How many guns do you take to the range?


May 21, 2011, 10:20 AM
On average, how many guns do you take to the range? How do you decide which ones to bring with you?

I currently take about 10 guns to shoot and spend about 2-3 hours at the range. However, I am thinking that I might start to bring fewer guns and just go more often (possibly for shorter time). Basically, I will be shooting just as much but kind of dividing up the "work load." (Not that playing with guns is to be considered "work.")

I am having difficulty deciding how to pick.
Should I just grab whatever tickles my fancy that particular day?
Take defensive guns one week and fun guns the next?
Semi-Autos or revolvers?
Large and small caliber?
Full size and compact?

I am leaning toward the first choice (just whatever I feel like shooting that day) but I just have such a hard time deciding which ones to bring AND the few times I have done that I always wish I had brought one of the guns I left at home.

Sorry for the neurotic whining rant BUT how do you guys decide?

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May 21, 2011, 10:31 AM
Too many early on.

Now I bring my carry gun, for SD just in case. I like to keep some self defense options.

.22lr pistol does not take up much space. I also like to bring a .22lr rifle. I don't not always bring them.

Then no more than 2 centerfire rifles.

The trick for me is to have a plan for the range session. It may be to work on load development, run particular drill, work on a position, use of a sling, drawstroke, blah, blah, blah. I maybe have a list of 1-3 goals and 1-3 backup goals. Less is more sometimes. I try to concentrate on the task at hand and not sidetrack myself with what I am not doing.

I also go with 1 or 2 guys. Sometimes I meet them at the range. Sometimes we ride together. I tend to decide if it is a rifle or pistol session and do one or the other. I also shot matches so that is an in & out deal with 1 gun needed for the match.

So bottom line is 5 max. Anything more than that become unrealistic & cumbersome. Then ammo & support equipment add up for 2 guys in a pickup truck.

May 21, 2011, 10:36 AM
I bring my off duty (lcp, 642, & m&p45c) plus one of my ARs.

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May 21, 2011, 10:39 AM
Since I visit the indoor range at least once a month, I usually just bring one or two. Always, I bring my carry gun and sometimes I'll shoot my backup gun or another handgun. Once or twice a year I'll take my old HD shotgun out just to get some rounds out of it.

It's only when I make a trip to the rifle range that I am tempted to bring more guns than I ought to. I just get out there so rarely and all my long guns want to play. I need to move to the country so I can have a backyard range, sigh.

May 21, 2011, 10:39 AM
Carry gun + 2-4 others. If I am "hosting" a bunch of non-shooters it's more.

May 21, 2011, 10:41 AM
I usually bring 2 or 3 at most. I find that my attention waivers after an hour or so and so does my accuracy. Last week I had 5 specific shooting related goals and I went to range on 3 different days.

May 21, 2011, 10:45 AM
It really depends for me. Sometimes if I want to shoot cheap I will just bring my Marlon 60 to plink. Sometimes I will also grab a .223 if I want to shoot a little larger caliber. I normally always bring my Glock and run at least 50 through it for practice as its my HD gun. Sometimes I will bring 3, 4, or 5 guns..sometimes I take 1. It just depends on my mood and what I feel like shooting

May 21, 2011, 10:47 AM
It varies. I can go with as few as 1 or 2 or as many 5 or 6. Depends on what I feel like that day.

May 21, 2011, 10:52 AM
I always take my primary carry gun. And then I'll take 1 or 2 more to play with.

ol' scratch
May 21, 2011, 10:54 AM
Recently, I have only been taking one. I keep my Mark III close at hand and try and stop by the range when I am running errands for my wife. I love the little pistol because I don't have to pick up brass and it is truly quick and easy.

When I have permission, I take one center fire handgun, my .22 target, and typically one center fire rifle. Today I am taking two because I am sighting one in.

