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.

Specifications:

Height:                              10”
Width:                               15”
Length:                              22”
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.

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27 Responses to Gear Review: MidwayUSA Competition Range Bag

  1. I got mine about 6 months ago. Other than some stitching that missed one side of the velcro piece that holds the two handles together, it seems to be pretty well made and has held up well so far. Lots of useful pockets for mags, tools, earmuffs, glasses, etc. I also really like the water bottle holder on it.

  2. I have this range bag as well, recommended to my by my older brother. I have on occassion stuffed it completely full with target load 12 ga and other ammo, probably putting close to 60lbs in the bag and it didn’t even flinch.

    • But that makes my liquor bottles cold. Why would you deprive liquor of it natural protective skin? Oh, the humanity.

      Please visit nonakedbooze.com and donate to keep liquor from being homeless and covered properly. Because, only you can make a difference.

      • Trust me, the bottles have served their purpose and are now empty. It’s like every time you buy a new pistol you have to toast it by downing a 40 of Rye, just for the bag : ))

  3. I have this bag in black, wife bought it for me for Christmas last year, and I absolutely love it. It was actually much bigger than I thought it was going to be. The only downside with that is you could literally put everything you have in it and before you know it, you’re range bag weighs in at 75lbs. 😉

  4. Agree….good bag. Zipper pulls are crap though. Have had the same problem with the zipper pulls on their drag bags…which area also good.

  5. I use a gym bag or something else not remotely related to guns; it’s from a habit I picked up when I lived in KKKalifornication.

  6. I use the smaller “compact” Midway bag for my range sessions and it is a good fit for my needs, but does not come with the dividers or pistol pouches of the big bag. This one sells for $30 on sale or $50 regular price. I agree with the comments on the zipper pulls as I have had to reassemble two of them.

    I was careful to choose the Midway version of olive drab, a color which I would NOT mistake for regular luggage when traveling. I have no desire to test the detection limits of TSA.

  7. Kodak camera bag, lots of pouches, all padded walls, floor, and top, good spots for guns, ammo, ears… $3 at Goodwill! One of my buddies has the theme from Sanford and Son as my ringtone. Budget gunners unite!

  8. It’s funny to hear how many people have this. I’ve been debating buying one for 6 months or so, watching it go on sale, off sale, on sale, off sale about every three weeks. Guess I need to get on it and join the club, huh?

  9. I bought one (in OD green) and like it very much but it is capacious, and fully loaded, it is heavy. Accordingly, I asked Larry Potterfield @ Midway USA to please send me a porter for my use on range days. I’m still waiting…

    • I’ve never had a problem loading up my guns and ammo. The weight has never been an issue for me at all, even when it’s hundreds of pounds.

      Okay, the truth? That’s what my shooting pals (son-in-law and son) are for! The only downside is that I seem to be paying for everything…

  10. In Kalifornia we have to keep our guns in seperate containers from our ammo when transporting. I use cheap plastic walmart tool boxes for my range bags and foam lined hardshell carriers for my guns.

    • That has to be tough in that state.
      For packing up, I use inexpensive tool bags for guns (or sometimes a plastic bin) and for ammo I use either Cabela’s plastic ammo cans (free with certain purchases) or the ones I get from Georgia Arms when I order their “canned heat” .38 Special reloads.

      Cheap plastic sure isn’t what it was 30 or 40 years ago. The old stuff was brittle, but I’ve had plenty of cheap plastic boxes now that last for decades. Good choice.

    • No you do not. California requires your firearms to be unloaded, and handguns to be inaccessible during transport. There is no requirement for guns and ammo to be in separate containers.

  11. Check midway in November/December they seem to go sale every year around this time in hopes you purchase more than the bag.

    I have the larger and smaller version and unlike others, I have had zero zipper issues and my bags have been through hell with all the gear I carry to captions or when I doing pistol training.

    They only thing I would recommend is if you want to slap a lock on your bag, the compact and small bags can be locked the top zipper on the large competition bag cannot at least not easily.

  12. Greetings to All! I only recently made firearms my hobby and bought this range bag in black for $45.00. If you are considering buying this bag…..GET IT YOU WON’T BE SORRY! It’s very well made and will easily accomidate your guns ,ammo,drinks,snacks, cleaning kits,eyes and ears protection and lots of other stuff. It has lots of compartments and the zippers and shoulder strap are very good quality.

  13. I also have this bag. It’s perfect, and when it’s on sale (every so often), it’s an unbeatable deal. When it goes on sale again, I might just get another.

  14. You’re right, at $45 this is a steal — also looks like the zippers are high quality and reinforced which have also been a pain in my side as I tend to fill these bags to the brim. I believe the 22″ length will be ideal for the amount of stuff I like to bring with me to the range. Thanks for the review.

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