Caldwell Lead Sled

Discussion in 'Equipment Discussions' started by stevesdl, Jan 25, 2010.

  1. stevesdl

    stevesdl Member

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    Jan 16, 2010
    Hi All,
    Does anyone have the Caldwell Lead Slead (not the Plus model)?

    If so can you tell me what the dimensions are for the tray. I ordered this model (not in yet) instead of the Lead Sled Plus and my whole purpose is to use this with my barbell weights. I am not sure if the regular Lead Sled will hold my 25 lb weights? :(

    Thanks
    Steve
     
  2. conn338rum

    conn338rum Active Member

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    Jan 6, 2010
    I have one, I'll have to measure it tonight but guessing 12" x 12"
    I bought the bags (2) and filled them 3/4" steel balls
    Works great on the 338 RUM:)
     

  3. stevesdl

    stevesdl Member

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    Hi Conn338RUM
    Thanks. I will look for your answer tonight. My 25 lb weights are about 12.5 inches. This might be close. I should receive my sled either tomorrow or the next day. If it is only that little of a difference, I might be able to flatten one of the curved sides and rebend giving it just an adiitonal 1/2 inch or so. As soon as it comes in I take it to the range so I was anxious about knowing the dimensions. Thanks for your time.

    So do your bags weigh about 25 lbs each? The 338RUM kicks more than a 338 WM. Do you have a brake on the muzzle as well? I want to use at least 50 pounds on the sled and having the barbell weights, that saved me a few dollars. I just got laid off so every little dollar saved is a good thing.

    Thanks Again
    Appreciate it
    Steve
     
  4. conn338rum

    conn338rum Active Member

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    9" x 12" and about 2.75" deep so your barbell weights might be a problem may have to modify
    My bags with the steel balls are 20 lbs each, more than enough to tame the 338 rum. The sled moves but recoil is very light shoot as much as I want too.
    No brake on the gun
    See if any one you know has some old scuba dive weights they will work
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2010
  5. stevesdl

    stevesdl Member

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    Super and good thought though dont know too many suba divers in Colorado Springs. If not, I have already thought about flattening one rolled lip and attaching 2 lite L brackets at a slight horizontal angle to extend the back so that the weights have something to hold them in place. I will post my solution if I have to modify the tray.

    Thanks again
    Steve
     
  6. conn338rum

    conn338rum Active Member

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    Other option is make your own tray and save the stock for the bags
     
  7. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

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    Steve I have one and don't recomend using weights or sand bags in the tray because it
    makes it hard on the stock.

    I have heard of people breaking there stocks buy placeing 40 or 50 pounds of weight in
    the tray.

    Rifles should recoil some and if you restrain them to much it can damage or brake the stock.

    It makes a good shooting platform and buy it's self reduces recoil buy almost 50% .

    I carpeted the tray on mine and use it for scope caps , Bolts when cleaning and any other
    stuff that I don't want to place on the shooting bench.

    Also when I test fire a new rifle I prefer not to restrain the rifle to much especially with a
    "BLUE PILL" proof Test load and I just lash/tie the rifle down, use a remote system to fire it
    and let it recoil on its own.

    I shoot lots of big bores 416s + with out breaks and the lead sled works good just like it is.

    Just a recommendation.

    J E CUSTOM
     
  8. winmag

    winmag Well-Known Member

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    +1 with J E Custom, I use my sled with 338win 300wby and 270 wsm and dont need any added weight. the sled is healthy enough. And I have also hered of the broken wood stocks with too much wt. ''for every action there is an equal and opposite re-action'' makes sense, though I have no proof or personal experience breaking any thing. Just here say. My sled stays naked and does a great job. It does slide about 3'' back with my shoulder against it off a concrete bench that way though, Just a thought.
     
  9. conn338rum

    conn338rum Active Member

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    Interesting I haven't shot the sled without weight
    Have to try it
    I bought the Cadwell bags
    Filled them with three quarter inch steel ball bearings as I stated before
    Not as heavy as lead shot
    Sled moves back a good amount not sure of the weight
    I lined the tray and added padding to the sled where the stock goes
    I have heard of guys adding a strap to stop the barrel from jumping
    (not me)
    I'm sure that will add stress and could damage the stock
    I agree for every action the is a reaction
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2010
  10. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

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    I have added a strap so when I test fire (I am well away and not holding on to the stock)
    so the rifle doesn't jump out of the lead sled.

    It works best like the guys testing muzzle breaks do by placing the sled on the ground
    and on a smooth surface that will let it recoil unrestrained.

