The 8 Best Shooting Rests

Updated September 21, 2017 by Steven John

8 Best Shooting Rests
Best High-End
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Best Inexpensive
We spent 46 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top options for this wiki. There is no better way to accurately sight in a rifle than by using a stable shooting rest. These devices minimize recoil and allow for minute adjustments that can almost eliminate errors invariably made when a firearm is supported by an unassisted shooter. Many rests also help with safer, more accurate use of handguns as well. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best shooting rest on Amazon.

8. Caldwell Lead Sled DFT

The Caldwell Lead Sled DFT costs almost as much as some low-priced rifles, but its wide range of adjustments and high quality make up for the high price. The rest's dual frame alignment system can slide forward or backward as much as 22 inches.
  • maintains aim during adjustments
  • ultra fine windage controls
  • cannot accommodate large magazines
Brand Caldwell
Model 336647
Weight 27.8 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

7. Protektor Model Owl Ear

A Protektor Model Owl Ear front bag can be laid flat on a shooting table or can be affixed to a shooting rest. In both setups, the bag's durable leather exterior and heavy load, provided by a good deal of sand, will help to stabilize your rifle.
  • hollow center embraces long gun
  • also serves as arm rest with pistols
  • not suitable for use with some rests
Brand Protektor Model
Model #2F
Weight 1.1 pounds
Rating 3.7 / 5.0

6. Remington Shotsaver

This Remington Shotsaver features an extra large adjustment handle that makes it easy to raise the platform as high as eight inches off the deck or table. The aluminum frame is solid without being overly heavy, so transporting the unit is easy.
  • good for pistols and smaller rifles
  • base is easy to level
  • pad's fabric tears easily
Brand Remington
Model 2199
Weight 4.3 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

5. MTM Front Rifle Rest

Its name notwithstanding, the MTM Front Rifle Rest is also a great choice for the handgun enthusiast who wants to ensure accuracy when firing his or her pistol. Its wide rubber shooting pad can comfortably support revolvers, semi-automatics, and, of course, rifle barrels.
  • lightweight and easily portable
  • great low price point
  • pad often separates from base
Brand MTM
Model FRR-30
Weight 3.3 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

4. CTK Company P3 Ultimate

The CTK Company P3 Ultimate is both long and broad, easily accommodating and stabilizing everything from a .22 long to an AR-15 to larger rifles like a .50 BMG. The three feet allow for easy leveling using its broad flower-petal shaped dials.
  • manufactured in the united states
  • marine-quality carpet on pads
  • expensive but well-made
Brand CTK Company
Model pending
Weight 9 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

3. Caldwell "The Rock" Deluxe

This Caldwell "The Rock" Deluxe rest is a lifetime purchase thanks to its durable components and precision engineering. When used in concert with a shooting bag on a table or by a shooter lying prone, it helps ensure stable, accurate shots round after round.
  • broad base for stability
  • ball bearing rotational system
  • sturdy cast iron frame
Brand Caldwell
Model 383774
Weight 9.9 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

2. Guide Gear

You will be hard pressed to find a bench rest of lower cost than this unit from Guide Gear that is still a decent piece of equipment. This lightweight and basic device is perfect for use with smaller caliber rifles or with pellet guns.
  • non-marring rubber supports
  • powder-coated finish
  • aids during rifle cleaning sessions
Brand Guide Gear
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

1. Primos "Group Therapy" Bench Anchor

The Primos "Group Therapy" Bench Anchor rest is made with a substantial all-steel frame and features studded feet that create a reliably sturdy support even when you're using a seriously high-powered long gun. The butt plate guard almost cancels out recoil.
  • ideal for sighting in new hardware
  • front and back elevation adjustments
  • great reviews from shooters
Brand Primos
Model 65452
Weight 20.4 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

The Three Main Types Of Shooting Rests

When it comes to shooting rests, you have three main styles to choose from: lead sleds, shooting bags, and front rifle rests. Each shooter will find a different type of shooting rest that best compliments their shooting style. Some shooters may find that a certain type of rest is ideal for hunting game, but use an entirely different style when practicing on the range with non-moving targets.

