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Precision Rifle Support Bag Buyer’s Guide



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Rear bags for long-range shooting have become a must-have to help deliver hits down range. A rear bag is a low-tech and relatively low-cost solution that offers many benefits to precision rifle shooters — mainly the ability to stabilize the rear of the rifle, leading to greater accuracy and precision.

While shooting bags come in many shapes and sizes, they all cushion either the rear of the rifle or under the forend, filling the space between the stock and ground or obstacle. Instead of having to hold and balance the rifle with your hand, the rear bag spreads the weight and makes it easy to maintain a stable hold on the rifle, kind of like comfortably sitting in a beanbag chair instead of sitting on the ground.

Rear bags stabilize the rear of the rifle, which increases consistency and precision when shooting. With this increased stability, it’s possible to have better follow-through on shots, shoot tighter groups, make more precise holds on target, and see more of what’s going on downrange.

Using a rear bag enables minor but precise adjustments to elevation and/or windage with a slight squeeze or release of the bag.

Additional benefits of these bags including aiding in non-firing tasks, like observing a target for long periods of time or ranging with the riflescope with the rifle resting on the bag, instead of the shooter having to hold it in place.

Beyond rifles, bags can be used in conjunction with other equipment, such as cameras and lasers, providing the same stabilizing effect whether on terrain, branches, fences, tripods, or a pack.

BAGS BagPile

Precision rifle competitions have driven a rapid evolution of rear and support bags, which for many years was simply an old boot sock filled with sand (aka a sand sock). While it worked for prone shooting, the sand sock was heavy, prone to absorbing water, and not very durable.

As precision rifle competitors are forced off their bellies and onto obstacles, the rear bag is used to cushion other parts of the rifle. Reducing wobble on an obstacle can make a big difference in hitting or missing a target under time constraints.

Shooters and entrepreneurs started exploring and improving on different rear/support bags by trying new designs and construction methods along with using synthetic fill materials with differing densities. There’s now an entire cottage industry producing bags of all shapes and sizes.

Because everyone likes something different, and there are so many rifle options, the available options range from small bags typically used primarily for rear support, to medium-sized barricade/support bags for positional shooting, and even larger pillows for creative positions and obstacles.

Most shooters will typically settle on one or two favorite bags, but like a pistol shooter chasing the perfect holster, there are many rifle shooters with a box full of different bags they have tried.

BEST PRECISION RIFLE SUPPORT BAGS

Armageddon Gear Squishy Rear Bag

There are many small rear bags that have a cylinder shape to them. The shape allows for two different rear heights by using it standing up or on its side. The Armageddon Gear Squishy Rear Bag is unique compared to similar bags due to its construction with Tweave stretch woven fabric.

BAGS Squishy-Angle

Essentially a softshell-type material, the Tweave bag is, as the name implies, very squishy. It expands and squeezes down very easily in your hand, whereas traditional nylon is more rigid when filled with beads. The Tweave material enables the bag to be used for other shooting positions by flattening down on a barricade or similar surface.

BAGS Squishy-RifleFront

A Velcro strap is included for holding onto with the support hand or looping over bipod legs, as well as a corner loop for attaching a lanyard, carabiner, or sling. According to Armageddon Gear, this is a popular option with many military and law enforcement customers as it’s versatile, but still compact for packing along without adding much weight.

  • Material: Tweave
  • Dimensions: 6 by 3 by 3 inches
  • Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Colors: Coyote Brown, Multi-Cam, Black
  • MSRP: $35
  • URL: armageddongear.com

Armageddon Gear X-Wing Enhanced Rear Bag

The X-Wing bag offers a slightly more ergonomic option for a small rear bag. Designed around the shape of a hand holding onto the bag, the contours prevent fatigue from holding a position for an extended period of time.

BAGS XWingStanding

Dimensionally the X-Wing offers three different heights by using the different sides (7 by 6 by 1.25) for height adjustment. A Velcro strap is sewn onto each side for attachment to the rifle, bipod or as a hand hold as well.

BAGS XWing-Buttstock

For easy mounting, there’s a webbing loop to attach a carabiner or strap to, or a sewn-in QD swivel, or hook are available as options.

