By Nathan Shonts
One of the shocks you get as someone new to guns is how much gear you’ll need to go along with your new shootin’ iron. From safety equipment to optics, holsters, cleaning kits and anything in between, there’s no shortage of additional materiel to attract your disposable dollars. Since my budget is, shall we say, limited, I usually end up reading reviews and looking at pictures of all the gear I hope to lay out my cash for some day. But if you’re gonna shoot your gun (and you really should) you have to get it — along with all the associated paraphernalia — from home to range and back again. So there was one purchase I just couldn’t put off any longer; a range bag . . .
For about six months I made do with an old backpack. But by the time I crammed it full of boxes of ammo, magazines, eye and hearing pro — oh, and my guns, too — it was literally bursting at the seams. So an upgrade was definitely in order. I looked around a while at shops and ranges but everything seemed too small or too limited for all my shooty schtuff. Then, like the sun parting the clouds, I came across the perfect fit — MidwayUSA’s Competition Range Bag.
This carryall is a well-constructed thing of beauty, with enough pockets to fit everything you’ll want to haul to the range with room left over for a small Schnauzer. Lots of the pockets are set up to be used for a specific purpose; there is a zip-open pocket with 8 magazine holders (a total of 14 in the bag) which can hold just about any type of pistol mags. There are also four exterior pockets perfect for eyes and ears, snap caps and almost anything else you’d need schlep. There is even a water bottle holder.
On the inside there’s a removable sectioned ammo caddy with sewn-on handles. They’ve even included a couple of zippered pockets, perfect for holding your spent brass if you’re into the reloading thing. The interior compartments are also user-configurable with velcro dividers so you can nestle your ammo snug a bug in a rug. Midway also thoughtfully includes two pistol pouches so you can keep your beauties protected from dings and comfortably tucked away until you get to the range.
It’s hard to say enough about how thoughtfully designed and well-made the Competition Range Bag is. For me, it just works. And given the high-quality materials and tough construction, I have to believe it’s going to be extremely durable, too. If you are looking for an upgrade to your current range bag or need to by your first one, it’s more than worth a look. And at only $45 it won’t break the bank.
Main compartment: 17″ L x 10″ W x 10″ H
Pockets: 9 total, 2 on removable ammo carrier
Colors: black, coyote and OD
Price: $45 (sale price, regularly $80)
Ratings (out of five stars):
Useability: * * * *
Flexible, practical design with more pockets than I know what to do with.
Value: * * * * *
At its $45 sale price, this well-made bag is a fantastic bargain. At its “normal” price of $80, it’s still nice. But snatch one up before 9/30/2012 when the price will nearly double.
Overall: * * * *(*)
At $45 it’s a great value and gets all five stars. At the $80 full price, still a solid four stars. Either way, you won’t regret it.