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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anybody have any suggestions on handy accessories to have at the range when shooting SC/trap/skeet? Getting ready to join the local gun club and can't decide what stuff may be the most useful to have (range bag, shooting vest, shooting bag/pouch, etc.) Does a vest offer any advantage over a shooting bag that you belt on?

As usual, Wally World has a few shooting items (vest, bags, mesh hull bags) substantially cheaper than the Bass Pro Shop here (RedHead label stuff). Anybody pleased/displeased with the Wal-Mart (Allen) brand items, or maybe tell me what features they lacked for the lesser price - and that you wished they had?
 

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You can spend at least as much as your gun cost on gadgets and gear. More cost does not mean better function.

I'd go for what will keep you warm and dry, keep your eyes and ears well protected, keep your hands warm and dry, and keep your feet dry and comfortable when you walk long distances,

And all of that can come from Wally-World, Sport Authority/BassPro/Cabela's or Sportsmans Guide/Cheaper than Dirt...you name it.

One of the best pair of shooting boots I bought came from a Tractor Supply type store in New Hampshire, cost 19.99 ! Lasted YEARS !

Its the same with guns, you can spend all you like, but pointing the gun in the right place at the right time is what breaks the clay, not the gold chickens on the side. :cry:

Roger
 

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It's been my experience that, in general, the stuff at Wally World will do you fine. The (for instance) $20 vest may not last as long as the $140 ($260?) vest with the gun maker's logo on it, but then, it might (seam allowances, stitching, material quality, etc, and the fact that the logo'd stuff comes from the same Korean factories...). It's been a very hot summer here, so I've seen the downside of vests. On the other hand they give you a nice place to put all those "100 Straight" patches. :)

I like two box holders and a mesh bag for empties, but mainly because my (trap) club has one game that requires 50 rounds. The key to any rig for me is flexibility. I don't want to have more stuff on me than what I absolutely need. The "apron" with shell holders and pockets for empties from Cabelas seems to be a good buy, and generally useful. What you're doing will generally dictate what's best for you.

-- Sam
 

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I'm new as well, but I think it comes down to what makes you comfortable. For trap, I have a single box holder that clips onto my belt. I've had no problems with just that. I also have a pouch with 2 compartments - works well for sporting clays. You might need more room if you have to pick up your shells, but otherwise...
Maybe my opinion will change later, but I never understood the desire for lots of gadgets and accessories. I'm also an avid diver and in that sport I take everything I NEED, not everything I own.
 

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Oh, I was also going to say: If you reload you may not care to get a "box holder" at all, just a pouch that'll hold 25 shells and their empties. Box holders are most useful to people who shoot new, factory ammo, or those reloaders who put their shells into boxes.

The box holders that Wally World sells are loose fitting, both on your belt and around the box. Leaning over while wearing these can dump your rounds on the ground.

I would invest in a range bag to put all your goodies, and some ammo in, just 'cause it's easier than walking back and forth to your vehicle a half dozen times in an afternoon...

-- Sam
 

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Roger;

You have just burst my bubble!

I thought the gold chickens on the side was a prerequsite?? If they don't help, they can't hurt either, right?? :wink:

I was hoping to run about 46 on Sporting Clays instead of the 36 I normaly struggle to maintain by getting one of those nice new ones you see advertised in ShotgunSports magazine!! Back to the range for more practice!! If it weren't for Lewis class I wouldn't have a chance! :roll:

But I LIKE gold chickens!

BP
 

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I am fairly new to the sport myself. I would suggest going to your local sporting goods store and get a hull bag. They run about $20-25 and will hold a full box of 25 and around 50-60 spent shells. Vests are nice but the padding in the shoulder can hide poor placement of the gun to your shoulder and cause you more frustration.

Other goodies: Bore snake, choke tube wrench with extra chokes if you have them and most importantly eye & ear protection!

I would concentrate more on technique with lots of practice before going out and spending tons of money! If you get a $200 vest and all the cool accessories and can't hit a clay to save your life all anyone can say is, "Boy, he sure dresses nice for this sport!"

Good Luck!
 

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I have a shell pouch that holds 50 rounds and 50 emptys. I also picked up a cheap tool box to hold my other stuff. It has a tray up top for my choke tubes, glasses, ear plugs, silicon cloth, etc. Underneath it'll hold about 200 rounds. I bought one of those dog leash clips to make sure it doesn't open while I'm carrying it. It sure beats running back to the truck to grab another box of ammo for one more round. :wink: I think you can pick up the tool box for like $12, the shell pouch for $20 or so, and ear plugs are about $20 per box of 100 at Graingers, and a pair of decent shooting glasses for about the same. All in all $60-$80 should get you all you need except for ammo, and gun of course. Oh yeah the dog leash clip is about $2.50 for a pair, if you don't trust the latch like me. Those single box holders look pretty nice if you are only going to shoot skeet and trap, but if you want to shoot sporting also you may as well get the larger shell bag.
 

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Oh, as long as we're talking "other" accessories here...

For hearing protection, I have been very happy with the pair of Peltor "Shotgunner" muffs I bought recently. They're compact enough to not contact the stock, and work better than any plug I have ever tried. I got mine from Gamaliel Shooting Supply for $15 + shipping. I just couldn't see spedning $175 or so on the electronic muffs... (Now I just wish I could get my choke tubes which have been on backorder for two months...)

