Spring has arrived, and with it comes the best time of year to head to the shooting range for some family fun. Shooting sports are a popular family event for many of us, so we figured it was time to get people brainstorming and talking about what equipment they take to the range with them. I go to the range for different reasons: Sometimes it’s to test out a new gun build or to help friends with theirs, other times it’s with my family to just relax and have fun.

I always have a basic loadout I take with me no matter the reason I’m shooting. I’m a fan of simple things; my usual gear box is a .50-caliber ammo can and a patrol bag I picked up from L.A. Police Gear that has been discontinued and replaced with their Jumbo Range Bag.

Inside the patrol bag, I put the following:

These are the basics I put in the range bag. I also make sure that my individual first-aid kit (IFAK) is attached to it. My range IFAK contains QuickClot gauze and a SWAT-T tourniquet in the unfortunate case of someone getting struck by a bullet. A good all-in-one package that I have seen a lot of people use on the range instead of a full IFAK is the Outdoor Adventure Trauma Pack.

A standard-issue .50-caliber ammo can is the other major component of my range loadout. They are available at Wal-Mart and at almost any Army-surplus store, and are very affordable. I only use metal cans because plastic tends to shatter in the sub-zero winter temperatures where I live. Inside the can, I store extra magazines for whatever weapons I am shooting, plus the following items:


Generally, I keep things in the ammo can that have to do with feeding or cleaning whatever weapon I am using that day. You will notice I have two types of MagLula/Butler Creek magazine loaders in my kit. These are wonderful tools that make loading and unloading magazines a quick process and saves the tips of your fingers. If you shoot often, it might be worth it to look and see if they make them for your particular weapon.

That’s an inside look into the basic loadout I put in my car when I load up to head to the range. Occasionally, I will toss in a few more tools, or knee pads when I know I am going to be shooting from prone or kneeling positions.