A productive day at the shooting range begins with packing your range bag. This over-the-shoulder bag should contain everything you need to shoot your firearm. So, what should you pack in your range bag?
All shooters are required to wear ANSI Z78.1-certified ballistic eyewear when inside or on the premises of a shooting range. Among the most common types of injuries sustained by shooters involve ricocheted bullets and shrapnel to the eye. It only takes a small bullet fragment to injure a shooter's eye, potentially leaving him or her with life-long vision loss in the affected eye. Wearing ballistic goggles or glasses, however, will protect against eye injuries such as this, so be sure to include them in your range bag.
In addition to eye protection, you should also pack ear protection in your range bag. Indoor shooting ranges are often equipped with anechoic chamber technology to absorb sound. Even with this technology, though, many Range Officers still require shooters to wear ear plugs or noise-canceling headphones to protect themselves from injury.
Note: if you plan on electronic noise-canceling headphones, it's recommended that you bring a spare set of batteries. In case your primary batteries die (it's bound to happen sooner or later), you'll have an extra set on hand.
Of course, you'll also want to pack some targets in your range bag. These can be purchased from most gun stores, as well as some general sports stores and even Wal-Mart. If you forget to bring them, you may also be able to buy them from the shooting range, although you can expect to pay a premium price for them here.
Washcloth or Paper Towels
When packing your range bag, it's recommended that you stick either a washcloth or roll of paper towels inside. Why is this necessary? Well, shooting ranges certainly don't require them, but they can prove useful in a number of different circumstances. When your hands begin to sweat, you may want to wipe them dry before unloading another magazine. Or if there's visible dirt or grime on your bullets, you can clean them with a washcloth or paper towel before loading them into the magazine.
Screwdriver for Scope Windage and Elevation Turrets
If you plan on adjusting the scope of your firearm, you'll need to pack a screwdriver of the appropriate size to adjust the windage and elevation turrets. Depending on the make and model of your scope, they usually require small Phillip's head screwdrivers. Refer to your scope's owner's manual for more information on how to adjust the windage and elevation turrets.
These are just a few essential items that should be included in your range bag. After taking some trips to the shooting range, you may discover other necessities that aren't mentioned here, so feel free to include them in your range bag as well.