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Range Ready - Range Prep Tips

Range Ready - Range Prep Tips

Posted by Monte Long on Feb 24th 2022

Well, we did it! Somehow, we managed to survive 2021 and have found ourselves well into 2022. Despite the ongoing pandemic and all that goes along with it, life isn't all doom and gloom. Springfield ArmoryGirsan, and even FN-USA have released new variations of the venerable HiPower, S&W has released a seriously neat-looking compact single-action pocket pistol, and Federal has released the new .30 Super Carry cartridge to pair with a new S&W Shield EZ and a NightHawk Custom 5" 1911. Not only that, but ammunition seems to be more readily available and, while not down to pre-Covid prices, the price is continuing to slowly inch back towards normal.

All of that translates to more things to take to the range and more ammo to put through them! Hooray for us! The next thing to think about is how to maximize your range time with the new guns, the new calibers, or the slightly more available ammunition for the guns you've got. Hopefully, this blog, along with others coming in the near future, can help you with that.

Let's start with proper preparation for your next range trip. I know, that's not the whiz-bang, really fun info you're hoping for, but hear me out. You've constantly close to a million things going on in life if you're like me, which means your time can be limited. Not only that, but my home range, Tac Pro Shooting Center, is a solid 70-mile drive, one way. And, like I said, ammo seems to be slowly inching its way back to normal pricing, but it still ain't cheap!

So, what do I mean by proper preparation? It's actually pretty simple. Have a plan for what you want to accomplish and make a checklist, so you actually leave the house with everything you need for the trip. Trust me – I know WAY too much about the Academy Sports + Outdoors in Weatherford, TX – it is about halfway to the range, which is about the point when I remember everything that I forgot to grab before leaving the house.

Here's an example. As I'm typing this, I'm planning my next range session. I've got several projects to work on, so my plan looks like this at the moment:

  1. Zero Carbines
    1. 5.56 3-gun carbine – 100 yds zero with 77SMK match ammo
    2. New truck gun – 50 yds zero with 70 grain TAP
    3. 308 3-gun carbine – 100 yds zero with 155BTHP match ammo
  2. Pistol Accuracy – Glock 34
    1. Groups
      1. 15 yds
      2. 25 yds
      3. 50 yds
    2. Pat McNamara's 500 point Aggregate
  3. Carbine Distance Work
    1. 5.56 3-gun carbine – check hold offs to 600 yds
    2. 308 3-gun carbine – Check hold offs to 600 yds
    3. New truck gun – check hold offs to 300 yds

That's a solid day of work at the range. Now, looking at the plan of what I want to do, I know that I need to have the following items to take with me:

  1. 5.56 3-gun carbine
    1. 20 and 30 round magazines
  2. New truck gun
  3. 308 3-gun carbine
    1. 10, 20, and 25 round magazines
  4. Spotting scope and tripod
  5. Glock 34 and magazines
  6. 3-gun belt rig
  7. LabRadar chronograph
  8. Targets
    1. Carbine zeroing targets
    2. USPSA/IDPA cardboard
    3. B8 repair centers
  9.  Pasters, target tape or masking tape
  10. Timer
  11. Tool kit
  12. Staple gun and staples
  13. Spray paint
  14. 9MM ammo – at least 200 rounds
  15. 77SMK match ammo – at least 200 rounds
  16. 70 grain TAP – at least 100 rounds
  17. 155BTHP match ammo – at least 200 rounds
  18. Notebook and pen
  19. Sharpie
  20. Water and snacks

Honestly, some of that (staple gun, staples, 20 round AR15 magazine, 10 round 308 magazines, and target tape) typically live in the car. When I'm loading gear into the vehicle, I can take a quick look to ensure that I've got everything else I need. I usually go to the range once a week, and it's just easier to leave it in the 4Runner, so I don't have to worry about it too much (not to mention, it is a bit embarrassing to be a gun guy and realize that you got to the range with your guns, but no magazines – trust me on this), so it's still a good idea to throw it on the checklist.

Obviously, the plan and checklist will vary depending on the range session. But making the plan and the checklist will help you get to the range ready to be productive with everything you need to accomplish your goal.

Give it a try the next time you head to the range to get some trigger time!

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