Blackhawk Range Bag & Bag Contents: A Review

Blackhawk is a brand that spans back a few decades. I’ve used their products for years and have been well pleased. This article will focus on one of their range bags and how it makes range sessions much more enjoyable.

Blackhawk has a wide range of products, including holsters, bipods, pouches of all sorts, slings, range bags, duty gear including belts, gun cases, gun parts such as rifle stocks, and tactical gear such as plate carriers.

Range Bags

A good range bag consolidates and organizes all the shooting supplies that a shooter normally needs at the range. It’s pure pleasure to be able to grab one bag and have just about everything you need contained in that bag. It cuts down on trips back and forth to the vehicle to load up items to go to the range. Too many trips can turn an otherwise fun session into a real drag. Personally, I wouldn’t say I like turning simple tasks into a major production.

Over the years, I’ve standardized the basic gear that I drag along to the range. I’ll get into the list of items in a bit, but first, the range bag.

Blackhawk included numerous compartments on the outside of the bag. One is mesh and secured with a zipper and runs most of the length of the bag. Another outside compartment is the same size on the other side of the bag—it’s not mesh but nylon and is also secured by a zipper. In fact, the entire bag is comprised of heavy-duty nylon. I’ve had the bag for over 20 years, and it has held up perfectly so far and shows no signs of excessive wear.

Blackhawk range bag.
Blackhawk’s range bag has multiple compartments, which make it convenient to organize gear. The top flap zips shut, protecting the bag’s contents. Paper plates make a cheap, improvised target. Photo: Jim Davis.

Multiple compartments on each side of the bag are secured by zippers, and they offer generous storage space.

The main portion of the bag consists of a very large compartment to store the larger items for the range. Within that compartment, there is another range bag that fits inside and splits the inside compartment into three smaller compartments. This really helps to organize items.

That small range bag also has two compartments that run along the entire side of the bag and are padded and secured by zippers. A pistol can be stored inside each one, and the padding offers great protection for the guns. That inside bag is secured to the main range bag using a hook-and-loop panel, so it won’t go anywhere unless you really want it to.

I never removed the smaller internal range bag to use separately; instead, I chose to have it remain as part of the overall package. But the option is always there if I choose to use them as separate bags. I like options.

To top it off, the main range bag also has internal compartments to store items. There are also elastic loops on the inside for securing rifle magazines and such.

There are strong nylon handles to carry the bag around, and they work well. A long nylon shoulder strap makes it convenient to throw the whole rig over the shoulder and works very well. The shoulder strap can be detached easily because there are hooks that clip onto rings attached to the bag.


With all of those compartments, organizing the various shooting supplies is a breeze. Being able to secure both small items and larger ones is a real advantage. The alternative is having everything floating around inside like a giant soup, which is no fun when I’m trying to find a specific piece of gear.

The Gear

Each person likes to personalize their range bag, including items that are useful for shooting sessions. Quite often, the items included are borne out of experience. What am I talking about? Those range trips where things go wrong, and you need a certain piece of gear, but you realize that it’s been left at home. Such occasions teach us what to bring for next time. There’s nothing like having to cut a range session short with a drive home to retrieve a piece of gear that could have saved the day in the first place.

Blackhawk bag and essential gear.
The longer you shoot, the more gear you’re likely to accumulate for your shooting bag. Photo: Jim Davis.


Although large qualification-type targets won’t fit in the range bag, I like to keep some smaller ones in there. I have large photo targets of faces to mix things up a little. I also keep a supply of cheap paper dinner plates in there because they are great for attaching to larger targets as an aiming point for extended ranges.


Sharpie markers are invaluable for modifying targets, such as adding small dots as aiming points. They’re also great for marking hits on targets for multiple strings of fire, so you know where each string of hits landed. Finally, I often mark targets for information with one when shooting photos for articles. It helps keep things straight and organized.

A Sharpie and multi-tools.
Sharpies, a multi-tool, and other tools make life easier on the range. Photo: Jim Davis.


Having a driver set of various sizes of screwdriver heads is always an asset, and a set of Torx heads can be very useful, too. There are times when scope bases might come loose, and being able to tighten them up at the range can really save the day.

Aside from that, sometimes minor repairs on firearms are needed. Sometimes, field stripping a gun requires basic tools, such as pliers, which can also be a major asset.

I have a MultiTasker gun tool with a lot of features built-in, including 10 Hex bits, a carbon scraper, a hook, a sight adjustment tool, a pin punch, and other items. It packs a ton of tools into a package about the size of a marker and can really save the day when you’re in a pinch.

