Did you know that besides shooting on elevated stands or hunting on a boat, there are other ways on how you can increase your precision and capture your game? Bench shooting is also a popular method of hunting and training your skills in accuracy and shooting. To begin this process, you will need the best shooting rest to control your gun and have it firmly gripped to your bench. But how will you know which one is best?
Read on as I show you the ultimate purchasing guide to the best shooting rest!
Quick Comparison: Top Shooting Rest
**Below, you’ll find our more detailed reviews, but you can also click the links above to see current prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.
The Top Five Best Shooting Rest
1. Editor’s Choice: Professional Caldwell Lead Sled Plus Recoil Reducing Rifle Rest
What you will like about the Professional Caldwell Rifle Rest is that it’s the best recoil reducing rest with a dual frame design and a quality alignment system you can quickly adjust. It can fit rifles and shotguns of almost any size!
The shooting rest has detailed windage and elevation adjustment with just the tip of your fingers. Though it weighs 24 pounds, it has better weight dispersion and is still easy to carry around when in the field. I also love that it stays in your optimal shooting position while preventing any stock shift while shooting. The rear foot in the rest will also help right contact on any surfaces you place the rest on. All in all, a quality investment!
- Reduces recoil excellently
- Stays on any surfaces
- Fits almost any rifle or gun
- Easy to assemble
- No problems with control and adjustment
- Using barbell weights might have it slip sometimes
- It will take more time adding the weights
2. The Runner-Up with Best Adjustment: Caldwell Lead Sled DFT
Caldwell is known for its reputable shooting supplies, and the Lead Sled DFT is no exception! While the Lead Sled Plus Recoil Reducing Rifle Rest is optimum for no wobbles and versatility in gun compatibility, the Caldwell Lead Sled DFT offers the similar features with the weight capacity of a hundred pounds! This means that it can fit almost any type of rifle and shotgun without the risk of damaging your stock or scope.
It’s very comfortable to use and will absorb the recoil well. The rest is rock split and recommended for those who want to get zeroed as soon as they fire their weapons.
- Simple and easy to use
- Compatible with many rifles and shotguns
- Incredible range of adjustment
- Can hold up to a hundred pounds
- Solid build and made to last
- Expensive price
- A bit difficult to keep it still when shooting
- Thick barbells won’t fit
3. The Upgrade That Reduces Recoil Excellently: Caldwell Lead Sled FCX Shooting Rest
Caldwell again? Yes, because this brand will always offer the bang for your buck, as they are the best and continue to create quality shooting rests that lessen the recoil while delivering excellent performance to match. Though the Lead Sled FCX may be a bit over some budgets of hunters and shooters, it is worth the investment because it has the ultimate recoil reduction and crosshair alignment.
Caldwell promises to reduce the recoil to up to 95%, and it’s true! I was amazed at its performance and how comfortable it felt to use. It also offers full control of windage and elevation while delivering the accuracy potential you need quickly and with precision. With machined gears and racks to function smoothly, you are assured that your money will not go to waste with Caldwell.
- Fast and precise crosshair alignment
- Easy to assemble and adjust
- Almost no recoil felt
- Solid built but average weight for comfort
- Cool design and solid construction
- More expensive price
- Joystick isn’t great when used with AR style
4. The Best For Your Money: MTM K-Zone Shooting Rest
If you are looking for something affordable but still with solid construction and performance, then the K-Zone Shooting Rest is the best choice for you. It is fully-adjustable and has the precision dialed screw pedestals to position your weapon exactly where it should be for precision and accuracy. The shooting pads are made out of non-marring rubber for both rest and weapons to avoid any scratches and damage to it. It can also be adjusted for various-sized weapons and offer heavy weight performance. The huge plus to it all? It only weighs four pounds!
For affordability, a lightweight body, and performance worth more than what it’s priced at, it’s ideal for beginners and those on a budget.
- Affordable price
- Very lightweight for carrying
- Easy to assemble and adjust
- Not flimsy and built to last
- Can fit pistols and some rifles
- Needs a lot more weight
- Lowering mechanism needs improvement
5. The Comfortable and Versatile Shooting Rest: Primos Group Therapy Bench Anchor Adjustable Shooting Rest
If you are looking for a quality and affordable shooting rest that is versatile and with the solid construction one will be able to appreciate, then the Primos Shooting Rest has everything you need without the hefty price tag. I love the fact that it works for both right and left-handed shooters, with good alignment to fit many types of weapons. It even has a soft touch grip for comfortable adjustment of elevation and coarse.
As for recoil, it has a butt-plate that does the job excellently, so you feel little to no shaking or impact. And with a shooting bag and accessory tray, it’s easier to bring around when hunting!
- Comes with an accessory bag
- Ideal for left or right-handed hunters
- Little recoil felt
- Solid steel construction
- Difficult to assemble
- Rear buttstock holder is too wide
- Isn’t made in the USA
What Is Bench Shooting?
