Recommended filler for leather bench rest bag

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David R. posted this 23 September 2017

I recently purchased a leather front bench rest bag from Brownells. I was wondering what filler folks recommended. Lead shot, sand, rice? Thanx, 

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45 2.1 posted this 23 September 2017

All you listed have been used............. but currently most people are using plastic airsoft BB's.

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John Alexander posted this 23 September 2017

A lot of the jacketed benchrest shooters use some kind of very dense heavy sand and stuff them so full that they are more like a piece of cast iron than a sand bag.  Since mine seem heavy enough to carry back and fourth I have always use plain old clean and that seemed OK.  Since rice of air soft balls would be much lighter, maybe I should try them.

John

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R. Dupraz posted this 23 September 2017

(b)      Sandbags – Shall be of one or more materials which can be easily flexed with the fingers before being filled with a non-metallic material similar to dry sand.

Fine dry sand works for me 

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onondaga posted this 24 September 2017

I recommend what I use. From Harbor Freight, #12 grit Walnut shell media. I use it in my vibratory cleaner too. Source:

https://www.harborfreight.com/25-lbs-coarse-grade-walnut-shell-blast-media-92150.html

 

Gary

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4and1 posted this 24 September 2017

Most agree too hard is bad. Also, too soft and it kind of ruins the reason for a steady rest in the first place. I use plain jane play sand, but putting the right amount in makes a difference. You want the bag to hold its shape and not slump. Make a forming plate to keep the bag in shape when the gun isn't in it, the same size as your forend. Maybe at the start of every shooting session, just give it a bit of fluffing to keep it from getting too hard. The rear bag should get the same treatment. It has to have enough sand to keep its shape, the ears need to conform somewhat to the butt. But not too hard.

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.22-10-45 posted this 24 September 2017

I too like the heavy sand...but only for rear bags.  In front, I use clean sand.  The heavy sand is finer than regular sand and can filter out of bag seams..didn't want sand gunking up threads in front rest.

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John Alexander posted this 24 September 2017

There is obviously more than one way to skin a cat although some people think they know the only one. I shot with some top jacketed bullet benchrest score shooters for several years. As mentioned above their bags could just as well been made of concrete with a leather cover.  "Bag Squeezers" was not a complimentary term -- but occasionally a bag squeezer with a soft bag would beat them anyway.

John 

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David R. posted this 24 September 2017

I'm mostly a rifle ignoramus, but wanting to learn. I don't actually like shooting at a bench very much, but that may be because I don't really know what I'm doing. I figured that I need to learn if I want to get my rifle(s) to perform well and be able to see what sort of groups that they are capable of. Not being a sophisticated bench rest shooter I just want something that doesn't feel like ship's ballast to carry, but does the trick. The walnut shell suggestion sounds good. I need to get some of that stuff anyway for my motorcycle projects. 

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lotech posted this 24 September 2017

Hard to imagine a better sandbag filler than sand. Also, it seem that an overfilled sand bag , regardless of filler, with no "give" would prove a disadvantage in most, if not all situations. 

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Tom Acheson posted this 24 September 2017

From the FWIW dept.....

"Regular" beach-like sand (dry) has an average bulk density of about 100 PCF (pounds per cubic foot) and the heavy sand is probably zircon sand at about 170 PCF. Some foundrys like the zircon version because it gives a better finish on the casting (and possibly other reasons) but it is more expensive.

Try packing the sand loose, firm and compacted, shoot a separate target with each condition and let your targets tell you which works best.

Might want to check the CBA benchrest match rules and see if the need for the "sand" bag to be playable with finger pressure is mentioned. Now there's a subjective thought!

 

Tom

 

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OU812 posted this 25 September 2017

What type front sand bag rest are we talking about...there are several.

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Ed Harris posted this 25 September 2017

I use spent ground corncob case tumbling media.

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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Ken T posted this 25 September 2017

I use heavy sand from Sinclair in both front and rear bags.

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Goatwhiskers posted this 26 September 2017

I prefer sand, filled to a moderate firmness.  Having said that, kitty litter works well and is lighter.  GW

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David R. posted this 26 September 2017

What type front sand bag rest are we talking about...there are several.

#7 Standard Front Bench Rest bag from Brownells. 

I was curious what folks were using because it doesn't look easy to get it in and a lot harder to get it back out if I don't like it. The corn cob and kitty litter suggestions are topping the list so far. Competition rules hadn't entered my mind. So much to learn! 

