Initial thoughts: VISM Shooting Mat/Rifle Case combo

In my previous post, I mentioned that I had ordered a combination rifle case and shooting mat to go with my new boltie. Well, it’s here, and it’s awesome.

Back when I did Appleseed a couple of years ago, I didn’t have a shooting mat so I just used an old comforter. By lunch the first day I new I was going to have a problem. By the end of day two, I had a bruise where my ribs were contacting the concrete.

I needed a new case to go with my new rifle anyway, and I just happened to find this VISM shooting mat/case combo. Now, I had never heard of VISM before, but apparently they’re a division of NcStar which is not known for it’s quality and they’ve been around for years. I saw one in person at a gun show the day I bought the rifle, and after a couple of days decided to go ahead and get it. I figured the worst case scenario would be that I’d have a $65 soft rifle case.

Now, I haven’t laid on it for 6 hours straight, but my initial thoughts are that this thing is fantastic. It’s a rifle case! It’s a shooting mat! It’s a backpack! It’s a drag bag!

There’s so much going on with this that I’ve got a ton of pics. The Amazon and manufacturers descriptions really don’t do it justice.


Click to embiggen any of the pics.

Manufacturer's tag

 So here’s the “front” of the bag. This is the side that faces outward if you were to wear it like a backpack. It’s got MOLLE/PALS webbing which may or may not be actually usable (more on that in a minute). In any case it adds the the strength of the bag. There’s also an ID holder, two drag handles, and a carry handle. PALS Webbing PALS Webbing.

ID Holder ID Holder.

Top drag handleTop drag handle.

Handle hides away in a velcro pocket to prevent snagging Handle hides away in a velcro pocket to prevent snagging.

Side drag handle Side drag handle.

The side drag handle tucks away into this pocket. The side drag handle tucks away into this pocket.

Carry HandleCarry Handle.

The carry handle also tucks away to prevent snagging The carry handle also tucks away to prevent snagging when using the case as a drag bag.

There are also attachment points on the short ends of the bag.There are also attachment points on the short ends of the bag.

Back of the bag Back of the bag.

This is the “on your back” side of the bag. There’s a pouch that contains the backpack straps as well as some non-PALS webbing. This webbing has no way to attach anything to, because that would make it useless as a backpack. 😀

Carry handle on the back side Carry handle on the back side.

Pocket for the carry handle Pocket for the carry handle.

Hides away quite nicely Hides away quite nicely.

Padded straps come out one side of the center pouch Padded straps come out one side of the center pouch.

The padded straps have d-rings and a chest strap The padded straps have d-rings and a chest strap.

The other side of the pouch has the bottom portion of the straps. The other side of the pouch has the bottom portion of the straps.

There is also a belt strap in here. There is also a belt strap in here.

Backpack straps Backpack straps

And in case you don't like the straps, they're connected to the bag at these d rings so you can replace them without having to sew. And in case you don’t like the straps, they’re connected to the bag at these d rings so you can replace them without having to sew.

So now let’s open up the bag…Step 1 Step 1

Step 2 Step 2.

Step 3--And now it's fully open. Step 3–And now it’s fully open.

See the hump to the left of the rifle? That's the backpack straps. See the hump to the left of the rifle? That’s the backpack straps.
Remember earlier when I said the PALS webbing was kind of useless? Well, if you actually attach anything to it, you’ll be lying on top of it at this point.

 It took me a bit to figure out what this is. I thought maybe it was to hold the rifle’s sling.  But as it turns out, that’s actually for a full-length cleaning rod. Neat, huh?  The rifle is secured in place by placing the barrel in a pocket and locking the stock in place with this contraption.  Here’s a pic of it without the rifle.  And here’s the barrel pocket.  Here’s a closeup of the rubberized material that provides extra padding.  On the right side of the mat, there’s this shell holder. It’s sized for .308 but it’ll fit .223 just fine, in case you’re wondering.  It’s also got a waterproof zippered pocket behind it. You can use it for maps or a Mildot Master or a log book.  On the left side you’ve got a windowed pocket for your range card, and another waterproof zippered storage compartment behind that.

Now, what if you’re a left handed shooter and want your range card on the right?

No problem:

Both pieces are like that, so you can swap them over.

Anyway, I’m pretty excited about this purchase. I may end up needing a foam mat as well, but I won’t know that until I do another Appleseed. At ~$65, though, I won’t be disappointed if that turns out to be the case.

3 comments to Initial thoughts: VISM Shooting Mat/Rifle Case combo

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