Shooting mat?

One of the items that I’m planning on acquiring as I “get serious” about Bianchi Cup is a shooting mat to practice going prone. At the event itself the mats are provided for you, but if I’m going to be practicing prone on the gravel at ACC, I need a mat.

The reason for going prone on The Practical and The Plates is twofold: 1) enhances accuracy, and 2) uses time. At the 20 and 25 yard stages of The Plates, you literally have all the time in the world to get six shots off, but I found myself shooting way faster than I needed to. Going prone eliminates some of that extra time.

The same is true on the 25 and 50 yard stages of The Practical, in that it enhances accuracy and helps maintain a steady shooting pace.

So, does anyone have any recommendations on a good shooting mat? I found one on Brownells for $175, but I just can’t bring myself to pay that for what is essentially an expensive, padded rug. Ideas in comments, if you have any.


  1. I have a shooting mat I use for High Power competition from Dillon Precision…I believe it was around $65. Waterproof bottom, heavy nylon top with rubberized area for your elbows. Rolls up and secures with straps. Carry handle and carry strap. Nice set up for a good price.

  2. I another vote for the Dillon, inexpensive and durable. I use it for High Power also.

  3. CMP $65.00 (made by Creedmore)

    Dillon Precision $65.00

    CED mat from MidwayUSA $69.99

    MidwayUSA House brand mat $24.99

    I’ve got the Midway USA house brand mat. I’ve been using it for a couple of years now and I’m very satisfied with it. I really wasn’t expecting much because of the low price, but I was pleasantly surprised with how well it’s made. I especially like the “wings” at the head with the tiedown grommets because they give me a dry place to lay magazines/ammo/scorebooks when shooting from wet ground. It’s the only shooting mat I’ve seen with that feature.

    Of course, you’re talking about a different application. I’ve never used it on gravel. As long as the gravel doesn’t have really sharp edges, I would imagine it would be fine, but your mileage may vary.

  4. when i shot 4-h rifle my shooting mat was a sleeping bag pad that rolled up and had velco tabs to hold it closed. You might check walmart camping area for something that you could use.

  5. Buy a 6mm yoga mat for around 20 dollars at any Walmart/Target/sporting goods store.

  6. Buy a 6mm yoga mat for around 20 dollars at any Walmart/Target/sporting goods store.

    I used a camping mat to shoot Appleseed and I had trouble with it – I’m a bit 6’4″ and 230 lbs – I just couldn’t fit on the mat. The issues isn’t necessarily your elbows, but the fact that your knees may hang off when trying to get prone. I skimped, and I totally regret it because I felt that my 2nd day at Appleseed was seriously impeded by “good enough” attitude. (“For want of a nail, the kingdom was lost.”)

    By the end of the day, I felt thoroughly burnt out, complete with shoulder aching from the contorted prone position which accounts for ~60% of the shooting that is done, knees aching from the fact that my “shooting mat” (really a camping mat) was too narrow leaving my knees free to drag across the ground, which mind you, was covered in an endless supply of shotgun wads from previous 3-gun matches and spent brass…

    You recommend to people to buy a good belt and a good holster. This is almost the same: you’re a competitive shooter and you search for the best equipment for yourself, which includes shooting mats.

  7. Fair enough Less, but you also have to remember that I’m 5’6, and weigh 145 pounds on my heaviest day. A smaller yoga mat just might be the ticket for me. I actually have a couple of those at home, I’ll have to see how they hold up to going prone.

    If they don’t work, I’m definitely going for the “real” shooting mat.

  8. Well, one consideration is that shooting mats are generally intended for prone rifle shooting. The non-slip pads are to help keep your elbows from sliding around when in the “contorted” position required to create a stable platform from which to shoot. The elbow and knee areas also have extra padding for comfort.

    Those non-slip surfaces make a huge difference between a shooting mat and a yoga pad, sleeping bag or camping mat when shooting a rifle from the prone position.

    For Caleb’s stated purpose, though, he may be served just as well with one of the other, less expensive options. I wouldn’t think that the non-slip surfaces would be as big a deal when shooting a pistol prone and I would imagine that there’s less weight on your elbows and more distributed across your body surface. With that in mind, an exercise mat or camping mat might just work fine.

    But if you’re committed to a shooting mat, I’d still say that the Midway USA mat is the best value for the dollar. It is of much better quality than you would expect for the price IMHO.

  9. The Dillon mats are very popular at my clubs matches. I bought the MidwayUSA mat because it’s such a bargain. I haveno complaints about it.

  10. What about one of those mattresses advertised you can adjust your comfort on. Like Rush advertises.

  11. if you don’t mind looking a bit rag tag you could use a sleeping bag or perhaps a sleeping pad (like you would put under a sleeping bag)

  12. I’ve shot coyotes and hogs laying on a 7’x3′ carpet scrap on top of egg crate foam. Wearing short sleeves it would give me carpet burn, but it was free and rolls up good.

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