Range Gear

What should you have in your range bag?

You don’t need a whole RV brimmed with stuff for your range and tactical training sessions but there are some definite essentials.

A range bag should include the essentials you need for your time at the range, however long that’s going to be. You might only be going for an hour or two, you might be there half the day, or you might be attending a couple days worth of training. Your range bag should stay packed with your shooting gear, so that way you can grab it and go without having to worry about where this is or that is.

Ear protection and eye protection should always be packed in your range bag, and you should have backups for both. Spare set of eyes, and some foam ear plugs and/or passive ear muffs in case your electronic ear pro takes a dive. Ideally, you’ll want to have a good strong belt for wearing your holster and magazine pouches. A standard dress belt is not enough; you need an actual gun belt. It’s a good idea to keep some oil and cleaner in your range bag, like some CLP, RemOil, Ballistol or something along those lines in case you need to quickly clean and lubricate your gun. Two to three magazines should be in your range bag, as well as some mag carriers for using them while on the range. It’s a good idea to have some sunscreen and bug spray if you need them, as well as a hat or two in case you have to deal with the elements. A couple bottles of water aren’t a bad idea, either.

Essentially, you want to have everything you need besides your target stand, pistol and ammunition ready to go in your range bag at all times. Throw your ammo and gun case in when it’s time to hit the range, and you have an effective system of what you should have in your range bag.

Handgun Presentation

Handgun presentation is one of the critical fundamental skills in defensive pistol shooting, so making sure that you have a sound presentation is definitely part of sound tactical training. Presentation of a handgun is part of the draw, where the pistol is brought to the target.

While it seems simple or otherwise not a big deal, it’s important for the motion to be efficient and correct. The importance of presentation is that the pistol is brought up to the target. When done so swiftly, efficiently and correctly, the gun is brought directly to the target with no need of sight correction after the pistol arrives at the target. The sight of the shooter isn’t occluded by the pistol or anything else. The correct technique is bring the pistol up to torso height, and drive the gun up and out to the target. The pistol arrives on target at the same time that the sights come into view of the eyes.

Older presentation techniques, such as swinging the gun up to the target, or pushing the gun down to the target, can slow the process down. Sight correction is usually needed and your vision can be occluded by the gun and your hands in your field of vision; when shooting, it’s imperative to always have a clear picture of the target. While important during training, not having a full picture of the target in a fight can get you killed.

What wins fights is fundamentals, including a gun fight. Fundamentals like trigger control, sight acquisition and accuracy are what makes the difference, not theatrics.

Sign up to receive news and updates on future courses