Not sure if this should be on the Precision, Stud, Not So Stud or Fail (pretty crude compared to other presentations here ) boards but this one seems about right. The posting of the SOCOM International Sniper Comp results made me think of waiting a week before posting but here you are:
Originally I was competing in 600-300 meter ‘tactical rifle’ matches in which field webbing (aka belt rig) must be worn. Rests were permitted & if you wanted to lug a real issue sandbag about- you were permitted. FTN. I got into the habit of using the bum bag on my webbing as the rest- initially taking it off to shoot then realising I could unlatch the belt & swing the bumpack over/forward for the forestock. Some playing around determined that raw popcorn in 100gm lots was a good filler. A rule change required webbing or vest must be fully worn at all times & so I took a separate bum bag, added a decent carry handle, put some type of US signal sling with snaphooks it and carried it slung as a separate item or got my spotter to carry if I had one. That lasted well till the verminous lolife got to it:
A LF here heard of my plight & donated a surplus HSG rest/buttpack combination:
It worked OKish but seemed too rigid for the job: it did not mold well & was not too stable on uneven ground with that large flat base. I’ll stash it against future need or pass on to a deserving individual here-like 22F.
The cradle, however, was cool.
I decided then to build a dedicated bag & was aided by finding a few OD Voodoo Tactical ‘2 Piece Hard Bottom Rifle Guide’ dirt cheap from a dealer who could not sell them.
Next I found a close out sale on Cordura bumpacks (sadly DPCU & Multi Camish already sold out) & bought a couple of tan ones- turned out not to be completely MOLLE compatible but had PAL of sorts on the sides & top.
My initial plan was to MOLLE the rigid cradle card to the top of the bumpack & have a removable cradle as an option- perhaps as part of my belt rig – and velcro the cradle on as required. The Alice clip only belt side of the bag scotched that & trials indicated the rigid card restricted bag molding. Additionally, the card edges were raised from the bumpack body & tended to catch on things or scrape me. So, I had the local saddler strip the card out of the cradle base & stitch directly to the top of the bumpack : permanent & fixed in orientation but workable.
Now for the filling. While something edible in a pinch (rice, dried beans, popcorn…) had its attractions, I decided not to feed the freelance Socialist vermin again & looked for something impermeable, non-compressing & lightweight. At the local backpacker/trendoid markets I found it: plastic beads with holes large enough for light cord. In bulk from the Oz distributor they were far, far cheaper that what the kapitalist neo-hippie (and undoubtedly Hipster by night) wanted to sell them for.
Adding the old US sigs sling & a M24 LCE pouch donated by the US Army, I put it together:
Cheap, nasty & thrown together- it works for the shoots I do.
Improvements? I suspect the bag would not stand up to rigorous use (say being booted out of trucks or mess football), the sling shouldn’t be cotton & the snaphooks are too open - use something with cerakoted HK style hooks. The PALS may be pretty useless: what would be attached? Other funding priorities preclude a Kestral, the mags are in SORD pouches on one of their lightweight bibs or in a smock pocket- the M24 pouch was there to top up mags. Perhaps a method of attaching to webbing that did not let it flop around? And I’d still like to find a duel use filling other than black plastic beads. Perhaps Con has a source of Multicam beads?
All condemnations or suggestions for improvement are most welcome.