View Full Version : Choosing a range box

December 3, 2010, 04:10 PM
As my accessories keep arriving on the big brown truck, it dawns on me that the selection of a suitable range box is gonna be pretty important.

Would appreciate some comments and recommendations on what everyone has found to meet all the requirements. Pictures or a link to pictures would be great if you have them.

December 3, 2010, 04:58 PM
I guess I am different than most. When I go to the range I use a Nike sports bag. The smaller things like tins of caps and lube are inside a see throught plastic organizer box. NeeKaaay.. Is that some sort of Injin talk?

When I got to a SASS shoot I put my stuff in a wooden gun cart. I have been meaning to build a box to fit into my wagon that would look like an old hardtack box or and old ammo chest.

I guess it depends on whether you want something for convience or show.

December 3, 2010, 05:28 PM
I'm not into show very much. I just want something that will get all my junk from the car to the firing line with one trip; and be organized enough to find everything when I get ready to shoot.

December 3, 2010, 07:09 PM
I guess it depends on how many guns you are planing on taking. Whwn I shoot my c&b pistols I usually take both of them and put each into a zip up padded pistol case and stick them into my Nike bag along with the loading equipment, BP and lead balls. I have seen many people with very organized boxes. Since the guns tend to be longer and bigger than most modern pistols and BP shooters usually haul along more components and loading things they tend to need larger boxes. It helps to have a well organized range box but due to back problems I find that the gym bag is easer to carry over my shoulder.

4V50 Gary
December 3, 2010, 10:58 PM
I don't like going out with something that shouts gun! to the world. I used a leather bottom, canvas tool bag that I bought at Costco many years ago. It's big enough, durable and doesn't set off any alarms if I were to walk into a restaurant with it.

December 3, 2010, 11:18 PM
I use Sears tool boxes for my muzzleloading junk. I have a separate shotgun and rifle/pistol box.
I use a canvas tote bag to tote ammo and whatever for the modern guns.

I have found that no matter how big the range box is, the junk will breed and multiply until it takes up all the available space.:D

December 3, 2010, 11:26 PM
My range is the back 2 acres of my property, so no one laughs at this box


Doc Hoy
December 4, 2010, 06:41 AM
I went through essentially the same process you are enjoying right now. I must have tried six different carrying framuses including a Plano box designed just for shooting. I found that although everything was close, nothing was right. I finally wound up making my own as many shooters do.


My process was to closely analyze the things I took along shooting, not at the house but at the range. As I went through that process I picked up (at least mentally) everything in the range to make sure I needed it. This process resulted in a mental list of the things I wanted to put inside the box.

(I don't carry the pistols in the box. I am working on a different box for those.)

One of the things that was important to me was the Chronograph and tripod. This single item established the length of the box.


The depth of the box depended upon the height of a pound of powder. The width is just a convenient measurement that makes the proportions of the box look right and allows room for the tray alongside the powder.

I have not yet put handles on the box because I can't decide where they should be. (Ends or top). I am leaning toward two rather beefy handles one on each end.

I did not want a box on wheels because if it has to be on wheels it is likely too big to pick up and put in the truck. And probably too tall to stand up on its own in a moving pickup. Mine is light enough to carry and low enough not to tip over.


The food tubs hold balls and lube. The pill containers have different size caps.

The other end of the box has the loading press.


December 4, 2010, 09:05 AM
Midway large range bag.


December 4, 2010, 09:12 AM

If I'm shooting in the local in door range 8 miles from the house, it's usually one carry bag, a small range box (Piano with trays), with a larger Piano Box with trays that get left if the SUV. Just in case something needs to get fixed.

For Blackpowder Shooting. It's a bit more to it. The gun bag with whatever I'm shooting. The tray and bucket for shooting, with a cylinder loader, balls, wads, caps, butter bore, caps, nipple pick, nipple wrenches, Quick Grits and all the stuff necessary just to make it go boom and clean it up in between cylinders and afterwards. One Piano box along with the Muzzle Loader Box, stay the back of the SUV for any needed repairs or whatever. Since it's an 30 mile trip to an outdoor shooting club there's no rushing back to the house in case I forget something.

I love it when people buy those "starter kits"...... :)

December 4, 2010, 10:00 AM

I don't know if I am more impressed by Doc's "one-of-a-kind"; or Slowhand's "collection".

Both posts tend to confirm what I already was beginning to realize, though...a little box just ain't gonna get it. I have started to compile a list of things I want to take to the range. As the list gets larger, so does the mental image of the box. The deciding factors might ultimately be whether the box will fit into my Explorer; and whether I can lift the box without subjecting this old body to a hernia. :eek:

December 4, 2010, 10:54 AM
When I bought my first muzzleloading rifle, I used a cardboard shoe box to carry the odds and ends I needed to shoot at the range.

December 4, 2010, 11:02 AM
I'm working at cutting it down. At one point I was taking 3 different BP Pistols or Revolvers to the range of various caliber and type.. I was working my way through a collection of different weapons. Now I've pretty much narrowed it down to one (ROA:D) and a backup.

So I'm cutting back on the excess freight and looking at a more compact carrier along the line of what the Doc Hoy has. The bucket and the tray though are keepers.

