Lead Sled for Accuracy Testing?


Crazy Fingers
October 20, 2008, 12:29 PM
I have been using my lead sled to try to measure accuracy of my rifles with me out of the picture. I am beginning to believe it's not the best tool for the job. It is fiddly, and I just can't ever seemed to get it lined up on the target perfectly without twisting and forcing the stock/rifle one way or another.

The final straw came yesterday, when my friend was shooting his FN PBR (which previously was shooting 1/4" groups at 100 yards off sandbags) and couldn't get it to do better than 1" at 100 yards with the same ammunition and similar weather. Interestingly enough, none of the handloads I have developed for my rifles ever do better than 1" as well.

What do you think about this thing? Sandbags or Lead Sled?

If you enjoyed reading about "Lead Sled for Accuracy Testing?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
October 20, 2008, 12:31 PM
If you set the rifle properly at it's NPOA on the center of the target each time, you shouldn't have any problems with it. I haven't had any experience with a led sled, but as long as there is nothing putting an excess of force on the stock to the point it touches the barrel, I can't see how it would be less accurate.

Crazy Fingers
October 20, 2008, 12:37 PM
That's the problem though, it's almost impossible to get it to its natural point of aim. When you fire, the recoil moves the rubber feet just a little bit (which stick to the bench) and then you have to move, jiggle, shake, twist, bang, and fight the damn thing to get it back to the target at all, much less with no twisting going on the stock. :banghead:

El General
October 20, 2008, 01:01 PM
Have you got it weighted?

Crazy Fingers
October 20, 2008, 03:31 PM
Yep, usually between 50 and 75 lbs on it.

Float Pilot
October 20, 2008, 05:31 PM
Please note that by putting excessive weight on a lead sled, that you are keeping the rifle basically locked into a vice type arraignment. So ALL the recoil is being taken up inside your stock. I have seen three different rifles end up with cracked stocks this year alone due to the use of lead sleds with excessive weight loads.

If you have an 8 pound rifle and you place it into an empty lead sled, you now have 18 to 20 pounds of mass slowing the recoil forces. This still allows the rifle to recoil into your shoulder where your 200 pound body can slow the remaining recoil while still letting it move.

You are placing 50 to 75 pounds of weight onto the 10 pound lead sled.
Thus you cannot move the whole thing around very well on the bench and you are going to endanger the stock-action mating.

Out of curiousity, what caliber and rifle type? A lightweight mountain rifle in a super heavy lead sled is a sure fire way to spit a stock.

October 20, 2008, 05:32 PM
Unless you buy a full-fledged machine rest, anything you use will have to be moved back into position for the next shot! That's just a fact of life.

October 20, 2008, 06:51 PM
That's just a fact of life.

An unhappy fact of life but, as dmickey so eloquently put it, a fact of life it is. :(

.38 Special
October 20, 2008, 06:56 PM
Benchrest shooters shoot their point-zero-something groups with a front rest and a rear sandbag. So that's always been good enough for me.

October 20, 2008, 08:18 PM
Sandbags are hard to beat unless you get a VERY good rest and rear bag. You are seeing the downside to the leadsled. They are cumbersome to adjust and put mucho stress on your stock. I wouldn't shoot anything on the leadsled. Sandbags have a greater potential for accuracy IMO. Really if you don't mind hauling the bags around they work very well. I even shot the first couple matches of benchrest with bags before I could afford a really good Sinclair front rest.

October 21, 2008, 01:46 AM
I just use my "shooting" bag with a rolled up towel inside, never had a problem. It's really just a small canvas luggage bag with a towel inside, simple and effective.

If you enjoyed reading about "Lead Sled for Accuracy Testing?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!