View Full Version : Review - Bagmaster Pro-Shooter's Bag, Medium, Pt. I

November 22, 2008, 06:14 PM
Today, I visited one of my local shops, (GAT Guns in East Dundee, IL) intending only to return a too-small holster and possibly buy one that wasn't.

Naturally, things didn't pan out that way.

It all started when I was at the Bass Pro range the other day. A guy proudly walked in with a beautiful Beretta range bag. The Beretta logo was huge.

I looked down at my own bags. Two smallish tool bags. No padding anywhere, so I had to be careful how I put things in so as not to scratch up the guns. Then, it struck me how ridiculous it was to have thousands of dollars worth of guns, ammo, & gear, then make do with a cheezy bag set-up like that.

I had been proud of my thritiness for a while. Tool bags are a smart idea. They are rugged enough, and usually have plenty of pockets. The only real drawbacks to tool bags are that they have that triangular shape that isn't condusive to boxy-shaped ammo boxes and such, and that they have no padding to products guns from getting scratched.

A week later, at the fun shop

After looking at the selection for a while, I had pretty much settled on the Shooter's Ridge Pistol Range Bag. (http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpage.exe/showproduct?saleitemid=624464) Good price ($40 at this shop) and the right size & feature set.

The other one that I liked was pretty much neck-and-neck with the Shooter's Ridge bag. It was the Bagmaster Pro-Shooter's Bag, Medium.

Bagmaster site (http://www.bagmaster.com)

Direct link (http://www.bagmaster.com/website/cart/shopexd.asp?id=337)

The spendthrift in me couldn't help but notice that the Bagmaster bag costs twice as much as the Shooter's Ridge bag. I was about to grab the Shooter's Ridge bag and head for the register. But something made me look more closely. Why would one cost twice as much as the other, when they both seem to have the same features.

Bagmaster vs. Shooter's Ridge Comparison:

Zippers: Bagmaster's were top-of-the-line YKK zippers. They operated smoothly

Trim: Bagmaster has leather trim. The Shooter's Ridge has no trim.

Reinforcing Straps: Bagmaster's are thick nylon, Shooter's Ridge is thin and looks like it would fray easily.

Nylon: Bagmaster's is DuPont Cordura Nylon, Shooter's Ridge is generic.

Integral Gun rugs: Bagmaster's are removable, Shooter's Ridge's aren't.

Manufacturing Location: Shooter's Ridge: China (ugh) Bagmaster: St. Louis, MO. (USA! :D )

Main Compartment measures: 15"L x 11"T x 7"W
Dual Zipper top for easy access
Two padded pistol inserts, each 10"T x 14"L (each will hold one scoped, competition handgun)
Adjustable main compartment divider and hard bottom panel
One-piece wrap-around handle with leather handle wrap
Leather zipper pulls
Removable & adjustable shoulder strap
Available Colors: Black, Hunter Green, Red, Brown, Purple, or Navy

Bag Layout & Features:

The main compartment in the center is intended for ammo, eyes & ears, and other miscellaneous shooting accessories. The Divider can be left out or mounted crossways anywhere along the length of the main compartment. It has the hook part of the velcro on the ends of it, and the long sides of the main compartment. This is handy for keeping things from sliding around and ramming into each other.

In the top view photos below, you can see that there are two compartments on the outside of the bag that contain the large gun rugs.

The inside of the nylon is coated with something so as to make it water resistant.

The zippers operate smoothly. The velcro grips firmly.

The shoulder strap is adjustable and has a little rubber pad with spikes on the underside, so it doesn't slip off one's shoulder.

To give you an idea of the capacity, the photos below show the bag loaded with a scoped 7-1/2" barreled Ruger Redhawk, a Ruger Mk. II Target model with large red dot, a Bersa 380, 900 rounds of ammo, (600 of it 22LR) Full size -30 dB earmuffs, safety glasses, and a 9mm magazine loader. I would say the main compartment is about 2/3 full.

All trim is high grade leather. There is leather trim in the following areas:
The handle that wraps & gathers the two main handles
The ID pocket / Bagmaster logo
Zipper pulls, including the connecting double zipper pull on top

The nylon of the main handles wraps clear around underneath the bag. The nylon that supports the shoulder strap goes to the bottom of the bag but does not wrap around.

One thoughtful detail is the pull loop to make it easier to zip the bag closed. There's a nylon tab to help pull open the velcroed edge of the main opening.

Anything Missing?
The only thing I miss are a few tall, narrow pockets inside the bag for a pen & small screwdriver. Not a big deal.

Captioned Photos:

Exterior front view. The leather patch is a pocket for an ID or business card in case the bag is lost. There's a small zippered pouch above & behind that.

Bagmaster logo and ID pouch

Top view, with bag closed

Top view, opened, with bag loaded

For size reference, here's the bag with a 7-1/2" barreled, scoped Ruger Redhawk. It just fits into one of the two gun rug compartments.

You see? After our economy is reeling and I have been lured into buying based on low prices on Chinese products for a few years, only to have them fall apart a few months later, I am finally starting to wise up. I have been finding that the only time I regret spending money is when I don't spend enough.

So even though this bag was priced at $80 instead of my original $40 budget limit, I decided to splurge and get a quality bag instead of something merely adequate, and possibly not long-run durable.

In short, this bag doesn't have a lot of bells & whistles, but it has all the basic features, and they are extremely well-executed. Everything is made of top materials, all seams are well-stitched, and nothing is flimsy. As I get older & wiser, I'm finding that it is better to buy good basic quality rather than gimmicks.

I'm glad I spend the extra $40 and got this one. I'll add to this review as I get some miles on the bag.

November 22, 2008, 06:16 PM
(since the forum software won't let me post more than six at a time)

Exterior end view

A bit better peek into of of the gun rug compartments