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Mr.RoDiN
12-12-2008, 12:28 AM
So Xmas is coming up and I was thinking of purchasing a rifle bench rest. I have never used one personally, but I believe one would help out alot for sighting my rifles. I plan on using the rest for my Winchester model 70 308(varmint), my OLL rifle and for my remington 700 sps .223. With the bolt action rifles, I usually use a bipod, but feel its too time consuming. My M4's forward rail has too much play to get in a precise shot with a bipod. Does anyone use bench rests? I don't know exactly how they work. I am more interested in the rifle staying on target after the shot, rather than absorbing recoil. Anyone have any recommendations? I have been looking at some dels. Some have straps, some dont. Some even have a device that pulls the trigger for you, without having to pull the trigger with your finger. Is it worth buying one? Is it time consuming to get the rifle to sit on target? Brands and models would really help. Reviews are welcome. Pros and cons....

ocabj
12-12-2008, 4:45 AM
If you just want something to get a mechanical zero for your guns, then just get the Caldwell "Rock" pedestral front rest. It's a fairly inexpensive (under $100) and should work for most rifles. Get a rear bag if need be.

I personally just use sandbags provided at the range. I'm not a benchrest shooter, so I never bothered to get a rest.

Granted, sometimes the way benches are set up, depending on height from the ground, slope of the bench, etc., it is handy to have a good front rest with elevation and windage adjustments.

But then again, get a mechanical zero shouldn't take that long, and once I have it, I don't ever shoot from the bench.

The Sinclair Intl front rests are excellent. They have several models based on what features you need. If I were to buy a front rest, I'd probably get a Sinclair.

The Cadillac of benchrest is the single piece aluminum designs based on the Desaye rest:

http://www.ocabj.net/gallery2/d/1252-3/IMG_4475.jpg

http://www.ocabj.net/gallery2/d/1248-3/IMG_4474.jpg

Unfortunately, the cost of these are about $1000, unless you build it yourself, in which you can save $300-400 or so.

Forestgnome
12-12-2008, 5:07 AM
Guys, let me know if I'm wrong, but I don't believe you'll find any rest that keeps the rifle on target after the shot. They're only meant to keep it steady before the shot. There are very sophisticated and expensive ones that will keep it on target. They're called return-to-battery rests, very specialized. For keeping the rifle steady before the shot, the Caldwell is a good inexpensive one that's solid. From there you start spending on fine adjustability in the rest. If you have money, look at benchrest supplies.
http://benchrest.com/inlink/index.php?sid=672730821&t=sub_pages&cat=16&num_results=100

Mr.RoDiN
12-12-2008, 11:35 AM
guess ill stick to my bipod and bench pouches...

Forestgnome
12-12-2008, 12:31 PM
Here's a tip to sighting your rifle. Put it on sandbags, aim for the center, and shoot a hole. Stabilize the rifle on the bags with the crosshair back on the center of the target. Adjust the crosshairs until they're over the hole you shot. Done! Depending on how your rifle shoots, you may want to use 3-shot groups.

Mr.RoDiN
12-12-2008, 12:36 PM
Here's a tip to sighting your rifle. Put it on sandbags, aim for the center, and shoot a hole. Stabilize the rifle on the bags with the crosshair back on the center of the target. Adjust the crosshairs until they're over the hole you shot. Done! Depending on how your rifle shoots, you may want to use 3-shot groups.

Oh I have sighted in my rifles before. I just thought it would be easier with a bench rest. It takes me about 10 -20 rounds more than needed. Its ok though. But thanks for the help. My .308 has a sheperd scope on it and it only took about 5 rounds to get it dead centered at 100 yards.

CSACANNONEER
12-12-2008, 12:49 PM
Oh I have sighted in my rifles before. I just thought it would be easier with a bench rest. It takes me about 10 -20 rounds more than needed. Its ok though. But thanks for the help. My .308 has a sheperd scope on it and it only took about 5 rounds to get it dead centered at 100 yards.

