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First Aid for Riflemen: The Range Medic IFAK Review

First Aid for Riflemen: The Range Medic IFAK Review

People fail. We forget. We make mistakes. I too have uncased my rifle at home, and lo-and-behold I racked the bolt and out flew a shiny 5.56.

Should a day come when an accident or injury strikes, be it firearm related or otherwise, we must be able to respond effectively. If we, as responsible citizens, consider ourselves the prepared minute men of our day… then we must be ready to spring into action at a moment’s notice. Self defense doesn’t just encompass the act of shooting a gun, but dealing with the aftermath of that action… Whatever it may be.

I decided that first aid should be a permanent part of thenewrifleman.com. A rifle, ammo, and training is essential for a self defense minded individual, but what is your response if you take a arrow bullet to the knee? You need a IFAK. Have it filled with quality contents. Learn how to use them. I reached out to MyMedic.com and they supplied me with a kit for T&E called the Range Medic. You can find all kinds of kits tailored to different activities on their website, but having a first aid kit tailored to the injuries on a gun range is exactly what shooters need. Let’s check out the Range Medic.

Fit, Finish, Features:

The RangeMedic is a small-sized IFAK which has been built specifically to address the injuries likely to occur in shooting sports. The bag has vertical and horizontal molle webbing, a quick detach system, *and* includes a multi-use mounting strap. The overall fit and finish of the bag is excellent. It has quality Velcro, the zippers function smoothly, and good stitching on all the molle. The bag itself is 600D nylon. The front of the bag has a tear away tourniquet pouch holding a RATS TQ.

The rear of the bag features a quick detach system which consists of two hard plastic spikes which weave through molle webbing and can be tugged away with some force. The bag will then separate from any molle surface you have it attached to.

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So fit and finish on the Range Medic is excellent, and the basic feature set is well thought out. I’m digging it so far. Let’s open it up.

What’s Inside?

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The Range Medic is a kit designed for penetrating injuries, burns, bleeds, as well as other minor injuries. I would describe the Range Medic as an IFAK for shooters. Contents include:

  • Chest seal
  • Burn Gel
  • TQ (RATS)
  • Quick Clot impregnated gauze
  • Trauma Dressing
  • Compressed Guaze
  • Liquid Skin
  • Shears, tweezers, gloves
  • Saljet saline wound wash
  • OTC meds: Pepto, Advil, Tylenol, Benadryl
  • BooBoo contents: Lip balm, sunscreen, gauze pads, bite and sting relief, band-aids, etc.

So from the questionable burrito stand you shouldn’t have stopped at before the match, all the way to a penetrating chest wound, the kit has plenty of day saving, and life saving gear inside.

First off, I am impressed with the quality of the contents. When putting your own first aid kit together, you have to question where your gear comes from… From one Amazon vendor to the next, you might not be able to find a legit CAT TQ. I want a vendor that sells legit stuff so I can skip over the “do I trust this” phase of my purchase. Many of the components inside the Range Medic are MyMedic branded packaging. Grabbing a purpose-built kit gives me confidence that the gear I am using is legit through and through. I want you to ask yourself if a vendor selling three CAT Gen 7 TQ’s for $21 dollars is legit. Here is a hint:

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Donald Trump: “CHINA

Thank you Mr. President. So the gear inside is legit, and the design seems well thought out. Let’s move on to the range review. How does it do in action?

In Use: Self Rescue Scenario

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We test our guns in “realistic” defensive situations, so why should medical gear be any different? I decided that a simple, simulated range injury would be the best approach for this review. Scenario: You are alone at the range, and your spouse doesn’t expect you back for three hours. You are shooting steel and you feel a sharp pain to the forearm. Oh Crap. For this scenario, a ricochet will simulate a lower limb injury with severe bleeding. I positioned the simulated injury below the elbow to better illustrate for the go pro. I then proceeded to film the injury and my response. Please guys, a professional actor I am not, but here is my best effort.

Severe bleeding. Step 1: Alert EMS.

