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Fully Loaded Range Bag = Best Buddy Birthday Gift Ever!



One of the best parts of being a gun owner is going to the range and actually shooting the guns. What’s better than a day at the range? How about sharing the experience with your best buddy? Well, unless they’re that one person in our lives who couldn’t eat their way out of a bag of chips. No matter how many reminders you give, they forget something every time. Instead of getting mad, I just get ready. I need to be here for Buddy—he’s always been there for me. He can’t help it sometimes; he’s got ADHD and LOOK A SQUIRREL!

I decided to put together a kick ass range box for him. It has become one of the most unique birthday gifts that I continue give to my friends. For a proper range kit, you are going to need certain things that can be broken down into sections. For a successful trip to the range you can break the trip down by sections:

Gun Transport and Care:

For a pistol or rifle I like to use soft nylon cases. I can pack multiple pistols in one larger range bag and not worry about the pistols banging and scratching each other. You can easily do the same thing for rifles all the way up to a Pelican style hard case. The drawbacks of the hard-style cases are that they take up a lot of room, and that for the price of one hard case I can get four or five nylon cases. If I do that, I can give each gun its own bag.

Since each bag is specific to a firearm, I make sure to add the next item on our list: Chamber Flag. Seems inconsequential, but a visual indicator to show the firearm is empty is important, especially if you have to walk downrange.

Depending on what type of weapon you have, each bag should have tools that are needed for THAT weapon and accessories. For example, take my Saint Victor or Prodigy pistol that has red dots attached. In the Saint bag I will have a flathead of proper size in case I need to adjust the optic. In the Prodigy bag I have the proper Torx bit to fit the screws. In the same place, I keep the proper batteries needed to keep that optic functioning.


I like the G-Code Bang Boxes for my kits. These nylon pouches hold around 300 9mm and about 200 .556/223 rounds. They are nowhere near as heavy as a fully loaded ammo can, and cannot rust.

I like to include extra magazines and the mag loaders for each. Nothing sucks more than having to reload after every string of fire, so have as many extras loaded up as possible. Mag loaders are amazing, and your thumbs will thank you.

Safety PPE:

No I am not talking Covid masks, everyone knows Covid can’t survive in the smoke-rich environment of mag dumps. Hearing protection is a must; I don’t know about you, but I need to keep what little hearing I have left. My go-to gift is the Walker’s Razor Slim electronic hearing muffs. As a bonus, the electronic ones amplify noise so you can hear Buddy talking smack about your marksmanship. It’s still good practice to have some in ear foamies for indoor ranges.

Eye protection is a must—I have personally witnessed multiple incidents where a shooter could have lost an eye if they hadn’t been wearing their eye pro.

In my range kits I add Mechanix gloves—they’re not just for shooting anymore. Think of the splintered wood from the target, shards of bullet jacket material, and all the other little tetanus stabbies.

That brings me to the first aid kit. Everyone should have one that is accessible. Anytime I am shooting with multiple people, I point out that my main first aid kit is on top of my range bag, I also will carry a tourniquet on my person at all times. (For training and equipment check out


You can break this down by range type. At my outdoor range, I love using paper plates as targets. No, really! They force you to shoot a smaller target, they are super cheap, and they’re easily cleaned up.

Another must-have is both a stapler with staples and some tape. Buddy is a lousy shot and always hits the wedded stakes..easily repaired with some McGyver skills and tape.

Having a couple markers helps you keep notes or mark old shots. If you are shooting long distance, a spotting scope helps you from having to go all the way to the target after a string of fire. For outdoor ranges, I like to have shooting mats available. Harbor Freight always has moving blankets on sale and they make great protection from the scratchy grass.


This is where you will include comfort items to make your trip more enjoyable. In Alabama bug spray is a must. Mosquito bites are annoying, but Lyme Disease, Zika, and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever are no joke.

I learned the hard way that sunblock is critical during a long two-day competition, I looked like the Kool-Aid man. Speaking of ouch, it’s not a bad idea to include something like Goody’s fast pain relief for those headaches.

My favorite part of playing sports as a child were the snacks afterwards. Same with shooting. Keep your energy high and have a couple of your favorite treats on hand. After snacks make sure you stay hydrated, not with sugary sodas, but with water or electrolyte drinks.

And for my biggest tip…TP for your bunghole. Have a roll available. Even better, some baby wipes. Nothing feels better than wiping your face clean after a long day. Make sure to wipe before you eat, drink, or smoke. Having a couple lead remover wipes is an extra precaution.

Clean up:

I like to have a stash of garbage bags available for easy clean up. Some ranges don’t have trash pickup and you’re expected to do that yourself. A bonus: The plastic bags act as great rain covers for the targets.

You can substitute items to address the needs of that specific person, and customize it to their shooting style. After all it’s the thought that counts! Well, no. It’s the ragged hole in the center of the X-ring that counts. But you know what I mean.


–James the “XDMAN” Nicholas Mr. UnPewfessional Himself.


















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