Monday, July 30, 2012

Concealed Carry For Larger Women

By Carrie Lightfoot - Guest Contributor

Women have multiple challenges carrying a firearm. Many of those challenges are due to the curves and shorter waists of the female body. Adding to the problem is finding holsters that can be worn comfortably, discreetly and safely while allowing for effective access to the firearm should the need arise. Most holsters are designed by men for a man's body and typical male clothing styles.

For larger, full-figured women the challenges are even greater. A large bust makes reaching for the firearm difficult and sometimes impossible, if crossing the body is necessary. A fuller middle also interferes with reach and accessibility. Clothing styles and options that accommodate concealed carry are limited, which only adds to the problems and frustrations. For some women, the combination of these challenges makes typical methods of concealed carry so uncomfortable and frustrating that they give up trying.

Each woman naturally will have her own set of challenges because every woman's body is unique. But the issues faced by larger women are significant and the topic is often neglected. Here, I will attempt to break down the problems as shared by hundreds of women who frequent The Well Armed Woman site, as well as advice and ideas they shared that work for them. Again - there is no single solution to the various problems larger women have, but I hope to offer two things: one - the sense that, as a larger women, you are not alone and that many women share your frustrations; and two - that through the sharing of all of these women, perhaps there is a suggestion or two that you will find helpful to carry your firearm safely and comfortably. All women need to push through and overcome their particular obstacles because if your gun is not on or with you - it can't protect you.

So, here are the most common problems:

Large Bust
Buxom women shared a few key issues pertaining to full-sized busts. The primary issue is reach. They simply can't get around their breasts to get to their gun, whether in a shoulder, cross-body, an on- or in-the-waistband holster, or even a bra holster. One might assume that a bra holster would work well, given that large breasts create sufficient "hiding space" for a gun, but a majority of larger women responded that bra holsters don't work for them, explaining that the gun "gets lost" and is extremely hard to draw. Sweat under the breasts was another key negative commonly shared.

Wide Around The Middle
Being wide around the middle restricts the ability to reach the holstered firearm especially with bra holsters and on- or in-the-waistband holsters (whether appendix or cross body). The need to wear looser stretch pants with elastic waistbands also limits the possible options for on- or in-the-waistband holsters as they need the support of either a sturdy, wide belt or a substantial and tight waistband. Having a large middle also makes it tough to access an ankle holster. Another common frustration of larger women is that the grip of the gun digs into them in most on-the-waist forms of carry.

Short Waisted
Most women are more short waisted than men. This makes drawing from an on-the-hip holster difficult as there is not enough room to fully clear the firearm without running a fist into the underarm or breast. And the more of you there is in that shorter distance, the tougher this becomes. The distance is simply not sufficient for an effective draw. Most on-the-hip holsters ride too high which only makes things worse. When you factor in elastic or weak waistbands and it becomes almost impossible.

Here are some suggestions women made:

So, what can you do to make concealed carry more comfortable and effective for you? This depends on your climate, and any one of the above issues or a combination of them. But there are a couple of common areas of agreement among the women we polled. The majority found the belly band to be a very good option. Lying against the skin, it can be rotated to any position around the middle. Belly bands can also be worn high or low on the middle, so the user can find the location most comfortable for her and which provides the easiest access to her gun. Unfortunately, a common complaint was that in warmer weather, belly bands can be hot to wear.

An alternative suggested by very large chested women was using an inside-the-waistband holster like "The Betty", but clipping it to the top of the bra near the arm pit. So the gun lies on top corner of the breast, not under it. A simple reach through the collar of the shirt allows for easy access. 

Carrying the firearm on the waist with a loose fitting cover shirt or in the pants, off the back of the hip, more toward the small of the back was another successful position for many of the larger chested, wider middle women. The middle and the bust do not come into play which allows for smoother access. Whenever holstering on the back, however, a woman must be hyper alert to her surroundings as she may be more vulnerable to another person gaining access to it from behind.

The Remora or a similar rubberized pocket holster, which will stick firmly to clothing without the need of a clip was another popular option for in-the-waistband carry. Many women reported to me that because of the non-slip qualities of the rubber - you can place the firearm in any location and it stays put, making it ideal for stretch waistbands.
Another suggested option is a magnetic outside-the-waistband holster, which instead of a metal clip, uses a very strong magnet that locks shut over the waistband. No belt is required, the strength of the magnet providing the necessary support. Also available are paddle holsters which slide down the inside of the pants, acting as a brace to keep the holster in place when no belt is available.