There are tool kits built purposely for certain firearms, such as the AR-15, that have specific tools to make life easier for those platforms. These are often worth the investment.


We need a way to put targets up on the backers, and a quality stapler is the way to go. I have a metal one that drives staples into the wood. Don’t forget a healthy supply of spare staples.

Walker's ear pro, stapler, and staples.
Hearing protection, a stapler, and spare staples. These should be considered essentials for a shooting bag. Photo: Jim Davis.

Hearing Protection

Hearing protection is absolutely essential. If you skip it, you will suffer irreparable damage to your hearing, which is simply not worth it.

Of late, I’ve been using electronic hearing protection from Walker’s. These ear muffs amplify normal sounds on the range so wearers can hear range commands and talk with other shooters. In fact, it’s possible to hear sounds that are not normally heard, such as birds and dogs barking in the distance, because electronics don’t only allow us to hear, but they amplify the sounds. At the same time, if there’s a loud noise, such as a gunshot, the electronics shut down, protecting our hearing. Walker’s offers a number of options for hearing protection, and I highly recommend them.

I keep a few pairs of earmuffs in my shooting bag because there always seems to be someone without a pair who’s shooting with me, so I give them a set of mine in such cases.

Eye Protection

We only have two eyes, and it doesn’t take very much to damage them. So, like hearing protection, eye protection is essential. I wear eyeglasses, so I always have my eye protection in place. It’s one of the few benefits of constantly needing corrective lenses; I’m never without my eye protection.

However, for those blessed with good vision, shooting glasses are a must. There’s no reason to be without them because they’re available at an extremely inexpensive price point.

Shooting Gloves

A pair of shooting gloves makes life more pleasant when running various platforms, especially the AK-47 series. Mechanix Wear has some of the best in the industry. They protect the hands while still permitting us to maintain a high degree of dexterity.

Vortex rangefinder and Mechanix shooting gloves.
A rangefinder is a nice luxury item. Shooting gloves are essential and can save hands from wear and tear. Photo: Jim Davis.

Spare Ammunition

I normally don’t weigh my shooting bag down with a ton of ammo. However, it’s normal for me to keep a few boxes of .22 LR ammo in the bag because it’s so light and compact.

Have you ever arrived at the range to discover that you’ve left your ammo for one particular caliber at home? It’s frustrating when that happens.

Personally, I usually have a spare bag that I stuff my ammo into for range trips. It frees up my main shooting bag for the items listed here. Plus, it forces me to inventory the ammunition that I need for each particular range trip. That way, I know exactly what I need and what I’ve gathered to bring along. It’s all about organization.


I keep my Vortex rangefinder in my shooting bag. It comes in handy for unmarked ranges or when you’re shooting between marked points. It’s not an essential item, but it’s nice to have.


Having some specific tools in the bag makes life a lot easier. A good driver set, pliers, and other items can really save the day.

With that said, I’m a huge proponent of having a muti-tool available. Normally, I carry one on my belt daily, and it comes in handy more times than I can count. Most multi-tools have pliers, knife blades, saw blades, prying blades, Phillips and regular screwdrivers, files, and a host of other gadgets that you didn’t even realize you needed. My Gerber multi-tool even has a ruler on the handle for measuring shot groups and such.

There are a number of multi-tool makers on the market, but my favorites are Leatherman and Gerber. I highly recommend having one in your shooting bag and/or on your belt. I also have one in the “Get Home” bag that’s in my vehicle. These are one item that you can’t have too many of.

In Closing

A good, sturdy, properly stocked range bag can save a shooter a ton of headaches and make trips to the range far more trouble-free and enjoyable.

Hopefully, the list of items I’ve included here can make your life a little easier. I’m far from an expert, and it’s a sure bet that readers out there have an even more detailed list of essentials than I have. So let’s hear from our readers out there – what items do you consider to be essential for trips to the range?

Jim Davis served in the PA Dept. of Corrections for 16 ½ years as a corrections officer in the State Correctional Institute at Graterford and later at SCI Phoenix. He served on the Corrections Emergency Response Team (CERT), several of those years as a sniper, and also the Fire Emergency Response Team (FERT). For 25 years, he was a professional instructor, teaching topics including Defensive Tactics, Riot Control and Tactical Operations, Immediate Responder, and cognitive programs as an adjunct instructor at the DOC Training Academy. He was then promoted to the title of corrections counselor, where he ran a caseload and facilitated cognitive therapy classes to inmates. His total service time was close to 29 years. He was involved in many violent encounters on duty, including incidents of fatalities. He is a dedicated Christian and attributes any skills that he has to the glory of God.

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