To improve the accuracy of the gun a wide variety of the accessories are available, but until the gun is stable, no amount of accessories would improve the shot. For that, you require shooting rest. How do you choose the best shooting rest? If you are in a hurry go with the editor’s choice Caldwell Stinger. And if you want something different go through the list of seven shooting rest which is created after 52 hours of research and consulting eight gun experts.
1. Caldwell Stinger Adjustable Ambidextrous – Best For AR15
- DIMENSIONS: 29 inches L x 13 inches W with 3 inch front elevation and 3.5 inches of gun fit adjustment
- ACCURACY: With a “no wobble” elevation system, cam-over front rest locks, rigid steel tube frame, rear fine...
- NON-DESTRUCTIVE: This rest features a skeletonized front rest and a rear cradle made all with non-marring material that...
The Caldwell Stinger is designed for rifles. Among all the shooting rests that we have tested, the design and the stability it provides is unmatched. Another thing that works for this device is the weight. It is very light compared to most of the devices that we had selected for testing. So that you can carry it around on your hunt.
We were pretty much impressed by the frame. It uses steel tube frames. It not only provides the whole setup stability but the conservative design makes it much lighter. We fired many shots and used ammunition for maximum recoil to see how the whole set upholds up. The best thing is the gun hardly moved off the rest.
2. MTM K-Zone KSR-30 – Most Portable
- K-Zone Shooting Rest is a fully adjustable rugged rifle and handgun shooting rest
- Precision dialed screw pedestal adjusts forearm level for exact positioning.
- Front and rear shooting pads are made of non-marring rubber
Most of the users own both rifles as well as handguns. Hence, they also want a shooting rest that can handle both kinds of weapons. Out of all the rests we had selected, MTM K-Zone Shooting Rest KSR-30 has the best design and performance. It is equally good with a rifle as well as a pistol. The best part is that you can mount gun of any size on this rest because it is fully adjustable.
The shooting rest weight only 4 lbs. It is among the lightest shooting rest we have tested in our lab. We also used it in different conditions to see if it can withstand dirt and water. The frame and the body worked perfectly in rough conditions.
3. Caldwell Zeromax – Best In Budget
- DIMENSIONS: 23 inches L x 12 inches W
- ACCURACY: With a durable tube steel frame and elevation adjustment this is a rock-solid shooting base for rifles and...
- NON-DESTRUCTIVE: This rest features a non-marring, filled, medium varmint front bag and a ballistic nylon rear rest that...
Caldwell is one of the most popular manufactures of gun accessories. The Caldwell shooting rest is one of the most basic rest you can get for your rifle. Though there is nothing fancy about the rest but the built quality is amazing and provides great stability to the rifle of any size and shape. And even the setup is quick.
You can use the rest on the flat as well as uneven surfaces because of the adjustment knobs at the foot. They are easy to adjust. However, we felt that plastic caps for the screws could easily break if the rest is not handled carefully and without these caps, the screws will go into the ground making it difficult to set a stable base.
4. Caldwell Steady NXT- Best For All Guns
- Dimensions: 27 inches L x 10 inches W with 3 inches of vertical cradle adjustment. Front section is 11 inches L
- Accuracy: With vertical adjustability, a soft front cradle and rear cradle and a neoprene hand support, this rest is...
- Non-destructive: The rugged construction of this rest makes it virtually impervious to the elements. This rest also...
With so many varieties of guns out there having a shooting rest that supports all is hard to find. Out of all the selection we had for testing, Caldwell Steady Rest NXT is another rest that supports rifle, and handguns. But the sturdy and non-destructive design supports shotguns too. The rear cradle and front rest are connected by a removable bridge.
All the adjustment knobs are conveniently placed to allow the user to adjust the height while the gun is mounted. The front rest has both knob and dial for perfect alignment. Even the rest is padded with soft material, so the weapons are not harmed in any way.
We used all kinds of the gun with the Caldwell Steady Rest NXT. You will love the rest if you get the hang of it. But if you want constantly change between guns, probably end up hating it. And we believe it is the best pistol rest for coyote hunting.
5. Caldwell Matrix Adjustable Ambidextrous – Best Adjustable
- DIMENSIONS: 23 inches L x 19 inches W with 4.5 inches of overall length adjustment
- ACCURACY: With a spring-loaded tension mechanism and height adjustment knob, a wobble free front cradle and multiple...
- NON-DESTRUCTIVE: This rest features an over-molded front and rear cradle with non-marring material that will securely...
We talked about how the Caldwell Steady Rest NXT is in three sections and takes time to adjust for different guns. The Caldwell Matrix Adjustable solves that issue with the adjustable u-channel frame. With the Matrix shooting rest, you can cycle between two different guns with ease. It doesn’t take much time to adjust the length. Even the front rest uses spring-loaded adjustment knob which is much faster than a dial mechanism.
The built quality is the same as the Caldwell Steady Rest NXT. It uses the over-molded rear cradle and front rest. Also uses non-marring material which secures any gun without damaging it at any point of contact during recoil action or even on safety mode.
6. HYSKORE 1003629 Gas Dampened DLX – Top Precision
- Item Package Dimensions: 20.32 L X 43.18 W X 66.04 H (Cm)
- Product Type: Sporting Goods
- Item Package Weight: 9.321 kgs
All the shooting rests we have mentioned secure the gun, but when precision shooting is required, you need a shooting rest specifically designed for it. The HYSKORE 1003629 probably one of the best shooting rest for that kind of job. For shooting precision, it outscores all the shooting rest in our lab.
