Thursday, January 04, 2007

Range Kits for Starters

In an earlier post, I listed the things I currently carry as part of my range kit. I figure a minimalist kit has at the very least ear and eye protection in the form of ear plugs and safety glasses, but what else should be added to make time at the range easier, safer, and more enjoyable? For the sake of brevity and expense, I'm leaving out things like spotting scopes, chronographs, rests and the like. I'm also leaving out my cleaning kit, since that's something I do at home. I'm looking for stuff that's inexpensive, small, and can allow for a complete kit to be carried in an old school backpack.

Here's my starting point:

1. Safety glasses to slip over my regular ones.

2. Headphone-style ear protection that completely covers the ear.

3. A hat with a brim to reduce the chances of brass in the face.

4. A loading tool for faster magazine loading.

Here are my ideas to add to it:

-- a small flashlight like a Mini-Maglite for when the light at indoor ranges is bad or when trying to find that last piece of brass when policing your shooting area.

-- a first aid kit for powder burns, cuts and any other minor scrapes received at the range. (Wounds received from negligent discharges will most likely require a trip to the emergency room.)

-- a multipurpose tool like a Leatherman for various things like pulling out a stovepiped casing.

What other small-but-useful items might be useful for a day of handgun shooting?

Well, besides the obvious part of having a gun and plenty of ammunition. That kind of goes without saying.

Update: While pondering this during lunch, I wondered if some kind of polishing cloth might be available to clean off any powder from the finish of your gun before you take it back home for a thorough cleaning. Any suggestions for that would also be greatly appreciated.

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