May 21, 2011, 11:43 AM
Only two at most, really.
Lately I have been getting more interested in .22LR handguns. They're fun and as everyone knows they are cheap to feed.
I now have four of the buggers.
While they are fun I have discovered one thing that is true for me: I do not start off with a .22 and transition to a centerfire caliber. I did that once and it was a mistake, because I couldn't hit anything with it. Now, I had shot that gun before (a Sig SP 2022 9mm.) and it's a perfectly good and accurate weapon. But not after I "get used to" the .22.
However, if I start with the centerfire gun, I can do well and then transfer later to a .22 and I'm OK. Go figure ......
Maybe a weird quirk........
Anyway, having more than 2 guns and it's clutter and I enjoy being safe; clutter works against that IMHO.

May 21, 2011, 11:50 AM
I'm with you.
If I am to shoot centerfire pistols I shoot them first. My thinking is if my carry gun is ever needed for SD I will not have warmup shots. So, I judge my carry gun shooting as the first shots coming out the holster. Cold bore so to speak.
Now I have been shooting when I only shot .22lr. I absolutely love .22lr. If I start with them I generally won't get off of them.

May 21, 2011, 12:00 PM
2-3, unless I am trying to work-up a target load, then I just take 1 and several different loads.

May 21, 2011, 12:24 PM
I usually only bring 2-3 (not including my daily carry) depending on who's coming with me. A big reason for that is because I strip and clean all my guns after every fire and I don't want to have to clean more than 3 at a time :)

May 21, 2011, 01:54 PM
Bring as many as you have time to shoot/clean. I brought 10 today, but only fired 6. Even then I took about 3hrs to fire those to my satisfaction. After 1-2hr at full focus my eyes get tired and I swap over to the 22s for bottles and cans plinking.

Friendly, Don't Fire!
May 21, 2011, 02:02 PM
Between one and four at most.

May 21, 2011, 02:20 PM
I usually take about three pistols and no more than two rifles. I just don't feel like hauling around more than that at one time. Not to mention, I'm at an indoor range that charges $15.00 per hour. I can't afford to shoot all day anyway.

May 21, 2011, 02:45 PM
5-7 if I am taking a new shooter. 2-3 if it's just me.

May 21, 2011, 03:13 PM
Usually 5-6 rifles and pistols. But I spend all day at the range when I go.

May 21, 2011, 03:22 PM
My usual range arsenal is either one rifle and two handguns or two rifles and one handgun. Usual range time is about three hours.

May 21, 2011, 03:30 PM
When I first started shooting I'd tote out pretty much every gun I owned to the range when I went. That got old fast :).

These days I'll usually take 3 per trip. Typically a .22 and two centerfires. I'm also shooting handguns almost exclusively these days. Only time I take rifles is before deer season to make sure the scopes are on.

May 21, 2011, 03:56 PM
5-6 at most, unless I'm entertaining friends who I want to show some oddities to - maybe 10-11 if that is the case

May 21, 2011, 05:42 PM
I simply take what I want to shoot. Sometimes I shoot them all, sometimes I don't

May 21, 2011, 05:46 PM
If I can get there early enough, I take 4 rifles and 4 handguns. Usually only 2 and 2. That's enough for many hours of fun...

May 21, 2011, 06:26 PM
Well, on a nice sunny day with little wind, I'll take my AR15 since I trying to work up a load for it. I'll take a pistol or two with me to have something to shoot if someone is shooting on the rifle range. We have a lot of firing positions but if I go to the pistol range, there is a good chance that when I'm done shooting pistol, whoever was on the rifle range has left. I belong to a club that isn't all that busy most of the time.

If I come to shoot handguns, 4 seems to be the limit for me. After a certain amount of rounds, it quits being training for me, and just blasting caps. Ammo is a bit expensive to waste.


May 21, 2011, 08:34 PM
For me, it all depends on what's on the "agenda". Pre season sight check, a couple of deer rifles and a couple of .22s while barrels are cooling. Pre-season clay warmups, 2-4 shotguns of various gauges. To get my western fix, it's usually 5 long guns and a couple handguns. Handguns only days, I'll take up to 6. If it's mil-surp day, usually 7 or 8, but it's been as many as 15. (On that day, I'll tell you one thing, that Alice pack full of ammo sure got heavy. And I only had to carry it about 50 yards.)


May 21, 2011, 08:52 PM
The fewer you shoot the better you will be. It is impossible to become very proficient shooting a bunch of different guns every session. Pick the one you want to be the best with and practice with it exclusively for six months. You will be amazed at how quickly your skills will develop.