Help needs to be on the way. If you go unconscious, your spouse won’t start looking for you until after you said you would return home. No Bueno. If you activate EMS, you can likely receive help within 15-20 minutes which will greatly increase your chance of survival. What if you can’t control the bleeding despite your best efforts? Your getting shaky and things are going dark in your periphery. If you called 911 first, you might have a fighting chance. If you didn’t, I hope your range is popular and has lots of foot traffic…  even then it might be too late.

Step 2: Identify the source of the Bleeding.

Once EMS is activated, your second step is to identify the source of the bleeding. Bloody clothes can mask the location of the wound. It is important to remove these layers to find the source of the bleeding so you can begin the proper course of action to mitigate the bleeding. Since I am playing the role of the victim, I have a rough estimate where the pain and injury is located so I elected to apply the TQ first in this scenario. The proximity of the simulated wound to my elbow necessitated the application of the TQ above my elbow. A TQ will not be effective over a knee or elbow.

Step 3: Apply Compression

Compression can consist of any or all of the following: Packing with compression, direct compression over the wound, application of a tourniquet.

The RATS TQ was near instantaneous to deploy. Within seconds I had the RATS in my hand and was able to begin application one-handed. It is far faster to deploy than a CAT as there is no need for a spare hand or to open the loop. With one motion I remove the RATs from the pouch and then fed the free end through the open end one-handed. I then began to wrap the TQ as designed.

While the CAT has more weight behind medical studies, I have no problem with the RATs as I have tested it numerous times and confirmed no pulse on all limbs I have deployed it on. I have a CATs in both vehicles so no need to lecture me in the comments about one vs the other. I got both. I can use them both. You? Know Your Gear.

Once the TQ was applied to sufficient tightness, I then deployed the shears to identify the entry wound. The shears cut through the nylon with minimal effort. I then opened Range Medic interior pocket and acquired the compressed gauze. I attempted to open and use the compressed gauze while using my left hand as little as possible. Looking back on it, using my mouth to tear the package wasn’t a good idea, so investing time and practice into getting these gauze packs open one-handed will be worth the effort to reduce potential for infection. Personal note: Try the shears next time.

I then attempted to wrap the gauze around the wound, but realized the futility of the effort with just one hand and instead compressed the wound with my free hand while I await help to arrive.

Wrapping Up:

This is a kit that I am happy to share with readers. It works as designed, and includes quality gear. I am impressed with the quality of the product and considering my worries over ordering medical equipment from Amazon… MyMedic.com helps alleviates my concerns over product authenticity.

A IFAK should be a standard component to any range session, and The Range Medic fulfills that role beautifully. The Range Medic is capable of handling penetrating chest injuries, severe bleeds, burns, as well as minor injuries. The bag is high quality and the quick detach mechanism is an awesome bonus. Unlike Velcro designs, the spikes are largely silent and won’t succumb to mud and wear like Velcro. The final inclusion of a mounting strap is just icing on the cake. The range medic comes in two version, the more advanced version (tested here) which retails for $150 and the smaller version which retails for around $60.

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The Range Medics little brother… the SOLO

Of further importance to me… is that we have a first aid company building gear for *our* community. Gun owners aren’t given the time of day in some arenas, and it is my great pleasure to say that MyMedic is enthusiastic about equipping shooters with first aid solutions tailored to our sport and offer kits to fit your medical skill level.

Because of the quality of the kit, and the enthusiastic support MyMedic has for gun owners, I have decided to become an advertising partner with MyMedic.com to recommend them to my readers for first aid products. Consider this an endorsement of MyMedic from your friendly neighborhood Rifleman R.N., B.S.N, BCON course instructor. I ARE QUALIFIED.  

Regardless if you purchase from MyMedic or elsewhere, remember these things:

  • Have a first aid kit.
  • Verify the integrity of your products.
  • Get training and practice.
  • If your gear isn’t within arms reach, it’s too far away.

Code: “TNR10” will get you 10% off your order. Click here to visit MyMedic.com

That’s all my friends. Lothaen OUT!

Written by lothaen

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