  • Material: 1000 Denier Cordura Nylon
  • Dimensions: 7 by 6 by 1.25 inches
  • Weight: 1 pounds
  • Colors: Coyote Brown, Multi-Cam, Black, ATACS AU, Kryptek Highlander
  • MSRP: $35
  • URL: armageddongear.com

MDT Support Bags

A big name in the chassis game, MDT has recently jumped into soft goods as well. Behind the scenes, MDT bought Warhorse Development and these are mainly the product of that acquisition.

All of the bags from MDT are good, solid, well made, and exactly what you would expect from a brand that is big in the long range and PRS worlds. But the bags aren't anything else. The designs are pretty basic and none of them are going to change the game like the Game Changer did.

The MDT Traveller is small and great for strapping to the buttstock of a gun so that you just always have something. In fact, that's exactly what I did. Filled with GitLite, this bag is extremely lightweight but great for rear support.

Both sizes of the Grand Old Canister perform great. They just do the job they need to do. You have two size options and two fill options. Both come over-filled so that you can take some out and get it to the size and shape perfect for you.

The Peanut is my least favorite, but it still does what it needs to do. The shape doesn't really jive for me, but I love the crushed glass fill making this bag heavy and firm.

Something to love about all of these is that the price is pretty fair, even with upgraded fill.

Homemade Sand Sock

For the thrifty-minded, recycling old socks is an option for a precision rifle rear support. To prevent having an extra sock laying around, it’s recommended to double up the socks for added durability.

  • Material: 500D Cordura Fabric
  • Dimensions: Multiple Options
  • Weight: Dependent on type of fill
  • Colors: Multicam, Coyote
  • MSRP: $50-$110
  • URL: mdttac.com/shooting-bags
BAGS Homemade-TopAngle

Fill options can range from play sand to dried beans or polymer beads from your daughter or wife’s arts and crafts stash. To assemble, drop the fill material into the socks, tie off the top, and fold the excess material back over the main bag. Review some options for making your own at Recoilweb.com.

BAGS Homemade-Buttstock
  • Material: Customizable
  • Dimensions: Dependent on sock size
  • Weight: Dependent on type of fill
  • Colors: Solid colors to full patterns
  • MSRP: $0 – $5
  • URL: n/a

Wiebad Tac Pad

Originally designed to slide over a forearm for assistance in shooting from barricades and rooftops, the Wiebad Tac Pad has proven to be a very versatile bag that can do nearly anything.

BAGS TacPad-TopAngle

Whether used as a rear bag or positional support bag, the larger Tac Pad (9 by 11 by 4) is still a popular option for shooting in the field or at matches. The rectangular design also allows for each of the different sides to be used to adjust the rear height of the rifle. Elastic sewn-on straps with shock-cord for extra tension were originally added to slide over a shooter’s arm, but have also proven well when sliding the bag over the fore end of a rifle for support.

BAGS TacPad-Buttstock

A corner loop is also included with a carabiner for carrying or other attachments. Weighing in at only a pound, the light weight makes this an easy to choose all-around rifle support bag. Other versions include a mini version and modular version that can be stuffed with other items to increase or decrease overall size.

  • Material: 1000 Denier Cordura Nylon
  • Dimensions: 9 by 11 by 4 inches
  • Weight: 1 pound
  • Colors: OD Green, Coyote Brown, Multi-Cam, Black, Kryptek Highlander, Kryptek Typhon, ATACS AU, ATACS FG
  • MSRP: $70
  • URL: wiebadgear.com

Reasor Precision/Armageddon Gear OG Optimized Game Changer

Perhaps the only bag to be patented, the Game Changer designed by Clifton Reasor lives up to its name. The design is fairly simple, but this large (10 by 7 by 6) and heavy (6-pound) bag creates an ultra-stable shooting platform from nearly any obstacle or position.

BAGS GameChanger-Angle

With a “W” shape, the barricade, fence rail, car door, window, or any other position up to 4 inches wide is clamped by the bag, while the heavy fill stabilizes the bag. The 10-inch flat side then creates a solid rest for the fore end of the rifle. Alternatively, flipping the bag around to put the flat end on the ground and pinching the rifle stock inside the W makes for an oversize winged rear bag, extremely stable with the heavy fill.

