Caldwell Hunter's Blind Bag - Australian Addendum
Through the good offices of Dr. Jim Clary, well known Guns and Shooting Online Contributing Editor, I was recently most fortunate to receive a Caldwell Hunter's Blind Bag in my mailbox. I live in a small township about half an hour's drive to the south-east of Melbourne, Australia.
The first thing I noticed on getting the padded mailer into my hand was just how light it was. On opening the package the Hunter's Blind Bag appeared somewhat smaller than I had envisaged from the Clarys' original review of the Blind Bag. Smallish is what it is supposed to be and exactly what it needs to be. As it would turn out in the field, its actual size is just right.
The first order of business was to get the Blind Bag operational as a rifle rest, so deciding on a suitable filler material was the first decision to be made. Not being a reloader I did not have a supply of ground corn cob handy, but I felt sure that rice would likely make a viable alternative. This proved to be the case and, with the aid of a small plastic funnel, soon had each of the compartments filled the way I hoped would be the most useful.
This proved to be somewhere around half of what might be described as "tight full" capacity for the hanging sides and at least three quarters full for the top compartment, which is obviously where your rifle is rested. I should add here that the filling process is by means of three small ears that fold back on themselves after filling, so there is no loss of filler material in use. These protrude one each from the sides of the hanging side compartments and one underneath the top rest compartment, all very neat and tidy, indeed.
In case you have not guessed, these "guidelines" for filling with rice are very much a rule of thumb type of thing and entirely unscientific, as I did absolutely no weighing and measuring and just filled each compartment until the whole thing looked and felt right in my hand.
The Clarys' review of the ready filled Blind Bag they received mentioned that its weight was 23 ounces but, lacking a kitchen scale, I cannot be sure what weight mine has come to. I suspect, but don't know, that if it were filled to capacity with rice, as opposed to ground corn cob, that its final weight would exceed that figure.
What I do know for sure is I got lucky with my estimations the first time and this terrific little bag really works. It can be used in all sorts of shooting positions, takes up minimal space and, for me anyway, vastly improves the likelihood of a clean one-shot kill.
During the short period of time the Blind Bag has been mine it has been of such great assistance that I simply would not leave home without it for any kind of shooting trip. I have been able to rest it on top of flat fence posts. Its soft yet firm top lobes have comfortably held both my .22 and .243 rifles over the windowsill of my car, so that I was not shooting wood on metal, when a couple of bunnies popped-up. I even used it directly over the top strand of a barbed wire fence when a rest was really needed. Not that I would actually make a habit of that, but the 600 denier polyester is really tough and came away unmarked from the encounter.
With the side bags half filled, as mentioned, I found this provided just the right amount of weight to keep the Blind Bag stable wherever I hung it. The shape of Its top lobes ensured that the fore-stock of my rifle would be kept snug, steady and not banged up or scratched on tree limbs and the like.
Not losing skin to rifle recoil against hard surfaces is also an added bonus if you happen to have sling studs or a bipod on a hard kicking rifle. Another advantage of having the side bags filled no more than I described is the Blind Bag can easily be rolled up and carried in the pocket of a shooting jacket. It then needs only a moment to bring it into service.
My local gun shop buddy was impressed when I showed him the Blind Bag and he was a little surprised his wholesalers had not so far seen fit to include this item on their stock list. Perhaps this situation will soon be rectified, but given the wonders of the Internet, it should not be difficult to get one. It is well worth the small effort and dollar outlay for something so very useful.
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