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Thread: What to fill rear bag with?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
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    20

    What to fill rear bag with?

    I'm about to get an Edgewood original tall bag to replace my tactical bean bag for long range precision shooting. A guy I shoot with filled a Protektor style bag with #9 lead shot which is kind of nice but seems like the Edgewood bag is a lot bigger and would weigh a ton. So should I stick with sand, if so what kind and where should I get it.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
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    20
    I did a bit of reading and looks like Chromite sand is the most affordable heavy sand. Now to find the cheapest place to buy.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Manhattan & Sag Harbor, N.Y.
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    I bought my "Heavy Sand" from Bob White at The Shooters Corner.

    Bob

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Tennessee
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    5,164
    Sounds like a good choice. Buy enough to refill the bag as it stretches. You really don't need to do that but you will anyway....

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Malvern, Arkansas
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    2,763
    Just use regular play sand. Anything else is just hype that dont even work as good and hard to haul

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    On a sandbar in the Atlantic Ocean
    Posts
    4
    I mix my heavy sand with steel shot and talcum powder to fill the tiny voids between the sand particles. It makes for a fairly heavy bag (Protektor) that does not deform or move as you shoot your string of bullets for score.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Posts
    110
    Brownells sells "heavy sand", I believe it is Chromite. Price is good, and If you can combine it with a free shipping promo even better.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    104

    Exclamation Three years ago...

    We were scheduled to clean out our pistol range bullet impact pit(dry sand was there at the time) and renovate it with new media. Our local hardware store had 'ground glass' media from recycled bottles available, and because it was hygroscopically stable'(it gets cold at -20 C)', it got the nod because it would not clump.
    I supervised the clean-up and got to appreciate the feel of this recycled glass material.
    It is not as heavy as heavy sand or sandblasting sand, but it does flow well. As advertised, it does not clump and is very stable. At low(-10-,-20C) temps it still runs freely through fingers so I think it would be a contender for a material that can be used in filling front or rear bags.
    My area is providing it but I realise that this product is/can be available only if a local source in the recycling industry is willing to source it.
    Please include this item as an opportune item to use. If it works, then we are all winners.
    I am not financially involved in any production in this product. If you can get it and use it, good for you.

    Just my 0.02 cents canadian (check the exchange!)

    Phil Fortin aka tazzman

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Central Arkansas
    Posts
    539
    Wouldn't the ground glass pulverize and be inhaled when impacted with a pistol bullet and cause a breathing/lung problem?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Manhattan & Sag Harbor, N.Y.
    Posts
    478
    I have wondered why no one has come up with a stray in setting foam to fill bags. I have a set of Ski Boots that you put on, fill them through a valve with expanding foam and sit for a little while as the foam expends and sets. Would have a custom fit to your butt stock. I guess maybe too custom.

    I have spend an awful lot of time pouring in sand, then working it with a long rod, then putting in more, than banging it around and repeating.

    Bob

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    upstate, N.Y.
    Posts
    2,573
    Quote Originally Posted by rkittine View Post
    I have wondered why no one has come up with a stray in setting foam to fill bags. I have a set of Ski Boots that you put on, fill them through a valve with expanding foam and sit for a little while as the foam expends and sets. Would have a custom fit to your butt stock. I guess maybe too custom.

    I have spend an awful lot of time pouring in sand, then working it with a long rod, then putting in more, than banging it around and repeating.

    Bob
    Two reasons, it's too light, there's no give. Even with sand, regular or otherwise, filling it until it's rock hard......not such a good idea.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Fresno
    Posts
    5,518
    The best bag fill depends on how the bag is to be used. Basically, the reason for heavy sand is to keep the bag from moving around, when the rifle is to be shot in a manner such that the shooter will not be contacting it while shooting, that and because benchrest rules specifically disallow shot or metallic substances. If you are holding on to the rear bag as you shoot the rifle, this is not really an issue, and ordinary sand will work just fine.

    The other issue that is involved is the need for there to be some level of vibration damping in systems designed to support CF rifles while they are being shot. This is particularly an issue when a light rifle is shot free recoil, and much less so when the shooter is in full contact, but in either case, it is not good to shoot with the rifle supported by a hard surface.

    Recently, a couple of top level shooters have told me that they have switched back to leather front bags,and that they fluff them up between matches so that they will not become so packed down by use that they have unexpected fliers caused by too hard of a front support. This can also come into the picture with rear bags.

    You may also want to know that different materials have different packing and stacking characteristics, depending on the size and shape of their particles. I have seen heavy sand that was very find with relatively smooth particles that relied almost entirely on the shape of its container for stability. Other sands that had different size and shape particles can be less dependent on their container for stability.

    The bottom line is that in order to discover what works the best for a given application, you may want to do some experimentation, or at the very least copy what someone else, who is successfully shooting a similar rifle, in a similar manner is using.

    Also, for what little it is worth, it has been my experience that small differences in how full bags are can make a noticeable difference in how a rifle performs. This sort of tuning does not get much mention, but it can be a significant factor.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Illinois
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    587
    Quote Originally Posted by Boyd Allen View Post
    Also, for what little it is worth, it has been my experience that small differences in how full bags are can make a noticeable difference in how a rifle performs. This sort of tuning does not get much mention, but it can be a significant factor.
    I have been looking for information on the best way to get the right amount of sand in the front and rear bag. For years I bought protector bags already filled with heavy sand, they were so full the only option was to let some sand out. I poured the sand into a container so if I poured out to much I could put some back in.
    For the past 3 years I have been putting more in and dumping some out I can't get the right amount.
    To much sand in the rear bag and I have to adjust for more 👍 elevation after each shot, not enough sand in the rear bag and have I adjust for less 👎 elevation after each shot.

    I got disgusted with it and decided that maybe I should build a new rifle buy new bags and rest and start over. Maybe I'll coincidentally find my way back in tune once again.
    Last edited by Jay Cutright; 01-14-2017 at 12:46 PM. Reason: Got up and down mixed up the first time.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Montmorency Co, MI
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    452
    Quote Originally Posted by Travelor View Post
    Wouldn't the ground glass pulverize and be inhaled when impacted with a pistol bullet and cause a breathing/lung problem?
    Way back long time ago the ROTC range had to be cleaned periodically. The lead was sold but the dust--wow.. the poor lungs even w/ a face mask. Main problem was the dust. The range was like the Saraha dessert-no rain for weeks. I think a few times they even tried wetting it down about Wed and Thurs for a Sat cleanout.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Central Arkansas
    Posts
    539
    I started filling the rear bag with heavy sand and was getting POA elevation changes between shots as the bag "bulged ". On Dusty's suggestion I changed over to playground sand and the POA elevation changes were worse and was getting some POI changes shooting my 284.

    So I'm back to heavy sand.

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