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This is a quick one from me, but hopefully it helps you save money if you run any firearm-related events.  In addition to the DEFCON Shoot, I help run other regional shooting events — sometimes at hacker cons, sometimes elsewhere — and one of the things that I feel organizers should try to do is always have a kit of “range essentials” that can help fill in any gaps of amenities and supplies that may be lacking at a venue you’re using.

Just in case you want to build such a kit, here are some bare-bones essentials that just about anyone can put together:

 

You’ll notice that almost everything in the above list has links.  They are links to the particular items that I have liked and trusted and opt to bring with me whenever I’m running an event.  (Other gear shows up at most of my events, too, like service and cleaning supplies, free water, free snacks, etc.  But the above list are the safety essentials.)

One item in the list does not have an amazon link, however.  That’s because chamber flags, bought retail, are very expensive.  At between $2 and $8 apiece, they are not an item that lends itself to cheap and easy purchase en masse if you’re going to set them out in a bin for give-away.  That’s why I opt to make my own homebrew chamber flags for my Gun Range Running kit.

Want to make your own nearly-infinite supply of chamber flags for almost no cost?  Here’s what you acquire:

 

Take the orange tube and cut it into segments roughly 1¼” long (just over 3cm)… the above-linked tube should hopefully produce just over 30 pieces.

 

The next steps should be rather self-evident.  Slip one of these bits of rubber tube over a zip tie…

 

 

Then affix the zip tie to itself.  Be careful to try to not pull it ridiculously tight.  Just enough to make a little “flag” stick out to the side…

 

 

There you are!  Buying one pack of the above zip ties and three of the orange rubber tubes should yield close to 100 of these for a little over $25.  That’s effectively a quarter apiece.

 

 

They work perfectly well in most sizes and actions of firearm…

 

 

And while they may not be as robust and perfect as factory-made chamber flags, these should be more than sufficient for your event attendees to grab a few and utilize them as needed.  If they return them to you, great.  If they walk off with them, meh.  It’s not a huge cost to you, but it can be a major time-saver as your RSOs walk the firing line and visually inspect all the guns on the tables before declaring a range cold.

Making cease-fires easier and faster means the sooner that people get to check and reset targets and therefore the sooner that everyone can go hot again and keep plinking away.

Enjoy!  Stay safe out there!

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