May 21, 2011, 09:28 PM
It depends if anyone is coming with me but usually about 4-5. There are a few that always seem to stay in the safe but the .22s, glocks and another seem to consistently get all of my attention.

May 21, 2011, 09:31 PM
i take all of them!

but i only own a pistol and a rifle, so that isn't too hard! ;)

Steve CT
May 21, 2011, 09:48 PM
Several different answers for me:
1) I'm a member at a small local club, indoor 25 yd .22 LR only. Since it's less than 1/2 mile from home, there is always a .22 target pistol in a lockbox in the trunk. So for there, only 1
2) Indoor commercial range, 2 or 3 pistols for an hour.
3) Outdoor range, AR and 3 or 4 pistols for longer sessions

Oh, and +1 on all the above, my .380 goes everywhere

May 21, 2011, 10:06 PM
I believe that in New York it is illegal to to have more than 5 guns in your possession outside your residence.

May 21, 2011, 10:29 PM
2-5 give or take. Any more, and it's just too much stuff to drag around. Guns are heavy!

May 22, 2011, 06:47 PM
The range was the back yard, which accomodates 25 and 50 yard shooting. Today my brother brought his Thompson 1928A1, a Custom Colt 1911A1, and a suppressed Ruger .22. I brought out a Beretta 92FS, Browning Hi Power with suppessor, a suppressed Beretta 75 .22, and S&W 500 snubbie. We exposed two non shooters and an ex-marine from the local coffee shop to the variety of guns (two of them even shot the 500 magnum). So, I guess the count is 7 guns, five shooters.

May 22, 2011, 10:37 PM
Really depends on how many people are going with me. If I'm bringing a friend or two, I tend to bring quite a few more, just to let them have fun if they wish.

But if it's just me, typically only two or maybe three, and will probably only shoot one of them. I used to take several, and would just be plinking all day, but with the cost of ammo these days, I can't afford to blast several hundred rounds in one sitting...

Most of the time now, I'm only out there to test out a new load, so I only take the rifle I've loaded for.

If I'm planning on shooting a new build, I'll always take a couple more, or at the very least, a .22lr just in case the build doesn't function reliably, that way I'll not waste a trip to the range, and can still plink around for a couple hours.

jim in Anchorage
May 22, 2011, 11:05 PM
Like the Confederates said about the Yankees Henry rifles they "load all night and shoot all day". 20 bucks in gas to get to the range, $20 range fee I make a day of it 2-3 RFs 3-4 centerfires.

May 23, 2011, 12:29 AM
Carry gun plus 2 or 3

May 23, 2011, 12:31 AM
Anywhere between two and four ... I tend to rarely take just one and usually about three.

Today I had a backpack on my well ... back, a Mossberg 500 in a sheath in front and two handguns in the backpack. So three. That's pretty typical for a trip to Mary's Peak. At a real range I usually only bring handguns. Two or three.

May 23, 2011, 12:54 AM
I am with BigN 2 and 2 for me also. Usually S&W 41 and a centerfire for pistol, Ruger 77/22 Mk II and a .223 of some flavor are the usuals.

May 23, 2011, 02:02 AM
As many as I intend to shoot.

Generally 1 or 2 maybe 3. I find it hard to jump around too much per session. I'll fire a bunch of .22 in rifle or pistol, then 100 rounds or so of ? and follow it up with a mag or 2 of a carry pistol just to make sure I can hit something with it and rotate ammo.

May 23, 2011, 05:25 AM
One or two. But I go once a week, so I get to use quite a few over a month's time. I think it's good to keep a narrow focus at the range, so for me it's work with the carry gun, or work with my scoped rifles, or practice with my lever actions. Also, I usually stay at the range for just an hour or so. Longer than that seems to be a waste of ammo, but that's just me.:)
An added thought...I belong to a gun club that owns the range. So beyond my annual membership fee, I pay nothing to use the range. I think some that pay a day-use fee spend more time to get more value from that fee.