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Ken T posted this 26 September 2017

It can be a bit of a nuisance to fill and empty the bags.Before you fill the bag with some light weight material maybe try one of the cheap prefilled bags from Walmart to see if you like the light weight bag.I prefer a bag that stays where I set it.

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oscarflytyer posted this 04 October 2017

I use double bagged wool socks and stuff them very full/tight with corn cob media.  Easy to mold, beat around and get the shape I want and much less dust.  And nowhere as heavy as sand.  I have not tried it in a leather bag.  For that, sand is probably better.

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Robert35 posted this 30 March 2019

I am new to the shooting and recently got a new rest bag from discounted coupons. I am also confused about what to fill in it, i guess sands would be the best option. 
I am wondering what experts suggests us.
Any experts here?

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Scearcy posted this 30 March 2019

If you are going to shoot in an matches, you should consider sand. I use the fine stuff that comes in 40# bags from Home Depot. If no matches are in your future something lighter might serve nicely. 

I have used corn or rice in the past and they both absorb moisture. I don't use them any more.

Jim

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BigMan54 posted this 31 March 2019

My sand bags are still filled with sand from Redondo Beach. I cut the head off a .30-06 case and taped it to a funnel and walked across the street. Got some strange looks from people passing by on the bike path.

Had a friend that filled his with shot. They split open the first time he used them. I don't recommend shot. 

Long time Caster/Reloader, Getting back into it after almost 10yrs. Life Member NRA 40+yrs, Life S.A.S.S. #375. Does this mean a description of me as a fumble-fingered knuckle-draggin' baboon. I also drool in my sleep. I firmly believe that true happiness is a warm gun. Did I mention how much I HATE auto-correct on this blasted tablet.

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BudHyett posted this 31 March 2019

Fine sand, I got mine from a pet store closing out and it was for an aquarium. Zircon sand or black coal sand is preferred, but only if you have old clothes and a space outdoors to fill the bags.

You will need to refill as time goes by and the sand fills corners. 

Farm boy from Western Illinois, living in the Magical Pacific Northwest

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mashburn posted this 04 April 2019

I use the walnut hull media when it gets to where it doesn't work fast. When I first started using bags more years ago than I care to remember you will be astonished as to what my bags were and what they were filled with. My bags were the pretty Crown Royal sacks and they were filled with corn The only time I used shooting bags in those days was to sight in firearms. They worked until one day I opened my shooting bag and discovered that some kind of bug or worm or something had gotten into my corn filled bags and turned them into cornmeal and my shooting bag was full of the little critters.THEY ALSO GOT LOOSE IN THE HOUSE AND NEEDLESS TO SAY MY SWEET WIFE WASN'T VERY HAPPY WITH ME. Now if you don't agree that I was impoverished in my younger days, something is wrong with you. My shooting bag in my shooting house where I deer hunt is a leg cut off of a pair of old wrangler jeans with the end sewed up, filled with sand and the other end tied up. I have it laying to where when I can rest my rifle on it full length. I use my rabbit ear bag on it on the rear for the buttstock. Sometimes I have to put the rabbit ear under the forearm depending on the angle I'm shooting. The shooting house is about 16 feet tall. I  have a 2x12 board c-clamped across the window sill that the long bag lays on. You can put your armpit over the long bag and do whatever you want with your left arm. It's rock steady. You sometimes have to shoot about 350 yards.

Mashburn

Mashburn

David a. Cogburn

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Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 05 April 2019

mashburn ... now that there is real funny ... and hey !! ... i am still using some bags made from old blue jean legs .. filled with river sand in 1956 ....  still giving off dust, by the way ...

ken

poor? ... hey i re-built shotshell primers with caps from alcan ... fiocchi ?? ...  almost all of them went off ...

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Brodie posted this 05 April 2019

I have two bags that aren't made from old blue jean legs, mostly the blue jean bags rot out quickly because I have the bad habit of leaving them in my truck.  The camper shell leaks and during the Monsoon Rains, and winter (snow) water gets into the truck bed and the cotton canvas bags rot.  As far as fillers; we use two: Home Desperate play sand (grit is variable within the bag), and for lighter bags I use cinders (since I live on the slope of a dormant volcano and cinders are everywhere).  Personally I prefer the cinders because they are much lighter than sand.  Both shape well if you don't over fill the bags, and I like the price (free for minimal work).

B.E.Brickey

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4570sharps posted this 07 April 2019

I use lead shot mostly. Although I may try sand in the future.

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