What do you usually bring on a range trip?

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Dec 25, 2002
Poulsbo, Wa
So, I'm getting off grave yard shift here in a bit, and I'm supposed to meet a buddy at the range to do some serious stress relief.

I own 9 guns, but wasn't planning on bring them all, because I can't spend 6 hours at the range. Need to get some sleep before coming back in. Here is what I am bringing:

Saiga 7.62 X 39 with 180 rounds.

Charles Daly 1911 and Firestorm Mini .45: 150 rounds

Marlin 1894 C: Currently have 140ish rounds, will probably pick up more at Wally-World on the ay to the range, because this gun is just a hoot to shoot.

What I'm wondering is what most people consider a worth-while trip to the range. I know some folks around these parts consider 9 guns just a starter collection, so I guess it's easy for me to see how some guns become range queens. But, let's here it...how many guns and how much ammo do you bring on a typical trip to the range?


Depends on if it's just you or if you need to bring enough to share with others.

180 rounds of 7.62x39 would be enough to keep me busy for 2 or 3 hours of focused practice.

I usually bring an alternate just in case there's some sort of problem I can't fix in the field.

If I'm going to meet a group I'll bring as much as I can cram in the car. The more options the merrier.
I used to take a little bit of everything whenever I went out to shoot with people. The problem was that everything got shot a little (usually with corrosive ammo :rolleyes: ) so everything had to be cleaned afterwards. Also I would take enough ammo for everything that if we wound up shooting something more or less exclusively that there would be plenty. Hauling all that extra ammo around got old (& heavy :D ) in a hurry.

These days I try to keep things down to 1 centerfire rifle type - 8mm or 7.62x54, 1 pistol type - usually 9mm, & of course .22s for the kids. I may bring 3-4 rifles/pistols with me but they will all be chambered the same. For me anyway it makes things a bit easier.

Well this looks like a good place to make my 1st post here. Been lurking for awhile, and to tell the truth I can't keep up with the posts on this site, it's busy!!

I've gone to the range with as little as one gun and 5 rnds of ammo and as many as 10 and 500+ rnds of ammo.

On an average pleasure trip tho,

If I'm shooting handguns I'll take 2-3 and around 3- 500 rnds of ammo depending on how long I plan on being out, goes quick in those autos as you know.

If I'm shooting the long range I'll take a rifle and some of my contenders (with a couple 3 xtra bbls) and anywhere from 20 to 50 rnds for each.

If I'm doing a test or evaluation on a gun/bbl I take only the subject gun and ammo being tested and give it my full attention.

Then there is all the accessories, I have a box for my chronograph, spotting scope, targets, rests and bags, with ammo dispersed in the nooks and crannys. Then another box for hearing protection, more ammo and cleaning supplies + all the little tools, gadjets and doodahs that one may need at the range.
Well, I usually take a few hundred rounds for the handgun I plan on shooting, about one hundred rounds for my wifes pistol (she shoots a smaller caliber). Then a few hundred for any rifle, either my M1 Garand and/or SKS.

I don't mind shooting a handgun and a rifle on the same trip, but I try to only shoot one or the other. This way I can really concentrate on shooting the handgun or rifle, and not worry about running out of range time and hurrying along.
I usually bring a little of everything since we have many different types of ranges at my club.

Silhouette Range
I always bring my reactive and auto-reset steel targets for the 250m silhouette range. Firearms of choice: Rem 700 PSS, Rem 700 BDL, Lone Eagle 7mm-08 and .22 rifles.

High Power Range
Any of the above (minus the .22s) plus my Garand and/or Rem 1903A3 for the 200 yard range.

Smallbore Range
Either the Win .22 or my CMP H&R M12 .22 target rifle.

Handgun Ranges
I bring a couple, personal favorites: G23 and SIG P226.

Shotgun Ranges: Trap, Skeet and 5 Stand
Beretta 686 o/u.

I obviously don't bring all these, but I usually bring a combination of any two. Just in case the Silhouette Range (one of my favorites) has an event going on or several folks are using it. In that case, I have either my handguns or shotgun to go off to those ranges and shoot. When I'm done at the alternate range, I'll return to the first range and shoot there.

There's also the miscellaneous, but necessary tackle box of cleaning supplies and cleaning rods, cooler of food and water/soda, bug spray, digital camera, rags, hat, sunglasses/shooting glasses, shooting mat, paper targets other odds n ends I bring but never use and oh yea . . . ammo.
When shooting around the house it's only .22lr with the 22/45 or S&W 41. I do this almost everyday, about 100 rounds. I have a neat little 50yard set up. Anything bigger and John Law might be asked to come out to the place.

When shooting anything larger our "range" is an hour drive to Jawbone Cyn in the Mojave. That turns it into an all day affair (which we do twice a month).

I used to bring 10-15 guns and boxes of ammo but spending 4-5 hours on Saturday night cleaning guns got old.

Now I bring 1 pistol (300rnds) , 1 revo (300 rnds) and a 1 rifle (300 rnds). I try to really focus on shooting each gun instead of just blasting away. We usually spend the last hour or so with some friendly wagering and tiny targets. Maybe wrap it up with a few Tannerite's for fun.

