May 8th, 2017

Hot New Benchrest Gear from PMA Tool

PMA Tool Lenzi Rear Bag SEB front rest top Pat Reagin Weaver 46x48 XR T-Series

Pat Reagin of PMA Tool took some cool new products to the range this past weekend. Look carefully at the photo above. That’s not a standard bag-holder on the SEB NEO rest, and that stylish black rear bag doesn’t look anything like an Edgewood or Protektor. The rifle is also sporting the new-generation Weaver 46x48mm T-Series XR Side-Focus Scope.

Lenzi Rear Sand Bag
Pat tells us: “We are now carrying rear bags made by Italian benchrester Alberto Lenzi. Made in Italy, these Lenzi bags are AWESOME! They are available for short range and one that is slighty taller for long range.” The Lenzi rear bags feature a big, 8″x6″ footprint with a thick, slightly concave base that sits very flat on the bench top. Lenzi bags are very stable with a reassuring “dead” feel on the bench. Guys who have tried this bag really like it. Pat says: “I can’t explain it, but the bag seems to absorb energy/recoil better than other bags — the gun tracks a little better and I get back on target really well.” CLICK HERE for more information: Lenzi Long Range Rear Bag | Lenzi Standard Rear Bag.

PMA Tool Lenzi Rear Bag SEB front rest top Pat Reagin Weaver 46x48 XR T-Series

– Black leather with Cordura at stock contact points with blue stitching.
– 1/2″ flat between medium ears.
– Heavy 8″x6″ base with built-in “donut”.
– Weight about 15.5 lbs filled with heavy sand in bottom & white sand in ears.

Lenzi Replacement Top for SEB NEO Front Rest
A common complaint about the SEB NEO rest is the rest top, specifically the three-piece bag. This rest top made by Alberto Lenzi (an Italian benchrest shooter) addresses the issue by replacing the entire rest top. The rest top features a more conventional design and includes a traditional style front bag that conforms to IBS and NBRSA rules.

PMA Tool Lenzi Rear Bag SEB front rest top Pat Reagin Weaver 46x48 XR T-Series

The Lenzi Top with Super-Slick Bag is $269.95, while the bag alone is $79.95. You can also get the Lenzi NEO Replacement Top with an Edgewood bag for $275.95. Finally there is a new Lenzi Cordura style bag that fits this system — you can special request that.

Weaver 46x48mm T-Series XR Benchrest Scope
Weaver’s new 46-power T-Series XR scope features a 30mm main tube with side parallax adjustment. Clicks are 1/8 MOA, with 44 MOA windage and elevation travel. Pat Reagin reports: “It’s clear enough. The clicks are a little mushy, but positive. Eye relief is great.”

PMA Tool Lenzi Rear Bag SEB front rest top Pat Reagin Weaver 46x48 XR T-Series

Available reticles are Fine Crosshair (FCH) and 1/16 MOA Target Dot. Current “street price” is around $900. Amazon currently has the Target Dot Version for $898.99 with free shipping.

Permalink Competition, Gear Review, New Product 1 Comment »
March 2nd, 2017

NBRSA Rule Change Inspires Radical New Front Bag Design

NBRSA New Front bag wrap around sandbag benchrest

The NBRSA has liberalized its rules regarding front sandbags. Until this year, NBRSA rules required that benchrest competitors be able to lift their rifle fore-ends freely from the front bag. Accordingly, front bags could not “capture” the forearm or hold the gun down (i.e. keep it from rising). In order to meet this requirement, “legal” bags had straight sides that didn’t stand too far up.

Now the NBRSA rules have changed. You no longer have to be able to lift the gun up freely from the bag without interference. It’s now permissible to have a bag that offers some up/down retention. Check out this new bag from Edgewood Shooting Bags. Call “The EDGE”, it offers taller side sections that can hold the fore-arm in place and counter torque.

NBRSA New Front bag wrap around sandbag benchrest

Edgewood’s designers state: “There are a couple of [NBRSA] rule changes for 2017. The change we found most intriguing was that the requirement of being able to lift your fore end freely from the front rest has been removed. So, we came up with a new design with super tall ears which will allow the innovators to push the envelope. Let’s see what you can do with these…”

We expect this new type of front bag will help stabilize short-range benchrest rifles, particularly in the 10.5-lb Sporter and Light Varmint classes. But we expect the biggest gains will be had with the big-caliber rifles used in Mid-Range and Long Range benchrest competition. In the 1000-yard game, heavy-recoiling 7mm and .30 caliber cartridges are popular with many shooters. These big guns generate considerable torque despite their ample weight. We predict these “super-sized” front bags will reduce both hop and rolling motion (torque) in the big guns.

We also expect that some varmint hunters will experiment with high-sided front bags that wrap around the fore-end. Such front bags may prove a real boon for guns with narrower, sporter-style fore-ends. And it would be interesting to see if this kind of tall-sided bag design will be incorporated into portable sandbags for the PRS game. We shall see…

Rule Change and Product Tip from EdLongrange. Product Tip from Boyd Allen. We welcome reader submissions.
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April 9th, 2016

Tuning Your Sandbag Hardness — Tech Tip by Speedy

Over the years, noted gunsmith and a Benchrest Hall-of-Fame inductee Thomas ‘Speedy’ Gonzalez has learned a few things about “tuning” rear sandbags for best performance. On his Facebook page, Speedy recently discussed how sand bag fill levels (hard vs. soft) can affect accuracy. Speedy says you don’t want to have both your front and rear sandbags filled up ultra-hard. One or the other bag needs to have some “give” to provide a shock-absorbing function (and prevent stock jump).

