Meet The Pros
The Precision Rifle Series (PRS) is a championship style point series race based on the best precision rifle matches nationwide. PRS matches are recognized as the major league of sniper-style rifle matches. At the end of each year, the scores from 15 different matches are evaluated and the top 50 shooters nationwide are invited to compete head to head in the PRS Finale Match. The info below is based on the equipment those pros brought with them to the most recent finale. This is a great set of data, because 50 shooters is a significant sample size, and this particular group are also considered experts among experts. Thanks to Rich Emmons for allowing me to share this info. To find out more about the PRS, check out What Is The Precision Rifle Series?
Best Rear Bags
Being steady is a must for long-range precision rifle shooting, and a rear shooting rest is used to achieve that very important task. These are referred to by a lot of different names, including shooting rest, rear bag, sniper bean bag, sniper sock, stock sock, squeeze bag, and others. You place the bag under the rear of the stock and squeeze the bag or allow it to expand to fine-tune the vertical position of the rifle on the target. There is a lot of variety in shooting rests used by precision marksmen, and virtually all of them were represented within the top 50 shooters in the PRS.
The top shooters use a lot of different rear bags, as you can see. The “Custom” bags ranged from anything from a custom sand bag to a homemade bag made from a blue jean pant leg. Shooting rests are like a concealed carry pistol holster … you are probably going to end up with several before you find the one you really like.
38% of the shooters were using a shooting rest made by Str8 Laced Gun Gear. They are very versatile, because they can be maneuvered to provide 3 different heights (the original size provides 3” flat, 6” side, 9” upright). They are also extremely lightweight for their size, with the original size weighing in at just 8 ounces. Most other bags this size are at least double that weight. Unfortunately, the Str8 Laced Gun Gear website doesn’t provide much info about their shooting bags. But Sin City Precision has a great review about the original shooting bag that has a lot of helpful photos.
The next most popular bags were the TAB Gear Rear Bag and the Wiebad Steady Rest Bag, which are both flatter, and more compact than the Str8 Laced Gun Gear rear bag. They also provide 3 different heights by positioning them flat, on the side, and upright. There are a few different models of these bags and the dimensions of each are provided in the table below.
The Red Tac Original Bean Bag is the more traditional sniper bean bag or sniper sock, with a long cylindrical shape. I personally use one similar to this sold by SniperBeanBag.com, and it is the bag I’m most comfortable with and the one I reach for the most.
There is another type of rear bag that is much larger. This includes the Str8 Laced Gun Gear XL Model and the Red Tac Tactical Pillow. I also own another model that I’ve seen other competitors use at the Steel Safari competition, and it’s called the Tactical Shmooshie. All of these are large, adjustable bags that I’ve found to be oversized for most prone shooting, but I carry them in competitions that have a lot of positional shooting. The larger size just allows them to be used in scenarios where the other bags wouldn’t help. The Tactical Shmooshie is very, very light for its size (14.4 oz). In fact, it’s actually lighter than my sniper bean bag (22.4 oz), although it is 3 times the size.
Although there were only 9 shooters using the Wiebad Steady Rest Bag, 7 of those ended up in the top 20. That says something. There were also a lot of the St8 Laced Gun Gear Rear Bags represented in the top 20.
|Model||Size (in)||Weight (oz)||Price||Photo|
|St8 Laced Gun Gear Rear Bag|
|TAB Gear Rear Bag|
|TAB Rear Bag||7½×6×1½||20||$20|
|Wiebad Steady Rest Bag|
|… more sizes available|
|Red Tac Bean Bag & Tactical Pillow|
|GA Precision Rear Bag|
|GAP Rear Bag||7×5×1½||17||$24|
|Triad Tapered Rear Bag (aka Wedgie)|
|VooDoo Tactical Shooter’s Bean Bag|
|Shooter’s Bean Bag||NA||NA||$16|
There were 2 shooters using TAC READY rear bags, but I talked to them recently and they have stopped producing their rear bag. However, at the time this was written they still had a few left. You can contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested or visit TacReady.com.
Other “What The Pros Use” Articles
This post was one of a series of posts that look at the equipment the top 50 shooters in the country use. Check out these other posts:
- Best Rifle Calibers & Cartridges
- Best Long-Range Scopes
- Best Gunsmiths, Actions, Barrels & Stocks
- Best Precision Bullets & Powders
- Best Precision Suppressor & Muzzle Brake
- Best Rear Bag Shooting Rest