5 Best Materials to Fill Gun Rest Bags Like a Pro - Ghost 13

5 Best Materials to Fill Gun Rest Bags Like a Pro

Are you finding it difficult to choose the most suitable material to fill your gun rest bags with? As members of the firearm community who are passionate about the quality and efficiency of our gear, we at Ghost 13 understand the importance of having the right filling material in your shooting rest bags. It's a crucial factor that can greatly influence your shooting stability, precision and overall performance.

Similar to the dedication we put into designing our unique, limited-edition rifle bags, the choice of material used to fill gun rest bags requires thought, knowledge, and an understanding of your specific shooting needs.

At a Glance: Best Materials to Fill Gun Rest Bags 1. Sand: Provides great weight and stability but can retain moisture. 2. Rice: Lightweight and easy to find but may attract pests. 3. Plastic Beads/BBs: Durable and rodent-proof, though lighter than sand. 4. Lead Shot: Heavy and stable, but health and safety concerns must be considered. 5. Walnut Shells (ground): Lightweight and clean, but may not offer the same level of stability as heavier materials.

Choosing the right filling not only enhances the utility of your equipment but adds to the enjoyment of your shooting experience. And, this is one area where marked attention to detail makes the difference - a belief that we, at Ghost 13, always uphold.

In the following sections, we'll dive deeper into these materials, discussing their merits and drawbacks. Our aim is to aid you in making an informed decision that aligns well with your shooting requirements. Whether you're new to using gun rest bags or a seasoned marksman, our comprehensive guide will equip you to fill your rest bags like a pro.

Understanding Gun Rest Bags

Gun rest bags are a crucial accessory for firearms enthusiasts, offering stability and precision during shooting. Whether you are at the shooting range or in a hunting field, a gun rest bag helps to steady your rifle, enhancing your aim and accuracy. Essentially, they serve as a portable and adjustable bench rest that you can carry with you.

But what makes a gun rest bag effective? The answer lies in its filling material. Choosing the right filling material for your gun rest bag can significantly impact its performance. The filling provides the necessary weight and stability, helping you to maintain a steady aim. Thus, understanding what to fill gun rest bags with is essential for any shooter.

The filling material determines the weight, firmness, and adjustability of the rest bag. While a heavier bag might provide more stability, it could also be more challenging to transport. On the other hand, a lighter bag might be more portable but may not offer the same level of stability. Hence, striking the right balance is key.

The best filling material for your gun rest bag will depend on your specific needs and preferences. Each material has its pros and cons, and understanding these can help you make the best decision. At Ghost 13, our aim is to equip firearms enthusiasts with the knowledge they need to enhance their shooting experiences. Our topic expert, Landen Hull, will be providing valuable insights throughout this guide to help you make the right choice.

In the following sections, we will delve deeper into various filling materials such as sand, bead filling, and other alternatives. We will discuss their advantages, drawbacks, and suitability for different shooting requirements. So, stay tuned as we explore gun rest bag fillings and help you shoot like a pro.

Sand as a Filling Material

Sand is one of the most commonly used materials to fill shooting rest bags. Its popularity is primarily due to its high density and availability. When you're wondering what to fill gun rest bags with, sand is often the first option to consider.

Why Sand is Commonly Used

Sand's primary advantage is its weight. It provides a stable and firm base for resting your firearm, which in turn enhances accuracy during shooting. As one user on a Calguns forum noted, "I just filled my new rear bag with play sand. I wanted it on the heavy side." In fact, the density of sand allows for micro-adjustments to your firearm's positioning, which can be crucial during precision shooting.

Additionally, sand is a readily available and cost-effective option. You can buy it from any local hardware store or even use the sand from a nearby beach or playground. Its ubiquity makes it a convenient choice for many shooters.

Pros and Cons of Using Sand

Despite its benefits, using sand as a filling material also has its drawbacks. One of the main issues is its tendency to retain moisture. If your sand-filled gun rest bag gets wet, it can become heavy and difficult to manage. Furthermore, wet sand can cause mold and mildew issues, leading to a shorter lifespan for your bag.

