When talking about drag bags for precision rifles, one name is typically the first to be shouted out…Tactical Operations. Tactical Operations, or Tac Ops, as they are often called, is based in California and not only do they produce some of the finest rifles in the world but the accessories to compliment them. The Tac Ops Drag Bag is synonymous with the term quality and for good reason. These bags are extremely well made and the level of detail that went into their design is present in every aspect of the bag’s construction and design.
The bag we have for the review is a personally owned black Tac Ops Drag bag in their short length. This will fit rifles approximately 42″ and shorter, and true to its specifications, the author’s custom Remington 700 in an AICS chassis measures just over 42 inches and fits the bag without any issues whatsoever. When you look at the bag, it just oozes quality. It has thick padding surrounding the rifle compartment on all sides, heavy duty zippers, and storage compartments that will hold as much or as little as you dare to carry. The bag uses high quality nylon that has stood up quite well to regular, and not particularly gentle, use.
The bag has a host of little touches that really make the bag, and the price, worth it. The most obvious is on the outside between the two main storage compartments. The bag has a built in suppressor compartment. It is padded and has a snap cover to keep your can handy and accessible when transporting your gear. The large compartment on the front of the pack has ties internally to help keep items from shifting around. The rear compartment also has plenty of space, and also has a smaller compartment built into the zipper closure of the larger compartment. Running along the spine of the bag is a built in, heavily reinforced, sleeve for a cleaning rod complete with a snap closure to keep it in place. Internally the bag also has a storage compartment you can place additional items within to keep them close to the rifle. Another great internal feature and testament to the attention to detail present with the Tac Ops drag bag is the muzzle protector in the nose of the bag. When you slip the rifle into the main compartment, there is a small sleeve at the nose of the bag specifically for the muzzle of the rifle. This helps protect the muzzle, and more specifically, the crown of your rifle. If the crown goes unprotected and takes a hard knock through the bag, as has been known to happen outside of square ranges, you can damage your crown. If the crown of your rifle takes a gash, scratch, knick or the like, you can likely say goodbye to your accuracy and plan to have the crown refaced or re-cut to repair the damage.
The carry handles are on the top and placed perfectly to balance the load of the rifle and equipment stored within the bag. This can be an issue with some of the Tac Ops drag bag competitors. The carry handles don’t always balance the load of the pack and its contents. After having several different rifles and a whole host of different gear stored within it, I can’t say I’ve ever had the bag not balance properly with the handles. This may seem like a minor detail but its really quite important, the last thing you want is the bag with your custom rifle and gear tipping the wrong way and bouncing off of the stairs or the walls in your house as you transport your stuff to the car for a range trip. The Tac Ops drag bag also includes a removable nose cone with a pull strap. This helps protect the nose of the bag if it is being dragged through the terrain. Not a huge feature for the competitive or recreational shooter, but a welcomed feature I’m sure for the Military and Law Enforcement users.
On the back of the bag, the features continue. Toward the butt of the bag is a velcro compartment with another great feature hidden inside. A folding nylon shooting mat! While it’s not the largest or the most heavily padded mat on the market, it has one thing going for it the others do not. Convenience. The Tac Ops drag bag always has the shooting mat contained within and so then the shooter always has a shooting mat with them. Its handy and more than adequate for recreational shooting. The mat even has loops for stakes if you are shooting in a really windy area and plan to stake the mat to keep it from blowing around on you. Unless I know I’m going to be shooting from one set position and I need extra padding, I always use the Tac Ops drag bag’s built in mat when I shoot. I haven’t found myself needing a thicker or larger mat most of the time.
Also on the back, are a set of hidden, and adjustable shoulder straps that can be pulled out to enable carrying the Tac Ops drag bag as a backpack. This I think would be an especially handy feature for the Law Enforcement and Military crowd. If you have to carry a rifle and a bunch of gear and supplies for some distance before you arrive in the area you plan to shoot from this might just be a little added convenience that really pays for itself time and time again. Since we are talking about transportation, I should mention the numerous loops and tie down areas on the exterior of the pack. Again if you plan to, or are forced to, transport the rifle and gear for considerable distance and it is riding in a truck or in the storage area of a plane, being able to lash it and strap it down are features you want to have. Take care of your gear and it will take care of you, if it spends a flight to the sandbox bouncing around it may not be in the greatest shape when you get there. Likewise we have all been the passenger in a vehicle wondering if the driver plans to get us to the destination alive. Strap the bag and its contents down so everything is in working order when you arrive ready to shoot.
Another feature, that I had actually missed until recently speaking with the owner of Tactical Operations, is a pouch for a hydration bladder. It’s built into the main compartment with the Tactical Operations name embroidered on the outside of it. The pouch is sewn into the outside flap of the pocket and has a pass through hole from the hydration pocket into the main pocket, and then from the main pocket to the outside of the bag. It’s pretty slick and adds to the utility of the bag especially when being used with the straps as a backpack.
The bag holds up well. I’ve used it for quite a while now, trips to the range and back, dropping the bag and using the mat on a variety of surfaces. It really isn’t showing any wear. Granted I’m no sniper, and I’ve not dragged it through the sand and muck on a military deployment, but the bag still seems to show very little, if any, wear from typical use. The compartments have grommets for draining if you do plan to drag it through something wet so that’s not an issue. The nylon is high quality and abrasion resistant.
The only area I can’t rate it high on is price, this is a costly item. However, ‘buy once – cry once’ applies here. If you purchase one I doubt that anybody is going to wear it out and given the features you really do get what you pay for with this bag, quality and attention to detail. It ranks in the same price range as other high quality options from the likes of Condor, S.O. Tech, and Eberlestock so the price can’t be called uncharacteristic of a rifle bag in the upper echelon of quality.