Bags that are expressedly built to carry the necessary stuff for a rifle fight (but not fit the rifle itself) have started popping up over the last few years. I got to thinking about them today because I saw someone talking about them on some blog. After some reflection here are my thoughts.
As a replacement for a chest rig/ lbe rifle bags are junk. They are hard to carry under less than casual walking around conditions. Seriously when was the last time you tried to run a couple miles with a fairly heavy duffel bag flopping around all over the place? Bet it wasn't real comfortable. What about trying to overcome real world type obstacles with a duffel bag getting hung up on everything?
I know that no matter what I am doing with a chest rig/ rack or to a slightly lesser degree an LBE (they flop around more) I know exactly where my mags are and can get them out quickly. My IFAK is in the same place also, not burried in a small duffel bag flopping around someplace.
If I saw a realistic chance of anything happening I would toss a legit chest rif inside of a duffel bag to carry it around conveniently and discretely if need be. So a 'rifle bag' does not replace a chest rig/ rack/ lbe for likely combat type situations. I would not say that doesn't mean they cannot have a legitimate nitche. What is that nitche exactly?
To me that nitche is as more of a tactical equivalent of a range bag. There is not a known or likely scenario where you see yourself using your rifle. You are just going camping or on a road trip or like to keep a gun in the trunk or whatever. While you aren't planning on anything really bad happening having 4-6 mags, a few extra boxes of ammo, maybe a tourniquet or two and some misc gun stuff just makes sense. Instead of having junk all over the place it is desirable to keep everything nicely organized in a purpose built bag.
A bag of this type is on my long list of gear.