Shooting Rest

EricL

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What is everyones favorites in the shooting rest line. Wanting to pick something up and get a little overwhelmed when i start looking. I really like the better quality metal stuff but not sure i would use enough to justify the money. Got my new scope on my new 700 xcr .270 and want to get down to the range....Eric
 

Tom L

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Eric-
I came to the same conclusions you did, that I wouldn't use a rest enough to justify spending the money, especially since practice from field positions (primarily prone, sitting, or prone with a backpack rest) far more than I do from the bench. So, what I do to steady the rifle for load development and sighting in is to use one or two 25 pound bags of lead shot. This is a 'freebie' for me as I also reload for shotgun, so I've a few lying around. If you need additional height, you can add pieces of lumber (I've got a 4"x6" board that is about 3' long and works well) or another bag.

Another advantage to having bags is that during a long range session, it's possible to place a bag between the rifle butt and your shoulder to take some of the recoil. I don't mind using the bag between the rifle butt and the shoulder to eliminate recoil as I believe that shooting from the bench is meant to 'take the human element out' and to test, as far as possible, only the rifle and the load, and the extra bag seems to steady the rifle pretty well.

If you don't reload for shotgun, you can spend the money (about $20-$25 per bag IIRC) for lead shot, or a cheaper alternative would be to make your own sandbags by cutting the legs off of old blue jeans, sewing one end closed, filling the bag with sawdust or sand, and either sewing or using cable ties or wire to close the other end after it's filled. This method would also allow you to 'customize' the bag height and fill for your own needs.

Hope this helps - don't forget to practice from the positions you'll be using in the field once you've got it sighted in and have a load developed!

Tom
 

elmerkeithclone

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There are a lot of fancy rests out there but I have always used sand and or shot bags. Just old school I guess!
 

Paul H

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If you're looking to really ring out the accuracy of a rifle, a good repeatable rest is essential. If you don't mind ponying up for good stuff, then check out Sinclair Intl, they have the good stuff.

Asside from that, I've been using a midway forend rest and shotbags for rests. It works well enough, but I do spend a fair bit of time fiddling around getting them back in position after each shot.
 

Daveintheburbs

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benchmaster

benchmaster

I do a lot of reloading and load development and IMHO one the best 100 bucks I ever spent was for my bench master rest. I had used the old sand bags, lead bags, etc etc for years with a fair amount of frustration. The bench master lets me shoot lots of rounds of my stoutest kicking rifles (.458 on down) and still be able to do some real practicing form field positions after the load is dialed in. I got mine from Boondocks, but Sportsman’s Warehouse also carries them and as of last week Great Northern had a used one for $75.00.

Dave
 

AKmud

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Elite

Elite

I have one of the Cabela's Elite model rifle rests. It is very simple to use yet has micro adjustments for fine tuning. A strap across the butt end of the rest keeps the punishment down for the big bores. Overall it is a very stable rest.

I've heard good things about the "Lead sled" too.
 

ghost

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shooting rest

shooting rest

I have an old Freeland rest that I've had for years. Not as fancy as some of the newer ones with constant adjustment wheels, etc. But biggest thing is, even if using one of the el-cheapo Caldwell plastic rests is to get good bags. I have fooled around and talked to a lot of benchresters, and they all agree that bags with a Codora cover is necessary, as it lets the rifle slide straight back, where as almost anything else, makes it drag some, and it will shoot different places shot to shot. I finally sprung for a quality back bag last fall (got it on sale for $65.00) and love it, but there are other codora ones out there that are a lot cheaper, and should work well. I already had a codora bag on the rest itself. I think Sinclair is now producing the Freeland (upgraded) stand, but MidWay has a good looking one (metal) for a lot less money. A $100 or so for a stand might seem like a lot now, but quality lasts and I have had mine for 40 years, and thought it was expensive at the time (probably was considering what we were making 40 years ago). If you don't have a codora bag, powder your bags with baby powder/talc, to let the rifle slide freely. Makes a big difference.
 

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