As far as the built quality is concerned, it’s good but not that great when compared to the shooting rest we have reviewed. When we were assembling the rest, we observed that there few places were rubber is used, it has been glued. It is quite possible; it would come off after a few weeks of use. The overall weight of the rest is 13 lbs. Compared to other shooting rest it is on the heavier side making it a less portable option.
7. Caldwell 7 Rest Adjustable Ambidextrous – Most Durable
- DIMENSIONS: 24 inches L x 12 inches W
- ACCURACY: With independently adjustable front and rear cradles, length adjustment and two independent front leveling...
- NON-DESTRUCTIVE: This rest features front and rear cradles with over molded, non-marring material that will securely...
If you are not a fan of something fancy, you might light Caldwell 7 Rest Adjustable Ambidextrous. Probably it is most basic shooting rest you can get. There is nothing much to worry about. You get straightforward knobs and pivot joint to accommodate different types of gun. It is more suitable for rifles.
Though it is basic, you can adjust the knobs even when the gun on the rest. During our test, we used several types of gun. The precision is not the best you can work with rest if you as the shooter has a good aim.
Buyer’s Guide- What To Consider While Buying?
Buying a perfect shooting rest for your weapon requires you to know things that make up the a top class shooting rest. We have used these factors for our research and tests different shooting rest. They also help you find your right shooting rest. Let’s look at them one by one:
There are several types of rests out there, but generally, they are differentiated into four types—Lead Sled, shooting pods, shooting table and shooting pods.
The lead sled is the most effective shooting rest. We had all types of shooting rests but when we compiled the list of top seven performers all were a lead sled. This type of shooting rests is designed to contain or hold a weapon. When enhanced, it can also reduce the recoil of rifle or pistol allowing the user to hit the targets more accurately. Especially when you are using sniper class rifles, you want the rests that improve accuracy. HYSKORE 1003629 Gas Dampened DLX is the best example of it.
There are generally three types of pods—field pods, bipods, and tripods. Just like there it is like stand where you rest the barrel of the gun and rest of the gun is supported by your body. Such shooting rests are suitable only for long guns. We wouldn’t recommend you to get this kind of rests if you are looking for accuracy. However, shooting pods are best shooting rest for hunting as they are portable and allow you to change the aim much quicker.
As the name suggests, they are in the form of a bench or table where you set your whole weapon. Shooting table may also require a lead sled to secure the gun as some bench does not have all the features to secure the gun. Shooting table is not that portable compared to lead sled or pods.
Much like other shooting range, the bags are designed to absorb recoil. Usually, they are a kit of two bags. One to rest the front and others to rest the rear. We feel they are good only for making the gun more stable but does not secure the gun as a lead sled does or shooting bench does. These are the best pistol shooting rests.
When you compare all type of shooting rests, best out all are the lead sled types as they provide much more stability and also keep the gun secure. Also, they are designed in such a way that you don’t have to lift the gun while changing the magazine.
2. Adjustment knobs
To adjust the gun to the best possible position for suiting, most of the shooting rest uses adjustment knobs. You will find top shooting rests have an adjustment on the front rest. Either they have a dial or simple knobs to adjust. One thing you have to be mindful, it is the position of the knobs. You don’t want to take your hands off the trigger or the gun to adjust the knobs. Hence, they should be within the reach while you are in shooting position.
3. Front and Rear Rest
The front rest and the rear cradle are the usually the part which is in contact with the gun. You want these parts to have padding, so that gun is not harmed. Usually, when the gun is fired, it recoils. If these parts are not well padded, they will scratch the gun coating. Another, thing you have to take care is who well the gun is secured at these points. If the gun is not tight, it might wobble or move while firing, thus compromising the aim.
Shooting rests are usually used in outdoor conditions. You want a unit that can withstand dirt, water, impact, etc. Good shooting rests are made of steel or heavy duty plastics. Caldwell Stinger is one of the most durable shooting rest we have on our list. It uses steel tubes which are not only durable as well as light.
How We Conduct Tests?
We selected 26 different shooting rests which are best sellers or most popular. With the help of seller and experts, we narrowed down these 26 shooting rests. Once we acquired each shooting rest, we determined the parameters for testing each model. These parameters included durability, stability, portability, and versatility.
Based on these parameters, we designed several tests. We made sure we used all types of weapon including a crossbow. We also hired an experienced shooter to make sure there is a minimum human error while testing each model. We also made sure every measuring tool we use are well calibrated and accurate. In addition to tests, we also scanned several review sites and contacted existing users to know their experience with the shooting rest.
After considering all test results, expert views and user reviews, we asked our team to score each model on the three most important parameter—stability, durability, and portability. After calculating the overall score, we sorted the best shooting rests out 26 rests. Here is the scorecard:
|Caldwell Steady||96.3||96.2||96.5||96.3||Check Price|
|HYSKORE 1003629||97.2||95.4||96.1||96.2||Check Price|
We have made sure that we test each shooting rest in every possible way. So that you can get the right shooting rest. However, even before you take a look at our list, you will have to determine your requirement and budget. Without it, you won’t be able to narrow it down to units that are best for you. If you have any doubts about how to choose the right shooting rest, you can always take a look at our comprehensive buyer’s guide.