For larger women who happen to be long waisted, a very positive solution is to wear low rise pants. The lowered waistband will increase the distance between the grip of the gun and the armpit. Adjusting the location to just off the hip (front or back) and adjusting the cant to a steeper angle for easier access is also effective.

For women whose middles were "in the middle", the most successful reported option was in-the-waistband, appendix-style carry. Because the firearm is carried in the fleshy front (in front of the hip bone) this was found to be a very comfortable carry position, providing good access to the waist area.
The ankle holster was suggested by many women who deal with large bust and shorter waist issues, but this option is reported as ineffective for women who are larger in the middle as noted earlier.

The last and most reluctantly suggested option for most of these women is carrying in a concealed carry purse or fanny pack. Carrying in an external bag takes an extra dose of awareness and responsibility, but for many women it can be the difference between carrying and not carrying. When this is your only option, the firearm must be in a sleeve or pocket holster with the trigger fully covered and the firearm in a separate compartment within the bag. There are just too many items in the purse that can get in the trigger guard and contribute to an accidental discharge. The bag must be on you and with you at all times. Having the firearm in a separate compartment also makes access easier and faster. No fumbling around - you know right where it is.

Practice is essential when wearing any new holster or when changing the position of one you already use. The utmost care must be taken to make sure you are not "covering" yourself at any time during holstering and un-holstering. Practice with your UNLOADED gun (checking 3 times) to get comfortable and effective with the new holster and location.

Our ability to carry a concealed firearm is a powerful equalizer for women when assaulted. For many large women, running away or running for cover may not be a realistic option. She must be able to access her gun quickly, safely and with the skill necessary to defend herself. That requires at least three things: The gun must be with her, it must be holstered in a manner and location that SHE can manage and she must be well-trained and prepared to draw and use it effectively.

A sincere thanks to all the women who bravely shared their stories, challenges and photos with The Well Armed Woman. Hearing about your struggles and sharing what works for you will no doubt help others.

Carrie Lightfoot is owner of The Well Armed Woman and quest contributor for the Beretta Blog. Join the dynamic group of women shooters on Facebook orTwitter and visit

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This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not represent those of Beretta.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Hook

by Rick Chisholm -- guest contributor
It is often asked, do you remember where you were and what you were doing when certain events took place. It’s usually pretty easy to recall, in perfect detail, those memories formed when JFK was shot, when the Challenger exploded or when those events unfolded on that fateful day in September 2001. However, being shooters, hunters and gun lovers I bet there is something else squirreled away in the back of your mind, something special, something sacred -- that precise moment when you took that first shot that changed you forever.
    I remember that event vividly, I may have been seven years old, and we were attending a small party at my uncle’s place. I had one of those uncles, the kind that was easy to idolize as a child, the kind that could produce some manner of amazing gadget at the drop of a hat, the kind that drew a crowd of wide-eyed children whenever he reached into his pocket. A family gathering never went past without the appearance of a deactivated hand grenade, or a switchblade, or the ever-popular pyrotechnics of questionable legality. Yeah, I had that kind of uncle, it was pretty awesome. Did I mention the guns? 

He was a bit of a gun nut, or maybe just a nut, although hindsight is 20/20, it’s also biased so it’s safest just to say he was an interesting fellow with a decent collection of firearms. Getting back to my story, on that evening in question in the dwindling light of a chill late summer evening a gun was introduced to the crowd. It was a strange contraption, a .22 rimfire that was fed by a sizable magazine and fired from an open bolt. Later in life I discovered this to be a French Gevarm semi-automatic, an interesting firearm to say the least. I should also say I use the term “semi-automatic” loosely, as most who have had the Gevarm experience will understand.
My uncle’s house sat near a cliff and a couple Javex bottles had been tossed down into the surging wash of the Great Lake below. Bobbing in the surf, the bottles made for frustrating targets. Several men took turns alternately sniping and cursing at the elusive quarry as my cousin and I looked on in eager anticipation. To my astonishment, I was also to get a turn. I got the usual coaching you receive as a young, first-time shooter -- butt-stock to shoulder, hand here, hand there, look down the sights, shoot the bottle.
The small firearm was heavy and unwieldy to my younger self, I think the stock ended up in my armpit as I struggled to gain a sight picture of the small, white blob, floating so far below. My small finger squeezed, the bolt slammed forward and a small lead projectile spat forth to the water below. To this day I swear I hit the bottle, but more importantly, I fell in love. I was never to be the same from that point onward, I was hooked and guns would forever have a special place in my heart. It was a defining moment that I remember like it was yesterday, a moment that is largely responsible for who I am today.
What was your first gun experience, what made you love guns? Share your story with the Beretta Nation or shoot us a tweet or comment on Facebook, we would love to hear from you.