    A worst case scenario is to place the but of a service rifle on a hard surface or against a
    wall and fire a grenade it will most likely break the stock,

    I have used line throwing guns that shot a 16 oz projectile and you had to eather shoulder
    fire it or double up a life jacket and place on the deck and set the but of the rifle on the
    life jacket to keep from splitting the stock.

    J E CUSTOM
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2010
  11. FEENIX

    FEENIX Well-Known Member

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    The sled has enough weight to help reduce the recoil on most calibers. Do not use excessive weight to eliminate recoil, just enough to reduce it to a more pleasant and manageable recoil to prevent any stock/rifle damage.

    Pictured is my SAKO M995 in .300 WM. I rigged mine with a set of $1.99 straps just enough to secure rifle and put my snow chains into better use :).

    [​IMG]

    I still have to reset on each shot but it works for me and my style of shooting.

    Good luck!

    Ed
     
  12. trueblue

    trueblue Well-Known Member

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    For 338 calibers or larger, I wouldn't bother buying a Lead Sled if you are not going to use some weight in the tray. Why bother.
    I use the 4 bags that come with it filled with #8 lead shot and still get about 1 1/2" of recoil with this set up.
     
  13. stevesdl

    stevesdl Member

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    Hi All,
    Literally "Everyone's" comments have been great and beneficial. Thank you all very much.

    After seeing some comments regarding the use of weights and possible stock damage, I went onto the manufacturer's site and reviewed FAQs. The specific concern regarding stock damage and using weights was addressed and manufacturer stated absoutely no possible stock damage to a modern firearm stock. I decided to write an email to the Customer Support specifically requesting they reiterate that company testatment (they have no phone number - ??). It has been 5 days and no response. In addition, I am not able to connect to their web site today. Not saying they are out of business but it does imply they have inhouse issues. :(

    Caldwell Lead Sled

    "Just because" the manufacturer says one thing, does not mean it is "Gospel". I experienced that with a very very very expensive motorcycle purchase in 2003, the manufacturer stated a serious issue "was not an issue". Thank you internet! Owners around the globe complained on the same issue and finally the manufacturer after almost 2 years (yup 2 years), admitted to the issue and kinda corrected the issue worldwide.

    Anyway, I will take my chances on a new rifle with a new modern synthetic stock and use the Lead Sled as purposely purchased. I did order the wrong Sled and so the Lead Sled I purchased would not hold Barbell Weights. After gleaning your comments, as soon as my Sled came in, I improvised, flattened the rear tray lip (looks like it was manufactured that way it was that easy), used an improvised center peg (broom handle piece) to hold two 25# weights together and then used some (3) $5.99 velcro straps to hold weights in place. (It works perfectly!!! - ran 32 rounds through it and the weights never moved or straps never loosened) If I want to add more weight I guess I can add lead bags to barbell weight. I do not strap the rifle down to the Sled so not sure if that is a bad or good thing in my case.

    With my 338 Win Mag, the recoil is reduced probably 70%-75%. so much so that I can use this setup all day if I wanted but only using it for ammo testing and scope zeroing. Thereafter firing from bi-pod or sandbags. (Getting a Muscle Brake by Jim See installed so will show before and after videos once gunsmith work is complete.)

    The Lead Sled still jumps back about 1.5" to 2" each shot and does lose sight-in alignment "after the shot" but works well for each current shot. Turning the big wheel for elevation adjstment works fine but then locking the adjustment tends to affect the elevation adjustment so one has to play around with it to accomodate the lock-in affect. Also once one places one's shoulder against the butt and places any weight against the Lead Sled or rifle the sight-in can be affected so one also has to accomodate for that as well. Lastly, make sure bench is very sturdy. A wobbly bench just won't work.

    All in all, I am very happy with the purchase for the price compared to some nice rigs that cost upwards of $350.00+. I highly recommend it. Just keep in mind one has to modify sight-ins with some effort.


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2010
  14. winmag

    winmag Well-Known Member

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    Why own a rifle your afraid to shoot with out a weighted sled
    To each thier own. My 338's do just fine on a naked sled, as do all my other Magnums. Its as simple as having a steady platform that reduces recoil.I dont need to stop recoil.Heck they already weigh like 15-20 lbs, and I dont need to be any harder on my equipment.
    If you choose to put 4 bags of lead shot, cool, I hope it works for you with whatever cal you choose
    Having owned and shot with various makes and brands, the Leadsled just seems to work best for me as an all round platform. From cleaning, to DIY smithing, to having a solid rest that reduces recoil,to having a paper wt for holding extra targets from blowing away while shooting from other positions.
    Thats why I bother to own one. Theyre handy and effective.