Caldwell Lead Sled Shooting Rest

Discussion in 'Equipment Discussions' started by ccsykes, Apr 22, 2005.

  1. ccsykes

    ccsykes Banned

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    I just got my lead sled in and decided to sit out in the backyard and give her a try. First off, I will say that I was shooting in a prone position, and it did not seem to high for me. Secondly, I was shooting the 300 weatherby mag. to get the brass. I had 4 boxes of ammo that I had bought a couple years back before I started reloading.

    I got out and set it up with only two bags of lead shot. This equaled about 50lbs of additional weight. I would guess that the actual sled weighs somewhere around 15lbs. I noticed, when putting it together the other night that the front rest, did not exactly fit squarely. It had a small dimple on both sides of it that made it rock until it was tightened down 100%. This was not the major problem. The larger problem was that the front rest is tilted a little to the right when it is fastened down. Not a major problem, but definitely noted when shooting today. Also, the mechanism that rises and lowers the front is a little sensitive to the amount of tension on it. The mechanism uses a screw type action to raise and lower the front rest. If the tension bolt is not tight enough, then I noticed that the elevation would change, if it was too tight, the elevation was hard to raise and would not lower. I guess a compromise had to be made. Also, I noticed that I had to keep changing the elevation knob after most of the shots.

    I got home late, so I was not able to set up an ideal testing situation. I had to tape a target to a cardboard box, which I placed in a field at 200yrds. Also, here in NC there is a front moving in as the wind was very gusty this afternoon. It was unpredictable, which made shooting even harder. On to the actual performance. The sled performed just like it is advertised. It tamed the recoil of the 300 wby to the kick of my 30-30; just had a little more muzzle blast. It was a pleasure to shoot and my shoulder sure appreciated it after 60 rounds. Since I had to put the lead sled together, I noticed the rigid construction of it. It seems that Caldwell spent the time to make sure that this thing would hold up. If there is one downside, I would say that the front rest would get my vote. Velcro is used to fasten the rest to the metal plate (the bag had velcro straps that were fastened around the plate mounted on the elevation adjustment). On the back, double-stick tape was supplied to hold the cushion to the metal. I think that I may try either double-stick tape or that stick-on velcro so that it will be directly connected with the metal plate. This will take the roam out of the rest and may actually help in the wandering elevation problems.

    Overall the lead sled worked extremely well and the felt recoil was greatly reduced. It was somewhat expensive, but in my opinion, I think that it was worth the money and a few minor tweeks to it may just take out those few problem areas. With my 300 wby, I believe that only two bags of lead were needed. I am sure that the felt recoil would get even lighter if more were added. I believe that it will hold up to four bags, which would equal 100lbs, but that would only be needed for some of the big bores, not your usual 300 mags.

    By the way the best group that the accumark put out was with federal premium 180 gn. nosler partition. This group came out at 1.10" at 200 yards. Mind you again that those were not the handloads that I know will out perform the federals. I just had some old ammo that I was shooting. I had 5 boxes of weatherby, which uses the norma brass (these are the ones I wanted) and only a hand full of federals I decided to shoot as well.
     
  2. ricka0

    ricka0 Well-Known Member

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    Excellent review!
    I love my Caldwell Lead Sled. I concur with almost everything you have written. Seems exceptionally well made. I use sand bags, where can I get lead shot?
    [ QUOTE ]
    Since I had to put the lead sled together, I noticed the rigid construction of it. It seems that Caldwell spent the time to make sure that this thing would hold up. If there is one downside, I would say that the front rest would get my vote. Velcro is used to fasten the rest to the metal plate

    [/ QUOTE ]
    I agree with this <font color="red"> BUT </font> , the advert said it didn't come with a front rest and I planed on purchasing one - the cheesy free one is cheesy. I plan on getting a better one - doesn't that sound like a reasonable plan?

    Another complaint I have is it was missing a couple nylon lock bolts (which luckily I had in the shop). The directions were about the worst I've ever read - the parts didn't match the parts list. Throw the directions away - it's easy to construct by looking at the box.

    I disagree with your expensive comment - for a strong specialized rest like this I feel it's a good value at less than $120 (just my opinion - I'm a kick sissy on the bench - if it's warm and hairy kick doesn't bother me /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif )
     
  3. ccsykes

    ccsykes Banned

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    B1g B0re, I never liked instructions. I cannot comment on the quality of the ones with the lead sled. I enjoy looking at the picture and making it match. I heard a comment the other day that you would be surprised on how few parts a carborator would run on. Well, I guess it was a good thing that I did not have any spare parts left over when I was done. You are right about the cost; you cannot take the money with you, and lead sled does do a very good job for what it is made and is built well. That is, except for the velcro on the front "rest".

    What kind of rest were you looking at getting? I would be interested in knowing how your setup preforms.
     
  4. RBrowning

    RBrowning Well-Known Member

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    I won onw from Barnes X-club monthly prize, but I haven't used it yet. The weekend that I got it I had a phone call from a friend who had reciently had neck surgery. He sure is enjoying it a lot and is making plans for buying one when I take mine back.
     
  5. ricka0

    ricka0 Well-Known Member

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  6. ccsykes

    ccsykes Banned

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    b1g b0re,

    How exactly is that one different aside from the ties at the bottom? It looks pretty much the same as the one that comes with the lead sled. Is that a suade top on it and I am guessing that you can fill it with whatever you want whereas the other one is already filled? I was just curious as to how it is different and what the advantages are. Let us know how it works out. If it works well, I think I may order the narrow one and the wide one for my guns with the wider bench type stocks.
     
  7. ricka0

    ricka0 Well-Known Member

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    I think it's just bigger - and we all know bigger is better /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif
    I'll give you a report in a couple weeks. I'll probably need to make a bigger base to mount it on.
     
  8. ricka0

    ricka0 Well-Known Member

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    They are exactly the same /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/frown.gif
    Check this add out.

    Just as good as the Caldwell Lead Sled at half the price
    Shooters Ridge Steady Point Rifle Rest
    [image]http://store1.yimg.com/I/yhst-17906218913078_1844_1591448[/image]

    When r they gonna fix that #$%^&amp;*( image bug?
     
  9. bailey1474

    bailey1474 <strong>SPONSOR</strong>

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    They are not exactly the same. I have seen both and used the shooter's ridge. It sucks!!! Hopefully I will get to use a lead sled next weekend and can tell you if it is any better. I just could not get steady on the shooter's ridge.
     
  10. ricka0

    ricka0 Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG]
    Well after looking at MOAR, my lead sled sucks. Now I want a MOAR /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/frown.gif