Lead sleds are one of the best options for reducing the possibility of human error when firing. Lead sleds are designed to completely contain a rifle. This ensures the rifle stays stable throughout the entire aiming and firing process. It also significantly lessens the recoil force the shooter feels. Lead sleds are ideal when using a scope and shooting at stationary targets, especially those far down range. The ability to make minute windage and elevation adjustments makes it is easy to hone in on a target after a couple of test shots. If live game hunting in the field, however, you may find lead sleds to be more of a hindrance than a help. Their size and weight makes them a hassle to carry on long treks. It is also difficult to make split second aim adjustments on a lead sled, since you have to fumble around with fingertip controls rather than just slightly lifting or lowering the butt of your rival.

Shooting bags are a great, relatively lightweight and compact option, making them ideal for field use. They come in a variety of sizes, materials, and styles. Depending on the style, a shooter may place a shooting bag under the butt of the rifle, under the barrel, or under their arm. You can attach many butt and barrel models directly to your gun or just toss them on the nearest surface and place your gun against them when it is time to shoot. Shooting bags aid in rifle stability and help to absorb some recoil force. Because shooting bags don't require much set up, and they only support one area of your gun, they allow you to easily adjust your aim and track moving targets.

Front rifle rests are sort of like a combination of the previous two types. They are comprised of a small stand and a bag-style barrel rest. Front rifle rests are smaller than full led sleds, but still provide a good amount of stability and recoil reduction. They will generally allow the shooter to make slight elevation and windage adjustments via the use of finger screws. Since front rifle rests don't hold the butt of the gun, it is easier to get on target and make aim adjustments more quickly than with a lead sled.

The Benefits Of Using A Shooting Rest While Hunting

Whether you choose to go with a shooting pod or shooting rest, having some type of rifle-stabilizing device offers a number of benefits to hunters. While some people view hunting as a politically incorrect and savage sport, hunters know this isn't true. It is easy to see the hypocrisy in someone who eats meat judging a person for hunting, especially considering the horrid conditions cattle and other animals in the meat industry endure. All true hunters know it is their ethical responsibility to make a good clean shot that results in a quick kill with little to no suffering. A good quality shooting rest can often mean the difference between making that shot and botching it.

Shooting rests provide shooters with a sense of stability that is almost impossible to achieve in unaided shooting. It is not uncommon for hunters to experience a surge of adrenaline when a large twelve-point buck makes an appearance. This adrenaline can easily result in shaky hands. Using a shooting rest ensures that the rifle will be steady, no matter how much the shooter's hands are trembling from excitement and adrenaline.

If sitting in the brush waiting a long time for a turkey or deer to make an appearance, a shooting rest allows you to keep the rifle set in a horizontal, ready-to-shoot position, without a lot of strain on the body. Keeping a gun in a ready-to-shoot position minimizes movement when the animal appears, reducing your chance of scaring it off and improving your odds of making a clean shot.

A Brief History Of Shooting As A Sport

Shooting isn't only done for hunting. Shooting for sport has a long history, as well. Historians have found mention of shooting for sport, rather than military pursuits, as far back as the 8th century B.C.E. Early sport shooters used bows and arrows, instead of guns, but the basic principle was the same — proving who had the most skill and could make the most accurate shots. Ancient Greeks, Indians, and Persians held archery contests to honor the gods.

Germanic people formed the first official shooting clubs that made use of firearms in either the 13th or 14th century. Competitions of the time were festive events where participants would shoot at ornately painted targets. Competitors and club members in these early competitions used either matchlock or flintlock rifles. In 1871, Civil War Colonel William C. Church and General George Wingate formed the National Rifle Association, which is today most commonly referred to as just the NRA. They were motivated to promote shooting as a sport because of the large amount of poor marksmanship they noticed during the civil war.

In 1872, the NRA established their first official shooting range on Creed Farm in Long Island. During the early 1900s, the NRA went on to found number of shooting clubs at colleges and universities across the nation. These clubs proved to be extremely popular, and it wasn't long before thousands of people were regularly practicing the art of shooting. These days, there are countless ranges scattered all across America.

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Last updated on September 21, 2017 by Steven John

When not writing or spending time with his family, Steven tries to squeeze in some mountain climbing. In addition to writing for several websites and journals, Steven has published multiple novels.

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