If you plan on heading out to the gun range any time soon, you’re probably going to want a dedicated bag just for your gun(s), ammunition, and other important accessories.
Your choice of range bag is going to be different from others depending on how much you intend to store in it and even if you want people to know it is a range bag, as you can find some bags that do not have any logos on it.
Now truth be told, not everyone may be comfortable with letting other people know about their shooting habits.
Some people are staunch supporters of the NRA while others oppose guns completely. Depending on your case, you may find it to be easier to just carry a non-descript bag to the range.
Which is fine, but with a range bag without logos, you can have all the storage you’d expect from a range case without cluing everyone and their brother in on your hobby.
You may be wondering why can’t you just use a duffle bag or some other type of case to carry your gear in. While you could use any other type of bag, a bag that has been designed for your gun is going to be made with safety in mind.
These bags have pockets, dividers, padding, and lockable zippers to help keep you and your gear safe while transporting.
If you put the items in a regular bag, it is going to jostle around, get scratched or damaged, and not to mention it would be a big unorganized mess!
In this article, we are going to go over everything you may need to know about a gun case so that you can make an informed decision about:
- Gun Case Varieties
- Safety Concerns
- What to Put In Your Case
- Different Manufacturers Of Popular Cases
By the time you’re finished reading this article, we hope that you will understand the importance of a range bag, but also have an idea of what to look for if you want to purchase your own.
Classes Of Gun Cases
As a gun owner, you probably have your own preference of what you are looking for in a gun case. Some people will focus on purchasing a bag that is made for maximum durability while others are concerned about the bag being waterproof. Some people don’t care about either of these and just want to keep their weapon dust free while it is in storage.
Whatever the case may be, the most important thing about purchasing a gun case is that you know the typical use of your gun.
If you own a gun and you want to take it to the shooting range or out on a hunting trip, you’re going to need a case to actually transport it in. That is where these cases come into play. The cases are separated into different categories:
Military/Law Enforcement Gun Case
These cases are the cream of the crop. They are designed to protect guns in extreme conditions and they tend to be water proof and nearly impossible to ruin. These cases will be more expensive than your average case, but they more than pay for themselves in the long run, especially if that is a priority to you.
- Tactical Gun Cases are another type of military grade gun case. These cases are designed to be incredibly durable. One caveat is that these bags are not going to fully meet military standards. For instances, these cases are not suitable for wet environments and weather, and they should only be kept inside.
Hunter Gun Cases
These range cases are designed for hunters who use their guns pretty regularly. The gun cases are designed to be much sturdier because the chance of them becoming banged or dropped increases while out in the woods.
These cases are designed to be able to take more abuse, but they’re not going to be as durable as professional grade cases. They are, however, strong enough to be tossed about without worrying. Be aware that not all cases are going to be waterproof though, so that may be a factor you’ll want to consider when looking at these types of gun range bags.
Sportsman Gun Cases
These cases are a step down from hunter quality cases. They’re not going to be as durable as the hunter cases, but they are still suitable for those who like to go to the shooting range to fire off a few rounds. These cases have been designed to look nice, but they can still protect your weapon at a decent level.
Personal Gun Cases
These bags are going to be used when you travel. These are going to be the most cost effective cases you can get, but they aren’t suitable if you plan on using your gun frequently. These cases cannot protect your weapon from too much damage. Ideally, these cases are best used as a way to keep dust off the weapon while it is stored safely somewhere in your home.
These cases are available in two different materials:
These cases are designed for those who use their gun a lot. They are going to have a hard exterior that is going to be able to take a beating.
Also, these cases have excellent interiors to further protect your weapon. These interiors are typically a thick foam, but they can have other soft materials that will prevent the gun from getting any scratches on the gun while transport.
With a hard case, you will also be able to securely lock the case, which is something every gun owner should look for when choosing a range bag, especially if you have children at home who like to get into things.
It’s also worth noting that if you plan on traveling via airplane or on a train, you can only transport your gun in a locked hard case.
