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Take a rest! The value of good shooting rests

Everyone is interested in shooting more accurately, so today I’ll look at one of the best aids for doing that – the shooting rest. If you’re like me, you probably get along with any old wadded-up bunch of fabric that happens to be handy. In cool weather, a jacket comes into play, but sometimes you need that jacket for yourself. So what do you do?

Sandbags are the No. 1 rest
Everywhere in the world, a sandbag is considered as much a gun rest as whatever other function it may serve. Buy the sand in plastic sacks at one of the home centers and put it into the cut-off legs of an old pair of jeans. It will last for years like that.

Sand is dense and moldable, so it accepts the stock of your rifle or provides a soft place to rest your hands or the butt of your handgun. It doesn’t react to recoil, so with firearms and gas airguns it is a very neutral rest. Only the spring gun needs flesh between the bag and the gun. However you use it, a sandbag is your friend. But, it has some drawbacks.

For starters, it’s heavy! Lugging a sandbag to the range means an extra trip to the car when you load or unload. Good ranges have bags at each bench, but not all of us shoot at good ranges. Or, you find when you arrive that the inconsiderate shooter on lane four has glommed onto all nine bags for himself, leaving you to fend for yourself.

Try a shot bag!
If you want to carry something in your range bag but you don’t want to lug around 20 pounds of sand, get a small shot bag. Lead shot is even heavier than sand, but it’s also denser, so you can do with much less. A 5-lb. shot bag can lay on a concrete block and still give you the support you need.

Buy a small size of shot, like No. 8 or 9. It acts more like sand when it’s small. Get shot at a good gun dealer in 25-lb. bags. Heck, the bags shot comes in also make good rests, though a full 25-lb. bag defeats the portability aspect.

If only there were something else
That something would have to be dense as sand and shot. It would have to mold to your gun or hands when you rest on it. In fact, it would have to look a lot like the new Gel Shooting Support Pyramyd AIR now offers in their Shooting Needs section.

The advantage of a bag like this is that it’s lighter than lead and denser than sand. Not only does it cushion your gun, it also clings to whatever it’s put on, so the whole world becomes your rest. Use it on rocks, branches or fence rails. Use it on the railing of your deck! It looks like the perfect blend of lead and sand and handier than either to pack around.

I’d like to hear from readers who have used this gel bag, so how about a report? Does it work as I’ve described? What can you tell everyone? Do you need to pack several and stack them? Since they’re pocket-sized, are they good for hunting?

Gel bags have been around for years, but they’re relatively new to the shooting sports. This bag is brand-new at Pyramyd Air, so let’s find out if it’s the answer to or shooting support needs.

author avatar
Tom Gaylord (B.B. Pelletier)
Tom Gaylord, also known as B.B. Pelletier, provides expert insights to airgunners all over the world on behalf of Pyramyd AIR. He has earned the title The Godfather of Airguns™ for his contributions to the industry, spending many years with AirForce Airguns and starting magazines dedicated to the sport such as Airgun Illustrated.

5 thoughts on “Take a rest! The value of good shooting rests”

  1. the talons are so stable that the airforce bipod is perfect…but…you knew there was a question diddn’t you…?

    can you reccomend strong pyramid mildot scopes, other than Leapers, that have the objective lens adjustment on the left turret, and a smooth tube at the eye peice to recieve the electronic microlevel that was suggested by a reader in one of your scope leveling blogs. It seems the bulb style focal adjustment on the leapers is going to be an impossable fit with the anti-cant device.

    I’m GONNA get that talon shooting 150 yd’s. Im out to 110 now… bwahahahaha

  2. A bubble level it is then. I found a remanufactured 392 for about $75 and got the peep you recomended for about $34. right around the cost of the gun alone…n’ a survival gun won’t mind some pre-use. Just hope she not too beat. Found the Lobo .22 balls you mentioned also. Got the ultrahigh bsquare on the road too.

    gonna be a fun weekend getting it all together and trying the balls and pellets thru it w/ the cronny. and the talon shotgun experiment too.

    thanks again for all the advice B.B. Need to order that level now.

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