First time going to the range

Hi everyone! New USCCA member and new firearms owner (HK VP9, if important) here! I want to go to the range for the first time and have obviously taken Comm of Massachusetts courses that include proper carrying of the firearm and ammo to and from the range, but I am wondering if anyone has any recommendations on a particular bag/box/storage gear to use for ammo transport (firearm would be on my person)? Brand name and item #/description would be very much appreciated. I expect for now to only bring about 50-100 rounds of 9mm at any given time, but that could increase with additional firearms/caliber purchases. Thank you and have a great day!

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Welcome aboard! :+1:

I use a soft side tool bag. You can usually find them for under $10 at big box stores https://www.homedepot.com/p/Stanley-12-in-Soft-Sided-Tool-Bag-STST70574/203767754

Don’t forget ear and eye protection :grinning:

Edit: I use a larger one with a shoulder strap if I am taking more than one caliber. If you get an additional pistol, you can get a pistol rug at basspro.com for $5 https://www.basspro.com/shop/en/redhead-soft-pistol-cases
and carry extra firearm in the tool bag.

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Welcome to the family and god bless you. Well I purchased a Pelican Vault box from the USCCA store and that’s what I use to carry my stuff to the range. They also have a range bag. On your USCCA Portal go to the STORE ICON and you can see them.

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Welcome @JAMES504! Welcome to the USCCA community and the brother/sisterhood of firearms owners. That is a wide open question with lots of answers and none are wrong. Do you prefer a backpack-style or a duffle style? How much are you looking to spend. It doesnt take much to get into the $100’s. In all honesty, any well built (and that is key) duffel will work and has the advantage of not screaming “gun.” Well built is the key, because the weight adds up quick. A couple hundred rounds of ammo, muffs, glasses, holster, maybe a shot timer and tool kit and the weight just creeps up there. A wimpy bag will be blowing zippers and seams in no time. I know you want specifics, but please tell us a little more about your preferences and I will come back with specific suggestions. Also, do you have a preference if it screams gun bag, or do you want it a little more subdued?

But to start off, just a quick amazon search will give you a lot of choices such as this:

Here is what I use for handgun-specific outings if you must know:

Also, if you feel like writing about yourself, I would love to hear your story to gun ownership and what we can do to better welcome and attract new gun owners here.

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Range bag big enough to carry firearms, ammo, eyes and ears, targets, spare magazines. Since I usually take two firearms, one for me one for the wife, I gotta double up

Depending on your current local rules, if you gotta wear one you can atleast look awesome while doing it!! :grin:

P.S. only taking 100 rounds for a “first time”? Man I wish I had that kind of self control…

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If you have a strong enough back pack with several compartments that will work also.

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@JAMES504 uscca has a nice range bag check the online store was out of stock but may be back now

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@JAMES504 I just checked the uscca store and they have the bag worth the money

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Thank you everyone for such quick replies! I truly appreciate it.

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Welcome @JAMES504!!!

After buying ammo and a couple of more guns lately… this is all I can afford now…

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@TexasEskimo Dang, not even double bagged…? Wow…

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@BigdodgedemoN Since 9mm is in such short in supply I can do without double-bagging . Recently I only take 50 rounds with me.

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You are one crazy :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye::joy::+1:

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USCCA has a range bag that I’ve been using for the last two years at a reasonable price and high quality (I’m rough on bags and it’s lasted).

Welcome to the community.

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If it’s one gun, I usually keep it in a small gun case, and slide it into an old, multi-compartment, standard sized backpack that can take a little weight (need it to be strong enough to handle the weight of everything). I keep the small case in one compartment, ammo in a seperate compartment, and eyes and ears protection and targets (and related tools) in another. With this setup, if I have more than one handgun or a rifle, I can use a larger gun case carried in hand, and still keep my ammo and range equipment in the backpack. I usually have the cases locked with a padlock or something similar. Also, I can lock up the backpack with TSA locks if necessary.

You should verify with your local laws and range what policies they have on containers for firearms transport. My setup is a carryover from when I used to go to outdoor rifle ranges, and I just used what I had on hand. Different setups might be better suited to others.

IMO, one benefit to having a separate gun case is that I can put it on the shooting shelf by itself, and orient it towards the target before ever opening the case. I don’t know if one can do this well with a large bag (depending on your range’s setup). I usually setup the firearm on the shooting shelf oriented with the barrel down range and slide locked open, then go into my bag to get the ammo and place the ammo, target, etc. next to the locked-open firearm.

Recently, my range has started checking all gun cases and ammo before allowing people on the range. I’m going to use some brightly colored zip ties as chamber flags because of this new procedure. I’ll add, one downside to my local range is that they don’t give you a case for rental guns. Therefore, if you don’t have a case with you, you have to bring the unloaded firearm through the corridors and back to the range counter. I use my own case to transport the rental gun from the counter to the range and back because of this.

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Another vote for the USCCA bag.

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19 in. Plastic Portable Tool Box with Metal Latches and Removable Tool Tray

(835)

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  • Inside; 16.5L x 8.5W x 7.75H / Outside; 19.3L x 10.4W x 9.9H
  • Constructed of durable polypropylene
  • Includes removable storage tray/28.65 weight capacity

$9.97 Home Depot

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Thank you…this is my concern. My understanding of Massachusetts law is that ammo must be in a LOCKED container while transporting. Lots of good responses to my original post, but a locked ammo container I believe is what I need.

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Hopefully someone here has more knowledge of MA laws. All I could find was that ammunition needs to be locked up when stored (i.e. at home). From a quick google search, I couldn’t find anything ‘official’ that stated ammunition, in and of itself, must be stored in a locked container during transport. I would assume that you are not storing ammunition in your car, but are transporting ammunition for use at the range, or to bring back from the range to store at your home.

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Hey James,

Welcome and Nice to see another HK owner on here among all you crazy Glock owners…just kidding…it’s pretty diverse and I own one of everything at this point. lol

So there’s a couple things to consider when you go to the range the first time.

  1. Some ranges don’t want you drawing your concealed carry weapon from it’s holster that you’re wearing. Check with the range you plan to go to and see what they prefer you do so you aren’t making everyone nervous.
  2. Honestly anything will work the first time. I started with a random backpack I owned and just used that until buying a small 2 pistol fabric case (2 pistols…ah I remember when I only had 2…simplier times then…). As I went more and wanted to carry more ammo, ear and eye protection, tools, more pistols, etc…my bags changed and adapted. You might even start off with a backpack and see what the range has as far as gear also. Nice to support your local range.
  3. Have fun. You can take every class and watch every video but at the end of the day, shooting is quite fun and enjoy it and have a blast (Pun intended)!
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