These are going to be cheaper than hard cases and they are recommended for those who rarely take their weapon out of the house. Of course, that doesn’t mean these types of cases are exclusively for that. You can use these for regular trips to the range, but they aren’t going to be as strong or as durable as a hard case.
In fact, many people who are looking for a pistol range bag will purchase a soft case.
These bags can be made in a variety of materials like leather, canvas, oiled cotton, nylon, polyester, and even regular cotton. Because these materials are so thin, you’re not going to have a lot of protection while taking your gun from point A to point B. With that said, the inside of these bags can have soft materials that will help protect the weapon from scratches.
Also, it is worth noting that unlike a hard case, your weapon will only be held in place with a few straps.
Another big difference between the two is that these cases have zipper closures, which can break easily.
They do have locking capabilities, but for the determined foe, they won’t have much trouble breaking inside.
What To Store In A Well Prepared Range Bag
Now you might be wondering what else should you put inside of your range backpack other than your gun and ammunition. Well, you’re in luck because we have a list of things that every range bag should include. Keep in mind that these can be adjusted to suit your particular needs and this is just a generalized list to give you an idea for your own bag.
- Magazine loaders – This will make loading your magazines so much easier!
- Gun oil – Dry gun will ruin your trip to the range, but remember a small amount will do you well.
- Multi tool – Things will break and this can help you fix them pretty easily.
- First Aid Kit – Look, stuff happens and its always a good idea to be safe.
- Environmental products – Bug spray, sunscreen, allergy medications, etc.
- Notebook and Pencil – To keep track of the environment while shooting, this will come in handy.
- Light – We don’t recommend hunting or shooting at night, but a flashlight is always good to have.
- Batteries – If you shoot often, you may have electronic ear protectors.
- Ear Protection – Shooting is loud and you’re going to want to protect your ears from that noise.
- Targets – You can bring your own targets to give you a unique and challenging experience.
- Disposable Wipes – Keep your hands free from large metal particles with a sanitary wipe
- Holster – If you have a handgun that you’d like to shoot, a holster is a great way to carry it.
- Squib Rod – This is used to retrieve the bullet or casing from the barrel of your gun.
- Cleaning Kit – Keep your guns clean and in working condition with a cleaning kit.
As we said, this is a very short list. You can add whatever else you may need to make your trip to the range that much more enjoyable. We do want to stress that it is important that you practice the following key safety tips when using your weapon.
Invariably when you have a gun, be it a small pistol or a sniper, you’re going to want to make sure that it is secure and it is safe. When you go to a gun range, it is important that you are aware of your surroundings and follow these rules:
Always Keep The Muzzle Pointed Down
Just like a knife, it’s always wise to point the muzzle of your gun downward. Many accidents have happened because people were careless with where they were pointing their gun. You do not want to point your gun at anything you don’t intend on shooting.
Heaven forbid the gun accidentally discharges and you shoot someone because you weren’t paying attention to the direction at which the gun was pointed.
Keep The Gun Unloaded When You Are Not Using It
The only time there should be any bullets in your gun is when you intend on actually shooting it, whether you are at the shooting range or when you are hunting. By keeping the weapon empty, you are preventing anyone from using it, be they a child or an unauthorized adult.
When you are handing your weapon to someone, make sure you always open the action and check the chamber, receiver and the magazine so that there is not any bullets inside.
Never Trust The Gun's Safety
While you may be able to see that the safety is on your gun, you don’t want to rely on it. While they safety is a mechanism that is designed to keep you, well, safe… It can malfunction at the worst times.
Always assume that the safety is off and treat it as such. Keep your finger away from the trigger and always keep the gun pointed in a safe direction.
Be Mindful Of Your Range Bag
When you’re out hunting or at the range, you’re going to be focused on your target. However, that doesn’t mean you can forego paying attention to your bag either. In fact, you should always be aware of your case at all times, especially if you are around other people. If you can, keep your case locked or in a locker if you can.
This will prevent anyone from getting into the bag where other guns and ammunition is stored.