Another potential downside is the possibility of sand leakage. If the bag isn't sealed properly or develops a tear, sand can spill out, making a mess and reducing the bag's effectiveness.

When using sand, store your bag in a dry, cool place to prevent moisture buildup. It's also crucial to regularly check the bag for any damages to prevent sand leakage.

Landen Hull, our firearms expert at Ghost 13, recommends using a high-quality bag with a robust sealing mechanism when using sand as a filling material. A bag like our Uncle Sam Rifle Bag is an excellent choice due to its durability and excellent sealing mechanism, ensuring the sand stays where it should.

sand - what to fill gun rest bags with

To sum up, sand is a reliable and affordable filling material for gun rest bags. It offers excellent stability and is easy to source. However, it's crucial to manage potential moisture issues and ensure the sand stays inside the bag for optimal performance.

Bead Filling for Gun Rest Bags

While sand is a popular choice, let's delve into another material that's gaining traction among shooting enthusiasts: bead filling.

What is Bead Filling?

Bead filling for gun rest bags refers to small, round beads often made from plastic or similar synthetic material. They are lightweight and smooth, which allows for easy adjustments and positioning of your firearm. Bead filling is praised for its durability and resistance to moisture, making it a popular choice among outdoor shooters.

plastic beads - what to fill gun rest bags with

Benefits and Drawbacks of Bead Filling

There are several reasons why bead filling might be the answer to the question of what to fill gun rest bags with:

Lightweight: Bead filling is significantly lighter than sand. As pointed out by user F.T.K. on a Reddit thread, carrying a bag filled with beads is less strenuous, especially during long hikes or when transporting equipment to and from the shooting range.

Durability: Beads are resistant to wear and tear, meaning they won't break down over time. They also don't absorb moisture, which makes them impervious to mold and mildew.

Adjustability: The small size and smooth surface of the beads allow for easy adjustments, achieving optimal firearm position with minimal effort.

However, it's also worth noting the drawbacks:

Less Stability: As pointed out by Landen Hull, our product expert at Ghost 13, bead-filled bags might not offer the same level of stability as sand-filled bags due to their lighter weight.

Cost: Depending on the type and quality of the beads, they can be more expensive than sand.

In conclusion, bead filling can be an excellent option if you prioritize lightweight and moisture-resistant materials for your gun rest bags. It offers flexibility and durability, although it may not provide the same stability as heavier materials like sand. The key is to find a filling that suits your specific needs and shooting conditions.

Other Filling Materials to Consider

Beyond sand and beads, there are other options to consider when deciding what to fill gun rest bags with. Some shooters opt for materials like rice, plastic pellets, or even walnut shells. Each of these has its own set of advantages and disadvantages.

Rice as a Filling Material

Rice is a readily available and low-cost option. It's a lightweight material, making it easy to transport your gun rest bags from one location to another. However, keep the rice dry and away from rodents, which can be a challenge in certain environments. As one user noted on a Calguns.net forum thread, "I had a bag filled with rice and a rodent chewed the bag."

Plastic Pellets for Gun Rest Bags

Plastic pellets, similar to the ones used in hobby crafts, are another option. They are light, cheap, and impervious to almost everything you'd normally encounter. As forum user moredes stated, "For a light bag, I'd use plastic beads; they're cheap, light, and impervious to damn near everything you'd normally encounter." These pellets can be found in places like Walmart or even online.

However, plastic pellets may not provide the same level of stability as heavier materials like sand or lead shot. If stability is a priority for you, this might not be the ideal option.

Walnut Shells: A Natural Option

Ground walnut shells, often used for cleaning brass, can also be used as a filling material. They are lightweight and relatively cheap to buy in bulk. However, compared to other materials, they may not offer the same level of firmness and stability.

At Ghost 13, we understand that filling material is a crucial aspect of gun rest bags. Regardless of the material you choose, our George’s Delaware Rifle Bag and Uncle Sam Rifle Bag are designed to accommodate your preferences. Our bags feature a plush protective interior that ensures your firearm fits perfectly, enhancing your shooting experience.

