What’s in your range bag?

My friend Dan and I went shooting together for the first time the other night. I was taking him to my favorite shooting range so I was the host. On our drive to the range I explained my safety procedures for being at the range. He was impressed with my level of detail when it came to safety. I had not given it much thought but I do some things most normal shooters do not do. I felt I should share them with you in hopes that you would gain some insight into shooting at a professional level.

My range bag has all of the normal shooting accessories, such as magazines, ammunition, holsters, bug spray, and sun block, but it also has some very specific emergency equipment.

Whatever shooting range I go to — and I do shoot at a few different ranges facilities — I have detailed written instructions of how to get there in my bag. Of course I know how to get there, but in an emergency will emergency responders know how to get there? In Dan’s case he had never been to my range. If something were to happen to me, heart attack, gunshot wound or whatever, how would he know how to tell them where we were? My directions are written out using landmarks and route numbers to describe exactly where we are. I also use GPS coordinates that can be given to a 911 operator  if necessary. In an emergence, especially dealing with blood loss, every second counts. Getting help to the scene and expedient evacuation give you better odds of a positive outcome.

I also carry an Enhanced First Aid Kit, “enhanced” being a regular First Aid Kit with gunshot wound care accessories added. Not that people are shot often at the range, but what more likely place for a shooting accident to happen? If everyone followed gun safety procedures no one would ever be shot accidentally . . . but things don’t always go as planned. If you go to the public ranges — which I never do — it would likely be someone that is not even shooting with you that may have the problem.

I have also sought and received first aid training from the Red Cross. There was no gunshot wound component to that training, but it is good for many boo-boo type injuries that can happen anywhere. I took further steps to acquire more advanced training that did include gunshot wound care. It is called TCCC, Tactical Combat Casualty Care, and is generally associated with military training. I took the course at a tactical training school and it covered many of the wounds you may encounter associated with shooting victims. It would be much better to have a nurse, EMT, or doctor around when it happened, but I could probably keep you alive until those types of individuals arrived on scene. Luckily, no one has ever endured having first aid administered by me; well, except for a few unlucky vehicular accident victims.

Hopefully, there are some things here you can add to your range bag. If you are a shooter, hunter, or fisherman I highly recommend first aid training. I found the Red Cross to be a helpful and friendly place for instruction. It is also fairly inexpensive. Enhanced First Aid Kits can be found on eBay for under $100 and generally include everything from aspirin to tourniquets, all very handy when the time comes. Good shooting.

  • Jack Weigand
  • Jack established Weigand Combat Firearms in Mountain Top in 1982. He has spent all his adult life shooting, studying, and working on firearms. Over the years, Jack has constantly striven to increase his ability, knowledge, and professionalism. Long a believer in competition as a testing ground for his theory, Jack boasts an impressive list of shooting accomplishments.

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