by Rob Kay
Choosing and ultimately packing a range bag is a very personal thing.
Everyone knows exactly what they want to bring. (Usually everything but the kitchen sink).
How they will convey it is very idiosyncratic.
A lot of guys will use duffel bags or whatever they dig up in the basement. I confess, I’d been using a backpack for years and frankly, it sufficed.
However, it wasn’t the best solution.
When I had the opportunity to do a T&E on a real range bag, I jumped at the chance.
Uncle Mike’s has been around for a long time. They make a variety of items ranging from holsters to gun cases and they are priced to sell. I suppose the avuncular name of the company “Uncle Mike’s” is a clue.
Their newest line of products are called “Uncle Mike’s Law Enforcement” and these products are positioned to be a cut above. The particular product I looked at — Uncle Mike’s Law Enforcement Side-Armor Deluxe Range Equipment Bag is (in the company’s words) “designed to provide law enforcement professionals the perfect for transporting all of their necessary gear.”
I figured if it was good enough for our friends in LE, it should be good enough for me.
I didn’t have the opportunity to compare their standard range bag with the deluxe model side by side, but a cursory look (and a comparison of features on the Internet) indicates the design is pretty much the same with the exception of an Uncle Mike’s logo on the standard version.
The bag does seem to be very well constructed.
According an Uncle Mike’s spokeman the LE series is made with nylon and their gear bag line has been completely redesigned, using a more tactile and durable material. They have also added piping to protect the seam lines.
When I first removed the bag from the shipping box, I thought it a bit too small for my needs. I was wrong. It looks deceptively small but with over 1200 cubic inches of usable storage space, I found there’s plenty of room.
The quality of this unit kind of reminded me of a laptop computer bag I purchased at Costco years ago. It was inexpensive but very, very strong. Uncle Mike’s bag is well-padded and has pouches galore for all your gear. Most of the large compartments are sealed with a double-zippers so that you can place a small padlock on them.
The main compartment in the center opens and closes with a dual zipper and a connecting pull. At first I thought it was a bit clumsy, but after using it for a while, I found that it worked just fine.
What I liked was a separate “gun rug” that doubles as a container for all those little geegaws that seem to disappear in the bowels of a bag. I use it not only to tranport a a pistol but to store items such as a tiny bottle of gun oil, ear plugs, eye wear and the like.
Inside the bag is a squarish divider that also can serve as a sort of floor plate. This is certainly helpful if your schlepping a lot of ammo. The extra support reinforces the bag and distributes the load.
The material used to construct the sleeves pouches (for mags and such) and the liner in the main compartment is thin—like the inside of a suitcase. It doesn’t have the heft that the nylon on the outside have. (The comments on the forums are full of complaints about it).
However, no one that I could find has said that the material ripped. So I’m going to give Uncle Mike the benefit of the doubt. (Time will tell).
Finally, there’s a wide shoulder strap with metal clips that connect to metal D-rings. It works quite well.
The upshot: This is a more than decent bag. No, it’s not meant for the 101st Airborne but it’s well constructed, plenty strong and should be more than sufficient for an excursion to the range.
The good news is that Uncle Mike’s stands behind their products. The website states: “If our product fails within the first five years after purchase outside of normal wear and tear, return it with date of purchase. We will replace it with the same or like item at no charge…”
For about $50 on Amazon, what’s not to like?
Uncle Mike’s 36” Tactical Rifle Case
If you need a practical, reasonably priced rifle case (with a tacticool look) go no further than Uncle Mike’s 36” Tactical Rifle Case.
Starting with the material (nylon), the (lockable) zippers and straps, this is a well constructed, sturdy vessel for your MSR.
When you add touches such as double stitching on the the main seams, ample padding and metal hardware on the shoulder strap you’ve got a complete product.
There are three pockets (count e’m) on the exterior—all of which have both buckle and velcro latches. There’s also adjustable bungie cord to hold them shut. Each pocket also has an inside liner to divide the pocket. The two pockets on the end can handle a few mags and there’s a larger center pocket perhaps for field glasses or anything else you want to stow.
Aesthetically the bag is pleasing.
Mine came in desert earth.The bags are manufactured in China but the quality was good. There was one instance where a few threads could have been trimmed but if that’s the worst thing, I can live with it (or easily cut the threads myself).
The bags main compartment was just able to handle our (un-folded) SCAR.I liked the way the rifle tucked into two triangular padded pockets. That, combined with two wide Velcro straps was plenty adequate for securing the rifle.
I also liked the two compartments to store handguns. Again, they are secured by Velcro with plenty of padding to surround the gun.
To help in transporting your rifle there’s a handle and a shoulder strap (that you may or may not even need).
One thing this bag didn’t have was Molle to secure other objects but no doubt, that would have jacked up the price.
As is, the bag goes for anywhere from $65 to $130 on Amazon. If you want to pay double, I’m sure you can get similar offerings from any number of manufacturers. However, finding a durable gun case with the features that this bag offers for a mere $65, is going to be difficult.
Suffice it to say, this is a good deal for a guy (or a gal) who needs a smart looking, functional bag to take to transport their gear to and from the range.
Photos courtesy of On Target staff with the exception of second photo from top, courtesy of Uncle Mike’s.
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