I also like standard safety glasses with a yellow tint from www.safetyglassesusa.com.

-- Sam
 

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Ear Protection is one of those funny items. It is strange to say that for pure noise reduction, the $20 for 100 foam plugs are actually hard to beat.

However, I have sets of the electronic muffs, and being able to hear a trap as it cycles, can be a great help - it often surprises you where the trap is located. When you hear it, you know better where to look. OK it is a tiny benefit but may make a difference.

BIG issue with these muffs is heat - but that I only found when I moved to Florida. They were great for keeping my ears warm in IL/WI/MI/IA !

I also get another benefit from them, I often do Group lessons as well as one-on-one. If I hear a gun close I can jump on it immediately. :twisted:

Eye protection is CRITICAL as many have said elswehere. Again, you get all the protection you need from safety glasses, and in most states many prescription glasses are safety as well - you mileage may vary, check with your eye Dr.

I use and sell a range of sports eyewear that does enhance the clay against the background. They also let you see the clay against the sun without squinting. Does everyone need them, heck no, but they do help when you are ready for that level.

And that is the key, when you are starting, I would actually say, do not buy anything until you know it will work for you.

Having 'the most toys' does not break more clays.

In fact spending $500 on bags/ammo boxes/vests/gunsleeves....etc would be better spent on lessons, becuase you will then a) break more clays, and b) know what to buy and why.

Sorry about the gold chickens Burnt Powder.. :cry:

Roger
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
OK, ladies and gents, we're getting a bit off-track here :? . Let's dispense with the obvious....I've got eye and ear protection and I can shoot straight. My question was just to ask what practical accessories makes life easier on the range. I'm not trying to make a fashion statement at the gun club with this stuff, just wondering what items might be useful in carrying and storing shells, hulls, eye/ear protections, etc. I don't really care to load one of my kid's school backpacks down with all my gear and tote it around the range. Just looking for any recommendations on items to keep my stuff organized and readily available when I need it ("I know that it's in here somewhere" is not something I want to be heard saying as I seach all my jeans pockets and a backpack looking for a different choke tube :) )
 

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In sporting clays a vest can be nice because it will hold an easy 50 shells, empties in the back, and they usually have a small pocket for pens, choke tubes, etc.

Hull pouches are nice for reloaders because they can hold almost all of your empty hulls.

A range bag is a MUST HAVE. The type and everything is up to you. But it should hold a min. of 6 boxes of shells, your choke tubes, wrench, etc. It is a good idea for it to have a shoulder strap. Mine carries 8 boxes of shells easily, my hearing and eye protection, my choke tubes, wrench, two bottles of water, gun grease, a wad remover, a towel, and a couple granola bars. The straps go around the bottom of the bag which is a BIG plus for longevity.

Just sit down and think about shooting a 100 target course. You need 125 shells approx. A place to put the empties if you reload. Water, if you walk a long way or get stuck out there waiting for slow squads. Chokes if you change yours. Etc, etc, etc. How are you going to carry it all? That question should help you choose your bag or whatever other method you choose to use. Some people use a backpack, which isn't a bad idea either.

One other thing. Empty hull containers should have a zippered bottom or be easy to flip over and dump out the hulls. The clip on hull pouches are easy enough vests are a bit of a pain. I just started using the Cabela's half vest and I like it, but I miss the zippered pouch on my old vest and the two shell/choke tube loops as well.
 
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I consider a hat a necessary piece of equipment. A baseball type hat with a brim is good for several reasons. When you are facing into the sun, or have a teal target in the sun, you can pull the brim down to block out the sun. It will also help to block out the sun from the rear reflecting off the top of the reciever. It will keep your face from getting sunburned, and you can duck, and not get hit with pieces of clay target, on incoming shots
 

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Of all the accessories that you can and will aquire while participating in the shooting sports a vest and jacket will be the only items that will enhance or detract from your chances of breaking a target. Be sure to get ones that fit. I know just as many great shots that will not use a vest, as those that will not shoot without one. I like a vest with a little wider pad because I mount the gun a little farther out than most and a vest serves a little extra functional value for me in recoil reduction. After 10 years of fanatical envolvement in this sport and my nature of inpulse buying all I can only say eBay has helped me keep my mistakes in circulation.

Kent
 

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CrusherT said:
...My question was just to ask what practical accessories makes life easier on the range.../quote]
At the sporting clays range at my club, they have for sale, gun carts. The carts are based on golf carts and handle everything you'd ever need for shooting clays. It can hold up to 4 shotguns. Has places for shells, glasses and muffs. It has a case with a clear cover for choke tubes and wrench. An umbrella does not come with it but the cart does have space for one next to the cooler.

Practical bordering on luxury.
 

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Came accross this Browning Featherweight Luggage case:
http://www.midwestgunworks.com/page/mgw ... ases/14510

It has side compartments that can hold the shell boxes/hulls/chokes or any other accessories. Regardless of how much it costs do you think it would be practical carrying just one bag intead of carrying a gun case + range bag? for skeet days it looks useful. Would it be impractical for sporting clays?
 

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The other day I used a belt with three pouches. I put a box of shells in each side which gives nice balance. The part on the back is for the empties and more of a mesh panel like on a game vest.
 
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