Rifle Rest

      Sometime around mid 2005, this rifle rest became available at a great price.   MidwayUSA and Midsouth Shooters Supply must have gotten into a price war with this item.   They're both selling it for approximately $50 below the manufacturers suggested price.   I purchased one for $112 from Midsouth Shooters Supply.   That's one heck of a bargain, because this rifle rest is comparable to units that normally cost twice that much.   For shooters that are not familiar with bench-rest competition, this type of rifle rest allows you to quickly make adjustments in positioning your rifle exactly where you want it.   This rig makes it a whole lot easier to shoot tight groups, and you'll find that testing handloads is much faster, and shooting from a bench becomes a real pleasure.

Rifle Rest
Caldwell Rock BR Competition Front Shooting Rest

      To start off with, there are no documented claims anywhere on the box, or in the instructions, or on the manufacturers website as to where this product is made.   You may find advertisements elsewhere that say this rifle rest is made in the USA.   That's what they'll tell you if you email the manufacturer and ask them (like I did).   However, I found a small sticker on one of the parts that said "Made in China".   Like so many other products these days - there might be some small part of it made here in the USA.

      Anyway, this rifle rest is called the "Caldwell Rock BR Competition Front Shooting Rest," and it has all the features that you would expect from a quality bench-rest rig.   It has coarse and fine elevation adjustments (from 5" to 9-1/4") with a finger-tip windage adjustment.   This shooting platform is quite solid, if you can keep the large flathead screw tight on the cradle assembly.   This platform is mounted on a threaded shaft that sits on a ball bearing ring.   When you rotate the large wheel, it raises the cradle and sandbag.   Its cast iron base is shaped like a slingshot, and it is 15" long.

      This rifle rest has a bubble level, stainless steel leveling feet, an adjustable forend stop (that I removed) and a bag tensioning adjustment that's not needed, so I removed that too.   At 15-1/2 pounds, this rifle rest gives you great stability.   It's the ideal size for most bench-rest shooting.   However, if you want to improve this rest, there are a few things that you can do.   The first thing is to Loctite the top screw that secures the cradle, and securely pin the cradle assembly to the shaft preventing it from coming lose.   I haven't had time to get it done yet, but it's high on my list of things to do.

Front Bag
      Protektor wide front bag

        The Caldwell rest includes a 3" canvas bag, but it also accepts the Caldwell Deluxe Front Bag, as well as the popular Protektor Bags.   I'm not crazy about the original canvas front bag, so I replaced mine with the wide Protektor Bag.   This upgrade is another big improvement.   This rifle rest is a very well made product, and most rifle shooters would do real well with one of these.