With good front and read rests or a one piece system, it should only take one shot and then one scope adjustment to be very close to the X-ring (at any distance). I use a second shot to fine tune and a third for comfirmation. But, for a 100-200 yard hunting rifle, one shot should be all you ever need. I use a frankenstiened front rest and an Action Gun Works rear rest but, for light personal use, I'd go with a Lead-Sled.

Timberwolf
12-12-2008, 2:11 PM
2nd on a Caldwell Lead Sled - though I'm just as steady with a bipod and rear bag.

CSACANNONEER
12-12-2008, 2:24 PM
2nd on a Caldwell Lead Sled - though I'm just as steady with a bipod and rear bag.

But, when sighting in with the one shot zero meathod, a bipod doesn't work.

Mr.RoDiN
12-13-2008, 2:37 PM
I was doing some research and came across this particular rest. The Caldwell Lead Sled DFT. Has anyone used this device? Is it worth the price? Also if ayone has used it, Are the lead bags/sand bags and or weights necessary for reduced recoil? Can then product be used without? Also, I noticed on the website, they sell the lead bags. I realized they are just selling the empty bags and I would have to fill them up. Will sand do the job or is kead reccomended? If I do need lead, where will I be able to purchase lead pellets? Thanks.

mvpatriot
12-13-2008, 2:46 PM
fill an old sack/pillow with rice

Mr.RoDiN
12-13-2008, 2:49 PM
fill an old sack/pillow with rice

how would the density compar to lead? I Mean how big of a pillow will it have to bed to take 25 pounds of rice? I think if I can find some lead, the bags should be pretty small.

CSACANNONEER
12-13-2008, 2:54 PM
There's a BIG difference between a big bag and a good solid rest system.

mvpatriot
12-13-2008, 2:56 PM
There's a BIG diiference between a big bag and a good solid rest system.

also a big difference between $50, and free .99

I'll keep my extra dough for ammo thnx

Mr.RoDiN
12-13-2008, 2:57 PM
There's a BIG diiference between a big bag and a good solid rest system.

So what do you reccomend?

Mr.RoDiN
12-13-2008, 2:58 PM
Also the biggest caliber I shoot is .308. How many 25lb bags would you reccomend?

Fjold
12-13-2008, 5:42 PM
Also the biggest caliber I shoot is .308. How many 25lb bags would you reccomend?

None

The weight of the sled is more than enough. It's just a 308 :rolleyes:

CSACANNONEER
12-13-2008, 6:10 PM
also a big difference between $50, and free .99

I'll keep my extra dough for ammo thnx

With a good rest system, you only need one spotter round to get you into the black and one for fine tuning. You'll need your extra dough for the ammo.

For a decent, sight in rest set up at a reasonable price, you can't go wrong with the lead sled. I use seperate front and rear rests because, a one piece rest is not allowed in FCSA competition, except for "unlimited class".

ar15barrels
12-13-2008, 7:53 PM
But, when sighting in with the one shot zero meathod, a bipod doesn't work.

It does with a mil-dot reticle. ;)

CSACANNONEER
12-13-2008, 9:15 PM
It does with a mil-dot reticle. ;)

True IF you know how to use it AND you are zeroing at a know distance. The one shot meathod is so dummy proof, even I can do it.

elsolo
12-13-2008, 10:24 PM
If you are going to be shooting off a bench at a range, you might as well get a decent rest for the gun.
If you can adjust the gun to be in a stable position that is confortable for you, spending time plinking at the range is less tiring and more accurate.

I can do 99% of what I want off a bench with a height adjustable front rest and rear bag. I made my own front rest, it's 25# and 18" footprint, similar to a Hart varmint or Wichita, very basic and sturdy.

gemini1
12-13-2008, 10:25 PM
Sorry if a bit OT.
Is it possible to zero/sight a scope without boresighting the rifle? (maybe firing one to many to get it right?)

elsolo
12-13-2008, 10:47 PM
Yes