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Old August 9, 2002, 10:54 PM   #1
echo3mike
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Join Date: September 12, 2000
Location: Chantilly, VA...Just barely behind the lines!
Posts: 490
Blackhawk's Stalker Drag Mat: review

A few months ago, I got the notion to start doing more shooting away from the bench ... a more realistic approach to shooting. At that point, I had only an old wool blanket in between myself and the concrete slab of the firing line. I was also (and still am for the most part) using a Starlight Rifle Case to transport the rifle to and from the range. Great protection, but lugging that beast from the truck to the line can be a chore.

Hence, I came upon the idea of buying a dual purpose shooting mat / soft case. Most shooting mats roll up like a sleeping bag, and many soft rifle cases aren't really good shooting mats.

Enter Blackhawk's Stalker Drag Bag. A tri-panel designed, padded shoooting mat that can be folded around the rifle and secured via 4 latches located evenly accross the top. The rifle is secured inside the bag via the same type of latch. Weighs about 3 lbs, alot lighter than the Starlight. The inside panels have a pocket for ammo (with elastic straps to secure the 10 rounds it can hold) and a larger pocket for ear plugs, data / log book, pens, Britany Spears pics, whatever. 1/2" foam padding. 46.5" X 23.75 - 32"...doesn't completely pad my legs... The carrying strap is attatched with those snap clip hooks, similar to the old 782 gear. This is a good thing: it can get lost, but you won't be lying on it while you're shooting. If the strap is lost, theres a handle strap on the two sides of the bag.


It's made from the usual Blackhawk mil-spec nylon, available in OD or black...get the OD: black will make you think you're in a suana if you're not in the shade. I have no complaints about the workmanship yet...that may change.


Price is $US119, plus shipping.

The Stalker Drag Bag does what I've asked it to do: carry my rifle and pad my gut from the cold concrete. Is it a must have piece of equipment: NO. Is it convienient: I would prefer to have more pockets on the outside, but it'll do. Is it grunt-proof: so far. Will it handle stalk after stalk, day after day, for weeks on end: I don't know. I can't really see me putting it through enough of a trial for a valid comment. For the average shooter, I don't think it's a bad deal...just nothing to write home about.

There are some other drag bags out there: Eagle Industries is made in the U.S.A., whereas BH stuff is now manufactured in Vietnam. London Bridge Trading Co. also has one. Both of these bags can run $US200+.

In all honesty, this bag isn't bad...HOWEVER, if I REALLY needed a good Drag Bag,or any other of this "Tactical" equipment there's Mike Dismuke's company, Desert Specialties, over at Sniper's Hide making this kind of stuff one at a time. He can pretty much put out anything you want, for probably alot less.

Overall, it's a good product, maybe great, but there are better bags out there, and some of those are easier on the wallet.

My 2 cents...

Regards,
S.
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Old August 9, 2002, 11:56 PM   #2
Foxy
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Join Date: September 14, 2001
Location: Maryland
Posts: 846
Are you sure it's made in Vietnam?

I keep hearing that BHI stuff is made somewhere in Asia.. Korea, China, etc - never heard Vietnam. How many shops do they have??

I just bought a new DOAV vest - it says Korea.

On the bright side... even if it does give up the ghost, BHI has a lifetime guarentee. I heard one guy's story of what BHI did.

He received a DOAV from a friend who didn't need it anymore. The thing was beat to heck - side pockets torn off (modified by user), belt loops cut off, spray painted, etc. It was basically a pile of nylon rags that happened to have a Blackhawk Logo on it. He sent it in, saying that it got tore up in a tactical excersize, and while he really liked the vest, he had to subsitute in one of the Eagle Tac vests...

BHI sent him a new one post haste! Can't complain about that.
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Old August 10, 2002, 08:49 AM   #3
echo3mike
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Join Date: September 12, 2000
Location: Chantilly, VA...Just barely behind the lines!
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Yup...on the inner large pocket, the little tag that says " Blackhawk...worlds finest tactical......" has "Made in Vietnam" right below it. While this may have no effect on the quality of the bag, it's been a point of contention on some other boards....keeping US dollars in the US sort of thing. BH has a reputation of being the "Craftsman tools" of gear when it comes to warranty replacement, so there's some incentive for going with their products. But they aren't real accomodating to requests for additional modifications or special orders unless you want a few hundred items made.



I still think that being able to have a bag custom made by a guy who A) really does good work and B) will get on the phone with you and make sure you get what you want for C) a little more than half of what the least expensive drag bag costs are pretty good endorsments for Desert Specialties.


Regards,
S.
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Old August 10, 2002, 01:22 PM   #4
craigz
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Join Date: June 30, 1999
Posts: 395
I have the Blackhawk Long Gun Drag Bag, and I love it. It lets me carry everything I need to shoot my 700P in one bag. There are buckled tie-down straps inside, to hold the rifle securely in place, and internal snap pouches that I use for cleaning gear. There's also a long velcroed cleaning rod pocket that runs the full length of the bottom. I put a steel rod case in it to keep the rod from flexing. On the outside, there are two large zipper pockets. One is large enough to hold my spotting scope and a bench-top tripod, range finder, and small binoculars. The other one holds plenty of ammo and my data book, pens, etc. Both of the outside pockets have room to spare and internal tie-downs also.

On the back of the bag on the outside is a pocket with a velcro flap at both ends, inside which are the straps you can use to carry the bag knapsack-style, barrel up or down. I put a 2" wide shoulder strap on it that I use more often. The bag also has numerous little loops that you can use to attach ghillie material (if you need that sort of thing), and there's a heavy nylon cap over the barrel end of the case with a handle for dragging it through the bush without snagging (again, for if you really are scout/sniper).

It's not cheap, but it does everything I want it to.
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Old August 10, 2002, 11:04 PM   #5
Stray1
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Join Date: February 17, 2002
Location: Tulsa, Ok
Posts: 59
Drag bag

BHI's dragbag is ok but I preferr the EagleIndustries version. If you see them side by side there is no comparison. Eagle has better stitching and overall craftsman ship. And, they are made in the USA(helps my conscience). My unit has changed all their gear to Eagle,SOE or London.

AIRBORNE!
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