Gun Digest

Shooting Mats: Go Prone in Comfort

Blackhawk Shooting Mat.

The lowdown on three rifle cases that convert into shooting mats.

BLACKHAWK! Long Gun Pack Mat

Removable pouches can be arranged where you want them on the velcro strip.

This can be converted into a rifle case, a rifle-holding backpack, a drag bag and a shooting mat. With the backpack feature, this one is a standout for shooters who intend to hike into rugged country and will need a mat for prone shooting once they get there.

Think varmint hunters and big-game hunters in the high country. It can also be used as a rifle scabbard for traveling on horseback. The concealable backpack harness straps and belt are tucked away when the pack is being used as a case or shooting mat.

It fits rifles up to 50 inches long and it is made with 1,000-denier nylon, closed-cell foam padding and HawkTex, a grippy material that creates friction. It comes in black desert tan or olive drab. ($250,

Slumberjack Rifle Hauler Mat

The top flap folds over the exterior of the case and is secured by a buckle that cinches the case tight.

This mat/case is the lightweight, fully padded contender of the bunch. The design is simple and lacking of frills other than a pocket for small items and dual carry handles.

The buckles can be loosened or cinched down so just about any rifle can be fitted inside. The rifle is secured on one end by slipping the butt into an interior pocket and secured on the other end by a fold-over flap.

This is an excellent choice for a shooter who only occassionally shoots from a prone position but also wants a simple and rugged rifle case. It comes in Kryptek’s Highlander camo. It measures 58 inches long and 27 inches wide when open. ($85,

Uncle Mike’s Long Range Tactical Bag

In the interior, the rifle is strapped in and tucked butt-down into a pocket for secure handling.

This tactical gun case folds out into a spacious 78-inch shooting mat—large enough to take a nap. And that is perfect for shooters who expect to spend a lot of time in the prone position—competitors, long-range shooters, snipers—because it provides plenty of room to stretch out.

Although this soft-side bag made of 1,000-denier fabric is tough, it was also designed to fit into a Pelican 1750 case for hard-case transport.

The mat/case will fit almost any long gun with scope and bipod included. It also has a front-load strap for bipod use that provides additional stability. It comes with four magazine pockets that should fit most magazines in the .223 and .308 range.

This article also appeared in the January 1, 2015 issue of Gun Digest the Magazine

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