Anyone using a benchrest or F class style front rest?

  • I'm looking to get a benchrest style front rest for bench/range shooting. I'm finding a bipod is to inconsistent when shooting off of an icy bench or hard surface. So far in my area I can find the entry level Caldwell "the rock" front rest, and a Bald Eagle slingshot rest. Prices are $150 for the caldwell and $375 for the Bald Eagle. Is there anything else you guys could recommend that is a good entry level front rest? Looking to keep it under $500.

  • @donnie I have the Caldwell unit and it is OK once you replace the bag or put a polypropylene sled on your rifle. The return to battery hook is Meh, so make a new one or mark your position with tape. The Bald Eagle rests ARE better if you’re shooting from a single, stable position like a concrete bench but they are heavy and bulky. Truth is, I don’t want to carry any of them any further than necessary. There are excellent F-Class bipods for prone shooting that won’t pull your arm off to carry. Orkan has reviewed field bipods/tripods and the bottom line is the best ones are pricey but worth it. I’d recommend you read his reviews before deciding what to buy.

  • I have a Caldwell front rest that works with a joystick I bought for a prairie dog trip. It works pretty good but I shoot better from a bipod so I never used again after that trip.

  • I got the brownells model a couple years ago. Works pretty well for my purposes. I mainly shoot my collector silhouette smallbore rifles off it. Performs quite well in that role. I forget what my total investment was. I think somewhere around $600 by the time I got all the stuff for it. Considering a guy can get $3000 stuffed into a front rest... I consider it a solid bargain. Though I don't ask much of it, and thus am not disappointed.

    I'm certainly no authority on the subject of front rests.


  • Thanks for letting me know what you have used guys. I ended up buying the Bald Eagle slingshot. I'll report back if it improves my bench shooting. A little background......... the range I shoot at had painted plywood benches so when it is below 0 deg Celsius, the benches are like a sheet of ice. They recently installed a 1/4" sheet of rubber on the bench tops, but instead of a flat sheet, it has checker board pattern on it, so bipods catch sometimes on one side during recoil, but not the other. It causes shots to be thrown left or right, not by much but enough to turn a .3" group at 100yds to a .5" group or more. My buddy was doing load development with his 6.5CM and I was watching his bipod as he was shooting. Sure enough when one side caught in the checker pattern, it would throw a shot. I took one of my rear bags and a 2×6, and built a makeshift front rest. I was back to shooting .5 moa.

  • @donnie Could just bring a rubber mat for the top of bench. ;)

  • @orkan could try that next time. I had a microfiber cloth that I laid over the rubber pad to try, that was like shooting on ball bearings. Cardboard was not much better. Thinking also that spiked feet would rest into the rubber better than standard rubber feet. Either way, I'm designating my bolt action 308 as my target gun for next year, so going to try getting it setup to shoot off a heavy front rest. I should be getting my ATRS modern hunters soon. They have the Black Label hand guards with built in bipod, so I don't have to worry about which bipod and attachment. Hunting season is over here, so back to shooting paper and steel! Next year I'm hunting with the MH's.

  • I use a carpeted floor mat with rubber backing on the concrete benches at the range, works great with bipod. I also have a Hart front rest that I use with my bench-rest gun.

  • Well I got bored today and chopped my broken Red Head rifle rest. Couple ugly farmer welds later, boom, makeshift bench rest. This should do until the Bald Eagle gets here.
    I left the front end so I can weld a plate to it for a stop. Also the rear should clear extended mags.
    This should actually work well in the field, maybe I'll use this one for shooting in dirty conditions.