First off, shooting equipment is very personalized and varying. Everyone has their favorite caliber or make of gun. Why do some swear by Remington while others swear by Weatherby, Sako, Browning, etc? Even then, some will not shoot stock firearms but rather demand custom. In most cases, their choice is largely based on their own anecdotal experience in the field. Well, shooting supports are the same. Many have had great success with many different types of shooting rests and aids. After all, if the shooting support worked once then why wouldn’t the same support work again? The Claw was born because we, as very demanding hunters, felt there was a need in the field for this type of shooting aid and the wide spectrum of benefits it affords the hunter under unpredictable hunting conditions. I am not going to breakdown every advantage of The Claw because there are too many to discuss each one on this forum. This post is long enough as it is..lol. However, there is a list of these benefits on the website and I highly encourage people to review this list and contemplate how each of those advantages could help them in a hunting situation. I am most certain that each of you have had a situation where you were not able to harvest an animal but would have been able to if you could have eliminated the restricting factor of your current setup.
As a quick example, I guided a relative on a coues deer hunt this last weekend. Bradley is 15 yrs old. He was shooting a 300 win mag with a 5 power fixed Leopold scope. This respectable (75”) buck stepped out at 100 yds broadside. I informed him that we could do better being only the second day of their time in the field and he elected to pass the buck. Well the buck started off across the hill side trotting up and down cuts with his flag up, etc. In the meantime, Bradley got an itchy finger and couldn’t stand letting the buck go. I said, “hey, it is your tag and if you would enjoy taking that buck you should”. So I quickly set him up on The Claw. The buck was still traversing rapidly through the steep terrain as many of you have witnessed before. At 400 yds (396) the buck was going to crest to the point where a shot was no longer possible. The buck stopped for a split second where Bradley was able to make a great shot on the buck. He was able to follow that buck with the crosshairs on his body for a good 100 yds while the buck weaved in and out of brush. The second the buck stopped he was steady and able to shoot on a moments notice due to The Claw. If you haven’t experienced panning the crosshairs with this set-up you are missing out! Now I will argue that he would not have been able to kill that buck and lost out on a great experience if not for The Claw. If he was set up on a bipod or shooting sticks it would have been very difficult to impossible to execute the shot but in this case it was very easy. That is just a recent example. There is another example where Cody Nicholson harvested a 416” gross bull this year in Arizona with his muzzleloader. He followed his bull through the thick junipers while the bull tried to stay with all his cows. It was a good 10 minutes of waiting that bull out before he could make the shot. When the bull finally stepped out to present a clear shot he was dead locked on the bull. A quick one shot kill followed. What other set up allows you to do this? We are unaware of one. If it were me as a consumer The Claw would be worth that advantage right there but that is only one of many.
I think a lot of people due to the appearance of the set up in pictures felt that there would be absolutely no movement in the set up. While The Claw is very rock solid it still requires the operator to know how to shoot with it. It is unlike any other on the market. With bipods or shooting sticks mounted on the for-end of the rifle the operator has to support the butt of the rifle for it to work. This means that the set up is only as stable as the rear support which in the traditional way is the operator’s shoulder/back/arm muscles. This is not very stable. What many now do to overcome this weaker position is to place shooting sticks under the butt of the rifle. This is a great method and one we used in the past. It does provide a great rock solid shooting platform. However, it is not without its limitations also. Of Course prone is the traditional king of stable shooting positions but just not possible to shoot from in many hunting situations. Simply your opportunities to shoot prone are very limited.
