This post is about the shooting bags and rests the best precision rifle shooters are using. 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. It is based on what the top 50 long-range shooters nationwide brought with them to the Precision Rifle Series (PRS) Finale a couple weeks ago. For more info on who these guys are, and why you should care what they think scroll to the bottom of this article.
Best Shooting Rest Bags
Just a few years ago, these types of shooting rests were all homemade from blue jeans and socks … but bags have come a long way since then. Now there is a bag out there that’s made for just about any situation. I own several, and you probably do too … but somewhere in this list might be your next one! Here is the list of what the finale competitors were using at this year’s finale:
Wiebad doubled in popularity since the last finale, which forced St8 Laced Gun Gear to share the top spot this year. They each had 19 shooters using their bags, which combined to represent almost 70% of the shooters. These two were the overwhelming favorites, with the next most popular bag only having 4 shooters represented.
The TAB Gear Rear Bag had a dramatic drop in popularity at this year’s finale. There were 12 shooters using their bags at the 2012 finale, but that dropped to 4 this year. Red Tac Gear was right there with 4 shooters using their bags as well, which was about the same number as there were last year using the Red Tac bags.
One new bag with at least a couple guys using it was the Tactical Schmooshie, which is a large, adjustable bags. It is similar to the Red Tac Pillow.
Behind them, there were individual shooters using a few different bags, including:
- TAC Ready shooting rests
- GA Precision rear bag
- Protektor Leather Rifle Rests
- Sage Flats Rear Shooting Bags
HomemadeCustom stuffed blue jean pants leg
Wiebad Shooting Rest Bags
Judging from the video of the 2013 PRS finale, it looked like virtually everyone was using one of Wiebad’s Todd Tac-Pad shooting rests. That bag is designed to be worn on the strong-side elbow to help stabilize your position when shooting off barricades. If you’ve ever had to fire from an improvised shooting position, you can see the merit of this innovative design. That Tac-Pad bag is 9×11×4 inches and weighs in around 8 ounces. Wiebad offers 9 different types of bags in all sizes and shapes. You can check them all out at WieBad.com.
St8 Laced Gun Gear Shooting Rest Bags
Straight Laced Gun Gear makes some high-quality, featherweight shooting bags. I bought the original size (shown below), which is 9×6×3 inches, and weighs just 6 ounces. Anytime someone picks it up, they laugh or at least smile because it is uncanny how light is it. It almost defies physics, because it seems like the fabric alone should weigh more than that. This has become my go-to bag. It seems completely ideal, and honestly I can’t think of anything I would change about it. It is a true three size bag, which means you can use it flat, on its side, or upright to get three completely different heights. They also make one size larger (XL, 12×9×3, 16oz) and one size smaller (Mini, 6×4½×3, 5oz). Sin City Precision has a great review about this shooting bag with helpful photos. You can order those from http://www.str8lacedgungear.com/.
Red Tac Shooting Rest Bags
Red Tac Gear makes rear bags in three sizes as well. Their original bean bag represents one of the most common and classic designs of a rear squeeze bag. It is ideal if you exclusively shoot from the prone position. You can buy those at http://www.triadtactical.com/Bean-Bags-Shooting-Rests/.
TAB Gear Shooting Rest Bags
TAB Gear rear bags were the second most popular bags last year, and there are still a ton of guys that use them. They are versatile bags that can be used flat, on the short side or long side to give you varying heights of support. TAB Gear products are built to last. You can find those at RiflesOnly.com.
TRIAD Shooting Rest Bags
TRIAD Tactical sells a lot of different rear bags, this is one of their design. It is a tapered rear bag that is affectionately known as the Wedgie. There are two sizes available. The Standard is 3.5″ tall and 6″ long, and the Large is 5″ tall and 8″ long. You can purchase one of those at TriadTactical.com.
Tactical Shmooshie Shooting Rest Bags
There were also a couple shooters using a Tactical Shmooshie this year. I’ve personally owned one of those bags for a couple years, and it is very versatile bag that is great for positional shooting. It’s oversized design allows you to use it to fill large gaps or brace yourself where other bags would be no help. Yet its not overstuffed like some bags, so you can work it flat if you had to use it as a rear bag prone. It isn’t the ideal bag if you exclusively shoot prone, but if you are a positional shooter this is a pretty handy bag to have around. It is also extremely light for its size, weighing in at just 14.4 ounces. You can find it at 3GunGear.com.
Other Shooting Rest Bags
There were a few other bags that were used by individual shooters at the finale, including the ones shown below. Click on the photos to find more info about each of them.
Note: TAC Ready told me a few months ago they were going to stop producing their rear bags, and they only had a few left at that point. So I didn’t include photos of them.
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?
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
- Best Actions
- Best Barrels
- Best Stocks
- Best Precision Bullets & Powders
- Best Precision Suppressor & Muzzle Brake
- Best Shooting Rest Bags
Great info, thank you. What Wiebad rear bag was everyone using, the Berry Competition Bag or the Loop Bag (or other). Thanks!
It looked to me like most shooters were at least running Wiebad’s Todd Tac-Pad. It also looked like a few guys were running a buckle bag (or a similar custom bags made by Wiebad) that straps around the front of their rifle to provide hard on soft contact off barricades. Those are attached to the rifle so you don’t have to manually position it or worry about it falling out of reach while you’re dangling in the air. They make a barricade bag that can be used in similar scenarios, which attaches to the forearm of the stock with Velcro.
But the Todd Tac-Pad was the most common I saw, because it’s really versatile for stabilizing improvised shooting positions. I noticed it looked like they’ve added a lot of new types of bags on their website recently, so there is even more choice now! That will make it interesting to see what the guys are using this year!
I personally use an original size rectangular bag made by Str8 Laced Gun Gear (which is amazing), and I carry the Todd Tac-Pad in addition to that if it’s a competition with a lot of positional shooting. I may add some kind of barricade bag this year as well, but the competitions I’ve typically competed in don’t impose many barricades … so I haven’t done it yet. The good thing is those are all ULTRA lightweight bags, so there really isn’t much of a cost to carry more than one.
Thanks a lot. It looks like the Todd Tac-Pad is still listed – they’re just on page 4 of the Steady Rest bags. Thanks again.
Yeah, they have pages of shooting bags now! This is a rapidly evolving part of the sport, and Wiebad is a primary innovator. It’s cool to see all the new designs they’re coming out with.