The 4 Best Shooting Rests – Reviews of Rifle & Handgun Supports

best shooting rest, best rifle shooting rest

Photo by bk1bennett / CC BY

Shooting rests, since the earliest days of firearms, folks have looked for something to make them more accurate. Rests range from the complicated tripods used by machine gunners today to the walls of the Alamo that men fought on for Texas independence.

Most of us need a rest to increase our accuracy and to pull the most potential we can from our weapon. That being said, a rest should be strong and dependable and should hold up to the stress and recoil of powerful firearms. The best shooting rests should also be convenient to use in a multitude of environments.

Caldwell Deadshot Shooting bag combo

A good set of sandbags has long been the field improvised method of making a shooting rest. I used it in the Marines, and I’m sure the snipers from Vietnam and the World Wars made use of it too. It’s been around for so long simply because it works so well. Caldwell took advantage of this and decided to form a more perfect mouse trap.

The Deadshot Shooting combo is two bags filled with corn granules and complete with solid stitching and a grip surface for your rifle. I found the stitching to be excessive even, but this will guarantee a long life for the bags. The advantage of the Deadshot bags is the fact they can be adapted to any length of rifle or shotgun. Another advantage is the fact the front bag can be used for most large pistols as well.

Another advantage is they can be used anywhere. All it takes is a bit of earth to hold them. The front end of the Deadshot bags has a grip surface platform to better hold your weapons and ensure they do not slip at the wrong moment. It’s important to remember these bags are made for traditional rifles and shotguns, not the larger 50 and 416 caliber rifles. The Deadshot bags are simple and are attached with an excellent price. This is among the best rifle shooting rests—that also works for handguns too!

Caldwell® DeadShot® Shooting Bags

Caldwell Lead Sled Plus

When you absolutely positively need perfection, the Caldwell Lead sled is the best option you got. The Lead sled is a not some small little shooting rest to be trifled with. In fact, the Caldwell Lead sled is one of the greatest shooting rests there is for precision.

The Lead sled is all metal construction and designed to withstand powerful magnum rounds. The Lead sled allows for reduced recoil of up to 90%. This thing turns magnums into kitty cats. The Lead Sled is perfect for high volume shooting of powerful rounds and is sturdy enough to handle it.

The Lead Sled reduces recoil by allowing the application of different weight systems. The Lead Sled can accept dumbbell weights, lead shot weights, and sandbags to secure it. The system itself is hefty, at 15 pounds by itself.

The Lead Sled features precision elevation and windage adjustments that can be done with a single hand, with the weapon always in the shoulder. The Lead sled is perfect for rifles and shotguns and permits all day shooting. The only downside I can think off is that it cannot work with standard capacity 30 round magazines popular on AR rifles. Other than that the Lead Sled is just one of the best shooting rests period.

Caldwell Lead Sled 3

Caldwell Pistolero Handgun Shooting rest

Handguns are becoming more and more modular as the years progress. Some years ago, the thought of adjustable sights on a combat handgun was foolish, and some years ago no one would have imagined miniature red dots on Glocks becoming insanely popular. Yet, to squeeze every ounce of performance from your sights and your weapon, you need a solid shooting rest.

The Caldwell Pistolero is one such rest. It’s built to be both compact and lightweight so it can be thrown into a range bag without adding much heft. The Pistolero only weighs a pound and half and is 8 inches wide and 15 inches long. The Pistolero rest can be used with both automatics and revolvers, and can be adjusted to fit most sizes of guns. However, one size that does not work well with it is snub nose revolvers and sub-compact automatics.

The Caldwell Pistolero is completely adjustable for windage and elevation with a simple one-handed adjustment system. The windage is adjustable 5 inches and the elevation is adjustable to 3 inches. The locking system is amazing. Simply put once it’s locked, it’s locked. There is no wiggle or slide, or anything. This is critical for a shooting rest, any movement can destroy your sight picture and throw your shot. The Caldwell Pistolero is a brilliant pistol rest for the money.

Review: Caldwell Pistolero Handgun Rest

Caldwell Deadshot Field Pod

The Deadshot Field pod is a bit different from the other rests we have talked about. The previous shooting rests are designed to be used on the range in static positions, for target shooting and sighting in optics essentially. The Deadshot Field Pod is designed to be used in the field, for a practical purpose.

The Deadshot Field Pod is adjustable for the hunter or shooter to be in a variety of different positions. The Field Pod is adjustable from 22 inches up to 42 inches, the standard heights for a shooter sitting on the ground, or in a chair. The field pod is compatible with shotguns, rifles, and even crossbows. In fact, it can accommodate the standard mags for an AR platform rifle.

The Field Pod is not constricted to hunting blinds or solitary locations. The Field Pod can be folded up into a compact platform that can be thrown in a pack and carried with ease. The Field Pod is made from a variety of lightweight material that allows it to be both strong but easy to carry. The shooting rest can swivel up, down, left and right, as well adjust on the fly.

The Deadshot Field pod is perfect for the blind hunter and the prairie hunter. The fact that it can work with AR 15s and standard capacity 30 round mags made it a perfect rest for a day of prairie dog shooting, especially for new or younger shooters. The Deadshot Field Pod is one of the best shooting rests, in general, and is made all the better by the fact it has a real world shooting use.

Parting Shots (No Pun Intended)

The use of a shooting rest to improve accuracy is nothing new and has been used since the days of muskets. We just so happen to live in the world where technology has developed the shooting rest into the most stable platform available. A solid shooting rest can last years and be an invaluable part of your shooting equipment. If you are serious about shooting you should have a solid rest.

  • Owner of, Boyd Smith is a major handgun enthusiast, and although he owns Glocks, he prefers the revolving wheel type. His go-to guns are a Smith & Wesson 642 Performance Center for carry and a Ruger GP100 in the nightstand biometric safe (he has kids). He loads both revolvers with old-school 148-grain Federal Gold Medal .38 wadcutters. It’s OK if you think he’s a wimp. Email him.

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