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Old March 16, 2009, 08:06 PM   #1
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Is there a good economical bench rest?

I'm not sure where to post this but this on forum would seem logical. I'd gotten a Stoney Point rifle rest awhile back and took it back because I thought it was too "springy". I replaced it with the Cabelas version of the Lead Sled but wasn't happy with the constant readjustment today at the range today - it's going back tomorrow. When I got home today, I dusted off my 25 year old Outer's Varmiteer Rifle Rest and with a little modification to solidify the rear end, it may come back to use.

I know the rifle moves sligthly before the bullet exits the barrel. Both of my other two rests had a rear "pocket" that restricted the butt end from movement but I'm wondering if this hinders my accuracy? My old Outers has V-type forks that allows the rifle to slide rearward if needed - actually I don't know why I quit using the Outers.

Is there a good reasonable priced rest out there? Is one type or style better than the rest? I surely don't get to use a rest when I'm hunting - off hand or a tree for deer, Harris bipods and my shoulder for coyotes. Actually I've always thought sand bags were pretty darn good if I could get them on target fairly quick. Any ideas would be appreciated, thanks.
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Old March 18, 2009, 10:06 AM   #2
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Thanks for the help.
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Old March 23, 2009, 07:31 AM   #3
Bart B.
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It's been my experience in testing loads, shooting and winning rifle matches and watching others do the same thing, us humans don't shoot heavy recoiling rifles very accurate from rests atop a bench. We typically shoot more accurate from a good prone position slung up and using good techniques. Benchresters do so darned well with their one-holers 'cause they're shot in free recoil; no contact with the rifle at all except for pinching the trigger to get the shot off. But those stool-shootin' rifles don't have hardly any recoil 'cause they're very heavy for the cartridge they shoot. A 9-pound .30-06 would fly off its rests fired in free recoil then probably end up laying on the ground or in your lap.

To say nothing of the 1 to 2 MOA zero difference in sight settings between rested atop a bench and prone/sitting/standing positions.
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Old April 19, 2009, 06:17 PM   #4
circuit rider
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Join Date: May 29, 2005
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Shooting Rest

May not have been on this forum, can't remember for sure, but a couple of years ago I was inquiring about a good, reasonably priced rest. Most that responded said if they could have only one it would be a Cowan. They are made in Altoona, Pa. in a Vo-Tech type school. Joe Cowan is the instructor. At that time someone gave me his email address. I contacted him and purchased one for $210.00 plus shipping. I'm not a competition shooter, but wanted a quality rest for my FNA1 SPR(308). I couldn't be more pleased. Hope this helps, Circuit Rider
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Old April 21, 2009, 02:08 PM   #5
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Nothing beats sandbags.
"Suppose you were an idiot, and suppose you were a member of Congress, but I repeat myself." Mark Twain
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Old April 23, 2009, 11:34 AM   #6
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I have been using the plastic Caldwell rest for about a year. To me, it is a step up from range bags, since there is a vertical adjustment. It is plenty for load testing hunting ammunition.

There is an even cheaper MTM one at Wal-Mart I have. It has clamps on both ends, but you can swap out a vertically adjustable rest with one end. It is plenty for load testing, and gun cleaning/maintenance.
When all is said and done, there is a lot more said than done.
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Old April 23, 2009, 10:28 PM   #7
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80lbs of sand in a bag, most solid rest you'll ever use
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