What should I put in my Drag bag?
The Drag bag, if you are not familiar with one is an item many people do not understand and they ask,” What should I keep in my drag bag?”. What’s in it besides a rifle? Why is it that shape? Why is it better than a hardcase?
In this Article I will go through what you should have in your drag bag and why. As you can see all of the stuff in the picture is kept in that bag as well as the kestrel tripod and vane mount which isn’t shown.
- A coated one piece cleaning rod is an essential item to be in a drag bag. There are times when the barrel needs a quick clean out because for some unforseen reason you got a bunch of debris in it. Without one handy you obviously have to do without and risk damage to a barrel. Also, If your particular handloads jams the bullet into the lands slightly and for some reason you need to open the bolt before firing the round the bullet can pull out of the case and stick in the rifling. Un-thread the jag from the rod, slide the rod down the barrel and quick tap with the rod from the muzzle end and out the bullet comes.
A brush for your cleaning rod.
Note the brass core and phosphor bronze bristles, cheap brushes do not have the brass core, it is usually steel sometimes looped or sometimes really cheap and cut and twisted leaving a sharp point. Don’t get those, these are the ones to get and you can’t damage or scratch the barrel or chamber with these.
- Take a small stack of patches and put them is a small ziploc in your Dragbag. A good quality patch goes a long way in getting a great job from your cleaning. Cheap patches usually result in a get what you pay for cleaning job.
- Decant some Butch’s bore solvent into a small resealable container to keep in your drag bag.Butch’s bore shine is a great all purpose cleaning solvent, very effective. If you get heavy copper fouling you will need a copper removed, see this article on cleaning supplies, https://sentineltactical.com/10-best-precision-rifle-cleaning-kit-products/ .
Gun oil – small container
- Decant some gun oil into a small resealable container to keep in your drag bag. These Nalgene bottles we have selected below are only 2″ tall and are absolutely great for carrying in a bag rather than the whole bottle.
- Cleaning fine details like if you accidentally get dirt in the trigger, put some of these in the ziploc the bore patches are in.
- Sometimes lenses get dirty and you do not notice it at home, good to be prepared. I keep my lens cloth in a Ziploc, that way I know it is clean and safe.
- There is no reason to not use a chamber flag unless you are operational. It lets all around you know the gun isn’t hot and lots of competitions stipulate the use of one. MTM makes good ones and they are cheap. Keep them clean, getting them dirty and gritty just transfers all of that trash into the chamber and throat of the barrel when you use it next.
Field stripping tools – tools for every fastener on your gun
- You may think every fastener is good to go but sometimes you are shooting and question the results and later find out a scope ring was loose. I like Bondhus ball end allen keys, made in the USA and they are very good. You can strip they allen key sets down to only the fastener sizes of your kit to save weight. You will also need a socket and ratchet for scope rings. Keep your torque wrench in the range box your bring a target and stapler, chronograph in.
Collection of disposable ear plugs
- You or someone may have forgotten plugs, these are a good plan B.
- I like the Impact book if you are starting out, good book with lots of key pieces.
- Keep track of your rifle, this is important.
- Once you have a load developed the first shot you take every outing should be on a new page target you keep in your log book with date, conditions, load, rifle etc. This will build a confidence in your zero that you can and do consistently hit POA. If not work to remedy this before worrying about reaching out far.
- You will also keep old school printed copies of your drop chart in here as back ups. As you can see this book comes with a Mildot Master in the event the range finder fails. If the Kestrel fails you are on your own with only the wind estimation sheets in the back of this book and your knowledge. You should learn to read wind, it’s very important. I cover which books are best here.
Pens and pencils, 2 each
- Pick ones you like, make sure the pens are waterproof, mother nature loves to rain on shooters.
- Always keep these in your log book.
- Math, sometimes complicated. Bring the tool.
- Kestrel 5700 with Applied Ballistics and Link preferably. Worth it’s weight in gold, there is no civilian market windmeter competitor that comes close
- Windmeter Vane & tripod
Ammo and ammo cases
- MTM makes all kind of ammo storage boxes to suit your needs. I like this deal as you can take one or two of the R-100 boxes and put them in your dragbag and end up with 100-200rds in a small package.
- Bring what you have, check out our spotting scope list if you do not have one yet as there are many great options. Here is the link, https://sentineltactical.com/best-long-range-shooting-spotting-scopes/
- Your choice, anything from a sock full of sand to a high dollar rear bag will work, sometimes exactly the same… When you buy one watch the listings, some come filled and some are just an empty bag.
- This really is your preference, just don’t buy a Chinese knock off bipod and expect to be able to shoot accurately from it, too flexible and wobbly and the parts break with use. Harris is the old gold standard but there are many good bipods on the market now.
- This stuff is worth it’s weight in gold, always used in a pinch. The smallest these guys sell is 50′, that is more than enough. I keep this stuff in all the vehicles as well as every shooting bag.
Straight shooting and good luck, hope this helped some of you out there.