Shooting rests are essential tools for precision and convenience when hunting or hitting a target from your rifle.
Hunters can easily mount the gun on a stable shooting rest before kneeling down, to make the final adjustments to sight and optics.
Why do you need it?
A shooting rest offers essential stability and support to the firearm helping you take consistently perfect shots.
Some of the benefits of a solid shooting rest are –
- Minimize Recoil impact – Eliminating or reducing the impact of recoil will greatly safeguard the hunter from sudden injuries.
- Allow minute adjustments to eliminate user errors – To get an accurate shot it is essential to be able to focus on the target while keeping the gun stationary eliminating user error. Your firearm should be fully supported by a solid shooting platform to eliminate the pressure of gun weight or distractions.
Flexibility – A shooting rest allows hunter to take a relaxed and convenient position by adjusting the elevation of the mounted rifle to get a clear vision of the target.
1. Caldwell Steady Rest NXT Shooting Rest
From the house of Caldwell, this is the ultimate shooting rest that is reviewed very well on Amazon for its steady, elevation-adjustable platform and versatility to fit rifles, pistols and shotguns.
Available at an affordable price, its 3-piece design provides a steady platform with elevation adjustment for that perfect shot.
- Lightweight design makes it easily portable
- Super versatile, three-piece design to fit all types of weapons like rifle, handgun, crossbow, shotgun, or assault rifle
- Elevation control is easy to use and can be adjusted up to four inches
- When unit is a single piece, it allows for weight bags to be used when for greater stability
- Not ideal for high-caliber weapons
- Lack of butt guard needs you to hold the gun stock to shoulder to reduce recoil
For longer weapons, weight bags are not viable
- Does not clamp, meaning the gun can slide and lift relatively easily
- Rear rest might not work well with certain collapsible stocks
2. Primos Group Therapy Bench Anchor Adjustable Shooting Rest
Studded feet with all-steel construction makes this a rigid and reliable rest, even for the highest powered long guns. “Butt guard” virtually eliminates any recoil generated by your gun and ups your shooting performance.
- Heavy-duty all steel construction
- Adjustable elevation in both back and front for perfect alignment
- Butt guard for recoil cancellation
- Studded feet keeps the setup grounded
- Adjustable slide
- Design meant to work for both righties and lefties
- Requires weight bags
- No windage control
- Poor wheel threads
3. MTM K-Zone Shooting Rest
If you are looking for a versatile, portable and sturdy fixed shooting rest, then MTM might be right for you. It is highly adjustable allowing you to use both handgun and rifles with accuracy.
- Lightweight and easily portable design
- Extremely versatile to hold almost any kind of gun or crossbow
- Adjustable elevation control
- Can be weighted for better stability
- Extremely portable at only four pounds
- Shooting pads made of non-marring rubber to protect the firearm’s finish
- Compartments to allow adding weight with sand bags, if required
- Does not significantly reduce recoil
- Can only hold so much weight in front, making it feel less stable with high-caliber weapons
- No windage control
- Rear mount is not adjustable for elevation
4. Caldwell Lead Sled DFT
The Caldwell Dual Frame Technology (DFT) provides industry’s best recoil reduction along with versatility to fit rifles and shotguns of virtually any size. It might be a little expensive, but its lightweight sturdy design with wide range of adjustments, make the price seem more like an investment.
- Excellent recoil reduction
- Adjustable to fit all rifles and shotguns
- Ultra fine windage controls with easy elevation adjustments
- All-steel construction provides durability
- Maintains aim during adjustments
- Cannot fit large magazines
- Weight bags might tear while usage
5. Caldwell The Rock Jr Shooting Rest
This Caldwell shooting rest comes in a compact, lightweight design with a very affordable price. It has a stable cast-iron base to allow shooting from any surface. If you are looking for something easy to use, for accurate sighting-in, test firing or informal competition this could be the right shooting for you.
- Stable cast iron base provides durability
- Compact and easily portable
- Allows shooting from any surface
- Allows elevation adjustment upto 7¼”
- Affordable price
- Included front bags are of poor quality
6. CTK P3 Ultimate Shooting Rest
Manufactured in USA, P3 shooting rest comes loaded with features, accommodates any rifle and has been tested well. Heavy duty construction provides great durability. It has both long and broad design that easily fits and stabilizes most rifles.
- Solid steel construction
- Versatile design accommodates rifles, assault rifles, handgun and some crossbows
- Stable for accurate shots
- Easy levelling given its 3 leg design and dials
- Slightly expensive but good quality
- Lack of weight plate
- Does not provide good recoil reduction
7. Caldwell Dead Shot Shooting Bag Combo
If you are looking for a versatile, steady and inexpensive shooting bags for hunting or for shooting range, you won’t be disappointed with Caldwell dead shot shooting bag combo. They can be setup in any environment easily and quickly.
- Versatile design that can accommodate almost any gun
- Easily portable with two bags that can be easily linked together
- Rugged, water resistant 600 denier polyester material used in bags
- The set of bag come unfilled
- High recoil rifles may damage the bags
- The bags are not entirely waterproof too
- Though the design is portable, it is not very lightweight with a combined weight of 11 pounds
8. Vanguard Porta Aim Gun Rest
The Porta-Aim gun rest is perfect for a fast-action hunter or shooting in the field, looking for a stable and portable gun rest. The single piece design makes it very easy to carry around in a backpack. The pillow swivels 360 degrees helping you maintain focus on the target. It’s tripod design with easy elevation adjustment provide much more range of movement, when compared to shooting bags.
- Allows fast height adjustment
- Compact and solid design made out of aluminum
- Easily portable
- Versatile design fits with any firearm
- Tripod design allows setting up on wide variety of terrains
- 5-year limited warranty
- Not perfect for static testing
- Not ideal for high-caliber firearms which can make the tripod unstable
- Lack of rear stabilizer means that the gun has to be held on shoulder
9. Caldwell The Rock BR Competition Front Shooting Rest
The Rock BR is meant for accuracy-minded expert shooters looking for advanced design, precision engineering with durable components.
- Fine elevation control that allows adjustment upto 11.5 inch
- Windage cradle enables shooters for precise and easy corrections to improve accuracy using fingertips
- Sturdy cast iron design
- Also features 3-lobe bag for wide forends and a varmint front bag for sporter style forends
- Adjusting the essential settings can become tricky sometimes
- With 13lb it is not the lightest to carry around
- Though a little expensive, but given the features and accuracy it is well worth the spend
10. Guide Gear
One of the most inexpensive bench rest, the Guide Gear comes with reasonable set of features and basic design.
- Strong steel construction with powder coat finish
- Adjustable design can fit about any gun
- Non-marring rubber support protect your gun’s finish
- Ambidextrous design works for both left and right handed users
- Very lightweight design weighing 5lbs making it easily portable
- Dependable stable support for small caliber guns or pellet guns
- Not suitable for high-caliber or assault rifles
- Lack of windage control
- Not effective in reducing recoil
While the ideal product for you depends on the kind of shooting you do, you should select the rifle rest after keeping in mind the feature set, specifications and user reviews. I personally like the Steady Rest NXT Shooting Rest for its great value for price, advanced features, height adjustment, sturdy design and ability to adjust easily on any surface.