Now that you know all about the best shooting rest and what you should invest in, then it’s time to get on with the basics for those who are still unfamiliar with the idea of bench shooting and how the shooting rest came to be.
Bench shooting is used for rifles and shotguns, where one is sitting on the bench, holding and aiming his rifle towards the target. It isn’t only a game sport or competition, but can also be used for hunting deer and harmless game, as it provides better precision and accuracy without you or your gun wobbling.
The shooting rest is a major part of bench shooting, which is what guns rest on. The rest is laid on top of the bench you are shooting on, then equipped with your rifle for your weapon to stay steady while you take your a rim and shoot. It’s similar to using a camera and tripod to keep the photo steady and clear, taking the perfect shot!
Benefits of Bench Shooting and Using a Shooting Rest
But why should one go for bench shooting and use a rest for it anyway? What good can it do for your accuracy and targeting? Here are the benefits one can reap when using a shooting rest, whether they are hunting or training:
Accuracy and Precision
When hunting in open terrain, accuracy and precision are required. A quality shooting rest will help you take your target with the better precision that hours of practice won’t be able to do because the weight and impact are away from your body. You have the steady hold and a better chance of a clear shot.
The main advantage of the shooting rest is that it provides optimum adjustability without the worry of losing your accuracy or target. You can slowly or quickly move it around with either a turn or push of a button. Plus, since it’s lightweight, you won’t feel any discomfort while adjusting.
What I appreciate about the shooting rest is that there is no wobble or discomfort while I use it. Like what I said, there is minimal shaking and weight involved. Plus, no recoil so I am comfortable the entire time when bench shooting.
How to Choose the Best Shooting Rest
So now that you know all about what a shooting rest can do for you, how will you know if the product you want is the best for you and your gun? To help you purchase the quality shooting rest, here are some tips and factors to consider when doing so:
No matter what type of hunting tool you buy, you will need to make sure that it is made out of quality material and with the strength to last for years of usage. The shooting rest is no different. It shouldn’t only work for a long time, but it should work excellently without quickly deteriorating. The performance should still be as great as you first got it, as long as you do proper maintenance and care, of course.
Ease of Use
The shooting rest shouldn’t only be easily adjustable and lightweight enough for you to move around with, but it should also take no time or effort setting it up or folding it back into its original state. You’ll want to make sure that your shooting rest can be brought anywhere without the heavy weight on your shoulders or arms.
Price and Reputation
Sure, you may want to get the best of the best and splurge, but consider your budget as well. Don’t be fooled by the price and get something very pricey, but you will need to do your research to understand the real cost of the product you are getting. It’s best to search up on the brand’s reputation and legitimate customer reviews (like this one!) to help you get the right price range.
Tips on How to Bench Shoot
Once you have considered purchasing and invested in the best shooting rest from the products I mentioned above, it’s now time learning about how to use it to take advantage of the benefits truly it has to offer. To help beginners and improve the skills of advanced hunters, here are some tips on how to bench shoot:
- Before installing the rifle on your shooting rest, inspect both the rest and weapon first. Ensure that everything is clean and the screws are tight. Run the gun reloads to make sure that it is loaded and will feed and chamber with ease.
- The rest you use must raise your sights to one’s eye level while you are relaxed with an erect head position. You should not be straining, so you should adjust the shooting rest according to your comfort and correct positioning.
- Do not rest the barrel against a hard surface or it will shoot high.
- Don’t lean on the rifle too much, as it will change its impact after shooting due to the pressure you put into it.
- After you have made your shot, slide your rifle forward and pull it back for it to return to its original firing position, moving in the similar direction it would when under recoil.
Here is an excellent video on using a shooting rest:
Through exploring the various ways on how you can shoot and add precision without the recoil, you will be able to achieve goals and capture game without the hassle. Bench shooting may not be a new method of hunting or shooting, but it should still be tried and tested to enhance one’s skill in the field, no matter how amateur or advanced they are. And the best shooting rest will be able to help them out with that!
Out of all the shooting rests I have tried and tested, the best one would have to go to the Professional Caldwell Lead Sled Plus Recoil Reducing Rifle Rest. With the value for money and the innovative and adjustable weight tray slides, you can accommodate many types of weights without the wobble and recoil. It keeps your gun straight on the target while giving you the control. And you won’t need to worry about your hands shaking or the gun moving!
With Caldwell as one of the most popular and reputable brands of shooting supplies out there, you are assured reduced recoil and better results with this shooting rest.
I hope that this article on the best shooting rest helped you become more knowledgeable on what you should invest in when hunting or training. So don’t wait any longer and start making the right purchases to improve your hunting skills today.
If you have any questions or would like to share your tips and experiences when using a shooting rest, then comment down below. I would love to hear what you have to think.