Front and rear rests:

Discussion in 'Equipment Discussions' started by HARPERC, Jun 26, 2014.

  1. HARPERC

    HARPERC Well-Known Member

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    I want to improve my bench rest shooting. I've reached a point where I feel limited by sand bags, and rolled up jackets.

    What adjustable rests are folks using? Which features are important?
     
  2. Engineering101

    Engineering101 Well-Known Member

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    How goes it over there in Spokane?

    Good idea to get a front rest/rear bag setup. Probably the best thing you can do to improve accuracy off the bench. I friend of mine has a very high end (and expensive) Sinclair rest with a high end rear bag. I have a cheap but quite adequate Caldwell rest and one of their rear bags. The Sinclair if fun to shoot off of with all the nice/fancy/smooth adjustments and such but the Caldwell is fine with just up and down and wins the bang for the buck contest. I've been able to shoot a some 1/4 MOA groups with that setup and I almost never break a bad shot- maybe once out of 50.
     

  3. Barrelnut

    Barrelnut Well-Known Member

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    Most important thing is how the rifle rides on the rest, just like on the bags. It needs to SLIDE with the shot. Meet a couple of champion 600 and 1000 yard benchrest shooters. One of the most important things are their front and rear rest. Some have custom rests with special leather. All tailored to allow consistent slide from shot to shot.
     
  4. Engineering101

    Engineering101 Well-Known Member

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    I should probably qualify what I said about the Caldwell rest. I am not a bench rest shooter. I just want to take me out of the equation as much as I can to see what the rifle/load is doing. Once I get a good load, I go hunting. Were I into competitive shooting I probably would go for a high end rest. I have the Rock by Caldwell. Don't go cheaper than that model as they get too light. The Rock has spiked feet to hold it in place, has rubber feet to put under the spikes if needed, has an up/down wheel and a rod to indicate where the rifle goes back to for precise placement after every shot. I don't need more than those features for what I'm doing with it.
     
  5. HARPERC

    HARPERC Well-Known Member

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    A few gray days here, something you're likely familiar with. What us night shifters refer to as good sleeping weather!

    Rear rests seem to get very little press. I see a couple on the bench rest sites, but they look like custom one of a kind things. So who's making a good quality rear leather bag?

    When you say slide I presume you mean the rifle slides on fixed rests, or are there set ups in which rest its self slides a bit.

    With the Caldwell are you using the smaller or larger of the 2 ? At 5.5 and 15.5 lbs do you think they work well with magnum sporter weights without rocking?

    We passed in cyberspace, Thanks.
     
  6. Barrelnut

    Barrelnut Well-Known Member

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    The rifle slides on the rest front and rear. The rests themselves are stationary. The thing they are trying to avoid is the newbie error of having a rear sling stud setting in the rear bag causing inconsistent recoil movement of the rifle. That is an extreme example though.

    Like Engineering101, I use a Caldwell front rest cause I am foremost a hunter. I do shoot with some LR competitive benchrest folks in a relaxed environment though. Just passing on some tips they give me.
     
  7. HARPERC

    HARPERC Well-Known Member

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    Most of my rifles have 2 sling studs on the for end, and trying to avoid the 3 without something adjustable is a pain.

    Thanks
     
  8. Engineering101

    Engineering101 Well-Known Member

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    If you shoot with sling studs sitting on the bag on the front rest, the rifle won't slide like you want it to or it may slide until the stud catches the bag and then the rest will tilt if there is enough recoil. This will also eventually tear the bag. I took my second sling studs out and now only have only one for just this reason. However, I'd guess you could get by without doing that by pulling the rest back behind the second stud. But it is better to have the two support points farther apart. I don't worry about the rear stud and have had no issues with that.
     
  9. Ernie

    Ernie SPONSOR

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    What is your budget for a front rest?
     
  10. HARPERC

    HARPERC Well-Known Member

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    Budget wise I haven't set a top end, bottom end the Caldwell at about $200 bucks is about the least expensive I can see that would improve my system.

    The Sinclair Heavy Varmint, looks like a possibility, as well as their competition model.

    I looked at (online), and liked the SEB, and I was trying to learn a little bit before shooting you an e-mail.

    Essentially budget wise I've got good quality rifles I don't always get the most of from the bench, and improving those system issues is the goal.

    A rest that works well from prone would be a positive.
    Something that travels well, for varmints a plus.

    Is there a rear rest that is more compatible with the SEB? Are they in stock?

    If you'd like me to send an e-mail I can, or you can PM me.

    Thanks,
    Carl
     
  11. Ernie

    Ernie SPONSOR

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    PM sent
     
  12. Ernie

    Ernie SPONSOR

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    MAX Rest works well from the prone position.
    2013 F-Class Nationals outside of Raton, NM.
    [​IMG]
     
  13. HARPERC

    HARPERC Well-Known Member

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    Great looking set up!
     
  14. Barrelnut

    Barrelnut Well-Known Member

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    Might want to try shooting bags. They are way better than traditional sand bags. They work for me as they cut out horizontal movement. They can really settle a rifle down on the bench and are not as expensive as some of the high end front rest.

    These are made local to my area and are a GREAT quality product. Link below.

    Shooting bags and rifle rests, by "dog-gone-good"