Think about this. If you mount your rifle in The Claw on the tripod it absolutely, positively will not even slightly move….Absolute rest! Contrary to what was mentioned earlier the heavier guns do not make the tripod move more but it is the opposite. Lighter objects provide for more movement because when you put your shoulder behind the rifle it is easier to create movement on a light object. This is why bench rest shooters shoot as heavy as a rifle as they can get away with. It’s why Shaquile Oneal can’t shoot free throws also! The only thing that can move the crosshairs when mounted in The Claw is a force to the rifle. So theoretically, if you could shoot the rifle without putting your shoulder into it then your crosshair will not move AT ALL. While we obviously do not recommend shooting without your shoulder behind the rifle you can learn to shoot with very light pressure in the stock. Much like when shooting a bow, your bow hand should be very relaxed, gripping the bow as lightly as possible. No other set up will allow you to do this in this way. When you learn to shoot relaxed like this then the set up is phenomenal. When I spoke with Amanda she had not shot with The Claw yet, only looked through it without me explaining these concepts. Secondly, she was comparing the stability of The Claw to her current set up where she has shooting sticks under the butt of her rifle. She was not comparing apples to apples. If you placed shooting sticks under the butt of a rifle clamped in The Claw it is more stable then what she is currently using. However, a rear support is not needed with The Claw if you practice proper shooting techniques. Now before you argue against this please consider the fact that we have done extensive product testing with very experienced shooters and as you are seeing with pictures…the proof is in the pudding. The hunters using The Claw already are some of the most successful and experienced hunters in the industry. They have nothing to gain by using and supporting The Claw and do not compromise their hunting opportunities under any circumstances. Again, as Amanda stated, if you just can’t get comfortable with the thought of a “light shoulder” behind the butt of the gun you can do as done in the past and place shooting sticks under the butt of the gun to eliminate any remaining “micro” movement. This provides you the same or better feel upon shot as before but you gain all the other benefits of The Claw under all shooting conditions when you don’t have time to place sticks under the butt of the rifle. Referring back to Bradley’s hunt, there was not even close to enough time to set up sticks under the butt of the gun and you can’t pan across a hill side to the same degree with other set ups. Why limit your shot opportunities? The Claw simply is the most versatile shooting aid available and nothing, including other setups mentioned in other posts, will give you all the advantages the Claw does and the stability of The Claw can equal and surpass them all.
Some of you will naturally disagree with these points because you will defend your current set up. I am not saying what you are using is inferior and you shouldn’t use it. If you are having great success with your current set up and you haven’t experienced limits in shot opportunities then by all means you should not spend any money on The Claw. We just feel you will be missing out if you don’t ever experience its potential, which leads me to my next point. Cost has been a big concern of many posters. Let me first say that my partner and I started fabricating this product due to a need and opportunity we saw for hunters. We were going to be using The Claw ourselves and those that we had doing product testing for us realized its huge potential. Now there is a lot of costs and work behind making The Claw so naturally we have to treat this like a business. With all businesses they are run not to loose money, but fortunately I have a career that takes up most of my life and provides us with all that we need so we tried not to price the unit in a way to take advantage of others. Having said that, one of the reasons that this product took so long to make it to the market was because we tried endlessly to find a manufacturer that could make the units at a cost that was reasonable and yet still retain the integrity of the product design. We spoke with MANY manufacturers and came up with the lowest cost we could. We do not feel that an integral piece of your shooting arsenal should be compromised due to financial reasons. Also, unfortunately the first wave of product was fabricated before this recent downturn in the economy. Everything, including machinist fees was inflated along with the inflated market, we have since learned. The current price was established based on our high costs along with comparing The Claw to other products on the market and what it had to offer. We felt that considering these factors the current price was reasonable. We sincerely realize that at this price it makes it very difficult for many to afford without much sacrifice. We promise that if there is an opportunity in the future to make and offer The Claw at a lower cost WHILE maintaining its quality we will transfer those savings over to the consumer. In the meantime, all we can say is that we will assure you that if you buy the product that we will stand behind its effectiveness and we feel that it will open many doors that you otherwise wouldn’t have. As a famous commercial says.....hunting success, priceless! To us the difference between success and failure is worth the price of The Claw.
If you have any questions about the use or effectiveness of The Claw please contact us. Both Jay and I would love to discuss it with you or even if it’s just about hunting in general give us a call. We can always find time for that, right!
Dr. Cade Smith