Sav .250
May 23, 2011, 09:06 AM
(1) one. What ever the issues (if there are any) I address them. When
I`m done and satified with the groups, I clean the weapon and put it back
knowing it`s ready if needed.

May 23, 2011, 09:41 AM
3 or 4 and it depends on whether I am just going for fun or trying to sight in.

Last week I took 4. 3 handguns and a rifle. Spent from 9:30-12:30 at the range fired 400 rounds through the pistols forgot to bring a rear sandbag for the rifle and ran out of time anyway so didn't shoot it.

May 23, 2011, 09:50 AM
Only as many as I want to clean

May 23, 2011, 09:57 AM
I used to bring too many as well. Cleaning all of them at the end of the day took too long. I typically decide to either shoot pistol or rifle (or go clay shooting) and just stick with that. From that, I almost never take more than 6. Whether it is rifle or pistol a 22 always comes along. I am a C&R collector so I take a few of them along as well. I always try to get some practice in with at least one of my defense guns, so I usually do that first.

May 24, 2011, 12:48 AM
I am in the "I take too many" group. There is a reason for that. I
don't go often enough, so...when I go I want to shoot every thing! Therefore, I don't get enough time with any particular gun. :(

I need to go more often. Then I could concentrate on one or two...and maybe get better within my abilities.

I think I've been saying this for years...:scrutiny:


May 24, 2011, 11:43 AM
I bring my 2 carrys, and one or two guns that haven't been fired in 6 months or more. Especially if they are used in the house for home defense. Last time I took my 2 carrys and two that needed to be function tested. My AK comes in today or tomorrow, so that will be the next trip.

May 24, 2011, 11:58 AM
The fewer you shoot the better you will be. It is impossible to become very proficient shooting a bunch of different guns every session. Pick the one you want to be the best with and practice with it exclusively for six months. You will be amazed at how quickly your skills will develop.While that is true, it can also quickly take the fun out of it and ruin it for new comers. I like to practice as much as possible with my carry handgun, but you won't catch me going to shoot without a few cans, my buckmark and some spinners or other reactive targets. If it becomes too much of a job with a narrow focus, the passion will fade for many shooters. I'm one of them. If I have to shoot only one gun, from one static position (like in indoor ranges), at a static paper target (no reactive targets) time after time at a range that doesn't allow double taps, dynamic movement or rapid fire...I will lose interest quickly and need to force myself to stay with it.

Edit:: Not only that, if you aren't focused on self defense training, you are there to have fun. Sticking with one platform isn't for everyone. Some people just like to send lead downrange and they don't care if they get any better because they aren't self defense or hunting oriented...they just like to shoot. I can respect and understand that. Some days I feel the same. Some days I leave the paper at home and just slaughter some clay pigeons, tin cans or self resetting steel targets with my 22. Sometimes it is nice to have fun. I guess I'm just not into giving it your utmost dedication with every shot, I like to cut loose and safely have fun sometimes.

May 24, 2011, 01:15 PM
One. Two at most. I'll shoot two or three targets for record score...about 40 rounds worth.

But I'll practice twice a week.

May 24, 2011, 02:04 PM
Only 2 or 3. Too much cleaning.

May 24, 2011, 02:26 PM
Two different calibers and 2 to 4 guns in each caliber. Shooting more and more revolvers cause I'm tired off chaseing brass, But end up chaseing someone else's that they don't want. Hard to pass up the free stuff.

May 24, 2011, 02:33 PM
If in the mood to fire revolvers usually 3 (don't like to clean more than that when I get home), Semi's 1-6, but really I'm usually either working on my accuracy with carry guns only and that's almost always one at a time, or I'm just having which case it could be several.

May 24, 2011, 04:20 PM
I used to bring a whole lot more...

Generally, I always bring my CCW (by default), one centerfire handgun and my .22 pistol and rifle. I'll also generally pack the AR or Saiga if I'm spending time on the rifle range.

If I'm introducing a new shooter to firearms or getting together with a bunch of my friends... Sometimes a few more.

May 24, 2011, 04:45 PM
I used to take three or four, but now that I can walk to a private property range in all of three minutes, I take what I want to shoot when I want to shoot it. gotta love rural living and fellow gun toting neighbors.

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