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Rick Chisholm is an IT Security Officer and guest contributor for the Beretta Blog. He can be reached on Twitter

This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not represent those of Beretta.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Breathe, Breathe, BREATHE!!!

By Brad Wilson - Guest Contributor

You have gone out and spent $1600 on a new shotgun, $25 on a box of the "best" shells, and $2000 on a prime duck lease.  Opening morning rolls around and that first group of blue wing teal completely commit to your $750 decoy spread.  You pull up, stick a bead on the beak of a bird, and BOOM, BOOM, BOOM...nothing falls!  What's the problem?  I mean you bought the best of everything so shouldn't the birds just drop like rain?  One thing you forgot which happens to be the only free thing in your arsenal, AIR!  After the jump we will talk about how breathing, or not in most cases can determine a kill or a whiff.

Friday, July 20, 2012

2012 Long Range Sniper Competition

By Len Lucas, Manager - Technical Customer service and Training (LE/DoD) at Beretta

For the past few years Beretta has hosted the Long Range Precision Sniper Competition held at Fort George G. Meade in Maryland and co-hosted by the Baltimore Washington Metropolitan Areas, Local, State and Federal Law Enforcement Agencies; where elite two-man teams compete to earn the coveted title of  “Top Sniper”. In this grueling competition, the participants’ precision, camouflage, stalking and observational skills are put to the ultimate test.

Ten challenging events examine the teams’ expertise in long-range shooting, urban combat and covert maneuvering through realistic conflicts and environments. Bringing together the most elite snipers from around the world, the competition is made up of thirty teams from branches of the U.S. Army, Marines, Air Force and Law Enforcement SWAT teams.

Competitors test their long-range marksmanship and participate in events that push their weapons and combat skills to the extreme, including:

• Poker “Run” Shoot - competitors will run a mile course to get their hearts racing and then engage on the poker card target, best 5 card poker hand. A straight royal flush of any suit being the best hand.
• Observation Exercise - This phase of the competition will test the individual sniper teams’ communication capabilities under difficult conditions. The team will wear gas mask during the first 15 minutes of the observation and shooting phase. The team will scan and memorize as much information about the objects during the 30 minute observation time. This will test the individual teams’ knowledge of judging various distances of different objects that will be randomly placed in designated area from 50 meters to 1000 meters.
• Moving Target Phase - Each competitor fires a cold bore shot on a 1 moa target for a possible 100 points, Then will engage moving targets at 200 and 300 meters.
• Stationary Phase 300 meters and 500 meters - This phase of firing tests the individuals’ and each teams’ stationary marksmanship ability as well as their expertise in dealing with weather effects, operational position shooting, reloading techniques, and overall cohesiveness as a Counter Sniper Team.
• Cold Bore Shot, 200 meter and 500 meter - This will test the Counter Sniper Teams’ ability to accurately engage limited sized targets on a cold bore.
• Obstacle Course - One hurdle after the other, competitors get their hearts racing by running a quarter mile while carrying mission-essential equipment, sniper rifle and a 30 pound equipment pack.
• Range Estimation - This phase of the competition test the individual teams’ knowledge of judging various distances of different objects that will be randomly placed from 50 meters out to 1000 meters.
• Counter Sniper - Navigate in high risk environment and engage enemy targets with mixed non-threat targets.
• Unknown Distance Phase - Test the Counter Sniper Teams’ ability to engage steel type targets at various distances ranging from 100 meters out to a 1000 meters in seven minutes or less.
• Stalking Event - This is the most famous sniper event, competitors are judged on their ability to go undetected in open terrain during broad daylight. In full camouflage, snipers have to move toward their target, while going unseen by spotters, and place an accurate shot.

