This low-cost tip can save you a wealth of heartache on the range!

by Rob Reaser

We’ve all done it…lost springs, screws, or other small items when at the range and trying to work on a shooting bench. The bench is an unsavory environment to work on, but sometimes you gotta. The solution? Bring a small mat with you. Pack it in your range bag and roll it out whenever there’s work to be done. Our advice – get a mat with an attached tray, such as the ones offered by Real Avid. They’ll keep your small components safe and handy.

The size of the mat you want will depend on the type of firearm you’re working on and the available shooting bench space. Most benches, even the more robust single-station benches typically found on public or private ranges, do not provide a lot of operational acreage. Most work can be done with a “handgun-size” bench mat, and these will fit easily into most range bags or shooting boxes. One of the reasons we favor the Real Avid mats is because they have a small parts tray secured to one side of the mat. This offers a place to put those really small components and prevents them from rolling into the cracks on the bench and onto the ground, never to be seen again.

It’s a small thing to bring a mat with you to the range, but it’s a big deal if you’ve ever had the misfortune of losing a small part in the middle of a shooting session.

Shoot On Editor-in-Chief Rob Reaser is a lifelong outdoorsman, former magazine editor, columnist, and contributing editor to numerous national publications in the automotive and outdoor segments. He has also authored and co-authored several DIY gun building books. His shooting and hunting passions cover everything from traditional archery and big-game bowhunting to the latest in handguns, rifles, and reloading. Rob has a troublesome habit of pulling guns and things apart to see how they work; occasionally, he manages to get them back together...

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