Lead sled vs. Bags vs. Tripod vs. ?

Discussion in 'Long Gun Accessories and Optics' started by BigBL87, Sep 10, 2021.

  1. BigBL87

    BigBL87 Member

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    So, I've kind of been wanting to try wanting to try something different as far as a rifle rest when shooting. Right now my options are:

    Caldwell Matrix rest

    Caldwell Deadshot front and rear bags

    Bipod w/ the Caldwell rear bag

    I'm mainly tossing around getting something like a Lead Sled Solo as a rest or a BOG Fieldpod since the heaviest caliber I shoot is 308. My biggest frustration with the Matrix is it's hard to be precise with vertical adjustment, side to side adjustment is non existent aside from moving the rest itself, and it requires a table. The table thing is just more of an annoyance with having to move the picnic table around at my in-laws when we shoot.

    I feel like an actual lead sled would solve 2 out of 3 of my annoyances (would still require a table) as would the Fieldpod (easier side to side adjustment and no table needed, but still not the finest vertical adjustment). The Fieldpod would also be useful with coyote hunting, I already have a Deathgrip tripod but having a Fieldpod would make life easier on whoever I take with me too. I'm not looking for benchrest type accuracy, just something to make zeroing a little easier and shooting just a little more convenient.

    Mainly just looking for everyone's experience with the options out there to help with shooting stability.
     
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  2. The Glockodile

    The Glockodile Member

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    I have some reservations against using Lead Sleds...

    ...Personal speculation.

    I feel that a rifle needs to recoil against a soft shoulder - having the action absorb the brunt of the energy, particularly when scopes are involved, may not be such a good idea.

    That being said, I did use one veeery early on for load development - and all my rifles and scopes haven't shattered into a million pieces.
     
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  3. CoalCrackerAl

    CoalCrackerAl Member

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    I have a lead sled. I don't like it. I prefer to use a bi-pod and rear bag. To zero in and for bench shooting. I find the lead sled cumbersome.
     
  4. Hugger-4641

    Hugger-4641 Member

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    I use my Lead Sled for certain tasks and situations, but if I want precision, I use bags or bipod and rear bag.
    The Lead Sled is fine for simple Chronograph testing and getting on paper with a new scope, but it doesn't allow you to nest the rifle in your shoulder properly and causes you lean your head over a little further. This causes you to get a slightly different cheek weld, eye relief, trigger grip, and arm position than you get using bags. That slight difference can make a difference.
    Bags may be a little more hassle to adjust for vertical hold, but will give you a closer hold, cheek weld , etc.. to what you have when you shoot free hand or from a blind. For me bags help keep a more consistent shooting technique.
    Can I shoot accurately from a Lead Sled? Absolutely, just not as naturally or comfortably as from bags.
     
  5. champ0608

    champ0608 Member

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    Sling!

    wGdp2bEl.jpg
     
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  6. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    If we look at what gear is used to shoot the smallest groups in the world, or the farthest distances, we see mechanical fixtures - not sleds which cradle stocks - as the smallest shooters, machine rests with rear bags behind them, and then rifles on bipods and rear bags. Nary in any of that are one piece cradles like the Lead Sled. Lead Sleds have made a lot of money for gunsmiths over the years, breaking stocks, optic mounts, and optics, as well as frustrated many shooters by forcing unnatural shooting positions which cannot be replicated without the sled.

    I have not found the rifle bracket type tripod mounts to be sufficiently stable, and they’re bulkier than they need to be. There’s no additional stability provided compared to a Hog Saddle or Arca mount on the rifle which clamps directly to the tripod, honestly not any more stability than a bag on top of a tripod, and more bulk to pack around. Shooting from a tripod isn’t all whine and roses, but if you need to sit or stand, a tripod is the most stable option. My solution for this is a Leofoto LN-364c tripod with an RRS TA3 Leveling Base, or for longer portage, a Leofoto LS-365c tripod with Leo LH-40 ballhead, and Area419 ArcalLock rails on my rifles.

    For any area which allows it, a shooting mat, bipod, and rear bag are portable and versatile.
     