December 31, 2010, 07:51 PM
It's been a while since I started this thread; but I finally came up with what seems to be an acceptable solution for my needs. It is a Stanley tool box called the Fat Max. Although it probably isn't necessary, the box has a waterproof seal around the mating surfaces of the lid. I've got all my stuff in it; and there is still room for the pistols to fit in the bottom of the box (under the tray). The pistols will be in Cabela's soft, padded cases.

The box is a little longer than some others at 28 inches. I needed the length because I wanted the box to accommodate my RAI loading press and still have room for two revolvers.

The four round containers in the top tray are Rubber Maid and have twist-on lids. These containers hold my lubed wads, round balls, percussion caps, and cleaning patches.

It can be found anywhere that sells Stanley stuff; but the prices will vary. I almost ordered one from Amazon.com for $41.50; and then discovered that Lowe's sells the same box for $28.95.




December 31, 2010, 09:56 PM
Whatever will fit into a saddle bag. I really like Doc's box, but I'm afraid if I used something like that my horse would tip over.

the rifleer
December 31, 2010, 09:57 PM
I can fit everything I need inside a 50 cal ammo can for my cap and ball revolver/rifle.

December 31, 2010, 10:56 PM
the rifleer:
I can fit everything I need inside a 50 cal ammo can for my cap and ball revolver/rifle.

I probably could too, if it came right down to the essentials. A lot of the stuff in my box is "what if" stuff.

I have a tendency to do the same thing when packing a suitcase for a trip. I always return from a trip with clothes that were never worn. :D

January 1, 2011, 01:08 AM
Man y'all use a lot of stuff.:D

Foto Joe
January 1, 2011, 10:18 AM
There will undoubtedly be more. Yeah, we tend to take too much crap with us when we go but...ya never know when yer gonna need that solid brass mallet or those popsicle sticks do ya??

January 1, 2011, 10:28 AM
For my modern guns I use a Plano tackle box.
For muzzle loading I have a large, barn roof style, box that is getting to be a real chore for me to lift. It has a 40+ year accumulation of 'things' needed to get a broke muzzle loader back on the line. I believe it is larger than Doc Hoy showed. I recently lightened it somewhat by removing some of the tools. I even had a vice in there. Might post a pic later. BTW, I also carry a large plastic fishing rod case filled with back-up ram rods. Then there is the spotting scope with case and the tripod.
Oddly, when at rendezvous or woods walk everything I need fits into one small leather pouch.

Doc Hoy
January 1, 2011, 11:08 AM
I put a lot of stuff in my range box. There is no need to take two pounds of powder along. I have six bottles of caps and only really need two. I could go down to one or two tubs of balls. I do like the fact that the chronograph and tripod fits in the range box. (Fewer trips from the truck to the bench).

I still haven't put the handles on the end of the box but that will need to be done.

I like Napp's idea of a good sized tool box.

January 1, 2011, 12:53 PM
Here's "the rest of the story": The fully loaded box weighs 35 lbs. That weight does include the Colt 1860 and the Remington 1858.

Not a flyweight by any means; but easily managed as a "one tripper" between the car and the firing line.

January 1, 2011, 01:38 PM
Agree, no need to carry two pounds of powder. That is why I usually carry three or four pounds plus a half pound of 4Fg. ;) Here shown only 2 lbs.
We often shot several calibers and I carried 200-300 balls for each. And, don't forget I had tools, including a vice in there. At most ranges I was the 'fix-it' guy and helped many a shooter. The box closed measures 19" wide X 11" deep X 13" high. I don't even want to know what it weighs. :eek: I've been hauling it for 30 years but that may have to stop since my shoulders went bad on me. :( There is an irrefutable rule about these things. The bigger the box you get the more 'stuff' you will need to fill it. :rolleyes: I do need to scale back.
But, it has been fun.:)

January 1, 2011, 01:43 PM
It makes sense to me to have two boxes. One for the things you're going to need that you carry to the firing line and another for the things you might need in case something unusual happens. The might need box can stay in the car most of the time.

January 1, 2011, 02:18 PM
It makes sense to me to have two boxes. One for the things you're going to need that you carry to the firing line and another for the things you might need in case something unusual happens. The might need box can stay in the car most of the time.

You're right, that does make a lot of sense....probably explains why I never thought of it until now. :confused:

On another note, I keep seeing things in the pictures of other boxes that aren't in mine yet. Now, I'm off to look for my staple gun. :D

January 1, 2011, 06:36 PM
I see you went with my method, the trusty tool box, for $8-15 it's hard to beat them.

January 2, 2011, 07:20 PM
This is my $5.00 yard sale find, I named it "Murphy". After 18yrs of shootin' BP, it contains remedies to what most of "Murphy's Law" can throw at you when you're at the range. It's 12"X8"....I also take an unbreakable ram rod, ya never know. By the way, the red tube at the top of the 2nd pic is an arrow remover from my 3D day's, it works real well on a stuck ramrond when pulling a ball or worm.

January 14, 2011, 02:45 PM
The list just keeps growing. The picture shows the current contents as of this time. Not shown are some cleaning rags and the Alpen 20 X 50 Mini-Spotting Scope that has been shipped from Amazon.com. Total weight when the scope is included will be ~38 pounds.