Beretta’s Law Enforcement / Defense Team was on hand displaying military and law enforcement products
The Total Solution”, sharing information and providing products and training which will aid the
sniper in accomplishing his mission.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Shotgun Shells: The Ins and Outs of Selection (Part 3)

By Brad Wilson - Guest Contributor

We now have a basis of how factory loads perform vs hand loads and a good understanding of how to figure out what load works best in your gun.  Now we will take a look at a few factors that we can manipulate in order to fine tune what we are working with.  Choke tubes and recoil pads, we'll take a look at them after the jump.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Shooting With Judge Parker’s Marshal’s

By Jason Parks – Guest Contributor

A few weeks ago Judge Parker’s Marshal’s at the Old Fort Gun Club in Fort Smith, Arkansas, issued an open invitation for anyone who wanted to try Cowboy Action Shooting to come out to their Tuesday night practices. Their invitation included the use of their guns and ammunition. I jumped at the chance to go shoot with them.

The first person I ran into was Bill Striplin. Bill then introduced me to Bob. Bob turned out to be Bob "Naildriver" Gleason whom I had met several years ago when I was first got interested in Cowboy Action Shooting. Naildriver competes in national cowboy shooting and is very good at it.

Naildriver took me off to the side and went through the range and shooting safety rules with me then dug out the guns and holster rigs that I used. He outfitted me with 2 Ruger Vaquero Bisley revolvers and a Marlin lever action. All 3 guns are  chambered in .357 Magnum, but we shot light .38 Special loads which made shooting easier. Last was a 12 gauge Stoger hammerless coach gun.

After I was armed, we go to the loading table to load the guns and get in line to shoot. The only time you have loaded guns is between the loading table and the shooting stage. All loaded guns stay pointed down range and there is a safety man at the loading table to keep an eye on the man loading and double check that the pistols’s hammers are on empty chambers.

I shot 3 stages that evening that each consisted of 5 shots from each pistol, 10 shots from the rifle and 4 shots from the shotgun. We won't talk about how I shot the first stage but on the second and third stages I missed 1 shot with the pistols and 1 with the rifle. Missed shots are a 5 second penalty so it is better to slow down and not miss. My time wasn’t great, but I didn’t really expect it to be.

On a scale from 1 to 10, I sucked, but nobody laughed at me or told me not to come back. Being on the crutches really didn't affect my ability to shoot the stages although I did have to take a few steps with out them on the first 2 stages. My score for the evening was high (the lower, the better) compared to most of the other guys, but that wasn't why I was there. I went to have some fun, meet some new people and give Cowboy Action Shooting another try.

I had a lot of fun and enjoyed meeting Judge Parker’s Marshal’s. All the gentlemen there were very friendly and supportive of my efforts with lots of peer pressure to join and shoot regularly. If you like Cowboy guns like I do and like to shoot fast, you might consider giving Cowboy Action Shooting a try. Click on the link to learn more about the Single Action Shooting Society.

Special thanks to Naildriver for the use of his guns and providing the ammunition and thanks to the  Old Fort Gun Club for allowing greenhorns to come out to the Marshal’s practice. Before you go, here are some more pictures of that night's match.

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You can follow and talk to Jason on Twitter @thejasonparks.

This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not necessarily represent those of Beretta.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Firearms Accessories: Today's Choices

By Keith Hollar – Guest Contributor

As I was thinking about the state of the accessory market I realized how good we have it at the moment.  There is almost an overwhelming amount of options out there for almost any firearm you have.  You can get different stocks, sights, barrels, triggers, scopes, electronic sights, compensators, flash hiders, magazines, flashlights, lasers, or mounting rails for almost any weapon out there.  Don’t like the finish on your firearm?  There are companies out there today that can create almost any design you can dream up on your firearms.  There are also finishes that you can buy and do yourself.

Usually I don’t make too many changes to my firearms after I purchase them.  Most of my rifles have scopes on them and all but one or two of my handguns have at least aftermarket stocks on them.  On handguns I feel that a nice pair of stocks is an easy way to dress up and personalize a firearm.  One of the latest handguns I’ve done this to is my Beretta Stampede.

It is a standard model so it came with the black plastic checkered stocks.  I never really cared for them, however it took me a while to figure out and find the ones I wanted.  I settled on ivory colored polymer ones because I really liked the way it dressed up this revolver with its case hardened frame.  I also felt it added a classic look to it.  I purchased another pair from a small company that I found on the internet.  When I received them they were not like the picture, but because of the cost I tried to see if they’d work.  I don’t know which revolver they were made for but it sure wasn’t the Stampede.  The shape was all wrong and they were way too big.  Luckily I was able to find a pair of the Beretta branded ones on the accessories website and ordered them.  These, no surprise, fit it just right.  They also make it feel a lot better in the hand.  Even though they are smooth they don’t slip around in my hand during shooting.  Now that is with some light .45 Colt loads and I wasn’t sweating so I’ll have to see how they perform long term.

