Well-built, comfortable and affordable
Even the most dyed-in-the-wool hunters have to spend some time at the shooting range. Whether we need to sight in a new rifle or scope, experiment with some new ammunition, or just want to practice, we’ll all do some bench shooting from time to time. Bench shooting (the term for shooting from a bench or table while in a sitting position and the rifle at least partially rested on sandbags or the equivalent) can be fun, but it can also grow tedious, especially if you don’t have the right shooting accessories. Some of the “right stuff” comes from Caldwell Shooting Supplies, a subsidiary of the shooting accessory giant Battenfeld Technologies of Colombia, MO.
Caldwell makes a variety of shooting rests and stands. For my front rest, I chose the Rock, because it’s solid and well-made, it features quick adjustments, and once it’s put in place, it stays there. I also got the 8″ extension center post, as I’m of above-average height and I get tired of crouching too much at the shooting bench.
As the Rock doesn’t come with a bag rest, I ordered their Deluxe Universal front rest to cradle the stock of the rifle. Caldwell’s bags, by the way, can be ordered pre-filled (with sand, I presume). While the convenience is a plus, I have to think that shipping at today’s rates is going to make that some rather expensive sand.
For the rear, I got their Deluxe Universal extended rear bag. The “extended” means that it holds the gunstock another 4″ higher than the standard bag, to work well with the extension center post. Once this rear bag is filled with sand it probably weighs about 15 pounds, and makes for a solid anchor at the rear end of the gun. The no-slip bottom of this bag helps ensure that it doesn’t slide out from under the gun.
I’ve been using these Caldwell products for over a year now, and they still look and perform like new. The bags are made of a heavy-duty woven nylon with leather pads where it touches the gun. The Rock is made out of cast iron and is well-finished to prevent surface corrosion. I can’t say that these products make me a better shot, but they definitely give me one fewer concern to think about when I’m bench shooting.