BAGS GameChanger-RifleFront

A handle on each end allows for easy carry and movement while changing positions on the clock. Many shooters and competitors have found the Game Changer to be their go-to bag for almost any shooting scenario, replacing the need to carry three to four bags.

Due to the popularity, Armageddon Gear is manufacturing several models, with different sizes and materials being available. For a classy rear bag, consider the waxed canvas version with bison leather straps.

  • Material: 1000 Denier Cordura Nylon or Waxed Canvas
  • Dimensions: 10 by 7 by 6 inches
  • Weight: 6 pounds
  • Colors: Coyote Brown, Multi-Cam, Ranger Green
  • MSRP: $100
  • URL: armageddongear.com

Tab Gear Str8laced Ultra Light Rear Bag

One of the earlier multi-use bags and very popular with shooters during the 2012-2013 Precision Rifle Series seasons, the Str8 Laced bag is still a viable do-it-all bag.

BAGS Str8Laced-Angle

Being medium-sized (8 by 6 by 3 inches) and ultra lightweight (7 ounces), the Str8 Laced bag offers many options in how it can be used. One-inch webbing straps are equipped on the flat faces of the bag, while 550 cord runs through grommets around the sides that can be adjusted for tension and held in place with cord locks.

BAGS Str8Laced-Buttstock

TAB Gear continues manufacturing this bag for Str8 Laced Gun Gear and it’s available in multiple color options, including camo.

  • Material: 1000 Denier Cordura Nylon
  • Dimensions: 8 by 6 by 3 inches
  • Weight: 3 pounds (heavy fill), 0.37 pounds (light fill)
  • Colors: OD Green, Coyote Brown, Multi-Cam, Black, Kryptek Highlander
  • MSRP: $60
  • URL: tabgear.configio.com

Bison Tactical Udder Bag

A creative answer for match shooting and props being parallel to a shooter’s barrel, the Tactical Udder bag by Bison Tactical offers a heavy (over 6 pounds) yet sturdy option for positional shooting.

BAGS Udder-TopAngle

With four “udders” and a flat back, the Tactical Udder bag can conform to nearly any shooting position, including fences, branches, barricades, windows and rooftops. Two removable straps are included to strap the bag to a rifle for ease of maneuvering on a stage or in the field, along with a handle for ease of carrying and positioning.

The latest version is available with an HRD Gear Arca Swiss Clamp built in for mounting to an Arca Swiss rail on a rifle, or upside down on and Arca-compatible tripod head for stability of a rifle, laser, binoculars, etc. Additionally, parachute webbing is used for the handles, creating both a contrasting color and a comfortable way to carry the heavy bag.

  • Material: 1000 Denier Cordura Nylon
  • Dimensions: 7 by 7 by 8 inches
  • Weight: 6.5 pounds
  • Colors: Ranger Green, Coyote Tan, Multi-Cam, Black, Kryptek Highlander, custom colors available
  • MSRP: $115
  • URL: bisontactical.com

Wiebad Pump Pillow

The Pump Pillow is an enlarged version of the smaller Tac Pad, offering a soft, lightweight but large bag to help fill spaces or voids for positional shooting, such as a barricade or rooftop. This bag offers elastic arm straps with shock cord to attach to an arm, leg or rifle.

BAGS PumpPillow-Angle

Additionally, a lanyard and carabiner are included for easy attachment to a backpack for carrying or attachment to a belt to carry on a stage or person. While a little large to use for regular prone shooting, the extra height can be an aid when shooting uphill (extra height for the bipod), or downhill (extra height under the buttstock).

BAGS PumpPillow-Standing

One note with this bag is that after some use, the fill can compress down from the original 9x11x7 size, making it easier to manipulate.

  • Material: 1000 Denier Cordura Nylon
  • Dimensions: 9 by 11 by 7 inches
  • Weight: 1.25 pounds
  • Colors: OD Green, Coyote Brown, Multi-Cam, Black, Kryptek Highlander, Kryptek Typhon, ATACS AU, ATACS FG
  • MSRP: $106
  • URL: wiebadgear.com

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