What are your thoughts on this subject?  What do you like to do to your firearms to individualize them?

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This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not represent those of Beretta.

Monday, July 9, 2012

The Truth

By Carrie Lightfoot - Guest contributor

A recent post on The Well Armed Woman Facebook page on “Why we carry a firearm” created quite a stir and evoked an awesome amount of passion. One word kept smacking me in the face. That word was TRUTH. What frustrates the law abiding, good American citizen is the avoidance and mistreatment of what is the truth in the typical anti-gun conversation.  

Not all of the words below are mine, but I will write them in the first person as my reasons for carrying a firearm are the truth for me personally. Therefore no one can argue with me as what is true for me, is mine alone. However, I do not own these truths, they are not new and I know that for millions of firearm owners these truths are what lies at the heart of their choice to arm themselves. 

“Truth is tough.  It will not break, like a bubble, at a touch, nay, you may kick it all about all day like a football, and it will be round and full at evening.”  
~Oliver Wendell Holmes

Who can argue with the truth? If we align ourselves and can clearly communicate what is true then it perhaps becomes more difficult for those that simply want to argue. To effectively explain our choices, we must arm ourselves with articulate words of truth and then, simply stand on them.  
I don’t carry a gun because I want to shoot people, I carry a gun because I refuse to be a victim. 

I don’t carry a gun because I hate the government, I carry a gun because I realize the limitations of government to protect me. I carry for emergency self defense when there are no better options left.

I don’t carry a gun because I am paranoid, I carry a gun because, sadly, there are very real threats all around me.

I don’t carry a gun because I am an evil person, I carry a gun because I’ve lived long enough to see the evil in this world and to accept that I am prey to those who are evil.

I don’t carry a gun to compensate for anything, I carry a gun to equalize the battlefield. My physical size and strength can’t even come close to that of an attacker.

I don’t carry a gun because I am angry, I carry a gun so I don’t ever have to hate myself for not being prepared and protecting myself or those I love.

I don’t carry a gun because I love it, I carry a gun because I love life and the people who make it meaningful to me.

I don’t carry a gun to scare people, I carry because I am trained to do so, safely.
I carry my gun, because it is my right to do so... responsibly. 

“If one tells the truth, one is sure sooner or later to be found out” Oscar Wilde

Carrie Lightfoot is owner of The Well Armed Woman and quest contributor for the Beretta Blog. Join the dynamic group of women shooters on Facebook orTwitter and visit

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This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not represent those of Beretta.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

3 Problems With Carrying A Gun While On Crutches

By Jason Parks – Guest Contributor 

If you didn’t read my first post, I wrote about the disadvantages of physical disabilities when it comes to carrying a concealed weapon. I also talked about how I have been on crutches for a couple of years. I did not receive my conceal carry permit until recently, but the issues that go with the crutches while carrying have been in the back of my head for a long time.

Being on the crutches presents three major problems when it comes to carrying a concealed weapon.

First of all, being on crutches partially lowers your situational awareness. We all know the best way to stay out of trouble is to be aware of what is happening around you and avoid potential problem situations. Using crutches takes away from a person’s situational awareness to varying degrees depending on where you are. You have to keep your attention on not catching a crutch on a curb or crack or on not putting a crutch down on a slick surface or in a hole.

Hanging out at the SASS practice.
The plus side to this problem is that you also have to watch out for other people because they are not paying attention to you which is why this only lowers your situational awareness slightly.

Second, the crutches are simply in the way. You need at least one free hand to draw your pistol and in some suggested tactics, you need two. You have to drop or otherwise get the crutches out of your way before you can draw a pistol. I guess you could always throw a crutch or cane at your attacker before drawing. Or not. Up to you.

I need to figure out how to get the crutches out of my way while simultaneously making sure that they do not interfere with drawing my pistol. This is going to take some trial and error and a lot of practice which is what a lot of you suggested that I do in your comments about my last post on Beretta's Facebook page.