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  7. BigBL87

    BigBL87 Member

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    So, seems like a good rear bag would be my best bet. Any recommendations? The Caldwell one is a bunny-ears style that I havent found particularly useful, usually seems too short and doesn't allow me much adjustment ad fsr as the butt of the rifle goes.
     
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  8. CoalCrackerAl

    CoalCrackerAl Member

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    I use the bunny ear style with a 6-9 inch bi-pod. I adjust both according to the target. The rear bag i slide along the stock to get it where needed. Sometimes ill turn it on its side too.
     
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  9. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    Bench Box 2.JPG

    Fire Forming Lapua 6 BR into 6 Dasher Pic 1.jpg

    Impact 6 Dasher on Bench Pic 1.jpg
     
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  10. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    Bald Eagle Rest-Edgewood Rear Bag-Lightweight 5.56 Upper-Trijicon RMR 6MOA Dot Pic 1.JPG
     
  11. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    Lead sleds will break stocks, even from moderate recoiling rifles in the 30-06 class.

    Personally I'm just as interested in how well I shoot as how well the rifle shoots. At the range I'll use sandbags or a bipod attached to the rifle to get it zeroed. But when practicing for hunting like to practice from field positions. Where I hunt there are lots of trees that I often utilize for support.

    To replicate that at the firing range I often use one of the 4X4 posts supporting the roof instead of a tree. I practice with shooting sticks as well. There aren't many places where I hunt to get prone and use my day pack like sandbags. But where practical that is very effective.

    No, I can't shoot groups as small as I could with a mechanical device. But I'm not taking a mechanical device hunting.
     
  12. CoalCrackerAl

    CoalCrackerAl Member

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    Lead sled good for holding rifle while mounting a scope and bore sighting. :D
     
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  13. Hugger-4641

    Hugger-4641 Member

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    When I do use lead sled, I don't use any weights so it is free to slide on the bench. I also don't use the straps.
    As Coalcracker said, the "V" or "ears" style bags work great with a short bipod. Sliding the bag fowards or back under the butt gives you quite a bit of vertical adjustment
     
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  14. BigBL87

    BigBL87 Member

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    My bipod is a 9"-13" so I'll need a little extra height it seems. I found 6-9" bipods just a shade too low for me (I'm 6'5" which probably had alot to do with that).
     
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  15. LoonWulf
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    LoonWulf Contributing Member

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    The only useful part of Primos "leadsled" variant....

    IMG_20210910_163940_762.jpg


    Still doesn't get used much, as I prefer to shoot off my pods for the most part.
     
  16. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    Bipod height from prone is typically more a function of neck mobility rather than height, and a little to do with “height laying down.” I shoot a couple matches each year with a guy who is 7’6”, and one of my brother-in-law’s best friends I shoot with a few times a year is 7’3”. They both get behind 6-9” bipods just fine (at least on flat ranges - uphill with 6-9” can run anyone out of leg).
     
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  17. CoalCrackerAl

    CoalCrackerAl Member

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  18. Hugger-4641

    Hugger-4641 Member

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    Ok, then, as you said, I would just go with a larger rear bag. A pivot for the bipod could help to give a little more flexibility if you don't already have one.
     
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  19. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    If you have a rest that doesn’t allow the gun to flop all over the place, actually firing and zeroing it, takes a little over half of this one minute video. Worth noting that the 3 subsequent shots, although still a little low (where the crosshair was setting for the first shot), all went into the same hole.

     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2021
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  20. Sniper66

    Sniper66 Member

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    For what it's worth, I've attended a number of swap meets featuring all manner of gun stuff. I've seen several lead sleds for sale....very cheap. My brother gave his to me and after trying it, I sold it at one of the swap meets.....very cheap.
     
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  21. Nature Boy
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    Nature Boy Contributing Member

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    I’d give mine away too if someone local wanted it.

    To say a led sled is useless wouldn’t be accurate. They are actually less than useless as I can shoot tighter groups with bags fore and aft than I can using a led sled
     
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  22. DMW1116

    DMW1116 Member

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    I use a Matrix test and have come to like it. I either use just the front with a rear bag filled with rice or keep it together. I have not found the lack of windage to be a real hindrance. I’m left handed so when using the front half by itself I turn it so the elevation knob is on the right.
     
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