By Rob Kay and RN Price
Does this scenario sound familiar?
You’ve spend countless hours and more money than your significant other will want to know, tricking out your rifle. That scope alone was over a grand, not to mention the fancy mount, the cool charging handle and the bad-ass buttstock. (No pun intended). You’ve placed the entire “shooting match” in your trunk and your destination is the range.
You pull to the lot and remove your gear from the car. That includes the fancy new range bag, the dark earth Blackhawk rifle case, and of course the $500 spotting scope in the Pelican case. No, you’re not entirely making a tacticool statement. You just like good stuff.
You schlep everything over to the bench, which obviously has seen better days.
Your next stop is to sign up and then head over to a large bin and look for sand bags. If you’re lucky, you find some grimy ones that are intact. The others are either in such a sorry state of abuse or, covered with an indeterminate black substance, you don’t even want to touch them. In some instances, if the range is really crowded, you won’t find any bags—filthy or otherwise.
At this point you realize for the umpteenth time, it’s better to bring your own.
Welcome to our review of the Caldwell Deadshot Shooting Bag Combo.
This may be what you’re looking for.
They are the best and most reasonably priced ones we found. The Deadshot Combo makes the most sense because it provides a steady platform that one bag would not offer. This includes a front bag about the size of a large loaf of bread (to place the barrel) and a smaller unit with a “V” shaped receptacle for the stock.
They’re well-constructed and the top surface of the front bag is a soft, black suede type of material that will not harm the barrel. You have the option of buying them filled or empty. (Buying the unfilled set will save you around $15).
You can fill them with any number of materials—the best way to go is cleaning media such as ground walnut, corn cob or even as kitty litter. Some people use rice which would probably work well in theory but the problem is that it’s going to attract rodents.
This set up is ideal for traditional rifles. We used it for a Winchester 30-30 and our ancient Marlin .22. Both fit perfectly.
The very best ergonomic “situation” for these bags was in prone. I can easily see using them for popping some rounds at small game or even pigs. You could even bring them to the pistol range and use the front back to steady a revolver.
You can use them with an AR, but you’ll have to do some modification. First off, you’ll need to use a 10 round mag because anything larger won’t clear the bench. (In Hawaii this is not a problem—it’s the law!).
The rear bag is a bit low for an AR because of the pistol grip. The solution is to use some ordinary sand bags for the rear and place the rear bag from Caldwell atop the larger Caldwell (front) bag. The barrel placed inside the “V” works quite well but you’ll need patience to get things choreographed correctly.
The bags come with straps for easy carrying but I found a home grown solution that works perfectly—a recyclable canvas grocery bag. The bags, which pretty much universal nowadays are exactly the right size to transport the Dead Shot “Duo”.
After using a Caldwell Dead Shot set you’ll have trouble going back to the funky bags at the range.
Price is about $25 on Amazon.
Photos courtesy of On Target staff.
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