When You Are Not Using Your Gun, Keep It In A Gun Safe
The only way you can make sure the people in your home will be safe is if you keep your gun locked in a gun safe when it isn’t being used. Also, some people would recommend that you keep the bullets in another location away from the gun, but it is solely up to you where you keep your ammunition.
We do want to stress that you should make certain that your gun does not have any bullets in it when it is being stored.
Always Use The Correct Ammunition
If you are a gun owner, you have to make sure that you are using the proper ammunition in your weapon. Read all the information about your weapon, read the warnings, and read the ammunition boxes. When you do not use the correct ammunition, you could not only cause serious harm to your gun, but to yourself as well.
You have to be positive that the ammunition you use matches the specifications that are described in the instruction manual.
Always Wear Ear And Eye Protection
Guns are loud, there’s no doubt about that. It is important that you should wear some type of protective shooting glasses and protection for your ears, be they ear plugs or a noise cancelling headset.
The eye protection is especially important if you are shooting anything that could come back and hit you, such as clay targets.
Never Alter Your Gun And Have It Serviced Regurarly
A firearm is designed with specific settings so that they will work as intended. Any changes or alterations you make to the firearm could make the unit extremely dangerous and will make any manufacturer warranties null and void.
Popular Range Bag Manufacturers
As you look for range bags, you’re going to find many options available, but keep in mind that the quality may not be up to snuff. We recommend that you avoid off brand named range bags and stick with companies that you can trust.
If you know any law enforcement, military, firefighters, or EMS professionals, then chances are they are wearing something by 5.11 Tactical. The company creates gear that is going to stand up to anything you throw at it and they pride themselves on using precision engineering their modern materials to create fantastic, high quality products.
The 5.11 range bags are designed for professional and instructors, but the Average Joe can get a lot of use out of them as well!
It doesn’t matter if you’re a researcher, a designer, a crafty person, or you need a bug out bag or a range bag, this company has you covered.
When you want a good quality bag for your weaponry, Explorer Range Bags can be everything you need, whether you need a small soft case for your pistol or you want a complex bag that is going to carry much more.
Explorer has you covered — and they mean it because they offer a lifetime guarantee on their products!
The Osage River company has a dynamic product line that focuses solely on quality outdoor gear that is rough, rugged, and durable. They create a wide array of products, from sleeping bags, hammocks, tents and they even have some Osage range bags in their lineup.
This company is another great brand because they stand behind their products and offer their customers a limited lifetime warranty!
Blackhawk Range Bags
The Blackhawk company is a global leader in outdoor sport and recreational markets, focusing on two segments in particular: Shooting sports and outdoor products. In their vast lineup of products, you can find items like sound suppressors, protective gear, entry tools, and apparel.
What really stands out about this company is that the Blackhawk range bags can be worn as a backpack, which helps to evenly distribute the load of your pack so that it isn’t too cumbersome.
Of course, these are just some of the reputable brands that create range bags. It’s always a good idea to read product reviews on the items before you do spend your hard earned money on them. You want to know what you’re buying, but you also want to know you’re not wasting your money on something that will need to be replaced within a year or so.
Shopping for items that will make your hobby a little more enjoyable is always exciting. However, getting a new range bag can make a world of difference, especially if you have a lot of gear you take with you. Instead of spreading that gear out over several bags, a really good, spacious range bag can replace the need of those bags.
Just imagine how nice it would be to combine two bags of gear into one convenient bag? Pretty enticing, right? Of course it is!
In this article, we’ve covered the different types of range bags and what can be put inside of them, other than ammunition and weaponry.
We’ve also covered safety rules that you should always follow when you’re out on the range or even hunting. And we’ve given you a brief look at some popular manufacturers of range bags.
When you take the time to do a bit of research before purchasing any old bag, we’re certain that you’ll be able to choose the appropriate bag for your needs.
However, if you struggle with what features and qualities you should concern yourself with, check out our buying guide for some important features that we feel is crucial to choosing a great range bag.
We also have five mini-reviews of great options that are definitely worth your consideration.
Leave us a comment below and tell us what are some items you put in your gun bag. If you have any questions or comment, feel free to comment too! We want to hear from you and your feedback is always welcome!