A cooler with food/drinks and a portable canopy/table/chairs make things comfy.
I usually look in the safe and say enie-meini-meini-mo after checking my ammo supplies.
If #1 son is going along I get his opinion except he usually wants to take everything!
Another consideration is how much time do I have to spend cleaning guns when I get home.
I usually never bring more than 3 guns each trip, one SKS, a Ruger PC9 and a handgun and a minimum of 100 rds per firearm also drinking water, binoculars to spot targets downrange
its not worth it to me to go to the range for only a few minutes, or even one hour. i load up with at least 500 rounds of .22lr and enough 45acp to keep me occupied for 2 hours.
i could spend most of my day plinking with the .22, and i sometimes do just that.
if i shoot the shotgun, i bring at least 100 shells, and have maybe 10 or 20 magnum loads as well.

i need to get my mauser fixed back up cause i love shooting that as well.

my range trips are at least 3 hours.
What do I usually bring?

Well since the range is a 75 mile round trip for me I pretty much bring everything. I also always end up forgetting something.

The biggest help I've found is to stash away extra hearing protection in the glove box and shooting box. There is nothing worse than showing up at the range and finding out you forgot your hearing protection. Plus you might save someone elses day at the range. A box of foam plugs is easily stashed and you don't have to ask for them back.

Good Shooting
Usually during a range session, I try to take at the
very least one revolver and one self-loader. It just
depends on what kind'a mood I'm in as to calibers
selected? But in most instances it is the 6" Smith
& Wesson 686-5; along with my old duty weapon,
the West German .45 caliber SIG-SAUER P220A.

Other items I have on hand are targets, electronic
hearing protection, old toothbrush, oily (Break Free)
rag, prescription shooting glass'es, cleaning rod with
brush and wool mop all consolidated in my range bag.

Oops! and of course ammo for both guns.

Best Wishes,
Ala Dan, N.R.A. Life Member
In my USGI Medium ALICE pack:

-bore patches
-bore brushes
-handgun cleaning rod
-detailing cloths (lint free rags)
-staple gun + staples
-hearing protection (plugs, disposable plugs, muffs)
-brass punches
-Leatherman tool
-assorted allen and torx wrenches
-Past Recoil Shield
-stock boot
-Shoot N C 2" pasters
-small spiral notepad
-Sharpie markers (assorted colors)

Seperately carried:

-Bushnell Spacemaster armored 20-45x60mm and table top tripod in carrying bag
-cleaning rods in cleaning rod cases
-full size tripod
-ammo can with surplus ammunition (if shooting milsurp rifles such as Mosin Nagant or Mauser)

Rifles, handguns, and support equipment (slings, bipods, etc) in respective gun cases.

That's all I remember right now.

Oh, and a 5 gallon bucket to pickup all that brass the range 'irregulars' leave behind because they don't reload. :D
Lately I have been hauling way too much to the range.

  1. Big pistol case with 9 pistols
  2. Gun toolbox with cleaning supplies and misc
  3. Pistol ammo box
  4. Rifle ammo box
  5. Targets
  6. Ear and eye protection

    All that stuff is at least three trips back and forth to the car. I am thinking about getting one of those little luggage carts they sell at Walmart. For IPSC competitions I am trying to get one of those big range bags that everyone has. Will see I might just get a bigger toolbox and keep everything in there.
I usually bring one or two handguns, a rifle and maybe a shotgun. A couple hundred rounds, and all my range supplies. Thats about 4 trips to the truck.
A couple of times a year I'll bring more, but then it becomes an exercise in "hey, lets try to fire everything we brought instead of actually training meaningfully with one or two weapons".
(In no particular order)

Coat (if it's cold, which it hasn't been)
525rds of .22lr
200rds of 7.62x39mm
My SAR-1
My Marlin 60, with whatever scope it's wearing that day
Bottle of coke/other beverage
Pack of cigarettes
Leatherman tool
Loose change
Car keys
Ear plugs (the Silencio valve type)

That's... that's about it... :)
Inflatable sheep
2 jars of mango chutney
3 kleg lights with extension cords
fitted rubber sheets
Video camara
2 traffic cones
hot water bottle with attachment

Oh wait, wrong list...
I keep a Glock tool, Wilson 1911 tool, small bottle of CLP, cotton T-shirt and ear pro in my range bag so that all I have to do is stuff a couple of handguns into the pistol sleeves, grab the appropriate ammo cans and head for the range. If rifles are part of the program it may take a second trip to get everything into the vehicle without a second body to help with the loadout.
Depends. In order of distance I can go: 1 mile to a friend's ranch with the ATV where he has a range set up on his property; 4 miles to a formal range with target frames; or 28 miles to a chunk of BLM land where I can shoot long range rifle over a 360 degree radius and not worry. Unless the weather is ridiculous I generally shoot every day, which accomplishes more than marathon sessions and being ankle deep in brass.

Always one centerfire pistol. If a revolver, usually fire 15 rounds ball & dummy on a metal swinger tgt. Semiauto centerfire, usually 3 magazines. If a .22 counterpart, might then fire 40-50 rds. If shooting a .30 cal. rifle, about 24 rounds.

I have a GI tool bag ready to go with timer, ear plugs (in case I forget my regular earmuffs), paper plates (for targets), tacks , said metal tgt, ammo for the particular weapon (s).

I found out years ago on trips and range trips that I would take X number of guns and tend to shoot only one short gun and one long gun at most. Plus I believe in cleaning and maintaining my tools, but I don't want to spend hours at it. Sometimes less is more.

...As an LEO firearms instructor I had to set up everything for qualifying about 50 officers on a bare-bones range--target frames, poppers, metal targets, etc., etc. Ammo came to the range by the case. My "range box" was a fully loaded 3/4 ton pickup.

And that is why I like travelling light now.
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