Seven sweet rests in one? Yes, please. The Bulls Bag X7 is one easy-to-pack unit that quickly morphs into seven different shooting configurations.
The X7, naturally, is a complete shooting system with seven components in one. I can explain the configurations all day, but you’d be better served by checking out the company’s website. Though I haven’t counted, the X7 (video here) can apparently be used in 50 configurations, most notably as its patented butterfly-grip unit. It can stand up high, or hinge down low. You can remove the interior bags and set it up as a heel-toe, stack the bags, drape them over a window or rest on the hood of the truck. The X7 naturally sits high enough to easily accommodate an AR with a high capacity magazine. Broken down into it’s bag components, the rest becomes ideal for handguns. Most importantly, it allows you a natural position of cheek weld, eye relief, and shoulder contact.
A removable velcro shoulder strap makes it easy to tote to your bench or shooting area, and the weight lends it the stability you expect from a sandbag style rest. Calling the Bulls Bag X7 another sandbag rest, however, is a great injustice. A great deal of R&D went into making the Bulls Bag the most innovative rest of its type on the market. Think stability, wide footprint, low center of gravity and reduction in felt recoil. The butterfly vise grip provides ample contact with the forearm of the rifle—never the barrel—though its weight and design tames recoil and the kitty litter filling aids in dampening any vibrations.
The lifetime guarantee on wear and tear is a plus, as is the heavy duty construction of 900D with 2mil PVC coating for moisture resistance. The X7 retails anywhere from $169-285 depending on options and filling. The X7 can be had in either black or camo, while the newest version in OD Green has MOLLE webbing, popular with long range precision shooters and sniper applications.
The Bulls Bag Shooting Rest Company was established in 1991, and is currently headquartered in PA. They are very friendly, accessible, down-to-early folks. Their products are always in stock and ready to ship, at reasonable flat-rate priority rates for often hefty packages nonetheless. Bulls Bag sells their products either empty or pre-filled. There is naturally both a price and weight difference. Instructions for filling are very clear and it is not a difficult task, and they recommend filling with Tidy Cat litter. While a rest weighing 32 lbs with kitty litter is not something you will carry miles afield, the weight of the thing is what lends it such amazing effects on the bench.
Best things yet? Bulls Bag offers their 500% guarantee. That’s 100% money back if for any reason you’re dissatisfied, 100% performance guaranteed to outperform other rests, 100% lifetime guaranteed from all defects forever, 100% no leaks or seam problems, and 100% no damage guarantee to never cause damage to your firearms.
If the X7 is too much rest for you, there is an X3 and an X4. Bulls Bag also makes more basic butterfly designs in a 10” field rest, 15” bench rest, and an AR specific Pro Series. I’d rather have it all in one with the X7, but that’s just me.
Though my self-proclaimed forte is big game hunting, I also enjoy spending adequate amounts of time at the bench and on the range. The X7 has gone all these places with me in one form or another. I use it as a whole while sighting-in rifles on the range. When I won’t be hunting with the unit, I prefer to set it up with the heel-toe configuration. I’m a believer in practicing how you plan to hunt. If I’ll be resting my gun on a windowsill, then I’ll work with the vice. If you plan to make your kill shot off-hand, you can zero with the bags, but then you must practice off-hand.
For my hunting handguns, like the S&W Model 657 in 41 Magnum (or our review gun, the S&W Model 57 with video including bulls bag), I utilize two sections of the X7 as a revolver rest. This worked so well for me on the range that I used the same setup on the window ledge of my deer blind. And speaking of deer stands, I recently realized that the upper “vise” section of the X7 drapes perfectly over my window opening, allowing an incredibly solid rifle rest for those long range shots. In a thoughtful move by the company, the sections of the bags that might slip on the bench are backed with a heavy duty nonskid material.
We also recently took the Bulls Bag X7 out west to do some heavy-duty long range varminting, and the rest was excellent on the bench. We took precision shots up to 650 yards. While the X7 is too heavy to consider swinging around for a tracking shot, it excels on acquired targets. The vise does just as it sounds, clamping that forearm as tightly as you decide to butterfly out the bags, while still allowing the butt of the gun against your shoulder for ultimate control.
Contact is only with the forearm. I’ve never cared for shooting rests that cradle the butt of the gun. Not only have I seen stocks cracked that way, but it removes too much of the human element and control from the shot. While I cannot compute the actual reduction in felt recoil, after a day of shooting with the X7, the reduction in recoil on the shoulder is unmistakable. While it cannot replace a gun vise for cleaning and working on guns, this is now my first choice for range time.
The X7 Bulls Bag rest system is the best of its kind. Use the X7 for what it is—a reasonable, reliable, incredibly useful tool to help you make the best shots you can make. It worked for me. Using the X7, I rattled the 500 yard gong for the first time. And then I did it again, with several different guns, repeatably. All the other uses aside, that alone made me a believer.
Cover: Kristin Alberts