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Old July 27, 2013, 06:09 PM   #1
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What kind of rest do you use at the bench?

I don't hunt or compete so my rifle work is just for grins. I built a nifty little machine rest to use with my Contenders and it works great. I think I'm going to try putting together a rifle rest (front only, not a full rest) and see how it works.

It's time to start making chips with the lathe!

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Old July 27, 2013, 06:26 PM   #2
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Sand bags are the only thing I really use. Tried a lead sled a couple of times but I didn't care for it.
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Old July 27, 2013, 08:06 PM   #3
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I use sandbags and have also used a Lead Sled. The sled was really nice when using my 300 Win Mag, I quickly found out the rifle shot better than I thought! I could hold it to around MOA off the bag but the sled proved the gun shot sub MOA. With the 7mm Remington Mag though the gun shot just as good off the bags as with the sled.

In case you're wondering yes, I'm selling the 300
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Old July 27, 2013, 10:07 PM   #4
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My preferred rifle is my Sendero in 300 WM. I put a bipod on it when I was doing tactical matches ages ago but I don't like to use it from the bench. It makes the gun skitter under recoil.

Here are our Contender rests. The one on the left is mine and I cut the bar stock for the one on the right but my friend wanted to finish his.


Huge pic. Just hit the link.

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Old July 27, 2013, 10:10 PM   #5
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nice knurling

I have a knurling tool.
I used the one at school 48 years ago.
I think I have used mine...

For rests,
a) I started out with a wadded up jacket from the car hood. [kid]
b) I got a leather sand V bag in front. [putz] and went to the range with benches
c) I got a shooting rest and a rear rabbit ear bag. [ala bench rest shooters]
d) I got the giant V bag in the front. [ala varmint hunters]
e) Now I shoot a bipod in the front and a tiny bag in the rear. I cut the length of pull and inch or two longer. [long range prone hunting]
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Old July 28, 2013, 07:48 AM   #6
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I have two Hoppe's rests and a Hart's rest with adjustable Hohen's windage top. It's only used for benchrest rifles with 3" wide forends. I also use rear bags...two soft ones and a very hard one for benchrest competition.

For hunting rifles, the older Hoppe's rest has been modified by extending the vertical adjustment handle and the locking screw is extended and bent to increase locking power. I added a rest stop also. The unit is very light, but steady and the bag is soft, to better mimic forend hand-hold.
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Old July 28, 2013, 12:11 PM   #7
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Tried a lead sled a couple of times but I didn't care for it.
Huh, I'm kind of surprised. There are several different models of lead sleds, but I use the Caldwell Lead Sled DFT... This one:

It might not be a world class bench rest, and I still use a handful of different bags I've accumulated over the years, but if I'm shooting off a bench I'm almost always using the sled now. I recently got a new bag for the front of it so it could fit my Savage F class rig. I only use the front set screw and wheel to get it tightened up and pointing at the paper, but the rear screw works really well for micro adjustments while aiming. After the recoil I usually have to reset the tail end because of the way the sled blocks the butt stock within the rest, but even without shot bags or tie downs it eats up most of the recoil and I experience less fatigue. The reset is quick and no hassle at all. These days, if I'm shooting off a bipod or bags, I almost feel naked
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Old July 29, 2013, 02:47 PM   #8
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BI Pod for my .243 and sand bags for everything else.
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Old July 29, 2013, 02:49 PM   #9
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I've got pretty old Wichita rest and when I started BR got the Hart rest and got Sinclair windage tops when they started making them. Late when Ron Hoehn started making his tops I upgrade got the Hunter and Varmint tops.

I got this rest about 10yrs ago when they first started in business and I had front and rear tapped for leg extension for the foot pads. They also include pistol rest.
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Old July 29, 2013, 03:30 PM   #10
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I've done my best work off the front end of my friends pickup truck using a sandbag or a pillow.

Imagine what my groups will look like once I start using proper equipment and shooting from a actual bench.
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Old July 29, 2013, 03:44 PM   #11
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cauldwell front rest or lead sled. I use the sled to sight in.
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Old July 30, 2013, 02:17 AM   #12
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I have a Caldwell "Rock Jr." front rest, and matching rear bag (filled with corn cob media). I use them when possible, but most of my shooting is not done at a bench.

Most of the time, I use improvised rests - tailgates, coolers, ammo cans, etc. If I remembered to bring it, and the rifle will accept it, I can spoil myself by attaching my Harris bipod. (I'm cheap. I only have one. But it was a great investment.)
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Old July 30, 2013, 05:29 AM   #13
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I use a the "Led Sled" for zeroing scopes and load developement, after that I shoot from tripod "trigger sticks", and a Caldwell "Tack Driver" rest.
Thanks for coming!
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Old July 30, 2013, 06:47 AM   #14
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sand socks for me... I keep a 2.5 gallon bucket with a snap on lid, on my bench, & have like 10 new ( when I filled them ) socks filled with washed & dried sand, been on my bench for 3 years now of reasonably heavy use... if I can keep the revolvers from burning holes in them, they last for a long time... no leakers in 3 years of use...

I do have a bought pistol rest, but prefer to throw a scrap of leather over my bags to shoot handguns most of the time...
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Old July 30, 2013, 07:15 AM   #15
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I use a caldwell front and rear bag and also have a rifle with a bipod, I like them both.
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Old July 30, 2013, 06:55 PM   #16
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A 4x6 and a sandbag my wife made out of a pair of my son's worn out jeans.
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Old July 30, 2013, 09:36 PM   #17
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I got a Wichita rifle rest many years ago and use it with two leather "bags" like those shown on the Wichita web site.
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Old July 31, 2013, 09:25 AM   #18
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Five shot bags filled with pea gravel and tie wrapped closed. Filled to different levels so I have a variety of different "stiffness" for the situation.
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Old July 31, 2013, 01:24 PM   #19
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Sled, sand bags, bi-pod, mini cross sticks and elbows.

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Old July 31, 2013, 07:01 PM   #20
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Man. I can't believe I just bought a Farley joystick rest (previously owned.) Just waiting for it to arrive.

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Old August 1, 2013, 06:40 AM   #21
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Dead shot field pod from Caldwell for hunting rifles 270,25-06.Sand bags for the 300MAG.
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Old August 1, 2013, 07:19 PM   #22
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Caldwell dead shot front bag, filled with doll fill from the craft store.
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Old August 2, 2013, 08:05 AM   #23
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I refuse to use sand bags. When I go to a bench where previous user has used sandbags, I clean it off the bench before I begin. I bring my own bags filled with ground walnut shells or use my Caldwell rest.

Bottom line: Sand bags leak sand. It does not matter how careful you are, sand will find itself inside actions and practically all of your gear.

South West Asia, well that's a different story.
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Old August 2, 2013, 09:49 AM   #24
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I use cloth shot bags filled with sand, hand sewn,
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Old August 2, 2013, 02:30 PM   #25
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I just roll up a blanket or coat and rest the forearm on it, my elbows do the rest. I'm too cheap to buy a sled and sand bags do find a way to leak.
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