed with quality and durability in mind. Built to hold up in harsh conditions or extreme use, its durable ballistic nylon fabric keeps your gear protected from the rugged outdoors. This backpack adapts to any situation with a side pocket great to hold bottles and side clips. From carrying your tripod to cinching down a jacket or small blanket, this pack always has your back.
Smith & Wesson Recruit Tactical Range Bag
Smith & Wesson Officer Tactical Range Bag
Keep all your favorite gear organized and ready with the Recruit Tactical Range Bag. This heavy-duty carrying bag is designed with quality and durability in mind. It's built to hold up under the most extreme conditions, letting you have instant access to your stuff anywhere. The sturdy ballistic fabric, oversized zippers, and rubber foot skids on the bottom for extra protection will keep your gear protected.
WHAT GOES IN THE BAG?
Ear protection is an obvious must, something you should always be wearing at the range to keep your hearing safe from your or others’ firearms. In situations with subsonic ammunition paired with a suppressor on private land you can forgo muffs, but it is something that should always be in your bag. There are an abundance of options for earmuffs or in-ear ear protection.
M&P Electronic Ear Muff
Smith & Wesson® M&P® Alpha Electronic Ear Muff provides ultimate comfort and hearing protection, whether you are at the range or out in the field. Its padded headband and adjustable cushioned ear cups make wearing comfortable for long hours of shooting. Its compact folding design allows convenient storage for your range bag or field pack. It amplifies low-level sounds, so you won’t miss out laughing with your buddies and includes an audio input jack to play your music, videos, or podcasts.
Similarly important, eye protection is a must for keeping dust, debris, or rogue brass out of your face and away from your eyes. We would recommend keeping your eye-pro in its own pocket on the outside of your range bag so that it is accessible each time you unpack at the range and so that they don’t get crushed alongside your other heavy gear in the main compartment. Many options exist with a mixture of style and functionality but we recommend using dedicated eye protection at the range instead of normal use sunglasses because they are purpose build to physically protect your eyes and in the case that they are damaged by flying range debris you don’t damage your daily sunglasses.
M&P Super Cobra Half Frame Glasses
Protect your vision with our Super Cobra Frame Glasses. Its sleek design and sturdy frame provide ultimate protection, style, and comfort all in one. All our M&P® glasses come equipped with a durable zippered storage case and a microfiber cloth.
A knife is important for any gun owner. It is an all-purpose tool and you never know when you might need to cut or MacGyver something on the go. Whether it be a full tang fixed blade or a folder, a rough and tumble blade is an invaluable inclusion.
M&P H.R.T. 4" Boot Knife
The M&P® H.R.T. 4" Boot Knife is made with high-quality materials that are built to last. The sharp blade is perfect for cutting rope or other materials, and the handle is comfortable to grip even when you are using it for extended periods of time. The sheath that comes with the knife is made of durable material that will keep your blade safe and protected when you are not using it.
Cleaning your firearms is something you should do regularly if you spend lots of time shooting. Giving your gun its full strip down and cleaning is something you may prefer to do on the workbench at home but every once in a while, a firearm needs a field strip while you’re out and its good to have the necessary tools to keep things looking pretty and functioning well while out and about.
M&P Compact Pistol Cleaning Kit
The M&P® Compact Pistol Cleaning Kit is a must-have for any gun owner. This kit has all of the tools you need to keep your firearm in top shape. The swab is ideal for cleaning out the barrel, the scraper helps you remove any stuck-on gunk, and the brush is perfect for scrubbing away any rust or buildup.
Flashlights are another broad use tool that is fantastic to have with you in your bag at all times. If you end up at the range as the sun crests the tree ling or a loose screw falls into the depths of your bag, a light frequently comes in handy. You can find flashlights in a wide range of power levels measured in lumens.
M&P Night Terror Compact
Any of our flashlights will work amazingly at the range, but the M&P® Night Terror is made for power. With 3 modes and a runtime of 5.3 hours, this flashlight is sure to meet all your lighting needs. The Night Terror is waterproof and impact resistant, making it perfect for all weather conditions. The head of the flashlight is crenulated for self-defense, so you can feel safe and protected when using the Night Terror. The Night Terror also includes a USB to Micro USB charging cord, making it easy to keep your flashlight powered up and ready to go.
GUNS AND AMMO
It goes without saying you'll need to bring guns and ammo along with if you intend to shoot anything. Long guns may require their own carrying case, but pistol length or small guns you can often include in your range bag. Along with this, a healthy stock of ammunition and reserve magazines should be included as you see fit.
HAT AND BOOTS
Last, but not least, taking care of your feet and face is important. A hat and appropriate shoes are a must for your comfort and safety.
Building your own range bag is a necessity for staying organized at the range. It’s also a great way to show that you’re a responsible gun owner. Your bag should contain everything you need to have a safe and enjoyable time at the range. From cleaning your gun to protecting your ears, a range bag will make your life easier. It’s also a great gift for someone who likes to shoot.
IN THE BAG?