Difference in performance according to bench rest bags fill

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Jul 25, 2014
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Hi folks,
I hope you are all doing fine.

I own a pair of “Outdoor Connection” bench rest sand bags. They are now filled with sand taken at the beach.
Their heavy weight makes them usable for long range shooting at the range field, but too heavy to carry in a backpack on hunting days.
I was thinking about filling them with expanded polystyrene 2mm. balls and to bring them on the field to shoot at around 300 to 400 yards.
Does any of you know how much deviation could I get from the elastic effect that Polystyrene could provide when shooting vs. a harder rest?
Would we be talking about shooting variations of a couple of inches at 300 ft. or bigger variations?

Thank you for your insights
 

royinidaho

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Jan 20, 2004
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Blackfoot, Idaho
Been messing with this for several years.

Started out with the BB size poly balls. Were better than the teeny weeny poly stuff that leaked out easily and stuck to every thing they touched.

As you said sand is too heavy.

Here's what I now use and recommend.

Go to the pet store and get some small animal bedding. The stuff made of dried corn cob.

I picked up some to mess with. I'm always messing.....

Soaked it in water over night. Spread out on a paper plate it dried out sufficiently to be acceptable for use in canvas/denim rear bag.

Have been using it over since. I'm more than pleased.

I'm also in a situation where I can't have a bipod attached to the 375 Allen Magnum to be under the 16 pound idaho big game weight limit.

I used the petrified corn cob stuff and built a very large bag for the front end. It's 10" in diameter and 12" long. It is a great replacement for the bipod.

It's a bit heavy and so is the rifle at 15.94 pounds. The pack donkey is the one that will carry the stuff so I'm 'good'.

HTH.
 
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Jul 25, 2014
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Hi Royinidaho,
thank you for the response.

Since you have tried in the past with PP, on top of the leack of the balls, where you having any other issue (i.e. low grouping of shots....)?


Thank you very much for your help

Best regards
 

ilscungilli

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Dec 1, 2005
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341
Location
Colorado
I switched from sand, to used crushed walnut media from my tumblers. After the media gets too dirty, I'll wash it with some detergent (dawn) and then let it dry thoroughly.

The used walnut is much lighter, and still has enough heft to make it feel right.

I haven't noticed any change in POI from different bags.
 

royinidaho

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Jan 20, 2004
Messages
8,950
Location
Blackfoot, Idaho
Hi Royinidaho,
thank you for the response.

Since you have tried in the past with PP, on top of the leack of the balls, where you having any other issue (i.e. low grouping of shots....)?


Thank you very much for your help

Best regards

The objective is being solid, very solid on the rear bag.

Sand is the best.

With poly you have to keep your "squeeze" consistent throughout the shot. Also there must be enough beads in the bag so as to not have to squeeze too much to get the necessary height.

If the poly bead bag is set up right I've fond it to be very reliable and consistent over many shots.

However, if it isn't "right" vertical stringing raises its ugly head. At least for me.

I like the corn cob stuff better than both sand and poly.
 
Joined
Jul 25, 2014
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Thank you.
I'm not concerned with the rear bag, since it works pretty well at the moment of sighting in. Even better than the one I had with sand.
My concern is more on the front one (where I rest the rifle.)
 
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Jul 25, 2014
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Great! you know... I hunt on the alps at 6000 ft. It's too vertical for having a horse carrying the sandbags :)
I need something lighter than corn
 

royinidaho

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Jan 20, 2004
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Location
Blackfoot, Idaho
Great! you know... I hunt on the alps at 6000 ft. It's too vertical for having a horse carrying the sandbags :)
I need something lighter than corn

Not corn!!!! Ground and dehydrated and hardened corn COB. It's light. However, I have no idea how you would get that in the Alps......

The poly beads will do fine. You will want to experiment with how full you fill the bag.

I don't have horses but ride a large donkey and pack stuff on another large donkey. Quite fun. I hunt from 4500 feet to 10,000 feet or so. And I'm 72 years of age and am lazy.....:rolleyes:
 
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