As seems to be routine, I have another confession to make before beginning my review. The box sent to me by Armageddon Gear with their Ultralight Shooting Mat and Waxed Canvas Optimized Game Changer support bag also included one of their Data Armbands. The plan was to use the pad, the bag and band during the upcoming two-day GTI – Legion’s Precision Rifle course.
But I was concentrating on so many details during the GTI course that I flat-out forgot to pull out the wristband and pens. And, I really needed them to record distances to targets, elevation and windage adjustments. Instead, I scribbled it onto pieces of paper that were continually blowing in the South Carolina wind.
So while I can’t comment on the band, I am able to give some detailed feedback about the shooting mat and the bag.
My first application of the Ultralight mat and Game Changer bag came during a session and review with the MG Arms Banshee rifle at my local gun range. When I first laid down onto the mat I was disabused of my assumption that ‘Ultralight’ meant ‘no padding’. It’s designed with a thin layer of foam at the front to cushion your elbows. I was very comfortable when flat on the concrete pad.
The mat conveniently rolls up for transport with built-in bungee ties. It has a Velcro pocket that’s perfect for holding your Kestrel, pens, pad and other gear. All four corners have eyelets so you can stake the pad to the ground if you want.
Likewise, the tough, well-made Game Changer bag provides a stable, adjustable rest for the butt of the rifle. Adjusting the height of the butt for different distances required only gentle pressure on the sides of the Game Changer or slight pressure downward.
The accuracy obtained using the mat and Game Changer was very good, but I was to obtain amazing results when using these products at the GTI shooting course.
Various models of the Game Changer bag were used throughout the two-day course. Our instructors, Chris and Tommy, used them for rifle displays during the classroom sessions on both days.
The Game Changer was also used for its primary purpose during the class-times – providing a stable rest for the butt or forearm of the rifles when the instructors were demonstrating proper positioning for firing.
Once we left the classroom, my Ultralight mat and Game Changer bag really came into their own. The mat’s dense material, in particular, protected the shooter from the rocks and thorns spread across our firing positions.
The Game Changer support bags were used extensively during the class. However, they were just as necessary for stabilizing the forearms of our rifles when we took on the various obstacles. The bag’s filled with six pounds of plastic filler. And it’s zippered, so you can either add or remove fill if needed.
The Ultralight mat was key for protecting against the incredibly rough, gravel-covered rooftop surface we shot from, too.
To say that I’m a zealous convert to Armageddon’s Ultralight mat ($60) and waxed canvas Game Changer bag ($109) is an understatement. The Ultralight is light (1.9 lbs), tough and very well designed. It saved my body repeatedly on everything a brushy, thorny field and a gravel/asphalt-covered roof threw at me.
Unless otherwise noted, all images are courtesy of David Young.
Mike Arnold writes about firearms and hunting at his blog Mike Arnold, Outdoor Writer.