Pros and Cons of Each Material

To sum it up, here's a quick look at the pros and cons of each filling material:

Material Pros Cons
Rice Easily available, lightweight Must be kept dry, attracts rodents
Plastic Pellets Cheap, impervious to most elements Lower stability
Walnut Shells Natural option, lightweight May lack firmness and stability

Choosing the right filling material for your gun rest bag is a personal choice. It depends on your shooting style, the environment you'll be shooting in, and your priorities when it comes to weight, cost, and stability.

How to Choose the Right Filling Material

When it comes to deciding what to fill gun rest bags with, it's vital to choose a material that aligns with your shooting needs and preferences. Your choice will influence the bag's weight, stability, and overall cost.

Factors to Consider

While all the options we've mentioned are viable, there are a few key factors you should consider when making your decision.

Weight: The weight of the filling material influences the stability of the bag. Heavier fillings like sand or lead shot provide excellent stability but may be cumbersome to carry around. Lighter options like rice, beans, or plastic beads are more portable but may lack the same level of firmness and stability.

Stability: Stability refers to how well the bag holds its shape and supports your firearm. Materials like sand or lead shot are known for their stability. On the other hand, lighter materials like plastic beads or walnut shells may not offer the same degree of firmness but can still be a good choice depending on your shooting requirements.

Cost: The price of filling materials can vary. For instance, sand is typically cheaper than plastic beads or lead shot. However, remember to factor in not just the initial cost, but also the potential need to replace the filling over time.

Tips on Filling a Gun Rest Bag Properly

Filling a gun rest bag properly is just as important as choosing the right material. Here are some handy tips:

  1. Don't Overfill: Overfilling your bag can make it overly firm and less adaptable to the shape of your firearm. It's better to start with less filling and add more if needed.

  2. Seal Tightly: Ensure the bag is sealed tightly to prevent leakage, especially if you're using fine materials like sand or lead shot.

  3. Test It Out: After filling the bag, test it with your firearm. The bag should comfortably cradle the gun and provide stable support.

At Ghost 13, we understand the importance of a well-filled gun rest bag. Our expert, Landen Hull, recommends evaluating your shooting needs and considering these factors when deciding what to fill gun rest bags with. With the right filling, your gun rest bag can significantly enhance your shooting experience and precision.


Choosing the best material to fill your gun rest bag is crucial for achieving optimal shooting performance. As our expert, Landen Hull, emphasizes, the right filling can significantly enhance your shooting experience and precision.

Sand, as noted by Reddit user, is a popular choice due to its weight and stability. It is especially ideal for those who want a heavy rest. However, it can be messy if it leaks and becomes a brick when wet.

Plastic beads or BBs, as recommended by Reddit users, are a great alternative if you prefer a lighter rest. They are impervious to moisture and rodents, making them a hassle-free option. They can be easily purchased from hobby stores or Walmart.

Rice and dried beans are other options, although they need to be kept dry and away from rodents. As recommended by Reddit user Sean, copper-coated BBs work pretty well, but they aren't the healthiest choice.

Walnut shells, as initially suggested by a Reddit user, could also be a viable option. However, it is unclear how they compare to other materials in terms of weight and stability.

The best filling for your gun rest bag greatly depends on your specific needs and preferences. Factors such as weight, stability, and cost should all be considered when deciding what to fill gun rest bags with.

As firearms enthusiasts ourselves, we at Ghost 13 understand the importance of every detail when it comes to shooting. We are committed to providing not just aesthetically pleasing, durable, and functional rifle bags, but also valuable information to enhance your shooting experience.

Whether you're looking for a quality rifle bag to protect your firearm or tips on how to optimize your shooting experience, you can count on us.

In conclusion, there's no one-size-fits-all answer to what to fill gun rest bags with. It requires thoughtful consideration and perhaps a bit of trial and error. But with the right filling, your gun rest bag can become an invaluable tool in your shooting arsenal.

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