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EZ Range Bags
Marshall Stanton on 2005-05-21

Anyone doing much shooting or dialing in of sights or scopes either on handguns or rifles, at times has need of a pair of range bags. Good solid sandbag rests are essential for proper resting of firearms for bench testing and load evaluation. Presented here, is a quick, simple set of inexpensive sandbags for the weekend shooter.

The heart of the materials list is a pair of cast-off denim pants - the size or color really doesn’t matter; the key is making sure that the pants scavenged for this project are constructed of all cotton denim.

Simply lop off a leg from the pair of donor pants, then, depending upon the length of the leg, cut it into two sections, each large enough for a sandbag rest. As seen in the accompanying photos, the piece of nylon webbing used for handles on the range bags was procured from a discarded athletic duffle bag shoulder strap.

Turn the section of pant-leg inside out and put a section of nylon webbing inside with the ends sticking out where the seam on the bag will be as seen in the photograph. Sew a double seam along this edge of the pant-leg, double sewing each way over the nylon web strapping in the seam. Then, turning the bag right-side out, it is ready to be filled with sand. Note that the hemmed part of the pant-leg is the end that remains open for filling, this way there is a finished edge when the bag is finally sewn shut.

Next, insert a heavy-duty trash bag into the denim pant-leg-bag as seen in the photo, then fill with sand. For our purposes, I used what is called simply “Play Sand” from one of the big building supply marts. This sand is sold by the fifty-pound bag and for a price usually under four dollars each and is used for kid’s sandboxes or sand tables. One bag is plenty to make up to six good solid range bags as described in this article.

Once the bags are properly filled, (make sure to leave enough room to sew up the end of the bag), twist the plastic trash bag tightly closed and seal off either with a plastic wire tie or heavy duty twist tie. After sealing the bag, cut off excess amounts of the plastic garbage bag.

Take your pant-leg bag to the sewing machine once more and sew shut the bottom end of the bag, firmly stitching the hemmed edges of the bag together with a double stitched seam to finish the bag.

This little project, including the time taken to cut the pant leg, set up a sewing machine, fill a bobbin, fill the bags and sew shut was under twenty minutes, and the cost for each bag is something less than fifty-cents!

This project is quick, cheap, practical, effective and durable - all attributes a practical shooter appreciates. Now, go make a set before your next range session!




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