Almost every firearm owner knows that it's always a good idea to be prepared when you go to the shooting range and that includes bringing all the necessary and obvious equipment like eye and ear protection, your gun (or guns), and enough ammo to make it through your range session.
In addition to those no-brainer tools and equipment, there are a few things you may not have thought of that you should be taking to the range, whether you're going to an indoor or outdoor range, or a more isolated location. Even if you're just at the range to watch, it's smart to take these easy to carry tools and supplies along with you.
A Medical Kit with a Tourniquet
A medical kit that includes a tourniquet is a must-have anytime you head to the range, and it's a good idea to carry one with you whenever you leave the house. Look for a kit that contains supplies that are suited to the emergency treatment of gunshot trauma. Beyond a tourniquet (a CAT is best), a good kit will have some type of combat and sterile gauze, a bleedstop bandage that includes an ingredient that rapidly stops bleeding (Quik Clot is a popular brand), EMT shears for removing obstacles and clothing, and nitrile gloves so you can protect yourself if you need to render aid.
The items in these kits don't usually require special training, but it's crucial to know how to use everything in the kit before you have to use it. Tourniquets can be tricky to use (especially under pressure), so we recommend taking a free Stop the Bleed class, which will teach you how to properly apply a tourniquet and hemostatic dressings.
You may have never have heard of a boresnake, but it can really come in handy at the range when your gun starts malfunctioning. A boresnake is a flexible fabric cord with a thin end that has a weight attached to one end and a cleaning brush embedded into the other end. It doesn't give your barrel a full cleaning, but it can temporarily solve small gun problems that are caused by having a dirty gun.
To use a boresnake, feed the tapered end through your barrel from the muzzle and out the other end, then pull the rest of the cord through your barrel. The brush inside the boresnake scrubs your bore as it passes through, which gives your gun a quick cleaning. Boresnakes are sized to the caliber of your gun, so make sure you select the proper cailber when you are purchasing one.
A Gun Mat
Gun cleaning or range mats are incredibly handy and have many uses both on and off the range. Finding a good, clean surface to set your gun down on at the shooting range can be an issue, and da gun mat easily solves that problem. You can also use the mat when you're cleaning your gun at home. Gun mats are inexpensive and easy to pack in your bag, and you can even have your gun mat customized if you want to give it a little extra flair or personality.
The shooting range is a great place to find peace, learn new skills, and improve your marksmanship. It's also safer and can be more fun when take these items with you every time. What do you always take with you when you go to shoot? Let us know!