CUSH­ION­ING PRE­CI­SION

A PRE­CI­SION RI­FLE BAG BUYER’S GUIDE

Recoil - - Precision Hunting - BY SEAN MUR­PHY

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 the rear of the ri­fle, 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 el- eva­tion 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.

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