Third is the issue of balance and mobility. Once you have the crutches out of your way, you have basically locked yourself into an immobile situation where your main tools of balance and mobility are laying on the ground. I can stand on my bad leg and even take a few steps without crutches so I can still shoot from a balanced position. But there are people who can’t do that. What do they do? Best option I can come up with right now is to Stop, Drop and Shoot.

Maybe I should apply for a trademark for that and start teaching it? I’m going to try it the next time I practice and see how it goes.

The United States Concealed Carry Association (USCCA) website has some good articles on concealed carry and shooting with a physical disability here and here.

This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not necessarily represent those of Beretta.

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You can follow me on Twitter @thejasonparks.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Independence Day

By Carrie Lightfoot, Guest Contributor

As Well Armed Women we enjoy our own personal form of Independence Day each and every day! 

By taking responsibility of our personal self defense, we gain a sense of independence which is both physical as well as emotional. 

Physically, we are equipped and trained to carry and use a firearm to use effectively if heaven forbid our lives are at risk. Emotionally we have a confidence and sense that if we have to, we will know what to do and will have the strength and courage to defend ourselves effectively.

I will never forget the overwhelming sense of personal confidence I felt when I began carrying a firearm. Internally I felt strong and capable. It really changed the way I "moved" through my life. My self confidence rose and for probably the first time in my life, I knew what it was to be truly empowered and independent!

I recently posed the following question to the women on Facebook: As a Well Armed Woman, one word that describes how that makes me feel is ____________. The words the hundreds of women used to describe this feeling was really inspirational. Let me share a few of them with you. 

Bad A**
As we all celebrate our nations independence, I want to celebrate YOURS!  
I'm proud to be your Sister In Arms and I salute your commitment to safe and responsible gun ownership. 

Happy Independence Day! 

Carrie Lightfoot is owner of The Well Armed Woman and quest contributor for the Beretta Blog. Join the dynamic group of women shooters on Facebook orTwitter and visit

Make sure you follow Beretta on FacebookTwitterYouTube.

This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not represent those of Beretta.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Ode to the Range Bag

by: Phil McNaughton, Guest Contributor
More thoughts and theories, this time regarding that most abused, underrated piece of gear: the range bag.
When I started shooting, I went to the range with a Beretta and a box of ammo.  Now I have a range bag that is bigger than my first car, and my ammo won’t even fit in it.
Before you leave for the range, make sure the magazines in your range bag fit the guns in your range bag.  Ditto for holsters.
Carry extra eye and ear protection in your bag.  Somebody will show up without them.
Multigun Match Math: 1 range bag + 2 arms + 3 guns + 4 types of ammo + 5 stages = GET A CART.
Yoda: “When using range bag for rifle rest, mindful of muzzle blast, you will be.”
Use black duct tape for patching your range bag.  It’s more tacticool than the gray stuff.
Spare gun:  if your race blaster goes down in the middle of a match, and you drove 4.5 hours to get there, are you going to just leave?  Of course not, that’s why you carry that huge bag!  Break out the backup and get back in the game.
Got fiber optic sights on your favorite blaster?  Got extra fiber optic rod in the bag?
A shooter should have a caddy, like a golfer.  I’ve tried offering the job to those girls in the lingerie catalog, but they don’t return my calls. L
Electronic optic?  Check.  Electronic hearing protection?  Check.  Batteries for both? 
At one time or another, there has been a holster, magazine, or part in your bag for a gun you don’t own.
I carry two towels in my range bag: one for my guns and one for me.  When I leave the range, my face is covered in gun oil and my guns are covered in sweat.
First Aid: small bandages, sunscreen, bug spray, and Skittles are necessities for every range bag.  
Whenever a “discussion” ensues about the rules of a specific shooting sport, someone pulls a rulebook out of their bag.  I’m that guy.
Ink pens are scarcer than humility at a match.  Carry a few, loan them out.  You will never see them again.
Squib rod: $10.  Small screwdrivers: $5.  Multi-tool: $30.  That funky doohickey that adjusts my front sight: free with purchase.  Having the right tool in your bag for quick repairs and adjustments at the range: PRICELESS.
Stapler & staples:  ever drive to range and realize you have nothing to put your targets up with?
Gloves:  if you’re an asset to our sport, you help with match setup and teardown.   So just remember, splinters in the trigger finger can ruin your day.
Guys, if you are carrying a range bag that is smaller than say, a child’s backpack, it is perfectly acceptable for your shooting pals to call it a “man purse.

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This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not necessarily represent those of Beretta.