My least favorite thing in the whole world is having to waste my time preparing to play. I decided to throw together a list of a few things that help me to get to the range faster, more organized and with everything I need. Ultimately allowing me to spend more time doing what I love.
#1 Prepare to be prepared
One thing that's extremely helpful for me is having a system of organization so that when I go to pack stuff for a range trip I know where everything will be. This means that all of my gear has a place.
- Rifles organized in the safe
- Handguns together with extra mags ready to go
- Hearing protection, range finders, eye protection and ammo all in respective bins and areas.
Another key thing to remember is taking the time to unpack and reorganize after a range day. Taking the time to do this allows you to get out that much faster the next time you go to shoot.
#2 Have the right bags
There's no secret that going to the range requires lots of gear regardless of if you are just going to fire a couple rounds out of your new handgun or if you are bringing every gun in your arsenal.
We make the worlds first triple gun bag that allows you to put all your gear into one bag. We have three large slots of rifles, 2 handgun specific spots in the front as well as tons of pockets for hearing protection, mags, ammo and literally anything else you need. Below is a link to our Armory Gun Bag.
Depending on the type of range day I am having I will sometimes carry a small bag just for ammo to give me more room in my Armory gun bag. This could be an ammo specific bag, ammo cans or a tote. All keep it pretty well organized.
#3 Bring the right targets
This may sound silly but I have found myself bringing the wrong types of targets way to many times simply because I didn't take the time to think it through and put in the effort. It can get boring in a hurry if the only thing you brought was some scrap cardboard.
Shooting for entertainment
If you are shooting for entertainment I have found that a reactive target is always the right move. A reactive target could mean multiple different things. A few ideas for reactive targets would be:
I always get them from the dollar store They are very inexpensive and are way more exciting to shoot at than paper. Shake them up when you get to the range then go scatter them over the range and go to town. They explode quite well especially if you are in the 9mm or 55.6 range of caliber. But honestly even .22 caliber is pretty fun with soda cans.
Quick Tip: Make sure to bring a spare garbage sack to help with the cleanup. The cans are sticky and messy after you shoot them so having a set of work gloves and a garbage sack keeps you and your vehicle clean and makes cleanup way easier.
My favorite thing about Halloween is getting to shoot pumpkins after it's all over. Load up all your pumpkins into your truck and get ready for a good time. I have found that larger caliber guns work better for this. A 9mm will do some damage but a 55.6 or larger rifle will be better. A shotgun is actually the best reaction.
More expensive than the other items on the list but it's definitely the best explosion. Tannerite works best at dusk paired with something that will provide flame such as a gas can or a propane tank.
These can be fun since it provides a flip/roll when you hit it. They say it works with a .22 but in my experience slightly larger calibers flip it around better.
Another easy and simple solution to give you more satisfaction out of your hits. Fairly inexpensive and easy to pack.
This one is all about the sound. For some reason there is something much more satisfying about a metal "Clink" sound on your hits rather than no sound. Be sure to match the metal to the caliber you are shooting and not use a metal that your bullet cant penetrate.
Shooting for Skill
I find it very necessary to shoot for improvement and practice as much as I can. If all you are doing is shooting at the dirt you wont be very prepared for a real life tactical experience or a hunting trip when your shots matter.
I find that its much easier to focus on my shooting when I am set up and prepared with the right skill targets.
In just an hour or so I was easily able to make a chest height shooting target out of PVC pipe, 2x2 wood pieces and some cardboard. This allowed me a much better shooting stance and was much better tactical practice than shooting towards the ground. You can find paper targets to attach to the cardboard pretty much anywhere. Or just draw with a sharpie on the cardboard.
#4 Dress for the weather
This one should be pretty self explanatory but I have found myself forgetting the right gear. Just be sure to pack extra layers and options for different weather situations. It never hurts to pack an extra down layer in the winter or a set of shooting gloves.
Another thing that will really throw off your range day is not bringing sunglasses if it's bright out. It's amazing what a pair of sunglasses will do to give you better sight and focus.
#5 Mental Checklist
I'm a very OCD person and this one has saved me for a lot of years. It helps put my brain at ease and lets me relax. Before I leave I run through a checklist in my mind to ensure I got everything I need for that day. You would be amazed at how well this helps you realize something big like forgetting ammo for a certain caliber or forgetting the right mags for each gun. I hate forgetting gear for any outdoor activity I'm doing and the mental checklist is a huge help. If you want to take it a step further you can create gear checklist in a notes app on your phone. One for Shotgun range day, One for Long Range Rifle and any other combo you frequently have. Every range day will require different gear so you need to be ready for that.
I hope you were able to snag a few ideas that can make your range day a bit more pleasant. At the end of the day the most important thing is getting out to play and enjoy what you love. That's why I sell bags that let you spend more time doing and less time getting ready to do.