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Filler for a shooting rest bag?

  • 20-02-2022 3:13pm
    Registered Users Posts: 371 ✭✭


    What's the best stuff for filling a rest bag or shooting rest bag?

    I finally got a proper rest bag for sighting in my pistol (used the range bag up to now- so bit the bullet (sorry) and got a proper rest bag).

    It came empty. So Advice please? Ordinary (dry sand?) a mix of something?



  • Registered Users Posts: 168 ✭✭GooseB

    I've found rice works very well, it's inexpensive and readily available - just keep it dry (I've never had any problem with the stuff). Also silica gel beads work well if you can get hold of it. I've tried kitty litter stuff but found it too coarse. Also tried airsoft pellets but they are too smooth and circular and want to slide and roll over one another leading to an unstable bag. I found ideally the filling needs to be able to interlock with itself so it holds the shape needed. I haven't tried fine sand, I'm sure it works but I'll let others with experience using it make recommendations on that.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,337 ✭✭✭J.R.

  • Registered Users Posts: 12 BC11011

    I use rice in my bag as well. I used broken rice. You can get it in 20kg bags for very cheap in most of them Asian shops.

  • Registered Users Posts: 558 ✭✭✭JP22

    Rice is fine but do NOT use white rice, the least bit of dampness and it goes mouldy.

    Depending on whether you like light/medium or heavy bags you can fill them with anything that takes your fancy. Foam sponge, styrofoam balls, plastic airsoft pellets, 12g lead shot (expensive), etc….

    End of day, sand is best, it’s traditional for BR bags, its far heavier than most other materials, its cheap and does the trick.

    Go to any modern pet supermarket/shop, they stock various kind of sand (parrot sand, lizard sand, reptile sand - these are coarse), plus many other types.

    My preference is a 10kg bag of superfine cream coloured desert sand, ten bucks when I last bought it. While you’re at it get a small kitchen funnel (a few bucks or rob/borrow one from the kitchen boss), it makes filling the bag and ears easy.

    Note - I would not recommend super fine sand for cheap bags with loose stitching, use coarser sand in cheaper bags.

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 28,476 Mod ✭✭✭✭Cass

    I've seen guys using pellets (plastic), Rice, metal shavings, and everything between and the only constant is sand.

    Other than it being required under some competition rules the other material does not "bind". One guy I know used some form of tiny cylindrical metals pieces. It made the bag really heavy, but because the pieces could not compress/bind to one another when "loaded" he found the bag leaning, moving, and in general not being as solid/steady as he needed.

    I used to put my sand into a dry frying pan on a medium heat to remove all mositure before filling the bag. When properly filled the bag is solid, steady, and pretty heavy at about 2.5-3kg.

    Its the mousetrap analogy. Hasn't changed in general principle/design in over 130 years because it works. 😁 Stick with sand.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 14,956 ✭✭✭✭Grizzly 45

    Dry builders sand.

    "If you want to keep someone away from your house, Just fire the shotgun through the door."

    Vice President [and former lawyer] Joe Biden Field& Stream Magazine interview Feb 2013 "

  • Registered Users Posts: 878 ✭✭✭Wadi14

    If your only using it to rest a pistol on when shooting, it wont really matter what you fill it with as long as its stable, as you wont be using it as a conventional rear bag where the butt of a rifle would have to ride on it.

    But it will give you great stability when shooting your pistol. Try to have the bag up to shoulder height, most people have it sitting on the bench and hunching down to see through the sights, which is not a natural body position for shooting.

  • Registered Users Posts: 21 aWant4aNew

    I’ve been told (don’t use a bag myself) that kiln? dried sand is your best bet. You should readily find it in builders suppliers as it’s the sand used between cobble.

  • Registered Users Posts: 594 ✭✭✭slipperyox

    I use cat litter in mine.


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,370 ✭✭✭✭kowloon

    The wood pellet type? You can get bags of small compressed wood pellets for burners that are cheaper but pretty much the same stuff. They start to fall apart if they get damp just like the cat litter, though.

    @Cass Metal filler sounds like a colossal PITA to lug around.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 594 ✭✭✭slipperyox

    No, The bentonite stuff

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,953 ✭✭✭homerhop

    Sea sand or fine shot blast

  • Registered Users Posts: 472 ✭✭jb88

    Visit any stonemasons and they have the type of heavy sand required, used in shot blasting, its the heaviest and best.

  • Registered Users Posts: 95 ✭✭Limerick Sovereigns

    It was recommended to me to use the gravel used in fish tanks which can be bought in any pet shop. It can't go mouldy like rice and wont clump when wet as can happen with sand. Nice and heavy unlike plastic pellets.

    Very pleased with it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 371 ✭✭dc99


    Thanks - gonna try this option.

    PS I will only be using this bag to sight in my pistol, not shoot regularly on it.

    Thanks everyone!

  • Registered Users Posts: 558 ✭✭✭JP22

    Work away and the very best of luck to you.

    If you have high quality bags which have narrow openings it's going to be a PITA to fill with rough grade sand.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,113 ✭✭✭Zxthinger

    Builders Sharp sand, this is where I'd start.

    Wash it, and sieve it and allow the fines to float or wash off. This stops you getting puffs of dust from you bags.

    Any round matrrial would have good interlock no mater what weight of Specific Gravity it has..

    Long angular particulars are best.

    You can get sharp grit for laying watermarks.its a nominal 4mm size if memory serves me right.