SAND BAGS & HOW TO FILL THEM by Speedy Gonzalez

I was asked several times by competitors at the S.O.A. Matches and F-Class Nationals as to how I fill my sand bags for benchrest competition. Here is a copy of a reply I gave several years ago:

Back in the old days, about the time Fred Flintstone was still alive, I worked for Pat McMillan for free, from time to time to learn all his secrets. One day little Speedy was filling some new sand bags out behind Pat’s shop, stuffing them with more sand than Taco Bell put beans in their Burritos. When Pat stepped out the back door and inquired as to what in the hell was I doing packing them there bags the way I was.

I looked up at him with eyes like a kid with his hands in a cookie jar. My reply must have sounded like Homer Simpson “Doooh”. Finally I said “I don’t know, Boss. I just thought you were supposed to fill these babies up and go shoot. I got that ‘You dumb bastard look’ from Pat and I knew it was lecture time. This was what he told me:

You can not have two bags filled so hard that you gun bounces on them in the process of firing round at your target, especially if you have a rig with a very flexible stock. The bags must be set up in a manner for them to absorb the initial shock of the firing pin moving forward and igniting the primer. Then [they must] maintain their shape and absorb the second shock wave as well the rearward thrust and torque of the rifle. What happens to the rifle when this is not done? Well let me tell you. The rifles have a very bad tendency to jump and roll in the bags. This causes many of those wild, lost shots that one can’t explain.

Charles Huckaba, Ken Terrell, Larry Baggett, Ralph Stewart and some of us Texas shooters talk about this phenomena quite often. We have all agreed that:

  • 1: You can not have two hard bags [i.e. both front AND rear] in your set-up.
  • 2: Heavy sand magnifies these phenomena.
  • 3: If you are a bag squeezer, pack ears hard and leave bag pliable enough to squeeze for the movement required. You may pack front bag as hard as rules permit.
  • 4: Free recoil shooters pack both bags firm, but not so hard as to allow stock jump. Especially if you have a stock with a very flexible forearm.
  • 5: We use play-ground sand, also know as silica sand. I sift mine to get any large impurities out then mix it with 25% to 50% with Harts parakeet gravel to the desired hardness that I am looking for. The bird gravel keeps the sand from packing itself into that solid as a brick state.

Speaking of bricks — another thing that happens when shooters employ that heavy zircon sand is the ears form a low spot under them from recoil and then tend to rock back and forth with the rifle causing many low shots to crop up. Edgewood makes an Edgewood/Speedy rear bag specially reinforced under the ears to eliminate this scenario.

One last note –If you use the Cordura bags keep them sprayed with a good silicon spray or “Rain-Ex”. This keeps them from getting sticky. Hey guys, try that and see if it helps. — Speedy

P.S.: I do not like the solid double-stitched leather bottoms. While this seems like a good idea, I see more shooters have problems because of them. They tend to slide around the bench and or slide with the rifle on recoil. The standard Protektor with Cordura rabbit ears and an Otto ring bag with a Cordura front would be what I would suggest to the new shooter or one of the Edgewood / Speedy rear bags, these mimic the “Donut” and feature a ring of leather around the bottom circumference that keep the bottom from rocking on the bench or ground if that is where you reside these days…

Permalink New Product, Tech Tip 3 Comments »
July 5th, 2014

New Accessory for F-Class Shooters — Flat Sheet for Rear Bag

Darrell Buell, past captain of the world champion F-TR Team USA, just received an impressive new piece of kit. A custom flat sheet was created by Kent Rush for Darrell, complete with cool graphics and sponsors’ logos. As soon as we saw this on Darrell’s Facebook page, we knew this would be popular with our readers. Heck, this Editor wants one too — with “AccurateShooter.com” emblazoned on it.

Shooting pad rear bag sheet rest F-Class F-TR

Darrell loves his new shooting accessory: “Here’s the whole enchilada! Savage rifle, 2014 Nightforce Competition Scope, Berger Bullets (185 Juggernauts), Seb Lambang’s new Joy-Pod (plus “Pod-Pad” mat), a new shooting mat courtesy of Scott at Red Star Targets, and an awesome new rear-bag sheet by Kent Rush for the Edgewood bag. This new sheet allows for friction-free rear bag adjustments — Thanks Kent Rush!”

Shooting pad rear bag sheet rest F-Class F-TR

Shooting pad rear bag sheet rest F-Class F-TR

Darrell Leads North American Junior F-TR Team
Though he has stepped down from his role as Captain of F-TR Team USA, Darrell hasn’t given up his coaching duties entirely. Darrell is the coach (and adult leader) of the North American Junior F-TR Team. Darrell is lending his world-beating long-range shooting knowledge to young competitors who are making a mark for themselves already. Here is Darrell with one of his young marksmen.

Shooting pad rear bag sheet rest F-Class F-TR

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