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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am looking for light weight shooting bag filler, so that when I carry a shooting bag and fly somewhere it does not weigh a ton in my luggage. I have read about kitty litter, and aquarium gravel, and I also know about those plastic pellets you can use. I am just looking for feedback from what other shooters are using that is light weight. Thanks in advance.
 

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I have used rice, beans (like soy beans), Walnut or Corncob media, and plastic pellets.

Probably one of the better small investments that I have ever made was one of those long stemmed funnels for filling bags.
 

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I've read of plastic filler balls bought from craft section at WMart. VERY light.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The corncob and walnut media is probably good...

I never thought about the corncob/walnut media before. I have thought and read about rice, too. I might try some corncob media. It cannot be too light weight, or it defeats the purpose of the bag. Thanks for the ideas.
 

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Walmart plastic pellets.

Rice swells if it get near moisture. Sand compacts too tight and heavy.

Pellets are not light, but best option.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
A friend said to use bean bag pellets...

I will look in Hobby Lobby or Michaels for bean bag pellets to try.
I know those are very light weight.
I will let you know.
 

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If you want to get plastic pellets, go to a place that does a lot of plastic molding. Much of the raw plastic comes in pellet form and from time to time some will get spilled on the floor. They often times can't use the spilled pellets, but I doubt if you'll care.... But make an offer to buy it......


Steven
 

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Regrind is probably a cheaper option. After the parts come from the injection mold they remove the flashing and runners. This is ground up and reused. it is often of a lesser quality than virgin pellets. We have tons of plastic injection molding shops in this area, so it is an easy resource.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I bought a bag of bean bag filler pellets today, and I came home and filled my two shooting bags...and the bean bag filler works great. It is excellent if you want to travel with your shooting bags, or if you just want to have light weight bags. My bag probably weights 6 oz., so it is the weight I was looking for. I bought the bean bag filler for $15 and the bean bag filler is the size of two pillows. I can fill up many bags if I want. The pellets are the size of a green pea.
 

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This subject has become my recent obsession

With a pending trip to SD and weight concerns for hauling stuff around, I have been obsessed with this topic. With some effort I have found a pretty good solution.

I wanted a light rear shooting bag that was still stable so that, once you got it into shape it would not shift or require effort to keep it in place. If you ever read about the "My Pillow" guy Michael Lindell, one of the problems he faced (other than his enthusiasm for bucket-loads of cocaine) was that his pillows, filled with shredded foam, always seemed to lose shape. He solved that by using chunks of shredded foam of three different sizes, combined in the right proportions. On a side note, his story is one of the craziest you'll ever read, and is actually very interesting https://www.bloomberg.com/news/feat...terous-success-story-of-america-s-pillow-king (apologies for the bloomberg link). Spoiler: he beat his addiction and became a stand-up guy.

I thought that probably the drawback of a really light bag would be that it would not be as stable as those using other media such as sand or ground walnut shells, etc. I thought I could achieve the same thing Lindell had by using beads of varying sizes. That way I could have the lightweight of polystyrene but still achieve good stability. I don't know what the "right" proportions were so I pretty much used equal by volume among all three.

Here you can see the varying sizes with a quarter for scale


Mixed them together. The large beads were multicolored for extra fun.


Used a gallon ziplock to mix them together, and added powdered rosin to help even more with stability. There is a hole cut in the corner to help with getting the beads into the shooting bags.


I used two cylindrical-shaped bags by Tactical Tailor, one large and one small, that I bought unfilled. They have a simple velcro opening, and getting them sufficiently filled is a pain in the neck. I don't have pictures of that process but suffice to say I have not found an easy way to do this yet.

The result is the large bag weighing 6.5oz


and the small bag weighing 2.7oz


Compared to the weight of my old sand bag filled with actual sand which weighs 5lbs, 1.8oz


I was able to use these recently on my SD hunt, and was very happy with the results. The stability is great, as good as my actual sand bag. And you can't beat the weight, especially when your shooting bag already weighs a ton.

Here are links to the materials used

"Large" beads https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0747QQNNP/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_U_N2.cDbZEJ9ZTV
"Medium" beads https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06ZZGT85J/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_U_a3.cDbJ2B88MQ
"Small" beads https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07B4YC8QQ/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_U_n3.cDbQNMQN99
Powdered Rosin https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00EM2WW12/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_U_M3.cDbZTVM2MY
Rear rest bags, large and small https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B07FVF89LG/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_U_SfbdDbW9HVTE4
 

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Great example, especially since you used different size balls. In a former life, I worked some with producing powders and powder metallurgy-related technologies. The best packing density can be defined mathematically to figure out the best mix, if you want to, but since I retired, it makes my brain hurt to even think about stuff like that any more.
 
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